26 - A Date with Dawn

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 hypnosis actually finally showing up on a pov character, more mentions of trauma, and a scene that could, possibly, be considered manipulation, maybe a little

Autumn quickly learned that she had two fun and exciting new forms of trauma to process.

One, she was absolutely batshit terrified at the prospect of interacting with another human that wasn’t already a domesticated pet. This mercifully excluded Dawn, as being scared of her would make Autumn’s looming date with her very awkward.

Two, she was perpetually of the feeling that something terrible was looming around the corner and very specifically wanted to claw open her stomach and spill her innards about the ship. While paranoid delusions were nothing new to Autumn, her medication spree had been sufficient in tempering most of their power before now. Treating her new problems meant another step up the ladder of medication intensity, and Autumn was left between either being a nervous uncontrollable wreck or being at an elevated mental state that left her constantly craving another’s touch with a new sort of warm desperation and ready to slip into a mindless haze at a moment’s notice. 
Autumn picked the horny brainmelting high without a moment’s hesitation. She was surprisingly comfortable with the constant warm feeling that xenodrugs had put her under 24/7 by this point, and feeling it surge up around her another step of intensity had almost become exciting to her. The fears that kept clinging to her brain were quietly suffocated under the loving blanket of her new dosage of… whatever it was, she didn’t even ask. It was better than being stuck in a loop of feeling the knife’s sawback tear through her organs as she yanked it out again and again and again and- anyway,

Instead she was dopily laying beside Solanum, purring openly and snuggling up against her all morning. Solanum grumpily surrendered to Autumn’s affections in short order, though she was quick to complain about how she “had other things to do” and “was a very busy affini” before continuing to lay underneath Autumn for another two hours. It wasn’t until Ilex came bursting through Solanum’s front door and pried Autumn off of the poor affini and threw her at Dawn that either of them could even start to be productive with their day.

“I’m taking your human.” Ilex had said with a casual sort of air. “The captive’s surgery is scheduled for later tonight in the third wing. Hesperia set aside a seat in the viewing room if you think you can make it.” She then scooped up Dawn and Autumn under each arm before turning and leaving, scuttling out the door before Solanum could even muster a usual ‘she’s not my human’ reply.

“Tadaaa~” Dawn waved her arms out dramatically, body drifting lazily in microgravity as the trio entered one of the furthest viewing decks on the Baiera. “The affini set up an observatory type thing up here, I thought it'd be fun to check it out together. Apparently all the affini are busy with the latest capture thing? So we’ve got the place all to ourselves today!” Autumn came drifting in after her, half paying attention to her surroundings and half being amazed by the new ways it felt to have circulated air dance over her skin.

The glass-like dome housed a darkened room nested in an outer layer of the ship where none of the internal lighting reached. There in the Baiera’s shadow the vast array of stars that surrounded them became fully visible, completely with the luminous streak that marked the path of the milky way. As Autumn floated inward she saw the dark expanse of space cut by the shadowed mass of the Baiera’s lightless hull around them, a curtain of opaque darkness that cut against the endless dots of the stars above.

Dawn twirled around in mid-air before she gradually came to a stop in the middle of nowhere. She attempted to twist herself towards Autumn fruitlessly until Ilex, patiently floating behind both of them, slid forward a vine to draw Dawn back down. There she practically tackle hugged Autumn from behind, wrapping her shaking limbs around the human excitedly as the two proceeded to drift off to the side together. “Here,” Dawn said as they reached the edge of the dome structure. She turned to slip a hook on the back of her artificial leg through a bar that laced between the window plates, bringing the two to a stop just next to the pseudoglass surface.

Autumn wrapped herself around Dawn’s side, revelling in the raw sensation of skin against skin as the view of space covered her vision. All of existence drifted by in a leisurely display that slid into brilliant streaks in her addled mind.. “Have you seen the stars beyond this system?” Autumn asked quietly, acutely aware once more of her journey ahead as she recounted the familiar constellations before her.

“A few times.” Dawn rose her free hand to shakily gesture off to a cluster of lights. “When we drifted through the area for a bit Hesperia took me out to one of the viewing decks and counted out the local constellations with me.”

“Just Hesperia?”

“Well,” Dawn glanced down to Ilex, then leaned in to whisper close to Autumn’s ear. “Ilex got sick ‘cause she spent too long in the cold on a planetside trip and had to stay in bed all day.” The two broke into a fit of giggles at the affini’s expense.

“Do you think we can see Jupiter from here?”

Dawn hummed, eyes tracing the path of the stars around them. “We’re moving away from it, but….. Aha!” She pointed in the rough area of a bright light. “There it is.”

