7 - High As A Kite

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

Solanum felt patently irresponsible. First she had that nonsense emotional reaction of ignoring Autumn, then she’d accidentally given Autumn more beta-63 than she intended. A complete accident that was most certainly NOT the result of her getting flushed when Autumn grabbed her cheek. Today? Today she realized that everything in the apartment was written in affini script and was thus entirely illegible to her ward. So it came to pass that Solanum was spending her morning going through the entire kitchen playing 23 questions with an Autumn who was idly kicking her feet in the air while simultaneously splaying the top half of her body over the kitchen island.

The worst part? As always, Autumn was unbearably cute.

“What’s that one?” She chirped happily, one hand idly trailing circles on the counter.

“That’s a cereal made from- you probably haven’t heard of the source plant but I’ve been told most of our humans are quite fond of it.”

"And in that thing?"

"It's a fridge." Solanum opened the door to reveal it was packed half with water and half with some other clear red liquid. "The water is for you, the rest is for me. If you want anything else cold to drink let me know and I can get it for you."

“What about... those?” Autumn pointed aimlessly around the shelves.

“Nutritional bars, I believe. Tasteless, but shuts up an appetite and fills some dietary needs for a while.” Solanum plucked the box off the shelf and gave it a little shake for emphasis. “Great for when you just don’t feel like eating.”

“Thatsss depression food.” Autumn’s face turned thoughtful. “Sol you have depression.”

Solanum froze again. Was this really the time for such a talk? Autumn didn’t give her much choice in the matter as she had already slipped from the island and stumbled headfirst into Solanum’s vines.

“It’s nnottt fairrrrrrr.” She whined. Solanum had to act quick to entwine her protectively and keep her from hitting her head while flailing about. Somehow, the human ultimately managed to slip Solanum’s protective grip enough to lurch forward and wrap her arms around Solanum’s waist in a tight hug. “Why do you get to help me and I can’t do anything for you?”

“I’ve been like this for a long time, dear.”

“You’re wilting.”

“I’ve come to terms with it.”

“Can you at least tell me why?”

“Dear, you’re high.”

“No, I’m quite short compared to you.”

“What’s two plus two?”

Autumn screwed her eyes shut. “Uhm,” She paused. Oh it was so cute when she couldn’t think. “I should know this, it’s easy.”

“It is easy dear, but you still have beta-63 in your system so your higher reasoning is essentially shot right now.”

“You like it.” Autumn giggled. Oh please not this. Not right now.

“What I like isn’t important right now. It’s my duty to see you well, now let’s get you fed and tucked somewhere safe until this wears off, okay?”

Autumn grumbled petulantly, even as Solanum grabbed her under her armpits and pulled her up into her arms. Her head slumped back limply, her mouth slightly ajar and drool trailing down her chin. “I don’t want to eat, I want you to be happy. Right now.” Autumn poked Solanum on the nose.

“A nutritional bar it is, then.”

“Be happy.”

“That’s not how that works and you know it.”

“Can we at least talk about it?”

“How about this, you eat your food and lie down, I’ll pet your head until you sleep off the whole thing, and then if you’re still so petulantly obsessed with my well being when you awake we can talk about then, okay?”

Autumn giggled and kicked her legs happily. “Good!! I’ll hold you to it.”

“LIttle one, I don’t think you’re even going to remember this conversation.”

