Nix exhales sharply as the doors to Sola’s hab slide open. All of the tension from being out all day quickly draining out of her, her placement in Sola’s compartment becoming much more comfortable, rather than simply being the only thing pushing back an anxiety attack.
Sola quickly walks over to the couch, opening the slot in her chest. Allowing Nix to take her time with climbing out, and sitting down on the couch next to her. "I hope you had a nice day. I figured you could use some cheering up, after the day you had. I hope I didn't step on your heels."
"It's toes, step on my toes." Nix sighs, placing the plush down next to her. "But I don't know, I feel… weird, everyone treated me like a floret. Even you."
"Indeed… but how did that make you feel? I was willing to stop if you had ever requested it." Sola passes Nix her cup again. Watching the girl grab it and start chewing on the straw.
"I… didn't hate it?" Nix’s voice shakes with each word, gripping the cup a little tighter as she chews on it. "I saw that pair in the shop, able to get the floret a plushy, and praising them for simply making a choice… and I almost felt jealous."
"Well, like I've been trying to tell you… you'd do very well as a floret, and I hope today has let you see that being a floret… my, floret, would not change who you are. It would simply ensure that you're provided for, and happy." Sola relaxes onto the couch, looking over at the massive canvas that was now positioned behind some of the exercise equipment.
"I guess? It still… doesn't feel quite right.” Nix huffs, shaking her head. “I mean, I guess it’s good to know if I’m declared to need domestication, I won’t be miserable, but it’s still not something that I want for myself.” Taking another sip of her drink, she looks over at the canvas. Trying to imagine something to put on it. “But hey, we’ve still got time until that’s decided right?”
“Well now that you’re awake, and for the most part we all know what happened. We were simply waiting for you to be in a state where you could handle going in, and making your case.” Sola frowns, looking away from Nix. “If I’m being entirely honest dear, I’m unsure of what will happen.”
“Me too…” Nix shakes her head. “Can we… wait for it to happen until I’m done with that.” She points at the empty canvas. “If it’s the last thing I do, before being domesticated… well then I’ll be happy to have a piece of this me, that remains.”
“Nix dear, you won’t change by being domesticated. You’ll just be… you.” Sola looks over the massive canvas, hoping that it will help bring Nix a level of peace from working on it. “I’ll see what I can do, they were talking about having us come in at the end of next week, do you think you could finish it by then?”
“Maybe? This is going to be my first try at this kinda thing, so it’ll be a process… Oh do you think you could get me a chair with wheels on it, ya know so I don’t overly stress my legs, and everything?” Nix looks over at Sola, noticing how the affini for the first time in recent memory is actually not looking at her.
“Of course dear, I’ll have one delivered by the time you wake up tomorrow. Now why don’t we get some food for you, then tuck you in for the night.” Sola slowly gets up, going into the kitchen and starting to work on dinner. “Does spaghetti sound good to you? I have had quite a few terrans show a fondness towards it, so it’s something I’m at least able to make myself.”
“Sure that sounds great, I’ll just… be over here I guess!” Nix chuckles nervously, if the affini’s tension is anything to go by. She doesn’t stand the best chance when it comes to her case file, and she can’t even blame them. Despite her size, and disadvantages, she’d killed a room of terran rebels, and not really shown deep remorse about that fact. Only regret that they’d found her out.
But for now, it is time to focus on what she’s going to do with this canvas. It’s not like she’d ever learned how to paint anything complex, hell she’d never had as much paint as this before in her entire life. Best to stick to the basics then, something interpretive, something that could tell her story.
For the third time in one day, Sola slips around the couch, kneeling down in front of Nix. Who was busy staring into the distance. “Nix, dinner is ready, even if it is a crime to get rid of that distant look in your eyes.” She giggles slightly, putting out some vines to help Nix down from the couch.
Nix slowly slips down, grabbing her cane, leaving her plush, and cup behind. Trusting Sola to grab the cup on their way. “Got it, I was just getting into planning my big art piece.”
“And I’m sure it will be wonderful, I’d say I will hang it up for future patients to see, but I don’t think I’d be able to move something that big off of my wall, ever. Especially not if it was made by my best friend Nix Ave.” Sola relishes in letting the words best friend escape her, seeing Nix get that little more stiff, and her cheeks turn just the lightest pink.
“Welp, I can’t argue with that logic. Even if I do move out, I was kinda thinking of it as a farewell gift? Like a, thanks for making my spine and legs suck less, here’s something to remember me by, thing.” Nix rubs the back of her head while they walk, lightly stimming on the vine running down it.
“Well I’d hope it’s not farewell forever then! I don’t know what I’d do without someone as precious as you in my life.” Sola giggles, as they get into the kitchen. Grabbing and picking Nix up to put her down on her seat.
