"You're drooling kitten." Allison pulled back from a vine lightly brushing across the corner of her mouth to wipe at it with a sleeve.
"Sorry." She apologized. She could hardly help it, before her was an embarrassment of food. Mashed potatoes with gravy, Steak and cheese over broccoli. Allison couldn't even remember the last time she had a meal of entirely real food. Dahlia could be fattening her up to eat for all she cared if she was gonna feed her like this. Damn it, she was supposed to gathering intel but all she was doing was being manipulated, "Is this all for me?"
Dahlia made that wonderful laughing sound again, tho it was more of a giggle this time, "Well I don't see any other sophonts here."
Allison scanned the table, once and then a second time just to confirm, "Uhm... There doesn't seem to be any utensils..."
A look of shock and a viney hand on her face Dahlia gasped, "oh dear, how could I have forgotten something so basic!" Suddenly two of her vines twisted themselves into a makeshift fork and knife and Dahlia cut an appreciable chunk of the steak and held it just in front of Allison's face. It took a few seconds for Allison to realize she wasn't being offered the utensils, she was only being offered the food.
"I can eat by myself you know." She stated, turning away from Affini. She knew it wouldn't keep her from blushing but she at least wouldn't have to see that look on Dahlia's face like she just saw a kitten tumble over a ball of wool.
"Aww, well I suppose it was a bit much to expect." Dahlia laid the fork with the chunk of steak still on it on Allison's plate.
Allison picked it up and tried not to seem too happy about her victory, albeit minor, as she stuck it in her mouth. An explosion of flavor lit up her senses, she had only had steak on maybe a dozen occasions before and none of them held a candle to this. Greedily she reached for the knife to cut more off only for a vine to snatch it away just as before she reached it. "Sorry little one, but I suspect I would be failing my duties as an Affini if I let you have a knife." Several quick motions Allison could hardly track and the rest of the steak was diced into cubes about the same size of the first.
After a brief recovery Allison rolled her eyes, "I can handle a knife you know," she humphed, "I carried one in these streets for years now." Her hand instinctively went to her pocket where she kept it only to discover it was missing.
"Looking for something?" Dahlia practically purred, the sentence accentuated by a familiar *snkt*. Her mouth went dry despite the juiciness if the steak. Her knife, her lifeline, her only partner these last five years was in the vines of her captor on the opposite side of a table.
"When did you-" Allison started only to have her question answered before she finished asking it.
"It fell out while you were squirming so adorably in my vines," Dahlia spoke, that annoying look that made Allison's cheeks burn on her face, "Imagine my surprise when this slipped out and fell to the ground."
Allison tried to put the image that conjured up out of mind. She snapped up a steak chunk partially to buy some extra time to think but also it was the best thing she had eaten possibly ever. Was this plant intending to flirt with her until her heart gave? She also needed her knife back but acting desperate was almost certainly the wrong course. All she had to do was play it cool right? Swallowing, she perked up, "Oh thanks for grabbing that, you mind if I get that back?"
Dahlia was unreadable for moment before she seemed to reanimate again, "I'm afraid I have to insist on holding on to this for now but," Allison's heart sank as Dahlia paused. "I'll give it back tomorrow night if you promise to be a good kitten for me until then."
Allison hesitated for a moment, "And what does a um. 'good kitten' mean?" She took another bite as she wished for her mask to hide her burning cheeks.
Dahlia tucked the knife away into some pocket inside her torso. She folded hands and picked herself a pick, making Allison aware of just how small she was in comparison. "It means I expect you to behave yourself of course. The main rule is Do not hurt others or yourself. As long as you keep this in mind and follow my instructions you'll be an independent sophont in no time!" Dahlia giggled as though she remembered something, "that is if you want that."
Allison bit her tongue, there's no telling what Dahlia knew about her history. If she ever saw the marks however... Asking about what happens to them would be a dead give away though, she needed a different thread,"Sounds easy enough but I can ask what's with all the pet names and kitten stuff?" Perfect, bullet dodged.
