It was the fifth day of being pampered by a sophont playfully pretending to be a cuddly robot maid. By Nora, Digitalis's floret. A term I finally looked up the proper meaning for. She was a pet. Digitalis owned the digitized woman.
While having her here helping me and cuddling me was great and definitely improved my mental health, there was a big problem. I was terrified she was going to get up and leave. We hadn't talked about her leaving. Her synthetic body had basically moved in with me. Like fuck, it was as if we were girlfriends or something. What in the stars was going on? I was scared to ask and ruin it.
But the anxiety was building up even with the support and cuddles. The words came out as we were cuddling one afternoon. "A-Are you going to leave?" I immediately regretted it. My body tensed and shook. I didn't want to know the answer. I knew the answer and it was her leaving me.
"Well my pretty little princess, do you want me to leave?" She just, why was she so nice? I was a shitty brat who couldn't take care of herself.
I squeaked out a tiny, "N-no."
"Then I guess I'll stay here. At Least, in the sense that I'll keep this body here. I'm sort of digitally still out and about. I don't think I could go without being in contact with Mistress for very long." Right, she wasn't actually 100% here the whole time. Her body was, and it didn't seem like she left it, but digitization was something I really couldn't wrap my head around. In theory the idea of a mind running on a computer made sense but like, the way one would experience the world had to be really strange. Basically alien.
She then added. "Speaking of Mistress, I'd love to have her over so the three of us could cuddle. She gives amazing cuddles."
"You mean Digitalis?" I said the thing. That thing neither of us had mentioned. The part where I knew her Mistress.
"Yup! She's great and she really likes you too. Miss Talis was really sad about messing up her last visit with you. I hope you can forgive her. She misses getting to chat and do stuff with you." Nora got it all backwards! I'm the one that messed up, not Digitalis. I mean, I guess she did sort of talk about my server no one should ever know about. The one that if she dared tell someone I'd be very mad or rather I'd try to be mad and then get really upset. Gosh, that fucking nice plant lady better not have told anyone about that stuff.
I took a deep breath. I had like two different things I wanted to say. First was to ask if Nora knew about that server. Second was to explain that I messed up, not Digitalis. I'm the one who flipped out and ghosted her. "I-I messed up, not her. I shouldn't have ghosted her. I shouldn't have yelled at her. I was just embarrassed and couldn't handle it. She was the one being super nice when I kept trying to be mean to her."
"What are you talking about? She explained she pried into a sensitive subject of yours and she realized she shouldn't have done that. Miss Talis also showed me your messages and that gift you got her. You were very nice and not mean at all." She was going to make me explain.
"Uh… I was trying to like be mean. She sent those messages and they frustrated me so I put one on her machine cause like I thought it'd bother her too. And the gift was because she k-kept having Cyathea bring me things that she knew I liked and I decided it was like her trying to show off how much better of a hacker she was so I did the same to her and thought the gift would like bother her in how much it showed I knew about her from snooping. She was my rival and I was trying to one up her."
Nora broke into a full-body laughter against me. I tried to slip out of her grasp and she held me tight and strong. My face was burning up from embarrassment and I was sniffling a little cause it felt like she was laughing at me. "Aster, you very, very silly princess. You were trying to one up her flirting. Like that's the cutest most adorable thing I've ever heard!" She laughed a bit more and nuzzled the back of my neck.
"W-Wha… It-It wasn't like flirting. S-She was trying to show off how much better than me she was!" She wasn't flirting with me. It wasn't flirting cause that was like romance stuff and people wouldn't do that with me. No one flirted with me. Flirting was like a thing that was in romance movies and stuff where people sort of spoke to each other or something. I didn't actually know what flirting was. I needed to like look it up on the overnet or something. Then I'd know how much it wasn't flirting.
"ASTER!!!! That's what affini flirting is! Here explain how these messages weren't flirting." She brought up all of my past chats with Digitalis on my holoprojector. I read through them and like if I wasn't looking at them like they were sinister xeno machinations then uh I guess they were nice, but not flirting.
"I don't see it." I said plainly.
Nora took a deep performative breath. "Do you even know what flirting is?"
"M-Maybe? It's like romance stuff, I think?" Her expression didn't seem to validate my assertion. Not that I asserted much.
