Fen could hardly contain her excitement as she bounded down the halls of the medbay towards Bree's room. She'd only visited her once before but she'd already memorized the room she was being kept in. She was almost there! Just one more hallway-
Frost. Mera was in the way.
Fen slowed herself down, trying to regain an aura of professionalism before Mera scolded her.
"Fen? What are you doing here so early?" Mera asked sternly.
"I just wanted to check in on Bree, cause… you know, I rescued her and was hoping to see how she's doing with her wounds." Fen smiled at Mera innocently.
"Visiting isn't permitted for another half-hour, she's still sleeping"
Of course, Fen knew that she wasn’t technically allowed in until visiting hours, but since when had that stopped her?
Fen put on her best dejected look, making sure to emphasize drooping her various vines and leaves to really get the point across, even closing a few of the flowers along her arms. “Oh, okay…” She made a show of slowly turning around and beginning to walk away until Mera huffed and spoke once more.
“Okay fine,” Fen whirled back around to face Mera as she continued, “but be gentle with her. No waking her up on purpose, she needs her sleep.”
“Thank you, Mera!”
Fen rushed past her and in less than a second she stood at the entrance to Bree’s room. She waited a moment to calm herself down, reminding herself that she needed to be quiet to let the Terran sleep before sliding the door open.
Fen stepped into the room as quietly as she could, which was admittedly louder than she had wanted. She could hardly stop all her leaves from rustling in excitement as she entered, but the Terran had not yet begun to stir, and Fen was mostly confident that she hadn’t woken her up. Fen sat in one of the observation chairs to well… observe.
Bree really was adorable. Fen couldn’t get over just how small she was lying in the tiny bed in front of her. Bree shifted under the blankets. Eliciting an audible “aww” from Fen, She looked so comfy and warm. It took monumental amounts of mental fortitude not to reach out and pet her. She just wanted to pick the Terran up and play with her like a good little pet. Fen paused in her mind and pushed the thought away, she was far too young to have a floret, not to mention that there was a decent chance Bree wouldn’t want to be domesticated anyway. Even if she did, there was no guarantee that she would want to be Fen’s floret anyway. Fen had the self-awareness to know that there were many other Affini who would make much better owners than herself, Affini who had florets in the past and who actually knew what they were doing.
Bree made a noise that caught Fen’s attention. It sounded like an odd mix of a yawn and typical Terran speech, although Fen couldn't actually make out any recognizable words, Fen was by no means an expert on human languages so she couldn’t say for sure. Fen held herself as still as possible, careful to not wake her up, if she did then Mera wouldn’t be as lenient with her in the future, and considering her newfound fixation with Bree she would be visiting her as often as she could.
Bree continued making the noises, but they were longer and more drawn out this time. She was clearly trying to speak, there were noticeable “words” with breaks between them but none of what she said was at all coherent. She was talking in her sleep!
Fen wished she knew what Bree was trying to say. Maybe she'd ask her what she was dreaming about once she woke up. Until then she'd just have to settle for listening to the girl's sleepy murmurs.
Bree's face scrunched into a frown as she slept, which Fen would have found adorable had Bree's breathing not suddenly become much more harsh and worrisome. Bree started speaking again, but instead of the soft whispers that they had been before they were now frantic and almost fearful.
Fen didn't know what to do. She was clearly in trouble, but how could Fen help while Bree was asleep?
Bree’s cries escalated to sobbing before suddenly, she stopped. Fen leaned closer, wondering what had happened to her. Bree stirred, her breathing ragged as she started to wake.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bree crawled into bed, exhausted. She stared up at the ceiling, watching the fan blades slowly circle around her room. She was such an idiot. What was she thinking? Of course, someone would find out. Skipping class was stupid, she should have sucked it up and showed up, but she didn’t, and now her parents were angry at her. She couldn’t even blame them. It was objectively her own fault and she deserved everything that came from it.
Her father’s voice echoed in her mind, he was right of course, she was a disappointment, a waste of space, useless.
Bree sat up, taking a deep breath, she deserved to be punished for being so, fucking, pathetic. She turned to her nightstand and opened the drawer. At the very bottom of the drawer, underneath her books and datapad, sat a simple steel knife. Bree carefully procured the knife from the drawer and held it up before her eyes.
She saw herself in the reflection of the polished steel, she looked terrible as always; tired, sad, angry. Everything was wrong. She was broken, and there was nothing wrong with breaking herself more, in fact, it was good. Maybe she'd finally teach herself how to be useful. Tears welled up in her eyes. She deserved this. This was right.
Bree rolled up her pant leg and readied her knife. Her knuckles white from clenching the handle as she pressed the blade against her skin. But… she was already bleeding?
