Getting carried around by Calyx might have been humiliating, but at least it was comfortable. The vines were firmly wrapped around her but held her in a relaxed position. Even though Bree had lied about feeling tired, she almost felt like she should have been. It would have been a nice place to nap had she actually needed to sleep. Despite the comfort that Calyx provided, Bree still struggled against their vines, she really didn’t want to be there.
After their encounter with Wyatt and his owner, Calyx made several more stops around the ship, Bree in tow under their arm. Most of the stops had to do with Cal's work and whatever documentation that apparently required. It was a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy that, frankly, Bree was thankful she had nothing to do with. Cal went about handling the several stacks of paper with ease. They made dealing with the endless amount of documentation seem almost enjoyable, which could not be farther from the truth, all while carrying Bree in their vines like she was a stuffed toy.
Calyx had to be getting tired. It had been who knows how many hours of walking while carrying Bree, even in low-spin gravity that would quickly become taxing. Cal hid their fatigue well, masking any signs of how tired they must have been.
Eventually, Calyx announced they had finished their errands and carried Bree to a little clothing "shop" -Cal repeatedly stated their hatred for the word but Bree still thought it was a fitting term- that specialized in providing clothes to the independent Terrans aboard the ship. It was small by Affini standards but still big enough to make Bree feel small looking around the room. The place was run by an Affini along with his floret.
The irony of that fact was not lost on Bree. The only place for her, an independent Terran, to get clothes that weren't meant for a pet, was from an Affini and his pet. Calyx set Bree down on the ground. Bree spent a moment celebrating her physical freedom before quickly being snared by several new vines. These vines were from the other Affini but retreated a moment after clamping down on her various body parts. They were apparently supposed to be measuring her so that the Affini could make or find some appropriately sized clothes for her.
It was, once again, humiliating. Even when getting normal clothes she was still being treated like a pet. She could try on clothes for herself dammit! None of this was necessary. All she wanted was some shirts and pants. Those didn't need to be perfectly tailored to her. Like everything else that the Affini did, they had to go above and beyond even when it wasn't necessary whatsoever.
She was able to remain on her own two feet for the remainder of the time spent in the shop, she picked out a few plain shirts and pants, they were the kinds of clothes she was comfortable with; getting abducted by aliens wasn't going to change that. Despite, well… everything, Bree left the shop pretty content. She convinced Calyx to let her carry her own bags, but it hardly mattered when they scooped her off the ground to carry her back to their hab.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Fen strolled through the infirmary to Bree's room, it had been several days since she'd last seen Bree and Fen spent that time learning all about how to take care of Terrans without overwhelming the girl. She took a moment outside the door. This wasn’t a mistake, was it? She wasn't being impulsive and reckless this time around, she took all the precautions. The fact that she had even stopped outside the door was proof enough of that. Fen loosened the tightly wound vines in her core and opened the door.
But… something wasn't right. The Terran in the bed was not Bree. This Terran was larger and looked nothing like Bree. Had she mixed up the rooms? A quick step outside the room revealed that, no, she was in the right room. Had Bree been moved? She needed to find where she was.
Fen exited the room, taking care to not wake the sleeping Terran, and sped down the hall to Mera's room.
"So where is she?" Fen demanded.
"well, She-" Mera started before Fen interrupted.
"don't tell me she's already become a floret!"
Mera sighed and shot a look at Fen, "No, she hasn't. Not yet at least. She's been assigned to Calyx Volisa, I'm not sure if you know them, but they're assessing whether or not she's fit to live independently or if she will be domesticated. She's spending the next week at their hab while she finishes healing." seemingly sensing Fen's intentions, Mera narrowed her eyes, "you need to leave that girl alone,"
"But I need to make it up to her for being so stupid and impulsive!"
"Fen, honey, please believe me, stalking her is not going to make her like you any more than she does, she needs space, especially while she adjusts to living alongside Affini. Just let Cal do their job and acclimate her before you go about trying to make her your floret"
Fen wasn't trying to claim her! She just needed to see her rescue through and make sure Bree was doing okay.
Fen started a response but Mera cut her off before she could get a full word out, "don't give me any of that. I've seen how you look at her, but if you keep at this she's going to want to belong to any Affini but you." Fen sank in her seat across from Mera, "and that's if she ends up becoming a floret at all, she claims that she wants to remain independent, so all we can do is wait for Calyx's word."