“I meant like not being roommates kinda thing, so you wouldn’t see me every day. Not like running away and hiding, you’ve already told me just how well that would work out for me.” Nix rolls her eye, starting to tap on the table while Sola makes a bowl of noodles, and red sauce. Alongside refilling Nix’s cup with water and ice.
“Indeed, if you ran off I’d have no choice but to hunt you down, and domesticate you myself!” Sola flashes a grin that looks just a little too predatory for Nix’s comfort, as she places the meal down in front of Nix. “Buuut, for now, would you like to round out what it would feel like to be a floret today? Or are you in a more independent mood, after everything you’ve seen, both are fine with me.”
“I guess I’ll say floret? I mean I don’t know what you’d even doooo-” Nix blinks a few times, remembering Jason being fed bits and pieces of his meal by his owner. “Never mind! NoPe, I’m GoOd!” She stammers out, swinging her arms from side to side in an X pattern.
“Awww but you already said yes!” Sola sits down across from Nix, giving the girl the most artificially cute expression she can muster. “Please Nix, I promise I’ll just do the food! You’ll be able to do your drink on your own!”
“Who would have ever expected an affini to be begging me for anything.” Nix groans, leaning her head back. “Fine! But just this once, and if I find out you told Jason, or anyone else about this, I will be…” She pauses, trying to think of something that she could threaten aside from violence. “Very sad! You will make me very sad Sola!”
“I promise dear, it will only be between you and me. After all, you’re Nix Ave, big strong independent girl. I don’t wanna ruin your reputation with your new friend.” Sola gently unwraps the utensils, grabbing a fork and starting to string it through the noodles. Winding a bite up for Nix, before slowly presenting it to the girl to take.
Nix shudders slightly, leaning forward, and biting the piece off. Swallowing quickly as she maintains eye contact with Sola, her blush only growing more fierce with each of the affini’s movements. This isn’t fair, everything about this situation is absolutely humiliating, but she also can’t stand to make Sola sad, not after everything the affini has done for her. Truly the most diabolical trap ever conceived, that or maybe Nix is just that much of a pushover.
Right as she’s about to spin off into oblivion with this line of thinking, another bite is provided. Sola’s warm smile accompanies it every step of the way, Nix not even noticing how she is opening, and closing, her mouth in time with the affini’s movements, without being outwardly directed.
Before she knows it, the bowl is entirely empty, Sola grinning at the fact that Nix has instinctively opened her mouth for another bite. Taking her cup, and positioning the straw into her mouth. “There you go darling, meal time is over. I’m happy to see that you ended up having fun with it in the end.”
Nix wanted to argue with that fact, to claim that it was simply to appease her overlord, but of course that wouldn’t have been the whole truth. Ever since she’d seen this externally for the first time, she’d been more than a little curious about the process. How it would feel to trust someone else to provide food for you, and in Nix’s case, keep you from eating so quickly that you make yourself sick.
Instead she simply starts to drink her water, giving Sola a little nod of assurance. And hoping that the red she sees in the water's reflection of her face is simply pasta sauce.
Sola smiles, taking away the dirty bowl, quietly washing it and the utensils, before returning to Nix and scooping her up. “That blush painting your cheeks is absolutely precious. I could get used to seeing it, if you would allow me.” She gently brushes Nix’s cheek as they head into the bedroom, starting to gather Nix’s pajamas. “Alright, one last floret or no question. Would you like me to help with your bath, and dress you for bed, or just normal?”
“I mean we’ve already committed to the bit. Best to just do it all now, given I know you’ll just be asking every day after until I say yes.” Nix grumbles a bit, absentmindedly nuzzling into the vine gently pressed against her cheek. Trying to ignore that this is a thinly veiled excuse at best.
With impressive precision, Sola gently undoes, and slides off the dress Nix has been wearing. Neatly folding it, and setting it in a hamper to be washed. Next off slide Nix’s undergarments, once she’s entirely nude a few of Sola’s vines snake out, and Nix into her arms, cradling her while they head over to the bathroom. All of Sola’s vines allowing themselves to indulgently give Nix a small massage.
Nix, of course, immediately starts squirming around in the vines. Not because it doesn’t feel nice to be held in such a vulnerable way, but because the implant on her spine makes all of the gentle pets, and teasing, send little ripples of warmth cascading through her body. “H-hey! Why didn’t you leave my clothes on until we got the the bathroom!”
“Because maybe I wanted to dress you up twice?” Sola giggles, and makes her way into the bathroom. “Maybe I got impatient, I’m sorry.” She slowly starts to gently unwrap Nix from her prison of vegetation, being extra gentle and playful with little farewell pets, being given from each of the removed vines.
Once the bath is full, Sola, instead of setting Nix inside, actually steps inside herself, sinking into the water while holding Nix in her lap. Sloping her body similarly to the first time they’d bathed together.
“Welp, this was interesting, time to give me the stuff to do my hair… right?” Nix squirms a little more, feeling several vines suddenly wrapping themselves around her arms, and legs. Keeping her very firmly in place, relaxed against Sola’s chest. “Right?!”
