Abscission

8 - Night's Teeth

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 was deeply remiss to admit that having someone around was doing good things for her mood. She hadn’t slept that comfortably in more than a few turns, and having her hab be less than a complete trash heap *was* a touch more comforting than the mess she had let it become.

…Of course, hearing a happy ‘welcome home’ was a touch pleasant as well. She’d spent the whole day worried out of her roots that she’d come home to find that Autumn had done something reckless again. Perhaps had another paranoia episode or found a knife that wasn’t removed or any number of things. Seeing her comfortably bundled up and well was… a bigger relief than Solanum was expecting to feel.
 
But all that left in the awkward position of waking up the next day still splayed over Autumn’s body and having to pretend that she didn’t want to just bundle her up tighter in her vines and squeeze her close like a pillow.

“Oh, Solanum,” Autumn’s voice carried a dreamy sort of quality to it that was intoxicating to her ears. “What is the flower on the side of your head?”

“It doesn’t translate neatly to your language, but I suppose the closest I could get is… night’s teeth? But not like teeth as in mouth, teeth as in jagged rock outcroppings.” She’d had that grafted on ages ago, it was one of Streum’s favorite flowers and she’d wanted to take it with her when they traveled off into the stars together. 

“Neat! It bloomed last night.” Unusual. “What does it do? I tasted some of the sap-” Solanum didn’t hear the rest of Autumn’s words. She WHAT!? Dirt. Roots! Solanum leapt over to Autumn and grabbed her wrists.

“How much did you take?”

“Uh, just a lick of it?” Autumn looked confused, but didn’t shy away from Solanum’s touch. She let herself be manipulated as Solanum looked over her hands and saw a familiar purple stain on the tip of her finger. She then grabbed Autumn’s face and squeezed enough to force her mouth open, her other hand grabbing Autumn’s tongue to hold it and inspect her. Just a dot on her tongue. Okay. That’s not bad. That’s fine.

Solanum visibly deflated as the worry left her. “Good, good, you didn’t take much.”

“Ihh ih bah?” Autumn tried awkwardly to speak around the vines inside her mouth.

“It interacts poorly with drugs like cardamine capensis.” Solanum spoke as her vines pulled out her tablet and pulled out the medical readouts from Autumn’s cuffs.  “If you’d taken too much of it you would have developed an irregular heartbeat, pass out, and then die of heart failure within the hour. Or, more optimistically, developed heart complications that would have made the rest of your natural life rather uncomfortable.” And immediately shunted her back into the domestication line, though Solanum felt that would have stressed her out too much to bring up.

“...oh.” Autumn didn’t seem too worried then. Perhaps she was still feeling the cardamine? Or an oxytocin reaction was keeping her calm since Solanum was still touching her.

“...Autumn, have you been brushing your teeth?”

The human’s face turned rose red. Well, that was answer enough. Solanum released her face and gestured to the baths. “Go. Brush now or I’ll do it for you.” She direly hoped that Autumn wouldn’t actually test her on this, but she wasn’t willing to let her develop bad health habits in the middle of all this..

Autumn threw her hands over her mouth in embarrassment, then threw them down at her sides. “You wouldn’t.”

“You have ten seconds.” Solanum answered flatly. “Don’t waste them.”

“It’s just my teeth! They’ll be fine if I miss a day or two, or, or was it a week, or-”

“You’re wasting time, little one.”

“Hey!”

“That’s ten.” Sod it, now she had to follow through on her threat. Solanum grabbed Autumn by the face once more and dragged her towards the baths. Autumn’s awkward struggles were quickly met with vines that grabbed her limbs and forced her to remain still. Roots and vines in her mouth forced it open for Solanum’s access and pinned Autumn’s tongue in place. Vines from her back grabbed the brush, the paste, and mouthwash, then after a moment’s hesitation grabbed a tongue scraper while she was at it. Might as well take care of everything while she was there.

