Gay little stories about big gay plants

Thought I'd See You Again

by Fluxom

Tags: #cw:gore #cw:noncon #dom:internalized_imperialism #drugs #Human_Domestication_Guide #scifi #sub:capitalism #anthology

i'mmm ggayyy im gayyyy immm ggGGggGgggGggayyy

CW for:
bad brain feelings
not so subtle manipulation
coaxing someone into a state of eternal submission
delicious pancakes c:
discussion of horses, whatever those are

“Can I borrow your ear for a moment?” The affini’s voice froze the blood in Winter’s veins solid. Mentally, she reminded herself of the importance of her rules for slipping under affini’s attention. Be polite, follow orders quietly, *never* flirt back, and most importantly always give the sense of having somewhere else to be. These were important rules. Necessary rules! Otherwise it was far too easy to give one the wrong impression that you, perhaps, were even a bit interested in being bent into place as their pet and having your will crushed into a fine dust under their heels. However, for *this* affini in particular she was distinctly aware that most of these would not help.

She couldn’t give the sense that she had somewhere else to be. Alone in the diner on a night of heavy rain, she very distinctly had nowhere to be except right here and wait for food. Around her through the dim lighting she could make out the silhouettes of other patrons, far too few in number. Functionally cornered, damn it. Never flirt back was easy enough though, considering she was already just barely containing a growing wave of panic that wanted to overcome her nerves at the sheer sight of them. Follow orders quietly. That… please don’t come up. Be polite. Right. Just have to be polite. She gestured to the seat across from her, silently making sure that her hat was still down and her scarf still covered her neck. Easy enough to pretend to be cold in this state.

The affini slithered into place across from her, body curling in a sinuous motion that betrayed the falsehood of her silhouette. Winter flinched instinctively as the full enormity of the affini entered into her direct vision, reminding her once more of how *small* she felt in their world. “Thank you, dear. See, I’ve recently taken a fascination with terran literature and I wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter.”

“I’m not especially studied in the field,” Winter answered curtly.

“That’s quite alright,” They smiled down at her, familiar verdant eyes glittering in the dim light. “It concerns a rather glaring hole in affini knowledge. Your… horses, as they’re called. I’ve been reading quite a bit of books and poetry about them, and yet while there is so much written about them, nobody seems to know quite what they actually are anymore. Isn’t that odd?” The affini tilted her head as she asked, scale-like plates that coated her torso shifting as she moved. Winter could see the faint points of needles hiding beneath the curtain and winced internally. It’d be fine. She was fine. Nothing was going to happen.

“I suppose so,” Winter replied, this time quietly. She was staring at the plant’s chest too much. Too focused on the needles ahead of her to keep properly aware of her surroundings. Affini could strike from any number of possible angles, after all.

“Quite, yet despite this the poetic descriptors still persist. I’ve read quite a handful of people who use flowery language to describe a majestic creature roaming free across great plains, about something untameable and wonderful and beautiful. Yet, simultaneously, there is just as much if not more so about the process of *breaking* such creatures and how wonderful they are once their spirit is torn into shape.” They spoke, and Winter wanted to crawl out of her skin and melt through the floor. This was fine, she told herself. It was just a normal affini conversation, probably. Of course their kind would be so fascinated with how other species have been… domesticated. Stars, that word feels gross on her mind. “I was wondering, which of those do you think is closer to the truth of such animals?”

Winter tightened her grip on her thighs. “I don’t understand the question.”

“The beast who is at its most beautiful when it roams free, or the companion that flourishes once its spirit has been broken of its illusions.”

Winter chose to believe that this conversation was still about horses. “If it were up to me, I think the former would be the truth.”

The affini’s smile just broadened in response. “Really? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Personally, I was thinking the latter would be closer to reality. After all, there are so many species in existence that only truly flourish once they’ve been excised from a hurtful environment.”

