Petal has had to do some deep thinking. She’s done… some thinking. She’s had thoughts. They didn’t go very deep after her appointment yesterday, but she’s finally getting to some actually decent thoughts now that she seems to have slept off whatever xenodruggies the vet lady gave her.
Okay, maybe she’s not quite completely sober, just yet. Maybe that’s good. Stop her from spiralling out about how the woman she loves is conspiring against her. Maybe it’s the drugs talking, but now that she’s had a chance to think about it, Petal doesn’t even really care whether she only met Millie because Delphinium sent her. All that matters is the love, and she can’t bring herself to think of Millie as the kind of person who would lie to her about that.
It’s still possible that Delphinium sent her, but without telling her why. Maybe she had some big reveal planned, so that Petal would just fall into her waiting vines, but it doesn’t seem like that, either. In fact, it almost seemed like Delphinium had just as little idea as Petal did.
It's a huge coincidence, but maybe it actually is just a coincidence?
Petal picks up her list of cons, and writes at the bottom
it might be a trick
She skims her eyes back up the list, but her eyes stop on one entry that she'd tried to forget that she'd ever written. That will have to go, won't it? She crosses it out with an uncertain feeling
have to choose which affini
This is still way too much to deal with. Delphinium has to know what she was doing, right? She's an affini. It's not like she wouldn't have noticed, right? It's not like she has flaws, and vulnerabilities, and insecurities that only ever made Petal like her more. Like getting carried away with how hot Millie is, or how cute Millie is, or how much she loves Millie. Or like how she gets worried when she thinks she's made Petal uncomfortable, but can't stop herself from jumping right back into the flirting as soon as she thinks Petal is okay.
Fuck. She has no fucking clue, does she? Petal ran away because she started to freak out over something obviously untrue. Of course Millie isn't plotting against her. Of course Delphinium isn't plotting against her. Both of them have been nothing but endlessly caring towards Petal. And she has responded to their endless love and compassion with suspicion. With fear.
Petal eyes water as, with a trembling hand, she writes another new entry:
they deserve better than me
Petal stares at the words, wishing she could doubt them, wishing it didn’t feel like the biggest reason why she could never let herself be taken, but she can’t, and it does.
Petal could really use some more xenodrugs right about now. Even some regular old terran drugs. But that would make her feel better, or at least less bad, and she probably doesn’t deserve that. Maybe she should just never leave the hab ever again. It’d probably be better for Millie and Delphinium for them to not have to worry about Petal anymore. She could just stay inside until-
Well, until the Affini decided that she was causing herself harm, and decided that the only way to fix her was domestication, and then because of Delphinium’s Notice of Intent, she’d be stuck with Petal, for the rest of her life, probably. Which would mean that Millie would be stuck with Petal, too.
They wouldn’t understand, either. If Petal told either of them any of this she’d be wrapped up in Delphinium’s vines being dosed into bliss faster than she could say ‘mistress’. Which would feel so good, everything would feel so much better, but Petal doesn’t deserve that, and they don’t deserve to have to do that for her.
Petal should probably eat. She probably won’t starve to death before the Affini show up, and she can practically imagine the concern she’d feel from Millie if she ever found out she’d stopped eating. Not to mention Delphinium, who would probably just hold her in place and force her to eat, or something, before slipping a collar around her neck and cooing into her ear about how she’ll never have to worry about taking care of anything ever again.
Petal groans as she tries to climb off of the couch, barely managing to not just fall onto the floor. She pokes a corner of her coffee table. It’s hard. And pointy. And there are plenty of other hard, pointy things in her hab. Not to mention sharp things. Or the bathtub, or the ludicrously high-tech box that can give her basically anything she could ever ask for.
Food first. The concerningly appealing thoughts about how dangerous her hab could be can wait. Just as she’s taking her bowl of ice cream from the compiler, she hears the sickly sweet, too kind voice of her hab.
“Hey cutie~! You have a visitor, lucky you!”
Petal stares at the bowl in her hand. She’s supposed to be remembering something, right? Is it Millie? It’s usually Millie, but it might be someone else. Maybe Delphinium sent Millie to check up on her, after how disastrously she acted yesterday? Except no, Delphinium doesn’t know that Petal is her patient, so it couldn’t be that. Maybe Millie just wanted to hang out? That would be nice. Petal doesn’t deserve it, but it would still be nice.
“Um… come in?”
The door opens, and Millie steps in. She’s somehow even more gorgeous than usual, her colourful dress drawing the eye to the way that her mistress’ collar - Delphinium’s collar - wraps possessively around her neck. Her smile is bright enough to warm the whole hab, as usual, even after her eyes find Petal, and a look of gentle concern spreads across her face.
“Hey, Petal? Is everything okay? You look kinda… hm… messy?”
“I, um…” Petal puts the bowl of ice cream down. She should just tell her that everything’s fine, before Millie has a chance to see through everything and make everything better. Everything’s fine. “I.. I guess?”
