Petal isn't quite sure how long Delphinium's vines have been down her throat for. The sun has definitely moved, rising higher in the sky, even if it is still hidden away behind Delphinium's canopy. Her Mistress had talked to her throughout the procedure, but it was in an Affini language. Petal had tried to learn other languages a couple of times before without luck, but she really wishes she could actually learn to understand her Mistress, and not just have an intuitive sense of the meaning.
She'd tried to listen carefully to her Mistress's voice, and there were a couple of words she thought she was starting to recognise, but it was so hard to concentrate on the words, and while she wasn't getting sun in her eyes, the rest of her was still so warm in the sunlight, and so she found her eyes, and her mind getting lost in the twisting, and turning, and shifting of her Mistress's vines, until eventually her eyes found their way up to her Mistress's, and she lost herself in the glittering facets of light and love.
The next thing that Petal knew, other than the bliss of being so thoroughly her Mistress’s that her mind couldn’t even think to conceive of anything else, her Mistress’s vines were leaving her body. Petal opened her mouth, to ask what was wrong, but… she hadn’t been given permission to speak. Her mouth slowly closes. Up above her, Delphinium smiles.
“That’s right, my dear. It’s not time for you to speak yet. Your larynx needs just a little bit of time to heal.” Delphinium strokes Petal’s hair for a few seconds, and then pauses. “But I do need you to breathe for me again, floret.”
Petal blushes as her lungs expand in a deep breath. Was she really so thoroughly controlled that she couldn’t even breathe without permission? When did that happen? How did that happen? Except, that wasn’t even permission, it was an order. Could she only breathe when ordered to? Her cheeks burn even hotter. Fuck. Fuck fuckity fuck. She better not fuck it up.
“You really do get so colourful, my dear. What was it this time? Needing to be ordered to start breathing again?” Petal is about to nod, but… hang on, her Mistress told her that she doesn’t get to control anything. She shouldn’t even have opened her mouth, before. Breathing is okay. She’s allowed to breathe. She’s not allowed to not breathe, in fact. But anything other than that? Petal doesn’t get to control anything. She doesn’t even get to control the breathing, she just has to do it.
“… Petal? Is everything okay?” Petal doesn’t know, she doesn’t get to control that. That’s for Her to decide, her Mistress is in control of everything. All she has to do is breathe. “… Petal?” It’s nice, not having any responsibilities but controlling her breath. Nothing else to worry about. For everything else, her Mistress is there. All she has to do is breathe, and even that is made so much easier by being with her Mistress, feeling the rhythms of her Owner fill her, and guide her into breathing perfectly for Her. Maybe She’ll even be proud of how well Petal is doing at breathing!
“If you can hear me, Petal, blink twice… Good girl.” Petal didn’t even feel herself decide to blink, by the time she’d consciously registered the order, she’d already obeyed! She is doing so well at this! “Okay, so you’re hearing me, and understanding me, so why aren’t you responding?” Was… was her Mistress being rhetorical? Petal doesn’t get to control whether or not she responds. That’s for her Mistress to decide!
“The paralytic should have well and truly worn off by now, and it should have been fairly localised, regardless. You seem to be there enough to respond, but…” Is that… is Petal feeling embarrassment, from her Mistress. “Oh dear, I really have gotten carried away, haven’t I? You aren’t in control of anything, are you? You’re just breathing because that’s the only thing you’ve been told to do? Blink twice if that’s correct… Good girl.” Once again, Petal is the last one to know that she actually did blink.
Petal feels her Mistress’s vines surround her tightly, in a firm, full-body hug, before she feels her Mistress’s lips press against her forehead in a loving kiss. “You are so utterly adorable, my dearest. I’m going to give you back control over your body, okay? For now, at least. Nod if you understand.” Petal feels her head nod.
“Good girl. Now, feel yourself taking control of your toes again, wiggle them around a bit… good, now feel your control spread up your legs, up past your knees and up to your hips, up through your hips, up your torso, and out across your shoulders. Feel it spread down your arms, all the way down to the tips of your fingers, and curl those fingers up for me, and relax them, back into your control again. Feel your neck coming back under your control for me, my dear, and your head. And finally, your control is to spread all across every part of your body that you normally control.
