The Florette's Dilemma

12- Bathtime From Hell

by Motherlygirl

Tags: #dom:female #drugs #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #scifi #anxiety #depression #dom:plant #f/f

Hello! Uhhhh cw for sharp things, implied physical danger and more talking about unhealthy relationships

Melody sat on one of the many oversized couches in Effus' hab. She made a mental note that for someone who took so many...well, the affinis called them "ferals," but Melody preferred "stray humans," but for someone who served as the introduction to floret life for so many people, her hab was lacking in human sized furniture. There really wasn't any, aside from Aria's room and the kitchen. She had human-sized TVs and video game consoles, though those were likely for Aria more than the guests. Melody would talk to Cordelia about it. Confronting another floret's owner was considered a little bit rude, and Cordelia would know Effus better than her anyway. For the present, though, she made herself focus on the two girls on the couch with her. Aria, bless her, was sitting enraptured by the cute escapades happening on the screen. Mane, though, wasn't. She sat, disinterestedly pointing a blank stare in the TV's direction. Melody wanted to reach out and hug her, but somehow she doubted it would-

Her tablet beeped. She checked it to see who was messaging her. Sure enough, it was her owner. 

Core Dee:Melody wats wrong!!!! Your implant was sending all sorts of distress signals is Aria okay???? Do you need me is luci there should I get her????

Melody cracked a smile and felt a warmth inside her. One which...reminded her...her smile fell. Impy wriggled furiously beneath her skin. He reaaaally didn't like whatever thought she'd just tried to have. 

Mellow Dee: Wow that worried you forgot you cant call her that anymore? Gosh im all warm XOXOXO

Melody immediately felt guilty. She shouldn't be teasing Cordi for this show of love and concern!!! She typed out another message immediately. 

Mellow Dee: oh uh also im fine the new girl WAS my ex girlfriend oops lmao whacha gonna do

Wait, that was too dismissive. Cordelia would get worried about her…

Hiding things….

Impy was getting really upset. Memories kept bubbling up and he was dutifully eating them but they stung him with the bittersweet poison of nostalgia. It was his least favorite flavor of memory, partly because he wasn't allowed to deal with them the same way she let him handle more simplistically hurtful ones. Melody paused. Then she erased the previous message and typed up a new one in its place. 

Mellow Dee: I'm doing fine Cordi. The new girl is my ex and things are...Painful but I'm happy she's here and safe I love her still even though she hurt me and I'm over it, she was in a horrible place and that doesn't make it OKAY but like she's still emotionally flogging herself for it and I forgive her and I promise it was my own decision and not yours

Was she...crying? A tear fell on her tablet. She wiped it away with her sleeve. 

Right. Mane had never seen her cry. What a strange thought that was, to contemplate now. When she first submitted to the affini hadn't cried since she was She hadn't cried much recently, either, but it wasn't for the same reason. Affini just made life a lot nicer. She erased the message again. She could-she WOULD-tell Cordelia everything in it. She just didn't want to make her owner feel bad about this happening the first time Cordelia loosened her leash. 

Mellow Dee: Just getting emotional about the past a little bit. I'm shaken but I'll be okay. Can we talk about it when I come home?

There. She liked that one. She clicked Send and within seconds the message changed color, then labeled itself "sent," then "successfully sent," then "seen," then "read." Melody felt her heart flutter at the thought of Cordelia grabbing her tablet the instant Melody replied. Her owner didn't know it, but Melody was acutely aware of the fact Cordelia had assigned her a unique message notification sound. It was the sound of her voice greeting her owner using her girl voice for the first time. 

Core Dee: Yes, absolutely. If you want me to take you home, let me know. If you need anything, I can bring it. You've come so far, sweetie. I'm so proud of you. 

Fuck. Melody was sniffling again. It was all she could do not to clutch her tablet to her chest and sob. She loved Cordelia so much. She desperately wanted Mane to know how this felt, she wanted Mane to be as loved and safe as she was. 

Mellow Dee: I wanna ask you something.

She sent it too fast to second guess herself. She knew that if she didn't, she'd back down. Cordelia replied in an instant. 

Core Dee: of course, little one. Now or in person?

Melody felt the pressure she'd tried to outrun catching up to her. She backed down almost instantly. 

Mellow Dee: In person. Please. 

Core Dee: Okay, beloved. Permission to use drugs to squeeze it out of you if you try to back down?

Mellow Dee: as long as you're gentle and you give aftercare. 

Core Dee: understood. I will be every bit as delicate and patient as you deserve, Little Flower. 

Melody teared up one last time at her owner's patience and kindness. She put her tablet away in her backpack. She sighed gently and turned to the other girls on the couch. Mane seemed...tired. 