“No. You asked to be treated like a floret, specifically my floret, so that’ll be what you get.” Sola reaches over, grabbing the normal shampoo, and getting a bit of it on her hands. A rarity for Nix to see be actually formed, given Sola’s proclivity for just using vines. “Of course I’d normally use some more fun bath time stuff than the basics. But my precious Nix is still healing, so we’re restricting it to just what’ll get her nice and clean, before bedtime.”
“What do you mean by more fun!?” Nix squeaks, feeling Sola’s hands start to gently massage her scalp. Going to show just how restricted her previous assistance was during their prior baths. Gently working her way down through Nix’s hair, to the girl’s shoulders, and giving a gentle massage. “How could you make this more fun?”
“Well, we do have special shampoo that has a small dose of class A xenodrugs in it, makes you all sensitive, and enjoy getting touched more. Leading this to be more of a mix of a full body massage and cleaning, I think you would really like it, but I have to be careful with your doses, and all my precious Petal.” Sola very carefully rubs along Nix’s spine, working on just how much tension has been running through the girl's whole body.
“Well I can’t deny that’s… interesting?” Nix shrugs, relaxing into Sola’s massage. Letting the last of her tension be milked out of her by Sola’s careful movements, her eye drifting shut as she simply allows herself to trust Sola to take care of everything for her. After all, it’s not much of a choice with the vines around her, and it’s hard enough to keep her squeaks and nearly moans of relief from being externalized.
“Awww where’s the little Nix who would rant about how she’d never ever trust xenodrugs to help her feel good.” Sola ruffles Nix’s hair, taking a break from cleaning her to just enjoy holding the terran to her chest, and in a moment that she couldn’t describe as anything but selfish, she hoped to be told Nix needs to be domesticated, just so she’d never have to let the girl go.
“I still don’t trust it, I just said it was interesting! Just like how everything Jason does is interesting, not something I want just… a fascinating case study.” Nix sighs, feeling the water start to drain from around her. Sola’s vines keeping her firmly in place.
Sola makes an aaaaah sound, trying to seem surprised but coming off as incredibly sarcastic. “I see, well I do think you would enjoy it a little bit, from time to time, but for you, I don’t think being on them all the time would be the best.” She gets up and grabs a towel, beginning to dry Nix off. “After all, I love who you are, and if you really don’t want it, I wouldn’t force it on you. I would, however, gently encourage you to try different ones.” She's agonizingly slow in drying Nix off, taking her time with the process, and simply enjoying the different squeaks, and shudders, she can get out of the girl in the process.
“You’re lucky I actually trust your word on that one.” Nix chuckles a bit, shaking her head. “If I heard that from another affini I’d be just thinking. ‘Yeah I give you a day before you do it anyway because you wanna’.” She rolls her eye, letting Sola lift her out of the bath and bring her back into the bedroom to get dressed.
“Dear an Affini would only do something they genuinely believe their ward needs. If you need to be on less then you would, if you need more then you would, being a floret is trusting your owner knows what’s best for you. Like you already do, when I’m helping you with your physical therapy.” Sola grabs a new set of pajamas. This one a bright blue top that looks to be in a scaled pattern, alongside a fluffy pair of blue pajama pants, with a small lizard’s tail on the end.
“How did you even get that made?!” Nix looks over the set, about to start resisting as Sola pulls Nix’s arms up, and slips it onto her.
“Well you mentioned you liked lizards and were considering body mods. So I had this made for you, I promise the similarity to your adorable new plushy is entirely coincidental.” Sola giggles, slipping Nix’s underwear onto her before pulling the pajama pants on. “And there we go, one precious petal prepared for bed.”
Nix’s jaw is simply left slack, as she starts babbling nonsense. Trying to process the fact that Sola had taken, and ran off with one comment on their first day together, in order to make something that she’d like.
Sola smiles, leaning in to plant a kiss on Nix’s forehead. “Now we can lay down. I’ve got your class Zs ready, so we can have some quiet cuddle time, before you go to sleep.” She lays them both down, and sighs happily, her vines loosely around Nix’s waist, while she reaches down and gently plays with her wards’ hair. “I also have the hair injection, it will take a little time, but your hair will naturally turn blue.”
“Woooo, full blue here we go.” Nix giggles, rolling around in bed, letting Sola pull her in close. “So is there anyone on this ship you don’t know? Or have you just been showing off places where you have friends, to make me feel more secure?”
“A little bit of both, as you’ve been told so many times, I work with florets during the recovery process, especially from major life changing injuries. So I know a lot of affini through that fact, but for you, I’ve mostly taken you to places where I’m friends with the affini. To make sure that you won’t get uncomfortable, given how shy you are.” Sola gently picks Nix up, not wanting to part with the girl for a moment for the remainder of the night. “But it seems like I forgot your little friend, so for now, why don’t we get you your plushy, so we can cuddle more effectively.”
