Nix stretches slightly, her eye slowly creaking open while an alarm runs through the entire hab. Right, this is the first day of the rest of her life. Time to get up and…
Nix tumbles forward, vines surrounding her limbs as she manages to get herself strung upside down in Sola’s vines. “Solaaaaaa! Wake up and let me GO!” She jostles around, before realizing her head is inches away from being dropped face first into the ground. “Gently! Put me down GENTLY!”
Sola looks at the precarious situation her friend has gotten herself into, and slowly puts Nix down. Making sure there’s no possibility of it hurting Nix in any way. “Alarm off!”
The alarm stops as Sola stretches out all of her vines. “So, this is it. We can go put in that paperwork, and you will have your hab today.” She lowers herself down, and sits by Nix. “Are you ready? I always have a place for you, no questions asked.”
“I knoooooow, and I’m thankful for that fact, but if we don’t do it now. You’re going to find excuses to keep us here cuddling all day!” Nix huffs, giving Sola a little side hug. “But we do need to get cleaned up still. Maybe you can help me, get me out of the outfit that every affini on the ship will see as, ‘oh I’m Nix single terran please domesticate me softly!’” She does little jazz hands to punctuate her point.
“If you insist. I got a few other outfits for you, but as this is about your independence fully now. How about I show you the outfits, you pick one out for the day, and I’ll start the bath. Then before we leave, I’ll pack the other outfits up so we can bring them easily.” Sola pulls herself up, walking over and opening a drawer that Nix has never seen her use before, pulling out and laying out a number of outfits. “Here you go, now I’ve been keeping you so far to some more… Modified floret fashion, helps keep the attention on you being cute, with me. But being out there alone without the collar, you looking like a floret begging for someone won’t keep anyone away. I picked these out based on some terran fashion specifically. I hope you like them.”
Nix almost immediately grabs the first set, the top is button up blue flannel, while the bottom are simple blue jeans. “Oh this is good. I’ve always liked the more simple stuff, honestly in a pinch I could go out in my art clothes, given how casual they are in comparison to the dresses.”
Sola giggles and nods. “Will you keep the dresses… or should I hang onto them for when we go out together?” She ruffles Nix’s hair before leading the girl towards the bathroom, her left behind vines quickly folding the rest of the outfits.
“Oh just you try and stop me! I’m going to wear those dresses whenever I damn well please! Just… not one day after getting my freedom.” Nix laughs, shaking her head as she starts to strip out of her scale dress. “And if Pearl and Resin come over, I’d probably wanna wear my dress then. For uh… reasons.”
“Oh of course, reasons.” Sola grins, and pulls Nix into the bathroom. “Anyway, that is fair, I did request enough design alterations to where the dresses, while having a base of a companion dress, won't have my flowers specifically on them. Which I think you pull off really well.” She pulls over a step stool. “So, let's get you cleaned up, then get on the rest of the day.”
“Wait, that was your…” Nix looks over at the belt on her scale dress, blushing as she notices the same orange petals from one of Sola’s flowers on it. “Oh.” She quickly turns away, hopping up into the bathtub with a little splash, using the warmth to distract herself from the reddening of her cheeks. “Guess you really wanted to show off that I was your responsibility, and no one else's huh…”
“Yeah, everyone on the ship knows that I am very serious about my patients, but I will admit, I very quickly ended up kind of taking advantage of the fact that it kind of doubled as my mark on you… While still leaving you the way you wanted to be. Compromise and all that.” She frowns a little bit. “I…got you another belt, this one has a scale belt buckle instead. You are your own sophont after all.”
“Well I’ll keep both! After all, when we’re going out together it would be cool to show off that I’m with you, without the whole collar thing.” Nix snickers, leaning on the edge of the tub. Grabbing the shampoo, and starting to work on cleaning her hair, satisfied with the now bright blue luster. “But yeah, when I’m out alone I’ll probably use the scale belt. Don’t want affini pestering you about ‘oh do you still have interest in her’, which of course you’ll say ‘oh absolutely’, and then it’ll be a loop of affini asking you if I’m available, and I don’t think either of us want that.”