Autumn followed her path, adjusted for margin of error, and found the familiar sight of Jupiter now reduced to a diminishing pale dot in the distance, only faintly ringed by it’s moons.. “Can’t even see the dot anymore, huh?” She sighed. Autumn quietly slipped out from the handhold, letting herself drift aimlessly through the air in a lazy spiral. “I guess this is actually going to be goodbye, Jupiter then.”

Dawn quietly pushed off to chase after her, looping her elbow around Autumn’s as the two proceeded off in a slow tangent path. “I’m sure you’ll be able to see it again sometime.”

“I don’t think it’ll be safe for me to come back to this system for a long time.” Autumn’s eyes lazily drifted across the many lights in the distance, quietly marking the distant colors that marked the path of Mars, or the tiny blip that was Earth. “Which, I mean like, it kind of sucks? But I wasn’t exactly happy here to begin with.”

“Still feels like home even when it hurts, huh?” Dawn replied, following Autumn’s visual path herself.

“Yeah, guess I can’t help feeling a little emotionally attached.”

“Earth born?”

“Moon raised. Life sucked, thought I’d get a degree in xenolinguistics, ended up joining the navy to try to pay for college.”

“I was born on a Jupiter satellite myself. Had family connections to some… science academy, I don’t remember much of what it was like but I can vaguely recall hating it.”

“But we gotta make ends meet one way or another, huh?”

“The great trauma of capitalism.” The two broke into another small fit of laughter. Dawn’s voice trailed off first, her eyes taking another unfocused look as she started to drift off to the side. “One moment, I… please wait,” She put a hand to the side of her head. “...’m foggy… don’t… nnoooo….” Her voice slipped down into silence. Everything slowed down dramatically, and within a short moment she was back to catatonia.
Ilex quickly slithered up between them, wrapping Dawn up in her vines before bringing her into the familiar sight of a colorful flower blooming from her hand. “Come back now, Dawn.” She whispered into the human’s ear, lights dancing her her eyes and coalescing until *snap*!

“Oh! Sorry.” Dawn blinked back to alertness, her body slowly following after her. “Thank you, Ilex.” She gave the affini a small kiss before Ilex slithered back off to give the two privacy. “I’m… sorry about fading like that.”

“It’s okay,” Autumn answered, gently taking Dawn’s wrist with her good hand as they came up against the far wall of the dome. She twirled around in place, hooking her foot under one of the bars to bring the two to a stop. “You can’t control it, afterall.”

Dawn blushed. “Well, yes, but I mean, it’s still embarrassing and makes it awkward to make friends.”

“And usually people get either super pitying or dismissive when it comes up?”


“I get paranoia episodes sometimes, not the same thing but I can relate to the struggle.”

Dawn gave a contented sort of sigh, accidentally sending herself drifting back in the process. “Autumn, you’re sweet.”

“I’m pretty sure I taste kind of bitter, actually.”

Dawn gave her a playful slap with the back of her hand. “You’re also high.”

“It helps with the bad… brain stuff!” Autumn snorted out between fits of giggles. “I think? I mean it also makes me feel super warm and nice and comfy and every time you touch me but I’m prettyyyy sure the primary purpose is to stop me from melting from panic attacks.”

“Hrmm touch like this?” Dawn put both her hands on Autumn’s cheeks, fingers twitching like crazy as she did but for a brief moment coordinated enough for her to rub both cheeks vigorously in alternating circles. Autumn’s gasp turned into a confused sort of noise that then quickly devolved into a quiet moan as her brain was scattered into thousands of little pieces from the sensory overload.

Autumn’s mind remained lost in an empty state of bliss for what felt simultaneously a million years and only half a second, but by the time it was over she was floating stationary in the middle of the dome with Dawn, her own hand pinning one of Dawn’s to her cheek where her nerves continued to shoot off fresh jolts of pleasure straight into her brain.

“Dirt,” Dawn whispered. “Do I look like that when I pass out?”

“I don’t know,” Autumn whispered back. She felt like her face had gone bright red. “How did I look?”

“Ridiculously hot.”

Autumn glanced nervously towards the side to see Ilex casually looking out towards space. “Well, if it’s you I guess it’s okay to make me look like that some more.”

The two silently stared at each other for a single moment, then broke into a tight embrace as they locked lips in a hypersensate loop that sent drug-enhanced neurons aflame and quickly left the two alternate between states of lucid excitement and blank-eyed bliss.