Autumn awoke to the sound of a light knocking near her curtain. "Autumn, dear, are you awake?" Solanum's voice came as a hurried rumble through the air. 
"I'm up, kind of, barely. I think I'm still feeling the uh… theta… whatever." Her voice was lightly slurred as she slipped out of bed and stumbled out into the living room.
"If that's a good thing then I can give you more when I return, but if that's a bad thing then there's a shot that should clear it up on the shelf in the baths." Solanum's body was completely deconfigured from it's humanoid form, with leaves and vines reaching out to every corner of the hab simultaneously in what was a frankly bewildering act of multitasking.
"Would I be able to read it?"
Some of the vines froze up, leaves standing pointed on end. It seemed Sol did that subconsciously whenever she was surprised. "...good question." One of the vines shot off to the baths, where a brief sound of clattering echoed out before it returned with a canister in hand. "Do you know how to use an epi pen?" Autumn nodded sleepily. "Good. Only use it once if you need it. I've already cooked you breakfast. Your tablet is fully charged and on the couch should you need it. Additionally, I've uploaded a program that will help to read our language."
All at once the vines lurched together. Two of them planted themselves in front of Autumn, quickly followed by a series of roots and bark plates that coalesced in a shape vaguely resembling legs. Solanum pieced herself together back into a humanoid form in front of her, each segment created by vines winding together as the plates folded into place. Flowers slid by and disappeared into the thick knots of plant matter, followed by an array of needles that blitzed past to settle around what looked like Solanum's forearms. With something akin to a great sigh her chest clicked together into shape, her leaves flaring out behind her into a cape that fell over one side.
Last was her head and hands, by far the most intricate arrangement she had yet. It almost horrified Autumn to see it in real time. Wood bent and cracked into a shape akin to bones at the end of her wrists, followed by leaves folding in around it and vines shooting across to replicate the thin tendons. From within her forearms the flowers and needles slid forward once more before being hidden again underneath a series of wooden plates that chased them up and formed her hands.
From her neck the vines carried a wooden mask into place before filling in behind it. Thorn-like growths filed in to become several rows of teeth, and thickened leaves danced behind them to become tongues. Muscle made of vines knitted itself around the mouth, followed by more wooden plates that slid into the mess to become a jaw bone within. Solanum ran her then completed hand through the mess of vines atop her head and gave a firm pull, unleashing a dazzling array of leaves that spilled out over the side of her face and down over her shoulder. A soft pressure into the mask preceeded the quiet clicking noise before it suddenly became animate, eyes and mouth opening to fully become Solanum's face.
Autumn decided that the sight of an affini knitting their body together in front of her was simultaneously the scariest thing she'd ever seen and also absolutely hypnotizing. By the time it was over Solanum's free vines had already dressed her to boot. She knelt down in front of Autumn and pressed her new hands to the human's cheeks. "I am needed for today, but I will return later. You've been very good so far, please continue to be."
Solanum gave a quick peck on the forehead and promptly ran out the door.

Autumn took a few steps forward and collapsed onto the couch. The place was eerily silent without Solanum around. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, she almost felt like one of those dogs stuck waiting for- oh!!! oh oh Oh OH!!!! She scrambled over to the tablet and after some finagling figured out how to use it to send Solanum a message.

>>Guest_acct14456: Don’t forget you said we’d talk!!

>>Solarflower: i dont suppose i can start lying and say that was a dream you had can i

>>Guest_acct14456: Not unless you want me to start lying too

>>Solarflower: okay,
>>Solarflower: when I get home we can talk
>>Solarflower: promise

>>Solarflower: Please be good while I’m away

>>Guest_acct14456: worried?

>>Solarflower: All the time

Autumn chose not to think too deeply about that. NOW she could lay around and feel like a dog waiting for their owner to come home with nothing else to do. She settled with the essentials. Eating the (surprisingly tasty) breakfast Solanum had prepared. A bath in an unusually large tub (all the products made her skin feel weirdly tingly). A change of clothes (why was affini fashion always so bright and colorful?). Then she… resumed sitting on the couch with nothing to do.

Idle tapping on the tablet revealed a number of handy functions. She could control the room’s lights, set up music, run a podcast or five simultaneously, and then by chance discovered that the exterior wall of the room could be turned transparent to reveal the yawning void of space beyond.

Autumn was momentarily panicked by the belief that she had accidentally just spaced herself, then shocked a second time when she realized the exterior view of the room was currently eclipsed by a massive affini vessel docked at the station. The thing dwarfed even the largest terran vessel she had ever seen. It’s surface crawled with thick cables and plates of vibrant colors, with lights flashing off in all directions at once. As it moved in towards the station the beast seemed to unfurl around the docking pad, and from it’s gullet arose an array of rings followed by an entire terran vessel that had been engulfed.

Autumn bolted up in shock and stumbled up to the wall. That was the Glutton’s Feast!!!! She counted the rows upon rows of missile bays and rail cannons and fighter ports and- and- and, it looked like a toy in the affini’s ship grasp. She felt like she must have been dreaming, or caught in a surreal haze to see what was once considered a goliath of terran engineering being completely eclipsed. Autumn stumbled back and grabbed the tablet once more, snapping a quick shot and sending it to Solanum.

>>Guest_acct14456: What is that???