“I’m not that shy! And I don’t need-” Nix is quickly cut off by a vine tapping her lips. Sola, swiftly, and confidently, walking over to the couch, picking up Nix’s plushy, and placing it in her arms. Watching as she immediately latches onto it.
Sola chuckles lightly at the sight. “Nix, you have anxiety around anyone new, affini or otherwise. You are very shy, and it is very cute. However, I also know that you don’t like being seen like that, and I love the feeling of you being safe inside of me, while we go out.” She playfully boops Nix’s nose. “You are so precious.”
Nix’s nose wrinkles slightly, as she does the only thing she’s capable of doing to avoid this blatant bullying. Burying her face into the plushy she’s been provided. “So… how do you know how to do that little… cubby thing, I know you’re a good bit bigger than other affini I’ve met, but I haven’t ever seen anyone else be carried like that.”
“Well, we all can store things in our bodies, but there are several smaller sophont species that like to hide inside us. The first of which were the beeple who originated on our homeworld.” Sola gently brushes Nix’s hair while speaking. “So, as I help sophonts of many sizes with many different situations, I’ve worked on developing to be larger. There have been a few that I have carried inside, but it was not nearly as often.” She smiles down at Nix. “Really enjoy the feeling of you sitting safe within my vines.”
“Well I can’t argue that it makes traveling significantly more bearable, especially compared to walking.” Nix relaxes into the brushing, letting Sola get her hair perfectly straight. “That and being surrounded by you, makes calming down a lot easier.” She lets out a little yawn, nestling deeper into Sola’s vines. Trying not to think too deeply about the evening she’s had, about how maybe this wouldn’t be that bad to allow Sola to do every now and again. And especially not think about how nice it felt to have a plush in her arms, while she goes to sleep.
Sola smiles, and lets a vine with the Z’s come around, hovering just on top of Nix’s flower. “Alright, I’m going to give you your class Zs Nix. Sleep well, and in the morning, I’ll ask if you want to continue this little ‘trial’ run. If not, it is perfectly ok for you to say so.” Her needle presses into the flower, injecting it, letting the feeling wash through Nix.
Nix shudders, embracing the sensation of the class Z’s rather than resisting them this time. Allowing herself to be dragged down into the depths of slumber, hopefully to have another night free of nightmares.
Nix’s eye slowly cracks back open, her body still feeling slightly heavy from the night’s rest, but at the very least she’d been provided rest without any nightmares. Pulling herself up, she looks at the plushy. “I’m gonna name you Nixy, but that’s our secret.” She grins at the plush, giving it a little nuzzle, before placing it down back where she’d been laying.
As she looks around she can hear Sola moving around in the kitchen, doing something, and on the nightstand is a note.
‘Good Morning Nix, I’m making breakfast right now. I’m planning to bring it to you in bed, if you want to wait. If you don’t though, just give a shout, and I can come help you out of the bed. I love you, and I hope you slept well, my precious little petal.’
Nix looks over the note a few times, shrugging and standing up on the bed. Starting to do some of the normal morning stretches that Sola had taught her, not wanting to hop down from the bed, and repeat the painful landing from her first morning. “Jeez Sola, I’m not your pet, yet.” She pauses, blushing and shaking her head. “Not her pet at all, ever. Well… unless I get told I have to, then maybe.”
Sola soon comes in, carrying a tray with waffles, some fruit looking things. “Good morning Nix, I’m glad to see you still in bed, and doing your morning stretches too.” She sets the tray up, along with a little spread. “I figured you would enjoy opening the day up with breakfast in bed, before we get the rest of your exercises in. After that, you are free to go about painting whatever you desire.”
“Wooooo paint!” Nix flops back down into the bed, rolling over to the edge so that she can eat off of the nightstand. “I gotta admit, even after only a week of consciously recovering, I already feel thousands of times better than I used to.” She licks her lips looking at the breakfast. Grabbing the utensils and starting to dig in. “So thanks for that Sola. I’m sure this wouldn’t be nearly as fun without ya… or well fun at all.”
“I do aim to make healing a fun, and fulfilling, process for all my patients. But I won’t lie, I’ve been going all out for you Nix.” Sola reaches out and gently pets Nix, sitting on the bed and just relaxing while Nix eats her breakfast. “I got messages from a few of my friends, and Pearl apparently would like to meet you some time, in a quieter environment where both of you can just talk, and enjoy spending time together.”
“That doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world.” Nix leans into the pets for just the briefest of moments, before quickly catching herself and pulling away. “Even if I don’t really know her more than just a name, if she’s the floret of someone you trust. I can’t see her being bad news in the slightest.” After another minute Nix finishes up her meal, poking, and prodding, at the fruits on display. Taking a bite of each and spitting back out half of them. “Ewww, texture bad.” She chuckles a bit. “But thanks for trying anyway.”
