The walk is silent but pleasant after the awkwardness of that embarrassing incident wears off and they finally arrive at their destination. Dahlia pulls Amelia into the room and Amelia is surprised to see a human manning the desk. The woman is tall and solidly built, with a blonde undercut. As imposing as the woman appears to be, she looks tiny compared to her desk, it seems like it was built with an Affini in mind but modified to accommodate her. Amelia sees a beautiful floral collar around her neck decorated with a large variety of colorful flower patterns.
Dahlia guides Amelia to the counter and begins to speak to the human, “It’s nice to see you Rina! I’ve got a patient for Vi when she is available.” Rina gives a small but reserved smile. “It’s nice to see you as well Lady Senari, Mistress is almost done with the last of her patients from your mission. Well, besides the one you are bringing now, I suppose.” Rina peers down at Amelia and gives a small wave “Caterina Ashkara, Second Floret I’ve never seen a human hanging around Lady Senari. What’s your name? I'll put it in the system.” Amelia responds cheerfully, “Amelia Bianchi! Dahlia saved me and carried me back to this ship! I’m still kind of in culture shock. Anything is better than the Accord cell I was locked in though, so I’m in good spirits. Dahlia has been taking wonderful care of me.”
Rina raises her eyebrow at this “Oh she has, has she? That’s a rarity, humans are normally too terrified of Lady Senari to get too close.” Dahlia gives an overexaggerated frown to Rina. “...I mean that positively Lady Senari, you are very good at your job. I’m glad you are coping well Amelia. It can definitely be an adjustment.” Dahlia scoffs in mock offense.“Oh how very kind of you, I’m trying to work on being less scary to sophonts who don’t need it. Also I’ve told you, just call me Dahlia sweetie, the formality is so strange.” Rina shrugs in response “It just seems disrespectful Lady Senari, I do it for my own comfort’s sake. If you really want me to stop, get Mistress to make me stop.” Dahlia gives an expression that Amelia can only guess is her approximation of rolling her eyes “As if that would ever work, Vi won’t interfere just because she knows it annoys me. Well no matter, we are just going to sit and wait then.” Rina gives a grunt in affirmation and Amelia follows Dahlia to a seat and is pulled into her lap. Oh wow her lap is really comfy.
After a few peaceful minutes, the door to the back opens and a small mousey human with a bob of red hair comes out of the oversized door. “Dahlia! Mistress is ready to see you now.” Amelia notices that she has a matching collar with Rina. Dahlia pulls Amelia against her chest in a cradle and extends a vine to pet the tiny redhead’s hair. “Thank you Sarah dear, good girl.” Sarah pushes into the touch and smiles at being called a good girl. Amelia desperately wishes that was her right now. Dahlia carries her into what she appears to be a pretty standard although high tech doctor’s office. Oh she’s a vet, a veterinarian. Humans are pets, that makes sense. Amelia takes a look at the smaller Affini in the room that she is about at head level with due to Dahlia’s crazy height. She looks even prettier in person. The pleasant scent of flowers fills the space probably coming from the garden that is her body, she looks absolutely exhausted.
“This is my last patient for the day Dahlia, I was excited thinking I was done and you bring me a bonus.” Violetta scowls at Dahlia before turning her gaze to Amelia and it softens instantly speaking to her with a soothing tone, “Oh, but don’t worry at all cutie, it’s no problem at all. I’m always happy to care for adorable little sophonts like you, I hope Dahlia didn’t scare you too badly.” Amelia perks up at the kind words from Violetta “Not at all! Dahlia has been wonderful to me! She’s made me nothing but comfortable.” Amelia snuggles into Dahlia in a show of affection to punctuate her words; she notices Dahlia’s vine growing slightly redder at this. Ha! Scored a blush!... I think? Violetta looks a bit shocked, but delighted at this as she smirks at her friend. “Really now? Well that’s a surprise but a very welcome one. I’m glad that someone besides me can see what a softie Dahlia is deep down.”
