Jason takes a deep breath, this will be the first time he’d be meeting both Pearl, and Nix, without being on his normal class D dose. Of course everything is going to be fine, his owner will be there, alongside Sola and Resin. So there’s only so many things that could go wrong, before one of them took control of the situation, but despite this he couldn’t help but remain anxious. Nix never seemed like the group kind of person, let alone while not being a floret.
“Jason sweetie, it’s going to be fine.” Rings out through their hab, Anthurium, his owner’s voice. “You’re the one who asked to not have those doses today after all. Nix is a very sweet girl, and Pearl isn’t the loudest in the world either, just… maybe play a game that doesn’t depend as much on luck this time. To be fair to Nix after that… hilarious game of Vines and Florets.”
Jason sighs, nodding slightly and walking out of their bedroom. Dressed in a black dress with red glowing neon strips running up it, ending in a decal of a heart that also glowed slightly. “You really think so?”
Anthurium nods lightly, walking out of the kitchen to come and kneel in front of her floret. “I’m sure of it darling. I’m sure if Nix gets tired, the worst that will happen is Sola taking her away for a bit to calm down, but I also know someone else who needs that sometimes.” She flashes him a playful grin before ruffling his hair, getting it into her favorite mess. “Now I’m almost done cooking the meal, do you wanna help me carry it?”
“If I didn't, how would I be your number one delivery boy?” Jason laughs, running up next to Anthurium as they stack all the meals together. Anthurium passing a smaller bag down to Jason.
“Here you can carry Nix’s. I hear she appreciated seeing you deliver it on her first day. Helped clear up some misconceptions even!” Anthurium takes the rest of the bags, and starts towards the door to their hab.
“You’ve got it Ma’am!” Jason gives a little backward salute, before letting a vine wrap around his collar to keep him close to his owner. “And I’m glad I was able to help.”
Pearl taps her fingers along the work bench, looking over a plushy she’d started working on since meeting Nix. A mix of the teran and a blue lizard. It is only about a quarter finished, but she can’t quite figure out what is missing from it, which is quite inconvenient given she should be getting ready to go and see Nix again right now.
“Pearl, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Resin’s hand is unceremoniously plopped down on top of the girl’s head. “After all, you’re going to be getting to know her better today, maybe after that you’ll know what changes you need to make.” The affini chuckles lightly. Gently picking Pearl up, and walking away from the workstation.
“Noooooo…” Pearl whines out, only to be immediately interrupted by Resin’s hand gently running over her mouth. Pulling her vision away from the station as they head into the bathroom, making Pearl look at the fact she’d not gotten help to get herself dressed, or done her hair.
“Well you know what that means missy.” Resin gently places Pearl on the counter. Pulling out a needle and giving her an injection of class M’s. “You’re gonna sit still for a little.” She carefully runs the back of her hand against her florets cheek. Watching as her expression glazes over in just the right way. “Now I’d keep you like this all day, but we need to hurry if we’re going to get to your playdate on time… so I’ll try not to indulge too much.”
Nix groans, dressed up in her salamander pajamas as she sits on the edge of their shared bed. “Are you SURE I don’t have any other clothes that I could wear today?”
“Well your dress, and painting clothes are in the wash, and you could wear the day and night pajamas, but I didn’t think you’d like them as much.” Sola shakes her head, looking over the options they have in the closet. “Everything else I have is really traditional floret fashion.”
“Yeah… guess this really is the best I’m gonna get.” Nix looks over the outfit, double checking to make sure she’d not managed to get any paint on it. At the very least not wanting to make a fool of herself. “How long do we have left before they show up?”
“I’d say… ten, twenty minutes. Both of their habs are directly next to their shops, so they have to travel a good bit to get down to our side of the ship.” Sola smiles softly, turning around and helping Nix down from the bed. “So what do you say we get your morning work out over with before they arrive.”
“Sounds like a plan to me, the last thing I want to do is work out while people are over.” Nix blushes a bit, holding Sola’s vine as she’s walked out of the bedroom. “Still find it funny no one’s ever told me the name of the ship we’re on.”
“Alright so how about a deal, and a little surprise… I want you to try walking between stations without my vine or your cane today. If you get tired that’s okay, but I wanna see if you can handle it. Then once you’re done I’ll tell you the name of our lovely home.” Sola gently pulls away as the door to the bedroom closes behind them. Revealing the work out equipment layed out plainly on the opposite side of the room.
