Crim grumbles slightly, rolling over, and bumping up against Azalia’s chest. Having been moved from the booth, and had the walk back to their hab started in her sleep. “Oh… hey Azalia… bramble was soooo snuggly.” She chuckles a little, nuzzling her way deeper into the vines.
“I’m glad you got so comfy, I know you have been hyped and energetic, but taking time like that to relax is really important.” Azalia brushes Crim’s back a little bit. “We are almost back at my hab. Once we arrive I’ll get you registered with it so you can come, and go, as you please.” She flashes a small smile, while walking into a residential hallway of habs. “I’ll start you off on your first dose before bed, I managed to stop by the green house while you slept.”
“Well that’s great news!” Crim kicks her legs over the side of the embrace, starting to kick them back and forth as she slowly cracks her eyes open, to watch the rest of the walk home. “I’m absolutely exhausted, and a good dose of whatever ramp up you’ve gotta give me sounds like a great time.”
Azalia giggles and nods. “I hope you don’t mind, but when I was filling out the paperwork for your bed and shelves, I also found the cutest pajamas and sleeping stuff for you. I made sure to keep them themed, and we can get them hemmed when you get your shortening body mod.” They begin walking towards a simple hab at the end of the street with some nice flowers out front.
“Hey, I’ve had wellness checks before, figured that you’d behave similar to her, and I was absolutely right. Even if I’m way more fond of you already.” Crim slowly pushes herself to sit upright, rubbing her eyes as she looks over a painted mural of vines that dances across the ground. One splitting off and leading directly into the door to Azalia’s hab. “Ah, hab sweet hab, we should probably reserve a day to grab some of my things from my personal one, before we leave the planet.”
“We can do that sometime soon, whenever sounds best to you. I don’t have any plans for now.” Once inside, things appear fairly plain, though the walls are lined with bookshelves filled with lots of affini, terran, and other sophont linguistic books, as well as other short stories. The attached kitchen and living room are also a bit on the smaller side, but they appear more cozy than constricting.
Finally, there are two doors near the back, obviously leading to both bedrooms. “Both rooms are attached to a shared bathroom, though I have a feeling you want to see your room first.” Azalia walks towards one of the doors, slowly letting Crim down in order to be able to enter on her own.
“Absolutely, I mean I’m sure your room is great, buuuuut this is going to be so much cooler.” Crim bounces slightly as she’s put down on the ground, walking up to the door, and having it slide up in front of her.
While the rooms walls haven’t been shifted around or replaced, nearly everything within other than that has been entirely replaced. As the far wall has several hexagonal honeycombs pressed up against it, the middle and other two accessible areas having only a curtain to cut it off from the rest of the room. Designed obviously to make it easy for her to be plucked out should Azalia need to.
Crim rushes over, flinging the curtain open to get an even better look. Being immediately met with all of the plushies that she’d ordered stacked carefully around the napping areas. At least one beeple per compartment, as well as the honeycomb plushies being used as pillows. “See, I don’t think your room could top this!” She flops forward, the familiar softness of an affini made bed quickly allowing her to melt into it.
Azalea reaches into one of the drawers on the side, pulling out some soft looking beeple pajamas, and a larva themed sleeping bag. “Here you go, would you like any help getting dressed? I’m fine helping or not, just whatever you feel most comfortable with.”
"I'm good, skin on vine contact isn't my biggest jam, at least not until I've gotten my first mods. Then I might change my mind." Crim stretches, starting to carefully remove and fold up her beekeeper's outfit. Placing it down on the bed, before switching into the striped yellow and black pajamas. Filling a bit silly due to how small they are on her at this point, the legs in particular actually ending at her knee caps, before having stitched on extensions that can be removed once she's shorter. "Bees! These are soft, but that makes them all the better for resting in I guess!"
Azalia smiles, and nods. “You look precious in it, and I know once you are down to proper size it will look even cuter.” She giggles a little, before pointing to the back. “There are slits for your wings once they are in, and if you end up not liking the feeling we can look at other options.”
“Got it.” Crim walks over to Azalia, leaning up against her newly adopted affini. Her posture is a bit more stiff now that she’s not covered from head to toe by her uniform, but retains most of her confidence. “So why don’t we finish this tour, then I’mma need those drugs.”
Azalia starts by leading Crim into the attached restroom. There is a terran sized toilet, and while the bath is big, it has a step ladder in and out. “The bath is controlled by the AI, so all you have to do is ask it to fill it to certain levels. I’d advise against filling it all the way without me around. The sink also has a step ladder to get up, just be careful.” She then opens the other door allowing Crim to peek inside.
“My room is right here, you can either ask the hab AI to get me, or come in yourself if you need me for anything.” Inside Azalia’s room, is a normal bed and nightstand… just in affini size so it would be inconvenient for a terran to get on at all. As well as a single desk, covered by piles and piles of notes.
