The Florette's Dilemma

19- Care

by Motherlygirl

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

Here's chapter 19! CW for discussion of drugs and alcoholism

"Okay, back to my question-" Erias said gently, one of her appendages at rest next to her tablet and drumming discordantly at the counter with what weren't fingers, "and I am terribly sorry for getting sidetracked the way that I did. Your distrust of stems from a fear of surrendering control, but is there anything else you want to say about it?" Erias had her attention set squarely on Mane, and as gentle as her words and tone were, the human still felt as if she was in a room with a predator. She was most likely in no physical danger, despite this being's probable ability to overpower her with ease. She was, however, in a position of almost unimaginable risk. She decided to be honest for this question specifically. Even if she couldn't trust this creature, she could at least trust their intentions. That was...still more than she usually could in these types of situations. 

"I don' the idea of not being me," Mane started. She stopped for a moment. No, no, those weren't the right words, not quite. If she was going to do this she ought to do it correctly. She tried to filter words in her head, sift through them, try to figure out how to paint her motives not in any specific frame but just how to do so at all. "I' takes a lot to like, keep myself in line, you know, and I don't...I don't LIKE what I become when I loosen the reins." Fuck, this was absolutely information she shouldn't have given away. Erias, gaze was calm and patient still, if not strictly speaking understanding, but Mane knew better than that. 

"You fear that drugs will bring out your true self?" Erias asked. It wasn't propositioned as some kind of rhetorical jab, it wasn't spoken like an accusation. Maybe it really wasn't one. Mane knew better than to trust it. She retreated into damage control. 

"Not really, it's more-" Mane paused and fearfully gulped. What did she say, what should she say? If they knew-if they knew why she was scared of herself, hell, if they knew THAT she was scared of herself, they would douse her brain in bleach and sand off the edges so she could be happy, and she didn't WANT that! She was Mane, damnit, scars and rough edges included! "I'm more...I have to be in control of myself. It's not that I'm scared of what I'll do. I'm just...scared of not...being there, with my hands on the leash, being in control. It's why I've never drank."

"Do you have some kind of condition?" Erias asked. 

"Huh?" What did that mean? Oh god, oh god-

"You say you've never drank. Humans need water to survive. Do you have some disability that interferes with hydrating properly? I wasn't aware that humans-"

"No, no, no!" Mane laughed. She'd have been laughing much harder if she weren't wound so tightly. "I meant-alcohol. It's kind of a big cultural thing on a lot of Terran planets, and I just." She sighed. "Alcoholism runs on both sides of my family. Almost all of my siblings struggled with alcoholism at some point in their life. It's...ugly. I'm tiny and have like no willpower for these things. I...decided not to fuck with it."

"I see," said Erias. She added more information to the notes on her tablet. "Many xenodrugs are completely non addictive-or no more addictive than anything that feels good has the ability to be for humans. Just about anything with a nervous system, honestly. Would you like your prescriptions to be strictly those?" 

"Yes," said Mane. She smiled a little bit. "Thank you for your...patience." Erias tapped furiously into her tablet for a few seconds in silence. She even adjusted her position slightly to give it a small bit of her peripheral vision. Once she was done with that she turned her full gaze back to Mane. 

"Now then, you fear addiction," Erias began to say, "you fear a loss of control, you fear ceasing to be yourself...I can see now why Effus put the cuffs on you." Mane rolled her eyes and pouted. She crossed her arms and pressed her legs together in a playful but only half joking show of protest. To this end she also pursed her lips together with annoyance. 

"Yeah, which totally isn't a punishment. Just a visual indicator that I can't be trusted, that's all. Ignore that I turned myself in despite the obvious incentive to flee instead. You know, perfectly fine. Not a betrayal of good faith or anything." Mane was expecting a gentle chastisement with a reminder that she killed a man. She was ready to laugh at the dissonant delivery of such a thing. Erias did not do as expected. 

"I meant that it's difficult to say you truly submitted willingly." Mane eyed her. She took it as a cue to elaborate. "You seem to show many signs of not wanting to be a pet. Every available indicator clearly states that it isn't what you want. The logical conclusion-"

"Is that I'm lying to save my own ass," Mane practically hissed. Erias considered her for a moment.

"No, not at all. The obvious conclusion is that you only came to us because you saw you capture as inevitable. I understand that taking these measures in response may be...counterproductive. The gap in power between us is such an unconquerable gulf that even a surrender made in bad faith is on some level a show of trust. You trust that in surrendering, you will be treated better than if you ran. You trust that it is at least beneficial to you. At minimum. I understand the bureaucratic reasons for her actions but it is undeniable that you have a right to feel betrayed." Mane blushed slightly. 

"...Thank you. I...I needed that." Erias made a weird sound that seemed happy. 

"May I pet you, human?"

"...sure," permitted Mane. Erias got up and walked over to Mane. The affini let the ends of her legs limpen into noodle like lengths on the floor, like the back half of a cobra poised to strike. This lowered their body until their head was about level with Mane's. It was a warm show of respect and compassion only made slightly off putting by the fact that six inches below the alien's face was their exposed, beating heart. Erias raised their hand and used it to pet Mane's hair. Erias' touch was weird, angular, and much less soft than Effus. Still, it was...almost more like a human hand, and it felt more like the affectionate touch of a proud friend than the domineering love that Effus radiated. Against her better judgment, Mane felt...won over. 