Sola shakes her head. “Oh I’m sure we will get plenty of that anyway. But I’ll do my best to press upon them that you are independent, and want to just live your own life.” When Nix is done with the shampoo, she sets it aside, passing along the body wash for when Nix finishes rinsing. “The belts can go with any outfit pretty easily, and once we get you your own datapad, I’ll show you where I ordered them from, if you are interested in more.”
“Oh right! I should get one of those shouldn’t I?” Nix face palms, shaking her head. “I mean I always just borrowed yours. Never really considered I needed one, and now I feel ridiculous for not asking. Probably would have helped a lot with being able to watch something while I paint!”
Sola giggles, shrugging. “To be fair, I could have offered, but I was very focused on getting you into a state where you were fully confident with your body. I’m sure Pearl, and Jason, would love to have you join their chat group, and this way we can get all set up to communicate when you want to easily enough.”
“I could be texting them!? I haven’t seen either of them since the hang out.” Nix splashes her hand through the water hitting her fist against her hand. “We must get me my own pad!” She breaks down into a giggling fit, flopping back into the water watching it splash upward around her.
Sola nods slightly, cursing the fact that she doesn’t have something to take pictures of Nix being this cute with on her. "Well, we had to focus on your recovery, and you probably could have gotten really distracted when we needed to get you back up fully for the trial. But regardless of how it went, I would have gotten you one sooner or later."
Nix resurfaces, shaking her head to get her hair out of her face. “Well that’s good to know at the very least.” She grabs the conditioner, and starts to rub it into her hair. “And you’re right about me getting distracted if I had one of those things. I mean the one night I got to lay down, and use yours, I didn’t achieve anything but listening to videos!”
“Now what videos would those be?” Sola leans down, grinning at Nix while still maintaining a bit of distance. Clearly making an effort to let Nix feel more independent today, rather than her normal helping hands.
Nix blinks a few times, shaking her head. “Um… it was just more propaganda… I was really anxious about the future, and the sound of terrans and other sophonts talking about their positive experiences… was comforting.” After a minute, she exhales, pulling herself out of the tub and getting handed a towel by Sola.
"We do everything in our power to make sure everyone is satisfied. Everyone of course has their off days, but I have learned that is the case for all sophonts, and affini." Once Nix is dry, Sola holds out Nix's outfit choice. "Here, if you need anything else, feel free to ask."
Nix slips into her new outfit, walking out into the livingroom and grabbing her cane. “Alright, Let’s do this! All we have to do is walk through a busy ship… that a large amount of affini now know me in…” She walks up to the front door, watching it slide open as an affini and floret pair pass by. “This can’t possibly go wrong…”
“Nix, even if you are not mine, I will still be on your side to protect you the whole way.” Sola gently places a vine on her back, helping Nix work up the nerve to step out of her hab for the first time as a truly free woman.
“You’re right. Stars knows you always are.” Nix steps out into the hall, looking at the vines running along the hall. “Now let's play some vine hopper!” She immediately skips forward carefully avoiding the vines as they head down the halway.
“Oh, so that’s what you’ve named it.” Sola grins, carefully following behind Nix. Making sure to play along with the girls game as they make their way down the hall, happy to see Nix so openly happy. Something she’d worried would never happen without domestication, yet here they are.
“Yeah, gotta give it some kinda name. I know Jason is going to make a whole rule book for it, the second I tell him.” Nix rolls her eye, doing a little hop, as she uses the lower gravity to make a leap to one of the gaps she wouldn’t have been able to reach earlier in her physical therapy. “And then he’ll bully me about being better at whatever rules he made up!”
“I doubt that, after all I’m pretty sure Pearl swore to never let him make you cry again.” Sola chuckles slipping and sliding around the hall behind Nix. Making sure to play by all the invisible rules Nix has made up during their walks. “Why not just make the rules yourself. I’m sure both of your friends will love it.”
“Alright, I’ll do it!” Nix laughs triumphantly, landing at the end of the hallway. Looking up, and quickly realizing that there are several affini standing across the walkway who’d seen her display. “And now I will remember to never do that again."
Sola grins. "But you are adorable either way." She moves a bit more in front of Nix, but still keeping enough distance for Nix to make the calls, without feeling smothered. Soon a beep comes from her pad. "Alright, your pad will be ready to pick up, I'm excited to walk you through it."