“You got it, just make distressed noises while I’m healing, and you’ll have your affini senses tingle, and rush to my aid.” Crim walks up to the massive bed, poking the side a few times. “And man am I glad we got me my own bed, this thing is massive. What if I rolled off!” She glances back, flashing a smile at Azalia.
Azalia giggles, and shakes her head. “If you were in my bed, I’d install railings, or simply hold you, to make sure that didn’t happen. Now let's move onto the kitchen.” She leads the way back to the smaller ‘front’ of the hab. “There are step stools, and other things so you can have easy access to everything in here. Most of them were pre-installed by the previous affini, and honestly, I saw no reason to remove them.” She smiles a little before looking down at Crim. “The compiler is right up here, and the fridge has plenty of storage if you see any treats you would like to just have on hand.”
“Gotcha, I really wanna try those muffins that you mentioned earlier, they sounded delicious, and I’m fairly certain that you don’t eat physical foods.” Crim puts her hands out, opening and closing them a few times. “So gimme.”
Azalia giggles, and reaches into a honeycomb patterned container on the counter, pulling out one of the muffins. “Now make sure you don’t eat it too fast. There are more where this came from, and you should have something to drink as well.” She smiles, and brings down a glass of water. “If you want more, just let me know.”
Crim plucks the drink, and muffin, out of Azalia’s vines, walking over and hopping up onto one of the raised chairs. “You got it, just come to you whenever I need anything at all. Even if we’re going to be spending most of our time together in the first place.” Taking a large bite out of the muffin, Crim lets out a little squeak of joy at the rich taste of the treat. “And we’re definitely going to need more of these.”
“I thought you would like them. I’ll make sure we always have a few around for you.” Azalia sits next to Crim leaning up against the dinner table, while she grins down at the girl. “So, while you were sleeping, I looked up a few breakfast suggestions, how do honey covered waffles sound to you? I also read about an old terran cereal that had honey in it.” She giggles while checking her list. “It is a little strange, I don’t think I could make that one homemade.”
“Oh heck yeah, I mean you saw me earlier with the honey waffles, and I’d eat them all the time down on helios. We’d be paid horribly, but at the very least honey was always ‘free’ for us.” Crim grins, snickering to herself as she takes a few more bites out of the muffin. “That and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Those could get ya through a whole day on their own.”
“I’ll take note of the sandwiches, though I do believe that that is not enough nutritionally. We will have to talk to Anemone about that.” Azalia chuckles, and begins looking through her datapad at recipes to try with Crim. “While I will do a lot with honey, I would like to make sure we have some other things for you to make the honey treats more special as well.”
“Whatever you want to do I’m fine with.” Crim crumples up the wrapper for the muffin. Starting to sip her water, as she walks over and tosses it into the compiler, to be decompiled. “Ah am more than used to having a pretty ridgid diet, so adding some variation to it couldn’t hurt.” She then tilts the cup all the way back, downing the rest of the water, and tossing it into the compiler as well. “Soooo, drugs and then a bath before bed?”
“I’ll make sure it is nutritionally good for you, without going into things that you won’t like.” Azalia then stands up, and nods. “We can do them in either order, but the drugs are not the largest dose, just a bit bigger than what you have been on before.”
“Well then I guess we better get cracking!” Crim starts to walk backwards yet again, this time stumbling directly into the side of the couch, before breaking out into a fit of giggles. “Even if I doubt any xenodrugs could make me worse at handling my surroundings than I already am.”
Azalia shows off a new flower on one of her vines with blue petals. “Alright, just relax and this will be nice and quick.” The flower presses against Crim’s arm with just a small pinch. “And there we go, just let me know how you feel as they kick in.”
As the needle slides in, Crim takes a deep breath. Her eyes widening slightly, as the drugs run up her veins in a cool wave of relaxation, through to the core of her chest. “Oh boy you’re right!” She giggles a bit, running her hands across her arms. The dancing warmth each touch provides encouraging more of the same, to reach even higher peaks. “Ooh better idea.” She takes a single step forward, flopping face first against Azalia’s vines. Wrapping her arms around the affini as a deep infinitely warm contentment rockets into the center of her being. “Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.”
Azalia giggles a little bit, and begins to slowly roll her vines down Crim’s back. “A dosage like this is quite a bit different than what you used to have.” She slowly runs each vine around Crim’s sides. Giving little encouraging scratches, and keeping herself ready to pick Crim up if her legs give out. “So, do you just want to relax like this for a bit, or go take a bath?”
Crim shudders, her entire body tensing up slightly at the pets. “Mnnnh, let’s go with a bath!” She leans slightly to the left, tugging on one of the vines that have started petting her. “I just wanna cuuudle, and a warm bath just sounds heavenly.” She lets a little giggle out, squeezing down and tapping at the vine to send more pinpricks of warmth through her system.
Azalia at this point shakes her head, and picks Crim up not wanting the girl to simply collapse on the way to the bathroom. “Of course, a nice bath with a massage will go very well.” She giggles, and has the AI start filling the tub. “Now then, are you going to be okay with vines touching your skin? If not I’ll just stay by you in order to make sure you are okay.”