Millie walks over to Petal, and takes her hand. “Hey, it’s okay. You don’t have to be okay right now. I mean, it’s, like, okay, if you’re, like, not okay. Why don’t we go sit down?” Petal nods, mutely. It’s not like she’s ever been able to say no to Millie, even when she wasn’t feeling this utterly terrible. Millie grabs the bowl of ice cream with her other hand, and leads Petal to sit down at the couch. In front of the list. The list that she cannot under any circumstances let Millie see. Petal grabs for the list with her free hand, and somehow Millie doesn’t seem to notice as she stuffs it behind her back.
“It’s okay if you’re not ready to wear the dress, love. Or if you just want to stay here. We can just have a staying at home date, if you’d like.”
The date. Right. That was what Petal had forgotten. She was supposed to be going on a date with Millie. Millie’s going to hate her for forgetting, for not paying enough attention to her, for being such a burden and not living up to her side of the relationship. More than that, Millie should hate her, for all of those reasons, and because it would save her the burden of having Petal in her life. “I forgot about our date.”
Millie giggles, as if Petal had just told her something charming, or cute. That is not how she’s supposed to react. “Well, it’s a good thing I came over early then, isn’t it~.” Millie kisses Petal on the nose, adorably. Millie isn’t supposed to find this adorable, she’s supposed to realise that Petal’s a terrible girlfriend!
“But, but… I forgot about our date because I got high.” Petal’s ex always hated it when she forgot things, especially when it was her own fault. That was why she broke up with Petal. At least, as far as Petal can remember. And okay, maybe it wasn’t entirely Petal’s fault that she got high, this time, but still, Millie didn’t know that.
“Aww, did the nice vet lady give you some fun xenodruggies again~?”
Petal can feel herself starting to blush. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go! Millie’s supposed to be mad at her, not flirty! “I- uh… kinda?”
“Kinda as in, she did, but I took them all in one night again, so there’s none for you~?”
“Um… not exactly? I… I actually forgot to ask her for something for today.” Maybe if Petal just keeps telling Millie how forgetful she is, she’ll eventually realise that it isn’t just an occasional, ‘isn’t it cute how she forgets things’ quirk, and that it’s actually a ‘isn’t it awful how she forgets everything’ flaw.
“Well, aren’t you lucky that Mistress remembered for you~.”
“Hey, can I try something real quick?”
“Uh… I guess?”
“Cool! Close your eyes, and open your mouth.”
Petal eyes slip shut, and her mouth pops open. Huh? Millie’s hand leaves her own, and she hears the gentle clink of a metal spoon in a ceramic bowl. Wait a second, she can’t be serious. Petal opens her eyes just as she feels cold metal, and the taste of ice cream in her mouth. She can see Millie smiling down at her, and her mouth closes in surprise.
Petal’s blush feels like it should be warm enough to melt the ice cream still in the bowl that Millie is holding in front of her.
“I think I’m starting to get why Mistress likes to do that so much.”
Petal opens her mouth to protest, but Millie just feeds her another spoonful of ice cream, eliciting another, stronger blush from Petal. Each time she tries to object, Millie fills her mouth with more ice cream, until eventually Petal just accepts that she’ll have to wait until she’s finished the bowl. The worst, best part is that Millie has a look of utter adoration on her face the entire time, as if somehow being forced to care for Petal’s basic needs just made her love her even more.
When Millie finally puts the empty bowl down, Petal lets out a sigh of relief.
“So, should we just forget about the music thing, or do you still want to go?”
If they stay here, they’ll probably just end up taking a whole bunch of xenodrugs, and nothing will happen that will make Millie realise that Petal actually isn’t good girlfriend material. “We should go.” If Petal tanks the date badly enough, Millie might actually have to accept that Petal isn’t worth the effort, and if past experience is anything to go by, all Petal will have to do to tank the date is just be herself.
“Well, you know what that means.” Wait, does she? What’s Millie talking about? “Makeover time~!”
“I, uh…” Oh no, she’s supposed to be ruining the date, not giving Millie even more ways to flirt with her.
“Unless you’d rather talk about that piece of paper you’re hiding behind your back~?”
Fuck! She did notice. Petal feels utterly trapped, and she hates that she’s enjoying the feeling, because if this keeps up, she won’t be able to stay away from Millie, no matter how much she should. “... Makeover it is.”
“Sounds good! Why don’t I go get everything ready, while you find somewhere better to hide that?” Millie stands and makes her way over to the bathroom, giving Petal a wink as she looks back at her from the doorway.
Petal folds the paper a few times, and sticks into the abridged treaty, about a third of the way down, before letting out another sigh. All she needs to do now is take Millie on a date so utterly terrible that she realises that she should break up with Petal. Before she loses the will to do what she knows she should do in the face of the relentless love that Millie seems to respond to her every action with.
How hard can it be?