“Oh boy I’m soooo excited.” Nix rolls her eye, chuckling to herself as she takes a few tentative steps forward. Surprised with how little difficulty she is having, it’s absolutely nowhere near perfect but she doesn’t feel like she is getting tired simply by existing anymore.
“You’re on board the EquaBloom. We’re actually decently small in comparison to most medium sized affini vestles.” Sola nods to herself, walking up behind Nix, placing a vine on her back. “And I’m very proud of you for doing this. I know it feels small, but I can tell you find comfort, and safety in your cane, so I didn’t want you to become too dependent on it for walking. Honestly my projections said you should have been good to walk without it yesterday, but I didn’t want to push it during such an emotional day.”
“Yeah not gonna try jumping or being as ‘mobile’ as others, but this is… nice.” Nix simply starts walking between each station, doing a few different workouts at each. Making sure not to push herself too hard, until there’s a dinging at the door to the hab.
“Well it appears our friends have arrived, now I’ll keep my distance during your playdate. But if you need anything Nix, don’t be afraid to ask.” Sola goes up to the door, opening it up to reveal Rasion standing outside. Holding Pearl against its chest.
“Hello, Pearl always gets anxious about going through the ship, so she’s on her M’s. Once we sit down I’ll pull her back.” Resin looks down at Nix. Giving the girl a little wave, before walking past and over to the couch.
“Class M’s?” Nix taps her cheek, trying to run through the list of xenodrugs in her mind to figure out exactly what was going on. Her face paling slightly at the realization, it’s the doll one. “Oh… class M’s. Neet.” She chuckles, walking slowly over to her chair in front of her painting.
“Nix is currently on a blend of E’s to help with her spine, and some F’s to help with her intrusive thoughts, then of course some G’s to help her transition.” Sola smiles over at the girl, trying to reassure her that this was just something normal between these two. “Oh, and a blend of Z’s to help with bad dreams.”
“And I would like to keep it at that, if not a little less once this thing’s outta me.” Nix spins around, tapping her spine a few times as she looks over at her painting. Unsure if she should have covered it up before everyone arrived. “This isn’t done though… something is still missing.”
“I think it’s very pretty Nix.” Pearl’s voice rings out behind her, the floret blinking a few times as the class M’s flush out of her system. “Even if it’s not done.”
“Yeah I guess… I got really upset while working on it yesterday. Guess that it’s affecting my viewpoint on it.” Nix leans on the side of her chair. Kicking off of the ground, and spinning back around to face Pearl, sliding across the floor, and putting her hand out. “Sorry about never shaking your hand the first time though. I wasn’t doing great.”
Pearl gets a wide smile, as Resin gently places her down on the ground. Reaching out and shaking Nix’s hand, her skin feeling almost like fabric to the touch. “Well I’m glad we get to do it this time then! I’m always excited to meet another one of Miss Sola’s patients.”
“Another?” Nix raises her remaining eyebrow, shaking Pearl’s hand before pulling away slightly. Mostly to make sure both of them have some personal space.
“Yup! I’d actually.” Pearl reaches up, pulling down on what had appeared to be her skin to reveal a wooden plant tech arm. “Lost my arm, so Miss Sola helped me learn how to use it again, and then my Mistress helped me relearn how to sew!” She pulls her sleeve back up. Putting a finger to her libs. “I like to keep it a secret, so just between us okay?”
“Of course, I mean I wouldn’t want anyone figuring out my whole spine thing, after I’ve healed up. Even if I’m going to keep my flower permanently.” Nix does a little flourish towards her eye flower. Doing her best to take pride in it, rather than the pit of pain that addressing it would normally put in her chest.
Pearl nods, making a mental note of Nix’s desire to keep the flower in some form for later. “Well, for what it is worth, I think the flower looks very pretty on you. I know that eye implants do exist, but it can end up feeling kind of comforting, accepting what happened, and treating what you have as a replacement.” She wiggles the fingers on her plant tech arm playfully. “I should know honestly.”
"Yeah, honestly the big thing was when we were talking, nothing else really called out to me, and a neat bonus. The flower can be injected instead of me, which I find much more comfortable." Nix traces her fingers along the rem of the flower. Her posture perking up as there's another chime at the door to the hab. "Oh Jason’s here."
Sola opens the door, letting in the final pair, and smiling as Jason is freed from his leash.
