"Just… Promise me something. Please."
"Of course flower. What is it?"
"Unless she joins us… Make me forget. I don't want to spend every day with this at the back of my mind."
The Affini stared in silence for a bit.
"But… If this turns out okay. And she agrees. And she joins us. Then you can give me back those memories. Okay?"
"Of course, dear."
Magnolia was smiling. And the Little One didn't know why! They just woke up, and while munching on her favorite berry yogurt, her Mama got a message on her pad, which made her smile and give the Little One extra extra attention. And she didn't really get it, she was just curious because she saw her Mama being so happy, that it made her happy too. "Aww… Aren't you precious. You're going to love this little one, I can't wait~" She said while petting her beloved kitty, who didn't really get it but enjoyed all the pets anyway.
"Oh! It's almost time. Come along, sweetie." After finishing the morning routine, her Mama got her ready to head out. She picked the Little One up, carrying her down the hab to the ground, and from there, walked with her to someplace new. She was curious, peeking at the road and smelling all the new scents that she never got to experience before. Another small adventure with her Mama.
At least, until, the two reached a building. She could see plenty of other humans inside, getting pets, and got a little excited when her Mama walked through the door.
"Oh! Magnolia!" One of the Affini workers exclaimed when they saw her. "I don't recall asking you to come over…" it was then that the Little One was noticed by them. "Oh my stars the rumors were true, you have your own floret now."
"Mhmm~" she then leaned in and whispered something to the other, prompting her eyes to widen in shock. "Oh my. So you need us to…"
"Take care of her for the day, yes. Now, I've come prepared." She placed something on the desk. A bottle, much like the ones she's been making, but with a nice orange hue to it. "She's very needy for me, so if you see her getting antsy just let her smell this. I'll also send you a recording of my biorhythm, it should help calm her down if things get out of hand, okay?"
"Of course! Have a great day Magnolia." From there, the little one was led inside. There were so many other humans there! But, her Mama turned her around, looking her in the eye as she set her on the soft floor. "Now, your Mama is going to get you something very special, okay? I need you to be a good girl, and wait for me here. I promise that when I'll be back, I'll give you all the cuddles this side of the galaxy, okay? Promise me you'll be a good girl?"
She nodded, smiling as she got one more forehead kiss. And then… Her Mama turned around.
At first the Little One felt fine. She could do it. She could be the good girl her Mama wanted her to be. She even made new friends. Lots of other humans who adored how she looked and gave her lots of attention and snuggles.
But, while being submerged in an entire cuddle pile of cuties, she realized she was missing her Mama more and more.
She found herself sitting by the window, looking at all the Affini walking outside. None of them were her Mama. And she felt like this nice music that was always around her was gone, and suddenly the sounds of everything else moved back to the forefront. Conversations, chatter, other mewls and so on. She never realized just how much her Mama's music was keeping her calm. Keeping her grounded.
"Aww…" she heard someone approach her. One of the Affini working there. "You miss her a lot, don't you? Its okay petal, she gave us something that would help calm you down." She produced a large stuffed toy shaped like a lion. Taking the bottle, she sprayed a few spirts of it into the toy, before handing it over. "There. This should do the trick for now."
She approached the toy, and gave it a sniff. It smelled just like her Mama! Before she knew it, all of her arms were wrapped up around it as tight as can be, with her nose pressed deep into the furry exterior of the toy itself, breathing in deep. "There you go… she'll be back soon. I promise." She got lots of viny headpats to boot, curling up on the daycare lady's lap while desperately smelling the toy and refusing to let it go.
"She wasn't kidding about the attachment…" another Affini came over. "Still, who would've thought the reclusive Magnolia would get a floret, right? Or-" before the sentence could be finished, the one petting her put a vine to the other's mouth. "Don't say it. We don't want her even more anxious. Best to let her owner deal with it."
Not that the Little One was paying attention. She was too busy clinging to her Mama's scent and purring to try and make herself feel better. She really was trying to be a good girl. But it was hard because she needed her Mama to keep her safe, and she wasn't here.
By the time she started shivering, the Affini realized she may need a bit more than just her owner's scent to calm her down. She barely felt when a prick was jabbed into her thigh. "It's okay little one. You can sleep. She'll be here before you know it~" A weak mewl was all that escaped the kitty's lips before the Class Z's took hold of her, and she promptly fell asleep, holding the stuffed toy in all of her arms.
