5. Beecoming A New Me

by Cracked_Ruby

Tags: #cw:noncon #dom:female #f/f #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #scifi #sub:female #beegirl #drugged #multiple_partners #plurality

this chapter has a whooooooooooooole lot of beeps, just a beepapalooza, a real beeptacular chapter, so I guess I'll just beep ya to the finish!

Crim’s eyes slowly slide open, finding herself placed firmly in her honeycomb bed. Wiggling her arms around, all of her limbs feeling like someone had wrapped led around them. Similar to the experience of laying under a weighted blanket, rather than the all encompassing contentment of being on the class J’s.

As the thought of her time on class J’s passes through her head, Crim squeaks slightly. A horrible embarrassment about being seen without her full keepers suit on, being about the only real negative emotion that finds its way to the front from her trip. 

Lazily, but still fast enough to make sure that Azalia wont wake up, and walk in on her. Crim kicks against the side of her bed area, slowly shoving herself to the edge, before flopping down onto the ground. The if only slightly, more uncomfortable flooring, helps fight the instinct to simply go back to sleep. 

After a few minutes of laying deathly still, Crim starts to push off of the ground. Forcing herself to sit up, and get a better look at her new bee themed pajamas. Only taking a single moment to observe them before the dysmorphia spikes back up, and she’s sent scurrying over to her closet to grab a more covering outfit. 

Flinging it open, Crim grabs her white keepers suit, and immediately slips it on. Tossing her pajamas to the ground with little concern for where they end up, as she zips the hood up fully. Taking a deep breath of relief in the relative comfort of her outfit.

As she finishes getting dressed, there’s a few knocks on Crim’s door. “Crim, are you up yet? I’ll be making breakfast soon.” The door cracks open, so Azalia can peek in to check on her without invading Crim’s space too much. Unsure if all of the J’s have washed out of her system yet. “I’m glad to see you up, and you did a good job getting dressed with the dosage you’re on. How are you feeling?”

“Everything feels softer now…” Crim sighs, opening and closing her hands a few times, as she looks over at the few of Azalia’s vines that have wrapped around the doorway. Internally wincing at the concept of her caretaker actually having seen so much of her. “I see that you met Raven though… uh, she didn’t tell you to do anything to us did she?”

Azalia pauses for a moment, taking this as a sign she’s allowed in, and slowly pushing the door the rest of the way open, kneeling down in front of Crim. Reading the tension in the woman’s body language, and trying her best to seem more approachable. “Raven just told me about the stress she felt, and asked for the class Js. We talked a little bit about her feelings, and personal wants. She had some class Cs in her J dosage, in order to inhibit the bonding response for your sake.”

Crim exhales sharply, a little bit of the tension in her posture draining away, as she brazenly walks past Azalia and into the living room. “Thank the bees, I swear she’d been swearing up and down that she was going to find someone I’d actually accept to take care of us, for the last year. So I was a little anxious about the possibility of waking up to, ‘oh yeah your roommate signed both of you up to be domesticated oops, but you sure do look cute in that collar.’” 

As she passes by, Crim pivots on her heels, starting to walk backwards while keeping eye contact with the point where Azalia’s pink petals combine together on her chest. “But since she didn’t do that, I guess I just gotta ask… how much looonger until my first appointment?”

“Well, you cuties took a few extra days being high. I was mostly coming to check on you, because we should get going soon for your first one. Also you might want to be careful of doing anything too complex. You might feel more ‘normal’ due to coming down from the Js, but you are still very high on your prescribed dosage.” Azalia slowly stands up, starting to follow behind Crim in case she trips.

“Oh trust me I-” Right as she’s about to continue, Crim’s legs get crossed up, and caught on one another. Sending her careening down onto the ground. Landing with a thud, mere seconds before Azalia’s vines could reach her. 

“I’m fine!” She laughs to herself, entirely ignoring the dull ripples of pain exuding from her lower back. Partially due to how high she is, and partially to avoid worrying Azalia.