Violetta gently pulls Amelia out of Dahlia’s chest and lays her down carefully on the examination table “I’m Violetta Ashkara, Fourth Bloom, She/her. I read on the file I got from my darling Rina that your name is Amelia. What a wonderful name for such a pretty girl.” Amelia gives a little blush and squirm at the compliment before Violetta continues, ”Now I’m just gonna ask some quick questions, then I’ll make you take a little nap while I complete my scans on you. Does that sound okay sweetie? It’s okay if you are scared, but this is all for the sake of your health.” Amelia nods in enthusiastic agreement, this is already way better bedside manner than doctors ever gave her on Terra so she sees no reason not to trust the pretty plant lady. Amelia looks down and sees the small red headed girl standing next to Violetta with a clipboard at her waist and she gives Amelia a friendly wave. Amelia waves back before looking back up at Violetta and asking,“So what kind of questions did you need to ask Doctor Ashkara?” Violetta gives a little giggle, “Oh Violetta or Vi is fine sweetie, no need for any formality. Just some standard medical questions. What kind of medical troubles do you have and what medications have you been currently taking. We will be replacing those frankly awful Terran medications with our own that we can make to suit you. So much less in the way of side effects and we can adjust them to be much more precise.”
Oh wow, well I guess if they are advanced enough to just crush the Accord so easily it makes sense that they have advanced medical technology as well. “Ummm well, I’m occasionally on an antidepressant for like, anxiety but I don’t take it that regularly because of how it makes me feel. My anxiety is very sporadic, so constantly being on medication for it is a big sore spot for me. I’ve also been on hormone replacement medication for a few years and I’m pretty happy with the results but I mean, if you got something better I’d definitely be excited to look into that.” Amelia gives herself a moment to ponder if there is anything she’s missing. “Other than that I’d like to think I’m pretty healthy, well as healthy as anyone is in the Accord. We kinda have to fly blind a lot of times because of the cost of healthcare.” Violetta frowns at the mention of healthcare costs “The cruelty of charging a being for being unwell is baffling to me, I’m so glad we have arrived to end that. I am happy to hear you are overall in good health though!” Violetta enthusiastically ruffles Amelia’s hair.
“As far as your prescriptions go we have very suitable upgrades for that. I’m going to start you on a Class-E for you, you can just take it as needed and should take care of any anxiety or tenseness you have. It does have a tendency to make you a bit clumsy so be very careful going down any stairs!” Violetta points a vine playfully into Amelia’s chest to emphasize this point. “As for your transition care, I’ll prescribe you a Class-G but seeing as you have already blossomed quite beautifully I’ll have Dahlia set you up an account on the Overnet with one of her datapads. I’ll send you some info for all the options you have available and you can message me with any specific changes you want for your body. I’ll compile your Class-G for you once I receive that.” Violetta looks down to Sarah as she finishes scribbling down on the clipboard. Violetta smiles and gives the red head a head pat before looking back at Amelia. “All of that sound good sweetheart?”
Amelia is shocked for a moment,“Y-Yeah that all sounds wonderful! Are there any risks of like addiction with that Class-E? Also, I know the implication was there but is this all actually free? I don’t have much in the way of money at the moment.” Violetta gives a reassuring smile and rubs Amelia’s head lovingly, “You owe us nothing besides your health and happiness Amelia. Our dismantling of your government will be done very soon at the rate we are going and none of your humans will ever have to worry about anything like money again.” Amelia’s eyes widen as Violetta continues, “Everything is free of any charge in the Affini Compact. As for the Class-E, as your vet I would inform you of any risks with anything I give you, there is no risk of addiction so please use it anytime you need it. There is no need for you to hesitate to get relief.”