"If you take those vines away right now, I'd claw my way out of that tub to get back into them." Crim snickers, nestling her way into Azalia’s vines. Her fingers fumbling around with the pajamas as she tries to strip down on her own. "The best part of the drugs is being able to enjoy touch, and I'm not going to waste a high this niceeee."
Azalia grins, and begins to slowly help Crim out of the outfit, vine after vine replacing where the clothes once were. Once she’s stripped, they slowly lower Crim into the water, making sure to keep her vines rubbing across Crim each and every moment. “You just lean back, I’ll take care of everything that you need.” She reaches to the side of the tub, grabbing a blue bottle and using it to lather up her hands, getting ready to work it into Crim's hair.
The feeling of Azalia’s hands pressing down and starting to run along her scalp presses Crim to let out a little whimper. Her arms feeling far too heavy to move more than little twitches of her fingers stimming on her thighs. "Moooore…"
Azalia lets her vines twirl around Crim’s arms, and legs, while she begins to rinse Crim’s hair. “There we go, just let me take care of all of this. I’m going to move onto some body wash. It has no extra xenodrugs in it so we will just continue with this sensitivity.”
“Thank you!” Crim grins, pushing her limbs up against the vines that are wrapping around them. If only to test out how thoroughly she’s being restrained, letting out little squeaks as each tug gets her pulled a little bit closer and tighter.
“You only need to say the word, and I’ll let go.” Azalia gently pours water over Crim’s hair, before rubbing the base of her back, and shoulders with the lathered up body wash. “I’m going to get your arms and legs, and then with your permission your front. Just be patient.” She moves on to begin rubbing Crim’s arms.
Crim nods slightly, allowing vine after vine to wash over each inch of her form. Warm water splashing lightly against the duo, as she allows herself to bask in the glow of a good cuddle session. “Yeah, gooooo as far as you wanna.” She presses her chest forward, the two mounds brushing up against Azalia’s vines. Eliciting a moan with each stroke.
Azalia chuckles, and runs two vines along Crim’s nipples. “Be careful about tempting me, I may not be able to hold back otherwise.” She rubs the bodywash all along Crim’s arms, and legs, rinsing them before coiling her slick vines along Crim’s belly and chest. “Unless a little bee would like to have her favorite flower.”
“I’ll be fiiine, after all I take some C’s to keep the bonding response down.” Crim presses her stomach out, running it up against the vines as hard as she can. Letting little whimpering gasps out as she leans her head up to look at Azalia. Struggling to force herself get a shaky grin on her face, barely flashing one before melting back into an empty smile instead.
“Well then you little cutie, I’ll keep this up, and if you tempt me I will have my fun.” Azalia begins to rinse Crim’s chest, and midriff. Dancing little taps down with each stroke. “However, I will restrict our fun to our night ramp ups on your drugs. If you ever change your mind on becoming a floret though, I’ll be right here.” She runs a clean vine over Crim’s neck, and gently prods her mouth imitating a little kiss.
Crim leans in kissing the vine back, as she’s pulled deeper and deeper into Azalia’s form. Openly writhing under the gentle pets and prods of each vine, the water starting to slowly drain away from around her. Giggling to herself at Azalia’s flirting, as words that would normally be taunts of independence continuously get caught in her throat, and turn to nothing but little buzzing whimpers.
“Such a good little bee, now it is time for us to dry off.” Azalia stands up out of the bath before grabbing a towel, and beginning to rub the soft and fluffy cloth across Crim’s body. “You already are adorable, but I can’t wait for you to get your bee fluff. And little cute buzzing wings.”
Crim starts to verbally buzz more excitedly at the comment, flopping down against the embrace, openly basking in the feeling of the towel against her skin. Enjoying an all too rare moment of peace in her body, able to simply enjoy the ride rather than feel alienated from herself. “Thank you Azaliaaaa.”
“You are very welcome, Crim. I am glad you are enjoying this, and I’ll do my best to help you feel good through everything, and after.” Azalia finishes drying Crim off before sliding her pajamas back on, and walking towards Crim’s bedroom, making sure to continue to pet the girl the whole way.
Crim simply lets herself continue to let out little buzzes, closing her eyes and curling up in Azalia’s arms. Barely even noticing as she’s gently placed down in her honeycomb hive to sleep, Azalia grabbing the beeple plush, and pressing it into her arms. “Gnight…”
The next morning, the smell of waffles seeps into the hive room. The AI chirping out the wake up call. “Good morning cutie, Azalia wanted me to wake you up while she finishes breakfast. If you want to relax a little more that is okay too.”
Raven Seventa’s eyes crack open, a neutral frown on her face as she looks around the admittedly very comfortable bed. Her brown hair flopping to the side out from in front of her face. “Uh…” She grumbles a bit, sliding out of the bed as she looks around the room. “This definitely isn’t my bedroom?”
