Nix watches as Sola carries her back through the bedroom, heading into a side room off of it. Turning the lights on to reveal a bathroom that is definitely made for an affini. Especially with that tub, it might as well be a small swimming pool in size. “I can now see why you’d think I’d get hurt in that…” She sighs, having half hoped that Sola had been exaggerating the possibility of her getting hurt. Instead she is yet again, forced to accept that maybe the bush knows what it is talking about.
“Indeed, you're not quite adjusted to sitting up for long periods yet, so I don’t want you pushing yourself too far.” Sola quickly walks over, sitting down in the tub with Nix still in her lap. Unwrapping the vines from Nix’s chest to allow the girl a little more freedom in her movement. “Now I’m going to help you get undressed okay?”
Nix grumbles, this is what she gets for getting over excited, and ignoring consequences. Sola gets to see her entire repugnant body, looping her thumb around her pajama pants she slowly pulls down. Trying to at the very least do her pants on her own.
Sola watches, seeing Nix get them down to her ankles before having a vine swoop in, and pull them the rest of the way off. Using one vine to keep Nix from bending forward too far. “Alright just raise your arms, and I’ll take the shirt.”
Nix grumbles, grabbing the hems of her shirt and pulling it up. Only succeeding in slamming the honey right into her face. “Fuck.”
Sola giggles, grabbing the shirt and plucking it off fully. “I’ll excuse that language, but this is why I said that you should let me take it off for you.” She gently wipes Nix’s face off, taking care to not disturb the flower too much. “Now I’m going to take the cuff off. I doubt you’d try anything anyway, but I did want to warn you.”
Sola quickly taps the cuff, having it fall off of Nix’s wrist, and onto her vine. Slowly moving it over to the rest of the pile where Nix’s pajamas now sit.
Nix sighs, rubbing her wrist where the cuff had been removed. “Thank you, and yes I don’t want to do anything that would threaten my…” She shakes her head a bit. “Generous mercy of not being immediately domesticated.”
Sola grins at the comment, reaching over and turning on the tub. Letting relaxingly warm water start to fill the tub, as she makes herself cave in slightly as a sloped seat for Nix to relax in. “Indeed, it’s not that you left us with much of a choice in the matter. A majority of your crew after short interviews asking about you, were put away to be transported deeper into Affini space. You, my precious flower, needed immediate major treatments, which got you the chance to ‘speak’ with me, and reveal who you really were.”
“So if I hadn’t been injured, I could have been tossed half way across the universe, and put with someone who didn’t know who I was?” Nix couldn’t help but laugh, shaking her head. The one fucking time that the crew kicking the shit out of her came in handy, she couldn’t help but find it comical.
“Now dear this is no laughing matter, if I had arrived any later you would have died!” Sola shakes her head, patting Nix a few times. Trying not to be too affectionate and risk drawing the woman’s ire again. “But that leads me to another question, what is your current last name? I know we have the one listed on your original records, but if you’ve shown me anything. It’s that those records aren’t entirely reliable in your case.”
“Sorry, sorry, it’s just ironic that they finally did something that genuinely helped me… even if it did cause me to lose an eye.” Nix runs her fingers through the water, watching as it raises to chest level. Reminding herself that she in fact was still flat chested, due to never having access to hormones. “And I… I don’t have a last name I like. I definitely don’t like the old one, so maybe… Ave? Nix Ave, I can live with that.”
Sola shakes her head. “They did not help you in the slightest. If that gun hadn’t backfired, you could have died.” She didn’t want to push the poor dear back into her memories of the event, but she couldn’t excuse treating harm they’d inflicted on Nix as a good thing. “And as for your new last name, I’ll add it into your file, as soon as we are done here.”
Nix feels a chill run down her spine, right she’d almost been shot in the head. She had assumed an Affini had arrived in time, pulled the gun away… but no, she’d simply gotten lucky. “Fuck.” She starts rubbing her arm, shaking her head as if she could throw the memories out of her head if she does it hard enough. “L-let’s not talk about that okay?”