Azalia shakes her head, her vines continuing forward despite failing to catch her ward. Wrapping around Crim and lifting her up, tucking her tight against the mass of petals that comprise Azalia’s bust. 

“I will carry you, Raven was right about you really needing someone looking out for you.” Azalia huffs a little bit while her grip tightens, several vines gently rubbing Crim’s back where she’d landed, as she walks towards the kitchen. “You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself too badly, especially with adjusting to a shorter height soon.”

“She was not! I was perfectly fine taking care of myself.” Crim puffs her cheeks out, pouting but still pressing herself down into Azalia’s vines, trying to force herself to enjoy the feeling of being petted. “I just knew that she’d do this! She always bad-mouths me!”

“She worries about you, and as a system, given my observations, I think I can see why you two formed.” Azalia puts Crim down in a chair, before standing up to her full height. “I want you to know Crim, there is nothing wrong with admitting to needing a little help. It won’t force you to be domesticated, or anything.”

“I know it won’t force me, but I also know it’s what she wants.” Crim slides back onto the massive chair, turning away from Azalia and simply leaning on the kitchen table. “Ever since we started communicating with one another, she’s reminded me that I need someone, and she’s seen domestication as the easy path, no worries just being slotted in with someone who will make sure she doesn’t need to worry about me anymore.” She flops down against the table, the mesh of the face shield bending and pressing up against her cheek. 

“That’s half why I came up here, at least while I’m aboard the Equabloom, or on the hive moon, I was hoping she’d calm down about that opinion. See that I’m capable of living with affini, instead of needing someone to babysit me constantly.” She exhales sharply, a bitter tint coming into her voice. “Guess not.”

“I would look at things currently as more like I am helping you get ready for your surgeries. Even the most capable sophont does need some level of help through their increasing dosages, and bodily changes.” Azalia grabs a plate of honey and peanut butter toast that she had prepared, setting it with a glass of milk in front of Crim. “If it would make you happy, I can keep my aid to a minimum outside of any medical needs you may have. Then when Raven fronts, I’ll treat her like the floret she wants to be treated as.”

“Deal.” Crim lazily forces herself to sit up, before reaching out, plucking the toast off of the plate, and unzipping her hood, taking a large bite out of it. “Sorry about waking up on the wrong side of the honeycomb, it’s just been weird ever since well… as long as we’ve known one another, given we don’t agree on… well anything, but we’re still stuck together… forever.”

“It’s perfectly alright, beyond helping you through your body mods, I would also like to help both of you find a state where you both can be happy with life. I know that it may not be easy, but I am sure there is a solution, a middle ground which will fit both of your needs.” Azalea reaches down, patting Crim on the head a few times, while still avoiding directly looking at the girl, to respect her discomfort.

“Thanks Azalia.” Crim flashes the affini a small smile as the vine runs down her hair. “I know you probably weren’t planning on some random Sophont popping into your life like this, hell I didn’t even think I’d see you again, after we got to the vet.” As she finishes up the last of the toast, Crim starts to slowly zip the hood back up, nestling her way into her hair to hide her face.

“You are welcome Crim, it wasn’t in my plan for the day when we first met, but I’m glad that I decided to stick with you.” Azalia lifts Crim up, and wraps her vines around Crim into a looping them together into a massive hug. 

“I want you to know that I’ll have your back through all of this and more. I won’t try to sneak any domestication stuff onto you, especially with your expressed desire to not be domesticated. Sure Raven would love it, but I’m going to do my best to make her feel loved, and cared for, in whatever way works out for both of you.” She begins to walk towards the door. 

“Honestly my work can be done anywhere, and I may look for a place on the hive moon, just so you have somewhere quiet to return to. And if you decide not to stay there, Ipheon and bramble have expressed how much they enjoy your visits, and that you are always welcome.”