As the words sink in Amelia starts to tear up, large tears spill from her eyes as she whimpers, “Oh wow, it’s like… finally over. No more struggling to survive, no more constant worrying about getting in some kind of accident and going bankrupt, no more shitty bosses…” Amelia’s cries break into a bit of a laugh as she shouts, “Hell fucking yes! FUCK THE ACCORD! TAKE THAT YOU DERANGED CAPITALIST FUCKERS!” Violetta’s mouth drops open as Sarah and Dahlia can’t control themselves and burst into laughter. Violetta grabs Amelia’s hands, “S-sweetie you don’t have to use naughty words like that…” Amelia looks embarrassed for a moment before Dahlia speaks up struggling between laughs, “No…no please don’t. Let her curse like that. Human cursing can be so funny and adorable.” Violetta face twists into annoyance, “Dahlia I just broke Rina of that habit! Fine, she’s your ward after all so I ultimately have no say. Amelia dear, if you could try to control it around my little florets though I would appreciate it. I don't need them picking up the habit again.”
Amelia nods her head in apology as Dahlia stares with a look of disbelief “Vi. She’s my what? I wasn’t aware she was my ward all of a sudden.” Violetta’s face breaks into a wry smile “Yes Dahlia, I’ve already marked her down as your ward in the paperwork. We all have to do our part of looking after these sophonts while we finish the dismantling of their government. After that, domestication and rehousing of independents can begin. You aren’t looking after anyone right now and she’s obviously already bonded with you, so it’s the obvious choice.”
Amelia sees Dahlia’s wooden face give an extremely worried look before forcing itself into a smile. Oh no, I thought we were getting along well. I hope I’m not being a burden to her. “You are right Vi. I got it covered. What’s a few weeks taking care of a cutie like her! I’m sure it’ll breeze by.” Amelia smiles and blushes at the compliment. Maybe I just misread her expression. She isn’t human after all. Just try and stay cool. Violetta ruffles Amelia’s hair again. “Okay it’s time to go to sleep sweetheart. You’ll just feel a little prick and you’ll drift right off.” As sure as she said, Amelia felt a little prick and quickly drifted off into a calm sleep.
Time passes by as Violetta conducts her examinations on Amelia before she eventually speaks up, “You are worried Dahlia. Talk to me. I can feel your tenseness from across the room.” Dahlia lets out a deep sigh. “Well of course I’m worried Vi! I’m not like you and most of the others. By the Everbloom I’m on my fourth bloom and never had a floret, you know that. Dirt, I’ve not even had a wardship, this will be my first time actually fully caring for a sophont.”
Violetta turns and gives a kind smile to her friend “Well this is a perfect opportunity to start, she seems quite fond of you. Who knows maybe this is finally your opportunity to take a floret of your very own…” Dahlia nearly explodes her vines all over the room in embarrassment, “W-WHAT? Her? You know sophonts don’t look at me for care like that… though…”
Violetta tilts her head at that “Though what?” Dahlia sheepishly shuffles around “She uh… the first thing she told me when she saw me was that I looked incredibly beautiful. Looking up at me with those big pale eyes.” Violetta breaks into one of the happiest expressions Dahlia thinks she has ever seen on her. “Oh is that so? I’m just sounding more and more right. This is such a good opportunity for you. Just try to not scare her too much, okay?”
Dahlia vines blush even redder at that. “About that… She actually mentioned that me being scary is one of the things she found so beautiful about me.” Violetta lets out an uproarious cackle and has to stop her examination to calm herself down. “Dahlia dear, you are about to make me start believing in fate. You are telling me an adorable sophont like her showed up in your life, called you beautiful and told you how the scariness is a bonus. Dahlia if you let this one slip away, I’ll never let you live it down.”
Dahlia's expression drops a little bit. “Well I wouldn’t get your hopes up. She had a very strange reaction when she found out about the florets. Poor thing turned all red and started hyperventilating when I explained it. I tried to calm her down and she just told me It was really hot so I tried cooling her down but she just played it off and changed the subject.” Violetta looked utterly confused. “She was hot? The ship is climate controlled to perfect levels though?”
Not being able to take it any longer Sarah broke out into a giggle fit as the two Affini looked at her “Mistress, hahaha… oh stars. Mistress, umm that uh, that means that she found it… how do I put this?” Sarah centers herself and sheepishly continues, “I think she found the idea of being domesticated sexually arousing.” Both Affini in the room blush as brightly as they can at realizing their misunderstanding.
