Negotiations on shaky vines

Chapter 60- Brave New Life, part 1

by Exhausted_ambition

Tags: #dom:female #f/f #hypnosis #petplay #pov:bottom #scifi #anxiety #CW:dubious_consent #cw:violence #dom:internalized_imperialism #dom:plant #drug_play #Human_Domestication_Guide #ownership_dynamics #sensation_play #sub:capitalism #sub:female #trans_egg #transgender_characters

Sorry for the wait, I am currently moving so it has become a bit difficult to write. Hope you enjoy this first part of the last chapter!

Cleo looked at the digital catalog and examined the options “I don’t know, none of this seems very practical.” It was very embarrassing as well, why was mistress so invested in this?
The vines she was sitting on shifted as Mertha made her sink deeper into Her lap “It does not have to be practical, I have told you that several times. look at that one, would it not look adorable on you?” maybe….it would look cute, and if mistress liked it….
But surgery purely for cosmetic reasons? “I don’t think I need it, in fact, I don’t think I need any of this.” The vines around her began to constrict themselves around her limbs.
Mistress looked down at her with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘don’t need it? Are you saying you don’t like it?” From Her biorhythm alone it was clear she needed to word herself carefully. 
Maybe it was better to move the conversation in another direction tell the truth “No, I like it. It would fit with a lot of my outfits, it also looks very cute and elegant ….” NOOOO, why had she said that?! Cleo buried her face in her hands to hide her fluster. 
Mistress cooed and began petting her “awwww, thank you for being such an honest pet. Such a good girl, oh you will look so cute!” Mertha practically squealed in anticipation, she had to stop this before it was too late. 
Cleo looked pleadingly up at Mertha “stoooop. Why did you make me say that?” This was so embarrassing! An amused glance from mistress was enough to hide her face once more. 
The vines turned her around and pried her hands away from her face, mistress was enjoying this “is my little kitten embarrassed about having to be honest?” no…..maybe….this was so unfair, Cleo tried to look away “awww, you are so adorable when flustered.” A vine touched her cheek and guided her face back so mistress could stare into her eyes “what about a simple question, do you want it?” 
Cleo pouted “I don’t see how a tail will be useful….even if it is cute. It will probably make it hard to sit down, and what if it gets stuck in a door? It seems terribly impractical.” It was perfectly logical reasoning.
Mistress sighed and took up her datapad “such an easy question and you can’t even answer it. I guess you need some assistance.” A few seconds later Cleo felt a tingling in her neck, Mertha put away the datapad “now, answer the question. Do you want it?” What had mistress just done? 
Either way, she could answer again “it is cute….and…..” it could have serious consequences what else? There were supposed to be more reasons, right? If she got the tail then she would look cute, mistress would be happy and maybe she wouldn’t like it, or an unforeseen problem might occur…and? 
Mistress had begun to play with her hair. “I agree that it would look very cute on you, and if there is nothing else….” The tail was entirely unproductive was there nothing else? “Are you having problems finding any other reasons? You don’t need to think so much, being cute is good enough.” Now mistress was bullying her. 
Cleo managed to push past her embarrassment “what did you do?” Mertha had obviously done something with the implant. 
Mistress smiled and booped her on the nose “nothing much, the implant is just suppressing your capacity for long-term consideration. As a pet, you do not need to think so much of the consequences, leave that to me.” Oh…that should probably concern her if she could not even consider things long-term, who knows how many mistakes she could make but it didn’t. Her affini tightened the vines constricted around her “now, answer the question pet. Do. You. Want. It?” 
If she could not make an informed decision she would have to say no  This was difficult. “I don’t know…productivity, usefulness, and long-term consideration is kind of how I determine what I want….” Mistress began to pet her absentmindedly, her affini looked lost in thought for a minute. 
Then She nodded, seemingly having come to a conclusion  “As my pet, productivity should be the last of your concern. It seems you need some training to break out of such un pet-like thinking. A good pet should see something they want, ask their owner, and then trust in their judgment. Why don’t you try doing that right now, we can stop when I say so.” The vines loosened around her limbs and the digital catalog filled with different augments was put in her hands. 