“Well, that’s great news.” Crim eyes the embrace she’s been locked within, shaking her head slightly, but reluctantly accepting the affection as Azalia walks them out of the hab.

After a minute of being bundled up inside of Azalia’s vines. Crim slowly peels vine after vine off of her, clawing her way out of being cradled, and on to Azalia’s shoulder. “So where are we going today? I’m assuming you’ve got an idea of where we’re headed other than ‘out’.”

“I was thinking of visiting the hive in the park. There are only about five beeple who populate it on average, with a few more who are regular visitors. I was thinking you would really like it, and I know they love anyone who shows an interest.” A couple vines shift around to make sure Crim is comfortable, creating a chair with a back for Crim to lean on.

Crim grabs onto a vine that slides over her shoulder to help hold herself in place. Enjoying the feeling of wind against her cheeks as Azalia picks up the pace. The idea of visiting several beeple at once ripping her out of the early morning blues that she'd found herself dealing with. "That sounds great, yeah."

Azalia grins, the vines comprising her legs splitting apart to start running entirely freely. “I thought you would say that. Just be prepared for cuddles, and beeple excitement. If you need me I’ll be right outside, it will be a little too small for me to fit in comfortably, but they will all be respectful of your needs, as long as you tell them.”

"Yeah I don't think any beeple raised by affini would be rude to anyone." Crim looks over at a small building made of interconnecting honeycombs. Reminiscent of a massive natural bee hive, rather than one of her custom box hives she'd use for her bees. Flowers scaling up around all sides, a few even growing out through the walls due to how well they've been taken care of. 

Once Crim is finished being caught in the awe of seeing a bee hive large enough for her to climb inside. She traces her eyes along the exterior, noticing three or four hexagons that aren't just walls, and actually open leading inside. "Yeah I can see why you'd not be able to go in there, at least not comfortably."

She quickly hops down onto the ground, taking hasty steps forward, and entirely forgetting to thank Azalia. Or ask where they are going to meet up later, in her enthusiasm, having already knelt down, and started to half crawl into one of the openings along the ground. By the time that she notices Azalia tapping her shoulder to regain her attention. 

“I’ll be out here reading, and chatting, with a few of my friends.” Azalia points to a picnic table near the hive. “I will be right there, and if you don’t come out in a few hours, I’ll ask someone to check on you. Now go have fun, and please remember that you may not move quite as you expect, so keep activity simple.”

"Pfff, I'm sure I'll be fine, and I promise no hopping off of high spots for me." Crim gives Azalia a thumbs up, before crawling deeper into the hive. Only having to take a few more steps, before being released into a significantly larger area. About as large as a normal hab unit, but entirely arranged to function similarly to Crim’s bedroom.

Honeycomb individual sleeping areas for each beeple who lives, or hangs out, here. Alongside a massive pile of cushions, and beeple sized furniture sitting in the center of the room. Several pathways similar to what Crim had crawled through, leading deeper into other rooms of the hive.

Once she's inside Crim immediately tenses up, starting to scoot out of the way of the exit. Observing as the shortest beeple she’d ever seen crawls out of her bunk, along with two other beeple who had been absentmindedly vaping, and cuddling one another, on the pillow pile look over at her. 

"Uh… hi… I'm Crimson, my friends call me Crim." She gives the group a little wave, pressing herself up against the wall due to her anxiety about being in larger groups. "Azalia brought me here to meet all of you…"

The tiny beeple, which on closer inspection has green stripes buzzes down, leaving the rest up and watching from a distance. “hello crimson, my name is clover. It’s exciting to meet someone new.” She gently holds a hand out, letting Crim make any further moves. “welcome to our little hive, i promise we will make you feel at home here.”

Crim reaches out, and takes clover’s hand, having a bit of trouble at first getting her hand into a comfortable position to shake due to the difference in the amount of digits, on clover’s hand. “Thank you, I’ve actually just moved aboard in order to get body mods that will make me more similar to a beeple myself.” She lets out a dry nervous chuckle, looking down past clover and at the ground. 