“Yet to do so requires breaking their will, as you said.” Winter said impulsively, then internally kicked herself for blurting that out. This was the opposite of escaping the conversation, now she had the affini’s attention firmly locked onto her. “I mean,  the animal in question clearly doesn’t desire such a life for itself if it needs to be treated so harshly in the first place, doesn’t it?”

“A regrettable fact, but it’s not uncommon for animals to be incapable of acting in their own self-interest. To be broken, so to speak, is as much a matter of freeing them from the scars that prevent them from achieving happiness as it is earning obedience.” The affini answered with such calm and certainty that she almost wanted to believe them. But then they giggled of all things, a false hand resting against their mouth in a mockery of human gestures before they added. “I think I let my practice with sophonts cloud my judgement there. The rules are different for non-sapients. Oh but where are my manners? I haven’t even introduced myself.” They moved the hand down towards her, vines uncurling to mimic a familiar affini gesture of greeting this time. “Lamium Majore, Twelfth Bloom.”

Fuck. Dirt. Stars. They were sticking around. Hopeful optimism broiled into a sheet of frustration in Winter’s mind at the realization. “Maple.” She lied as she took the affini’s hand, only slightly shuddering as she felt the vines wrap around her fingers. “Pleased to meet you.” She lied a second time. 
"Likewise," Lamium's voice hadn't changed a lick, ever the confident purr of wood against tendrous fibers of vines and roots. "But dear? Could I please see your face? It feels quite awkward to talk with that brim covering your eyes, doesn’t it?”

That technically wasn’t an order, but Winter knew better than to test an affini’s patience. She begged her hand to not shake so much as she plucked the hat off of her head, then had to actively remind herself not to hand it over to Lamium afterwards. This was probably fine, she internally begged. She’d changed her hair color, the cut, her fashion, it was fine.

“You have beautiful eyes, little one.” Lamium practically grinned down at her. She just hummed quietly in response. Technically it wasn’t a denial, nor was it a flirt, she just had to hope Lamium wouldn’t take it as an excuse to ‘teach’ this terran ‘some self love’. She kept her eyes low and tried her best not to look Lamium in the eye, hoping that small act would be enough to prevent the affini from getting some recognition. Anything to help, at this point. After a tense moment Lamium moved to speak again, “Do-”

“Order up!” The waitress said as she slid a full stack of pancakes in front of Winter, followed after by the usual sides and some coffee. An old classic meal for a diner like this. The waitress then mercifully distracted Lamium by asking if they wanted anything, which gave Winter a chance to actually relax since she felt the familiar affini’s gaze first bore into her that night.

Just focus on the food, she told herself. The world may have been retrofitted to the affini’s needs, everything may be a storm of change around her, but at least the food was still a familiar comfort. For now. Just had to get through this meal without incident- “So what brings you here?” damnit.

“Just dinner.” Winter replied. Polite, but short. Move the topic. Don’t people like to talk about themselves? She should deflect with that. “How about you?”

Lamium’s gaze still lingers over her like a crushing weight. “I’ve been looking for someone for about a year now. Do you know how that feels, to lose someone?”

“No, well, a little? I know what it’s like to lose something suddenly”

“It’s horrible, isn’t it?” Lamium asked, and Winter quietly nodded along. “Leaves a little hole in your…” They trailed a finger in a circle over their chest, paying no mind to the fact that they were operating their false joints backwards. “Heart, I think it’s called?”

“It’s your fault.” What was she saying? Stop talking. She’s already given too many words and now this fucking affini was staring her down. Had she been xenodrugged? Something to loosen her tongue? Winter took a sip of her water and felt no telltale tingle of chemical bliss dancing over her lips. She glanced down at her clothes, not finding any stray vines or roots having slithered their way underneath her layers.