The catalog was currently displaying an image of a long and slim feline tail. Below the image, a long text of details about said tail was written in affini.  One of the benefits was increased dexterity, not very relevant for her. The tail would apparently respond to her emotional state, interesting…In addition, the base end would have a nerve cluster, this would in the wording of the catalog ‘be a highly pleasant place to stimulate’…..did she want this? 
By what parameters was she supposed to decide to want this or not? Maybe she could ask mistress to choose for her? Cleo looked up, Mertha did not need her to speak to understand “no, I can’t make these choices for you. You need to learn to want things for your own wants, I can’t spoil a pet that does not want anything.” She leaned into the vines, there had to be some way for her to solve this. A warm, pleasant feeling spread from the back of her neck “Maybe some class-D will help?” Maybe it would…. 
She looked down at the catalog once more….in retrospect the nerve cluster part did sound nice. The emotional part was also a fun idea…fun…was that a good indicator? unlikely It had to be. Usually, this would be the moment she evaluated and critiqued the idea, what if she ignored that step this time “okay, I think I want it….what do you think?” A smile spread on her owner’s face.
The gentle pets intensified for a moment “I think it is a good idea, good girl!” Cleo tried to ignore the blush spreading on her face and her legs happy stimming. Mertha used a vine to find something else in the catalog “Last time we were here you seemed quite excited by these, still interested?” The image was displaying a set of large fluffy ears with the same species origin as the tail. 
The last time she had been interested because it would improve her hearing, Nora was an excellent example of how practical that could be. But mistress had asked her if she wanted it, not if they were practical, two now disjointed considerations. The increased hearing was still tempting….firstly, would it make music sound better? Secondly, and more importantly, would it allow her to hear Her biorhythm better? or maybe it would really mess up her hearing The last one was very enticing.
This was easier than she had first thought but what about the surgery part of this whole situation “I want them….do you think they could be made very sensitive to touch like the tail?” Okay, that part she had not intended to say out loud. 
Mistress was positively beaming “Oh I am sure we can! I can’t wait! Okay, why don’t you find something on your own.” That might be trickier, there were so many options. Where was she even supposed to begin? Was there anything that she wanted specifically? There had to be something amongst the best augments in the galaxy that she would fancy. 
An idea struck her, and after a bit of searching, she found it. It was perfect “this, I want this!” just imagining the possibilities made her hands flap happily. 
Mistress took the catalog, she sounded uncertain “and why do you want an overnet neural uplink? Be honest.” If she was honest that might make it less possible to convince Her.
Cleo felt confident, mistress would have to understand “Think of all the data that would be available to me with just a thought. With this I could fill documents so much faster, I could finally win the championship….and you could send me messages directly when we are apart.” That last part would be very nice when she worked in the bureaucracy. 
As Mertha read, a predatory smile spread across her face “such a wide array of uses. Yes, you can get it. But I will put in control measures.” Cleo realized she had been so excited that she had only read the first paragraph detailing the uplink’s features….mistress had likely read something very interesting for her to be so easy to convince. 
Her affini tapped through the catalog once again “You have done very well, little kitten. What about some paws?” Paws? How would she get anything done if she did not have hands? 
She wanted to keep her hands “grafting advanced biotechnology into my legs and arms does sound a tad….extreme? and for what? looking cute? You need more justification than that.” Vines tightened around her limbs, she felt very, very small as Her biorhythm filled with domineering energy.
A vine caressed her cheek in a slow and playful manner “justification? You are my property, pet. I could do whatever I wanted to your body if I so desired. As you have just displayed, you have a propensity to think far more than a pet is expected to do.” A shiver went up her spine as a vine tugged at her collar.
Mistress’s voice was dripping with possessive predatory delight “All the worry, dignity, responsibility…I need to train those silly thoughts out of your mind. Walking on all four instead of pretending that you are anything else but my pet, should be a good start.” Fuck…that had no reason to sound as enticing as it did. 
The vines tightened until the mere thought of moving became impossible “and as I can sense that you are not opposed to the idea, that is exactly what we will do.”  Cleo nodded weakly, mistress’s all-encompassing will was so strong that she couldn’t have disagreed even if she had wanted to.  