Jason walks a little quickly up to Pearl and Nix, clearly trying to avoid being in the hallway any longer than necessary. “S-sorry if we are late. We brought some food for us all to enjoy.” He smiles, but his movements are far more timid, almost nervous, something that Nix would have declared impossible after their first two meetings, as he puts food on the coffee table. “H-how are you feeling Nix?”
Nix’s jaw drops slightly, unable to repress her surprise. “Um… well I’ve been working on my art, thanks to someone.” She chuckles nervously, gesturing at the painting but not looking at it.
“Oh that’s wonderful, I’m glad my little Jason was able to help you with that.” Anthurium nods to herself, walking into the kitchen, and starting to set up for everyone’s meals. Giving Jason a little pet as she walks away. “Give me a few minutes then we can get all you cuties fed.”
Jason blushes, and quietly calls out. “Th-thank you, mistress!” He then focuses back on Nix. “I-uh, wanted to push through and be without my normal xenodrugs.” He takes a few deep breaths. Still mostly calming down from the anxiety of the walk through the ship. “I wanted to show you that I am still me, just… a little more nervous.” He wiggles around, looking over at the painting. “How have you been?”
“I’ve had my ups and downs, SOMEONE thought it would be funny to ‘trial run’ me on being treated like a floret, and maaaay have taken it a bit too far, in an attempt to convince me.” Nix shoots a look at Sola, eliciting an approximation of a laugh from Resin.
“Oh I see, I was wondering what had gotten into you, when you came to the shop.” Resin puts a hand on Sola’s shoulder. Unable to resist getting a smirk due to how embarrassed it’s making her. “Let me guess, Dinaea started poking at you again? I would say Anthurium, but we all knew about that one since before little Nix’s arrival.”
Sola huffs. “Alright, yeah, Dinaea has a way of getting to me about this stuff… and maybe I had a bit too much fun, and got a little pushy, to act too ownery around Nix.” Sola pouts clearly trying to be cute imitating Nix, and crossing her vines.
Pearl giggles a little bit. “To be fair, both of you seemed to at least be enjoying it, the day you came in. How are you liking that plush by the way, Nix?”
“Oh ya know… it’s great.” Nix blushes, smiling softly. “It’s definitely helped with sleeping.” She sniffs a few times, looking over, making large sweeping gestures towards the food. Trying to quickly as possible change the topic. “But never mind that! Let’s eat, food smells good, everyone wants some food right?”
Resin nods slightly, picking up Pearl. “Alright then, we’ll meet you in the kitchen.” She then turns walking into the kitchen to set Pearl back down in her seat, clearly a fan of carrying Pearl around, whenever convenient.
Jason giggles at the show. “Pearl is frequently in ‘doll’ mode, so much so that even when not on M’s, you can frequently see those two like that.” He walks with Nix to the kitchen, letting Anthurium give him help into his seat, while Sola helps Nix into hers.
“I guess I can get it, it’s kinda like how I like riding around in Sola’s chest most of the time.” Nix shrugs looking at the meals that had been prepared. Nix gets another blueberry waffle combination, Jason gets some bacon eggs and fruits, while Pearl is provided chocolate chip pancakes.
Nix of course starts digging in on her own, occasionally looking up at Pearl, and Jason, being fed by their owners. Taking a much more sedate pace to the meal, in comparison to her rabid bites that someone who believed their food would be stolen at any moment would take. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, don’t think-
“Hey Nix, do you want Sola to feed you?”
Nix looks up to catch who spoke, only to lock eyes with Jason. Who’s sitting across from her, with a large grin painted across his face. “I was wondering where that half of you went.” She grins back at him, taking another piece of the waffle, and tossing it into her mouth. “But no, I can in fact, feed myself.”
This is immediately undercut by Sola coming around with a napkin, and wiping a bit of the blueberry syrup off of Nix’s cheek. “Of course you can sweetie. But do try to take your time, you’ll upset your stomach at this rate.”
Jason giggles a little, openly cuddling more into Anthurium’s vines. Having his hands slip into his owner’s mass, to show off just how much control they can take over his meals. “You know, it isn’t strange if an independent wants to experience some floret things. I am pretty sure that Sola wouldn’t mind, if you wanted to do this.”
Pearl pipes up, bumping Jason on his shoulder. Noticing just how much Nix has started to squirm around. “However, don’t feel pressured into doing it, just think about what you would enjoy the most.”
