Delphinium sets Petal down in front of the clinic. Petal's surprise at not simply being carried in evaporates in an instant as Delphinium attaches a vine to her collar.
Delphinium wants to lead her in, like the pet she is. Delphinium wants to use Petal to show off. If her legs weren't buckling from how possessive Delphinium was being, she'd be standing as tall and proud as she could, to show herself off. Or to help her Mistress show her off, rather. But until her legs start to work again, she's more than happy to be held up as much by Delphinium's leash as her own body.
Millie skips through the door, while Petal readjusts to needing to hold her own bodyweight. She hears the muffled sound of Millie and the receptionist, Julie, talking.
"Oh, dirt, you really are so adorable like this."
"I, um… thank you Mistress?"
"You're very welcome, my dearest. Now, come along, Petal~." Delphinium steps through the door, and gives a sharp tug on Petal's leash, sending her stumbling forward to keep up.
Delphinium stops only a couple of metres later, as does Petal, although in her case it's when she walks into her Mistress, only stopped from falling over by her Mistress's vines catching her.
"Evenin’, Doc'. I thought you were supposed to have today off?" The receptionist looks up at Delphinium, as Millie jumps off her lap to skip back over to Delphinium, one hand trailing behind on Julia’s cheek for a moment. Of course Millie would flirt with her, too. Is there anyone that Millie wouldn't flirt with? She even sounded kinda flirty with Sabine, that one time.
"Yes, well, somebody decided they wanted to make things complicated~." Delphinium tugs on Petal's leash, and she stumbles towards the receptionist with a slight gasp.
"Uhm. Hi." Petal blushes. She’s starting to get the feeling that she might be spending a lot of the rest of her life blushing.
“Hey, you. I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. And you.” Julia points up at Delphinium. “Pay up.” Wait, what? Pay?
“Never let it be said that I would ever renege on a promise.” Delphinium extends a thin vine holding a lollipop out towards Julia, who takes it, and puts it in her mouth with a quick smile.
“Um… do you have a supply of lollipops in there, Mistress? And, uh… what did she mean by ‘pay up’?”
Before Delphinium can respond, Julia speaks up. “Your new mistress and I just had a little bet, that’s all."
"I thought gambling wasn't allowed…"
"Broadly speaking, my dearest, it isn't, but-"
"But there's nothing wrong with a little harmless wager between friends." Petal is shocked, and almost affronted that this woman would interrupt her mistress so casually, but Delphinium doesn't seem to mind, and so Petal tries not to either.
"So, um… what did you bet on?"
"Why, you, of course, my darling Petal."
"After your last appointment, Delphi thought she might have scared you off, whereas I reckoned you were way too far gone for that, and that you'd be hers before your next appointment."
"W-wait, you expected this?"
"Uh, yeah, obviously. Honestly, when she called me in to help get you home the other day, I thought she was calling me in to show off how cute you were in a collar, or something. Which is very cute, by the way~."
Petal's blush grows. "I-I, um, uh… th-thank you?"
Julia smirks. "You're welcome~."
"A-anyway, it's not that Mistress was actually wrong, she just…" Petal pauses to think. "A lot happened yesterday. At least, I think it was yesterday?" Petal somehow doesn't need to look to know that her Mistress is nodding in agreement behind her, but she does anyway, for the sheer joy of seeing her Mistress's face, if nothing else.
"You'll have to tell me about it some time. But also… Hey Delphi, if you weren't wrong, then I guess that means you won the bet, too, right?"
"Yes, I suppose it does." Delphinium passes another lollipop to Julia. "Although you might want to watch that acquisitive nature of yours, my dear~."
"Wait, so, if Julia won the bet, she got a lollipop, and… if Mistress won the bet…"
"She got to give me a lollipop."
"Oh. Um… I guess that makes sense?" There was something else important about this… what was it again?
Oh, right! Petal looks up at Delphinium, and gently tugs on her leash. "Mistress, um… could I maybe please also have a lollipop?"
Delphinium's eyes flicker purple as she looks down at Petal, silently. Petal is confused for a moment, before she feels a tap, and her mouth opens, followed by sweetness and another tap as her mouth closes. Petal looks down to see a vine retreating back into Delphinium's leg.
"Thank you Mistress!" Petal cuddles up against Delphinium's leg, and is rewarded with a gentle stroking of her hair.
"So, uh…" Julia trails off, prompting for Petal's name, maybe?
"Petal," Delphinium responds.
"Petal, as in Millie's girlfriend?" Wait, how much does Julia know? How much have she, Delphinium, and Millie been talking about her? What have they been saying? Is she going to be angry at her? Maybe she'll be upset because Petal stole Millie away, or-.
Petal's train of thought is cut completely short when she hears Millie's voice from just behind her. "That's right~!" Petal doesn't even have time to react before Millie cuddles her from behind, kissing her intensely behind her ear, just above her collar.
Petal can't stop herself from moaning, as her perception is reduced to the feeling of Millie pressing against her back, with her lips against Petal's neck, and the comforting, loving presence of Delphinium.
When Millie finally pulls away, and Petal becomes aware of her surroundings once more, she sees that Julia is openly staring at her as she brings her breathing back under some semblance of control.
"So, Petal." Julia's voice sounds eager, almost predatory. "Do you think you'll be spending your time here, when your mistress is working?"
"Well, most of the florets wouldn't mind having you in there when they get their check-ups and whatnot, but some of the independents get a bit weird about it." It sounds like she's getting at something, but Petal isn't quite sure what.
"Um… do you?"
"Are you kidding? Why would I mind? Florets are just the cutest~."