"Why, cause the way you acted on the sedatives reminded me of a few of my friends kitten florets of course." Dahlia stated matter of factly.
Allison fought off a smirk, she had successfully kept the topic from continuing down a potentially disastrous path, although she was curious, "What is a Floret anyways?"
Allison felt a chill creep up her spine as the air around Dahlia took on a predacious nature, a wicked smile on her face. "That, I think, is a subject we can discuss later. For now," A Vine nudged Allison's plate towards her, "I think you should focus on finishing your meal so you can get some rest. If you take much longer I'll have to take over." She added with a wink.
Allison practically scarfed down the rest of the meal, only slowing down when Dahlia reminded her to chew properly.
Minutes later Allison was finished, "Wonderful, let's get you bed then." Dahlia clasped her hands together as about a dozen vines cleared off the table.
Get her to bed? Surely she wasn't intending on- before Allison could finish that thought she was swept off her feet and into Dahlia's arms. The vague memory of the sensations she felt while she had been carried last time came flooding back. Losing the fight against the blush spreading across her cheeks she stammered, "I-i can walk you know! I don't need help getting ready for bed."
A Vine playfully poked her nose, "I'm sure you can little one. However I was hoping to get you the bed almost twenty Terran minutes ago, if we take much longer I'm afraid you might be sleepy for your vet appointment tomorrow." Dahlia teased.
Allison squirmed a little in the vines to test their hold, she had all the chance of a breaking free that a snowball had of making it in hell. It would seem. She was already blushing but she could feel her cheeks get ever more heated as it sunk in, "I can't actually resist you in any meaningful way, can I?"
That rumble filled the room again, the one that was almost like the growling of some beast, the one that nailed her helplessness in the situation into her very being, "No, kitten, I'm afraid that for now you are at my mercy."
Allison's stomach twisted. The last thing she needed in her life was yet another person monitoring her every move, judging her as lacking. Between her parents, her superiors in the military and former boss she had her fill of it for the rest of her days. Memories she had done her best bury dredged themselves up as tears started to well in the corners of her vision. "P-please..." She swallowed, trying to steady her voice to the best of her abilities, "please let me get myself ready, it won't take long."
"Oh kitten, shhh, it's alright," a few vines pushed underneath her beanie to scratch her head. It felt rather nice and despite part of her feeling somewhat humiliated, did she really come off as that incompetent? "See?" Dahlia set her down gently, "nothing to cry about."
The moment her boots touched ground it was like she was herself again, "Thanks." She took a few deep breaths to steady herself and take a quick mental survey, yup, all the demons had returned to their murky homes.
A vine underneath her chin directed her head to look eye to eye with Dahlia, goodness her eyes were so pretty. The pale violet color, the specks of silver of gold, the way they swirled and send to draw her in. "Now we'll have to talk about what just happened but for now you really need to get ready for bed. However I need you to understand that no one here wants to hurt you or make you upset, we just want you to be the best 'you' you can be."
Allison was nodding before she had even finished. That sounded reasonable, and if Dahlia said she was safe then she probably was right? A pleasant wave washed over her as she felt herself sink deeper into Dahlia's eyes, only broken when she felt a vine press something into her hands. Oh! Dahlia was giving her a toothbrush with paste on it! She realized she was in bathroom, they must have made it here before Dahlia set her down again. "Uh, thanks." Allison wet the brush and set on the presented task, scrubbing her teeth clean.
A soft giggle came from behind, "it turns on dear, allow me." A vine coiled itself around the toothbrush and her hand, guiding her thumb to the previously undiscovered button.
Pressing it, The toothbrush spring to life, "Thanks." Allison mumbled as the vines around her hand withdrew. She spent the next three minutes making sure to do a proper job of it, there's no telling what Dahlia would use an improper job of it as an excuse for and she didn't want to find it. She spat into the sink, huh looks like her gums were bleeding again.
A small gasp came from behind her, causing Allison to turn and face Dahlia, "Oh my, it seems I should add some dental work to the docket." Dahlia gently lifted her face until she was looking her in the eyes again, "Open." Her mouth obeyed. "Hmmm..."