“I enjoy eating alone plenty.” Nix grumbles a bit, starting to be a little more careful about her manner of eating. Not wanting Sola to end up repeating the process of cleaning her off again, especially not while she has new people around.
Just as quickly as Pearl pipes up, she is pulled back to attention by her owner. Having little bites deposited into her mouth, that vines gently massage around her face to help her chew, and swallow. The process to Nix externally seems incredibly demeaning, yeah, that’s why she can’t look away, it’s second hand embarrassment. Obviously, right…
Pearl quietly moans, closing her eyes and just enjoying letting the process happen, regardless of the ‘show’ being put on for Nix.
Jason giggles, simply getting bites of food, but chewing them himself. “When I said they enjoy the full doll treatment, I wasn’t joking Nix.”
“I’d put that more like a puppet on strings.” Nix snickers a bit, grabbing her drink, and starting to sip it. Occasionally starting to nibble on it, if she is ever caught staring at the display for a little too long.
Pearl, when done with her food, leans up and smiles at Nix. “It is a little hard to accept at first, but honestly, once you get over that hill, and just let go, it is really fun. At least in my experience. Still though, what would you like to do Nix? We are all here to just enjoy being around each other!”
“Well, I thought we were going to be playing one of Jason’s games!” Nix scoots a bit more into the corner, hoping that she hadn’t just invited two people over to hang out, without anything for them to actually do.
“Well the good news is, I did grab a few of them.” Anthurium nods, collecting the plates from the meal, and placing the other bag she’d been carrying the whole time, down on the table. “I tried to pick less luck dependent games for you all, after last time, don’t worry.”
Jason snorts. “Yeah, we really wanted to make sure all of us have fun… though I think you did enjoy it anyway.” He gets down and looks around, spotting where Anthurium had put down the games. “Here, let me pick one for us to play.” He walks over, and starts looking over the options.
Eventually he picks out Interplanetary settlers. A game about establishing supply lines, and whoever wins gets to have the honor of knowing they helped the most. “This should be a good one, the only random part is at the start to see how much you have to work with.”
“Let me guess, unless you’re playing the affini then they’re super cool, and get everything done in a snap?” Nix snickers a bit, walking over and sitting on the ground next to Jason. Helping him set the game up.
“Maaaaybe, but I prefer to play it as if I’m preparing for the affini to arrive! That way the goal is to make things easier for them!” Jason grins, pulling out the rules, and handing them over to Nix. Letting the girl start reading them given him and Pearl already know the rules.
Anthurium nods, walking over and petting Jason a few times. Happy to see him picking out a more cooperative game. “And in playing under those conditions, I usually make a blind roll to see how many ‘cycles’ of turns you all have to prepare. And at the end, depending on how prepared you are for us affini to come in, you all get rewarded!” She smirks at Nix. “For the sake of it, I brought over some things for us to make cookies, while you three are playing, so think of that as your reward.”
“I assume the rewards are normally more complex.” Nix chuckles lightly, flipping over to the end of the game rules section, to see what would normally happen. Her face turning bright red as she slams the manual shut. “YUP! I guess it is more complex.” She shudders lightly, so many vines. How did they even fit on the page!? This was also not how she expected to see Jason nude for the first time, or at all for that matter!
Pearl giggles a bit, crossing her legs as she sits down between Nix and Jason. Making a little triangle around the play space. “Well that’s what you get for looking into it Nix. See anything you liked?”
“I feel like I need to bleach my remaining eye.” Nix shudders slightly, clearly trying to make a joke out of her flustered state.
Jason chuckles, scratching his cheek while he blushes. “Yeah, that photoshoot was fun, but maybe you should have read the warning, before flipping pages.” He smiles, and starts setting up their board. “You can go first, then Pearl, you can take second. I’ll shuffle up the event cards, and go last.”
“Nix you can’t put bleach in your eye, that's not safe and could damage it!” Sola rushes over genuinely concerned, only to have Nix turn around, breaking into laughter.
“Oh my stars Sola, it’s a turn of phrase, it means I wish I had never seen it.” Nix falls backwards as she’s laughing, narrowly avoiding landing on the playing area. Almost getting a glare from Jason as he pulls it to the side to continue setting up the pieces.
“Oh! Well then I can use some class B’s to make you forget if you want.” Sola’s vines rustle a bit, packing up around where she’d normally hold Nix inside her out of embarrassment.