Once the brush touched her teeth, Autumn’s struggles heightened momentarily, then broke down into a sort of resigned squirming that Solanum didn’t properly understand. Were humans sensitive there? She didn’t quite recall. Whatever, she’d read the proper technique for this before. Scrub carefully and with short strokes, ensure to get all sides of the teeth, pay no mind to how Autumn’s eyes were squeezed shut and her face had turned yet another shade of red.

“Rinse and spit, dear.” Whatever defiance Autumn had initially shown was nowhere to be seen at this point, as she gratefully accepted the water and followed Solanum’s orders to the letter. Solanum returned her grip around Autumn’s mouth, this time with much less discomforting struggle on the human’s counterpart, and proceeded to floss her teeth with quick efficiency. It was easy for her, given that her delicate roots could easily bend to allow the threads to reach wherever they needed. Necessary for the human, too, given how much her gums bled at the contact.

The tongue scraper though, that got a vocal reaction out of Autumn. Solanum supposed it might feel a touch invasive to have something pin one’s tongue in place and remove the gunk upon it, so that was fair. Autumn’s choked voice came out as a series of raw gasps that matched her squirming in Solanum’s grip until, finally, everything was clean and she was released onto the floor.

“Rinse with mouthwash and you’re free to go.” Solanum tapped one of Autumn’s cheeks with a paper cup. Autumn, still bright red all over, snatched it and complied in short order. “Very good, little one. I’m proud of you for making it through that, and don’t forget that I’ll do it again if you don’t take care of your teeth yourself.”

Autumn nodded, her hands over her cheeks twitching awkwardly and her eyes blown out wide staring at her own reflection. “T-thank you solanumineedtobealoneforaminutesorry” Autumn spoke in a hurried tone as she bolted into action, ducking under Solanum’s arm and scrambling, practically on hand and foot, back to her private room.

Well, that could have gone worse. Solanum proceeded to take a relaxing bath by herself and paid it no further thought, nor found reason to question why Autumn would come back to wash her hands half an hour later.


 
Autumn had a small problem. When she had looked into the mirror after that… event, she had seen someone completely unlike herself. Blown out eyes, blood-flushed cheeks and limp limbs. A collar and a set of cuffs. Brightly colored clothes made of a loose, flowing fabric.

She looked just like one of the affini’s pets. Right down to the dazed way her reflection stared back past her and how her body clumsily moved around as if only barely attached to her impulses. She had practically fallen face first into the floor when she ran past Solanum, then actually collapsed entirely once she had crawled under the curtain to solitude. This couldn’t be happening, she told herself. But something in her heart had clicked.

She did NOT like that treatment, she repeated about twelve or fifteen times and upon noting no change in her mind realized that she was just lying to herself. Autumn scrambled over to the luggage shortly after and threw it open, tossing aside the piles of clothes they had given to her all over the otherwise barren room. There were exactly two types of clothes stored within, the few pieces she had had aboard the Verdant Dawn sealed within clear bags, and stacks upon stacks of Affini Companion pieces. All brightly colored and flowing, comfortable but also very much designed to please an affini’s sense of taste with how the patterns splattered across in erratic shapes.

Autumn tore open the bags with her old clothes and pulled them out to compare. Form fitting, functional, dark cloth. Still smelled faintly of gunsmoke and something more acrid. She used to find these comfortable, but now they felt rough and coarse on her skin. Autumn dropped the worn pieces of cloth and stared at her hands, now stained grey by the thin veneer of whatever grime had accumulated on them. Had her skin changed? Become more sensitive or delicate or, or,

Autumn choked on air. This couldn’t be. Solanum wasn’t trying to domesticate her. She’d told her so several times, seemed to get angry at even the implication. But even a touch of her old life felt like sandpaper to her skin. The dress she wore, one with sharp bright colors in broad geometric patterns, was light enough to practically dance around her in the slight wind of the ventilation systems. It wrapped around her like flower petals that hid the beauty within. It was…

Autumn didn’t want to think it. Don’t say beautiful. Don’t admit that she liked the look. Autumn quickly stuffed her old clothes back into the bags and sealed it, shoved it under her bed where she wouldn’t see them again, returned to the baths to wash the grime off of her hands, and deflated back in the living room.

Don’t think about it, she told herself. Don’t even consider it.

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