My maid moved closer to whisper the first bit in my ear. Her tone was uh a bit husky and it made me very confused. "Aster, flirting is hinting you're romantically interested in someone. For example, 'Hello my darling intelligent little flower!' is flattery which is flirting. She signed all of her messages with 'love' to convey her feelings more. Miss Talis wasn't being that subtle about this."
I looked it over. "But that doesn't feel like flirting? Like flirting is supposed to be romantic, right?"
"Princess, it is romantic to most people… I just talked with Mistress about it and she tells me you have autism and that might explain your inability to parse flirting." That made sense I guess. I was more bothered by not seeing half of what Nora was doing. Normally when people were thinking, I couldn't tell what they were thinking but I could still see their actions. With Nora I couldn't.
Also, I needed to address the elephant in the room, she was going through my systems. She was digging into my private stuff. The the… I didn't want to think bitch, but kinda. "Can you like not dig through my systems?" My tone was a bit harsh. Fuck, see now I was going to drive her away, but I also wanted her to stop.
"I didn't. I promise. Mistress gave me the messages when I asked. She did send them after all. You can go check your computer and see that I didn't." Shit, I just was mean to her for no reason…
"S-Sorry, I'm just touchy about that stuff." I didn't know if that was a proper apology. I wanted it to be one, but it felt lacking. I was so bad at conversation.
I didn't bother to double check her claim. She really could have just gotten all that stuff from Digitalis. Plus, if she had broken into my systems… I really wanted to believe her and not flip out and push away the only company I had left.
Nora gave me a kiss on the neck. "It's okay princess. Those computers mean a lot to you and you have every right to be touchy with them."
"O-Okay." I lost track of what we were even discussing… Digitalis. She knew about Digitalis and I, and something about her flirting with me. I mean obviously Digitalis wasn't flirting with me, that didn't make sense. That left another question. "Did you only come here because Digitalis sent you?"
"No!" She was very fast on that response. The words had barely finished leaving my mouth. "Aster, I saw your post looking for a cute cuddle partner when yours came up. It was only talking with Miss Talis a bit later that she told me that System-Lurker-Queen was you. She figured it out from the username. She had told me a lot about you. Mistress is smitten with you and when she realized I was coming over to see you she asked that I make sure you were okay, and to help her apologize."
I loosened up a little. "Oh. I guess that makes sense. Or at least everything but the smitten thing."
"It's true and if you don't believe my Mistress is smitten with you I can have her come over right now and tell you to your face." She barely gave me time to think about that before she added. "And for the record, I think you're sweet too and I'm maybe a wee bit smitten. Mistress was right to tell me that I'd like you. You're wonderful and I bet you are very pretty. I'd love for you to feel comfortable enough to have me look at you." S-she liked me?
I didn't really know how to handle what might have been a confession. I made some rather unintelligible flustered noises as if one were to keysmash verbally. "But I'm just an awful needy bitch."
"You're a cute little princess who's not good at taking care of herself. That doesn't make you bad. You're hurt and yet you still have been really nice to me the whole time, going so far as to join me in my little roleplay game. You wouldn't believe how many people either don't play along or get really weird with that. I watched some of the outbound traffic you pulled and it's super interesting how good you got with affini tech. You don't even have a brain-computer interface! I know a few digitized hackers that couldn't break into some of the stuff you can."
She paused. I was still caught on her words taking them in when she pressed on. "While all of that is stuff I like about you, I just like you. I vibe with you. Your cuddles are great. I'd like to keep spending time with you if you'd let me… Okay so, I know you're bad with subtlety and Mistress is telling me to just confess. Aster, do you want to be my girlfriend?"
"G-Girlfriend?" I had to have misheard that. We hadn't even like dated or anything. She just sort of lived in my house cuddling me for almost a week.
My brain ran back through all of that it could remember. I don't know why I was thinking about her comments on me messing around with the affini overnet backend. Like she said something else important but my brain decided to avoid that. "Am I really better than some digitized hackers?"
She snorted with the small rush of air tickling my neck through my hair. "Yes princess, you are very skilled, but you're avoiding my question aren't you milady?" She slipped back into that tone she used when she was going all maid like.
I had gotten pretty good about following along as well. The boost to my ego sure helped me get in the mood too. "Perhaps I am, but since when is it a maid's place to question her lady?"