The day passed in a blur of hazy periods of wake and sleep. The sleep was better though. At least in her sleep she didn't feel anxious while waiting for her Mama to come back. She was basically glued to the window, mewling every once in a while, like a stray kitten waiting for a loving home. At some point she was given a pair of headphones that fit her kitty ears, and she could hear Mama's music on them. But… It wasn't enough. The touch was missing. The warmth. But she tried to be the best girl out there. Because her Mama told her to. And she didn't want to be bad. Bad girls get abandoned and she didn't want that again.
She was already on the verge of tears when the door to the daycare opened up. She didn't look up, too busy with her stuffed toy to notice anything else.
Until… A mossy hand reached out and pat her head. "I'm here, little one. Did you miss me?"
Almost immediately, she sprung to life, abandoning the toy and jumping into her Mama's arms, crying and hugging her tightly. "Shh… It's okay… I'm here sweetie…" Magnolia sat down on one of the couches, holding her pet tight and letting her cry it all out. "I was told how docile you were. You're a very good girl, and I'll never leave you. You're my pet and I love you very very much, okay?"
It took a few more minutes of affirmations, affections and cuddles to get the Little One capable of communicating, albeit in her own way. The crying had certainly exhausted her, so before they left, her Mama made sure she drank plenty of water to hydrate her.
She was still rather out of it as her Mama carried her back to the hab. "You know, I think that after you find out why I had to leave you in the daycare, you'll be happier than ever." Her Mama punctuated that with a forehead kiss, which got her to mewl weakly. "Shh… Don't worry. You can nap for now, and I'll carry you, okay?"
The Little One nodded and closed her eyes, curling in and nodding off for a bit.
When the Little One's eyes fluttered open, they were back in the hab. "Just in time." She heard her Mama coo, and opening the door to the bedroom, they stepped inside.
And there… She saw someone else on the bed. Another human.
She looked at her Mama a bit confused. Did she have more work? She didn't know. "It's okay sweetheart. I know you don't remember. You did ask me to repress those memories until it was time. And well… I think it's time."
For a few seconds, she was confused as she stared at the other human. She was smaller. And had black hair too. She looked cute. That all, however, got sidetracked completely as she felt her implant remove something from her system. For another second or so, she was confused still.
And then all the memories came rushing back.
She began to tear up, staring at the other human. The time they met. The life they led. The love they shared. All the talks about their lives, and wanting to stay together forever. All the little quirks that their relationship held, unique to them and them alone. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, years of memories rushed through her mind at once.
The time that they went on their first date, prompted by another mutual friend. The emotional talks in the car. The bonding they shared over their nerdy habits. Her passions, her drives, her will. Her troubles, too. All of them were cherished. All of them were sacred. All of them the Little One etched to her heart so she will never forget again. She knew why her Mama did this. If she didn't, the Little One would be sad all the time and miss her beloved. But now she was here. Sleeping, but here!
The Little One began to shake in place as she teared up again. She looked to her Mama for a brief moment, who gave her an approving nod, before jumping out of her arms to cuddle her long lost love. Holding her. Purring. Kissing and just feeling her warmth. That scent that she forgot about flooded her mind, even if it was just a regular human smell. To her heightened senses, it was harmonious and perfect. Everything was perfect now. She wept tears of joy as her Mama sat next to them, petting both her and her Beloved while hearing her purr her heart out. "That's right. I told you I'd bring you two together. And you'll never be separated ever again, ever."
After a bit more, the other human opened her eyes. She looked hazy, but still there. At first, she looked a bit surprised. The Little One changed so much. She was a good kitty now. The best kitty ever. Though one look in her eyes assured both of them they were the same people they remembered.
"Hey babe… I'm back. I'm here."
She took the Little One's hand, and kissed the backside of it. And, by instinct, the Little One did the same, and took her Beloved's hand, kissing it too. And then, after a brief pause… They kissed their own hands, giggling to each other and sharing another kiss, this time on the lips, as they embraced one another. A long lost ritual of who they used to be, never forgotten, and now revived.
All the while, Magnolia smiled. She lifted the two of them, wrapping them in her warm hug of vines and arms, settling into bed as the kitty and her Beloved got adjusted to sleeping together once more. "Good night my dear florets. I love both of you~" She could only give out a happy mewl to her Mama before closing her eyes and falling asleep, this time snuggling her Beloved tightly with all of her new arms.