Okay…. Maybe she did like the idea of having Bree as a floret but she wasn't that desperate! She could settle for just having Bree as a friend - if she didn't end up a floret by the end of the week. And then if she ever did decide to volunteer for domestication that would put Fen into an extremely good position, maybe she could even convince Bree to consider the option eventually. Fen gave Mera a nod, "Okay I can wait."
Several of the leaves making up Mera's shoulders perked up in surprise, "wait, really? You're giving up just like that?" Mera studied Fen's face for a moment before continuing, "I expected more of a fight from you, Ms. Do-first-ask-questions-later," Fen knew she was only teasing, but she didn't like that her entire reputation revolved around her rashness, something that she recently began to hate about herself. "Hey, are you okay?" Mera seemingly noticed a shift in Fen's body language despite her best attempts to hide it.
"yeah I just… I guess I'm just realizing that I'm not very…" She trailed off, trying to figure out what exactly to say.
"Hey," Mera's expression softened as she muttered something under her breath that Fen didn't quite catch. "It's okay Fen. I see what's going on, take your time to work through all this, we all make mistakes. It's just a part of maturing and figuring out who you are,"
“but... “ she trailed off. Fen didn’t find that particularly reassuring. She used to think she knew what she wanted but she had no idea anymore. If making mistakes like this was a part of figuring herself out then maybe it was best she didn’t.
Mera emitted a short rumble from her core, catching Fen’s attention, “I can see that you’ve put a lot of thought into this, so here” Mera tapped on her datapad for a moment with a few vines. A moment later Fen’s own datapad chimed from within her chest. “Here is their information. Talk things through with them, maybe set up a meeting for you three.” Mera’s expression hardened, “Don’t abuse this, Fen. I’m putting a lot of trust in you here, prove me right and approach this correctly”
Fen scanned the information that Mera had sent her, “Thank you Mera, I really appreciate this” She looked back up at Mera, who was smiling back at her.
“Now is that all? Cause if so I do have a job to do”
“Oh! Right, yes that’s all” Fen haphazardly stuffed her datapad back into her central mass, “Thanks again Mera! I owe you!” Fen gave the older Affini a quick embrace before sprinting out the door back to her own hab.
She had to do this right, that was Fen's excuse for why it took nearly a day for her to work up the nerve to send Calyx a message. It wasn't even a long message, just a quick and simple introduction explaining a bit of her situation with Bree. It wasn't very complicated but she typed it out only to delete it and reword it nearly ten times before she finally decided to kiss the bullet -or whatever that Terran saying was- and force herself to press send.
Fen could feel her anticipation building in her core. Every second that she had to wait for their response drastically increased the chances that she would spontaneously combust. By the time her datapad chirped in response she had receded into a tangled ball of vines and flowers on her bed.
Fen reformed the upper half of her humanoid form and pulled up her tablet off the shelf next to her.
Hello Fen! It's nice to meet you! I'm sure we could work something out in the next few days. Keep in mind that I am watching over little Bree while she adjusts to living with Affini. She is easily overwhelmed but that shouldn't be much of a problem if we can schedule things beforehand.
Fen read the message over and over, letting it roll around in her mind as she processed it. Nothing seemed wrong about that. The part that Fen was most worried about was the last bit. She tapped out a response.
That sounds great! Although I do have one request. Make sure that you give Bree a choice. I want her to know that she has the right to refuse. After all, I am trying to make amends with her. Forcing her into something like that isnt the best way to clear things up between her and I.
She ran through her message in her head. It sounded okay, right? She didn't want to sound condescending, but many Affini in Calyx's place would already be halfway through breaking Bree into an obedient pet. Though Mera had said that they were assessing Bree’s capabilities to possibly live on her own. It seemed counterintuitive to start preparing her to become a pet. Fen needed to make her intentions clear, if not to Calyx then at least to Bree. If Bree refused then Fen would just have to wait until she was comfortable; even if Fen hated the idea. Fen sent the message and anxiously waited for a response once more.
Of course! I wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you two. Unfortunately little Bree is asleep right now. We had a pretty busy day running errands, and she passed out as soon as I brought her back to my hab. I’ll ask her in the morning and then update you.
Fen sent a quick response acknowledging the situation and collapsed back into her own bed. All she could do was wait until morning. Fen didn’t get much rest that night.