“Is everything back under your control, my dear?” It feels a bit unfortunate, but it is. It’s back to just Petal in charge of everything. But… maybe it isn’t quite so bad. Before, she was in control of everything just because that was how it had always been, but now it’s different. Now she’s in control of everything because her Mistress had told her to be. Had ordered her to be. Whatever Petal did with her control, it would be because her Mistress had ordered her to take control. Petal opens her mouth to answer, but, no, even if she’s allowed to control her body, and even if that means she’s allowed to talk, she shouldn’t, because her Mistress wants her larynx to heal. She closes her mouth, and nods.
“I should probably apologise for getting so carried away. For somebody with as few xenodrugs in their system as you currently are, you’re remarkably receptive. Perhaps it’s a consequence of the recentness of your implantation. If not, I may need to install some safeguards, if we’re ever to be apart for more than, oh, a few seconds?” Why would they ever need to be apart? Couldn’t Petal just be with Delphinium, always? “I know, I know, right now you’d probably just rather stay by my side forever, but this isn’t just a fun game, my Petal, we have your whole life ahead of us, and it is not your place to decide what that will mean for you, now is it?
Questions with negatives are confusing. Instead of nodding or shaking, Petal puts a hand on one of Delphinium’s vines. “That’s right, my dearest. It’s my place to decide what’s to become of you. I’d be more than happy to listen to any ideas you might have, but ultimately, the decision is out of your hands.” Petal nods, emphatically, joyfully, enthusiastically. Even if Petal is in control of moving her body again, it’s only temporary. It’s only until her Mistress takes it away again.
“For now, however, you need to eat. You’re fueling yourself and your implant now, after all. Maybe I’ll make your body more energy efficient in future, but for now, that means calories, and lots of them. And, with your throat in the state it’s in, that leaves one logical option for what to eat.” Petal feels uncertain. It does? Delphinium, recognising this, explains. “Ice cream, my dear. Lots of ice cream. And none of that compiled nonsense, either. Proper ice cream.”
Ice cream! Maybe Mistress will feed it to her? Just because she’s in control of her own body, that doesn’t mean she has to be in control of her cutlery, right?
“Now come on, my dear, let’s head back downstairs.” Downstairs? Petal feels a vine hook into her collar, which gently guides her to stand. Delphinium heads over to one corner of the garden, and then behind what to her would be a low fence, but to Petal is just a wall. Petal follows along, as… is Delphinium shrinking? Petal rounds the fence. Oh! Stairs. They must be on a garden roof, or something, that’s neat. Delphinium rounds a corner through a giant, affini-sized door, Petal takes the surprisingly manageable stairs two at a time, before trotting after Delphinium through the door into… wait, isn’t this where she woke up? Delphinium’s hab has a garden on the roof? That’s so cool!
Maybe Delphinium uses the flowers from her garden as, like, decoration for herself, sometimes. Her flowers definitely aren’t all the same, and she’d mentioned something about grafting when she asked Petal about Her flower. That’s so cool. She really does get to just be whatever she wants to be, doesn’t she?
Now that she’s not… losing a sword fight, or having her mind blown by her Mistress and her girlfriend, her… what was it that Delphinium said? “Connivent floret”? Anyway, now that she’s actually able to look around, she sees the oversized furniture she’d come to expect from the affini, but there’s also a lot of smaller furniture, much closer to human sized, which seems to have been strategically placed to allow a human sized individual relatively easy access to the affini furniture.
Millie is in front of a giant tv, jumping up and down on some kind of dance controller. It looks like she’s playing some sort of rhythm game, with arrows flying across the screen and big colourful text saying things like “perfect” “adorable” and “too cute!” every time she lands on the controller. She’s wearing headphones, so Petal can’t hear what’s going on, but she certainly doesn’t mind watching Millie bounce up and down in front of her. A gentle tug on the leash, however, reminds her that perving on her girlfriend connivent is not actually what she’s here for, although Delphinium is kind enough to seat Petal somewhere with a good view of Millie.
Even just watching Millie play, Petal can almost feel the beat of the game, and she starts tapping her hands on the table along with what she thinks would be the music. Even once her Mistress sits across the table from her, and steals her focus away, reaching her vines out to start feeding Petal her delicious ice cream, which has been drizzled with a sweet, sticky syrup that tastes almost familiar to her, Petal can still feel herself tapping out the rhythm on the table.