Dirt, she should have known it was too soon, and the poor dear didn’t have anything in her, to help deal with the emotions. “Well if you’re upset I can administer something to help you relax slightly? I will not push further on the situation until you’re ready, I apologize.” She places two containers next to Nix, one a mint green bottle. While the other is a bright white.
“No, no drugs. I don’t want any drugs.” That’s how they’d get you on terra. Go in pain, leave with drugs you’d never be able to stop taking to cope with it. Become reliant, dependant, and whether the affini knew it or not, they are doing the same thing. “Let’s just get me clean okay?”
“Okay dear, but I do regret to inform you there are xenodrugs in your system. The vine is administering just enough to keep you from being in too much pain, but I have ensured that all mind altering side effects are kept to an absolute minimum. After all, some can cause you to lose balance, which isn’t something healthy for you while recovering.” Of course any pain above the absolute minimum is too much pain for Sola’s standards, and Nix likely knows that given the fact she hadn’t woken up while experiencing a level of throbbing agony.
“Okay, other than that, no drugs. I don’t wanna become dependent on them to cope with the pain.” Nix looks down again, looking at her chest in particular. “Unless… Do you all have hormones? Like for transitioning, if you have those, I’ll take that.”
Sola grins wide, her vines wiggling slightly in excitement. Finally Nix had asked about this, she’d already anticipated this question ever since Nix revealed who she was. “Of course dear! They are called glass G xenodrugs, and they are far more powerful than anything Terra could have provided you. You’ll be astounded by the progress by the time you’re done with my care!”
Nix almost jumps up in surprise, not having expected Sola to get so lively so quickly. “Oh!” She reaches down, instinctively grabbing onto the closest vine, just like she would to her seat when about to perform a jump. “Well then I’ll take those, I honestly can’t stand my body… and have been avoiding looking in the mirror over there this entire time, because of it.”
“Well then, I’ll do the injection once we are out of the bath.” Sola takes a moment to calm herself again, noticing how Nix had clung at the first sign of movement. That is good, that means she views her vines as safe! “Back on topic, the mint one is shampoo, and the white is conditioner. If you need any help reaching behind your back, I’ll help.”
Nix nods, slowly letting go of the vines, and reaching over to grab the mint shampoo. Getting a decent glob of it into her hand, before reaching up and simply dropping her hand on top of her head. Slowly rubbing it around, struggling to remember the last time she’d done this properly. Her hand slowly pulls back further on her head, before suddenly locking up halfway down. “Owe!”
Sola gently takes Nix’s hand, raising it back up to put it on top of her head. “Reaching behind your head is going to be difficult for a while. And while you’ll still be able to later, it will still feel slightly stiff.” She gently starts to rub the rest of the shampoo into Nix’s raven black hair, getting the last inch that just barely didn’t reach the girl’s shoulders.
“Right… I forgot about that part.” Nix chuckles a bit, pulling her hand back down to cup some water up, and pour it over her head. Closing her eye, and letting the warmth wash over her, repeating this process over and over, until the shampoo washes down and off of her. Moving on, she grabs the conditioner, getting a glob on top of her head, starting to rub it in wherever she can reach.
Sola quietly rubs it in wherever Nix misses, being very careful not to be too forceful with the still matted and tangled hair. “We will definitely need to brush this, and your teeth too.” She grabs scoops of water, helping Nix with the rinsing process. Having to suppress her urge to ruffle the girl’s hair, and praise her for such a swift independant bath. Knowing complementing Nix for her accomplishments only seems to agitate the poor thing further.
“Yeah, honestly getting a chance to grow it out, maybe dye it blue. I hadn’t really had time to consider any basic self care onboard.” Nix chuckles a bit, running her fingers through her hair. Feeling the spots where it just bunched up, getting her finger caught and having to slowly pry it out… along with a small clump of her hair. “Yeesh, that’s worse than normal.”
“Well we can definitely help with your hair as well, we have some hair growth cream. And if you do well with your behavior and physical therapy, I’m sure I can get you something to dye your hair with as a treat!” Sola presses a button, the water in the bath quickly draining down, and emptying out. Grabbing two towels, she passes one over to Nix, using the second to start rubbing down the girls back.
