The next two days settle into a nice rhythm. Celosia and Nix spend breakfast with Wisp and Alistor, helping Sola with the morning's exercises. Then heading down to Celosia’s office for the day, Nix adjusting more to her hang out area.
Nix stretches with Wisp next to her. Flashing them a smile as she, with Sola’s help, guides them through the exercises that she’d been dealing with during her initial recovery as well. “Sooooo how do you like things around here now Wisp? We’ve not really gotten to spend that much time together yet, but I hope Mistress has helped you feel comfortable.” She eyes Alistor who’s sitting quietly in the background. “And that Alistor hasn’t been giving you too much trouble.”
Alistor grins at Nix slightly, not moving closer to the pair, but at the very least sitting up. “I will have you know I’ve been on my best behavior Nix. Sola’s been helping a lot with understanding how Wisp needs to be cared for, and I’ve not pushed any further yet.”
Wisp rolls their eyes a little bit. “I’m feeling more comfortable than before, and Master- I mean Alistor has been gentle, listening to Sola well on how to help me.” They blush a little, and lean in close to whisper. “Does the biorhythm thing always just feel really good when it is your owner?”
“Kinda? I remember having a lot of trouble with it when I was first here.” Nix leans in next to Wisp. The two florets covering their mouths, while they eye their owners. “But now that I’ve got my implant it’s very comforting, and my mistress got these special plushies for me that imitates her biorhythm for when she’s away. If you get too used to it, having it go away for any length can feel… weird.” She slowly creeps over to the plush Celosia that's sitting on their terran sized couch, grabbing it and dragging it back over. Guiding Wisp to put their hand on it and feel the light pulses of what is similar enough to Nix’s owner’s rhythm.
Sola smiles softly at the pair, stepping away as she gets everything ready for the next exercises. “I think I’m going to have you stay home with me today Nix, we’ve covered most of the basics with Wisp now. So I can both handle you if you need quiet time, and I would appreciate having your help with making Wisp feel comfortable okay?”
Nix looks up at Sola, flashing a large smile. “Of course Mistress! I’ve been looking forward to getting to know Wisp better anyway.” She then goes back to focusing on the plushy, pushing it up in front of her and Wisp. To give the pair even a little bit of pretend privacy in their conversation.
Wisp chuckles, and playfully hides with Nix. “I will admit, I wasn’t thrilled about the forced domestication, but this is the best I have been treated in years. It makes me feel almost special? Sola makes every little bit of progress with my PT feel important, like every step forward really matters.” They flash a small smile up at Sola.
“Yeah, Mistress is a big softy, even in comparison to every other affini I’ve met.” Nix peaks out, looking over at Alistor in particular. “The only thing I can’t tell you is the game Alistor is playing. Mistress Celosia really has been laying into him about all of this when they’re together… even if I can’t understand what they’re saying.”
“It’s mostly just her expressing her concern about Wisp. As well as making sure that Alistor didn’t skip over making a contract for them.” Sola slits down behind the pair, a few stretching bands in her vines. Passing one out to each of them. “Speaking of little Wisp, Celosia and Alistor finished your contract. I’m hoping you can sign it tonight, if that sounds good?”
Wisp nods, not having expected the contract to be spoken about in front of Nix, starting to go through some of the stretches Sola had taught them. “Yeah, I think I’ll be ready for it tonight. Ma-Alistor went through a rough draft with me earlier, I am perfectly fine with it.” They try to focus on their stretching, but they gain a dusting of pink on their cheeks, over their slip up.
“Don’t worry Wisp ya get used to it.” Nix snickers, doing the stretches in time with their new friend. Eagerly bouncing after each of Sola’s complements or guidances. “And there’s always a way to tease your owner, you just have to find it. Alistor calls Mistress Celly sometimes, and that really tangles her roots up.”
Sola smiles softly at Nix, shaking her head. “Now Petal, no using that to tease Mistress. No matter how much a certain someone may encourage the behavior.” She shoots a very obvious glare over at Alistor. Watching as he puts his hands up in response.
Wisp giggles a little bit at the interaction. "Miss Sola, thank you for helping, and teaching me. Also I am sure Alistor is just having fun at your expense." She grins at Alistor. "After all, no matter what, he still follows your instructions when it comes to caring for me."