“Here, you should probably drink this.” Ilex handed the two a water bottle each after she ferried their near-unconscious bodies out of the dome an hour later. Both of the humans were still in a dazed state after overloading their brains from constant stimulation that slowly settled down to a euphoric high between assisted sips of water. By the time all the colors and sounds of the world finally settled down to a comprehensible state Autumn found herself laying beside Dawn in one of the many garden areas within the Baiera, light softly trickling between the leaves to dance over her skin and the scent of flowers fresh on her nose.

Autumn stirred with a soft moan, rising to a seated position to discover the abundance of trees surrounding them, bushes overflowing with bright colors and- wait where was Ilex? “Ilex?” She asked. One of the trees suddenly spun around on it’s center, branches coalescing into legs as the trunk split apart into arms, all coming together to reveal Ilex twirling forward into a front flip and landing gracefully before her.

“Yes, dear?” The affini asked, bent at the simulated hip over the smaller human.

...of course she was hiding somewhere and wanted to pop out with a flourish. Autumn realized she should have expected as much from the start. She patted the floor beside her, and the Affini performed another acrobatic flourish to fold herself up next to Autumn, one arm draped around the human’s back and resting beside Dawn’s body as she did.

“Is something on your mind, little Autumn?” Ilex spoke, her other hand trailing up the side of Autumn’s neck to rest under chin and tilt her face up to meet hers. Involuntary shivers danced along Autumn’s skin from the contact, culminating into a quiet gasp once the affini’s fingers reached her head.

“I just wanted to thank you. For, everything, I guess?” Autumn slid forward into a hug around Ilex’s frame. From behind she heard the quiet tone of a snap before Dawn pressed in behind her, arms laced around Autumn’s waist in another hug.

“You’re quite welcome!” Ilex replied, happily returning the gesture by bundling both terrans up in an embrace of her vines. “What brought this on, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I just…” Autumn paused, glancing around her. Idyllic woods housed in metal rings drifting through space. The taste of wonder on the tip of her tongue. The subtle fire of passion burning through her veins. The taste of want lingering on the front of her forebrain. “I guess waking up I just realized that I… actually kind of like it here.”

“Oh?” Ilex’s voice had a playful sort of tilt to it then.

“I… I’m not sure how to elaborate.” Autumn admitted.

“Would you like us to help?” Dawn asked, her voice just a whisper directly into Autumn’s ear.

Ilex gently led Autumn back down onto her back. “Head full of confusing thoughts, little Autumn?” She purred, moving to loom over her. “We can help you pick them apart.”

“Hesplex helps me with confusing thoughts all the time.” Dawn added, cuddling up next to Autumn and draping her body over the other’s. Autumn silently nodded along. Her brain felt… fuzzy.  Out of focus. More than it had before.

“Why don’t you start from the top, dear. Tell me how you feel right now.” Ilex spoke as her touch grazed the sides of Autumn’s face. The human, in turn, leaned into her touch and felt the rush of lights dancing about in her skull once more, pulling at her lungstrings all over again.

“I used to be so scared of affini drugs, but now I just feel… content.” Autumn confessed. “Like I could be in this cloud forever and not once regret it.”

“Hmm? And what changed your mind?”

“Solanum. You. Hesperia. Dawn. Everyone’s been so sweet and kind and helpful and, and…” Autumn flinched as she tried to reach for memories of her old life. “I don’t, I didn’t, I used to have to suffer alone but now someone’s always reaching out and helping.”

“And how does our help make you feel?”

Autumn felt a pressure in the front of her mind. As if something was being drawn out and squeezed in between competing thoughts. “Good.” She admitted. “It’s… overwhelming at times, but I think I’ve found comfort in how you all…” The word got stuck on her tongue. Ilex slid a finger delicately across her face once more, sending a fresh wave of sparks scattering inside of her. “Controlled me!” Autumn felt as if something had just been yanked out of her chest to say the word out loud.

“It does feel nice to surrender control, doesn’t it?” Ilex spoke softly. “Your bodies are practically perfectly engineered to give it up, so you shouldn’t feel bad for enjoying it.”

“Wh..what?” Autumn flushed, dull eyes flown wide in surprise at Ilex’s words.

“Oxytocin releases in your brain are all it takes to start establishing feelings of trust and comfort, of course. Take Dawn for example,” As Ilex spoke her vines slithered around Dawn’s forearm, tightening into a firm grip as they laced through her fingers. “Back when we first claimed her, all I had to do was hold her hand as we talked and she came to trust me enough to give me her body.” Dawn shivered at her touch, biting her lower lip to stifle the noises that attempted to slip from her throat. “But don’t you worry about the fine details, little Autumn. Tell me more about how our *control* makes you feel.”

