4 - Transfusion

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

I keep looking at my house plant and it hasn't developed into a hyper advanced domineering plant alien who wants to strip my mind of thought so I guess it's back to the content mines I go.

The third talk followed a similar pattern as the second. Solanum kept prying for information on Autumn’s life story and medical history, Autumn kept asking ever more absurd questions to sate her paranoia. Apparently she was of the belief that Affini ate souls, or would throw people out of the airlocks for fun. Autumn had apologized profusely each time the words left her mouth, as if shocked by the ideas herself once they had materialized into sound. But Solanum, thankful that her face was an easily controlled simulacra, was more than capable of presenting calm as she picked apart the ideas. 
The fourth talk, similarly, was a relatively smooth ride until Autumn began to ask about the status of her old crew. She was apparently convinced that they were hunting for her, but then when informed that they’d already been moved off the satellite was convinced that they were being processed for food stuffs? Solanum wanted to groan in frustration, Affini didn’t even eat the way mammals do. Everything broke down after that, as Autumn had convinced herself that their ghosts were going to hunt her down and seek revenge, and soon after was flailing against her restraints and spewing curse words at people who weren’t there.

The fifth talk was barely anything. Solanum had arrived when a nurse was helping Autumn move her limbs under supervision. Apparently something had set off Autumn and she became trapped in a memory, scared witless that she was about to be shot in the head or worse. Solanum thought she had to leave, but Autumn cried out after her. Turns out the human nurse had to leave, and Autumn desperately clung to one of Solanum’s vines until it passed.

The sixth was just an hour of silently staring at each other, Autumn nervously picking at her sheets. The seventh was when Autumn started to ask social questions. On the eight, she finally seemed to stop tensing up innately when Solanum walked in. The four that followed were, dare she say, even pleasant conversations.

It was after these many session that Solanum was stuck in a meeting she had dreaded since being handed this case. “She’s in a very delicate condition,” She said, files organized about haphazardly over the table. “Severe mental trauma, issues with physical health, her current medication suite doesn’t seem to be helping-” Solanum gestured with a weak wave of her vines. “This isn’t good.”

“Should we just send her off for domestication?” Exima asked. The table they all sat around was staffed shoulder to shoulder by affini, all nervously glancing over the pages.

“Not unless you want to sign her off to being a class-o pet.”

Pyrus shrugged, “It would be a pleasant life for her.”

“Simpler than risking long term treatment, as well.”  Ailium added.

Solanum slumped into her seat and deflated. “My personal opinion on the matter is that she’d be better off if we attempt to assuage her mental state. She wasn’t in a clear state of mind when she called out to us, dirt I’d even say she didn’t know where or when she was.”

Pyrus mulled it over in his head, his four arms wrapped around his torso tightly. “...but, she was still a rebel officer. So we can’t just let her be and hope she doesn’t go back to fighting. She might get hurt if that happened.”

Exima cut in. “Supervision for the time being? If she gets better and doesn’t show any signs of trying to fight then great, we can take her to one of our worlds and let her relax there. If not, slap her into one of the life support pods and send her off to domestication.”

“Who has time for that?” Celasia spoke up this time. “Between our jobs and our own pets we’ve been busy enough, and it sounds like she’ll be high maintenance.”

“Then she needs someone who can handle her special needs and with no other pets?” Pyrus added, mulling it over before glancing towards Solanum.

“Yes, exactly.” Celasia answered, this time giving a knowing glance as well.

The room fell silent. Solanum looked up from her paperwork to see everyone looking at her. “...what?” She asked.

“Well,” Exima started.

“She needs someone who is already familiar with her problems.” Allium chimed in.

“And can devote the time to her individual care.” Pyrus this time.

“And you *have* cared for problem florets before.” Celasia again. Solanum quietly cursed herself for ever sharing her history.

“As well as your familiarity with the terran psychology.” Exima was leaning in now.

“Oh no,” Solanum sat upright with understanding. “Absolutely not.”