“Sola, I’m sure I can figure it out. I might not be one anymore, but I was a jump tech! I pride myself on being technologically literate at the very least.” Nix sighs, patting Sola’s vines lightly. “I’ll be alright doing things on my own, and I think figuring it out myself will be an important step towards that, okay?”
Sola freezes up, her vines tightening into a bundle of knots. "Yes, I didn't mean to imply anything about your intelligence petal."
"I know you weren't, I'm just trying to, I don't know… wean you off of helping me with everything? Not because I mind when you do, but so other affini don't assume they can." Nix nods to herself, walking out into the street ahead of Sola. Making sure not to get too far away from her guide, but still keeping far more distance than she would have ever considered before.
"Just don't be too stubborn about it. If you need help, you should always be ready to ask. I promise it's not all a big trick to get you domesticated, the affini and sophonts on this ship all care about each other. So if you need help they will be there." Sola directs Nix towards the eastern edge of the ship.
"Trust me, if I fall and need help. I won't scream at whoever helps me out, I know my limits." Nix nods to herself, actually waving at a few affini as they walk through the streets. Clearly trying to keep a confident demeanor, but coming off as slightly tense in ways only Sola would notice. Tapping on her cane, as well as occasionally tapping it on the ground in circles as they walk.
"Good, you know how I worry, and you are more stubborn than any other sophont I’ve ever met. Not in a bad way like with feralists, but in absolute determination to be yourself.” Sola steps ahead of Nix, shooting a glare at one of the affini who’d been at the previous days meeting. Mostly to make it clear that she was nowhere close to giving up on Nix, even within this new context.
“Well my one goal in all of this is to stay as true to myself as possible, and I’ve been very successful in that endeavor! I’m betting it’s because of my winning personality, after all I managed to convince you that I'm worth believing in.” Nix grins up at Sola, trying not to be too phased by the affini they’re passing by. Simply picking up the pace, to hopefully avoid any real interaction beyond Sola’s incredibly poorly hidden glares.
Sola relaxes after the one she was glaring at leaves "I always believed in you Nix." Sola takes a breath and smiles before looking at Nix "If you ever choose to go with domestication, I want it to be your choice, and no one else's. I want you to have every opportunity that you WANT to have, everything you want to try." She then nods ahead of them. "We are almost there, that building right ahead of us is where we are going."
“Well let’s get in there and figure out my hab situation!” Nix grins, walking into the building, and noticing just how simple it is in comparison to almost every other place they’d gone. Just a small waiting area with differently sized chairs, a front desk with a terran behind it, and a small drink station. “Okaaaay, definitely bringing back memories here… not sure if it’s a good thing.”
"Well, the front room needs to accommodate so many different sophonts and affini, I know it is a little boring, but hilariously, this was determined to be the optimum waiting room design." Sola smiles, waving over at the girl behind the front desk. "And we are the only ones here, so let's take advantage of it." She moves up with Nix. "Hello, we are here to put in paperwork for a new Hab."
The girl behind the desk looks up at the pair, nodding slightly at her nameplate ‘Victoria’. “You’re Nix Ave? Alright, we will be ready for you in a few more minutes.” She puts her hand out, having Sola place the paperwork in it.
“Alright, thanks.” Nix smiles softly, stepping back and walking over to one of the smaller seats. Hopping up onto it, and just starting to look around. Not feeling particularly confident about talking to a new terran she’d never met before.
Sola sits down next to Nix and hands her her pad. "Here, you can select anything custom you want for your pad design. It is pretty simple, but we can get it when we are done here." She points out a couple options on the site.
Nix nods, grabbing the pad and starting to customize her own. Humming as she skips right past the more basic designs, for something she wouldn’t be able to accidentally misplace. Eventually finishing up, ending with a pad that has, while not exact, a similar blue scale patterning to her dress. “Boom, simple, yet not something I’ll lose.”
"I love it, it fits you very well" Sola takes her pad back and puts it away. "It looks like Victoria is on her way over."
Victoria approaches the pair and grins at the pair, her stark black suit making it abundantly clear that she’s not a floret. "Nix Ave, your request has been approved. Can you follow me into the back, so we can figure out exactly how you want your hab to be designed, Miss Gladi will see you now.”