“No! No erasing my memory! Bad affini!” Nix rolls around even more, genuinely laughing wildly in response to Sola’s behavior. Appreciating the reminder that her roommate is not entirely perfect, and is even more certainly an alien.
Pearl simply snickers, looking over at Jason and grinning. “So, she’s shy, and reserved huh?”
Jason nods. “You’ve seen her be shy before too, but I’ve gotta admit, all of this is helping me loosen up faster.” He lays out their pieces. “Alright Nix, enough teasing Sola. You have to begin your trade routes! I want to get the cookies, when they are just cool enough to eat!”
Nix slowly pushes herself back up, grinning over at Jason. “Yeah I know, I’m done, she just bought it on herself.” Once Jason is done shuffling all of the cards. Nix grabs hers, and then Pearl after that.
Sola turns around, walking over to her friends in the kitchen. All of the affini speaking to one another in their native tongue, as she grabs them some drinks. The obvious tension in her form not fading in the slightest.
“It is sweet how much she cares about you.” Pearl grins over at Nix, placing a few towns down around the edge of the board. “So… no one’s really told me much about your whole deal. If you don’t wanna go into it that’s fine, but I did want to try to get to know you.”
Nix nods slightly, taking her turn a bit more slowly as she starts gathering resources around the mountains, in order to get ore. “Ya know, same thing as every turncoat from the rebels. I sold out my ship to save my life, they found out, some not fun junk happened, and now I’m down an eye, and up a spine.”
Jason nods, starting up his turn next to Nix. Clearly intending to compete for the resource knowing how bad it would be for everyone else if Nix manages to get a hold on all of it. “Nicest ex rebel, I’ve ever met.”
“Awww I’m hurt Jason! I thought we were friends.” Pearl snickers, putting a hand over her heart, and giving the boy a little wink. “Nah I was pretty nasty when I first showed up. Glad I got that out of me, before I met Miss Sola, and got my new arm.” She chuckles a bit, moving inland towards the planes on the board.
“Hard to imagine you as a trouble maker.” Nix smiles softly over at Pearl, that revelation wasn’t something she’d been expecting. Given how nice Pearl had seemed in the first place, it was quite the surprise to hear she isn’t the only ex rebel in the room.
“Oh I will have you know, she was quite the project when she first showed up! She even bit me!” Jason laughs, pulling Pearl over into a side hug. All of the group’s awkward energy finally having worked itself out. “Isn’t that right?”
“Oh don’t act like you didn’t like it.” Pearl blushes, looking away as she takes another turn. Putting less thought into it given how distracting Jason is being.
“I may have liked it, when it was just you being cute! But that first time you latched on, and I thought you were gonna rip my arm off!” Jason gently lets Pearl go, letting her go back to blushing in her corner.
“So you're telling me. The first time you two met, Pearl bit you, and nearly ripped off a chunk of your arm?” Nix looked genuinely baffled at the pair. Seeing them being so chummy, and touchy, after something like that being how they met.
“Well Resin stopped her, but yeah. Mistress, and Mix Resin have been good friends since before we became their florets. When we first met, apparently I had a passing similarity to someone who’d hurt Pearl, so she got really angry, and tried to bite me.” Jason nods slightly, doing a little pose to show off his body. “But as you can see, I have changed quite a bit since then, so we don’t have that issue anymore.”
“Yeaaaaah, it was still embarrassing given that meeting Jason was the first time Mixtress let me out of the hab. I stayed as her doll for the next week, as punishment.” Pearl blushes a bit, but is grinning all the same. “Not like I minded after all.”
“Well now I feel boring! All I did was accidentally think that Jason was a slave, and then have an anxiety attack trying to talk to you!” Nix snickers, shaking her head. Almost relieved to feel mundane for once. “Even outside of that, the worst I’ve done that would qualify as ‘bad behavior’ would be being a little bit too stubborn during my first day waking up.”
“You thought I was a slave?” Jason at this point loses the remaining bit of composure that he’d maintained. Starting to laugh wildly, imagining Nix hiding in the hab with Sola, and seeing him deliver to them.
“It’s not that funny! I’d been getting rebel propaganda shoved in my brain for years, I was worried about you!” Nix puffs her cheeks out, taking her turn finally to try and make railways between her and Pearl.