The vines loosened and Mertha stood up “good girl, we are making progress already.” Mistress carried her over to a large counter at the end of the room. The counter had a bed-sized rectangular area of pink felt on one side, on the other was a screen and some paperwork. Cleo was placed on the soft-felt bed and mistress pressed her down with a few vines. The message was clear, she was to lie down and be calm.
The affini behind the counter, who until this point had been reading something on a datapad, looked up <Found something for your pet?> The affini stood up and while Cleo could not see her properly, could feel their eyes examining her with adoration. 
Cleo did not resist the vines pressing her down, mistress sounded happy as she responded <yes, I have found several bio-mods that my little flower would look very cute with. I do have a few questions, mostly about certain functions and recovery.> Mertha began to pet her with slow calming movements and the conversation taking place above her seemed less interesting. Not only were they talking in affini, something that still required some light concentration to follow, but it was also not a conversation she needed to follow either. 
She was, after all, just a pet. Mistress was right, worry and illusions of responsibility was not something she needed anymore. Sure, they were currently talking about altering her body in several ways, but she trusted mistress. Her opinion had already been taken into account and now She was doing what was best for her. Paying attention to the conversation would just make her worry, so she simply chose to enjoy the pets. 
The pets stopped and mistress guided her head up so their eyes met “well done, such a well-behaved pet I have.” Cleo felt proud as a vine began ruffling her hair playfully, then mistress’s biorhythm changed to be more regretful “I will go now, but don’t worry. Hostea will take very good care of you until I come and pick you up in the morning.” Wait, no….She had to leave?....Cleo grabbed onto one of the vines petting her and looked sorrowfully up at her owner. 
The idea of Mertha not being intimately close felt wrong and unfair. Cleo had not been more than a few meters apart from Her since she woke up from the implant surgery a few days ago. Mistress’s biorhythm was like an ever-present song in the back of her mind, the imminent prospect of not hearing it made her shockingly sad.
Mertha bristled slightly “awww don’t worry, it won’t be for long. Once I come and pick you up we can stay together as you recover.” For some reason, the promise of future comfort was not reassuring at all. Mistress leaned down again, for a moment Her eyes shone with that entrancing light “I forgot the future is a bit cloudy for you at the moment. I know it’s sad, can you breathe for me? Yes...such a good girl. I will leave now, but you will be fine, won’t you?” As she listened to mistress the feelings began to abate.
Mistress counted on her to be strong “yes mistress.” With a last kiss on the forehead, Mertha left the bio-mod clinic. As soon as the door closed behind her, Cleo’s heart sank a bit more, the music was gone….
Suddenly she was picked up by the other affini, they looked down on her warmly “so you will be my cute little patient today. I am Hostea Coril, 7th bloom, she/they.” She looked up at the affini, not knowing quite what to say. Hostea had a very gentle smile “does my little patient have a name? Or would you prefer not to speak? that is also fine.” Right, speaking…she could do that
Cleo blushed and lifted her head so Hostea could see her collar “I am Cleopatra Verina, first floret…” The affini patted her on the head as she carried her through a door. The room they entered reminded her in many ways of where she had gotten the implant. There were a few differences, mainly some compiler-looking devices in one of the corners, and several strange-looking instruments hanging on the walls.   
Hostea placed her on the floor in front of a mirror “Your mistress has picked out some wonderful bio-mods for you, excited? The only thing she could feel at the moment was the lack of Her biorhythm.
Cleo could see in the mirror that the bioengineer had noticed “you have only recently gotten your implant and it is very likely that your mistress stayed with you through the entire recovery period. Your body and mind have become addic-…..very used to her presence and biorhythm. It will become easier to stay apart once your body becomes more used to its new friend.” A flower-covered vine tapped her gently on the back of the neck, near the implant scar. Hostea took up one of the strange-looking instruments “I need to do some measurements and biological sampling, can I remove your clothes?” 
For a moment her mind recoiled at the idea, an instilled reaction from her previous life. After a simple nod, Hostea removed her companion dress with remarkable ease and began to move the instrument across her body. 
As the affini worked Cleo took a moment to examine herself…It was her. The scars that had once littered her body, those reminders of all she had to fear, were gone. All the signs of overwork, malnourishment, and stress, were gone as well….she looked beautiful, and soon she would look even better, just as mistress wanted her to be.    
