Petals and Vines

Chapter 22

by EveningRespite

Tags: #cw:noncon #D/s #f/f #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #slow_burn #transgender_characters #begging #bondage #dom:female #dom:plant #drugs #multiple_partners #petplay #pov:top #romantic #scifi #sub:female
See spoiler tags : #sadomasochism

The affini had brought them to some sort of administrative building, or possibly a domestication center. Possibly both. They’d left Petal in a room on her own, but to make sure she didn’t get too anxious, they’d also given her a stuffed toy. Some kind of giant bee thing that she was informed was called a beeple. They were probably asking Millie questions, Petal hadn’t really had the energy to try to explain herself. Anything she could say just felt like it would be an excuse, anyway. Even when she does have a perfectly good explanation.

At least the beeple was soft.

The door to the room opens, and another affini steps in. This new one looks surprisingly round and soft, almost voluptuous, and it’s quite a bit shorter than most affini Petal had seen, at only eight and half or so feet tall. It even seems to be missing some of the clearly defined vines and bark of other affini, looking like a smooth, soft mass of green, with small colourful flowers dotted across its body.

“Ah, hello, little human. I hope you’ve been comfortable in here? We just wanted to check on some things before we asked our questions. I hope you don’t mind.” Their voice is warm and gentle. “I’m Sphagna Linnaei, Sixth Bloom, by the way, she/her. Although your name seems to be a bit more in question?”

“I, uh… I guess I’m Petal?”

“I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable dear, but you don’t sound very certain. And our records do have another name listed for you.”

“Yeah, I…” Petal lets out a disappointed sigh. “Jez Michaels. But, I just… I haven’t been ready to tell people my name.” Petal barely even believes herself when she says it. There’s no way that Sphagna does.

Sphagna makes a show of checking something on her tablet. “Except with… Millicent Vinia, Third Floret?”

“Millie, yeah.”

“We could update your name in our records, if you’d like, Petal.” She should say yes, but… something about it doesn’t feel right. Like, Delphinium shouldn’t find out from reading it on her screen, she deserves to hear it from Petal.

“Um… maybe not? There’s…” Petal sighs. “There’s someone I want to tell myself, first.”

“I understand completely.” Does she? Or is she just trying not to freak Petal out. “Would you prefer if I called you Petal, for now?” Petal nods. “Is there somebody in particular you would like me not to call you Petal in front of?” Petal nods again.

“Um… Delphinium.”

“That would be Delphinium Vinia, Third Bloom?”

“Yeah, her.”

“Your friend’s owner.”

“And my doc-” Petal sighs. It probably wouldn’t hurt for her to just call Delphinium her vet. It might make the affini here think she’s being more compliant. Or maybe she shouldn’t be. Maybe she should just act like the Free Terranist they probably think she is, and let them just wrap her up for Delphinium.

Except Delphinium wants her to want to be a pet. She thinks so, at least. So she needs to get out of this with her freedom intact, if only so she can give it to Delphinium later. And it gives Delphinium a chance to decide whether or not she actually wants Petal.

“And my… vet.” 

“Ah, yes, so I see.”

“She also wants to own me.” Petal probably shouldn’t have said that last bit, should she? If she was supposed to know about it, then she wouldn’t have needed to go looking for it. But if she wasn’t supposed to know about it, then surely it would have been hidden better?

“Yes, I can also see that.” Sphagna reaches a smooth tendril out from the center of her body, and holds out the pamphlets that Petal had taken from the bar. The bar that she was in, just before it burned down. Or was set on fire. The bar that was arsonised, and that she ran away from. “Do you think you could explain these for me, dear?”

“I, uh… it’s complicated.”

“That’s okay, dear, we have plenty of time to talk our way through the complications.”

“Well, you see, I was going on a date with Millie. We were going to some sort of classic music thing? I don’t know what. Uh, when we got to the bar, I saw that they had these pamphlets, and I… look, I felt like I needed to get Millie out of there, so I guess I just stuffed them in my bag, rather than, like, put them away or whatever.”

“That makes sense.”

“They’re all stupid, anyway. ‘Project Cotyledon’? ‘Class Oblivion’? I mean, come on. And ‘Cosmic Lightning’, what’s that even supposed to mean? I guess the haustoric implant is a thing, and they probably would find it terrifying, but, well…”

“Do you, perhaps, not?” Okay, there’s definitely a flirty tone in there. 

“… maybe.”

“Well, that explains those, but, well, there’s also the issue of the knife. Clearly built to cause injury. Could you tell me how that came to be in your possession?”

Petal sighs. “Well, so, after I was like, we should go, Sabine showed up out of nowhere, and started threatening us with a knife. That knife. Uh… she was saying something about wanting to hurt the affini, and wanting to hurt their florets, and I thought she was going to stab Millie, but then…” Petal drifts off. How does she explain Millie’s… badassitude?