“So you were in a room, with a big scary affini, and you were worried about the random delivery boy who stopped by.” Jason covers his face, pretending to blush. “How sweet!”
“I don’t think anyone could describe Sola as scary.” Nix chuckles, shaking her head. “But yeah, I had thought that they didn’t do the whole slave thing tera did. Then I saw you, got confused, and asked Sola. Which got me the explanation on your whole deal.”
“Well I’m glad you got that all cleared up.” Jason starts traveling towards the ocean on the map, to start collecting resources there. Satisfied with his half of the ore collection. “Any other misconceptions that you needed corrected? Or that you still need corrections on?”
“Not sure, honestly I’ve been working on figuring everything out at my own pace. I guess I was wondering why there was so much paperwork that one time I went to the psychiatrist.” Nix finally arrives at Pearl's corner of the map, trading a few of her ore to get livestock.
“Oh that’s an easy one, the affini love paperwork. I’d argue that they love it as much as they love florets." Pearl looks over at the group of affini, pointing out the fact that Sola is on her tablet. "Given you haven't had to sign any yet, if you're asking… well if you get off, and don't decide on domestication I'd recommend getting used to it."
"Oh nooooo. I think I've finally been sold on being a Floret! Not paperwork!" Nix swoons back, leaning into Pearl’s side slightly. "But seriously, I'll figure that out when you all head home. Sola has kinda neglected to prepare me for that half of what freedom would entail."
"There's nothing that can prepare you for that much paperwork." Jason shudders, talking his turn and building his first city center. Keeping a clear lead in his resource diversity. "Luckily, by being florets, me and Pearl don't have to deal with any of that junk. Just one form, and we were done forever! Heck, Pearl didn’t even need to do that one."
"Oooh really trying to tempt me aren't ya big guy." Nix snickers, starting to use her turns to trade with Pearl, and stockpile resources, in order to catch up.
"What can we say, it definitely makes life easier." Pearl nods to herself. "Even if I’d had a single choice in the matter. I'd probably have run to Mixtress at the end of the day anyway, to avoid the paperwork I see it working on." She's very obviously helping Nix, giving up a majority of her resources in order to help her new friend fight back against Jason’s min-maxing strategy.
"That or you would have bit someone, and ended up with her." Jason snorts, noticing the team up. "Also stop trying to rig the game Pearl, ya always do this!"
"Maybe stop picking games you know you'll win." Pearl starts building pathways over towards Jason. "And anyway, we're meant to be working together, to get ready for the affini. Not bullying our new friend."
Nix looks between the pair as they start bickering. A crimson flush over her cheeks, occasionally glancing over at Pearl with an expression that could only be read as 'help me'.
"Aww does Nix have a crush?" Jason leans forward, looking at the nearly frozen woman with the largest grin he can possibly muster.
Nix at this point, shuts down completely. Damn it, why did she have to be around a cute girl and Jason. Even one of them would be overwhelming normally, and this is just outright unfair.
"Um… Miss Sola! I think Jason broke Nix!" Pearl stands up, walking over to the group of mingling affini. Reaching out, and tugging on the affini’s vines.
Sola smiles down at Pearl. "Thank you for alerting me dear. I'm going to take care of her, don't worry. I'm sure Jason will also get an appropriate punishment." She gently pets the floret, picking her up, and placing her in her owner’s vines. "You just stay here for a minute. The cookies are almost done, and I think you deserve a treat for coming to get me."
With that Sola turns around, walking over to where Nix is curled up on herself. Hugging to her knees. Quickly picking her up, and walking towards their bedroom.
Once they are back in their bedroom, Sola places Nix down on her bed. Grabbing the plushy and pressing it into Nix’s arms. "There you go darling, now can you tell me what's wrong?"
Nix looks down slightly, squeezing her plush a little tighter. Taking a deep breath, enjoying the smell of clean plush, and using it to calm herself. "Jason was teasing me about having a crush on Pearl… and-" She cuts herself off, shaking her head.
Sola frowns slightly, sitting down on the bed next to Nix. "Jason can be a bit open about relationships, but that's no excuse for making you uncomfortable. Now… Do you feel something? Or are you upset that he's implying it at all."
"I… don't know, like I know I'm a lesbian, but I just met Pearl." Nix shakes her head, trying to get the fuzzy feeling in her chest to fade. "Like she's the first girl to be nice to me, and accept me as myself, in my life. So I don't know if this is just me being happy about that, or a legitimate crush."