“Well, I would ideally like you to get all your right vitamins and minerals through what you eat, so I can try making fruits that you like. If texture is the issue, what do you like the most on that front?” Sola leans in with a smile “I can see about grafting a bit, and growing them myself if you would like.”
“I’ve never even tried most fruits! Honestly today was a big surprise, seeing them laid out like that, my family didn’t really have the money for those kinds of luxuries, with my health and all.” Nix laughs, shaking her head, not even knowing exactly what the fruits she’d been provided were. “But either way I’m sure we’ll figure out something! I did really hate the yellow one at the very least.”
“Alright, if I remember terran fruits, I think that was a banana.” Sola grins. “Well then, I’m going to make a point of trying out a different fruit each day, until we find one you really like.” She takes the dishes in some vines, before picking Nix up and setting her on the ground with her cane. “I’m going to refill your bottle, and take care of these dishes. Feel free to start whatever you want in the meantime.”
“Sounds like a test for my tastebuds.” Nix sticks out her tongue. “Bleh.” She quickly follows Sola out of the bedroom and into the now entirely re-arranged living room. A majority of the exercise stations moved to the side, while a new chair sits in front of Nix’s empty canvas. Leaving the area open for the girl to work. “Sooo physical therapy, then I get some painting time?”
“Exactly, when you finish painting we will have you take a bath, depending on the time, food first. I will be mandating that you take breaks for lunch, and dinner, outside of any time you want to stop on your own of course. I’ve got a book I got delivered, and I’ll be going through it and watching your work.” Sola smiles, putting the dishes in her sink. “Does this sound good to you?”
“Sounds like a deal to me.” Nix gives a little thumbs up, following Sola over to one of the stations. Following the instructions given, and always pulling back to catch her breath when Sola would advise. Despite her previous distaste for exercise, knowing that this is helping her get a little stronger every day did a lot for her motivation.
Sola gives little claps whenever Nix finishes an exercise, ending off the final one with giving Nix a hug. “I am so proud of you Nix, you are showing so much improvement, and I love seeing how far along you are coming.” She pulls back a little bit and gestures towards the canvas. “So, I think you have a canvas calling out for you.”
“I thought you said I wasn’t going to be treated like a floret after yesterday.” Nix grins up at Sola, giving the affini a little wink, before turning around and walking over to her chair. “But you are right, I’ve got a big white void to fill.” She sits down, kicking off of the to roll over to the bags all of the supplies Sola had gotten her are in.
First she grabs a smock, slowly putting it on, and tying it into place. It’s just a big blank canvas, no one’s going to judge you if you mess it up on your first try. Nix takes a deep breath, grabbing a pallet, and a few different colors. Picking green to start with as a base layer.
Over the course of several hours, Nix slides back and forth across the room. Doing her best to keep the paint off of the ground as she works, her strokes becoming more fervent over time, as she grabs more and more colors from the collection. All of the blue bleeding out in layers from the right side of the canvas. Clashing against the green, both pressing against each other in a clear fight for control over the majority of the canvas.
Sola spends most of the time reading a book in affini, looking up and smiling at Nix’s artwork, watching some strokes before going back to her reading. Around noon, Sola put a bookmark in and closed her book, going to the kitchen for a few minutes. After coming back, she makes a little clapping sound. “Alright Nix, I’ve made sandwiches, time for lunch, let's get cleaned up.”
Nix turns around, looking over at Sola. The girl’s fingers covered in different colors of paint, a smudge having made its way onto her cheek, and her smock being almost its own completed painting from her smearing paint off on it. “Sounds good to me, I’m starved, and also kinda out of the colors I need.”
Sola giggles and takes out her datapad, snapping a picture of Nix before tapping a few more buttons. “Alright, I’m ordering some more paint to be delivered. I am also glad that we got the floor spread, otherwise I would have a lot to clean up.” She flashes a smirk, bringing a little coat rack over. “Here, you can hang your smock, then we can wash your hands.”
Nix nods, starting to fiddle with the strings, having tied it on a little too tight and gotten it stuck. After a few minutes she gets the strings untangled, tossing the smock into the air and watching it slowly float back down onto the rack. “Also did you literally just get that rack so I’d have a place to put my smock.” She chuckles a bit, looking over her pajamas she'd never gotten out of. Sighing in relief when she doesn’t see any paint on them.
“Yup, I wanted your art wall to be perfect, and this included a set up for everything. Also do not worry, I can clean any cloth that gets this paint on it fairly easily, though maybe I should get you a ‘work’ outfit for this.” Sola begins scrolling through her tablet, nodding a little bit. “Alright, got an outfit being delivered.”
“Well then might as well get the rest of the paint off of me, before we eat. I can’t imagine ingesting any amount of paint would be healthy.” Nix looks at her hands, then at her cane. “Um… can you carry me? I don’t wanna get my cane dirty.”