Alistor nods slightly, grinning down at Wisp. “Indeed little flame, no matter how much I enjoy messing with Sola, or Celosia. Your health, and happiness will always be my prime concern.” He takes a moment, pulling himself off of the couch. “In fact, I’d very much like to join you both for your exercises for the rest of the morning. If that’s okay with you Sola?”
Nix sticks her tongue out at Alistor, snickering slightly as she takes cover behind her plush Celosia once again. Not quite comfortable with Alistor, and trying to figure out a way to tease him without getting in trouble.
Wisp eagerly allows Alistor to pick them up to support their exercise, handing him some of the equipment. “Come on, let's see how long I can go for now. I can’t wait to get any outside walking time in.”
Sola sighs, and begins to help Nix with some of the exercise as well. “Go right on ahead Alistor, and no matter how much you do get to me, the fact that you are going through things in a good way for Wisp’s recovery makes me happy.”
“I may have disagreements with you on general behavior, but I am not foolish enough to believe I know more about floret healing, than you do Sola.” Alistor chuckles, gently guiding Wisp along with their stretches. His head leaning down to be right behind Wisp’s left ear. “Anyway I think Wisp is growing to enjoy my treatment. It isn't that right little flame.”
Wisp squeaks, their hairs starting to stand on end, nodding a little bit. “It is different from how Miss Sola handles my treatment while still being the same idea, but I prefer it.” They lean into Alistor a little bit. “It’s what works for us, and I’m happy with it.”
Sola smirks at the compliment, focusing on Nix’s exercises, particularly a few jumping ones. “Well, I may not prefer going the full traditionalist route, but I’ve seen the benefits here and there, as well as its use on an individual basis.” She nods to Wisp. “Wisp obviously seems to enjoy it a lot, though part of that is how well they sync with your rhythm.”
Nix nods slightly, wobbling a bit as she lands from the last of her jumps. Being pulled into Sola’s vines, and placed up against her owner’s chest to rest for a bit.
Alistor chuckles as they finish with Wisp’s current set of exercises. Pulling his pet into his arms, in a clear mimicry of Sola, keeping his seemingly ever present smirk firmly on his face. “Your adorable habit of stumbling blindly into my rhythm is absolutely precious, and getting to hear about your dreams each morning, has been especially interesting.” He walks over to sit on the couch, slowly running his hand through Wisp’s hair.
Wisp squirms around in Alistor’s grasp, closing their eyes and relaxing as he brushes their hair. “Well, it is kind of fun to stumble into it.” They hold their tongue from commenting further, refraining from answering about the dreams.
Sola grins at the pair, while slowly brushing Nix’s hair and helping her with the breathing exercises. “It is a wonderful feeling, getting to wake up with a floret, feeling their love and trust in you as you do everything to care for them.” She giggles a little bit, rubbing Nix’s belly. “Learning what makes them happy, and rolling with it. It always makes me happy.”
Nix squeaks, pressing her stomach out against Sola’s vines. Starting to happily buzz, and melt into the attention, rather than continuing to concoct ways to annoy Alistor. Starting to make small bites at the air, impatiently waiting as Sola ever so slowly slides her favorite biting vine in front of her, only barely holding herself back as she waits for her owner's permission, before biting down.
Alistor watches intimately, noticing Nix’s lack of movement toward the vine despite clearly wanting it. “See that little Wisp? It might take some time, but even the most rebellious sophont. Will always melt under the pressure of a firm guiding vine.” He can’t help but ruffle in satisfaction, knowing that Wisp is at least aware of the basics of Nix’s story. Meaning they’re aware of how independent Nix used to force herself to be.
Wisp gulps, but cuddles into Alistor nonetheless. “It is kind of amazing to try thinking about, but she clearly just falls apart under her mistresses touch.” They cautiously grab one of Alistor’s vines, and give it a little squeeze, slowly getting used to just relaxing with their master around others.
“Whether you notice it or not, you’re beginning to do the same for me.” Alistor leans back, wrapping the vine that Wisp had grabbed around their hand. “I expected to watch you struggle, to hopelessly try and resist, but I must admit. Watching you fall so willingly has been delectable, little flame.”