"Were you sleeping okay with your dad?" She asked pensively. Mane was under affini care now. As Melody was a floret, that meant Mane's happiness and care were her business. If she had the power to help, it would be callous not to use it.

"As alright as ever, I guess." Mane rubbed her face with her hands. Melody looked her over. Mane was wearing...Terran...clothes…

"Mane, are you still wearing the same outfit as when you killed your dad?" 

"No, obviously." Mane sounded more amused than upset. Perhaps not surprising. She that sometimes. "They took it away but I had a spare change of clothes on dad's ship they let me keep." 

"Mhm." Melody said, squinting. "And you last washed it...when?" 

"Well…" Mane said and then sighed, sounding defeated. "I don't know…"

"Maaaaaane," Melody whined with concern, "you need to take care of yoursellllllf!" 

"No she doesn't!" Aria piped up in her affini's ward's defense. "She is a future PET and if she doesn't want or isn't able to-"

"I know, I know, sweetie." Melody rested her hands on Aria's thighs and gave her a reassuring, romantic smile. "You can trust me not to feed capitalist propaganda to sproutling florets, okay?" Mane grumbled iritably. Melody wanted to smack her palm on her forehead-of course Mane didn't want to be called that. "But she clearly WANTS to be left to do it herself, and if she doesn't do it someone else is gonna have to, right?" 

"O-oh," Aria said with her sunny little grin, "right! Sorry I doubted you, sweetie!" Aria pulled her weight upwards and kissed Melody on the lips. She was torn-on one hand she loved it and it was adorable, and on the other hand Mane seemed kinda...bothered. Melody didn't NEED to hide that she was dating someone else, of course, but this still felt...some kind of rude. 

"Now I'm not trying to be know. Her." The word tumbled out of Melody's mouth like puke. She felt Impy filtering out all the anger from memories of Mane's sister and in doing so reducing them to words and featureless still images. If she could somehow translate it onto paper the experience would make a decent art piece. "I want to help you, sweetie. I'm sure Effus has plenty of human clothes you could try, okay?" Melody hopped out of bed. "Actually, come on, let's get you bathed." 

"But Aria cleaned me alreadyyyy," Mane whined in protest. Melody rolled her eyes and resisted the urge to say something risque. Instead she drew on her memories of the girl and, much like a lioness, went straight for the jugular. 

Or, more accurately, one might say: much like a boxer in a street fight, she went straight for the chin.  

"I'll shave your face," she offered with a mischievous smile. She saw the offer cut through Mane like knife, but with the crushing power of a guillotine behind it. The girl went wide-eyed. 

"I-is that even okay? Y-you two-"

"Aria gets to bathe my ex," chirped Melody with the same evil smile, but bigger this time, "it wouldn't be fair if I didn't, would it sweetheart?" It wasn't terribly clear whether the question was aimed at Airy or Mane, and judging from the look on the latter's face, Mane knew it was unclear on purpose. Airy, by comparison, had no frickin clue. She just smiled politely. 

"I….fuuuuck," Mane was out of excuses already? Damn. Melody felt proud of herself. "Fiiiine." Mane hopped out of bed and slipped the coat off. "The coat isn't machine washable, take care of it it's-"

"A gift from your grampa, I remember." Melody took it gently out of Mane's hands and walked it to Mane's pillow fort, where she gently laid it out. "Come, come. Let's get in the bath." 


Mane was apprehensive as she sat down in the giant affini tub. Hot water poured out and quickly filled it up to her navel, even though the tub was far more long and wide than it was tall. Melody clambered in behind her and the water splashed a bit. Its ripples curled around Mane's body slowly and comfortably. She'd be happy about it, if she weren't in such an inherently uncomfortable position. 

Melody leaned in close. She traced Mane's shoulders and back with her fingertips, seeming completely enraptured. Mane found herself breathing slowly and deliberately. Through her teeth. 

"You're tense," Melody whispered. It almost feel like she'd hissed the words at her. How much heat was from the water and how much was herself? Melody rubbed her back. Mane tensed up even worse. 

"That's not going to help." Mane growled. She stopped and took a deep breath. Her arms dropped limp into the water. She was thin, much smaller than Melody. "Are you going to do the-"

"Shhhh." Melody pressed up against Mane's back. She was soft, comfy, warm...just like Mane remembered. They'd never been naked together before, and she had boobs now, so that was different. Mane leaned back and felt insecurities bubbling up. "Do you want any of the calming body wash while we do this? It feels absolutely lovely, and it's completely safe and non-habit-forming. I promise." Mane winced. 