Sola nods and wraps her vines around Nix, carrying her to the bathroom and using several extra vines to turn on the faucets. “Make sure you wash your hands well, Nix.” She wets a vine and begins to wipe off the splotch on Nix’s face gently, doing her best to not get in the way of Nix’s hands.
“Gah, I thought you said the floret stuff was just yesterday!” Nix wiggles around in Sola’s arms. Closing her eye in a wince as the blue paint is gently removed from her, distracting her from actually washing her hands properly.
“I am just helping you clean up faster for lunch. You asked me to carry you, so I figured you wouldn’t mind a little extra here and there.” Sola finishes with Nix’s face before using a washcloth to carefully dry her. Next she guides Nix’s hands to the water. “If you want me to stop I will though.”
“It’s too late now, you’ve basically taken care of everything.” Nix grumbles, wiping her hands on a few of Sola’s vines as she’s placed down on the ground. “But enough about how badly you’re embarrassing me, it’s time for food!”
Sola giggles, and uses a vine to help Nix keep steady, just like from before the cane. “I made your favorite sandwiches for us to enjoy. I figure we can eat, watch an episode of your favorite show, then you can return to painting until dinner.” She looks back at the painting and smiles. Happy with how gentle it all seems from her perspective. “I really like how it is turning out already.”
“It’s kinda a mess at this point. I’m struggling to decide what half is going to win out in the end.” Nix shrugs, glancing at the drying paint. Shuddering slightly, before turning around and walking over to the couch. Letting Sola help her up. “But I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.”
Sola swoops into the kitchen grabbing the tray with the sandwiches, and flicks the TV on. Accompanying this is the freshly refilled water bottle. “Now then, let's enjoy lunch.” Sola makes sure Nix’s cane is next to her, before sitting on the couch and relaxing, putting on the show Nix liked.
Nix quietly eats the sandwich, curling up in her corner of the couch like normal as they relax. Her eye occasionally looking over at the now cluttered canvas, trying to decide on what side will triumph in the end. Which side she wants to triumph.
Getting a bit too invested in her thoughts, Nix takes another bite right as she runs out of sandwich. Accidentally biting her own hand, and letting out a squeak of pain. “Owe!” She shakes her hand off, realizing what she’d just done. “Note to self, the sandwich is not infinite.”
Sola giggles, and reaches over to rub Nix’s hand. “Be careful, otherwise I may just judge you a danger to yourself Nix.” Her grin yet again turns somewhat predatory. “Though I have a feeling if it were me, you may not mind.” She then suddenly turns her focus back on the TV, a smirk marring her face the whole time.
“Oh wow, my big strong plant is coming on strong today, isn’t she?” Nix rolls her eye, shooting a little glare up at Sola. “So if you don’t mind me asking, what have you been reading all day? You’ve seemed really invested in whatever it is.” Looking over at the book, she could definitely see a teran floret and an affini on the cover. Cuddling with one another, but all of the text was in affini.
“Oh it is on human florets. You know, just research for the potential future.” Sola keeps her arrogant smile, glancing down at Nix. “Lets just call it a feeling, and I want to be ready for it. However, I promise you, you have my full backing, when we do go in to have that meeting on your independence. It also helps that this book has a chapter on what is appropriate to do with independent terrans too.” She nods over at the canvas. “Anyway, are you getting inspiration for how to continue your painting?”
“I’ve had inspiration for that. The only thing that was stopping me was the available color pallet.” Nix blushes a bit, puffing out her cheeks and shaking her head. “And you really can’t get that out of your head can you. I guess it’ll be good if you find some other poor sap to be your floret or something.”
“Oh I’m sure ‘some poor sap’ will ask me sooner or later. After all, I am all about wanting those I interact with, to willingly say what they want, even if I do have to infer from time to time.” Sola leans back, seeming to calm herself down. “I didn’t ask you earlier, how did you like sleeping with a plushie last night?”
“It felt… nice.” Nix grumbles, curling up a little more. Feeling increasingly out of her element with Sola being so brasin. “I guess I missed it, it’s definitely something I don’t wanna stop doing, and the pajamas are nicer than anything else I’ve ever slept in.” She flops over onto her side. “But that doesn’t mean these nice things are going to bribe me, especially into being your little lap pet.”
Sola reaches over, and rubs Nix’s back. “No, those are things, and things may be nice, but what I want to do with you is just give you all the genuine love, and attention, I know that you want and need.” She rubs using her vines in little circles all over Nix’s back. “I love you Nix.”
“Yeah… I, l- l- like? Yeah I like you too.” Nix relaxes into the massage, pressing her head a little more into the couch. Trying to suppress how embarrassed she is, that she can’t even get the words love out, it’s not like it would be an improper response, it just hurts some part of her deep down, to even try to say it.
Sola smiles gently and continues. “I know Nix, it’s alright.” After a few more minutes of quietly watching the tv, there is a beep from the front door. Sola gets up and goes to it, thanking whoever delivered their supplies before coming back in. Not that Nix could notice, she is way too busy inside her head running herself in circles. “Alright, I got both your painting outfit, and more paints. How about we get you changed then get back to art?”