Hostea smiled and petted her gently “I am done and can tell you that you are in perfect health. I will give you some class-Z now so I can begin, breathe in.” one of the yellow flowers on Hostea’s vines ejected a cloud of pink gas, Cleo breathed it in and felt sleep take her. 
Cleo tried to keep her composure, how had she lived with this so long “Could the session end for today?” Having some of the guilt return had been worse than she had anticipated, and she did not feel like pushing on like usual. 
Serla nodded and put away her notepad “of course, thank you for setting clear boundaries. Can you send Mertha a message and have the guilt suppressed again? Or should I do it?” Cleo closed her eyes and tried to focus, using the neural uplink to gain information was one thing, but sending a clear message required far more concentration. Siphoning off all the execs' thoughts and emotions so the message was understandable was no easy task.
[Littlekitten]: Serla and I are done with the therapy session, can you suppress the guilt? I Miss you a lot 😿
The last part had slipped in the last second…it was true though….she waited…
[RestlessAnnoyance]: You are such a good girl, working through your guilt. Is it gone now? 
She answered! The message being transferred so directly into her mind was wonderful, she could almost hear Her voice. 
[Littlekitten]: YES! Thank you!💕I love you mistress! 💖
[RestlessAnnoyance]: awwww, I miss you too. Remember to send me a message if you feel down, okay? I have sent you a sound file, be a good pet and listen to it now.
After giving her mental authentication the audio played with perfect clarity. It was not actual sound, but her brain certainly thought that it was based on the electrical signals it received. It was a recording of mistress’s biorhythm! The rhythm was calm and the melody both happy and soothing. Cleo felt the instinctive need to snuggle closer to the source, but sadly it was only a recording. 
She heard Serla chuckle and opened her eyes “what? Is there something amusing?” Serla might have been right about everything, but that did not make her less annoying. 
The colorful affini smiled playfully “oh nothing, but your tail does seem very excited.” Cleo felt her face redden as she noticed that her tail had indeed gone from tucked close to her legs to quivering and moving back and forth excitedly. 
Conscious control of the tail was still something she was working on, much to Serla’s apparent amusement “having a clear indicator of your emotions will be as helpful as it is adorable. Perhaps it will help you to be more honest about them as well?” In firm defiance, she used her hand to hold the tail down, something that only prompted another chuckle from Serla. 
Cleo got down carefully from the couch, her legs were still a bit tender after the surgery “the guilt is gone again, I think we can leave.” Mertha was on a trip to Centhia on some compact-related business, She would be back in the evening and until then Serla was going to pet-sit her. A slightly humiliating thing to admit she needed, at least she could spend time with Nora and Darla. 
As they moved to the door Serla attached a vine to her collar “I expect you won't have a problem with it this time.” In truth Cleo had become used to it before even signing the contract…but letting her annoying therapist off the hook was not an option. 
She looked up with endearing eyes, cooperating for once, her tail dropped “could you carry me instead? My legs are still sore….please?” The reaction from her opponent was exactly as she had expected, surprise and flowers ruffled as a slight predatory glint entered Serla’s eyes.
With one smooth and rapid motion Serla lifted her up, a miffed look on her face “you are a very spoiled pet, you know that?” Cleo said nothing as she made herself comfortable in the vines and basked in the relaxation of her victory. With an annoyed sigh, the affini moved out of the hab “don’t forget that you owe me a favor, maybe a triple dose of Class-A will drive out some of that dignity you still cling to.” 
Affini threats had a tendency to sound quite tempting these days. “I remember, give me as much as you want, that was the deal.” She would not be intimidated and getting help for the negotiations had been more than worth it. 
As they moved through the streets of the Agraria, Cleo noticed how much better her hearing had become. It had never been poor, but the amount of detail she could pick up on now was fascinating. It was not close to as powerful as Nora’s augments but then again the new ears were not for practical use. The only problem was how distracting the noises could become if she was not careful. She should get some tips from Nora on how to handle it. 
A vine touched one of the tips of her new ear, but she ignored it. Then a vine touched it again, Cleo looked up in irritation “hey, stop that. They are sensitive….” Oh, she should not have said that last part….