Not that Lamium wasn’t *capable* of doing so earlier. Stars now she wasn’t paying attention to the table. That affini could have dosed her food while she wasn’t looking. Or had a needle already out for her throat just waiting for her to look up. Winter shot her gaze up, body preemptively tense in expected fears as she did to see… nothing different. Lamium just held her gaze steady, smiling like nothing had happened, silently gesturing for her to continue talking.

“I’m sorry, that was an outburst, I didn’t-”

“Tell me what is my fault, dear” An order. Damnit.

“This place was different. Before all you affni arrived.” Winter gritted her teeth. She kept her voice low, afraid that if she let too much emotion she’d say something a bit more *pointed* at Lamium particularly. “Then the ships came down and uprooted the whole thing, now instead of feeling like home it’s like I’m in some kind of uncanny nightmare world that no longer fits me. Look at this, it’s a diner and my feet don’t even touch the ground from this seat.” To emphasize her point she swung her legs out under her, highlighting the ridiculous difference in scale between the affini-accommodating seats and her humanoid self. She then cut herself off from turning this into a whole rant by stuffing her face with bacon and eggs, hoping that Lamium would take that as a signal to leave her alone now.

Lamium, of course, did not leave her alone. “I am sorry, little one.” Always ‘little one’. LIke she was so small and insignificant in form and mind and everything else to these things. A flash of light burned in from outside, followed swiftly by the deep rumble of thunder rolling through the town. “Goodness me,” Lamium mused, eyes finally shifting away from Winter to glare outside. “It’s quite unsafe out. How about I walk you home after your meal?”

“I don’t-”

“I’d hate for you to slip and hurt yourself. Or worse, catch a frightful chill in the rain.”

Winter flinched inward. That was… very bad. If she left with Lamium that'd skyrocket her odds of being recognized, and even if not it's not like she actually had anywhere to be anyway. For the last year she'd been living off a continuous stream of couch surfing, hotel rooms (bless the stars money was defunct), and borrowing empty apartments all along her merry trip. She couldn't exactly disappear down an alley either, as that'd be a quick route to getting herself knocked out and left at Lamium's mercy again. And without a place to actually be led home *to* it'd only be a matter of time until the affini realized what was up and take her anyway.
Winter grimaced, then bit her lip fiercely when she realized the implications such an expression could give. She couldn't just say NO, either. It'd do her no good to be rude to her Good Neighbors after all. She was cornered on this one, and by the look in Lamium's eyes she knew they were as aware of that as she was. "Thank you," She murmured before chasing her anxiety with some deliriously syruped pancakes.
Anxiety told her to eat as fast as possible, but fear challenged that with a reminder that her current safety only lasted as long as her food did. Just try to change the topic, Winter. Get them to talk about something so she can figure out an actual plan.
"What did you lose?" Terrible question, why was that the first thing to come to mind?
Lamium *purred* of all things in response, voice soon sliding into a rattling hiss before they spoke, "I lost a girl."

“That’s unfortunate.” Winter snipped back around a mouthful of eggs.

“She was the most beautiful little thing I’d ever seen. I was quite shocked when she ran away.”

Winter tried, and likely failed, to hide the shaking that rose up from her hand.

“But I know she’s still out there, somewhere. Running around in the cold all on her own, without a caring hand to come save her.” Lightning struck again, momentarily blinding Winter’s world in a flash of light that cast Lamium’s silhouette over her, twin golden eyes still shimmering brightly through the cast shadow.

“Maybe she doesn’t want you to find her.”

