11 - I need emotional support STAT and I need it from you

by Fluxom

Tags: #cw:gore #cw:noncon #D/s #drugs #f/f #graphic_violence #hurt/comfort #scifi #accidental_conditioning #anxiety #blood #depression #disassociation #dom:female #dom:internalized_imperialism #dom:plant #Human_Domestication_Guide #medical_play #mindbreak #paranoia #self_care_is_over_were_doing_drugs_now #self_harm #self_harm_is_over_were_still_doing_drugs #sub:female #xenophobia
See spoiler tags : #awake_surgery #parasite/symbiote #plant_vampirism #sadomasochism #torture

cw for harmless self harm? mutilation??? depiction of a plant lady doing some grafts idk how to tag that right

Autumn spent several days in a tense haze. She couldn’t get the imagined sensation of roots crawling into her skull out of her mind. She *wanted* to believe that the feeling that twisted in her gut was fear, but that didn’t feel like she was being honest with herself. Perhaps her dosage was too strong at the moment. Or not enough. Solanum, for her part, had quietly let Autumn sort through her thoughts in peace.

The only thing Autumn had determined she knew for sure is that she didn’t want some random affini’s cells to be infiltrating her body. Very specifically ‘some random affini’. If she pictured a certain specific affini, it… didn’t quite bother her so much. Autumn buried her face into some cushions and screamed, then promptly decided to stop thinking about that entirely. Torch the entire subject. She most certainly did not continue to lay face first into the cushions and think about exactly that for what felt like five more hours.

“Little one,” Solanum put her hand on the back of Autumn’s head to catch her attention. “I’ve found that person you were looking for.”

Autumn tilted her head to the side and looked up at her affini. “Hrmm?”

“This… Whisper Theta you mentioned. Apparently she didn’t respond to any of the treatments they attempted to give her, so she ended up being shuffled between a few medical stations until she was scooped up by an affini ship.”

“Let me guess,” Autumn groaned. “She’s a pet now?”

Solanum checked her tablet again before answering. “Whisper Vulgare, fifth floret. I’ve been told she’s recovered nicely since being picked up.”

Autumn turned her face back into the cushions to wallow in her mixed feelings. Of course Whisper had recovered. What had she told herself five billion times already? The affini had advanced pharmacology blah blah blah so on and so forth something something plant brainwashing. Stars if she knew about the implant back then she probably would have clawed out the skin on the back of her neck in worry.

“If you wish to talk to her sometime I can arrange a call.”

Autumn bolted upright, in the process inadvertently moving Solanum’s hand from the back of her head to rest over her shoulders instead. She did not feel comforted by that, she swore.

...maybe a little comforted. Dirt.

“I’d like that,” She said, looking up at Solanum hopefully. “Please. If that’s okay.”

“Of course, little one. I’ll contact her owner.”

The face that Autumn saw on the monitor felt like a completely different person from the one she parted ways with. Whisper moved with a sort of energetic vigor that she hadn’t seen on *anyone* aboard the Verdant Dawn, much less the ones who bore scars like she had. “Hello there!” Whisper waved towards the camera, smiling brightly.

Autumn… didn’t know how to handle this now that it was actually happening.

“Hello?” Whisper continued talking. “Is this working, can she hear me?” She turned to face someone off screen and gestured towards them. Shortly after, an affini clambered in to sit behind her and wrap their arms around her shoulders, chin resting on top of her head.

“Looks like it’s working, little Whisper. I think she’s just shy.”

Autumn blinked back to alertness. “Right! Sorry, I just, I was so surprised I guess I froze up. Last I saw you were…” She gestured vague circles with her hand. “Different. I mean, like, I’m glad to see you’re better.”

Whisper just looked confused at her words, but her affini leaned down and whispered something into her ear which caused her to gasp. “Oh! Oh, I don’t actually remember much from those days, I’m so sorry. Were we friends?”

“Nnnot really. I only actually knew you personally after you had become catatonic, and I uh… I was kind of part of the group that moved your body to the mars station.”

“Then I *must* thank you for that,” the affini behind Whisper spoke up, tightening her arms into a hug around Whistper’s body while moving down to rub her cheek against her human’s. “Cattleya Vulgare, fourth bloom. If it weren’t for your little act I would have never met such a lovely girl.”

Autumn was struck by the two’s interaction. Whisper seemed so aware, and Cattleya so loving it sent some kind of odd knot tightening up inside her chest. “What’s it like?” Autumn asked before she even realized what she had said.

“Hm? What do you mean?” Whisper had to pause getting her face adored by her affini for a second to speak up, but that just meant Cattleya moved on to running her hands through Whisper’s hair instead.

Autumn chewed her lip. “To be a pet.”