Nix nods slightly, well that was good at least. Good behavior gets her what she wants, not like she had a good reason to fight at this point. A soldier in peak condition couldn’t handle a single affini, let alone Nix post surgery. If she tried to escape, she has no doubt that she’d just end up in some corner of the ship, held in far more uncomfortable levels of security.
“That sounds good to me, thank you.” Nix finishes toweling herself off, shuddering at the feeling of Sola’s towel rubbing up against her back. Once they’re both done drying her off, she pushes on Sola’s vines slightly to sit up. Having to take her time with the process, feeling the slope she’d been relaxing in turn into a more solid seat.
“Well let’s get you over to the bedroom, and dressed, and given your stated aversion to the mirror, we will do the rest of the cleaning in there.” Sola stands up, her form detangling and twisting around to avoid Nix being faced towards the mirror on the far wall even for a second. Quickly heading over to the bed, she places the girl down on the edge. “Now the outfits I have available for you aren’t the most flashy, but I feel like we can find something just right!”
Going over to the dresser, Sola starts to flick through a very large selection of outfits. A dress? No while that would affirm Nix’s gender, it could restrict movement, and lead to falls. She’d need something fem, but not restrictive.
“I’ll honestly take anything that doesn’t chafe constantly, like my old uniform did. Hell I’ll stay in pajamas, if that would be easier.” Nix tries her best to look over the affini’s shoulder. Squinting her eye to get a better look at the outfits, but struggling to see any fine details past the slight blur of colors the distance is causing.
“I’m sure that would be adorable, but you do need to be presentable to go out of the hab on occasions. So finding something that works is important.” Sola snaps her fingers, closing the drawer she was in and going down one. Pulling out what looked like a bright blue set of sweat pants, alongside a large fluffy orange in the front and blue in the back sweater that has a cute design of a sun on the front, along with a moon on the back. “How about this? It is still soft, but will only need to have the sweater switched out for physical therapy.”
Nix leans forward, focusing on the outfit for a minute before nodding slightly. “Sure, if you think it would actually look good on me. It’s a little… cutsie.”
“Of course it’s cute! You’re adorable, so you deserve an adorable outfit!” Sola swoops in, placing the pants down next to Nix. “Alright arms up, I’ll slip it onto you.”
Right, cute, that’s all Nix was now. Not that she could even believe anyone would view her as cute, but this bush was very insistent on that fact, and she had zero interest in an argument she’d never win. She silently raises her arms, letting Sola slip the sweater on, and crossing her legs. “Don’t forget the underwear.”
Sola slaps her forehead, laughing at her own eagerness. “Yes absolutely darling.” She doesn’t bother going back over to the dresser, simply extending a vine out of her mass to reach around in there. Grabbing a pair of purple panties, and slipping them around Nix’s ankles. “There that’s as far as I will go, and I’ll turn around for your comfort.”
Nix nods slightly, uncrossing her legs as Sola turns to face away from her. Using one arm, and a little bit of wiggling her legs, to pull the panties on fully, and they were softer than anything she was ever used to… and felt right in the same way that having the one pair she hid in her dresser during college did.
Once Nix stops moving around, Sola turns back to face her. Grabbing the sweatpants, and slipping them up and onto Nix’s legs. Letting the girl finish pulling them up the rest of the way. “Now I’m going to take care of brushing your hair, you just focus on brushing your teeth. Does that sound fair to you?”
“Sounds fair to me.” Nix shrugs, putting her hand out for a toothbrush. “I wouldn’t even trust myself trying to deal with the mess that is my hair right now. If anything I’d just get someone to cut it to deal with the matting.” She chuckles a bit, watching Sola grab her a toothbrush, putting toothpaste on it, and placing it in her hand.
“That would be such a waste of your hair, I’m sure it will look lovely once I’m done.” Sola slips around Nix, pulling the girl to lean back into her chest. Supporting her back in order to make sure that she doesn’t get too tired trying to sit up. “Now you just brush away, and I’ll deal with this.”
Nix mumbles out as close to ‘sure’ as she can get with a toothbrush in her mouth. Really going at it, to get everything that she’d become more lazy on caring for, while aboard the Free Spirit. Wincing a few times as she passes over what she can only assume are a litany of cavities.