The appointment continued a while, Erias speaking to Mane almost like an equal. The conversation moved to the life lived by pets, and free of judgment Mane started to ask questions. Erias was more than happy to answer them all. Florets were relieved of the burden of executive function, if only by their owner's loving reminders. They had food and shelter and care provided with the only pricetag that they accept and the punishment for failure was never harsh. Erias was dodging things Mane would find unpleasant, such as the implants and the free rein on xenodrugs afforded to a floret's owner. Mane could tell, but it didn't seem like a sinister kind of thing. Erias was treating that information not like secrets that would undo a trap set by her affini comrades, but as triggers that would disrupt Mane's health. She felt...understood. Erias cared, and it was a wiser and older kind of care than Effus gave her. She...liked it. Eventually Erias returned to her full height, crossed the room, and picked up her tablet. 

"I would love to continue, little human. Talk more about trust and vulnerability. Unfortunately I have an appointment with another sophont that I must presently prepare for. Would you like to schedule our next meeting?" Mane was stunned. She was not able to get words out for a few seconds, such was the force of this unexpected question. 

"I-me? I thought-I kind of figured-that's on Effus, right?" Mane sputtered. Erias laughed a kind gentle laugh before she gave the human reassurance.

"It can be. I thought you might want to. Letting you set the pace at which you open up sounded like a nice show of...good faith." Mane nodded and felt flush in the face. 

"I...okay. Weekly, maybe? Once a week?" 

"That sounds lovely, little human. I'm very proud of you," Erias said as she plucked a lollipop from the bowl and offered it to Mane. "Effus says that your ex reports these were your favorite kind?"

Mane blushed and awkwardly accepted the gift. 


Melody sat in the waiting room, kicking her legs idly under her and fidgeting with her stim toy. Her tablet beeped. She quickly whipped it out and opened the Group Dee Emme group chat, where a message awaited her courtesy of Aida. 

Eye Dee(a): Hey Melody how was the sleepover?

Melody decided that this seemed like a fun conversation and stuffed her stim toy away into a safe secure pocket. 

Mellow Dee: It was good! Hard for it not to be since Airy was there! Gosh I luv her~

Eye Dee(a): Wow nerd!! Here I was thinking you'd never get over her

Mellow Dee: Oh, you heard she was here? 

Eye Dee(a): Wait so the Greshul killer was your ex? Holy shit that's WILD

Mellow Dee: Please don't call her that

Eye Dee(a): Wait I thought Cain was such an awful person that killing him was a good thing

Eye Dee(a): Cordelia when you read this I WAS QUOTING MELODY I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS

Melody sighed. This was...starting to get her. She contemplated whether she should terminate the conversation. 

Mellow Dee: Aida, I'm not in the mood right now. Can you hold off for a little while?

Eye Dee(a): wait that hurt your feelings oH NO IM SORRY

Eye Dee(a): I love you Melly!

Mellow Dee: That's okay! Thank you for apologizing does Cordi miss me?

Eye Dee(a): A lil bit it seems like, she's a tad on edge but we went to the arcade and then we got pizza! i tried to pry embarrassing stories out of her bout chu but she didn't give any

Mellow Dee: hah! I am untouchable! 

Eye Dee(a): now you say that but ill get dirt on you some day

Eye Dee(a): it is inevitable

Melody giggled. That...did help, a little. Impy rewarded Melody for her forgiving nature with a gentle trickle of the good feelings directly into her brain. 

"Hey," said a girl Melody vaguely recognized. She was six feet tall, with a pretty face and gorgeous squishy skin. Her arms were muscular (for a trans woman on hormones especially) and the hands on the ends of them wore a pair of mechanical sort of bracelets that went up half of foot of the forearm and led to a mechanism on the back of her hands. Each one sported a big, articulating, retractable claw for each finger, which sometimes were metal blade-looking ones but had today been swapped out for a curved set of big bright purple ones made of some kind of plastic. Oh, and she had really nice soft lips and the crop top shirt and similar jacket she wore exposed her exceptionally soft tummy. 

They also called attention to a very large pair of breasts that made Melody extremely gay. 

"H-hi," said Melody. She went bright red and almost didn't notice the girl's beautiful wavy brown hair or the soft, fluffy pair of little bear ears poking out of it. The girl smiled and sat down.

"Gay, are you?" She rumbled in a playfully condescending purr. Melody, essentially no longer possessing higher level thinking, could only nod using her entire body from the sternum up. The girl giggled playfully. "I see you around the library sometimes but never anywhere else on the station. What's your name?" 

"M-Melody," Melody squeaked helplessly. The girl laughed and it was an evil laugh, but less actually evil and more "a gay supervillain" evil. She smiled down playfully at Melody. 

"You must be from the Crest, no? I don't think any other ships have been around as long as I've been seeing you, so you'd have to be making a lot of visits otherwise." 

"Y-yeah," stammered Melody, hugging her tablet against herself. She was mostly regaining her composure. Mostly. 

"You're cute, pet~" The girl smiled. "My name is Ursula."

"That's…" Melody squirmed happily. "That's really cute heeeeck!" 

"Hehehe!" Ursula giggled. "You're a sweet one. Do you have an appointment, pet?" Melody shook her head no. 

"I'm not here for me. I'm just accompanying someone else." 

"Ah!" Ursula checked her tablet and smiled. "Daisy isn't yet and that means...oh, so you're with Mane! A pleasure to meet you! May I hug you?" Melody was too flustered by the question to answer and settled for nodding and a gay little whimper. Ursula hugged Melody close and she was...GOD her embrace was soft and warm and nice. Melody melted. 

Mane walked out of the hallway. Ursula let go of Melody and hopped to her feet. 

"Cub!" She ran up and threw her arms around Mane and squeezed her tight. "I was so worried are you okay are the affini treating you well?" 

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