Walking out of the bedroom, she’s met with the sight of an unfamiliar affini standing in the kitchen. A set of waffles on a plate for assumedly her, given affini don’t eat solid food for breakfast. “Hey, you!” She slowly walks towards Azalia, a little bit of the brain fog dissipating. “Who the heck are you? Did Crim do somethin stupid again? I swear to the stars if she got us domesticated in ONE DAY.”
Azalia freezes up, turning and putting the cooking utensils down, before kneeling in front of Raven. Unnerved by the sudden yelling first thing in the morning, especially given the girl’s mostly amicable behavior the previous day. “Are you saying you are not Crim? I do apologize, but I did not get all of her medical records yet.” She smiles lightly, before holding her hand out. “My name is Azalia Quist, and no, Crim did not get you domesticated. We met and became friends, and I am going to be watching over you as a ward during your body mods.”
Raven rubs her forehead, shaking her head as she looks at Azalia. “I can’t believe it. I tell her okay we can get a few mods, and this is what she goes off, and gets us into!” Begrudgingly Raven puts her hand out, and shakes Azalia’s. “I’m Raven, Crimson’s ‘roommate’. Who is now getting used to waking up in increasingly unfamiliar places, I really hope she’s not been too much trouble for you.”
“Hello Raven, I didn’t expect a pluralibus system. Crim has been pretty easy all things considered. I’m not going out of my way for a floret, but Crim just looked so nervous, so I helped her. This is… well our hab, so feel free to personalize your room, and if there is anything you want readily available just let me know. We will mostly be roommates, though I will be looking out for your general health, and ensuring the proper doses are taken at the right times. Also, how many mods did you agree to? Because Crim has planned, and scheduled… one of the most full body changes over the next couple months that I have seen personally.”
“Of course she did.” Raven pinches the bridge of her nose, taking a deep breath. “Look I’m not really opposed to any mods that she might want to get, I’m just trying to make sure that she doesn’t get us in hot water.” Walking up to the chair, Raven scampers up on top of the seating to get a hold of their breakfast. “Hell knowing you are keeping an eye on her is more of a relief than anything else.”
“Well, both her doctor and I have told her that where she wants to end up, she should be cautious of how overwhelming a hive moon can be. But other than that, I promise I’ll keep Crim out of too much trouble.” Azalia giggles a little bit, before sighing to herself remembering the last day they spent together. “Though that may be difficult in general sometimes.”
“Wait, rewind… What in the universe is a hive moon?” Raven reaches out grabbing a fork, and starting to munch on the waffles. Cocking an eyebrow at Azalia, half expecting to say they’re going to be moved halfway across the system because of one of her headmates' many intensely impulsive decisions. “I agreed to get body mods, and you’re making it sound like we’re going to be leaving Helios 201.”
“Well you are, the amount of time your body mods will take will take up far more time than the Equabloom is going to be over Helios 201. And a hive moon is like a small planetoid similar to a moon, that has a network of beeple tunnels, and affini servers inside, hosting a large number of digitized sophonts. Crim expressed…excitement at the thought of living in one, and our next planned destination will have one.”
“Ah…” Raven shoves a bite into her mouth, thinking over the concept of living inside an affini vessel permanently. Mostly to keep herself from grumbling even more. “At this point, honestly I wish that you’d just said we’re being domesticated instead. At least then I wouldn’t be stuck babysitting her on my own, in a place I’ve never seen before, or studied.”
“Well, just because you both will be getting some level of resistance to xenodrugs with the biomods, it isn’t much. The hive moon…also has a very intense effect on those living in it. You both may be slipping in and out of a state that would almost be like a hive mind telling you where to go, and what to do. Like a buzzing biorhythm to put it plainly.”
Raven finishes her meal, gulping the last bite down to avoid spitting the meal out in shock. "Does she know this? Stars I wouldn't be surprised if she does, this sounds like the exact brand of stupid I've grown to know her for."
“Both myself, and her doctor have told her about it, and advised her to consider other options, but we do support decisions made, as long as they are informed, and won’t endanger her.” Azalia puts a cup of milk down next to Raven. “The real question is if you are okay with it? Given you both share a body.”
"I mean, I'm mostly strung around by her random whims. I'd prefer to be living a pieceful life, even recommended maybe finding an affini with a love of bees like her own, and settling down." Raven pokes the glass a few times, sighing and taking a swig of it. "But Crim really doesn't want domestication after what happened with our wellness checks, and I do my best to respect that."
“If you would like, we could try talking to someone who specializes in plural systems. There may be a way for both of you to get what you want, though I don’t want to get your hopes up if I am wrong.” Azalia takes a seat, and sips some tea. Trying to keep a calm controlled tone in order to comfort Raven. “Anyway, as long as you are out, is there anything you would like to do?”
“I guess get to know my new home, and maybe be given an explanation of what’s actually about to be happening to my body.” Raven gulps down the last of the milk. Licking her lips to get the last of it off of her face. “I’m assuming it’s more than just some even medium level work, with how long you’re implying that this is going to take after all.”