Wait. Is… is Julia flirting with her? "Umm…"
"So, with that in mind. Maybe now that you'll be around a bit more, we'll get to… know each other. If you know what I mean~."
Okay, that definitely sounds like flirting. Maybe. She might just be being friendly? Or maybe it's flirting, but, like, it's just flirting, and she doesn't want to do anything else. Petal can feel her thoughts getting away from her, and looks up to Delphinium for guidance and support.
"I believe that Julia is hoping that you'll be able to provide her with company, if you're here but not with me, my love. Of course, she's still making the mistake of asking you for a decision, when she should be asking me~."
"Yes, Mistress!" Petal wasn't quite sure if it was the right thing to say, but it seems hard to go wrong with those two words. "You'll have to ask Mistress." Of course! Petal didn't need to know if it was flirting, or how she should respond. She can just leave all of that up to her Mistress.
"Well then, Delphi, would it be alright if I borrowed her, when you need her out of the room?" Oh. Right. Petal's cheeks burn. Delphinium makes all of those choices, because Petal is Her property. It's not just that she can leave it to Delphinium, it's that she can't choose for herself. Ever again.
There's an almost deafening absence of any mental objection to how powerless she is. Just an overwhelming gratitude towards her Mistress for freeing her from her independence. From her personhood. From everything that had ever hurt her, or would ever hurt her again. Gratitude to her Mistress for breaking her, and remaking her into a better version of herself.
She can vaguely hear the sounds of conversation between Julia and her Mistress. The people in the room. She still needs to express herself, though, so she leans against her Mistress's leg, and whispers, "Thank you… for everything, Mistress."
Her Mistress runs a thin vine behind her ear, and she can hear Her voice reverberate through her skull. "You're very welcome, my dearest, darling Petal."
Julia was staring at her again. "Wow, you've … really got it bad, don't you?"
"You know, the helpless adoration, the blissful submissiveness, the, well, floretiness. I mean, I was expecting it, but not this much, this quickly."
"Thank you! Mistress, um…" Petal turns red, but she wants to show off her Mistress. Her voice almost seems to capture her Mistress's musicality when she continues. "Mistress broke me, last night."
Julia stares at her for a long moment, before clearing her throat. "Okay, that's hot." Oh. Probably flirting, then.
"Oh, if you think that's good, you should see some of the pictures I took~." Delphinium pulls out her tablet, and shows it to Julia. Maybe she's showing her the moment she realised that she was free from her independence. Maybe she'd taken a picture of her breaking. Petal wasn't exactly in a state to notice if she did or not.
There's a lot that Delphinium could have taken pictures of, that Petal just wouldn't have even noticed happening. And she could be showing Julia. A relative stranger, but one that she was probably going to be seeing a lot more of. Who was probably going to be seeing a lot more of Petal, assuming Delphinium allowed it.
Petal can feel her awareness shrink once more, down to the look of what even Petal could tell was naked desire on Julia's face, and the pride, the love, and the satisfaction her Mistress feels for her. She is being a good pet, and her Mistress is showing her off, and it is perfect.
She barely even notices as Delphinium withdraws her tablet into her chest, and leads her into her office. Gentle tugs on the leash and the occasional tap to her side keep Petal from colliding with anything. She regains just enough awareness to start to climb into the chair, only to feel herself be lifted by her Mistress's vines and gently placed face down on an examination bed against a wall.
"Now, my dear. Before I do anything that might cause you pain that you might not be in the best position to ask for reprieve from, I'm going to test your pain response. In a controlled environment. Unless you're prepared to give up on this 'maximal awareness' implantation?"
"I… I still want it, Mistress. I want to feel every moment of being made yours that I can. I want to be able to remember what it felt like to have you grow into me."
"… Very well." Delphinium doesn't sound disappointed, but she does sound concerned. The kind of voice that leads to an 'I told you so' not long down the line.
Petal can hear noises from the room, but she can't tell what her Mistress is doing, until she starts to feel a warm throbbing from the back of her neck. It gets stronger, thumping with the rhythm of her heartbeat. It aches, and a moment later it's sheer agony. She thinks she'd be screaming, but she can't seem to make her lungs work.
She shifts, ever so slightly, and a sharp pain shoots down her spine, all across her body, until she can think of nothing else but the agony. Some hidden vault of resistance cracks and shatters, and she finally lets herself feel the pain for the blissful agony it really is. She feels herself break again, an almost familiar echo of the last time, and she can't wait to be remade, better even than last time.
An eternity passes in an instant, and the pain subsides, leaving only bliss. She tries to move some part of her body, but it doesn't seem to be listening to her right now.
She hears her Mistress speak. "Oh, dear, I think I might have gone a bit far. But that's okay, you won't have to remember the pain, my love. It will be like it never happened."
"Don't worry my dearest, everything will be okay." Delphinium strokes the back of Petal's neck, ever so gently, and a phantom of the pain from before shoots down her body.
"… No?" Delphinium sounds almost shocked, confused, certainly. She clearly wasn't expecting this. Petal is worried for a moment that she's disappointed her Mistress, but if she has, her Mistress will fix her, and it'll be okay.
"Don'... take 'way."
Petal feels vines under her body, lifting her to face her Mistress, her face is limp on her shoulders, but Delphinium gently tilts it up to look at Her with a finger. Her confused expression quickly makes way for an almost predatory grin that makes Petal's heart thrum with excitement. Her eyes are almost aglow with gold.
She wraps a vine gently around Petal's neck. "Oh, I see. Well, my beloved Petal…" The vine tightens around her neck, and Petal feels so small, and defenceless, and so completely Delphinium's. "That changes things~."