Allison stood there, mouth agape, for just a few moments. However with Dahlia's eyes burning into her it felt like she had been standing there all night. Since when did her legs feel so weak?
Just as she thought she might collapse Dahlia released her and sighed, "Another thing to discuss with the vet tomorrow I suppose. For now however," Allison watched as Dahlia's chest split open and vines within procured a matching set of PJs. The pale pink and lavender colors were almost a dead match for the blooms that adorned Dahlia's body. Allison took them with another mumbled expression of gratitude.
A moment passed, and then another. Suddenly it dawned on her, "Uhm," Allison some, breaking the awkward silence, "Do you mind leaving so I can change?"
A new look briefly crossed Dahlia's wooden mask, one of genuine confusion, just as quickly it settled back to that default of a content and knowing smile. "Of course kitten, I'll be just outside if you need me." With that, she pulled herself backwards out of the room, leaving Allison alone for the first time in hours.
Allison let out an exhausted sigh, thank goodness she finally had a moment of respite. Not even 6h with this plant and she had already tried to feed and dress her. Did she really come off as that pathetic? If a half day had been this invasive, she seriously wondered if she could make it to the end of tomorrow with her secrets and self intact. She examined the clothes the Affini had left for her. They were matched to her captor, as if to label her Dahlia's, and silkier than any material she had ever felt.
Allison chewed her bottom lip, time to process all of this wasn't a luxury she had right now. Making sure the door was closed, it seemingly lacked a proper lock, She unzipped and removed her hoodie, yanking her shirt off after. She unhooked her bra and rubbed her small breasts, hormones hadn't given her much but at least it wasn't totally flat either. She untied and kicked off her boots, pants following suit soon after. Quickly she tugged on the PJs, thankful that the top had long sleeves, and tightened the pants with the draw string. She lightly folded up her previous clothes and gathered them in her arms before stepping out of the bathroom. "I'm done."
A few vines whisked away the dark mass of clothing, "Wonderful! Time for bed then!" Another vine snaked its way into Allison's hand. She took it silently, thankful to not be picked up again and let Dahlia lead her to the bedroom.
The top of the bed was almost eye level, and it was as big as her entire apartment had been. Luckily, she was used to scaling stuff much larger. Preparing herself, Allison attempted to climb onto the mattress much like she had during her service days. However as she put her weight into it, her grip slipped on the material. She only had time to let out a short "A-" before she was swept up by several vines.
"Are you okay?" Dahlia was face to face with her in an instant. Her words carried an extra layer of honey and her eyes- Dahlia really had the prettiest eyes, she nodded to herself. "Wonderful, let me assist you dear " Dahlia proceed to lift her onto the bed and plopped her in the middle. It was absolutely divine, like being placed on a particularly fluffy cloud. She allowed herself to sink into it letting out a contented sigh.
Dahlia hummed, pleased, "And to think I thought a cutie like you might be feral or even a rebel with the way you were sneaking around.
Her? Not a rebel? She was a certified punk! She had the scars from clashing with fash punks to prove it! "I may not be part the resistance or anything but I'm absolutely a rebel you know!" Allison barely hid her indignity.
Aaaa, Dahlia was making that wonderful laughing sound again, she felt like she was melting into the sheets. "Yes, yes, and you have been so rebellious the way you've followed ." She almost sniggered, brushing a hand through Allison's sightly unkempt auburn hair.
"I- you- that's not-" Allison struggled with a response, she had to do those things! Was she expected to be rude to her Alien captors that was so beyond her they could collapse the Terran naval lines like they were made of paper mache? There wasn't any choice but to play along! A finger pressed against her nose and she stopped stammering.
"I am only teasing you, kitten." Dahlia unwound a peculiar yellow and orange flower from her arm, "Now I would like to give you a Class-Z to help you sleep, it has no side effects and I will wake you up in the morning with the counter agent.m if it hasn't worked itself out. Unless you wish to sleep unaided of course?"
More drugs? "All it does is help me sleep? It's not going to make everything overly sensitive like last time is it?"
Dahlia nodded, "That is all it does."