Azalia pulls up the files on Crim’s choices of body mods, turning her data pad around, and handing it to Raven. “Here you go. They are being done in phases as you ramp up in xenodrugs, and subsequently recover from previous body mods, as they are applied. This is going to take quite a bit of time given how extensive everything will be.”
Raven flicks through the mods, and the order they will be implemented in. A mostly empty frown on her face as her eyes flick from spot to spot, seeing their hair style as the only thing maintained. "If this will make Crim comfortable not covering our entire body constantly, then it's something that I can accept."
“As long as both of you are happy. I’ll try to make things as comfortable for you as well, so if you have any concerns, please just let me know.” Azalia smiles and moves to start flicking to a few places on the datapad, while letting Raven keep looking. “On top of the slew of bee, and beeple, related things Crim is interested in seeing, is there anything special you would like to see on the Equabloom?”
“I’ve always wanted to see a class J cafe?” Raven shrugs, putting the datapad down. Looking away and trying to hide a small flush that’s formed alongside her frown. “Like I know there’s a few on the surface, but I always felt awkward about the concept. I mean how do you go to one, and explain you wanna try it out to relax, without being immediately sucked into domestication. So if you could bring me and act as a supervisor while I get to know ya, that would be cool.”
“Oh that sounds very fun. I can make sure no domestication occurs, though I will enjoy getting cute pictures.” Azalia giggles, motioning towards the bedroom. “So Raven, do you also prefer to be covered up, or would you like something different? I can help you get whatever you want before we head out.”
“Eh, I’ve never really taken issue with our appearance.” Raven chuckles, sliding up to the edge of the chair, and slowly climbing her way down. “So if you think that these would be the best for our trip to the cafe, then I’ll just keep wearing these. I’m sure if Crim comes back to the front, this will be better than just a random more ‘normal’ outfit.”
“Alright then, hopefully as the bodymods happen, Crim will get more comfortable with other outfits. We could get her into an adorable bee themed dress… in fact would you like to wear one over your pajamas?” Azalia grins lightly, her form swaying from side to side. “I may have gotten one sent while Crim was sleeping. It would give an extra layer which may help Crim. It also comes with a bee hood.”
“Okay… I’ll take the dress.” Raven laughs, following behind Azalia as they head back towards the affini’s bedroom. “Also sorry about Crim not warning you about me, she kinda tends to try and ignore the topic most of the time. Ya never know who you can trust around that kinda information, especially before you all showed up. Then after the takeover, we didn’t really know if simply existing as a system was enough to make us a target for domestication.”
“Being a system is not a target for domestication. It just means you both have a different set of needs to be met. I will encourage both of you to start seeing a therapist, just because you both could probably use it. And Anemone will need to know, I’m not sure if being a system will affect the xenodrugs she wants you on.” Azalia leads the way, opening the door for Raven and letting her walk in ahead.
“Well that’s great news, now I can wake up in random places with fuzzy memories, and not be worried about being immediately domesticated, because of a misunderstanding.” Walking into Azalia’s bedroom, Raven heads over to the small dresser in the corner. Letting Azalia pull it open in front of her, showing off the black and yellow striped dress. Right next to an identical dress that’s pink with black stripes appearing to be more in line with Azalia’s coloration. “Well I see someone was planning for every possibility.”
“I told Crim that everything will be her choice. I’ll simply take care of you both, and be a friend. There is a degree where I will treat you similarly to a floret, specifically when your body is recovering from mods. Crimson obviously would rather be owned by a hive than by an affini… at least right now, but who knows what the future will hold.” Azalia shrugs, her body tightening around itself ever so slightly as she’s called out.
“Yeah, I highly doubt she’ll change her mind on that one.” Raven plucks the black and yellow dress out, stripping her pajama shirt off, before slipping it on and flicking up the hood. “But who knows, she might ask if you wanna be a ‘hive supervisor’ if she respects you, which is a job that if it exists wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.”
“Well I’m sure I could do something like that. Also you look fantastic Raven.” Azalia takes a quick picture, before putting her data pad away. “Well then, shall we leave? We want to have plenty of time for you to have fun with Class Js.”
“Thank you, I picked it myself.” Raven chuckles, doing a more cute pose for the picture, before returning to her more rigid stance. “Yeah, especially given I’ve been told it’ll last around a full day even after we’re back, so best to get the most time there as possible.”
As they walk outside, a vine is offered to Raven from Azalia. “It shouldn’t take too long to get to the cafe, so let’s enjoy a quiet morning walk.” She smiles before looking out over the mostly empty streets around them.
“Welp, might as well lean into it.” Raven grabs onto the provided vine. Humming slightly as she looks around the ship's streets, amazed that any vessel is capable of being this vibrant. Outdoing even her wildest dreams of any species’s capacity. With all shapes of flora growing up, and around, every inch of the ship's walls, and halls. “Also wow, seeing this up close really hammers home how out of their depth the accord was… good, I like it.”