Her voice maintaining an unusual level of timidity in comparison to normal, trying to put her best foot forward, despite the crippling anxiety of the situation. “As you can probably tell from my outfit, I used to be a apiarist on Helios, so I’ve always had a passion for the subject.”

clover’s mandibles chitter excitedly, as she wraps both of her upper level of hands around Crim’s, pulling her close. “that sounds very exciting indeed, we would love to help you get used to everything, as your body mods come through.” she buzzes a little, before nodding up to the other beeple. “would you like a hand coming up, or would you like to take some time down here? you seem nervous, so i don’t want to push you into anything.”

“Uh, yeah, for most of my life all I had was me and my hives, and there was a little bit of a language barrier between me and them.” Crim smiles softly at the bottom level of clover’s arms, which have wrapped themselves around her waist. Returning the hug as gently as possible, as she allows herself to be led deeper into the hive. “I’m actually on a good amount of xenodrugs, so my caretaker said I shouldn’t go up on anything that I could fall off of.”

“that is more than fair, we have plenty we can do staying down here.” clover leads Crim to a table shaped like a honeycomb sticking out of the ground. “so, do you want to cuddle? if not i’m sure we can think of something that sounds fun to you. like vaping.” As she explains, clover flops down onto a big bean bag chair next to the tabl, pulling Crim down with her.

Crim flops down next to clover, chuckling at the thought that affini used a similar method to calm down the beeple, to her own with bees. “I’m more than happy to cuddle. I’m not sure if I should be doing anything over my prescribed amount right now, but thank you for the offer.” She starts to gently tap her fingers against the bean bag, feeling a bit awkward as she currently sits a solid two feet larger than the beeple. Hoping that the shortening will come sooner rather than later in her transition.

clover buzzes lightly, and cuddles up and on top of Crim, gently playing with the zipper on the beekeeper outfit. “that’s fair, we wouldn’t want to mess anything up. What kind of stuff would you like to do when your transition happens?”

“Oh uh… ya know, I’m wanting to move to a hive moon, maybe find a place that I can feel accepted.” Crim laughs lightly, eyes glancing down repeatedly at the zipper as it’s repeatedly undone. “The only place I felt like I fit in, was with my bees, so I am hoping that living around beeple, will allow me to feel a deeper connection.”

Once the suit is undone just enough for clover to stick her hand in, beginning to gently rub Crim’s stomach. “well, if the hive moon doesn’t work out, i hope we can make you feel welcome here. it may not be as populated, but our little hive is cozy.” she giggles lightly, focusing on Crim with every little calming touch. “i’m gonna guess you are wearing this because of dysphoria? Once your first few body mods are done, would you want to show off a bit? there’s some fun beeple fashion i think you would enjoy, and look adorable in!”

Crim puffs her cheeks out, turning her head away from clover. “Yeah, you got it in one.” Despite her embarrassment, Crim slides herself closer to clover, allowing the beeple to wrap all four arms around her. Shuddering at the pinpricks of warmth that each little poke, and prod, from the beeple elicits. “And if the hive moon doesn’t work out, I’d love to at the very least stay here.”

clover squeezes down crushing Crim in her embrace, and playfully tapping her fingers along Crim’s back. Nuzzling her way up into Crim’s embrace and resting her head on the base of Crim’s neck. “next time you see your vet, find out how safe it would be for you to vape with us. it’s really relaxing to vape, and cuddle while occasionally watching shows for fun.”

"I'll be seeing her in another day or so, so I'll talk to her about it, and maybe see if there's anything that I can be prescribed that will provide my doses in a similar way." Crim gently reaches her arms down, placing them between clover’s two sets, to give her a light, easily escapable, hug. "I don't know if you know him, but I'm actually friends with bramble. him and his owner are always excited to see me whenever I visit."