Nix gulps, nodding slightly as she pats Sola’s vines a few times. “I’ll be right back.” She then hops down from her seat and starts following Victoria into the back room. Which turns out to be the exact opposite of the plain waiting room, everything within obviously having been hand crafted with the utmost care. A majority of the furniture scaled up for affini sizing, but still having options for, as far as Nix could tell, every type of sophont on the ship. “Hello?”
As Nix is looking around, vines that were seemingly a part of the landscape of the room begin to pull together. Dropping down into place behind a massive desk, before meticulously reassembling into a form meant to imitate a terran. Two pink eyes, pink petals that imitate a pixy cut, and a litany of flower grafts circling down the affini’s left ‘arm’. Obviously meant to make Gladi appear approachable to any terran, and failing miserably on Nix who would have much preferred just the mass of vines and maybe a head.
"So, I just wanted to go over some of the custom options from your request. I see here that you want a larger space for an art studio? There wasn't too much about other things you would like to have built in."
“Oh yeah, well my friend, who might have been my owner if I wasn’t declared capable of being an independent, was working on most of this for me, before that big meeting we had. I’m pretty sure I saw you in the corner? You had the floret, who needed to sleep right?” Nix shrugs, looking away from Gabi slightly. “But as for things I’d want for my hab. I mostly wanna talk about accessibility stuff, making sure I can get up on things on my own through the architecture, while still making my hab comfortable for when I have affini to visit.”
"Alright then, I'd suggest an affini sized couch, and maybe a tiered coffee table allowing for two sizes. You can mix in a terran couch there. As for the kitchen, might I suggest a medium storage unit, it should be small enough to easily reach into, while being able to hold enough nutrient mix to accommodate for affini visitors." Gabi smiles leaning back in her seat and going over the floor plan. "As for mixed seating, perhaps a terran height countertop with relevant stools, then a small affini dining table, would be enough to fit three affini around it, holding florets too. I can make the central support for the table have storage space that can easily be reached."
“Sounds good to me, I’d also like to keep the massive bed. I feel like anything I try to sleep on at this point would feel tiny in comparison.” Nix snickers a bit, shaking her head. “As for my art room, could you… maybe install something to allow me to hang up canvases, and then use something to move them around on the wall. So I’d be able to reach better when I’m working on larger projects.”
"Of course, we can install a plant tech railing system with locks to hold canvases still when, and where, you need them. And we could get it set up with functionality to grab what you hold up to it, making it easier to set up a new canvas." Gabi pulls up some images and short videos on her pad, showing Nix how it will work.
“Sounds good to me.” Nix’s shoulders slump as she exhales sharply, finally starting to relax given the lack of outward flirting from Gabi at the very least. “Thank you for putting in the effort to make my hab special.”
"Sola did quite a bit on her own, but this is my specialty. Also as adorable as you are, I pride myself on helping make every Hab perfect for who it is housing. That and everyone has some idea that didn't quite make it into the paperwork anyway." Gabi grins a little, and writes down a little more. "I assume for accessibility with the bed, you would like a little stair up into it? And would you mind if I added some natural railing? Without an affini to make sure, a fall from rolling off could be dangerous."
“Yeaah, especially considering I’ve gotta actually worry about hurting my back.” Nix chuckles, knocking on her vine. “But other than that, a set of steps to help me get into the bath, and out would be appreciated.” She starts tapping her cane on the ground, the anxiety of making so many requests starting to build up in her chest. “After that, I think that’s all I need.”
Gabi smiles and nods, making the note. Finishing up the blueprints for the hab. "Alright, and we finish this off with an affini sized bath, steps to get in and out. Very easy to add. I'll throw in a terran sized bathroom vanity. If you end up wanting other upgrades, you can request the paperwork, and if you need help, Victoria is fantastic at guiding others through it."
“Got it, I’m going to head out now. Any idea when my hab will be ready? Or honestly, where on the ship will it be located?” Nix laughs at herself, as she stands up. Impressed she’d managed to accidentally avoid asking the most important question about moving.
Gabi giggles keeping a fair bit of distance, as she works on the floor plan. "Well, the location, if you have no requests, will be about 2 terran kilometers from Sola's Hab unit. Just the next residential block over. If you want to stay in the same block, it may take a little longer to prepare, mostly regarding asking someone to move their hab. If you don't have any special requests, we can have your hab ready by the end of the evening."