“Thank you, we prefer to do our best to end wars quickly with absolute minimal loss of life. Then once it is over, most of our ships are largely for colony and research purposes, although most affini will volunteer here or there for a small military operation. Usually to just hop onto a ship, knock out a few cuties, then bring them back.”
“Ah yes, a tale of love as old as the compact. The feral and the massive dominant plant monster.” Raven snickers, leaning up against Azalia’s side. Mostly to make a show of the fact that she’s with this affini, and is not interested in getting others attention. “Honestly, while I wouldn’t wish death on the poor shmucks corrupted by the cosmic navy, I get why you don’t really… trust them to be redeemed outside of domestication.”
Azalia nods quietly, a small frown finding its way onto her face. “They do some truly foolish, and dangerous, things. So many of them die simply to propagate a cause not worth fighting for in the first place. Captains throwing people out of the air locks because of simple suspicion. A lot of that is why we don’t trust them outside of domestication, alongside making a point about what resistance entails in the first place. Entire crews held hostage by the fear of what the upper officers will do to them should they even express anything other than radical fearlist ideology.”
“That and the whole you needing to prove a point thing, the rebels at the very least directly defied you by not stopping when told they’d lost. And no matter how soft you are, allowing them to get away with that behavior when you get a hold of them, would undermine your sense of authority. Which I’ve noticed is the one thing that most affini would keel over dead if it happened to them.” Raven nestles up against Azalia as they take a turn through one of the local parks, her guide obviously taking a more scenic route in order to show off the ship more thoroughly.
Azalia chuckles and nods, surprised by both how blatant and positive Raven’s observations are. Given most non-affini sophonts would never be willing to discuss something like this with her. “You are pretty insightful, as much as we like to help everyone be their best selves, we also have to maintain our positions.” She sees the class J cafe down at the end of the park. Gesturing a vine to direct Raven’s gaze. “The affini compact is an empire, so we cannot accept little acts of rebellion like that.”
“Eh, I’m more or less just desensitized with it after living in the accord our entire life. Sure you’re a heavily controlling empire that wants nothing more than ultimate power in the universe, but really, that’s no different than before. Except this time I don’t need to worry about starving in the streets if our hives underperform for a season.” Raven nods slightly, letting go of the vine that she’d been holding onto as she takes a few steps ahead of Azalia. “Thaaaat, and if you asked Crim, then everything you do is worth it, for the sake of making the beeple happy.”
Azalia giggles, before shaking her head. “Well, any government only works as well as the happiness and health of those living under it hold up. Without a strong foundation, how could anything stand.” She moves to keep up with Raven, letting the girl lead the way to the cafe at this point. “Anyway, enough talking about politics and the state of the universe, we are finally here.”
“You’ll find I have a pension for having more… pronounced opinions on the topic than Crim. I apologize if it was unpleasant.” Raven stops outside of the barely opening J cafe. Watching the terran florets intimately as they lounge around the oversized cat trees and tunnels. “Hence my desire to try class J’s… ya know, not constantly worry about politics, and how it will affect me, and Crim, for maybe two whole seconds.”
“It is not unpleasant to talk about. I rarely have others I want to talk to about anything like this. I hope I will be able to help you with any questions, and how you will be taken care of. However, like you said, time to be forced to relax. I’ll watch over you the whole time.” Azalia strolls inside, taking a moment to pet some of the caffe pets on her way inside.
Raven walks up to the counter, stepping up a small staircase in order to get on level with the affini behind the counter. Immediately catching the distinct form factor, rather than imitating a terran, the affini’s green vines and red leaves sway from side to side. Bioluminescent grafts giving them a look far more remenencient of a spectrum jelly. “Hello, uh… I’ve never really done this before, but I’m here with my friend to sign up to have some J’s today, then she can take me home?” She flashes the affini a small smile, her posture more than a little stiff from talking to a new affini.
The affini smiles, and nods. “Of course, it is rather common to come be treated like that.” She pulls out a form, and slides it over. “Please fill this out, then have your caretaker fill out this section right here. My name is Scila Dinthus, 8th bloom, she/her by the way.”
“She’s just a friend of mine, but I guess she will be filling that role for a bit.” Raven shrugs, taking the form and pausing for a moment. Unsure if she should put her own name down, given she doesn’t technically exist in the compact, maybe it would cause an error in their paperwork? She can’t help but start to snicker at the thought, before continuing onward and writing her name down.
Signing off that she understands that for the next two to three days, she’ll be under an affini’s intimate care to insure that she’s safe, if she didn’t have a designated caretaker that would be done by the cafe itself, she checks the request that during this time, she will not be enlisted in the domestication program even if she requests due to the effect on her mental state, as well requesting to be given a dose of proper class C’s to prevent an intense possibly irreparable bonding response. “Alright there ya go, done and dusted.”
Azalia then begins filling out her part that she understands the responsibilities she will be undertaking while Raven is on her clas J’s.