“bramble comes to hang out with us at least once a week. i bet getting cuddle time with both of you would be super fun!” clover’s wings buzz intensely, squishing her down on top of crim Crim. Electing to simply cuddle there like a bee napping on top of a flower. “most xenodrugs can be done via vaping, though it is mostly done by beeple like us using our honey to get high. given our resistance to almost every xenodrug, it’s an easy way for us to get what we want when we are away from our owners, but it's suuuuper unsafe for other sophonts.”

“Yeah, then I guess I’ll avoid mixing mine, and yours, up when or if I get my own.” Crim slowly slides herself around, allowing clover to sit on top of her chest. The light buzzing of the beeple’s wings on her chest feeling similar to the buzzing sensation she’d experience when holding a bundle of bees in her hand. “And I guess next time I go to the Honey Pot, I’ll need to tell him about meeting you.”

“good! we will need to get yours color coordinated. each of us has one in our colors, so you need a crimson vape! as for telling bramble, whichever of us goes to the Honey Pot first will tell him.” clover wiggles, burrowing her way into Crim’s chest. “also, once you get all your body mods, if you want you can be crimson full time!”

As the ever so slight difference in clover's pronunciation of her name hits Crim’s ears. The tips of her ears start to burn furiously, the promise of more of the same changing her implants from a deep desire to an absolute certainty. "Good to know your hive has upward mobility." She forces out a stifled giggle as clover's buzzing relaxes her even further. 

clover reaches up, gently brushing her top hands up against Crim’s cheeks. “you seem so much more relaxed now. would you like to meet any of the others? or do you want to just continue to enjoy some quiet time together?”

Crim squeaks as all six of clover’s combined fingers fiddle with her face, and the amount of fluff that class G’s had thankfully given her. The anxiety welling up in her chest for a few seconds as her hood slowly falls fully off. “I mean, I was mostly anxious about being unliked, but as I’ve learned is normal with beeple, and affini, that was an erroneous fear.” She looks over at the two other beeple cuddling on the opposite side of the plush pile. “But yes, I’d like to get to know everyone I can if possible.”

“it’s alright, take a few deep breaths, then let’s go introduce you to blossom and indigo. they are very nice, and easy to be around.” clover rests her upper hands on Crim’s cheeks, making the girl look her in the eyes. “You are loved and appreciated, no matter how you look around here.” She leans in and nuzzles against Crim’s cheek.

Crim lets out a little squeak as she sits up, returning the nuzzle, and zipping her suit back up, leaving the hat hanging off the back. "Thank you." She slowly pushes herself to stand up, leaving one hand to hold onto clover’s as she gives the pair of beeple on the other half of the pillows a little wave.

Noticing that similarly to clover, each has their fluff, and outfits match with a specific color scheme rather than the traditional yellow and black, that she'd grown to associate with bees, and beeple alike. "If you don't mind my asking though, what's up with your fur colors? Is this a natural difference or a specific modification that each of you got?"

“Well that is simple, we wanted to match our owners colors, which just so happens to also line up with our names pretty well.” clover giggles before continuing. “It is a simple body mod to effectively ‘dye’ our fuzz and make sure it keeps growing in our colors. It is a pretty popular mod that beeple do, though you will tend to still see most with our normal yellow and black.”

"That's actually really cool, and I can see how it would help each of you stand out. To those who aren't as familiar with the things that make each beeple unique." Crim grins, letting clover drag her over to indigo and blossom. 

indigo true to her name is a deep ocean blue, with black eyes and purple eyerices. And blossom is a gentle poppy pink, with similarly purple eyerices. Both of their outfits match the others color scheme, likely due to them sharing an owner. Kneeling down in front of the pair, and putting her free hand out to them. "Uh… I'm not sure if you were listening but I'm Crim by the way. It's nice to meet you."

indigo and blossom eye one another for a few seconds, before starting to buzz rapidly. Pouncing on top of Crim, and giving her a massive hug, instead of the handshake. Knocking the girl backward onto the ground with the force of their cuddles.

clover giggles, and buzzes down to sit by Crim’s head. “by the way, you look super fun to cuddle, but on top of everyone looking fun to cuddle, being a little reserved makes us all want to cuddle more.” she wiggles her way closer, rubbing her cheek against Crim’s.