“Every other affini on the station already has at least one floret.”

“No, no, no, no.” Solanum protested, but the crowd moved in closer to her.

“Not to mention we’ve either got out hands full processing the rest of the captures or with the medical exchange.”

“I only promised to help with the initial processing.” Solanum stood up defiantly.

“Sol, please?” Celasia grabbed one of her hands, their vines intertwining to mirror the gesture.

“Pretty please?” Exima echoed, grabbing Sol on the other side.

“Absolutely not.” Sol answered. Even if the terran *was* cute. “I couldn’t.” She did need special care, though. “I won’t!” She still missed her previous pets, afterall. The scars were simply too fresh. “Surely there’s someone else?” There wasn’t. “Or somewhere else?” Unreliable. Any basic ethical guideline would require her to ensure the woman’s safety. But it simply couldn’t be her. Even if she was lonely. She just couldn’t!

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Sol muttered to herself as she slipped open the door to Autumn room to discover two very important things.

One, somehow Autumn had managed to slip her bonds and pull out her IV.

Two, Autumn was currently perched on a chair that had been moved onto the night stand and was prying loose a tile in the ceiling and trying to peer into it.

Well, at least she didn’t do anything more drastic in the meantime. Solanum faked a coughing noise to get the woman’s attention, which caused her to immediately freeze up and slowly turn to look towards Sol. “It’s not what you think.” Autumn practically whispered.

Solanum responded flatly, “You don’t know what I’m thinking.”

Autumn nervously glanced between Solanum, the door, and then back up to the hole now in the ceiling. It’d be cute, if she wasn’t at an immediate risk of falling over and hitting her head on something. “Well... what *are* you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you heard a noise which your brain interpreted as a sign that the ceiling was full of evil affini who wanted to sneak in and crack open your bones to drink your marrow.”

Autumn turned an adorable shade of red all over. “Okay, it’s exactly what you think.”

“Let me help you down and I’ll take a look for you.” Mercifully, Autumn let Solanum scoop her up from under her armpits and deposit her back onto the bed without protest. Then, Solanum had to simply stand up straight to poke her head into the ceiling and look around. It was no surprise to her that nothing would be there but pipes and dust, but it was important to getting her human- THE human, Solanum chided herself, to break out of her delusion and relax. “No Affini in here.” Solanum happily chirped. “Nothing but you, me,” She swiped a finger against the dust and showed it to Autumn. “And these dust rabbits.”


“Bunny rabbits?”

“Dust bunnies.” Autumn giggled. A giggle! Solanum was delighted to see once she bent back down that Autumn had already begun grabbing her pills on her own as well.

“Oh! I’ll try to remember that next time. How are the pills treating you?” Solanum asked as she slid the tile back into place and stepped back to take her usual seat.

Autumn swallowed her pills once more, this time with water. “Honestly?” Her smile faltered. “Not… very good. I’m still having bad thoughts and I’m worried all the time and it- it doesn’t feel like it’s doing nearly as much for me as it used to.” Dirt.

“You weren’t able to keep up on your dosage while aboard the Verdant Dawn, correct?”

“Well, yes, but it was such a low dosage-” It wasn’t. It was a VERY high dosage. “that I figured it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“Hrm, sometimes when there’s a break in medications the human body develops a resistance to the medicine.” Solanum hated to say it, but she refused to mince her words with Autumn. That’d just give more room for distrust to breed. “These might not be viable for you anymore, sorry. Would you like to try a different prescription? I can get in touch with a human doctor-”

“Wait.” Solanum froze, not daring to hope for where this was about to go. Autumn had slumped over back onto the bed, her hands wringing together as she struggled to speak. “I, look, this isn’t- don’t get the wrong idea, but, um,” She bit her lip and stared down at the sheets, her face turning red with anxiety. “You mentioned… that you had xenodrugs that would be able to help?”

Oh. Oh dirt. Oh dirt oh roots oh leaves.