“Sabine?” Fuck, it probably won’t look good for Petal if she used to date somebody who’s actively trying to hurt Affini, or worse florets, but on the other hand, they probably already know. That’s definitely the kind of thing she’d expect to be on one or a dozen of those forms from the Office of Transitional Neoxenoveterinary Archeobureaucracy. “Uh… she maybe… used to be my girlfriend. A long time ago.”

“I see. I believe you were going to explain how the knife went from being in her possession to your own?”

“Sorry, I’m… I’m still kinda trying to process it. Millie did, like, some badass thing? And then she had the knife?”

“Sorry, just to be clear, Millie, as in Millicent Vinia, Third Floret, disarmed a feralist instigator, without either of you coming to any harm?”

“Uh, yeah? … Look, I don’t really get it either. She also said something about swords? Maybe she used to be a badass before she met Delphinium, I don’t know. She said she doesn’t remember any of that.”

“I see, and, well, the fire?”

“Well, uh… Sabine told some guys to torch the place. Uh… Jason and Clyde, maybe?”

“And how did the knife come to be in your bag, my dear?”

“Uh… after we left, Millie told me to put it somewhere safe while she called for, like, fire-fighters, or something?”

“And so you put it in your bag?”

“Well… yeah? I guess? I didn’t really have anywhere else to put it.”

“I see. Are you aware, Petal, that there was not, in fact, any kind of event planned at that bar, musical or otherwise?”

“I, uh… no? I mean, I guess it makes sense, if it was, like, a rebel hangout, or something.”

“Did you perhaps have some other reason for going there?”

“I was just following Millie.”

“I see. Do you have any connections to current or former feralist organisations?”

“I, yeah? I got stuck on a rebel ship, after the treaty. And well… like I said, I maybe used to date Sabine?”

“That rebel ship would have been the Endless Horizons?”

“Yep. Stupid name for a floating tomb, but… humans, right?”

“You did not approve of the rebellion?”

“No, I didn’t. Humanity was fortunate enough to have never had a chance against the affini, and I did not appreciate being made to keep fighting a war I never believed in.”

“If you never believed in the war, then why-”

“Because I’m a massive pushover, okay? And Sabine wanted to, and I didn’t know how to live without her, and it was a stupid decision, okay? But once I was there, I was stuck, and I couldn’t get out, and it almost got me killed again, today, and it almost got Millie killed, and if Millie hadn’t randomly been a badass she’d have gotten hurt and it all would have been my fault and-”

Petal barely felt a sting as one of Sphagna’s flowers embedded its needle into her arm, but she definitely felt the calming effect it had.

“Tha’sss…” Petal groans sleepily, and feels herself fall forwards into the mass of Sphagna that comes forward to meet her body. “Tha’ss bett’r. Thanksss”

“You’re very welcome, my dear.” Sphagna starts to gently stroke Petal’s hair as she lets the xenodrug take her off to sleep.

Petal feels immense comfort, and a familiar presence, and she blinks her eyes open to see Delphinium looking down at her with a compassionate expression. She’s covered by a blanket of those small purple flowers again, and as she looks around, she can see Millie sitting beside her on Delphinium’s lap.

“Ah, good, you’re awake. My dearest, darling Millie tells me that you have something you wish to tell me~?” Delphinium’s voice sounds as musical as ever, and Millie even seems to be swaying to the music in her voice.

Petal can feel the blanket on top of her expanding and shrinking ever so slightly along with her breathing. Or is Petal the one breathing along with the blanket?

“I, um… yes?” Petal’s still having a hard time thinking, there’s still the xenodruggy that… Sfigny? That the shortstack affini gave her. “Um… words are… words aren’t so good?

“Of course, would you like me to give you a counteragent to the class-E xenodrug in your system?”

“Um…” Petal thinks for a moment, and nods. She feels the sting of Delphinium’s flower in her arm, and she relaxes into the rhythm that Delphinium’s blanket seems more than content to provide her. A few short moments later, she can feel her head clearing. It feels like she’s actually awake, now. She almost feels like she’s about to panic, but she manages to keep breathing with the blanket, and is able to calm herself down.

“Uh… hi?” Oh stars, now Petal just had to tell Delphinium how she’d been lying and deceitful and dishonest, and hope that Delphinium had it in her to forgive Petal. Or didn’t. She was still supposed to be saving Delphinium from having to care for her.

“Hello, my dear. It’s been a while since you last woke up like this, hasn’t it~?”

“Um… yeah.”

“So, what was it that you wanted to tell me, my dear~?”

Petal feels herself taking a deep breath. She almost thinks she can hear an echo of the music she hears in Delphinium’s voice as her affini finally pulls forth the truth from her.

“My name is Petal~.”

Delphinium’s eyes blaze gold and purple, and Petal can feel herself just sink into them. “I know, my dearest, darling Petal~, I know.”

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