"I-I apologize lady Aster. I know it's out of place for me to propose such a relationship, but I've fallen so hopelessly in love with you milady." She had me biting my lip. That was romantic. I don't know why it felt so much more intense to hear her confess in the roleplay than just her talking to me.
Aster didn't know what the fuck she was doing, and the idea of a relationship was confusing and yet so desired. Lady Aster on the other hand knew what to do. We had been getting better at roleplaying with each other, but it was weirdly easy to just fall into it with her. "Maid, or should I say Nora, I too have admired you from afar. It warms my heart to hear you feel the same. You are already mine, but perhaps I could try being yours as well."
I rolled over and faced her. "Nora, look upon your lady." Her eyes shifted the moment she turned her synthetic eyes back on. "Would you take me as yours?"
"It would be my pleasure, Lady Aster." She wrapped her arms around my head and pulled me in for a kiss on the lips. The passionate and devoted maid finally kissed her commanding and esteemed lady. The warmth, the romance, the love of two characters played by mildly doped up sophonts on a very large bed.
The kiss broke and I looked away a flustered mess. I couldn't hold the act through that. The mask fell away at the end and it was just Nora the floret kissing Aster the shut-in. W-We had really just done that. She confessed to me and I, being the weirdo I was, answered with a roleplay. A roleplay she brought us into but still… Gah!!!!
Nora then said. "You look amazing princess! Wow, to think you were hiding how cute you were. Echolocation did not do you justice." She had dropped the roleplay too.
I started flapping my hands. Too much, she was too much. Too much in a good way but like ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhfaljhfoajfpasigjolsdajnfalnfglsknhgfloasnhfgojasngklasjngklasjnhdgkasdjhnflkasjhflsajkdhlfaskgjlsadkgldshnglahnlgdihaoiregnlanglagoligalgnreioaweikfjop.
She gave me a bit of space as I physically worked that all out. Still close, just not in range of my bodily movement. She didn't leave and I didn't try to make her. As I calmed down she scooted back over and hugged me. We were facing each other still. "So, my beautiful princess of a girlfriend, can I introduce you to my owner?" OMG she called me her girlfriend. How? What?
"A-Are we really uh g-girlfriends? W-We haven't even like been on a date yet?" My mind was very much struggling to understand this turn of events.
"Aster you silly princess, We've been together for almost a week doing cuddles and kinky 'maid and her noble' roleplays. I think that's a bit more intimate than going out for dinner and talking."
I kept looking around while constantly trying to figure out a way to counter that. I didn't know why I was trying to come up with an excuse for why that didn't make sense. My brain was just unable to let me have whatever this was. "B-But, I mean, that doesn't… cuddling is more like uh… but people go on dates before they like date and stuff, right? I didn't like earn-"
She silenced me with a short kiss. "You don't earn a relationship. Do you want to be my girlfriend?"
"Y-Yes." I answered in a very tiny voice.
"Well, I want to be yours too. That makes us girlfriends. No earning, no dates. Just mutual attraction." She made sense. That made logical sense.
"M-My brain's being mean to me, I want to believe you…"
She rolled me off my side onto my back and then got on top of me. "Then how about I give you some very fun above the waist touching to silence that silly little brain of yours, and I invite Mistress over to introduce my new girlfriend to her?"
She had me pinned down, but like in a good way. I wasn't a big fan of having to be the bossy assertive one in the roleplay. I wanted to be the meek one. Something about her having me like this made me want to just agree with everything she said. "O-Okay…"
My uh girlfriend smiled at me and proceeded to play with my multitudes of exposed skin. Being barely dressed left her a lot of me to do her 'above the waist touching'. Every stroke and fondle; every kiss and nibble had me moaning, gasping, whimpering, blushing, shivering, squeaking, and squirming. My girlfriend, Nora, was bullying me with egregious physical pleasure. I loved it.
It ended with me sort of losing track of everything. I slowly rebooted in her soft warm safe cuddles.
"Welcome back my silly princess. Did you enjoy yourself?"
My brain opted to not tell my mouth to answer with 'Maybe'. I nodded.
She gave me a peck on the check. "I'm glad you did. We have some time before Mistress gets here. Want to switch to some clean clothes?"
I noticed that while only having three articles of clothing on, I did indeed need to replace one of them, and if Digitalis was coming over then yea I should put on something else… Right, she was coming over. That wasn't terrifying or anything. From everything I heard she shouldn't be mad at me, but like what if she was?