Serla looked at her in casual fascination “very interesting, are they supposed to twitch like that?” Twitch? Had they been twitching? It was probably because of all the sounds….Who needed to eat ice cream that loudly? At least Serla had not caught on to the sensitivity part. 
Not long after they arrived at the hab, Cleo could hear shuffling from inside. She was put down on the ground and Serla opened the door. Just like last time, the pinnates were waiting eagerly behind the door and into their owner’s vines as soon as they were able. Serla quickly smothered them both with her vines “I have only been gone for two hours and you are both already so eager? Such wonderful pets I have, aren’t you two just the cutest? Yes, you are!” Seeing Nora so happy and safe filled Cleo with a pleasant warmth. 
After the two florets had received ample amounts of attention they were put down on the ground. A vine tugged on her collar and moved her into the hab “speaking of cute things…” Oh dear stars, no! Before Cleo had any time to react she was squished between Darla and Nora in a vice-like hug. The hug was so tight that she could not even use her arms to return the hug, at some point Nora even lifted her slightly up from the ground. 
As she was let go Cleo noticed that Nora was looking at her in an uncharacteristic blend of adoration and playful frustration “why do you look cuter each time you visit? It's not fair….” Her previous bodyguard actually pouted slightly. 
Darla smiled teasingly “look at her tail, I think she likes being called cute.” Darn tail and its constant betrayal. Darla placed her arm confidently around her shoulder “Who knew there was such a cute kitten under all that bureaucracy and arrogance?” Usually, the teasing would have hit right home but there was something very uncanny about the situation.
Cleo looked into Darla’s eyes and saw a level of persevering spirit and familiar playful energy that had not been there before. The two florets were acting strange…like they had forgotten their parts in a play, both having exchanged manners of speaking, posture, and typical energy with the other. Not like they had swapped bodies, it was more that the individual traits that usually identified them were mixed around. 
She looked suspiciously at each floret in turn “so…want to tell me what is going on with you two?” For a very brief moment Darla snapped to attention in a way that reminded Cleo far too much of Nora, her hunch had to be right. 
Serla looked down at them, slightly impressed “I think it will be easier if I explain. My two lovely florets are currently sharing their thoughts and emotions, not too uncommon for pinnates.” Nora and Darla nodded eustatically. 
Darla, who still had her arm around her shoulder smiled “Because of the implants I can feel what Darla is thinking-“ Nora continued the sentence like it was the most natural thing in the world “-and feeling, it’s the best!” Darla spoke again “but it can be confusing sometimes.” That was an understatement, how was she supposed to analyze them when they were like this?
Hopefully it would not be a big deal, she looked at Darla “Don’t think this will help you win. No matter the game, I can still crush you both….unless there is some more asinine affini cheating involved.” The end of the spaceship game still left a sour taste in her mouth. 
A vine poked her forcefully on the forehead “langue! I don’t know what your owner allows, but here there is no swearing.” Serla’s eyes narrowed slightly “also no talk of lies like last time, behave yourself or you will face worse punishment than just class-W.” 
Cleo looked up at the affini and shrugged “fine, I am not allowed to lie either way so-“ Nora interrupted her train of thought with a teasingly malicious grin….oh no “what?” Whatever the red-haired girl was thinking, it could not be good.
Nora just continued to smile “nothing….But it’s good to know.” Obviously, she was planning to get some embarrassing truth out of her at some point.
Like that would ever have a chance at working “Lies is only one of many tools, I can still…” a silent glare from Serla silenced her “….refuse to answer.” Perfect landing…or at least a serviceable one. 
Serla seemed at least halfway satisfied “I will go and make dinner for you cuties. Cleo, behave yourself and….have fun.” Why did she feel the need to do that? As Serla moved to the kitchen, Darla dragged her over to the living area. 
There was a fierce determination in Darla and Nora’s eyes as they began to explain the game they had picked. It was some sort of ‘real time’ strategy game, the fact that this implied there were ‘fake time’ strategy games was unsettling. One thing was obvious, it required fast actions and there was way less time to think. Cleo was used to having time to lay out her plans and study her opponents, here this would be difficult, likely the reason the game was picked in the first place. 