“Yeah… I guess that sounds good.” Nix rolls over, grabbing her cane as she very carefully slips down, and off of the couch. “So what is the painting outfit you got me, I seriously hope it’s not something over designed, that I’m going to feel bad about ruining.”
Sola giggles and shakes her head, opening it up. It looks like a plain shirt, and pants, and they had a slight sheen to the outside. “They are purely a set of clothes that repel liquids, not letting it seep in to become a stain. Ideally the smock can handle all of it, but just in case this should be fine.” She grins, leaning down. “So let's get changed, then you can continue.”
“I can change into these myself thank you!” Nix huffs, plucking the outfit out of Sola’s vines, and walking back into the bedroom to get changed. Having the door close behind her, before quickly switching outfits, struggling a bit with the pants again due to her restricted movement, but cheating by using her cane to grab a loop of the pants and pull them up. “There, done, and I didn’t need help!” She laughs, confidently marching back out of the bedroom. Entirely forgetting she’d simply dumped her pjs on the ground in her haste.
Sola claps when Nix gets back. “I’m so proud of you Nix, now did you put your pajamas neatly anywhere?” She smirks a little bit. “Or am I going to need to go take care of them myself?” She quickly walks into the bedroom, only stopping briefly to give Nix a little hug.
“I got distracted!” Nix grumbles a bit as Sola swoops around her, grabbing the clothes before she could get a chance to correct her mistake. “I would have gotten around to it later…” She puffs her cheeks out, starting to walk back over to her painting station, and sets up more of the paint to continue her project.
Sola comes back and smiles, grabbing and helping Nix put on her smock. “Here, let me tie it this time.” She makes a cute little bow in the back, far easier to get to come off later. “There, this should be easier to get off when you are done. And I know you could get to it later, but I might as well tidy up where available.” She nods towards the paint. “If you start running out of a color you need, let me know and I’ll order more.”
“You’re really pushing your luck here Sola.” Nix growls out, turning around and walking over to her workstation. Starting to simply passively listen to the tv in the background as she works. Taking more green paint, and starting to strike it across the middle of the painting, as if it was bulldozing over the blue. The greens gradually grew darker, nearly olive colored by the time she was done with layering it.
As she looks at this new addition, Nix’s scowl only grows larger. Grabbing a red, sliding and making a smear right in the middle of the green, letting it bleed down slightly towards the blue. She repeats this process several times to make sure it’s thick enough, the streak a candy red by the time she is finished. Having repeatedly splashed herself with red in the process, gradually becoming more and more agitated as she added it to parts of the painting. Finishing by throwing her brush at the canvas having the red splash into the top left corner on top of some of the green.
Once she’s finished Nix falls back down, flopping down into her chair, and staring bitterly at the painting. Wishing that she’d left it entirely empty, it’s hideous, and so is she.
“That is an interesting choice, how do you feel?” Sola hands Nix her water and frowns. “I’m sorry if I’m being too… overbearing. I really enjoyed going a bit overboard yesterday, and I’ve been pushing that into today. I promise I will do my best to pull back on that front… unless you ask otherwise.”
Nix simply puts her head in her hands and starts crying, of course she immediately apologizes for even the most baseline of perceived slights. WHY, why does she always have to be so damn perfect all the time, why does she act like she’d want a mess like me in her life. “Just… just please leave me alone.” She sniffles a bit, smearing paint on her cheek as she looks down at her hands.
They are of course covered in red, causing her to start shaking violently, quickly feeling herself start crumbling back into the horrible feeling of laying on the ground, and bleeding out. People were bleeding onto her, so much red, so much screaming. Why didn’t they just leave her alone.
Sola shakes her head, and wraps her vines around Nix. “I can’t leave you alone, especially when you are in pain like this Nix. Come on, let's get you cleaned up. While I feel red has a place, it doesn’t feel like you at all.” Sola takes off Nix’s smock, hanging it back up before walking to the bathroom, and focusing on cleaning off the red paint. “If you want to still be alone when this is done, I will give you some space, but I will be honest, I really don’t like seeing you covered in red… not again.”
Nix flails and thrashes in Sola’s vines, her eye slammed shut as she takes deep breaths. Not acting hostile, but simply scared, clearly trying to escape, of course that would have done her no good given the paint was still on her.
After a few minutes, Sola simply is forced to remove Nix’s clothes. Carrying her over to the shower, and starting to run it for the girl, gently scrubbing the paint off of her. “Okay… I understand you may need red on occasion, but I am going to request we don’t get any more, until you're adjusted to your new medication. Okay petal?”
Nix simply nods, her eye cracking open as she watches the red wash off of her and be flushed away. Unsure whether she’d prefer to be alone right now, or to be held and comforted for the rest of her life, and the fact she can’t give an honest answer scares her. “Let’s just… eat, then I’m tired… I want to lay down, alone.”