Another ruffle shimmered through Lamium’s body, this time with needles practically shivering inside their chest. “Maybe I’ll correct that desire for her when I catch her, then.” Winter felt a cold sweat bloom around her neck at that. They could do it, she was sure. Somewhere in the mix of chemical bliss and loving discipline they’d pry that desire out of her skull and not even leave her a scar to remember it by. Another rattle played out through their ribs, and their gaze seemed to tighten in on her. “In fact, perhaps you’ve seen her? She was a lovely terran with eyes just like yours-”

"I have to use the restroom." Winter blurted out and darted off her seat. She clutched her chest the entire path to the bathrooms, gasping for air against the sudden grip of fear. She felt the anxiety tighten around her neck, choking her out even as she slammed the door behind her and locked it. She was safe. She was alone.
For now.
Winter stumbled over to the mirror and tore off her scarf, revealing the black band of her collar framed by countless red marks, wounds, and scabs where she'd tried to scratch it off over the last year. None of her attempts worked, of course. Couldn’t even manage to bend the edge off her skin enough to try to slip a knife at it. Instinctively she dragged her nails across it once more, some part of her mind hoping this time it’d fray enough to catch and drag off.

At least it wasn’t beeping at her anymore, or drugging her every time she had a little too much anxiety in the night. That first month on the run had been the hardest, always trying to control her breathing or, failing that, finding somewhere safe to stumble and pass out. Every time she was so sure she’d wake up back in Lamium’s arms, awaiting whatever punishment the affini saw fit to deliver upon her for being so disobedient.

Winter’s grip tightened around her own neck. It’d be all over if Lamium saw this. Assuming they didn’t already see through her disguise. They probably saw or, no, if they did then they wouldn’t have just *let* her run to the bathroom like this, would they? She glanced to the window. Escape… could be an option. It’d mean abandoning her bag and her hat and running through the cold rain but- no, wait, any affini who found her in that state would no doubt ‘help’ her find a nice place to nap at the nearest domestication clinic. She didn’t want to deal with *that* again, even if the beds were incomparably comfortable.

Right. She couldn’t run out the window and she couldn’t run out the front door without tipping off Lamium as well. The human wrapped her scarf tightly around her neck, double checking in the mirror that it completely covered the collar once more. No choice but to go back there and just… hope for a better idea to come to mind. Brain please come up with a better idea fast.

That faint shimmer of hope was immediately stumbled by the realization that Winter had knocked her silverware to the floor during her run to the bathroom. Walking back to the table gave her plenty of time to realize the weight of that mistake as she saw Lamium gingerly plucking their own silverware into their false hands. Some more paranoid part of her brain suggested that perhaps Lamium merely put on the appearance of her having dropped the silverware just to engineer an excuse. That… wasn’t entirely unreasonable to believe one of those plants would do.

Winter stomached the part of herself that thought it was gross and bent down to pick up her fork, finding a vine stopping her before she could grab it. Of course. “Dear, that’s dirty now. Here, let’s use my set now.” Of course. Let’s. Plural. Winter had no doubt that Lamium’s idea consisted mostly of Winter passively accepting their help and- yeap, there it is. They already sliced off a piece of pancakes and speared it with their fork for her.

Winter speedran through anger into bargaining as Lamium raised the fork up for them. Maybe, just maybe if they played nice here the affini will be too busy fawning over her to actually connect the dots of who they’re talking to and let her go on her merry way for being so polite! Maybe! Hopefully.

...this was absurd. She didn’t have much other choice left though, and let the affini press the food between her lips. At least it was all butter and syrup and carbs she could pretend to soothe her nervous heart in the process. “As I was saying,” Lamium proceeded to say, quickly stifling Winter’s chance for deflection with another bit of food. “I lost someone quite dear to me a year ago. The most beautiful terran girl I’d ever seen, and she ran right out the front door to disappear out into the whole wide world.”

Bad. Bad bad bad. She’d lost the chance to keep talking while Lamium kept stuffing her mouth, and she’d lost control of her time as more and more of her plate would disappear to the affini’s preferred pace. Trying to run away now would not only be rude but a futile effort, especially given how awkward it was for her to maneuver such a large seat. At best she’d stumble to the side and get wrapped up in her vines, and then Lamium would discover the collar and recognize her face and- and-

“That’s when I decided to take up reading about those ‘horses’ you terrans have written about.” Lamium continued. “It seemed fitting to ponder over the matter as I watched her run free. Like an animal left to roam upon the open prairies, able to go anywhere it wished and discover if she flourished in that state.” Watched? Winter tensed. “Not that there was ever any real danger on this planet, really. We’d sanded off all the rough edges, provided plenty of empty homes for her to happen to find and sleep in along the way, and without a need for money there was no shortage of food to keep her going.” Oh no. Oh no no no no no no no- “And yet, I didn’t see my stray horse flourishing one bit in her newfound freedom.”