The game itself was for the two competing players to domesticate as many sophonts on the map as possible. There were several types of affini, each had different uses and abilities. While there was no combat or direct interference in the game, there were many indirect ways of hindering your opponent. The first match of their small, but important, the championship was between Nora and Darla. It was only fair, they had both played the game before. 
Watching two people who could read each other’s minds try to outsmart each other was an interesting experience. In the end, it boiled down to reflexes and hand coordination, something that Darla surprisingly had more of than Nora. While Nora did manage to win one of the three games, Darla handily won the other two. The defeat did not seem to impact Nora’s mood a lot, instead, the ex-bodyguard turned to her in anticipation. Cleo suspected that it was far more important for the pinnates that she lost than which one of them won. 
With Darla’s competitive spirit and Nora’s determination to see her humbled arrayed against her, they began to play. The first game went….poorly, things moved a bit too fast for her strategy to ever become important. With her first victory, Nora smiled triumphantly, but it was Darla who spoke “you are so going down!” While their confidence was admirable, her opponents had made one massive mistake. With a better handle on the mechanics and controls, the second game began. 
This time she had a plan and while it was almost too slow to work, it did work. With enhanced Xenodrugs Cleo swooped in and domesticated one of the sophont outposts that she assumed Nora had worked towards getting. She was right! The shock on Nora’s face was all the proof she needed. It was close but she won the second game, match point. Nora eyed her suspiciously “just beginners’ luck, you won't get to do that next time.” Cleo made her eat those words a couple of minutes later with an even swifter victory. 
Darla stood up in frustration “how did you know we were going to do that? Are you cheating somehow?” The fact that the opposing floret so brazenly admitted they were cooperating made this even sweeter.
Cleo grinned vicariously “seeing both of you play against each other was all I needed. Combining your minds against me just means I have twice as much information and half the opponent to analyze.” Two heads were better than one? Hardly. 
Darla sat down opposite her “You won’t win,” Nora finished her sentence as she moved to the sidelines “not this time.” They were certainly determined, not that it would matter for much longer. 
The first game was closer than she would have liked, but once again she outmaneuvered them and obtained the victory. She allowed herself a moment to gloat “what did you just say? I think I will enjoy the class-A a lot.” The second game began, she had almost won. 
It went well, she was ahead, and then…fuck, Darla managed to catch her unaware…They were adapting to her strategies. Perhaps two minds did have its advantage after all, but losing now was not an option. Her arrogance had made her careless, she would not repeat the mistake. Cleo breathed in and they started the second game. 
It was close, a rapid back and forth, with no clear winner after each move. But she was gaining a slight advantage, one that she managed to leverage into a larger one. Darla looked up at her, her eyes filled with frustration. Cleo gave her a self-satisfied grin that could only be interpreted as ‘what did I say’, it was time to end this and put the floret back in their plac-!!!!
Suddenly waves of pleasure and bliss surged through her body from the top of her head. Her head immediately leaned into the hand that was scratching the base of her new ears. Cleo tried for a moment to return focus to the game, but it was hopeless. With a pleased mewling noise, she felt herself lean her back into whoever was sitting behind her. No! she had to win “noooo…you ca- you can’t….” She gripped the data pad tightly and made a few desperate moves. 
Nora’s voice was very close “oh, you don’t like it?” Cleo could see the teasing smile just from the sound of the words alone. 
Of course, she didn’t like it “I like it! but….” Another round of scritches sent waves of euphoria through her being, what was going on? her mind felt so fuzzy. 
The scratches stopped for a moment “you want me to stop?” A hand was moving up her rapidly quivering tail. 
Nora had to stop or else she would lose the game, she could still win it “no! don’t stop.” The hand had reached the base of her tail…oh no. The second of warning was not enough for her to prepare as a hand began to rapidly scratch her there as well. Cleo’s mind buckled under the combined sensation from each source. 
In a final desperate act, she tried to make a final move in the game but before her hands could react they became engulfed in plant-like biomatter. Her paws uselessly tapped against the screen as the data pad fell out of her hands. 
Cleo had forgotten the game a second later as the petting continued. She leaned and nuzzled into the side of whoever was giving these generous ear and tail scratches. A few blissful seconds later the sound of some sad trumpets and an affini voice saying “awww you lost, but that does not mean you are not a good pet” cemented her loss, but she did not care.