Crim starts to giggle wildly, as the group of beeple press down all around her. Their combined vibrations from the beating of their wings coursing through her entire body in little waves. Feeling more than a little certain that all of the beeple’s wings are beating in sync in some way. "Well I'm happy you enjoy it at least."

indigo presses her cheek up against Crim’s opposite one from clover. grinning over at her friend as they all get in position on top of Crim to make a blanket of soft beeple bodies. "and we are happy you enjoy our attention!"

blossom wiggles up at Crim’s neck, looking up at her face. “cuddles are fun, though i have to ask, next time you come to hang out with us, what kinds of snacks would you like me to bring? Mistress and i do some baking for these get togethers.” she smiles, and wiggles from side to side, her fuzz rubbing against Crim’s neck.

"I enjoy honey buns?" Crim chuckles lightly to herself, a tad embarrassed due to knowing very little about what food she does and doesn't like. "I've never had the most varied diet, but I've been working on changing it ever since the compact took over. So you can surprise me, and I promise I'll try whatever you bring!"

blossom does what Cim can only ascertain is a grin, her mandibles pressing up against one another, and chittering slightly as she nods. “alright, i’ll make sure to bake some up for next time, and maybe you would be willing to try a few other treats as well?” she squeezes her arms around Crim a little bit tighter. “i promise they are good.”

“Just bring whatever you like the most, and I promise I’ll give it a shot.” Crim slumps to the side as the bright pink beeple squeezes her tighter. Starting to lightly tap her fingers in rhythm with the beeples beating wings, in order to process some of the overwhelming stimulation.

After a few minutes, everyone gently lightens up, settling for less squeezing, and more contact cuddles. 

clover yawns, and stretches a little bit. “so, what does everyone want to do? If we do nothing, I'll probably fall asleep cuddling.” she forces out giggles to cover another yawn.

“I could introduce all of you to my caretaker?” Crim slowly moves her free arm to sit herself up. “I mean she should be sitting just outside, and reading, and I’m sure that she’ll be happy to see that we’re all getting along.”

The trio buzz happily nodding rapidly, as clover helps Crim up. “that sounds like fun, come on.” 

blossom and indigo cling to one another, pulling themselves up, and cuddling up to Crim’s sides even when upright.

Crim allows the trio to surround her, slowly following the group towards the tunnel that she’d crawled in through. Having to stoop back down in order to make the significantly shorter clearance of the tunnel.

As they walk out of the hall, Crim’s eyes glance around the area. Eventually spotting Azalia sitting on the bench that she’d mentioned earlier, and starts to take tiny steps towards the affini. 

Not due to lack of enthusiasm to see her again, but because of how tight indigo, clover, and blossom are pushing against her. She can’t move her legs far without risking accidentally kicking one of them, and if that ever happened she’s fairly certain she’d simply spontaneously combust, and cease existing.

As the group stumbles their way out of the hive, there’s just enough noise to cause Azalia to look up and grin at the scene, closing her book, and leaning down to get a look at them on eye level. “Well hello there cuties. Crim, it looks like you have quite the collection of admirers. How are you doing?” She extends a few vines for the beeple to play with.

“I am very whelmed.” Crim laughs, watching as all of the beeple start to buzz around Azalia. Nuzzling into each of the provided vines for pets, and giving Crim a little bit of space rather than crushing her in their embrace. “But they’ve been very insistent that I’m welcome, and even said once my mod work is done if I’d like to. I’ll get upgraded to crimson, which I don’t know the meaning of the difference, but it certainly feels important.”

