Between The Lines

Chapter 10

by AutoNova

Tags: #cw:noncon #bondage #D/s #pov:bottom #pov:top #scifi #sub:female #clothing #dom:nb #drugs #f/nb #Human_Domestication_Guide #nonbinary_character #petplay #self_care_is_over_were_doing_drugs_now #self_harm #self_harm_is_over_were_still_doing_drugs #transgender_characters

Bree’s new clothes made her feel much better about herself. She didn’t feel like she was bound to Calyx and broadly announcing it to anyone who knew what the implications of her dress meant. The shirt and pants might have been less eye-catching but that was a good thing, She was never one to enjoy drawing attention to herself. The only real issue with them was that they were less comfortable than the dress that She’d been forced to wear the day prior. That wasn’t very surprising though as almost everything felt scratchy compared to the silky fabric of her dress. ‘Just another way to convince me to become a pet’ she thought, that was the only reason they would have made those clothes so damn soft, they were too soft for anything practical, but that was probably the point, they were for pets. 

Bree sat on the massive couch in Calyx’s hab, trying to ignore the sensation of her pants rubbing against her medical implant every time she moved. Cal had told her that they were going to spend a day ‘at home’. That phrasing stuck in Bree’s mind, ‘at home’ like it was supposed to be her home too. It could have just been a misunderstanding, or it could have been the beginnings of the massive plant’s attempt to sway hew decisions with their subliminal messages and suggestions. Bree wasn’t going to let it get to her. Sure, they had allowed her to choose her own clothes now, but that was all a facade. She knew that everything that the plant did was perfectly calculated to make her more and more comfortable until eventually, she didn’t notice them locking a collar around her neck. She shivered at the thought. 

They even asked her if she would be okay with meeting up with Fen again. Bree had accepted, not that she actually had a choice anyway. Just another illusion of free will that the Affini dangled in front of her, a false reward for her compliance that she would never be able to achieve. 

Bree nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt the seat of the couch sink next to her as Cal took a seat beside her. Stars, even when they were sitting down they were so much bigger than her, even if she stood up she probably wouldn’t even be at pseudo-shoulder height with them. Cal started talking as she wordlessly gawked at the mesmerizing plant, “So, Bree, now that you’ve spent a day out and about I figured we should get to know each other a little more.” Bree focused her attention on their face, trying to sense what their intentions might be, but Bree still hadn’t a clue what their facial expressions meant; if they meant anything at all and weren’t just a crude mimicry of what they assumed human expressions were meant to look like. 

Bree sat for a moment processing what they said. Did they really care about getting to know her, would it matter at all if she was just a mere pet to them? “Okay?” 

“So!” Calyx started, not even taking a moment to check if Bree was done talking, “What kinds of things do you want to know? About me, Affini, or anything else that comes to your mind”

Now that was a big question. Bree hardly knew what question came to her first, so many things had been brewing in her head for days and she never even stopped to ask anyone about it. “Why?” was the only word she managed to get out among the cacophony of utter confusion that had been surrounding her ever since the first day aboard the ship. 

“You’re going to have to be more specific than that little one,” They ruffled her hair. They probably couldn’t help it. She was a pet species to them. If there was a cat sitting next to her she would have done the same thing. 

“Just... “ The words still failed Bree, “everything.” She looked into her lap, suddenly overcome with embarrassment. What was she even embarrassed about anyway? She’d been thrust into something so much more complicated than anything she could have ever imagined and she didn’t know what question to ask first. There shouldn’t have been anything embarrassing about it, but there she was, cringing internally at her lack of comprehension. 

“Here, let’s start out with something simple,” Cal gently picked Bree up and rotated her to face them before setting her back down on the couch. Bree couldn’t help but feel flustered at how easily they could manipulate her. They were more than capable of carrying her, that wasn’t new, but the fact that they were so gentle with her still got to her. They were treating her like a fragile baby animal, which, to Calyx, was probably exactly what she was. She laughed to herself as the thought crossed her mind. "What's so funny, little flower?" Cal asked, their voice as husky and gentle as ever. 

Bree forced herself to stop giggling in response, "well, I really am just a pet to you, aren't I?" Cal looked more intrigued than before, "you could make me do anything and I would be completely powerless to resist"

"you're not 'just a pet' darling. Not yet at least, until the day that decision is made you'll remain inde-" 

"Am I independent, really?" she was sick of the lie, "I'm already your pet, Calyx, aren't I? You sure as hell treat me like one!" she accused. 

Calyx recoiled. Bree hadn't meant to snap like that; her frustration just slipped out. "Bree, if you were a pet, then you'd already be in a collar. I'm just doing my job and taking care of an injured sophont. If you're really that insistent on being a floret then you can just say so. I'm sure you'll find a lovely owner."

Bree clearly struck a nerve -did Affini have nerves? Not important- Calyx receded into themself to her side, "I- I’m sorry?" she didn't know exactly what she was apologizing for, but she could at least try to make up for snapping at them. 