Violetta is the first to speak up “O-oh well that’s certainly not something you see too often. Definitely not unheard of though for some sophonts.” She gives a teasing look to Dahlia. “By the end of this wardship, she might not only be begging you to be her owner Dahlia, but maybe her mate too. Lucky you.” Dahlia curls in on herself in shame, trying desperately to recover from this before Amelia wakes up.
Amelia stirs awake from what might have been one of the most peaceful naps of her life. Is this just how she is going to sleep now? This is amazing. RIP in hell to the Accord. Violetta’s face comes into her view as her vision refocuses. “Hey there sleepy girl. Everything looked great so I’m just going to send you off with Dahlia, okay? It was very nice meeting you. Dahlia and I are really close so I’m sure we will see each other again for some more leisurely visits in the future. We could even have a little playdate with you and my girls!”
Amelia gives a dopey smile in response, still a little sleepy. “That sounds really nice, thank you for being so kind to me.” Violetta gives her a kiss on the forehead “Aww, of course little one, no need to thank me it’s what all cute little sophonts like you deserve.” Amelia sits and holds out her arms towards Dahlia who immediately picks her up and cradles her and looks down at her with a smile. “You did so good.” Dahlia pauses for a moment, seemingly trying to find her words. “I’m very proud of you, such a good girl.” Amelia gives Dahlia the biggest smile she can manage and buries her face into her chest. Violetta and Sarah can barely resist the urge to fawn over how adorable the scene looks. Dahlia gives a performative cough, “Well we should head back, nice seeing you all. If it wasn’t obvious, I’ll be taking care of her tonight so I’ll come visit you and the other girls another night Vi.” Violetta and her two florets wave them off as Dahlia walks out of the office and back towards her room.
The pair walks in blissful silence all the way back to the hab. Amelia doesn’t mind at all, she feels utterly at peace when she’s pressed up against Dahlia like this. The silence doesn’t end when they get home however. There are a few words said back and forth like what Amelia wants for dinner and helping her get ready for bed but no major conversations. It starts to worry Amelia as she relaxes in the giant bed that belongs to Dahlia, laying on top of her chest.
“I… I didn’t do anything wrong did I?” Dahlia shifts slightly underneath but Amelia continues before anything can be said. “I’m sorry if I’ve said anything that hurt you.” She pulls herself up to look Dahlia in the face “I really don’t wanna push you away so it’s important to tell me if I did. I wanna make it better if I have!” Dahlia looks down with a sad look. “Oh no, sweetie of course not. Why would you ever think that?” Amelia wiggles around for a moment,“I dunno, you’ve just been so much quieter than before I went to sleep and… I saw a worried look on your face when Violetta told you that you were going to have to take care of me. I don’t want you to have to feel obligated to do all of this for me.”
Amelia manages to hold back her tears as she whimpers, “I understand if you don’t want me…” Dahlia pulls Amelia up in an instant and stares directly into her eyes. “No. Never, who could ever not want you? I’m just.” she looks away for a moment before returning with a less intense expression. “I’m just a bit unsure, I’ve been around for a while. I’m not the youngest one of my kind and despite that I’ve never actually cared for another before so this is all new to me. I-I just don’t want to fail you in any way.” Dahlia takes a deep breath to calm down. “You deserve a wonderful caretaker who can fulfill all your needs and I just worry that I won’t be able to meet that.”
Amelia can’t contain her affectionate smile as tears start to flow down her cheeks. She reaches out with her small hands and caresses Dahlia’s wooden mask “Oh Dahlia, I couldn’t imagine anyone I would rather have taking care of me than you. You were my hero, you saved my life.” Amelia nuzzles her head against the giant woman’s nose. “We’ll figure it out together. I have faith in you… and I’m happy to be your first.” Dahlia gives a wide affectionate smile “Okay, we got this… together.” Dahlia rests Amelia back against her chest and wraps her in a tight hug as the two of them drift off to sleep together.