“Dear, do we need to take you to get your teeth checked out?” Sola shakes her head, running the brush down a few more times to get the rest of the clumps out. Being very slow, to avoid pulling too hard on the many many knots. “It will be fine if we do. Just a small routine thing.”
Nix grunts, pulling the brush out of her mouth, and nodding. Looking around for somewhere to spit out everything in her mouth. Sola simply covers her eye, and carries her back into the bathroom, leaning her forward, and having her spit. “Gah… yeah I think that would be for the best. My teeth feel all tingly. Can you please take the vines off of my eyes now?”
“Not yet, I’m just covering your eyes to avoid you having to look in the mirror.” Sola turns around, slowly slipping the vine off of Nix’s eye. “There we go, now I’ll set you an appointment to get that all checked out. So why don’t we give you your first injection and then have a nice time snuggling on the couch?”
Nix nods slightly, letting herself be placed down on the bed once again. “I guess that doesn’t sound horrible. I’ll get to pick what we watch right?”
Sola shuffles around, a small needle with a pinkish substance on the tip slithering out of her mass, and towards the flower on Nix’s face. Gently inserting itself, and giving a solid starting dose of class G’s. “Within reason, yes, we have a large quantity of old terran media, and you can watch some of our programming if you wish.”
Nix wiggles around, a cool feeling washing through her body as the xenodrugs make their way into her system. The feeling of fog slowly fading away from her, feeling just the littlest bit emotionally softer. “Why not watch your ‘entertainment’, all of it was banned on board, and I wasn’t going to risk being vented just to watch those broadcasts for even a second.”
Sola can’t help but let her mask crack into a grin, forcing it back down to a more neutral expression, as she helps Nix down from the bed. “Alright, then we will do a small walk over to the couch, and then I’ll turn on a few of my favorite broadcasts for us. I promise you won't regret it.”
Nix shrugs, taking a slow step forward. Feeling a little more confident on her feet in comparison to earlier this morning. A little bit of the numbness in her leg having faded away. “Hey, it couldn’t be much worse than hearing about how you wanna blend me into a viscous paste, and eat me.”
Sola’s leaves start ruffling slightly. “We would never harm a single one of our wards!” She shakes her head, walking ahead of Nix towards the living room. Struggling to keep her emotions in check, mostly due to her inexperience with dealing with ferals. And especially ferals without owners to have already taught them their new reality.
"Yeah I get it, I'm safe nothing bad is going to happen. You totally care about all of us, and definitely don't want to torment us." Nix grumbles, taking a few more shaky steps forward. Walking over into the living room. Making her way up to the couch, and trying to clamber up. "So let's watch some stupid propaganda."
Sola nods, putting vines under Nix’s feet, and starting to push the girl up onto the couch. Doing her best to assist while maintaining a level of distance. "Nix, I need you to ask yourself, why would we want to torment you?" She slowly slips over sitting down next to Nix on the couch, and pulling out her pad to turn the affini propaganda broadcasts on.
"Because we are a violent mess of fascism, and capitalistic greed." Nix looks away, positioning her eye to get a comfortable view of the broadcast. "Other than that, maybe the fact we try to kill you, and everyone with you, constantly."
"Well dear, would you be mad at a scared animal? Backed into a corner, and lashing out?" Sola gently places a vine hand down next to Nix. Not forcing contact, but leaving the option there.
"Well no, they obviously don't know what is actually happening." Nix grits her teeth, knowing this is what Sola wanted to hear. Despite herself she couldn't help but continue, her lingering anger with the position she'd been pushed into. "But, the cosmic navy knew what they were doing. They aren't a scared animal, they're a violent one. One that should just be put down."
Sola pauses for a moment, her body tensing before she slowly reaches out. Placing her hand on Nix's cheek and forcing the girl to look her in the eyes. "Then do you think you deserve to be hurt, because of what they made you do?"
Nix bites her lip, shuddering and closing her eye. Trying to push her tears back, scared of what she'd actually want to say to this question. "M… maybe. I don't know, I'd been stuck on that ship so long, and I had the ability to call so much sooner." She curls her hands into fists, pressing them against the couch. "The only people who liked me… my only companions were vented, or stolen by larger ships. All because I was too scared to press two buttons."