She couldn't exactly be mad at them. They were telling the truth, they were just taking care of her while she was injured. From what she could tell, that was just how the Affini did things, she couldn't blame Cal for doing things that way. Even if it did make her feel weird. "I didn't-" 

Cal interrupted with a sigh, "No, it's my fault, I've been trying too hard. I'll ease off, you obviously don't want to be a floret." they sank down into themself and the couch. 

That turnaround was… fast. Bree expected to be fighting them for a while on that front, but now she was worried about them. She couldn't deny that she enjoyed their presence, despite everything, Calyx treated her more like a person than any other Affini. 

"Are you okay?" Bree asked. 

Calyx turned to look down at her and smiled, no doubt it was forced. "I'm alright, little one" They might have been an alien plant but Bree could tell when someone was faking a smile, that was her specialty. 

"I don't believe you" 

Cal visibly tensed up before her. Their eyes flashed a deep purple as they focused intently on Bree's face.

"you're not okay. I can tell" Bree had no idea where the sudden wave of confidence came from, but she wasn't going to waste the opportunity, "Look, I- I'm sorry. I didn't mean any harm, I just… I got a little frustrated with… everything I guess. I'm kind of stressed" 

This time it was Calyx's turn to laugh. Their laugh was… interesting to say the least. Bree felt it more than she heard it as the vibrations traveled into her through the air and couch. In all actuality, it hardly sounded like a laugh at all. It was a deep, dry rumbling that hitched periodically in their core. It took her a moment to even realize that they were laughing, failing to understand what exactly they found funny. 

“I'm sure you are.” their laugh slowed to a steady chuckle, "and I'm sorry if I made things any more stressful for you. That's kind of the opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing" 

Bree let out a laugh once more, "no, you're wonderful," she reassured, "in all honesty you're probably the only Affini who has treated me like a person. I appreciate that" 

Bree felt Calyx relax to her side at the affirmation, "thanks, that's really nice to hear. I'm always a little scared that I'm being too overbearing" 

Bree could understand feeling that way. They had been very firm about everything the day prior, but she couldn't deny that they were acting with her best interests in mind. As much as she wanted to deny it, they were right to keep her off her leg. She admitted that to Calyx as much as she did herself. 

"well that's very brave of you to say, little one" 

Bree blushed at the praise and quickly tried to change the subject, "so, uh... what were you saying before I... had my little outburst?" she blushed a little harder, this time out of embarrassment for her harsh behavior only a few minutes prior. 

Cal's eyes dimmed for a moment before flashing a vibrant pink, "oh! Yes! After yesterday I figured that it would be a good idea to relax and get to know each other! I know you're only going to be staying with me for a few more days but it never hurts to chat a little." 

Bree couldn’t deny it, that was actually really cute. The Affini might have been a frankly terrifying alien race as a whole, but this one, Calyx, was just an adorable sweetheart. Bree couldn’t continue entertaining the thought that they were scheming to turn her into a pet. They were naturally that caring, even if it seemed dizzyingly excessive. “Okay,” Bree exhaled through her nose, stifling another bout of laughter at her adorable alien overlord “What kinds of things did you have in mind?” 

“Oh! Well why don’t we start with you telling me a bit about yourself” 

She knew it was stupid, but Bree froze up at the sudden focus on herself. She’d never been able to ‘tell someone about herself’ There really wasn’t much to tell. She could state basic facts about herself but nobody ever seemed content with just learning about her age and the other few intrinsic facts about herself. They always expected things like hobbies and interests, but Bree hardly had any of those, her main hobby was -failing at- taking care of herself and keeping herself sane. She really couldn't recall anything else about herself, it had never actually mattered. 

Cal seemed to pick up on her hesitance and broke the silence, "I can go first." they paused for a moment, caught up in thought, "Oh… that is a hard question to answer, isn't it?" Bree giggled and nodded at their realization. "I guess… well… okay. I'm about three Terran centuries old-" 

"decades," Bree corrected. 

Cal's eyes flashed purple for a moment, "no, I mean centuries" they nodded to themself. 

"no," Bree scoffed, "you can't be three hundred years old" 

Cal sighed, "I know, I'm very young to be on my third bloom already, but my second bloom was…" a rustle ran up their whole body, "it was awkward. It only lasted about fifty years cause it was embarrassing" their eyes took on a faint green hue for a moment before returning to their normal pale blue. 

Bree couldn't tell if they were joking or not. There was no way they could possibly be three hundred years old. That would mean that they were alive while humanity was just barely beginning to explore interstellar space and they were supposedly a young Affini. It simply didn't compute . That was far too long for one being to be alive, "you can't be serious." she deadpanned. 

"Of course I am, why would I lie about my age? There's nothing to gain from that."

They were right. Why would they lie about that, there was no way they were embarrassed about that. They seemed more embarrassed about how young that was. Apparently, meeting entities that were hundreds of -maybe more???- years old was going to be a new normal for her. It was hard to wrap her head around, but she simply needed to come to terms with the fact that the Affini were just so much more than any Terran could ever be. 


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