Autumn opened her mouth to speak but nothing escaped except for a confused gasp. “It feels,” That thing inside of her head was strained. Drawn taut. “It feels good. I don’t feel stressed, or worried, or scared, or, or-”

A vine tapped the side of Autumn’s jaw, and she automatically opened her mouth wide to the command. “You’re already been trained to receive commands and you barely even know it.” Ilex teased. Autumn snapped her mouth shut in embarrassment. Another vine tapped the side of her chest and she weakly lifted her injured arm to the side, then another at her hip that led her to move her leg by command. She didn’t even have to think about it, her body just moved on it’s own before her consciousness caught up to her. “Adorable.”

“I… I’m trained?” Autumn furrowed her brows.

“Think about it, human. You take your medicine without complaint, you follow gesture commands without thinking, you accept being hand fed by your handler, you find comfort under our heels. Do these truths bother you?”

That thought in her skull was fraying apart. “...No. It sounds… nice? I think?”

“Is thinking becoming too hard, little Autumn?” Ilex asked.

Dawn tightened her grip around Autumn’s body. “It’s okay if this is too much.” Dawn comforted. “Every time I couldn’t take it, they let me rest.”

“Just say the word and it’ll stop, always.” Ilex echoed. Autumn remained silent once more. “What a good girl you are. Now tell me, Autumn. Do you know what it sounds like when I describe how nice and obedient you are?”
“Like a… pet?” Autumn asked. “But, but pets have implants-”

“As you do.” Ilex said, tracing the line of the implanted collar around Autumn’s neck. “Right here.” A vine then wrapped around her injured arm and pinned it to the floor. “And here.” A third vine slid across her bare stomach to linger across the bare roots protruding from her wound. “And most importantly right here.”

“Pets are drugged up into a blissful haze.”

“Between you and Dawn, I’d say you’re the one on a higher dosage right now.”

“P ...pets have owners?”
“I suppose that is a difference between you and proper pets, isn’t it? And that bothers you, doesn’t it?”

“...yes.” Autumn’s voice was barely a whisper. Her vision wouldn’t stop shaking.

“You have someone you want to be with, don’t you?”


“You trust her.”

“More than myself.” Autumn’s voice moved practically on it’s own. “She, she kept me safe. From other affini. From myself. From her.”

Ilex sighed, leaning over to rest her chin against one of her hands while the other moved to pinch Autumn’s cheek. “You two are painfully adorable, I swear.”

“Hey!” All at once Autumn snapped back to herself.

“You’re both flitting around lusting after the other without the guts to take the first step, it’d be obnoxious if it weren’t so cute.”

“She- what?” Autumn’s posture shifted from surprised tension to raw confusion in an instant.

Dawn sleepily rose up to a seated position, now also looming over the prone Autumn. “You didn’t notice? Even I could see that.”

“Which is saying a lot considering how easily Dawn can just…” Ilex slipped her fingers over Dawn’s face, sliding them down from her forehead to her chin, gently closing Dawn’s eyes in the process. The human’s body followed after the gesture, slipping out of consciousness and relaxing back into a dazed state in short order. “...stop seeing things entirely.” Ilex finished with a smile.
Autumn stuttered out a series of half words until Ilex grabbed her shoulders and pinned her down, moving to straddle over the human’s body while her vines gripped the sides of Autumn’s face. 

“Come now, look at me.” Ilex said, her voice returning to its playful lilt once more. “You’ve still got that nasty little shred of thought in your head, don’t you? That tiny voice that says you should seek independence, for yourself if nothing else.”

That was the thought in her head. Some struggling concept of self that couldn’t survive between the crushing waves of reality.

“But tell me, what is it that you really want?” To be by Solanum’s side. To hold her close and bring her joy just as Solanum would bring her love in turn.

“I… I want to be her pet?” The struggling thought tore at the edges. She wanted to be Solanum’s pet. She wanted to feel the warm haze of Solanum’s touch burn her flesh echo out through eternity. She wanted to reach into Solanum’s heart and help heal the endless rows of scars that hurt her.

“You’ve got such a lovely look in your eyes right now, Autumn.” Ilex spoke softly. “There’s a certain… look, you terrans get when the old concept of self breaks apart for good and makes way for the adorable pet to be.” Autumn was only barely processing the words. Everything in her mind had suddenly begun to click and slide into place with a dreadful clarity. She enjoyed the affini’s touch. She craved the sting of their medicines. She loved being their plaything and being controlled and led around on a leash. “Ah, there it is! That little light inside your eyes flickering away.”

Autumn wanted to be Solanum’s pet. This thought echoed itself over and over in her head, battering against the still screaming parts of her brain that wanted to insist she was just trying to seek freedom, escape the terran navy, find some sort of comfort, breaking through each one piece by piece with an indomitable force until snap! Her whole self image caught aflame.