Winter choked in shock, and Lamium immediately sent vines infiltrating into her scarf and around her neck. All it took was a gentle flex, and the food passed harmlessly into her stomach. But worse was the feeling of their vines flexed around her collar, pressing into the scabs and scratches of her skin. They knew. Even if there was some chance they didn’t know before they certainly knew now. Stars. Stars, dirt, fuck.

“What did you say your name was again, dear?” Lamium’s eyes were fixed squarely on her own, lights focused into a laser point that bored into her soul.

Winter stuttered, gasped, then whimpered out a meek, “W-winter.”

Lamium just raised a false eyebrow in response, gaze unflinching even then.

“Winter... Majore…?” She just wanted the world to open up beneath her and swallow her whole instead of being whittled down under this plant’s gaze. But Lamium’s gaze still lingered, a silent order for her to follow. “Winter Majore, 23rd Floret, m-Ma’am.”

“I’ve missed you, my little flower.” Lamium eyes glittered with golden motes of light as their vines formed into a hand around her neck, sliding up to cup one of her cheeks. She felt something wet spilling down her face. Tears? She could barely tell her own emotions now beyond the dull impact of shock in her heart.

“I… I’m sorry-” Winter started to speak, but Lamium cut them off once more by stuffing some food into her mouth, this time pressing the fork in deeper to hold down on her tongue as they did.

“A year and a day I have given you, and now in return I expect your honesty. I do not require your apologies, little one, just as you do not require my forgiveness. Do you understand?” They asked, not moving the fork an inch as they did. Winter nodded slightly as that was all she could do, and Lamium finally showed mercy by removing the piece of silverware and waiting patiently for her to chew and swallow. “Why did you run?” They finally asked.

A sense of despair had begun to bloom within Winter’s chest, born from the knowledge of her own failure to flee and the certainty of her new capture. It was impossible to run, impossible to even lie now. “I was scared,” She admitted. “Everything changed around me so fast, from the people to the towns to this whole dang world. And when I was with you, I, I looked in the mirror one day and realized I was changing too.” Her voice was a shaky mess, but under the weight of Lamium’s fixed gaze the words still tumbled together from her mind. “I got scared of what I saw so I ran and I just kept running and then I was scared of what would happen if I returned and-”

Lamium interrupted that train of thought by putting a piece of bacon into Winter’s mouth, then held her mouth shut until she swallowed once more. The grip continued after, chasing her stuttering breaths down until she calmed again. Only then did they release her.

Winter sagged forward after the affini’s grip, coming to rest leaning against the table. With a small gesture from- Winter flinched internally to admit it- from her owner she continued. “Even when I walked the same streets I used to know, nothing was as I recalled. I couldn’t find home, I couldn’t even find myself out there.” Her voice fell silent after that, as her emotions dimmed into a mellow wave of surrender. “...I thought I escaped.”

“Don’t be silly, little one. You were never outside my reach.”

“But the collar?”

“Do you really think it broke?” Lamium’s mouth contorted into an unnatural smile before they stuck the fork into Winter’s mouth again. “Clean.” They ordered, and Winter obeyed. It was a demeaning task, but still she worked her tongue to wipe off the traces of food from the piece of metal. Lamium then slid the silverware back out and turned it around, handle towards her. “Take it.” They ordered, and once more Winter obeyed. What was wrong with her? Not even trying to act independent now. “If you truly believe your collar doesn’t work, then go ahead and stab yourself with that fork.”