"Aster?" The purple haired robot maid pulled me out of my thoughts.
Right, I needed to answer her. I nodded.
Nora looked at me. Really looked at me in a way that made me feel very seen. "You're in one of your no talking moods aren't you?" I nodded. "Alright, I'm getting you a tablet to type on."
Nora untangled herself from me and walked over to get a tablet from the compiler. We never really discussed my uh moods since normally I didn't need to talk during them. It took me a rather long time to even figure out I had silent moods because I just didn't talk to people. When Cyathea was here she did most of the talking and even then it was for small bits of time. There were moments where I didn't verbally respond, but she like never called attention to them.
A minute later a tablet computer with a typing interface was placed in my hands.
"So, what outfit do you want to wear? I don't think she'd mind you being barely dressed, but I noticed a very cool outfit while doing your laundry." Oh she saw the last outfit I wore.
SystemLurkerQueen: That doesn't fit anymore. I'm on a class-G and that was early on
I was going to turn the tablet around to show her the text as she was standing next to the bed I remained on. However, she started talking before I managed to. "That makes sense! Yea you do have some very beautiful proportions now. You want something similar but more fitting to your new body shape?"
SystemLurkerQueen: How did you kno-
She responded before I even finished typing the thing. "Aster, I'm digitized, remember? I have an interface showing me what you're typing. Also, you didn't need to put a username into that."
SystemLurkerQueen: I like my username!
She giggled and then looked down on me with a smug little smile. "It is a cute username, but you seem more like a princess than a queen."
I blushed. That was unfair. Her calling me a princess was just unfair. She must have known how much I liked it when she called me that. I stared down at the tablet. At my username. I could use a new one…
SystemLurkerPrincess: Get me a new outfit maid.
"As you wish, lady Aster." She went all prim and proper and got me new clothes. Or rather she got a measuring tape and had to get my sizing first. Something that required me to strip naked in front of her… "Wow, you're a G-cup?! I mean I knew they were huge, but don't they hurt your back?"
SystemLurkerPrincess: Yea, but I like them big.
SystemLurkerPrincess: Don't judge me!
She laughed. "I like them big too even if they're a bit big for your frame, but we need to do something if they are hurting you. I'm not gonna let my girlfriend be in any pain."
SystemLurkerPrincess: No making them smaller
"Of course. After all, my silly little princess needs her silly huge boobs." She made me groan.
The outfit she got for me was the same cut as most companion dresses. The big difference was in place of the more normal colorful flower design, it was black with a glowing blue circuitry pattern that matched my tattoos except where they'd normally end in circles, they ended in blue blossom flowers glowing with the rest.
SystemLurkerPrincess: You got me a companion dress on purpose!
"Guilty, but you are my companion aren't you?" Her and her clever wording. "Besides, you look amazing in that dress. It totally matches your glasses and eyes."
She had me in a pouty blush. Her and her evil machinations, and I thought the affini were bad. Girlfriends were truly the most insidious and powerful beings in the universe. She knew saying that would keep me from switching outfits.
Ding-Dong. “Hey cutie~! You have a visitor!”
I jumped a little in surprise. Nora just waltzed over while saying, "That's Mistress!" I moved behind the giant affini couch. My body slumped into a curled up position. I couldn't face her. Digitalis was the prettiest affini I had ever seen, and through my camera snooping I had seen a lot of affini. The nice one who my new girlfriend claimed was smitten with me. The one who taught me a bunch of cool tech stuff and gave me a custom fancy computer and software and everything. The one who'd send me cutesy messages that my dumb brain never pieced together as her liking me.
I was hugging the tablet against my chest. I glanced out of the corner of my eye that my long hair had left a trail around the corner of the couch and pulled that over to hide better. I heard my girlfriend greet her owner and welcome her in.
Nora found me behind the couch and knelt down to my side. "Aster what's wrong? I thought you were okay with me inviting Miss Talis over?"
SystemLurkerPrincess: She hates me. I was a jerk and-
Digitalis' resplendent instrumental voice danced through the space of my habitation unit. "Flower, I could never hate you. You were perfectly cordial and reasonable during my last visit. It was my fault for bringing up a topic you weren't comfortable with. I thought we were closer than we were from all our correspondences, and mistakenly believed it would have been fine to bring up."