"I see… Well, I'm glad you feel like you can talk to me about this." Sola leans in, nuzzling her head against Nix’s forehead. "I'm sure Pearl likes you decently already. She's been much more talkative than normal today, and might I add, so have you."
Nix wiggles around while Sola nuzzles her. Flopping backwards onto the bed to break the contact. "Sure, I guess. I'm just upset it got pointed out, which isn't really Jason’s fault. It seems like he's just like that, and wasn't even sure if he was right. He was just teasing." She groans, putting her hands on her head. "Is this what having friends is like? I think I hate it!"
"Oh don't lie to me Nix. You've been more open about yourself today, than ever before." Sola looks Nix in the eye, crossing her vines, and gaining a more stern tone. "What's actually wrong?"
"They don't know, okay! They don't know what I did, and I'm worried they'll find out, and then never want to see me again." Nix tosses her plushy at Sola’s face. Only to have the affini quickly catch it, and place it down next to her.
"I'm entirely certain they will not hate you for what you did, Nix." Sola's vines pull together in a way of 'exhaling'. "So what do you say, we go out there. You can tell them as much as you feel comfortable saying, then you can see."
"Fine, but if they hate me for this, I'm going to be officially right, for the rest of our lives." Nix slowly pushes herself back up, putting her plushy back down where she sleeps. Feeling a little bad about throwing it.
"Fine, but if I'm right you have to let me feed you cookies!" Just as Nix was about to interject, Sola's vines shoot out. Scooping the girl up and cradling her as they start walking out.
As the door to their bedroom slides open. Nix is subjected to the sight of Jason entirely blissed out in his mistress' vines, while Pearl happily nibbles on the edges of one of the cookies.
"Okay… I didn't see this coming, I really should have." Nix groans, this is going to make explaining everything, to Jason at least, much harder. Having Sola carry her all the way over to the table. "Can we… Have him back? I have something I wanted to tell Pearl, and him about."
Anthurium nods slightly, giving the boy a small injection along his thigh. "He should be back with us in a moment. Please come enjoy a cookie while you wait, they're still very fresh."
Sola giggles, sitting down next to Resin. "Oh she will be waiting for a moment on the cookies, me and little Nix have a bet going on."
"It wasn't a bet, until you made it into one!" Nix huffs, adjusting herself on her seat as Sola passes her, her drink cup, back. "I guess this will work for now." She takes a sip, starting to anxiously nibble on it, while they wait for Jason to come back around.
Confusion is the first expression to come back to his face. Then a massive blush, as he looks over at Nix who had just returned seeing her still red eye. "Oh my stars, Nix I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you!"
Nix puts her hand out to stop him, looking over at Pearl. Repressing the crippling anxiety that this topic causes her, by clenching her hand into a fist as hard as she can. "It's fine, I wouldn't have gotten upset, but I haven't been entirely honest with the two of you. Mostly due to my personal anxiety about the topic."
Pearl nods slightly, a look of concern coming onto her face as she sees just how pained of an expression Nix is making. Whether consciously or not. "We're listening, Nix."
"The main reason I'm still… The main reason I'm still with Sola, despite being near the end of my initial physical recovery, is the reason I am working on that painting." Nix looks over at the red on the painting. The old hollow hole in her chest ripping itself back open. "I set a trap in the containment area where my old crew locked me up. I'd set the jump room up to burst, I killed an entire room of people with one shot. And lost my eye."
Pearl and Jason both frown, looking at each other, and nodding. "That must have been so scary, Nix. I'm sorry you had to do that to survive…" Pearl forces a small smile as she leans in. "Can I give you a hug?"
Nix's eye goes wide as Pearl leans in. Her entire body starting to shake violently, simply leaning forward as her response. Letting Pearl wrap her arms around her. "Thank you."
"Neither of us are going to judge you Nix. You're obviously a good person, if a scared one." Jason avoids moving much closer, not wanting to risk upsetting his new friend, more than once in a day. "And this doesn't change how I think of you. I mean, anyone who was held on a free teranist ship, had to do whatever it takes to survive… and I'm happy you did."
Nix's hands go slack. Her cup falling toward the ground, and quickly being caught by Resin, before it can splash open on the ground. "Damn it." She presses her head into Pearl’s shoulder, tears dripping down. "Damn it all."