Two trickles of blood had begun trailing down her legs, one on the front, the other right behind it on the back. Bree relaxed her grip on the knife and pulled it away from her shin as she looked down at the two wounds. She didn't remember making those cuts, and they hadn't been scabs, they were too fresh.
Bree's door burst open. Her focus shifted to the door. Her father stood in the doorway, she couldn't see his face but she could tell from his body language that he clearly wasn't happy. Bree tried to roll down her pant leg and toss the knife away before her father could figure out what she was doing.
"what the fuck do you think you're doing?" he spat, stepping forward into her room, face still obscured by the shadows.
"I- I… I don't-," Bree's breathing sped up as her tears began flowing more freely.
"Stop that." her father hissed, "Men. Don't. Cry."
"I ca- I can't" Bree cried, her breathing turned from frantic breaths to gasping sobs as she began to cry harder.
Her father advanced upon her, painfully gripping her wrists in each of his hands. Bree desperately avoided his petrifying gaze. If he caught her eyes she'd be forced to listen instead of blocking him out. Of course, her father won, he always won. He demanded so much attention from Bree that she had no choice but to look at his face, but he wasn't there.
It was just another nightmare.
Bree moved her hand as fast as her waking body would allow to wipe the tears from her face. After clearing her eyes, she slowly allowed herself to wake fully. She opened her eyes to the blinding hospital lights, she had to squint to see anything at all. But what she did see was a big pale green mass in front of her.
"Bree! Are you alright? You were talking and then you started crying! What happened?" it was Fen, nearly shouting in her face.
Bree sat up in the bed and Fen moved back slightly to allow Bree room to move, "I'm fine," she shrugged, "it was just a nightmare, nothing to worry about"
Fen furrowed the rows of blue petals that formed what would have been her eyebrows and tilted her head, "are you sure? I've only seen Terrans cry like that when they were in a lot of pain, are you sure you're okay?"
Bree huffed, "Yes, Fen, I'm fine." Bree paused for a moment to think, "What are you doing back here anyway? Shouldn't you be rescuing more people from the surface? Isn't that supposed to be your job?"
Fen looked hurt, her numerous flowers curled up back into their buds, dimming the majority of Fen's color, "Oh, I… Well, I was here to give you your first dose of the class-G's that we talked about yesterday" Fen produced a vine and flower similar to the one that Mera had the day earlier except the flower was a vibrant red instead of Mera's yellow. Bree flinched at the sight of the needle in the center of the otherwise beautiful flower. Fen seemed to notice her reaction and wilted away even more.
"Okay… well I'll just leave then," Fen retracted the vine before turning to leave. Bree couldn’t just deny her help like that, and she didn’t want to refuse either.
“Fen! Wait.” She stopped in the doorway, “I really want the drugs but-”
“Really!?” Fen spun around, flowers blooming with glee, her needle-flower raised and ready as she rushed back to Bree’s bedside, “you’re not going to regret this!” Fen’s vine darted down and towards Bree’s arm.
Bree felt a sting in her arm before she could process what was happening. She looked down at the flower -needle now fully embedded in her arm- and back at Fen. Bree took a shaky breath as she felt an intense warmth flood into her arm before spreading to the rest of her body.
Bree jerked her arm away out of instinct, but it was already too late. The needle had done its job and injected her with whatever drugs Fen had chosen, "is… is there any other way that you could do that?" Bree's voice faltered, "I- needles…" a shiver ran up and down her back as she imagined the needle impaling itself deep into her arm. She shook the thought out of her head.
"I… I suppose there are other ways to give them to you, but none are as effective as the injection." Fen held up a hand and started counting off the different ways to drug Bree, "there's no good way to control your dose if you inhale it. I could make you some berries, but stomachs are just terrible at absorbing drugs. Half the time they just destroy them before they have any chance to do anything…" Fen kept going on about the reasons why the injection was the best way to get her new hrt, she even sprouted a few extra fingers so that she could count them all on one hand.
Bree didn't like it, but it seemed like the fastest way for her to transition was with frequent injections, she could settle for something less effective if it meant no more needles, "hey… so I know you said that the injections are the best way, but… I really don't like needles, they make me feel gross"
Fen perked up at that, "They do?" She paused, thinking, "Well I can help with that too!"
"You can?" It seemed like these plants could do anything. How did they even make these drugs anyway? They seemed almost magical.
"Mhm!" Fen nodded.
Bree sighed in relief, that would make things much easier, "so how does it wor-"
Another jab with a needle, this time just above her shoulder, partly up the side of her neck. "Wait, what? Fen? W-" Bree trailed off mid-sentence, her complaints and worries devolving into incoherent whimpers.
Bree started floating. Everything was so warm and fuzzy.
What was she angry about?
It didn't matter anymore.