Azalia giggles a little, as she continues to play with the group. “Well, beeple and affini have a very close relationship. They are our cute little helpers, and we are their strong protectors. Their naming and speaking convention is to spell their names in all lowercase, from a terran point of view, a way to show their place in the universe and respect for us.” She reaches out to rest a vine on Crim’s shoulder. “It is very cute, and sweet, that they want to share this with you, and it is a show of acceptance I’d say.”

As Azalia pats her on the shoulder, Crim's posture immediately tenses up. The now explained importance of the offer doing very little to reduce how overwhelming everything going on is. "W-well that's really cool, and also shows me that I still have so much to learn about beeple and their culture."

“If you would like, there is a quite expansive beeple documentary made by beeple on the overnet. We can pull it up later to enjoy, and I figure it will give you more knowledge about what you want to know.” Azalia leans back, enjoying the feeling of beeple buzzing on top of her vines.

clover buzzes over to Crim, giving her a side hug. “if you need any clarification, i’ll do my best to explain, all you need to do is ask.”

“Well then I know what we’re going to be doing once we go back to the hab today!” Crim pushes forward, no longer allowing her anxiety to paralyze her, as she slowly clambers up onto the bench, with the assistance of Azalia’s vine. “And I’ll be sure to ask you everything I can think of clover!”

clover buzzes allowing Crim to drag her up onto the bench, before flopping down, and laying down in Crim’s lap. “good! hey crim, can i add you to our group chat?” She looks up at Crim with wide eyes, her hands fiddling with Crim’s keeper suit.

Azalia giggles at this, holding out Crim’s datapad. “Here you go, have fun.”

“Uh, yeah sure.” Crim immediately passes the datapad over to clover, wiggling her way over to press up against Azalia’s side. If only to hide herself from prying eyes outside of their little party of beeple. “If I’m being honest, I’ve never really used the messaging apps before.”

As clover gets into the app, Crimson’s screen name is shown to be ‘CrimsonKeeper’. With a grand total of one chat open, that was in all reality just her having set this up two days ago to message Anemone about her upcoming appointment.

clover starts to tap away, adding chat after chat, along with friend contacts for everyone she met today. “you need some more things to look into. i’m gonna get you a few groups that you will be interested in.” Alongside this she brings Crim into her friend group, a full hive group, and a smaller group expressing interest in the process of raising bees.

Crim simply watches clover add her to all of the groups, shrinking down as each slowly increases in size, and popularity. “Thanks clover.” She chuckles lightly, shaking her head a bit. “Oh… if you see me again, and I’m acting different, that’s Raven. She’s my roommate, I think you’ll like her.”

clover looks up from the datapad, smiling brightly at Crim. As her wings flutter ever so slightly, clearly trying to use the vibrations to help Crim calm down. “i’m sure i will! also don’t think you need to be really active in any of these. there are plenty who just lurk around. our friend group chat is just us and bramble though, so that should be easy enough to talk in.” she slowly passes Crim her data pad back. “part of being a beeple is connecting more with the beeple, and Affini around you. the universe is a big place, luckily we have our Affini to take care of us.” She nods slightly up at Azalia.

“And I’ll do my best, stars knows that Azalia is encouraging me to be more social.” Crim forces a grin, bumping up against Azalia to try and act more playful than she’s feeling. A budding warmth of appreciation sitting in her chest thanks to clover’s kindness.

indigo and blossom both buzz down, nuzzling up against Crim’s sides as she burrows herself deeper against Azalia. “Thank you for bringing her to visit us, Miss Azalia!” The duo buzz out at the same time, wiggling up against as they look up at Azalia.

Azalia giggles, and pets all of them. “Well you are very welcome. Crim wanted to visit anyway, so I brought her to show just how accepting, and nice you all are.” She smiles down at Crim. “That, and I am supporting what Crim here wants, and that means showing her that she will always have my support.”