She had me in tears. She was supposed to hate me. I spent weeks calling her a bitch in my head. I didn't deserve her forgiveness. I was an awful bitchy gremlin to the affini when all they did was help me. I wasn't good enough. I was never good enough. I pretended to be. I tricked myself into believing I was someone worthwhile, but I was just being even worse than dead weight.
Nora had pulled me into a hug. "We both care about you, Aster. Nobody here thinks you're anything else other than a cute, smart, and adorable little princess hacker who needs help with some stuff."
SystemLurkerPrincess: You shouldn't. I'm an awful person who-
Digitalis cut in. "Aster. You will stop insulting the wonderful woman hiding behind that couch, or I will make you stop." The words were spoken like an absolute. A challenge. Challenges always set me off.
SystemLurkerPrincess: Make me!
"As you wish." Vines came around and over the couch. The verdant limbs of the flower dress affini. Binding me until I could not move at all. I was brought to stare into her eyes dancing with metallic violet and silvery colors. I got lost in them. There was a pattern there. My brain loved deciphering patterns and secrets. I looked deeper and deeper into the multitudes of complexity.
The more I plunged into the universe that was her eyes, the less aware of everything else I became. Eventually there was nothing else other than the pattern and her voice that seemed to sing along to it. "Relax flower. Let yourself go. Float down and down. Deeper and deeper. What a good girl you are so relaxed and open~"
I jolted back to awareness. My motion was constricted by a familiar hug. "Wha-What just happened?" I asked Nora. I found myself on my bed being held by her, and uh oh. Digitalis was in my habitation unit. I wanted to hide from her. She shouldn't like me because I was a good girl… wait that wasn't right. I had been a uh…
My digital girlfriend answered. "You sort of challenged Miss Talis to force you to stop self-deprecating. So she did… How are you feeling?" She sounded super unsure.
I paused to process the part where Digitalis forced me to stop ragging on myself. "How?" I was pretty sure I knew the answer and I was both dreadfully terrified of it and eagerly anticipating it. I was a beautiful genius who could hold such vastly contradictory feelings simultaneously. I really needed to get my kinky side under control. I shouldn't be excited to hear someone fucked with my head without explicit informed consent.
"Princess, she hypnotized you. Are you okay???" She was really really trying to figure out how I was taking that. In a way I was too.
The warm rush of excitement over that fact was mixing with the cold logic of that was wrong in some very weird ways. I, being all blushy and flustered, said. "Uh, n-no. That was… I didn't want… I just… No, I'm not okay, she played with my head and made me think things." Okay the excitement was leaking into my tone.
Digitalis made me think things and I couldn't even tell what she did. I didn't feel different. I felt like my awesome amazing usual self. I was a dope ass hacker with an amazing girlfriend. Like so what if I was a shut in or terrified of strangers, or occasionally acted up because of my personal issues. I was still Aster. I was still me and that was all I needed to be.
Nora was giving me a funny look. "Aster, I'm having a really tough time understanding whether you're like horrified or aroused."
"Horrified, o-obviously. I mean like why would anyone get turned on at the idea of someone hypnotizing them into thinking and doing stuff. Like that's wrong and not desirable in any way. Digitalis uh definitely shouldn't do that again because it's wrong, and I don't like it." I was a beautiful princess and needed to stop putting my foot in my mouth. Like stars, I was being an intelligent woman. Just the smartest smart woman. Gah!
"Uh huh. I'm sorry you feel horrified. Do you want to have some private us time to like calm down, or do you want Mistress to stay?" My girlfriend was the best. I was so glad she understood that it was horrifying and not completely turning me on.
Right, Digitalis, the affini who I ghosted because I was a… I did something I was not proud of and felt ashamed. I wanted to talk with her more, and there was the chance that she might hypnotize me more. "Is uh, Digitalis going to like hypnotize me again?" Fuck, I got eager again.
The affini adorned in an enormous dress like flower petals answered in her beautiful voice. "Not unless you ask me too." She had this smug knowing smile. Oh crap she remembered. Of course she remembered my kink server. I was ruined. Ruined!