The blissful assault abated, and the world became clear again. Nora looked down at her “such a cute kitty cat, paws and all.” Hold on….what had just….dear stars.
Cleo tried to stand up, but her legs were as useless as her arms, so instead, she just flailed around In Nora’s lap “you cheated!” Frustration was her only weapon to combat the rising embarrassment. 
Darla sat down next to her and began to gently pat her on the head “We asked you if you wanted to stop, did we not?....also your bio mods are adorable. Nora, we need to talk about mistress of getting some of our own.” Sure, she was cute, but that was beside the point. 
Nora nodded but then looked down at her, a merciless glint in her eyes “But first Cleo has to admit she lost.” 
Cleo pouted and looked away “not going to happen, you two cheated.” There was no way they were going to convince her to admit defeat after such underhanded tactics. 
Darla continued to pet her, something that was unjustifiably nice “if you do we can give you some more scratches” Her hand trailed near the base of her ears “….do you want that?” she wanted that….Nora smiled “then say it.” 
Cleo looked up at the two teasing florets, she couldn’t….she couldn’t…. “Okay….I lost….can I have some more scratches?” What was dignity worth compared to t-!!!! 
Cleo could only mewl and writhe as the pinnates began to give her renewed affection. Any thoughts that could possibly distract from the blissful situation drifted away. No worry, no responsibility, nothing else than bliss and thoughtless happiness. 
Utopia was suddenly interrupted as the door to the kitchen opened. “Mertha asked me to take a picture of….oh dear….” The slight confusion in Serla’s voice was replaced with utter adoration. Cleo looked up at the affini and saw that she was taking several pictures, luckily she was too blissful to be embarrassed at the moment. 
The affini walked closer with a stern look in her eyes “looks like you three are having cuddle time prematurely, and without me?” The look melted away. “I can’t even pretend to be mad, this is too adorable.” Serla seemed to collect every bit of self-restraint that she possessed. “While I want to let you continue this until the stars fade, you all need to eat dinner.” Cleo could feel her surge of disappointment mirrored by the two other florets. 
Nora and Darla sighed performatively before they stood up. As she tried to do the same Cleo suddenly remembered that she did in fact not have legs and fell over into the pillows instead. How was she supposed to walk like this? She tried to concentrate to make the paws recede, for a moment it seemed like it might work, and then she got a message 
[RestlessAnnoyance]: no, little kitten. The paws stay out until I let you have hands again. Don’t worry, Serla will help you. Have fun!
Noooo! mistress was being so unfair, it was probably Her who made the paws come out in the first place. A vine moved underneath her stomach and lifted her up into the air, she was then unceremoniously hanged over Serla’s shoulder like some sort of pelt. The affini did not need to say a word, it was clear she was enjoying this even without it being broadcast like a supernova from her biorhythm. 
Once she was carried into the kitchen and dining room, Serla placed her on a chair. Trying to sit in a chair proved to be just as impossible as walking. After a moment of the others watching her flail around, Serla placed her in her lap “you will get the handle on it eventually, new libs can take some time to get used to.” The affini might have sounded reassuring, had it not been for the fact that it sounded like she forced the words through half-stifled laughter. 
On the table a giant casserole of stew had been placed, it looked and smelled amazing. Serla began to feed Nora and Darla, then a vine tapped her on the cheek. Instinctively she opened her mouth and a spoon full of stew was placed in her mouth. The rest of the process followed its usual pattern, but before it could start again she protested “stop, I can do it-”
Serla shook her head in amusement “yourself? You and what hands?” oh…right….Cleo slumped back into the vines, when the vine poked her on the cheek she reluctantly opened her mouth and was rewarded with more delicious food. Serla patted her on the head “good girl! Now tell me, who won?” 
Nora beamed with satisfaction “I won!” Darla nodded in agreement, then both of them looked confused at each other before giggling. Darla corrected them “I, Darla, won. But more importantly…Cleo lost! You even admitted to it.” A part of her wanted to protest, but she had admitted to it….and for such an embarrassing reason as well. 
Serla ruffled the hair of both her florets “sounds to me like it was a cooperative effort, you both deserve a reward. Also….I very much approve of how you accomplished it, I am proud of you both.” The two pinnates beamed at the affection from their owner, a reaction Cleo could very much relate to. 