“Nah I’ll take wherever there’s space, having my own little area, and not being constantly distracting Sola, will probably be for the best.” Nix smiles sadly, starting to head towards the door. “I’m going to get myself a datapad with her right now, so just text her when it’s ready please. I’ll try to add you from there on mine.”
"Alright, that sounds good to me, Nix. If you have any habitation questions at all, I'll answer them!"
As the door closes, Victoria guides Nix back to Sola, who is wound up a little tightly, though she loosens up upon seeing Nix’s return. "Hey, how did it go? Everything alright?"
“Yeah, just a little overwhelmed.” Nix walks up, and gives Sola a gentle hug. “I’ll apparently be about a kilometer away, so at least when I visit, it’ll be getting me some good cardio!” She starts pulling Sola behind her, knowing that the affini would simply let her, and having little to no interest in being here any longer. Mostly relieved to have gotten through a conversation with an affini on her own.
Sola flows along with Nix, smiling and letting the girl lead her along. "That sounds good to me. I got an alert that your custom pad is done, we just need to go a couple blocks to Resin’s shop. We can see her and Pearl again of course too, which I bet will be fun." She winks at Nix. "I'm sure we can spend a little time there too.
“Just try and stop me!” Nix looks around, noticing more people in the streets than when they were on the way here. “But for now… I think you could get us there faster, and I do not want this many eyes on me right now. I know they aren’t thinking about what happened in all likelihood, but my anxiety is really high about even the smallest of glances.” She shoots Sola a wry smile, giving the affini a really big puppy face to get her friend to give her a ride, instead of walking.
Sola unfurls and shifts around, opening her now nearly permanent cubby, keeping low enough that Nix can climb in herself, while glancing at the other affini watching, fascinated as Sola closes up, keeping Nix safe before continuing at a faster pace. Inside she makes sure Nix has peep holes so she can see.
“Thanks Sola, I’m sure I’ll get better at this, but I still enjoy riding in you, so might as well take advantage of the chances I get!” Nix snickers, peeking out of Sola’s chest to look around the streets. Making mental notes of places she might want to go in the future, noticing an arcade, a few restaurants, and even a class J cafe like she’d seen on the broadcasts. The final causing her to blush furiously, shaking her head to get thoughts of hanging out there out of her head.
Sola smiles "I know how you are, but if you want to try class Js, you can always call me over, and we can do it in a safe, and private environment. And I'd you want, I'm sure Pearl wouldn't mind joining." One of Sola's vines inside rubs Nix's back. "And if you want to see what the cafe itself is like without being on Class Js, we can go on a date, just enjoy our time casually."
“Stupid psychic affini.” Nix grumbles a bit, grabbing onto Sola’s vines a little tighter. Looking away from the cafe, and taking deep breaths to calm herself back down.
Sola giggles "Not psychic, I can just feel you squirming a bit and looked to see the cause." She continues her walk. "I want you to keep in mind that even not being a floret, as your friend I want to make sure you are comfortable trying anything you want." She turns a corner, moving directly towards Resin and Pearl's shop.
“Oh I know, I can’t exactly remember everything from last night clearly, but I do remember you calling me Nix Verse.” Nix grins, if Sola wants to fluster her, then two can play at that game. “Or was that a mysterious affini who snuck into your hab?”
Sola wiggles and turns her head away. "W-well, I was living out a fantasy a bit, and I really wanted to just say it. Having you like that really hit me." Sola slows down a little as they get closer to the door. "I just…really wanted to enjoy the moment like that." She sighs. "While we are hanging out, I'll show you how to order your blend of regular xenodrugs, and then I'll teach you how to take them."
“Sola, it’s fine. I told you that that was your night to try and convince me, and while it didn’t convince me I want domestication. It did show me that I do want a relationship with you.” Nix presses her head against Sola’s vines, exhaling sharply. “I was just teasing.”
Sola smiles, the vines against Nix’s forehead, rubbing back against her lightly. "I know, I want a relationship with you, no matter what it is in full." She giggles. "And who knows, you could always change your mind… or not, either way I am happy for you." She walks inside the shop, smiling. "And we got here while it is quiet, do you want out, or are you comfy?"
“I’m good to get out, after all. We didn’t see Resin or Pearl in the meeting, they might not even know yet!” Nix grins, watching as the vines pull out of her way, letting her slide down them and land in the middle of the toy shop.