“And there it goes. Goodnight, free terran. Good morning, lovely pet Autumn.” Ilex’s voice brimmed a deep sense of satisfaction. “I’m almost sorry that Solanum couldn’t see this moment, but I know she treasures something else far more.”

“I want to be her pet.” Autumn felt as if she’d gone numb. The flames inside her brain scorched through her memories and left burnt ashes in its wake, coloring every silly moment of insisting she had ever had a chance of anything else in a haze of futility. It should have been so fucking obvious from the start. A fresh bloom of anxious pain tightened up in her gut. Tears formed at the edges of her eyes.

“Hey, it’s okay.” Ilex whispered. “I’m here, Dawn’s still here, too.”

“Why does it hurt?”

“Your fist has been clenched tight around that little spark of independence your whole life. This is the first time you’re actually using the muscles to open that hand and let it go.”

“I’m scared.” Autumn’s voice stuttered into a gasp of air, threatening to break into sobbing. Everything ahead of her had become coated in a fresh layer of uncertainty. Would Solanum want her? Was this even the right choice? Was Solanum even still alive!?

Ilex leaned in and whispered softly to the human, body wrapped closely around her to bring her some modicum of peace. “Everything will be okay, little Autumn. Here,” She moved a hand before Autumn's eyes, revealing a familiar spiraling flower in the palm of her hand. “I’d like to try something to help you calm down, and then I can take you to see Solanum right after. Would that be okay?”

“Please.” Autumn whimpered.

“Very good. Just look at the flower, little one.” Ilex’s voice flowed with a practiced ease into a smooth tone, speaking softly as the flower in her palm spun into a lazy little dance. The colors of its many petals swirled together into a soft pattern that drew Autumn's attention towards the center. “Just keep looking and listening to my words, letting yourself relax into the familiar comfort that the xenodrugs have you in. I know you’re very good at letting your mind wander into that blissful haze, and I want you to know that it’s perfectly alright to slip into one right now, here with me where it’s safe, where you can lay down all cuddled up with Dawn.”

Autumn felt the soft warmth that had enveloped her body throughout the day return with a gentle intensity, crawling up from the ends of her limbs and slowly making its way into her center. Her vision readily blurred under the glow of the lights above, becoming unfocused and distant but still centered on the bright colors of the flower before her. Ilex gently brought it closer, letting the beautiful swirl cover her vision entirely.

“Good, very good.” Ilex continued. “Keep looking, little one. Keep looking, and listening, and let yourself slip into that warmth as much as you are comfortable. Let yourself dip just a touch deeper with each turn of the flower, just a little bit more encompassed by that lovely sensation, just a little bit more open and soft and warm and receptive to my words.”

The warmth covered her chest, and suddenly it moved from a soft cloud to a crushing depth that surrounded her, pressed in on all sides, flooded into her mind and quashed her thoughts. Autumn felt as if she’d been dropped into a vat of honey that flooded into her mouth and replaced her air. But instead of screaming against the looming suffocation she just let it enter her, calmly sinking back into the sensation.

“All you see is the colors I show you, all you hear is my words, all you feel is the warmth. Listen to me now, and know you’re able to rise up from this fog anytime you wish. You can choose to keep, or reject, any of the words I give you. You are the one in control of yourself, and I am just your guide helping you find peace and comfort. Remember this as you sink deeper and deeper into the feeling, letting all of your worries slip out from your body and drift far far away as you go.”

Between the folds of color Autumn could almost see dots of light slip by, little bubbles of air that slipped from her lungs and drifted back up to the surface. Each one a tension, a worry, a small knot in her muscles that finally slipped loose and escaped her flesh. The words slid through her brain, being processed but not properly heard by her conscious mind. Words of drifting blended into a sensation of sinking deeper, of increasing pressure, of comfort.

“When you feel you’re as deep as you can comfortably go for today, whether that’s just under the surface or miles and miles below, I want you to say ‘I’m ready’.”

Autumn felt herself sink down until the moment the pressure became just a touch beyond comfort. A layer where her ribs strained outward against the pressure and her lungs quietly strained for air. “I’m ready.” She murmured.

“Wonderful,” Ilex continued. She silently adored Autumn’s distant expression the whole time, particularly as it mirrored the mindless look that Dawn carried beside her. Ilex’s lips bent into a small smirk at the sight, enjoying for just a moment the indulgent image of the two wrapped around each other in mindless bliss for days on end. But sadly, that wasn’t for today.

Maybe if this all worked out Solanum would let her borrow the cute little human later.

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