>>Solarflower: the reason im out right now

>>Guest_acct14456: IT’S HUGE!?!?

>>Solarflower: you havent seen many affini ships have you

>>Guest_acct14456: ?????????????

>>Solarflower: the one that caught you was probably twice its size
>>Solarflower: cant talk more right now
>>Solarflower: i might be home late

Autumn dropped her tablet in shock. This couldn’t be real. How were the terrans supposed to even fight such a monster? With trepidation she walked up to the window once more and pressed herself against it to get a better look. Layers upon layers of the machine unfurled as it settled against the station, revealing ever more sheets of cables and networks and infrastructure. How many affini lived in there? ...how many of their pets? Was it like a city adrift in the sky all to itself? A nagging itch along Autumn’s spine compelled her to find out. She wanted to crawl upon its inner surface and discover the secrets within. Find out what sort of material science the affini had to even begin to construct something on that scale. Learn how they made cables so massive as to consume a terran ship whole yet still so flexible as to bend in space like vines.

Autumn licked her lips. The thickened plates that shifted around it were difficult to track, but the longer she stared the more she saw how they could fit together into a hardened shell for the ship. Closer inspection revealed an expanse of impact craters that seemed no more significant than scratches upon a tiger’s hide. The waves they’d left rises and dips on the plate’s surface hinted at how everything would have fit together when it closed up.

This was absurd.

Autumn slumped backward and fell onto her back, landing safely upon the couch but so utterly dwarfed by it that even then her arms could only barely reach the edges. Her wrist cuffs beeped and blinked a yellow light at her.

For a single, drawn out moment Autumn was silent.

Then she laughed. She broke out into a manic laughter, hands flown over her face and feet kicking about the air with a reckless abandon. They never stood a chance!! All of terra, every rebel ship out there, none of them were going to win! She laughed until her throat ran hoarse and she broke out into coughing fits instead. She would have been captured inevitably, or died in space fighting a futile war. If she hadn’t called in the ship then it would’ve been another day. An attempted strike on an affini world. Or a sneak attack on an affini vessel that they’d obviously underestimate. One wrong move followed by an endless hoard of plants crawling through the walls and bursting out to wrap up every last human in their loving embrace.

Autumn felt shivers all over her body. This was the best case scenario for her. From the moment her captain had declared they were defecting and she hadn’t rushed to the escape pods right then and there she’d been doomed. If she hadn’t betrayed them like she had she’d have ended up another drooling drugged out rebel being rocketed through space to some far corner of the galaxy.

>>Solarflower: are you okay?
>>Solarflower: your collar is reading elevated stress

Autumn deflated into a tangle of exhausted limbs and labored breathing. With one hand she nudged the tablet back towards herself and idly tapped away.

>>Guest_acct14456: coming to terms with things
>>Guest_acct14456: rebels never stood a chance
>>Guest_acct14456: i feel like a fool
>>Guest_acct14456: maybe panicking a little over it

>>Solarflower: I can control the cuffs output from here and give you a small dose to calm down if you wish

>>Guest_acct14456: yes please

After a moment a small beep emanated from her wrists, followed by a small pricking sensation. Autumn simply laid there and let the xenodrugs wash up into her system. After a few minutes a familiar pleasant haze trickled up into her system and pulled at the edges of her mind, sapping all the manic energy and drawing her down into it’s comfort instead.

>>Guest_acct14456: thankyou

Dimly Autumn realized she didn’t even ask what was just given to her. She simply didn’t care about the details anymore. As long as it helped. She smiled. It was for the best!

By the time Solanum returned home the automated lighting system had already dimmed into it’s deepest night settings. Autumn had spent her day in a pleasant haze of sorting, cleaning, and using her tablet to try to figure out the affini language enough to actually cook and eat some of her own food.

Autumn saw how Sol’s vines were coiled around her tightly and her leaves were bundled in flat against her body even when her face remained silently stoic. She saw the way her leaves shifted to stand on end when Solanum noticed the conspicuous lack of books littering every possible surface. Most importantly, she saw the way her vines loosened up when Solanum finally looked over to see Autumn fit as a fiddle and relaxing in a corner of the couch.

“Welcome home!” Autumn chirped and gave her a little wave.

“Thank you,” Solanum’s voice was an exhausted sigh. “I’m sorry for leaving you on short notice today.”