Sola slowly wraps her form around Nix. Making sure to start gently petting the girl, without getting tight enough to make her feel trapped. "Darling, that is not your fault. You were clearly scared, and just trying to keep yourself safe, I don't blame you. No one blames you, you were such a brave girl, sending that message to us in the first place. You saved so many lives, you saved yourself."
Nix shudders, unable to resist clinging as hard as she can manage. They don't know, they don't know, they DON'T KNOW. Echoing through her head, beep Beep BEEP. Right, she has to breathe, unless she wants to be drugged again, she has to find something to ground her. In a moment of desperation Nix forces herself to talk, barely squeaking out. "Help…"
Sola winces, looking at how upset she'd gotten the poor thing even when trying to comfort her. "I will darling, just stay still, and try to follow my rhythm with deep breaths." She makes large breathing motions for Nix to follow while creating a small mix of class E and A xenodrugs. "I'm going to give you something to help. It'll be a lot less than what's in your cuff okay?"
Nix nods rapidly as she chokes out sobs between each of her breaths, struggling to keep in time with the instructions. Her bracelets beeping the only thing keeping her from tipping over the edge of this breakdown.
Sola puts a vine under Nix's chin, keeping her head still in order to administer the injection. "There we go sweetie, you're okay, this is all going to be okay." She gently injects Nix. Watching as the girl's posture goes slightly slack.
Nix shudders as all the screaming in her head, fades into a still very much there but lighter buzz. "Oh stars…" She pulls back, placing a hand against her chest, and taking another deep breath. "Thank you, I just… the memories of the day you arrived…" She winces at the fact she's bringing up her memories.
"It's okay petal. How about we just enjoy the shows for now? Like I said, we will go and deal with that tomorrow. For today you are here, and you are safe." Sola gently brushes a single finger against Nix’s cheek. Enjoying watching the girl shudder from the stimulation.
Nix blinks a few times, the sudden shot of euphoria from contact concerning her. "H-hey, d-don't do whatever that was anymore. I only agreed to any, because it was better than whatever is in the bracelet." She curls her legs up against her chest, turning slightly to look at the tv. Seeing several very obviously florets in a cuddle pile, resting in what looked to be a massive cat cafe. Surrounded on all sides by affini doting on them, and ensuring that they are enjoying their days.
Sola nods, pulling her vine away ever so slightly. "I apologize, I had a particular regime that I felt would be best for your current condition. That does have the slight side effect of making physical contact more pleasurable. I promise I will not do anything without your express request." She couldn't help but feel a bit proud, Nix just independently requested her to help. Instead of fruitlessly thrashing, and insisting on being left in pain.
"Alright… then what is this we are watching? Like it's a massive pet playground, or something?" Nix shuffles around in her seat, struggling to find a comfortable position to relax. Everything about her seat feeling both infinitely more comfortable, but also harboring an odd sense of unreality to it. "They couldn't have wanted that, right?"
"Well… what you're looking at is the class J xenodrug Cafe. It's actually a dual purpose building, owners do bring their pets there to relax there." Sola reaches out, pointing at one dressed slightly differently. Clearly intended to be staying at the Cafe instead of visiting. "Then there's the would-be florets that stay there until they get adopted by a very lucky owner. It's not at all unheard of to have sophonts ask when they go in for domestication, to be sent to one to wait for adoption. It ensures they get all the attention they crave, as well as helping us find just the right owner for them."
Nix shudders, thinking of herself trapped within that pile of cuddling. Unable to focus on anything more than the immediate pleasure of the moment. "That won't happen to me right? I'm not going to just be thrown out to the first affini who wants me, right?"
"Of course not darling, if it is decided you need to undergo domestication. I will be with you every step of the way." Sola reaches out to pat Nix before pausing, and pulling her vine back realizing her mistake due to Nix still flinching. "It wouldn't have been impossible for you to end up in one, if you hadn't needed immediate medical aid. Luckily for all of us, that didn't happen."