Winter’s eyes widened in shock, glancing rapidly from the fork to her Mistress and back. “...what?”

“Stab yourself.” Their voice twisted. “Try it and see just how broken your collar truly is.”

Winter’s hand shook in place, her gaze having flung down to lock onto the metal directly. The act would be, technically, very easy to accomplish, but no affini would ask someone to actually harm themselves would they? That could only mean that if she tried it wouldn’t work. That meant… she felt the collar tight against her neck again. That meant it’d stop her. Winter quietly turned the handle of the fork back towards Lamium and held it out to them.

“Good girl,” Lamium purred as they took it. “The night you ran, I let you. And every step you took away from home you were just as guarded as you had been before. Had you ever truly been in danger you would have found yourself back in my hands faster than you could even notice.”
Winter sunk, feeling all the energy drop from her body at once. Suddenly all the long nights staring at the door, afraid that night would be the night they burst in and take her seemed dreadfully pointless. All the days she’d run by the road, one eye over her shoulder and eye watching the bushes. All that time hiding for nothing. Nothing!!! Winter tipped over until her forehead nearly met the table, but before that could happen Lamium slithered right on through the thing and caught her. The affini’s body had simply unwound and passed right through to her as if all the space was immaterial to them. How very… affini of them. Their vines then wrapped around her shoulders and under her chin, propping her back up and tilting her face to look at the affini now seated beside her.

“Tell me, little lost horse, did you have fun playing pretend at freedom?”

Had she? Well… no, she guessed not. It was a nonstop stream of fearful tension, always convinced that some affini would recognize her or Lamium would be around the corner. But… wasn’t it over now? Winter felt her shoulders relax. “No, ma’am.”

“Did you flourish in a life outside of my hand?”

Winter felt the burn of the marks on her neck. “No, Ma’am.”

“Do you *really* believe that the truth of horses are the beasts who roam free?”

One last push, and Winter could feel her heart crumbling. “No, ma’am. I don’t.”

“Then I promise to break your will properly this time, little darling.” Lamium hooked a vine around her scarf and pulled, baring their pet’s collar to the world. “Look at what’s happened to you,” Their voice softened, a clear gel forming on the edge of their vine to soothe her wounds. Meanwhile their false hands busied themselves with wiping off the last traces of her meal around her mouth.

“I’m sorry,” The girl muttered.

“I accept your apology, but understand that you did nothing wrong.” Lamium answered sternly. “Every step you took out that door was allowed. You will not face punishment for this.” Winter shuddered, tears flowing anew and voice breaking into a small whimper. Extra vines coiled around the back of her head, slithering through her hair to sooth her even more. “It’s okay, dear pet. You need not run anymore, you need not hide. It’s over.” It was all over. Despair splintered apart, leaving the little lost floret feeling relief of all possible things.

Lamium’s hand tossed aside the napkin, then returned to clutch Winter’s neck. All the affini had to do was touch, and the collar fell apart off of her. Cool air brushed bare skin, followed by more of that soothing gel. The balm left her neck feeling hazy and limp, so it was a mercy that Lamium’s vines were already poised to hold her steady. Winter didn’t even question it as the fog rolled out from her neck to drag the rest of her body down right after, until all her weight was already upon Lamium’s vines. Then it was a simple matter of lifting to move the floret into a cradle hold, and Lamium had her in their arms.

A single vine looped around the human’s throat, tying itself off to form a loose makeshift collar and leash. “Let’s go now, dear. It’s far past time I take you home.”

Safe once more in Lamium’s arms, it took only a moment for the floret’s eyes to slip closed and for sleep to begin claiming her. “Yes, Mistress.” Came her whispered reply, voice faltering into nothing as her eyes slipped closed. The chase was over, and she had finally lost.

Show the comments section (3 comments)

Back to top

Register / Log In