Allison fought with herself for a moment. On one hand she could be lying and for all she knows it'll make her a mindless drone. Conversely, if Dahlia wanted to drug her, there was nothing she could do to stop it. The thought of Dahlia tangling her up and dosing her until she lost all sense of anything but the pleasure of her vines roaming over her hyper sensitive flesh came unbidden into her mind's eye. N-no that was wrong and not hot and aaaa there was no way she was gonna be to sleep on her own now, "D-Drugs please."
"Of course kitten." She felt a light prick as the flowers pressed up against her neck. A warm drowsiness quickly spread throughout and darkness took her.
Allison groggily came to, her body slowly rebooting it's sensations one by one. Wow was her bed always this comfortable? She tugged her blanket over herself. Weird, the weight of it felt different, was her bed always this large? That smell was odd too, was a neighbor cooking breakfast? Since when did anyone on her block actually cook? Also didn't they leave? She pressed against the mental fog clouding get thoughts when the memories flooded back.
Oh. Oh fuck. She steadied herself, the key to getting through sticky situations was to keep a level head. She's gotten out of worse situations before. Just because no examples were coming to mind didn't mean she hadn't. Allison gave herself a once over- she was still in the faded pastels of the pajamas she put on last night. She noted there were no restraints, but surely there was something in place to keep her from leaving.
Next she took in her surroundings, Dahlia- her captor- was nowhere to be seen. The smell of bacon, sausage, eggs and several other scents made her mouth water. Was she in the kitchen? This might be the only opportunity she got. Carefully she nudged herself to the edge of the bed and lowered herself off. She kept her footing light, rolling her weight onto her backfoot to keep her steps from making noise and crept out of the bedroom.
The kitchen was on the opposite side of the living area and between them lay the door to her freedom. Allison sent a silent prayer up, whatever divine being there is may it let her stealth not fail her now. Crouching, walking carefully and managing her breath she didn't make a single sound crossing the open room. All she needed to do was open the door and run for her life. Er, how did this door open again? Allison recalled Dahlia using some kind of keypad to get in but there was no interface like that on the inside. Oh of course. There wasn't any need to restrain her, she was incapable of leaving without Dahlia opening the door.
Allison grit her teeth, no, she could beat a door! She examined around the seems, maybe it she could find where the- ah! There's the bolt! If she could walk it back she ought to be able to just push the doors open! She reached for her knife- right. No knife. She groaned, great, what was plan c again? Did she have one?
"Little one?" A sonorous voice floated from the kitchen. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. "I didn't hear you get up, you could have called for me." Dahlia pulled herself, or rather her upper half, into the living room. Allison stared as she saw a mass of vines behind her still busy in the kitchen. "You are a quiet one, I might have to put a bell on you." She giggled. "Horse got your tongue? Come on, breakfast is almost ready."
Wait wasnt the saying about a cat? Allison shook her head, that didn't matter right now. It didn't seem like Dahlia noticed that she had tried to make a break for it. This was salvageable. "What's for breakfast?" She queried, relaxing into a natural posture and doing her best to walk casually to the table as though nothing had happened.
Dahlia beamed down at her, "I have made a breakfast burrito!" As if on cue a plate holding a sizeable arrived from the kitchen along with the majority Dahlia's mass. Allison watched in awe as she twisted her vines back into the humanoid shape she had known until now. Knowing they could shape shift was one thing but actually seeing it...
Allison made certain her grip was sure before she pulled herself onto Affini sized seat. The last thing she needed was a repeat of last night. The memory made her heart pick up its pace. "It smells amazing, I hope it wasn't too much trouble."
A vine under her chin gently lifted her face until she was gazing into Dahlia's eyes again. Everytime she looked into them felt novel, like there was always something new to notice in them they way colors shifted and swirled inside. "Kitten, you could never trouble me. I mean that sincerely. If you ever even want anything all you have to do is ask." Allison nodded slowly and Dahlia broke eye contact. "Ah, you are just adorable! I'm eternally glad I ran into you first, I don't think I'd have a chance otherwise~."