“Maybe I could try that? Just a little. If it’s you.” She paused, then tightened up before springing upright to stare down Solanum directly. “But only you! I still don’t trust any of those other affini yet. Or, or, or the human nurses or-”

“Thhhhere’s something we should talk about first,” Solanum interrupted. Please don’t ruin this please don’t ruin this please don’t ruin this she’s SO CLOSE. Sol quietly produced a small black box from within her vines and opened it to reveal a collar and a set of cuffs towards Autumn. The human, naturally, immediately tensed up and scrambled to the farthest corner of the bed possible. “It’s not what it looks like, I promise.”

Autumn held still, staring at the collar for a length of time. The thoughts stormed behind her eyes and Solanum couldn’t help but start praying to every star that she knew that Autumn would at least hear her out. “...what is it, then?”

“You’ve shown good behaviour for a while now, so we’d like to let you out of the restraints and actually enable you to get up on your feet.” Not that the restraints would actually stop her if she was motivated enough, apparently. “...but, to do so we’d need you to wear these for your own safety. These are a set that we use for… pets… which lets us monitor their health and, in case of emergency, administer a sedative which would help keep them from bringing any untoward harm to themselves.”

“You want to make me your pet?”

“No!” Solanum shouted, then immediately regretted doing so. Autumn had cowered back in response, arms flung protectively over her chest. Still a sore spot. Sap it. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout. No, I don’t want to make you my pet. I just want to offer you the chance to wear these and be allowed some more freedom of movement than being tied to your bed all day.” She needed the movement, not that she fully understood it yet. Atrophied muscles. Atrophied bones.

“Are they loaded with xenodrugs?”

“Right now they’re empty, but I can load them with either human sedatives or xenodrugs, whichever makes you more comfortable.” Autumn’s fingers tapped over her sides in thought. Solanum wished she was a mindreader for this just so she could figure out whatever magical combination of words would get this woman to act in her own best interest here. The wait drew out long and terrible for the affini as the fear that she’d lost the human grew.

“Okay fine.” The amount of tension that left the Affini’s form could only be properly measured in scientific notation. “But!” Then it came back. “Only if you’re the one controlling the drugs and, and the dosages and, whatever.” Autumn flopped over onto her side after that, face buried between her knees and covered by her hands. Solanum, meanwhile, was struggling to keep a straight face while she wished to jump and cheer instead.

“As you wish.” Sol was impressed with herself for managing to sound calm. “I’ll take care of that right now, may I sit next to you?”

Autumn nodded, still bundled up around herself. Another good sign! Solanum was beginning to worry she’d get overconfident at this rate. She slid out of her seat, box in hand, and settled down right next to Autumn. “If you wish to watch me load the cuffs, you may.” Autumn only moved one of her hands to peek through her fingers, now shaking a little in anxiety. That one absolutely struck at Solanum’s metaphorical lungstrings. Gutstrings? One of those human organs. The point was, Solanum was immediately struck by a strong urge to try to hold Autumn close and pet her and soothe her and maybe drug her a little until she was nice and calm and relaxed in her arms and- ahem, probably not the best to test her trust THAT much. Focus on the task, Solanum.

With a casual flick of the wrist a thin needle slipped out of Sol’s palm, already dripping with an ochre sap. It was a simple matter to slip the needle into the receiving ports of the cuffs, flexing the vines that made her wrist muscles to deposit a dose, and another flick of the wrist to pop off the used needle for a new one. That just left the hard part, putting them onto Autumn.

“Dear, I’ll need to touch your arms and legs to put these on you. Is that okay?” Autumn nodded again. “Now, these are made with a mix of organic and technical components, so you’ll feel a bit of discomfort as they adjust but that should go away quickly.”

Autumn flinched at the thought. “Are they… alive?”