Wisp puffs up their cheeks. “I can resist a little bit. But honestly, I’m so tired of resisting, and despite how much you like messing with me, it is still consistently nicer than I’ve been treated in the past few years by others.”
Alistor can’t help but purr, slowly shifting Wisp around to look him in the eyes. “Awww, and I believed I was going to need to keep making little adjustments.” He leans in, making sure that Wisp has very little space to avoid them. “Maybe I should give you a little bit of your fight back, after all… I adore watching you squirm little flame.”
Sola huffs slightly, pulling Nix against her chest, and covering her ears. “I’m going to take Nix to our room, to lay her down for a nap. Please don’t go too hard on them Alistor. We need to do the next work out session in three hours.” And with that she turns around, walking back into the bedroom to go love on Nix in private.
Wisp giggles, and presses up against Alistor. “Hmm, maaaaybe. I love the reactions you get out of Miss Sola.” They gently do a few stretches with their wooden leg, glancing down to watch it move. “After I am able to move well, I think having a little resistance game between us would be really fun, especially given I was already down a leg when you first got to me.”
“To be fair, you still managed to destroy one of my eyes.” Alistor chuckles lightly, running his hand up and down Wisp’s leg. “I’ll have you know, regrowing that was quite uncomfortable.” He slowly wraps more vines around Wisp. Watching each of their little squirms, and reactions. “You know, you could fool someone into thinking I have you on class A’s, being this cuddly.”
Wisp playfully slaps Alistor with what freedom they can get with their arm. “At least you can grow back an eye. Also you kinda deserved it with how menacing you were being!” They stick their tongue out at him. “I can be as cuddly or fighty as I want, I don’t need drugs to make me more so!”
“Oh there you are, I guess you really do hold yourself back when Sola is around after a;;.” Alistor lets Wisp slap him, not even reacting to the contact in the slightest. “And you can act fighty all you want.” He purrs, and tightens all of his vines, pulling Wisp’s arms and legs together. “Because I know you’ll always be helpless at the end of the day, little flame.”
Wisp rolls their eyes, but starts to squirm curiously as the vines bind them up. “To be fair, I’m into this. I’m still a little mad how you got me to admit that the first time.” They wiggle in Alistors vines, giving a few tries to ‘flex’ out, but being completely unable to break free.
“Awww, but I thought you love having a nice secure place to sleep.” Alistor tightens down on Wisp, just enough to feel pinning, without causing pain. Keeping his head inches from Wisps, a thorny grin painted across his face. “Knowing that no one will ever have a chance to harm you again, because your owner will never allow it.”
Wisp holes back a squeak, their struggles weakening. Eyes drifting ever closer to Alistor’s eyes. “I do, I like not having to worry about my safety while I sleep.” They let out a breath of relief, as they go somewhat limp. Their eyes locked with Alistor’s watching deep red flakes dancing within the fractalized expanse of her owner’s gaze. “Honestly I want to enjoy being held before we do more exercises later.”
“Then that’s what we will do.” Alistor’s grip becomes slightly lighter, as he lays Wisp down on his lap. Still keeping vines around each of their limbs, but not being nearly as domineering. Electing to turn on one of the floret edit cartoons that Sola picked out for Nix, curious to see how Wisp would react. “You’ve been doing such a wonderful job with your healing petal. While I do enjoy teasing both you and Sola, seeing you starting to regain confidence with your new leg, has been such a relief.”
Wisp smiles, and just tries their best to enjoy the cartoon. “Thank you Master, it feels really good to be able to move on my own. Regardless of how much you like carrying me.” They giggle a little, and cuddle into Alistor. “I am serious about eventually getting to do jogging, and other activities like that once again. Between being stuck on that ship, then losing my leg, I want to regain my favorite hobby.” They look down a little. “Do you think the floret jogging group will accept me?”
“I’ve never seen a single floret group reject a single sophont. Even independents come along too sometimes.” Alistor places a hand on the back of Wisp’s head. Gently pulling his fingers in, before pushing them back out down their head. “And I’ve already heard from Celly, that she’s found a floret who’s excited to meet you. Her name is Tina Hipila, and she’s actually already friends with little Nix.”