"No. Please." 

Melody shrugged and retrieved some kind of cream, which she set about applying to Mane's chin. She hated it, but Melody's caring fingers and attention helped her hate it less. 

"That scar on your back…" Mane muttered. She remembered her time as Melody's girlfriend. Melody's voice, blissed out, the way she talked like a robot while she was under… 

"It's not so bad, I promise." Melody wiped the remaining cream off of her fingers and gave Mane another hug. "But if you were gonna ask what gave it to me...that's my implantation scar; yes. They've refined it over the years, yours will be neater and smaller." Mane felt prongs made of guilt stab through her skull. 

"Remember the first time I hypnotized you?" Mane asked. Her voice hung from the terrible weight of nostalgia for a subject the speaker could never reclaim. Melody nodded along softly. 

"Yeah. I kept getting excited that it was working and...well. Every time I did, it snapped me out of it." She kissed Mane's hair. "Then we switched from text to voice, and your voice was soothing enough to skip that phase. I know." Mane nodded. She felt something gnawing at her chest from inside herself. 

"I...miss that."

"You do?" Asked Melody, her voice sweet and open just like she'd always been. "What about it?"

"The...the idea that my voice meant safety. For someone." Mane leaned back and raised a trembling hand around her ex. She placed her fingers on...on the scar. The scar where a foreign body had been affixed to Melody's spinal cord. "I know it's absurd, but...I've always been terrified…" the shaking got worse. Memories and feelings she tried to avoid for so many years were tearing her door down. There was no escape, not anywhere, not anymore. "That...that after I hurt you and chased you away…" she traced the scar up and down. Was it steam blurring her vision, or tears? "The only reason you came to the affini is because…" 

"Because of you?" Melody squeezed Mane tight. Mane dug one of her nails into the scar. It hurt, but it wasn't meant to hurt her. She chose to overlook it. "You chased me away, and the affini took me in a moment of fear?" Mane nodded. Melody squeezed gently. Something dark and terrible stirred inside of her. She took the razor and lifted it to Mane's chin. Melody sighed. She began clearing away Mane's facial hair. "You didn't make me do this. My mother did. Capitalism did. A life under Catholics on a middle-class planet with an underpaid teacher in my house did. You think this wouldn't have happened if you only said and did the right things?" Melody laughed. 

Mane bit her lip. "I...guess you're right."

"Tell me," Melody whispered. She took another slice at Mane's chin, taking care not to cut the skin. "I know you. Your guilt about me is flaring up. Something else triggered it." 

"I can't just be upset to see my ex with an alien using her spine as an oven mitt?" 

"Maybe," Melody mused darkly, "But you did just kill your father." 

"And I feel guilty" Mane growled. 

"Bullshit." Melody snarled. "I looked up to you, Mane. I fell in love with you because you were HONEST, so TRUE to yourself! You didn't wear a mask to make people like you and yet everybody at school thought you were hot shit!" She took another cut, still gentle, still precise. No harming the skin. She reached over and cleared the hair from the razor. "You gave me a SPECIFIC HYPNOTIC trigger for when I wanted to be honest with you but I couldn't, and you won't answer the only tough question I've ever given you!?" Melody's nostrils flared. She sighed. "Sweetie. I'm sorry. This isn' You're a terrible liar. Please just tell me what's wrong?" She kept shaving Mane's face. She finished pretty quickly and set the razor aside.

Mane was quiet, still touching Melody's scar. Would she tell the affini? Could she not tell the affini? This was still Melody, obviously…

"I'm proud of you." 

"Yes yes yes, I've grown so much, I'm standing up to you, we went through this song and dance last time. Stop deflecting." Mane sighed. 

"I….I didn't just kill my dad. I murdered him. He was helpless. I could have called the affini then and he'd live. But I...didn't. I stood there holding the communication array and it hit me that if I made that call the affini would-my father would be HAPPY. After all he'd done to me, after everything he did to my MOTHER, he'd get to be happy and loved and...and...I murdered him! I beat him to death and then I kept beating him and I enjoyed it and...and...I'm...I'm a monster." Mane's hand pulled away from Melody's scar and she returned to the fetal position. "When the affini figure it out, I'm fucked. I'm a murderer. I'm a monster." 

"I don't think you're a monster, sweetie." Melody squeezed Mane tight. She was happy. Mane didn't understand. "You're a sweet girl, Mane. You only get angry like that towards monstrous people, abusive people, dickheads who don't deserve to have you in your life. You're not angry because you're a hateful person. You're angry because you've been WOUNDED. I think you're a wonderful person."

"Shut up," sniffled Mane. She clung to her knees. "No I'm not."

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