“Alright Nix, I prepared a pizza earlier. I’ll throw it in the oven quickly, then come check on you.” Sola gives Nix a little shoulder squeeze. “I’ll bring your pajamas in here when I come back too.” She gets up and quietly leaves the bathroom, giving Nix a sad and longing look, before letting a vine slither out and rest on the side of the tub. Satisfied, Sola leaves the bathroom, and Nix alone.
Nix simply walks out of the shower, grabbing a towel and starting to dry herself off. Too caught up in her own head to think much on what she’s doing, simply running through a single thought that has seemingly infinite possibilities, what if she said yes to Sola.
Wouldn’t that make everything she’s gone through pointless, she’s been trying to prove she can care for herself this entire time, and now she was considering throwing it away to some plant she’d just met. Sure she’s nice now, it feels nice now, but what about later, when she gets bored, or tired of dealing with the daily aches, and pains, of being around her.
By the time Sola returns Nix is entirely dry, sitting down on top of the towel as she looks at the ground. Considering the fact that the center of the flower on her eye is red. Not even noticing as the affini places a vine on her shoulder.
“Nix, time to get dressed, you don’t want to catch a cold.” Sola gently begins putting Nix’s pajamas on her before brushing Nix’s hair. “The pizza should be done soon, come on, let’s go to the dining room and relax.” Sola helps guide Nix up, placing her cane in her hand, before slowly leading the girl out of the bathroom.
Nix simply nods, quietly following Sola. Not wanting to cause any more issues today than she already has. “So… is there anything we’re doing tomorrow? Or is it another free day…” She sighs, letting Sola pick her up, and place her on the chair to start eating. Immediately grabbing her cup, and starting to sip from it, chewing on the straw nervously between each.
“Well, I had no plans, as you wanted to finish your painting before we go in for your little trial thing. If you want a break, I can call some of my friends, see if Jason or Pearl are available. It depends on what you want to do, Nix.” Sola smiles gently, trying to find any non-invasive way to cheer the girl up. It would be so easy if she wasn’t restricted on the doses Nix could take, but instead she is stuck looking at her precious friend, unable to help in the ways she wishes she could. “I’ll do my best to set up whatever you want.”
“I don’t think I can work on it more tomorrow. I’d prefer to just… I guess seeing Jason again would be nice.” Nix watches as Sola grabs a few slices of pizza. Placing them down in front of her. “I don’t… not enjoy art, and I do feel strongly about what I’m making, I guess I just feel a little too strongly.” She chuckles, taking a slice and starting to eat.
“Knowing that, I suppose some cool down time would be good. I’ll contact them and set up for tomorrow.” Sola nods slightly, watching Nix eat. “Have as much as you want Nix, and just know, I’m always here for you.”
“Thanks…” Nix sighs, shoving slice after slice into her mouth, eating nearly half the pizza by the time that she’s gotten her fill. Quickly picking a napkin up, and cleaning off her face meticulously, mostly to prevent Sola from trying to do it for her. “Alright… time to sleep.”
Sola nods, putting away the other half in the storage unit before leading Nix to the bed, and her plushie. “Alright, I’m going to be in the other room reading. I’ll leave you my data pad here, if you need me for any reason just call.” She stalls briefly, looking over Nix. “I’ll give you your class Zs in a little bit, but if you need it sooner, please just press the button to call me.”
Nix gives a slight nod, taking the pad and rolling over in bed. Pulling the plushy up against her chest, as she starts to go through the data pad, eventually finding a video sharing platform on the overnet, and putting on some of the pro affini propaganda. Starting to quietly listen to it, hoping this could at least cover up the pit in her chest.
Much of the content is on domestication of course, with a good helping of how the affini have helped uplift, and improve life for sophonts across the universe. Eventually, a video came up detailing the bond between affini and their florets, and how a match will lead to a true life long partnership filled with happiness and understanding.
“While we understand that domestication isn’t for everyone, we do want to remind everyone that love, and attention is an unconditional right. I know trusting someone to know better can be scary, and it can feel like you could be hurt again, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.” Nix’s eye cracks open, a look of shock on her face as she sees Jason standing there holding Anthurium’s vines. “There are a number of protections given to florets that you can easily look up, while I do not believe any affini would knowingly neglect, or harm their ward, if it were to happen. There are systems in place to protect you.” He looks up at Anthurium. “I know I worried about this when I met my owner, I’d been hurt so badly, and struggled to trust. But now I know it was for the best, and my Mistress would never mistreat me.”
With that he steps away from the stage, a look of pride on his face. This was clearly an older recording that was being replayed, mostly due to the fact his hair is far longer than this in person. “Damn it.” Nix grips the pad, her arm shaking as she preps to throw it away… before exhaling sharply and putting it back down infront of her, looking up section 57 of the human domestication treaty.