By the time that Petal regained any kind of awareness of her surroundings, she was somewhere unfamiliar. She can see the sky, and it looks like a different colour to what she remembered. Maybe brighter? Maybe darker? She’s still being held tightly in the vines of her affini, who is gently squishing her all over her body, starting from the tip of one of her toes, and slowly working her way across the foot, and then up the leg.
“Yes, dear, it’s just me.”
Petal tries to shake her head. It doesn’t move, but she’s pretty sure that her Mistress felt her make the attempt. “You say that like you’re not special, Mistress.”
“Oh, do you believe you know better than your owner, my Petal?”
“Mmm… maybe? About how good you are. It’s hard to see good from inside. Learned that from you.”
“Oh, did you now? And how did that happen?”
“Learned I was good girl. From you, and Millie.”
“And you think you’re a good girl, do you?” Did she? Mistress had told her she was. A lot, actually, so… she must be.
“Yeah! I’m a good girl!”
Delphinium smiles warmly, pulling her vines away from Petal’s head so that she can ruffle her hair with her hand. “Yes you are, my dear. You are a very good girl!” Petal blushes, and smiles, and she’d be so happy just from the words, or from the petting but both together is more than her mind can handle, and she lets herself just be lost to the pleasure until the feeling slowly subsides.
“Um… where’s Millie?”
“Oh, she’s close. She needed to stretch her legs, so she’s gone for a bit of a run around the park.”
They’re in a park. Neat. That sounds… honestly, it sounds lovely. Like her Mistress, like Millie, like everything in her life would be, now that she was Hers.
"I love you, Mistress."
"I love you too, my precious Petal. I fell in love with you from when you risked your life to save another's. Not that you'll ever be doing that again, but still."
"When you gave me my name. Maybe even a bit before. When… when you told me that everything was going to be okay and… and it was. I'm sorry I took so long to realise it."
"But you did, my love, and I couldn't be happier."
"Hey you two!" Petal is utterly shocked when Millie jumps into the mass of vines that is Delphinium, getting quickly caught and pulled in beside Petal. Delphinium relaxes her vines, enough for Petal to lean against Millie, which she does.
"So, what were you two talking about~? How hot I am? How hot Petal is? How hot Mistress is?"
"Um… I guess maybe kinda? We… we were…"
"We were talking about how we each fell in love with the other."
"Okay, wow, and you didn't invite me?"
"I- um… sorry?"
"Nah, it's all good. I probably just would have been a distraction you two didn't need." Millie wraps an arm around Petal and cuddles up closer. "So? Who said it first~?"
"Mistress! She told me how she fell in love with me basically the moment she first saw me."
"But you, my precious Petal, were the one to tell me you love me first."
"W-well… I should have told you sooner, still."
"Oh, I don't know, my Petal, I think you'd made your feelings clear, even without the words. As, I trust, had I?"
"Of course, Mistress!"
"Good, good. I… I'd hate to think you didn't know how I felt." Was Mistress worrying? It's still kind of weird to Petal, when there's anything that reminds her that Delphinium isn't perfect, but it still only makes her fall more deeply in love, every time.
Delphinium wasn't some distant, unattainable standard, she was just warm, and loving, and super incredible, but even she worries about what others think of her. Well, there isn't much Petal can do about that, but she still definitely wants to do everything she can for her Mistress.
"If I didn't, it wasn't because of you. I'm just… really oblivious sometimes."
"Like when you don't even notice your own hand signing away your last pretence of independence?"
Petal feels her blood rush to her cheeks, and before she can even think to stop herself, she hears herself moan desperately. "Yes, Mistress." She was so completely Delphinium's that she couldn't even bring herself to sign over her independence. Even before she had signed, it wasn't hers to give.
"Roots, you're adorable. How did I ever hold myself back from just claiming you on the Horizons?"
"You did claim me, Mistress. You gave me my name, and I was yours. It just… took me a while, to figure it out, is all." Petal heard Millie giggle, and there was a rustling and whispering from all of Delphinium's body, like a tree in the wind, that Petal could tell was her Mistress's equivalent.
"Well, my love, I'm glad you got there in the end~."
"Me too! You're like, really hot. And I love you too!." Millie punctuated her words with a tight hug. Petal couldn't be happier. She smiled at Millie, she smiled at Delphinium. She couldn't possibly belong more, she couldn't-
But she could. Petal reaches out a hand and reaches it around Millie's neck, to feel for her scar. She could be even more owned. Even more possessed.