“No more than you would consider a virus alive. It’s just so they can work properly with your physiology and rest comfortably against your skin. You can touch them first if you’re not sure.” Solanum held out the filled cuff towards Autumn. After a moment’s hesitation the human reached out one finger and ran it across the device’s surface. A simple little tool, the cuffs and collar just kep the appearance of a near-flat black band.

Autumn, seeming satisfied, gave a small nod and said “Okay, let’s just get this over with I guess.”

Sol wasted little time in picking up her wrists and slipping the cuffs into place, followed by her ankles. Minimal touch, minimal wasted time, and by every leaf on her body did she hope minimal discomfort to Autumn. The human shivered in response to each one being slipped into place as the organic components adjusted themselves to her.

“Solanum?” Autumn’s voice was faint. “Am I weak?”

Solanum paused, needle in the collar uncertainty rushing through her mind. “What do you mean, dear?”

“I don’t know.” Autumn had turned her wrists inward, now gazing intently at the cuffs. “I’m just letting you cuff me now. It feels like defeat. Should I have struggled more? Or, or tried harder to overcome myself on the Dawn?”

“Honey,” Solanum couldn’t stop herself now. The poor thing was practically crying already!! She scooped Autumn up in her arms and held in close to her chest, arms wrapped protectively around her and chin tucked over her head. “There’s nothing weak about getting better care for yourself. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of hurt things pass through these halls and you’ve been one of the strongest I’ve seen.”

Autumn sniffed, then seemed to brighten up just a touch as she sarcastically shot back, “Only one of?”

“You’re competing against an alien that can bend titanium rods with it’s ass cheeks so I really can only give you second place. Don’t get me wrong, you’re stronger in the emotional sense but, well.”

“Yeah, that’s fair.” Autumn snorted out another small giggle, then sat back up to reveal tears that had silently begun falling down her face. “Sorry, I, I can’t control it, it's just happening.”

“That’s okay dear, here,” One of Solanum’s vines had already grabbed a box of tissues for her, while another deftly plucked one and dabbed it against her cheeks. Autumn gave a halfhearted effort to duck out of the way, which landed her against another vine on the other side with another tissue at the ready. She dodged between them largely unsuccessfully, half a protest breaking out into a fit of laughter before she toppled over backwards and kicked out her hands and feet defensively.

“St-stooop!” Autumn wheezed out between laughing fits, one arm now tucked around her eyes and the other waving around wildly in the air. She was so caught up in dodging the offending vines that she didn’t see Solanum’s hand weave in until CLICK! The collar was in place. A perfect black band to match the cuffs adorned her neck. Autumn bolted back upright, one hand on her neck, then shivered visibly as it adjusted to her as well.

“Fastest draw in the north,” Solanum said with a dopey little grin.

Autumn belted her over the head with a pillow. “It’s west, silly.”

Autumn still didn’t feel like she actually understood what was going on. There HAD to be some kind of trick, right? Some hidden tidbit of knowledge that she wasn’t privy to? Because if she had taken all of the affinis words as true then it would seem like that alien *actually* cared about her wellbeing.

And that was impossible. So it had to be part of some sort of elaborate lie that had been set up by the Affini Compact or whatever it was called that was being done for the sole purpose of mocking her at some vague unspecified date and/or so they can kick her out into a black hole later. Now THAT was much more believable.

But in the meantime she actually got to walk around on her own two feet again! Which also turned out to be a huge pain in the ass as her legs scREAMED at her in protest while doing so. Just a short lap around the medical wing, she should’ve been able to do that easily! Which, well, she almost was! Almost. Until her legs simply gave out underneath her and she had to be carried back the rest of the way by Solanum. Which was morbidly embarrassing to say the least.

“I don’t get it,” Autumn grumbled. “I was just fine last time I was here.”

“You weren’t bound to a hospital bed last time. And even then, you ran for about half a block before you collapsed in exhaustion.”

It *had* to have been longer, right? She could have sworn she ran all the way around the station! Well, okay, she felt as exhausted as she thought she would be if she had run around the whole station. Aaaaand she wasn’t exactly paying close attention to her surroundings.