“Oh! I thought you were- are you not?” Whisper asked.

Cattleya leaned down towards the camera. “She looks like one, a particularly cute one too.”

“No!” Autumn practically shouted, then covered her mouth in embarrassment as Solanum poked her head out of her room to see what the noise was. “No, I’m not, I’m just… under personal care for the time being.”

Whisper drifted in thought, eyes glazing over a bit as she leaned to the side. Okay maybe she wasn’t as all there as she had seemed a moment ago. Cattleya pet her head back up and spoke up, “Ahh, I see. Don’t worry about that distinction, little Whisper. Just answer her question dear.”

“Okay!” Whisper perked right back up. “I think it feels great! Apparently I was downright miserable back when I was one of those rebels which, I mean, it would be kind of obvious wasn’t it? Since I shut down and all. But Cattleya here,” Whisper moved her hand to rest it on the side of her affini’s face. “She’s been so sweet and helpful with drawing me back up from my daze and putting me back together. Nowadays I’m just so relaxed and comfortable and showered in love and…” Her face turned several shades of red as she trailed off. “Aaaanyway, that’s the simple version.”

“I mean like, physically. If that makes sense?” Autumn slumped forward a bit under the weight of uncertainty, head coming to rest between her folded arms.

Cattleya gave a smile that struck Autumn as odd, but didn’t speak up. “Physically? Ah… hrm…” Whisper leaned over to the side again in thought, and once more her affini gently propped her back up. “It’s like I’m swimming? My body feels all floaty all the time, and I don’t get bad thoughts anymore. It’s very pleasant.”

“Did you ever regret it?”

“Absolutely not!” Whisper answered with the eagerness of a puppy.

“Even the implant?”

“Best thing that ever happened to me.” She smiled.

“She probably wants details, little floret.”

“Oh! Uhm, well…” Whisper paused for a moment then broke into a fit of giggles. “I remember it feeling a little weird at first? Like, the back of my neck itched sometimes, and I couldn’t quite move my body right for a bit? But Cattleya kept me pretty sedated while it was healing so I don’t really remember much of that part in detail. Uhhhmmm, after thaaaat…” She looked off into the distance in thought. “I can kinda recall that my experience with the affini drugs was always smoother after that. Like, I’ve got this thing in my spine now that can help control my levels and it comes on all smooth instead of like, really sharp? And I used to notice that it’d mess up my thoughts a bit, but not like, in a bad way. Like my bad thoughts would get cut off and I’d get really warm whenever Cattleya was around. Not just like, the usual sappy kind of warm either. Like a  really really happy kind, if that makes sense?”

“It also handles her regular hormone problems by itself, helps her sleep, and if need be it can even clean up her system for when I need her clear headed.”

Autumn was stuck mulling over everything that Whisper had said. The content was one thing, but the *tone*. She’d sounded elated. Downright euphoric, even. Autumn couldn’t avoid the way that her speech slipped through her mind and echoed about with implications.

“Pardon my mannnnerrssssss, I feel like I’ve talked about myself the whole time.” Whisper just kept right on talking. “How about you? How’ve you been? I mean, like, I don’t really remember anything from before but I still kind of feel like we’re friends now? If that’s okay. C’mon, tell me everything, it’s only fair I listen to you now.”

Autumn sighed, feeling a bit like a cornered cat all of a sudden but nonetheless perched her head up onto her hand. “Yeah, okay.”

Autumn flopped face first back into the cushions, thoroughly exhausted after exchanging life stories with Whisper. Somewhere in the middle of all of her talks a package had arrived for Solanum, who had silently taken it from the door and set it aside across from Autumn’s position. From there she proceeded to pull up a seat, grab some clippers and tape from her room, and unravel her right arm to reveal a splay of flowers and needles that were, frankly dizzying to try to keep track of. Since then she’d been silently sorting them into two piles for the remainder of Autumn’s call.

“Solanum,” The human groaned. “What are you doing?”

“Replacing some of my flowers so I can carry medicines more fit to your needs.”

Autumn tilted her head to the side, looking towards Solanum though the scattered strands of hair over her face. “What do you mean?”

“Do you see this red one, for example?” She held up one that had rested near her elbow, held on by  a slim stem. “It’s for producing symphita extracts, very handy for an amphibious species a few jumps away, but if I gave this to you it’d melt your stomach lining. So,” In one steady motion Solanum clipped the flower off her body at the stem, plucked a yellow one from her package, and proceeded to tape it into place onto her body. “I’m replacing it with a rubecka flower, something that can help in case you ever get a heart attack.”

Autumn bolted right up to her seat in shock at Solanum’s casual act of self mutilation, but the shock slowly lessened to a dull sort of surprise as she realized that Solanum had shown no sign of pain in doing her act. “Doesn’t that hurt?”