Wisp squeaks, and shivers a little at Alistor’s petting. “R-really? Someone wants to meet me?” They can’t help but bounce a little, excited at the prospect of making more friends. Ones that won't abandon them. “Maybe I can see if Tina, and some members of the group, would be up for trying out some basketball?”
“I’m sure that they’d be more than happy to play a round with you. I’m sure even Nix will sit on the sidelines, and be your cheerleader if you ask her nicely.” Alistor lets Wisp get more comfortable, his vines shifting around to cave, and press up at just the right places to allow them to relax. “I promise that the day you graduate from Sola’s therapy, I’ll set it up. Okay little flame?”
Wisp wiggles their fingers around reaching out to give some of Alistor’s vines a firm squeeze. “Thank you! I can’t wait! I’ll work as hard as Miss Sola will let me so I can do it!” They grin, and playfully bump their head back into his chest. “I heard about Nix’s board game, I think we should have like… a fun tag domestication game for me. One where you can have fun chasing me. While I get to have fun ‘resisting’ the big bad affini who wants to bend and break me to his will.”
“Oh I could just release you into the ship, and hunt you down.” Alistor hums to himself, leaning back in his seat. “In fact, that sounds like a wonderful idea, once you’re able to run. I’ll release you into the ship, and without using your collar I’ll hunt you down.” He pats Wisp a few times. “And if I don’t find you in three hours. You will be allowed to request one stipulation on your domestication contract.” Of course, Alistor is absolutely positive Wisp won’t be able to last three hours. Whether it’s because of his hunting skills, or them wandering searching for his rhythm to return to. “Until then though, I’ll be making sure to cover your eyes while we are out of the hab. After all, I don’t want you planning out a hiding spot until the heat of the moment.”
Wisp grins up at Alistor. “Good, I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I win, I get to hold it over you until our next game. I can’t wait to see how well I can do though.” They look over the cartoon a bit more, before shifting their vision up at Alistor. “Is there anything a little more sporty on? I do like this one, but I wanna see what floret cuts of a few of my old favorites would look like.”
“Trust me, if it wasn’t for the fact that this is what’s set up for the hab tv. I wouldn’t be watching this at all.” Alistor chuckles, and reaches over for the controls. Flicking between several options, and ending up picking a basketball game being played by a bunch of florets. Deciding this will probably be the best option to help Wisp feel more hopeful about their future.
All of them are in very colorful protective clothing, as they play against one another. All of their affini sitting happily on the sidelines, rooting for the teams. “Is this a little better, little one?”
Wisp nods eagerly, clenching their fists in excitement. Eyes tracing over every detail as they try, and figure out the rules to see if there’s any changes. “Thank you Master, this is exactly what I want to watch. I wanna see everything that has changed so I know what I am going into game wise.” They settle in a little more into Alistor, calmly watching the game, completely engrossed in the sport being played.
If there’s one notable thing, it’s that not a single one of the florets ever gets aggressive with the other team, or players. Everyone focuses on the game with the entirety of their beings, a few obviously on some more mobility impairing xenodrugs, as they seem to be missing a second of reaction time. As well as being more prone to stopping and starting to giggle happily on the court.
By the time the game finishes up, the team in bright pink wins. Everyone coming over to congratulate their pets, and comfort those who are more upset about losing. Reminding them there’s always next time, and the most important thing is that they had fun in the moment.
Wisp wiggles excitedly at the show, nearly bursting out of their spot in Alistor’s lap. “That looks like so much fun. Just playing to play, and not for some big name that owns the team for advertising, and other stuff. Also because there is no pushing for big winning plays, and everyone is well equipped and watched over, I imagine that sport injuries rarely happen too.”
“If a floret trips and falls, is the most common cause of a delayed game… that or if they get anxious, and need time with their owner before starting back up.” Alistor nods, watching Wisp wiggle around, before flipping over to a channel covering the propaganda lines. Alistor’s personal favorite. “Given we have a surprising amount of free time, as long as they aren’t injured in a way that needs a large amount of time to heal. The game will normally be put on pause, until the player is healed. Not like the other florets mind, getting to take a break and cuddle their owners.”
Wisp chuckles, talking a few glances over at the propaganda. “I mean, that just sounds really nice in general. Caring more about players, and not having a back up squad to switch in to make sure the game doesn’t stop when someone gets hurt. Also I think I can see why this is one of your favorites Master.”