Scila smiles, and takes the papers when both are done. “Alright, give me a moment to prepare your J and C cocktail cutie.” She reaches out and gives Raven a little pet.
Raven nods slightly, letting Scila pet her for a moment, before stepping back down to the ground level. Only to realize that several of the J florets have crawled over, and pressed themself up against Azalia. "Oooo, looks like someone is quite popular." She slowly walks over, gently petting one eliciting several mewls, before being tackled in the floret's excitement and pulled into their arms. "Azalia, help!"
Azalia giggles and sits down, gently prying Raven away from the florets. “Relax little ones, Raven here needs her J’s before she can relax.” She lets out some of her vines to begin petting the florets gathered around them.
Scila soon returns with a small series of drinks, each cup roughly the size of a shot glass, giggling at the sight. “While I hate to interrupt, something this absolutely adorable, it is time for your J’s Raven.”
Raven can’t help but let out a little giggle as she’s placed down away from the rest by Azalia. Blushing slightly as she looks over the cocktail of xenodrugs. “Can I take these in one of the adoption rooms, away from the rest? The idea of having it hit me out here is… embarrassing…”
“Oh you won’t mind it soon enough, but if you would prefer, we can very easily do it privately.” Scila reaches down to scoop Raven up against her side. “We will be right back Azalia. If you could keep all these cuties company, I’ll be right back after Raven’s first dose.”
Azalia giggles, fully sitting down on the ground, and going back to casually petting all the J florets. “Alright, as long as I get her back. Be a good girl Raven.”
Raven tenses up slightly, her cheeks turning a flushed pink. “I never had the intention to behave otherwise.” She looks around while they head through the playroom, and arrive in one of the private adoption rooms. A comfortable albeit massive red cat bed sitting at the far end, next to an affini sized chair.
Raven is quickly plopped down in the center of the cat bed, crossing her legs, and putting her hand out to be given the first of the drinks. “Sooo… have you worked here a while? Or are you just doing what you were assigned or somethin. It’s hard to tell sometimes.”
“I have worked here my whole time on the Equabloom personally, though I’ve had plenty of volunteer help as well. While assignments do happen from time to time, we do try to make sure that affini or especially sophonts get in jobs they want, or train those willing to learn.” Scila gently holds the first drink out to Raven.
Raven looks down at the mostly clear but very thick mixture, taking a sniff and having her eyes dilate slightly simply from the overpowering smell of mint coming off of it. “Alright then, down the hatch!” Tilting the shot back, she shudders as it slides down her throat, the overpowering taste of mint combining with the burgeoning warmth powerfully enough to knock Raven down onto her back. “Oof, haven’t tasted anything that strong since before the fall of the Accord!” She snickers to herself, as she glances back up at Scila who’s standing there with the next two drinks at the ready.
“Such a good girl, please take the time you need before taking the next shot. We wouldn’t want you to get overwhelmed too fast.” Scila giggles, and gives Raven another few pets watching and counting the time between each doce internally. “How are you feeling with just the first one?”
Raven can’t help but start to burrow her way into the gentle fluffy texture of the pet bed. The shot slowly finding its way and hitting her core, and spreading a gentle warmth outward around her entire body. “Mnnn, pretty good, but still able to focus-” This gets immediately cut off as Scila runs her vine down Raven’s back, she can’t help but arch it slightly, starting to absentmindedly buzz in appreciation.
“I don’t know, I’d think someone able to focus would be able to keep their mind through a few pets. But you can still speak, so that is something.” Scila giggles, and begins to scratch and stroke Raven’s head. Letting minute after minute pass by silently. “We can give you the second shot whenever you are ready, Raven. Just be a cutie and tell me with your big girl words when you want it.”
Raven presses her head further up into the pets, trying to pout about the almost immediate teasing, but failing and simply falling into a cycle of buzzing, regaining enough of her senses to be embarrassed, and then having a vine descend onto her and wipe any pretending to focus out of her.
After about ten minutes of this cycle, Raven finds a little bendy straw pressed to her lips. Absentmindedly putting her lips around and starting to drink it, this time getting a far more fruity taste out of the drink. Finding herself almost disappointed when it eventually runs out, and she’s left with the noise of her sucking on an empty straw. “Nuuuuu…”
“Cute, and you just need to wait a little bit more for your third shot.” Scila resumes petting Raven, a smile across her face. “Now then, would you like a fun little accessory for your time under Js?” She reaches into a drawer, pulling out a collar and twirling it playfully.
Raven lazily lifts her arms up, opening and closing her hands a few times as she gazes longingly up at the collar. The lack of constant mind numbing pets, allowing just enough mental power to get out one full squeak of a word. "Give!"
“Good girl, of course I’ll put this on you.” Scila tilts Raven’s head before gently closing the collar around the girl’s neck. “There we go, so pretty, I bet Azalia is going to love seeing this on you. Do you want your third shot now?” She begins petting Raven once more.
Raven shudders as the collar clicks into place around her neck, a little yellow tag with her name and independent status displayed on the front.