Crim wiggles around, chuckling lightly as a few of Azalia’s vines wrap around her. “And I really appreciate that, right now I’d really like the support to get home.” She presses herself, almost trying to sink into the affini’s mass, her very small social battery already significantly drained by meeting so many new beeple in one day.

Azalia nods, slowly pulling Crim into her arms. “Alright then, we will come back again another time, when Crim is feeling more sociable. It’ll be a while as the next visit will probably be after her first body mod.” Once the beeple have all gotten goodbye hugs, she bundles Crim up more securely.

clover smiles gently, waving at Crim as she cuddles up with indigo and blossom. “Keep in touch crim, we will be really excited to see you after every round of body mods, and any time in between you feel up for it!”

Crim gives clover and the rest of the group a small thumbs up, as she’s pulled tight against Azalia’s chest. The affini’s vines wrapping around her protectively, due to how she’d started almost vibrating in her seat, by the end of the interaction. 

While beeple are still far easier to interact with than humans or affini, that didn’t stop her constant social anxiety from flaring up.

Azalia watches the group return to their hive before turning, and starting her walk home. “We will get home, and relax with nothing else that will happen, and no one who will come over. You’ll just have a quiet night.” She makes sure Crim’s bee keeper outfit is fully in place, and zipped up, as well as covering her as much as she can. “I’m sorry I’m not big enough to fully cover you, I bet you would feel far more comfortable like that.”

“Well the good news is I’m going to be getting smaller, not larger.” Crim allows herself to be rolled over as Azalia pulls her hood over her head, to hide the last visible detail of her body from the rest of the universe. “Thank you for carrying me…”

“You’re welcome, when we get back home would you like some ice cream? From my understanding it is a fun comfort treat.” Azalia trails a few vines down Crim’s back. “If not I can just put on something relaxing, and maybe get you some cocoa? Whatever sounds like a good way to unwind, I’ll make it happen.”

“Cocoa sounds good, I hate the cold.” Crim squeezes the vines across her chest gently. Trying to ignore the fact that other affini on the walk would most likely see her being held like this. “I did enjoy the trip though…”

Azalia smiles at the little squeeze, still doing her best to hold Crim in such a way that nobody could get a good look at her. “I’m glad you did, I’m sure you will have plenty more fun trips to the hive in the future. I would say it would have been better with less than those three, but usually there is at least a little more here, so this was probably the best first day you could have.”

Crim laughs lightly, nodding to herself. “Yeah, Raven is better with crowds than me, but I do think if it wasn’t for the small initial panic attack of meeting them, I would have had more energy to hang out.” She droops her left arm over the side of Azalia’s vines, starting to passively watch the ship pass them by. Ever inraptured by the elegance, and complexity, of affini ship engineering. “But that just means next time will go even better.”

“I know it will, I can’t wait to get pictures of you after your mods, all cuddled up with beeple in a pile. They all seemed to really like you, and it was so precious watching what little bit I got to see.” Azalia shifts Crim so she can see more of the ship during their walk. Showing off how the ring bends into a circle that rotates around the ship. “We are almost home.”

“Yeah, it was honestly surprising how enthusiastic they were when I arrived.” As they walk into the hallway that Azalia’s hab is positioned, Crim’s eyes trace along the mural that comprises the floor. Starting to get more of an understanding where each leads, and even noticing a vine with flowers nearly identical to Azalia’s that are guiding the pair to their hab.

“Well, beeple can be quite excitable, especially around someone new. Most sophonts don’t have a particular interest in beeple, or if they do, it is only superficial. So having someone genuinely interested, so much so that they wish to become as close to a beeple as possible… Well, I bet you can understand their own interest in you.”

Crim nods slightly as they come to a stop outside of Azalia’s hab. Letting out a sigh of relief as the door to the dark hab slides open, allowing them to head inside for the rest of the day.

Well they were all absolutely precious, but finally, it's time for Crim's first set of bodymods-

Next time on Anthomania, Chapter 6. Beeological Experience

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