“Not particularly. I’ve done these grafting many times in my life, and it only hurts if I forget to dry the line beforehand.” She quietly pulled out a blue flower from a longer stem from between layers of vines that were closer to her wrist. “And since you haven’t shown any sign of backpedaling into self-oblivion I figure it’s time I be properly prepared for any further needs of yours that would arise.”

“So what’s that one?”

“Culminth, a psychoactive substance. I’d have to dilute it many times over before I could give you any though, and even if I did it has a nasty habit of lingering in a human’s brain stem for possibly a few decades.” She snipped it, and replaced it with a small purple flower. “Now it’s an encelia plant, so I can produce medicine for fevers for you.”

“Darn, no fun acid trips for me then?” Autumn tried to tease. This, of course, backfired immediately.

“If you’re looking to, what do you humans say? Trip out? I have quite a selection of options for you.” Solanum continued to pluck aside unnecessary flowers as three of the colorful options rose up on their vines towards her, opening to reveal an array of needles hidden within already primed with translucent nectars. “You’re welcome to have some at any time.”

“Ah, no thanks.” Autumn scooted back a little. “I was just joking.”

“My offer still remains.”

Autumn pulled up her knees to her chest and leaned into them, draping her arms around her legs into a sort of comforting hug. She silently watched as Solanum worked, always seeming to pull ever more hidden pieces from within the formerly tight networks of her forearm. “...you’re not going to give me anything bad for me, are you?”

“Of course not, little one.” Solanum answered without missing a beat. “Even in the worst case scenarios the drugs we employ are more for ensuring that our subjects wouldn’t accidentally harm themselves or each other.”

“Or affini?”

Solanum paused her actions and looked up with a sort of confusion that implied the idea of a pet species bringing actual harm to an affini in any way was simply beyond reasonable consideration.

“...you’re not afraid of humans at all, are you?”

“The only fear I get out of interacting with humans is the penchant for your rebels to lash out in a way that hurts themselves.” Solanum pointedly gestured towards Autumn there. “It’s unfortunate for everyone involved when that happens.”

“...I see.” Autumn bundled up into herself a touch tighter after that, giving Solanum silence to continue grafting new medicines to herself in peace. Within short order the affini finished her work, and bundled her arm together in a careful display of vines and stems weaving themselves together. “What would you give me if I were having a panic attack?”
Solanum flexed her forearm, revealing a small array of white flowers that terminated in a long, thin needle from under her wrist. “Klotaxin, sharply inhibits anxiety symptoms and induces a weakened state so you can’t do anything to harm yourself while I assist you.”
“What if I got violent?”

Solanum tilted her hand the other direction, folding the white flowers back under the surface and revealing a series of prickly brambles with a small assortment of fresh growing needles bundled within it. “Betula Dulca, essentially a quick acting knockout drug that induces feelings of euphoria. It’s a little weird to see, since people injected with it essentially have giggle fits until they fall asleep.”

“What if I asked for something?”

“Are you feeling anxious again?”

“No I just mean, theoretically, if I wanted to feel nice.”

Solanum folded her arm back to the closed position, then idly stretched her fingers out one by one, revealing small blots of color hidden between the vines as she did. “Given your anxious nature with xenodrugs I’d want to talk about all of the options I have in detail before administering something for your enjoyment, and then ask that you remain by my side so I can supervise you while you’re out.”

Autumn tightened her grip around her knees as she floated that thought through her mind. “Solanum,” She muttered. “Please hold me.”

Solanum’s body flared up in surprise, leaves standing on end and flower petals popping out between for vines. “But-”

“I don’t rooting care just hold me already, you dirt clod.”


“What!?” Autumn sat back up to see Solanum awkwardly perched by the far end of their couch, bent over somewhere between awkward nervousness and shock.

“Who taught you to talk like that?”

“Pyrus did.”

“Of course he did.”

“Exima helped.”

“If I hear those two start using human curse words I swear I’ll-”

“Be really grumpy and do nothing because you’re a big softie, I know.” Autumn flopped back down and held out her arms. “Now shut up and hold me already, I need emotional comfort and you’re the best I got here.”

“I- fine. Fine! Whatever.” Solanum threw up her arms in defeat and promptly stepped over to Autumn’s prone frame, took a seat beside her, and then flopped down with an arm lazily tossed over her body. “Happy now?”

“Happy enough.” Autumn wiggled back against Solanum’s body, adjusted some of her vines for personal comfort, and promptly fell asleep.

Solanum, meanwhile, attempted to handle the torrent of confusion that ran through her mind while simultaneously searching blindly for her blankets with her vines.

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