Nix shudders, nodding. "Yeah, lucky me… so after today, what do you think of my odds of being trusted to care for myself?"
"Well, if I am being fully honest. You definitely have the will to care for yourself, you have a lot of misconceptions about us, but I don't blame you, as you told me. You would have been killed if you tried to learn more." Sola starts tapping her facsimile of a chin, making a show of her consideration. "So it mostly will come down to if you can do well with physical therapy, and what we learn about your time on that ship."
A short shot of primal fear runs down Nix’s spine. Taking a deep breath she does her best to push it back, with the help of the drugs. "Then I'll be fine it seems, I have no intentions of slacking on my physical therapy, and knowing your files you know how… 'willingly' I was pulled onto that ship, which of course would be entirely unwilling."
Sola nods, smiling warmly down at Nix. "I'm glad you're dedicated to improving, and yes between your statements, and what files we found on you. During your time on that ship, you may as well been a slave or hostage rather than a soldier."
Nix shudders, a deep bubbling rage pulling up in her chest. Trying to push past the blanket that is keeping her relaxed on the couch. "Please, clarify what you mean by that Sola. Now."
"I mean that you're a single person, and you were being taken by a militaristic force, against your will. Even the most able bodied person would have been left with very little choice in the matter." Sola's face turns to a slight grimace, this is definitely the core of the issue. The poor thing takes even the smallest of comments, as an insult to her capabilities. "Nix Ave, I am not insulting you, I am not implying that you are lesser. You are you, and that is entirely enough, am I understood?"
Nix feels the very little energy, and rage she has left, quickly becoming smothered under something else that she is far too familiar with… shame, a deep shame, that every time she makes any connection, she'd see any attempt to help as a rejection of her autonomy. As if someone saw her as lesser, just because they wanted to help her.
"I'm… sorry." Nix chokes out those two words, the only thing she's refused to do in all this. Apologize, genuinely, for her behavior. "I have a hard time processing the difference between pity, and compassion."
Sola’s harsh tone melts away, lowering her head down to be on Nix’s level before smiling softly. “Then I will make it very clear, petal. I think you’re a lovely girl with amazing potential, who can easily overcome this small setback of healing, and fully blossom as a member of the compact. I see florets every single day who have to overcome conditions just like yours, or learn to cope with them. I’m helping you because I know how strong sophonts like you can be, okay?”
Nix pauses for a second, before starting to laugh. Of course, of course the goddamn overgrown bush believes she can improve, not a single terran, but the shrub she’s known for barely a day. Flopping back, she lets herself enjoy the fluff on the couch as she laughs. Almost entirely ignoring responding to Sola.
Sola let out a slight giggle, relieved to see that this has defused the conversation. “I’m unsure what you think is so funny, but I am happy to see you actually laughing.” She lightly runs her hand through Nix’s hair.
“It’s just funny, you’re the first person who’s ever openly believed in me! And you’re a goddamn shrub! What would my parents think of me now.” Nix snickers, barely calming herself back down as she absentmindedly nestles her head into the affection. At least momentarily letting down her guard around Sola.
“Well I would hope they’d see the lovely young woman that you’ve clearly become. And I know you’re struggling, but please do not call me a shrub, one would think you a farelist with that kind of language, little one. Which I don’t believe you are, are you?” Sola gets a little more intense on the petting, hoping it would function as some light positive reinforcement.
“Mnnhh, no I’m not!” Nix shudders, wiggling around under Sola’s touch. Struggling against the waves of warmth, and relaxation that was overtaking her senses. “Just… you get used to depersonalizing to survive! Just saying Affini in the wrong tone could be grounds for a beating.”
Sola hums, scratching that little bit harder behind Nix’s left ear. “Well then we will just need to work on it, you’ve been such a good girl for me. And I wouldn’t want any of my friends to think you are anything but!” She takes in Nix’s squirming form for just another few moments, before pulling back. Allowing the girl space to calm herself back down.
The pair simply spent the rest of the day together, Nix quietly watching the broadcast while Sola kept a small bit of distance. Occasionally dipping in if Nix ever appeared to be getting touch starved to give a small pat or pet, but ensuring that she wouldn’t pass any of the terrans boundaries.