She feels some tiny part of her break. Some part of her that simply hadn't noticed that the rest of her had broken, and that broke itself as soon as it knew that it could. "Please, Mistress, please please please please please please please please."
"Please what, my dearest?"
"Please Mistress I need you inside me, I need to feel you inside I need to be yours I need to be-" Petal is stopped by a vine to the lips.
“Oh, are you finally going to give in, and actually become that… what was it that man accused you of being… ‘plantfucker’~?”
The vine pulls away. "If you want, Mistress. My body is yours, but…" Petal paws at the back of her neck, trying to will her skin to open, and accept her Mistress into her.
"I need your implant, Mistress, I need to feel you wrapped around my spine, and my brain, and my soul! I need you inside me, not just inside my body! I… please, Mistress? Please? Please please please please please please-"
"Well of course, my love. I wouldn't have it any other way~. Your surgery is scheduled for tomorrow~."
Tomorrow? She has to wait a whole day? How is she supposed to last that long without a piece of her Mistress wrapped around her brainstem? “Tomorrow, then.” Petal tried, but she couldn’t keep herself from sounding a bit disappointed.
"Awww, don't worry, my love. It'll be the first thing tomorrow. You'll go to bed tonight, and the next thing you'll know you'll be waking up with my implant inside of you, and your body."
"But- but- I…" Petal trails off. She shouldn't complain, but also, wouldn't Delphinium want to know what she's thinking?
"Go on, dear."
"I… I want to feel it happen. Please, Mistress? I want to feel the moment when it happens!"
"Petal, dearest, it's not that simple. There isn't a 'moment when it happens'. After implantation, the haustoria grows into you, it takes time for it to learn your body, your mind. It's not a moment, it's an involved process that most florets are kept on a healthy dose of xenodrugs to avoid the discomfort of."
"Then, then… I want to feel that, I want to feel every moment of it. I want to feel it growing into me, taking me, claiming me as yours. I'll only ever get to feel this once and I want to feel it, Mistress. Please?"
"Hm… I'll consider it. It may necessitate delays, however."
"Oh! I'm sorry, no, no, you shouldn't have to wait, just because I'm being… sentimental."
"Oh, now you've done it.” Delphinium tightens her vines around Petal and pulls her up towards her face. “If my precious Petal really wants to suffer for her love, then I will give her the chance. But if the pain is ever too much, you will tell me, and I will take the pain away. Is that understood?” Delphinium is using her serious voice again.
“Yes, Mistress! Understood!”
Delphinium lovingly strokes Petal’s cheek with a vine. “Good girl~.” Petal half expected Delphinium to stress how important it was that she tell her, again, but she supposed that Delphinium trusted her enough to… well, obey.
“Thank you, Mistress.” Delphinium gently lowers Petal down to her lap, stroking her hair gently.
Millie wraps her arms around Petal from behind. “I’ve gotta admit, it sounds pretty hot.” Petal blushes. She really needs to remember that Millie’s here too! It was just… so hard to focus on anything else, when her Mistress was focusing Her attention on her.
“You’re both so utterly adorable.” Delphinium rustles her vines a bit, flexing them for a moment before pulling her shape together, almost like how a human would stretch their arms as they stood up. She was utterly adorable.
Delphinium lifts Petal up to sit on a shoulder, while Millie is allowed to stay on the ground. “Um… where are we going, Mistress?” Delphinium starts to make her way out of the park, Millie maintaining a gentle skip to keep up with the affini’s walk.
“Does it matter~. You’ll be going wherever I want, whenever I want, and so you don’t need to worry about it, do you~?”
“W-well, no, Mistress, but…”
“But… it’s okay if I’m still curious, right?”
“Of course, my love. We’re going to the clinic, since a certain somebody,” Delphinium reaches a vine around to ruffle Petal’s hair, “decided to make things more interesting.”
“Thank you for letting me do this, Mistress.” Delphinium responds by just petting Petal’s head again. She lets her mind wonder for a moment in the joy of Delphinium’s touch. It’s strange, being up this high. She could see most of the park from here. She thinks it’s one of the parks that’s supposed to be on the border between the Affini District and the Old City, and so she sees a variety of affini, independent terrans, human or at least human-ish florets, and even the occasional xeno from well outside terran space.
For a moment, Petal could almost swear that she sees a familiar face, above a collar and a colourful companion dress, but there’s no way it’s her. If she were a floret, she’d probably need to be accompanied, and if she weren’t, there’s no way that she’d be dressed up like a floret, and by the time that Petal’s eyes get the message to focus on where she thought that she’d seen her, there’s no-one there.