They continued to eat, and for once she had to admit that it was pretty great food. Not as good as mistress’s cooking, but not far off either. She could feel her tail curling halfway around one of the vines, openly displaying her satisfaction. Serla patted her softly between each spoon “enjoying your meal?” for once it sounded like a genuine question. 
Perhaps she should give a genuine answer “it's good, you have improved a-.” Was all Cleo managed to get out before another mouthful of food silenced her. She could sense the pride in Serla’s biorhythm, there were some redeeming qualities to her therapist. 
Once the meal was done she was lifted up once more “now, it's time for you two to gain your reward…and for you to pay back the favor you owe me.” The affini’s eyes were filled with anticipation, hopefully, there would be some restraint. 
Serla carried her over to the large circular couch in the living area, Nora and Darla followed close behind. Serla unfurled into a mass of separate vines and soon all three of the florets were nuzzled into each other with vines surrounding them on all sides. Nora held her from behind, while Darla gently hugged her from the front. The two other florets felt so warm, Cleo wiggled closer into Nora’s embrace and hugged Darla in return. 
Three needle-like vines appeared and Cleo felt a macule sting as one of them pierced her arm. The euphoric and wonderful feeling from the class-A spread from the point and filled her body. Her light moans and mewls mixed with the sounds from the two others. Vines began to caress and scratch her while she continued to cuddle with her fellow humans. Her mind quickly adapted to sensations and melted into a soft blissful puddle.  
A vine began to scratch at the bottom of her tail and her mind drifted even further away. Cleo was distantly aware of her paws pushing lightly against Darla, much to the floret’s enjoyment, and her pleased mewls filling the room. She could hear Nora and Darla begin to moan and wiggle as well, Serla playing them like musical instruments of pleasure. The concert of bliss continued ramping up and down in intensity 
[RestlessAnnoyance]: are you having fun little kitten?
[Littlekitten]: 💕💖❤️😻
[RestlessAnnoyance]: awww, I will take that as a yes. I will pick you up in a few hours, until then continue to be a good pet for me.
She would, she loved being a good pet for mistress.
During one of the lulls, she turned around and gazed into Nora’s eyes. Nora looked so happy and fulfilled, strong arms wrapped around her once more and hugged her tight. Serla lowered the intensity of the cuddling and
 allowed them a moment of lucidity, Nora looked a bit apprehensive “….I have a surprise for you…You know that vacation we talked about? Well, mistress said that in a week another ship like the Innax will come into the system…and that means she and Mertha won’t be tied down here. I was wondering if we could take the vacation to Sol, so we could visit my sister…” the red-haired floret stopped, she was nervous. 
Cleo smiled and tried to hug Nora as tight as she could with her paws. “That sounds amazing, I haven’t seen Frederika in far too long….how is she doing?” 
Nora let the hug go and giggled a bit in relief “she is doing fine, the affini cured her….also she is a floret now. Are you sure it's fine?” Frederika had become a floret…honstely not very surprising. 
Nora’s apprehension was far more perplexing “why would it not be fine?” they could take a vacation on Duri prime for all she cared. 
For a moment Nora’s eyes were clouded in memories “none of our previous travels to Terra or Sol were particularly pleasant….” She and Nora had traveled to Sol 4 times before, once with Shivar….an unpleasant affair, and three times when she was governor. Two of those latter times she had almost been killed by assassination attempts and the work itself had not been any better. Days of arguing with Terran politicians was not exactly the ideal vacation. 
Despite the memories, it didn’t bother her “it won’t be like that this time, it will just be us, Darla, and our owners…I think that sounds wonderful.” The pain of the past was no longer a good indicator of the future…she was safe, loved, happy, owned…and never alone. 
Nora looked at her worriedly “are you okay? Sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up…” oh…she was crying, but this was not like the last time she had been here. 
Cleo smiled and dried the tears away with her left paw “it’s nothing….just happy that’s all.” She leaned into Nora again and they cuddled long into the night. 

The original idea was to have this be the final chapter, but it got far too long, so enjoy a two-parter. The next and final chapter might take some time as I am still in the process of moving. Hope you have a wonderful day!

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