Sola simply holds Nix in her lap, looking at the interaction. Noticing how angry Nix was at the fact she is receiving forgiveness from her actions, and making a mental note of it for later.
Pearl gently runs her hands through Nix’s hair. A small frown on her face, knowing she was the exact kind of person, that would have gotten Nix into this state in the first place on a rebel ship. "I know… I know it's hard." She quietly whispers out, making sure Jason can't hear. "But it gets easier, I promise. That's not you anymore."
Nix simply nods, the group sitting in this moment for several minutes. Anthurium and Resin occasionally eyeing Sola, curious on why she's not doing anything, but respecting their friend's strategy.
Eventually the silence is broken by Nix. The girl pulling back up from the hug, and wiping her eye off. "Welp, I lost a bet to Sola. Gotta let her feed me cookies. Can't believe I agreed to this." She laughs weakly.
Sola simply nods, grabbing two cookies that have a lot of chocolate in them. "To be fair, you did get to be, and I quote, 'right forever' if this didn't happen, and I don't think any of us want to deal with that."
Jason chuckles lightly, flashing a smile at Nix. "Maybe we'll hang out one of these days, and I won't make you cry." He shakes his head, not having quite expected the explanation they got, but appreciating the honesty.
"Well you make her cry again, and maybe I will bite your arm off after all." Pearl shoots a playful glare at Jason. Making it very clear to the boy that he is on thin ice.
"Pearl! No biting!" Resin giggles a bit, ruffling Pearl’s hair. "How about next time Jason makes Nix cry, he will lose talking privileges instead. Of course if you're okay with that Anthurium?"
Anthurium nods, grinning down at Jason. "That sounds good to me, after all I doubt my Jason would ever make precious Nix cry on purpose, would you sweetie?"
Jason gulps, noticing how the entire room had suddenly fixated on him. "Umm… uh, nope! Never ever, even this time I swear it was an accident!" He throws his hands up, only to have them wrapped in vines. "Oop!"
"Really? Because I remember someone admitting he was bullying her~" Anthurium let out a near predatory growl, her vines slipping down the boy's arms to pin him down.
"Yeah, but it was just teasing!" Jason squirms around, his blush only growing larger as he looks over at Nix.
Nix is simply sitting in Sola’s arms. A cookie being slowly fed to her, as Jason can almost see a grin on her face behind the confection.
"Oh poor Jason, falling upon his own sword! I guess this means Nix wins the board game today! After all, the affini did arrive, and Nix definitely won that." Pearl giggles a bit, finishing her cookie. Starting to get a little tired from the extended social interaction, but overall very happy with how today went.
"Noooo, I was totally gonna win!" Jason pouts, as Anthurium pulls him closer against herself. "Right Nix? You could see it on the wall, that's why you started working with Pearl!"
"Oh… yeah, you could have, but I read the rules, and they make it very clear, you can work together! After all, we were preparing for affini, not fighting for control~" Nix laughs to herself as Jason starts pouting, giving up on the argument.
"I guess you have learned something since the first game then." Sola giggles, cleaning off Nix’s face as she finishes feeding her. "After all, you were so reluctant to work together with me during the first!"
"To be fair, I was just having bad luck in general." Nix chuckles nervously as she looks over at Pearl. "And Pearl made it very obvious she'd be cool to work with. While Jason was trying to keep me on the back foot, it just made sense."
"I couldn't have put it better myself. I mean, if you don't work together you'll never beat Jason. Him and his owner play all these games every night, and they made the rules!" Pearl grins, enjoying the sight of Jason squirming helplessly, for no other reason than the teasing.
After a few more minutes Pearl yawns. Curling up against her owner’s chest, and closing her eyes.
"I think it's time for me and Pearl to head home." Resin gently runs its fingers through Pearl’s hair. "Thank you for having us over Sola. I hope you, and little Nix, will have us again in the future."
Nix nods, looking up at Sola. "Both of us would be happy to see you again!" She pulls her cup back into her hands, starting to sip from it again. Anxious about the entire leaving process, given she can't just run to Sola, and ask to go home like normal.
"Indeed it seems like all of our little flowers are getting tired." Anthurium fully wraps her vines around Jason, pulling the boy up to her chest, and nuzzling him. Standing up, and heading to collect everything, before heading out.
Resin simply gives a final wave as she walks out of the hab. Pearl curled up against her chest, quickly falling asleep.