“Well what can I say, I adore seeing both cuties who change their minds. And getting the pet care tips that play sometimes, are always entertaining.” Alistor gives Wisp a light squeeze. “In fact when I was in my younger blooms, I used to help with the propaganda lines for several of the sophont species we domesticated. Becoming a clerk is actually because Celosia got me interested in it, about two blooms ago.”
Wisp turns their head with a big smile across their face. “That is really cool actually! I suppose that on top of translations, there is a lot of work that goes to personalizing the messages for a given species, or populace based on what you can learn about them prior? I know a lot of the propaganda for terrans talked about medical stuff, no more monetary problems, free food and housing. Of course there was the basically ‘come get domesticated’ messages, but I remember before I was taken seeing a couple people moving to the affini district.”
“Indeed every sophont species is different, and has different needs. Along with being tempted by different things, it’s their job to figure out what can help the sophonts both believe, and adjust to the changes the best.” Alistor grins down at Wisp, excited to see them taking such an interest in his hobby. “In fact, if you want, after we’re done with Sola, I could sign you up to give an adorable little speech.”
Wisp goes wide eyed, stunned by Alistor’s forwardness about the concept of showing them off. “I-I’m not really sure how well I will do at public speaking, but I’d be willing to give it a shot. What kinds of stuff would I be talking about?” They nervously look at the propaganda some more, conveniently seeing a floret happily talking about their experiences.
“Well I’d say you could talk about your rescue from that nasty fishy. Maybe even talk about the help you’ve been getting with your new leg.” Alistor taps Wips’s neck lightly, his voice clearly trying to maintain its normal neutral cadence, but Wisp is able to feel his rhythm becoming more excited. “And don’t worry, I’ve got some nice class D’s that would make you nice and confident, while on stage.”
Wisp groans, and tries to hide their face. “Stop doing that thing where you just seem to know what I’m into! I’ll do it, just have those things ready to help me.” They push their lips together pouting, feeling Alistor’s rhythm resonating within themselves.
“I’ve studied your file extensively, little flame. There’s not a single thing that I do not have at least a decent idea about regarding you.” Alistor loops his finger with Wisp’s collar, dragging their eyes up to meet his own. “And I will use every single point, to break you all the way down. Then, when you’re there, nestling into my heel, I’ll have you thank me.”
Wisp felt themselves caught in his gaze, their eyes locked onto Alistor’s own as he spoke. Eventually, they feel a deep sense of allowance to speak, gulping as they pull up as much of a smug grin as they can muster. “I will do my best to not make it too easy, after all, where would the fun be in just breaking right away, for both of us.”
“Oh trust me, if you broke too soon, I would fix it.” Alistor laughs leaning in, pressing his forehead against Wisp’s. Making sure they can’t see anything but his eyes. “Do not underestimate the amount of control I can exhibit over you if I so wish, little flame. I will not allow you to go out, until I decide it is time.”
Wisp stares, completely absorbed in the expanse of his gaze, only being released by Alistor breaking it of his own volition. Once freed they force a grin mimicking Alistor’s own, and lean in playfully giving a little nip to his face. “Well then, I’ll have to really fight against everything, for as long as I can. I want to know what it will be like, when you decide the time. If I were not recovering at this moment. I’d be actively trying harder, I just am not trying cause it wouldn’t be that much fun, unless we really wanted to pull a spin on some old terran horror tropes.”
“I’m sure you would be.” Alistor laughs, watching as Sola walks back out of her bedroom. Nix laid snuggly inside her little cubby, cuddling her plush salamander and taking a nap. He slowly turns Wisp around. “But for now it seems you have more work to be doing so you can get to that point. I think I’ll allow you to do this part alone. To prove just how independent, and fighty you are.”
Wisp takes a deep breath, taking a moment to get their balance as Alistor puts them down. “Alright, it’s a promise, I want to get to our fun, as fast as I can.” They then turn to Sola. “Miss Sola, whenever you are ready, let's get me active again!”
Sola smiles, looking between the pair. Obviously relieved that they are both getting along, and Wisp isn’t having a hard time with adjusting to Alistor. “Alright Petal, just follow me.” She reaches a hand out, taking Wisp’s and leading them into the workout room.