What just happened? Chance? Huh? One second Allison had been looking into Dahlia's beautiful eyes and the next everything got a bit fuzzy and... Was she drugging her with just her eyes? "Uhm, You wouldn't happen to be-" what was she doing?! Yeah lets just ask her captor if she was drugging her because she keeps getting lost in her eyes! "N-nevermind, I don't think I want the answer." She picked up the burrito and took a large bite. "Mm!" Her eyes went wide as the flavor burst onto her tounge and she quickly took another bite.
A vine wrapped itself around her wrist keeping her from stuffing her face with a third bite,"Careful kitten, don't choke."
Allison took a moment to chew thoroughly and swallow, "I'm not gonna choke, geeze, and you know you could ease up on the teasing."
Dahlia wiped at the corner of Allison's mouth removing a bit of egg that found itself there, "I could yes, but I believe you rather enjoy my teasing and your reactions are adorable."
Allison pouted, The nerve! Well fine then, two could play at that game, "It's just awkward is all, if I'm your prisoner or whatever it's a bit weird for you to flirt with me constantly."
"You are not my prisoner," Dahlia stated, "you are a currently independent sophont that is in my care as we get you settled into the compact."
Allison narrowed her eyes, Affini propaganda may be painfully transparent but she had to admire the tenacity with which they stuck to it. "If I'm not a prisoner then why does this 'hab unit' have nothing I can reasonably use in my own? Why can't I open the door?" She bit her tongue, that was maybe too much of the venom she had been holding back.
Allison didn't dare look at Dahlia's face to gauge her reaction. She didn't want to risk losing herself to Dahlia's eyes again. "Kitten," her voice carried a hint of amusement, "The Hab was on short notice, we can replace the furniture and utilities if you wish. The door opens for a voice command, you simply had to ask."
Allison continued to eat, looking anywhere but at Dahlia. "You could be lying."
Dahlia hummed for a moment, lost in thought, "I could. I suppose, to you then, I'm just playing the long game and waiting for you to lower your guard?"
Allison's eye twitched at the accusation, "Something like that." She said before stuffing more burrito in her mouth. It was practically dead on but she didn't need to know that.
"Kitten, when I said everyone here just wants what best for I meant that." A vine underneath her chin tilted her face towards Dahlia's, quickly she averted her gaze. "Please look at me?" Aaa, that gentle, pleading, tone- how could she deny such a reasonable request? She lifted her eyes from the floor and immediately fell into Dahlia's eyes, "Good kitten, good girl." She coo'd as she rumbled pleasantly. The words and vibrations soothed her as she sank deeper into those iridescent violets. "You are safe. You can trust yourself with me." She was safe. She could trust Dahlia. She nodded along with the words. "That's a good girl, now I'm going to count backwards and when you come to-"
When did they get to the bathroom, weren't they just eating? Allison heard a rush of water as a faucet turned on. That's right, she was about to take a bath, how airheaded was she? "Uh, do you mind? I know you don't care if I'm naked but I do. Please?" She hesitantly added. She could
n't trust Dahlia sure (she only wanted what was best for her after all!) but that didn't mean she wanted to spill every problem on her mind onto her new friend.
Dahlia ruffled her hair which she found
annoying delightful! She hummed happily as she leaned into the head pats. "Of course little one, but I'll be right outside in case you decide you want assistance after all." Her left eye went out for a moment before reigniting, was that how an Affini winked?
Allison giggled, "Thanks but I think I can manage a shower just fine." Dahlia was really
overbearing sweet but it was fine, really.
Dahlia exited the room, leaving behind a vine. She
still wasnt alone was happy to have someone that cared enough to make sure she didn't slip in the shower! She undressed herself and stepped in the shower without ceremony. She started picking out bottles from the wall at random, that one was the body wash, that one was conditioner, this one was some kind of mind erasing shampoo. Huh, strange. In fact most of the bottles had some secondary effect. Ah, she finally found the normal shampoo, why did Dahlia need so many different kinds anyways? Quickly checking the rest of her soaps to make sure she didn't grab the body wash that makes her start mewling like a cat she set about her shower.