The second Scila's vine lands once again on her head. Raven flops her arms back down, curling up and openly buzzing in response to the affini. Her mind is enraptured by the warmth and texture of the affini’s vines.
The vines begin to trace little paths through Raven’s hair, and along her neck, particularly along the edge of the collar. “I always love when independents come in for trying class Js, they either decide to get domesticated, or come in for more fun all the same. I really look forward to seeing how you turn out.” Scila puts the straw in the final shot before holding it to Raven’s lips.
Raven pushes her lips up against the straw. Taking little sips of the concoction, as her head sinks deeper against the edge of the bed. The nice heavy feeling of everything finally hitting in full, her thoughts more a soup of concepts rather than anything consistent.
As the last of the mix runs out, Raven rolls over onto her back. Gazing up at Scila with wide glassy eyes, struggling to comprehend much more than how pretty the nice affini looks, and how soft she feels in the bed. "Bzzzzt!"
Vines wrap all around Raven, lifting the girl, and pulling her up against Scila’s chest. “Such a cutie, I’m super jealous you already have someone to look after you. It would have been wonderful to have you with us for this little trip.” She begins to walk out from the adoption room.
Back in the main room, Azalia had all the rest of the florets who’d taken interest in her quietly snoozing, while surrounding her. She smiles upon seeing Raven, carefully getting up in order to take her without waking the napping pile of pets.
Raven's eyes dance slowly around the room, her smile turning absurdly wide as her eyes lock with Azalia's form. The affini's appearance breaking any limits or rationale that she'd ever considered, not that she could be considering much in this state. "Azzz!"
As she's moved out of Silca's vines, Raven wiggles around despite each limb feeling as heavy as lead. Only starting to buzz louder as she's placed down into Azalia’s grasp. Pressing her head up against the affini’s chest, and rolling over to look into her wonderful infinitely deep rippling expanses of eyes.
Azalia carefully runs a few vines over Raven’s face with a smile. “Aren’t you adorable, no worries in your mind at all.” She rocks Raven gently, before looking back up to speak with Scila. “Thank you so much, Raven was telling me about how much trouble she has just relaxing, and that she wanted to do this.”
“I’m always more than happy to help cuties like her, she was so precious asking for her collar.” Scila runs a hand along Raven’s cheek, tapping on the yellow tag. Watching her squirm around, closing her eyes and lazily relaxing in Azalia’s vines. “And she already seems to be so happy to be back in your vines. The yellow tag will remind everyone that she’s yours, and not up for adoption, so no need to worry about that.”
“Thank you, I promised I’d take care of her, and keep her from being domesticated, so that will make things easier.” Azalia rubs the collar lightly with a smile. “When she comes down from this high, I bet she will be wanting to plan the next time she gets Js, so we will be keeping in touch. I’ll also be taking plenty of pictures and videos.”
Scila grins, giving Raven a few light pats, before kneeling down and plucking up a few of the cuddling florets. “We’ll always be more than happy to have her, and I’d love to have her go up for adoption here one day, if that’s what she chooses.”
Raven’s head dances from side to side as the two voices of the affini mix and wash over her, most of the more important details being lost aside from how happy both of the affini sound when talking about her.
After a moment, Azalea stops petting her, which by all logic in Raven’s remaining brain. Might as well have been the most unforgivable crime ever committed, causing her to turn around and thump her hand against Azalia’s chest. “Pet!”
“I can see why, when she signed up, she made sure to have nothing she says while this high count towards domestication, because if I were you, seeing that alone would be nearly enough to convince me to keep her.” Scila laughs lightly, returning and running her hand through a terran girl's hair.
Azalia giggles, and makes sure to not let her petting stop a second time. “It would be very hard to keep myself from adopting her if I didn’t know some of her wishes. But I will say I’m excited to have some time enjoying my little class J cuddle pet.”
“Well then enjoy your day together here, and if the little one needs anything I’m always available to help.” Scila reaches out, getting one last indulgent pet in, before heading back into the rest of the cafe. Placing several of the terran’s she’s cradling in her vines into random affini laps.
Raven nestles upwards right as the petting recommences, making sure to get every point of contact physically possible. As if she has the ultimate ich, that attempting to scratch simply loops her back into the need to scratch it longer and harder. Being driven deeper into the affini’s vines thanks to the overwhelming symphony of her biorhythm. “More! More!”
Azalia giggles and begins to walk out, keeping the full body petting and cuddling going with Raven. Having to go a good bit slower with her walking, while this focused on Raven. “I’ll give you everything you want sweetie, don’t you worry.” She waves at Scila before starting to walk back towards their own hab. “Let’s enjoy this for as long as we can. We can watch a movie while I continue to pet you.”
“Yay!” Raven watches as they walk away from the cafe, lazily waving her arm at the door as she watches the other cafe pets go back to their normal lazing about.
While she’d love to squirm around and go cuddle them more, she’s already in the nice affini’s vines. And with every extra pet, and poke, she feels more content simply resting in her arms.