I shifted in my girlfriend's embrace to hide my expression by burying my face in her outfit's ruffles. I screamed a bit. Gah! The affini were so unfair. Absolutely unfair and evil and sinister…
I loosened my grip on Nora's body. I-I hadn't thought like that in months. I slowly spiraled into depression and loneliness and now I felt like me… minus the parts where I was an intelligent woman. Huh? That thought didn't seem right. I was definitely still an intelligent woman. I meant I wasn't being a really smart woman anymore… No that's not it either. Gah, whatever. I was back to being my weird quirky self when I was convinced I was an awesome hacker who deserved all the nice things like big tits, awesome hair, cool tattoos, the greatest girlfriend in the universe, etc.
Digitalis made me feel like I should feel and not like the sad lonely girl that unraveled alone over many months. Worse, she did it in a way she knew I'd secretly like. She was just so insidious! I had to get back at her. And not in those dumb one upping her flirting ways either. I needed a very serious means of getting back at her. The most serious and amazing of revenges against someone for, uh helping me out?
"Nora! I'm having my weird old thoughts again and I don't know how to feel about this." Complaining to my girlfriend while I had my head partially buried in her boobs was clearly the solution to my woes.
She stroked my long beautiful hair. "Is that a bad thing?"
"No? Yes? I don't know. I was such a fucking adequate cute person before and now I'm being like that again. It made me do really clever and smart things like when I thought one upping Digitalis with the gifts and the messages. I don't want to act that intelligent again."
My girlfriend broke out into body shaking laughter. She went on for what I felt was an unnecessarily long time. "Aster, my adorable and oh so silly princess. The cute clever things you did before were great! Miss Talis loved them so why not just let yourself act that intelligent again." She inflected on those words for some reason.
The realization hit me. Oh stars, did the hypnosis make me say something weird or something? Did talking about how I used to be a fucking adequate cute person trigger some hypnotic thing? Maybe I should try it again for like science and stuff.
"But like being a really clever, adequate, and cute person led to me doing those things because I thought I was getting revenge on like her for making me feel intelligent. Which was because I foolishly mistook her intent." I got another few snorting constrained laughs from my girlfriend. "Did I uh say something off?"
"You really can't tell?" She made me smile. I was so fucking glad my face was hidden by the ruffles over her chest. She'd have mistakenly thought I liked that I was being hypnotized when I very clearly hated it. I shook my head which sort of made my girlfriend moan a bit. Oh right I just rubbed my face there…
I pulled back and slapped my face a few times until I was pretty sure I had the proper neutral expression I should have, not an excited one. "N-No." It took me a second to remember to add a very important follow up. "And that's like really scary."
Nora put a finger under my chin and brought my face up so she could see and study it for a moment. "I'm very sorry she made you feel that way. Hopefully Miss Talis doesn't do anything else like that while she's here." She just watched my face.
I looked down. "Y-Yea, h-hopefully…" I received a kiss on the forehead.
"How about we get up and I properly introduce you to my Mistress as my girlfriend? Then you two can talk a bit since it's been a while. I'll be with you the whole time, okay?"
"Okay." I followed her off the bed and over to the terran sized couch while Digitalis had made herself comfortable on the affini one. "H-Hey Digitalis. Sorry for uh not talking to you in a while."
The affini had a soft smile on. "It's okay flower. You didn't owe me conversation, but I greatly appreciate our communications. I heard from my darling floret that you were having trouble taking care of yourself?"
"Y-Yea." I looked down. Nora gave my hand that was holding hers a squeeze. "I was doing good for a while with the conditioning stuff but… I started not and then it snowballed and then I disabled the chimes when they were just not working and reminded me of how much I was failing and…"
"It's okay flower. I'm glad you got help, and if you ever need assistance again I would love nothing more than to help you." Digitalis was doing that whole unconditional kindness thing again.
"O-Okay, but uh Nora was um helping me with stuff… I just don't want to ask too much of either of you. I should be able to do this stuff myself."
My girlfriend dismissed my notion. "Nope, you shouldn't. You don't need to be able to take care of yourself. You're a cuddly silly princess and you don't need to be anything more than that if you don't want to be. It's okay to let other people take care of you. I let Miss Talis take care of me a lot and it's great. I'll take care of you if you need me to."
"And I of course would also be happy to take care of you." Digitalis agreed.
Gah! They were being to fucking nice it hurt. I was a cuddly cute woman who just needed some help, and these two acted like that wasn't a massive problem. I was amazing. Why did they even put up with me? I already was clinging desperately to Nora, but I could still reason with Digitalis why it wouldn't work with her.
"But that'd make me a pet and I don't want to be a pet!" I defended.