She washed her hair with the shampoo and applied the conditioner, letting it set in while she vigoursly scrubbed every inch of herself with lathered loofah. Allison sighed, It had been ages since her last proper shower. The last week she had resorted to using a heated damp rag to give herself the accord's worst spongebath. Satisfied she washed off all the Suds and poked her head out. Ugh, no towels. She
didn't want to bug Dahlia could ask Dahlia for anything right? "Uh, can I get some towels?" She felt a little silly speaking to her through the bathroom door like this.
Vines carrying two towels presented themselves to her, "Thanks Dahlia!" She called out as she took them both, setting one to the side as she towled herself off. Brushing up against her stubble she made a joke to ask Dahlia for a razor. Once she was dry, she took the other towel and started to pat the majority of the moisture out of her hair with it before twisting it up inside. "Um, can I get some of my clothes?" A moment of silence before another vine carried in a dress.
It was similar in color scheme to the pajamas Dahlia had her wear last night, which is to say nines kinds of not her style. It had long sleeves and a flowing skirt, with geometric flowers patterned on it. "Uhh, Dahlia do you think I can wear my own clothes?"
Calling from the otherside of the door Dahlia answered, "It's a companion dress kitten, it's so others know you have an Affini looking after you." Dahlia wanted to mark Allison as hers? That was kinda
concerning touching in a strange way. She got the feeling that wearing it would make Dahlia happy too...
"Can I at least get my boots? Please?" Allison could stomach wearing a dress she wouldn't normally, but boots were essential. She could hardly say she was herself in anything less.
"Of course kitten, one moment." Allison took the opportunity to tug on the dress, she remarked that the material was similar to that of her sheets and pajamas. It fit her form perfectly, she wondered if Dahlia had had it made for her while she slept.
The sudden reappearance of vines carrying her boots to her startled her out of her daze. "Uh, thanks." The vines brushed against her cheek and poked her nose, as if to say 'you're welcome'. She tied them on with a practiced speed and twisted her feet around to make sure they were on just right. She rustled the towel on her hair to try to get why extra mileage out of it's drying prowess before removing it, damp locks if hair falling onto her shoulders. Gathering both towels up, she stepped out of the bathroom.
Dahlia clapped and squeed with delight, causing Allison to blush. "You look wonderful kitten."
"Oh," Allison lit up as she recalled something important, "I meant to ask if you a razor or something, all this fuzz on my face is making me feel like garbage." She touched her hand to her cheek and stuck her tounge out in mock disgust.
Dahlia pinched her face between her thumb and forefinger, "Oh you poor thing, hold still and I'll fix it."
Allison closed her eyes as Dahlia spread a sap over face and neck, before scraping it off moments later. Touching her face she found it perfectly smooth, "Oh that's a pretty handy trick."
"Yes, hair removal is rather simple for the amount of dysphoria it can alleviate." Dahlia smiled, "did you want help drying your hair?"
"Yes please~" She nearly sang.
"And done!" Dahlia exclaimed as she held up a mirror for Allison sitting in her lap.
She admired her reflection, Dahlia did a fantastic job with her hair! It curled and cascaded all the way to the middle of her back. She always was quite fond of it's color and how her hair caught the light but this amplified all of it's best aspects, "It's wonderful Dahlia! I wish you could do my hair everyday!" She beamed.
A pleasant rumble filled the room, "I would love nothing more kitten. Right now, however, we have an appointment to keep."
Allison racked her brain for a moment, "Oh, the doctor?"
Dahlia laughed and lifted Allison out of her lap, setting her on the floor, "The vet," she corrected, "and yes we should leave as soon as you feel ready."
Allison puffed out her chest sightly, "I'm ready, but after this you're answering my questions."
Dahlia scratched under her chin, god that felt
degrading divine, "I suppose some explanations are overdue. I have some questions for you too, how about we have some quid pro quo after you get cleared?"
Allison leaned into Dahlia's attentions, her whimpers bordering on moans as she nodded. Dahlia
sometimes always had the best ideas.