Maybe Solanum was right. Again. Like with the medicine and the rumors and the, well everything else really. Autumn felt like a right fool. Maybe Solanum wasn’t part of some grand space-wide conspiracy just to hurt her individually and she was just a paranoid individual seeing monsters where there were only shadows? Or maybe that’s what Solanum WANTED her to think- no, wait, spiraling thoughts. Saints and stars she needed a new medication.

Solanum gently set her down in the bed and swept in to sit next to her. “Now, are you still feeling up for trying a new dose tonight?” Ah, speak of the deli- devil. Speak of the devil. Damn it, now the affini was rubbing off on her. She nodded. “Very good. I’m going to give you a dose of something called cardamine capensis. It should help you fall asleep quick tonight, and then for the next few days you shouldn’t have to worry about those toxic thoughts bouncing around inside your head.” Okay. Right. It’s good for her. Supposedly. This’ll be fine. Just don’t freak out and it’ll be fine. Probably.

Stars how was she always so calm and stoic about this? Wait who was she kidding, she was willing to bet Solanum had dosed hundreds of people before. It seemed to be the Affini’s preferred version of a handshake.

Or that was another rumor that had been allowed to fester in her brain.  That was a rough call- oh fuck Solanum’s hand was sliding up her arm. Autumn skittered upright a little. “Wait, wait, wait, wait.” She spoke. “Run me through this one more time. You’ll inject me and then I’ll…?”

“Get really tired and fall asleep, and then from there it should help you stay clear headed for a few days.” Solanum answered, her face as ever refusing to betray any personal emotion. Except for that one time she laughed. That was nice. “It might feel a little intense since it’s your first time taking it, but I’ll be right here to make sure nothing goes wrong.”



“Okay.” Autumn slumped back down into the bed and held out her hand. “I think I’m ready. Or as ready as I can be.”

“On the count of three then.” Solanum’s hand slid up to Autumn’s shoulder, palm resting against the center of her muscle. “One, two.” A brief sharp string hit Autumn’s shoulder, followed swiftly by a numbing haze. Just as quick as it hit, it vanished, and Solanum had already pulled back her hand and tossed the spent needle. “Three.”

“Okay, this is happening then.” Autumn spoke aloud. She stared intently at the ceiling. “It’s happening and I asked for it and it’s already in my body and, and, and oh god what have I done.” Her hand suddenly shot out and gripped Solanum’s tightly. “I’ll be okay, right? This isn’t going to, melt my brain or, or uh, uhm??" 
A deep warmth had spread from Autumn's shoulder to reach deep into her chest, then blossomed out from there to start leeching over the rest of her body. "You'll be just fine, little one." Solanum's voice seemed much more intense now. Like it reverberated inside her ears a hundredfold and- ohhh her HAND. Autumn felt like the skin that was touching Solanum had been lit aflame from how warm it was. She wanted more of that feeling. *Needed* it, even. Some part of her brain kept trying to remind her that it was the drugs talking, and not her. It was trying to struggle and scream and flail. 
"Please don't leave," She whimpered. "At least until I slip under."
"I'll be right here the whole time."
Her whole body felt unbelievably heavy and warm. Her brain struggled to keep up, but it was a losing fight as the pressure rose up and squeezed in around her consciousness. She was… she was sssooo….

...comfortable. Autumn hadn't even noticed that her nervous fidgeting had turned to stillness, that her grip on Solanum's hand had gone limp, or that her eyes now carried a distant, glassy look to them. All she was the warmth rolling through her like a storm cloud. All the way from her toes to her face, leaving behind pleasant tingles that followed her even as her eyelids slipped down, down, down. Autumn fell easily into sleep and dreamt pleasant dreams all the way to morning.
Solanum, meanwhile, calmly walked out into the hall, down to a vacant room, planted 
her face into a pillow, and screamed.

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