“It’s okay, here.” Autumn tapped her thighs. “Rest your head.”

That time Solanum’s leaves curled in all sorts of different directions, while her vines seemed to fold around themselves. Awkwardness? Embarrassment? Autumn wasn’t sure yet. “I shouldn’t-”

“That wasn’t a question, Solanum.”

Sol gave a defeated sort of grunt and promptly collapsed over the cushions, her body unravelling all over the place until her head gently came to a rest upon Autumn’s lap. “Happy now?” Solanum grumbled, even as her leaves and vines seemed to stretch out and relax in visible comfort.

“Quite.” Autumn ran a hand through the tangled mess that approximated Solanum’s hair, which elicited something she could best approximate as being between a chuffing noise and a rumbling engine coming from Solanum’s chest area. “It’s the least I could do to return the favor.”

“Are you feeling okay, by the way? No adverse effects or unwanted intensity or-”

“No, no, I’m fine. I was near hysterical I think, and I needed it to help me calm down and keep myself distracted while you were away.” It sure worked to do so, Autumn thought. The time had practically flown right past her entirely.

Solanum nestled her head a bit to get more comfortable, then gave a pleased sort of sigh as her knots and vines unraveled a touch more into Autumn’s lap. “Thank you for this,” She said with a touch of reluctance.

“Busy day?”

The rumble in Solanum’s chest kicked up in response. “Baiera captured one of the rebel ships. Messy endeavor, hostages were involved, had to help process them.” Solanum chuffed once more, then curled herself up onto her side. “Tired now. Want to sleep.”

Autumn traced her fingers along the grain of Solanum’s face, starting at the top and going down to trace along the line of her simulated chin. The subtle bumps and ridges were marked by all sorts of dents and scrapes that hadn’t healed, so small that she couldn’t quite see them but just barely revealed by her touch. As her finger traced down Solanum’s cheek, she felt a small divot that, when prodded, seemed to elicit a small gasp from Sol. Autumn froze. The affini didn’t respond.

...was she sleeping?

“Solanum?” Autumn asked, poking the divot again. Solanum simply made some grumpy huffing noise and wiggled her… legs? Those looked like legs at some point. Besides that, she was perfectly still. Autumn gasped, then covered her mouth just in case that noise would wake the affini back up. She was asleep! She, well she didn’t look very different in this state, save for the fact that her eyes were closed. Her vines still twitched and her leaves rustled idly in the air. Did she breathe? Autumn held a hand in front of Solanum’s mouth and didn’t feel any draft.

Well how did plants breathe? CO2? Autumn leaned down and exhaled on the side of Solanum’s face, which was met with a sudden surge of leaves folding open towards her, followed by the flower buds bundled around her ear area slowly filling with color. Autumn leaned back and poked one of the buds. Fascinating! She slid her finger along the length of one of their petals, which the bud responded in kind by gently unfurling before her.

Within the bloom she saw not an array of stamens and pistils but a needle, pointing up proudly and with a thick purple sap dripping from it. Various smaller needles, partially grown?, were bundled around it’s base, with the sap forming a small pool at the base of the flower’s cup.

Autumn flinched back, holding her hand defensively. Was that safe? Was she already affected by it? ...what did it feel like? Autumn reached towards it again, this time running the tip of her finger from the base of the needle up to it’s pointed edge. She could easily just push a little and find out. Open up her hand and press it into her palm and let the venom course into her. Everything Solanum had given her before had been good for her so far, right? She hadn’t had any break downs or paranoia spirals or self-destructive outbursts. So… this probably wouldn’t be BAD for her?


She didn’t WANT to try it, of course. She was just thinking about it. Or maybe it was an intrusive thought. Autumn decided it was an intrusive thought- oh her cuff was blinking yellow again. Autumn pulled back her hand. Best not to. Don’t even consider it. Don’t even look at the purple drop still on the tip of her finger and think about tasting it.

Autumn immediately tasted it and was shocked to feel it pop and fizz against her tongue. Neat! A few minutes later she was less pleasantly surprised to feel that the tip of her tongue had gone entirely numb. Less neat. She tapped her finger to find that the tip had gone a numb as well.

Autumn continued to lay under Solanum and absolutely not daydream of that numb feeling taking over her whole body until she fell asleep.

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