"Flower, you do not need to be my pet for me to take care of you. I'd be happy to do it even if you remain an independent sophont." Dang it. Digitalis just countered my reasoning. How dare she!
I needed a better reason why Digitalis couldn't do it. "But we live in separate habitation units! That'd make it too hard for you to take care of me." Hah checkmate. Flawless logic.
The affini in her absurdly perfect voice that I loved said. "I can stay here and work remotely, or simply visit like Cyathea did."
"But like you shouldn't because I'm a cuddly cute woman who just needed some help… Wait, that didn't come out right. I mean I'm like an amazing person and you shouldn't have to deal with that." Why didn't that sound right? It’s what I had thought in my head and sounded right there.
Nora was really holding back laughter. "You're an amazing person and we both want to deal with that."
"Precisely." the affini concurred.
"I didn't mean to say that!" I whined.
The affini with her smug smile asked. "Then what did you mean to say?" Oh stars, I said those things because of the hypnosis thing. Uh. Ahhhh.
"Y-You-you made me say that stuff didn't you? I don't know what part of that you made me say but something doesn't add up. Like I'm an amazing person but why would that be something that you shouldn't deal with? I don't know but I should! And-And that's bad and stuff. Using hypnotism to win arguments is cheating!"
"Oh flower, you're right. Perhaps I should undo it. Do you want to go back to how you were before? I'll then leave you alone and never do that again." She was staring at me. With those eyes. The pattern, it felt so familiar. Like I had felt it in every message she sent, in every hug with Nora and the way her artificial body moved. The pattern was in her voice.
I shook my head. She kept messing with it and-and. I should tell her to undo it and leave and stuff… but I didn't want to. I wanted her to stay. I wanted to keep whatever she did to my head that made Nora laugh and made me confused.
Oh stars, that was what she was doing. She was trying to force me to like admit that stuff. Digitalis was dangerous and cunning and I was being out maneuvered. How dare she one up me. How dare she try and get me to confess to wanting objectively bad and horrific things. I'd show her.
"I can't trust you to undo it. You might like mess with my head more. An-and if you can't undo it then there's no point in like leaving forever." There Digitalis. It was just like her puzzles. I just had to solve them and show her who the better hacker was. Or uh conversationalist? I mean I definitely wasn't the best conversationalist. Hacker sure, talking? Nah.
Nora cut in. "Princess, is this really what you were like before you got all depressed and stuff? Because this is great and I love it. You're so fucking silly and adorable and I keep having to step back and scream into the void because, wow you're amazing." She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
"T-Thanks…" I got all blushy and shy again. I didn't even understand what she was talking about, but I loved it when she complimented me.
The affini then conceded. "I guess you're right Aster. I won't undo what I did, and I should keep seeing you regularly and helping take care of you."
"Yea, exactly!" Hah! I won the argument because I was the best. I started flapping my arms because I was so happy I beat her again. I got to keep whatever mind thing she did to make me feel not mopey and depressed. She wasn't going away forever. Flawless victory on my part. I, Aster, was the best at everything.
My girlfriend hugged me but like it felt a little automated a little instead of her normal genuine ones.
"Nora, are you okay? Your hug feels off." I really hoped she was okay.
"Yup, totally fine. Just you were being too fucking adorable so I stepped back. I didn't want to like accidently scream too loudly right next to you." Oh, She was so great and considerate. I really liked her and hoped we'd get to be girlfriends forever.
I hugged her back. "Thanks."
"I just knew you two would get along splendidly." Right the affini I outwitted. I mean I kinda felt bad for defeating her. Like Digitalis was really nice and stuff even if she sort of messed with my head. I wasn't even upset about that second part even if logically that was the kind of thing others would normally be afraid of.
"You were right." Nora admitted. "So my blushy little princess, I guess you now have both Miss Talis and I to look after you." Oh crap she was right.
Wait, did I agree to that? I mean I wanted it and it was mentioned. "Oh yea. Uh…"
Nora rested her head on my shoulder. "I'm really glad you and Miss Talis made up and are getting along. The two most important people in my life getting along is the best."
I smiled. It was great to finally see Digitalis again and still get to be with Nora. I didn't know about this whole being looked after by both of them, but it shouldn't be too bad. Plus, maybe if I was really lucky, Digitalis might hypnotize me again. Not that I wanted her to.