The Florette's Dilemma

23- Owners

by Motherlygirl

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

Cordelia spent a while calming Mane down. She wasn't able to stop crying quickly, but once she had stopped none of the signs that she'd been doing so stayed on her face for long. Once Melody and the two affini seemed confident that Mane felt better, they all said their goodbyes for the day. Mane didn't want to. Even the thought of letting go of Melody again made her heart ache. She felt herself breaking down inside the instant she opened her mouth. She didn't want to let go! She wanted to throw her arms around Melody and cling tightly to her and never, ever, let go of the precious girl ever again. She knew that this was not, could never be, an option. No matter how kind Melody was, Mane had set that bridge ablaze. Nothing remained of it anymore. Melody would show her affection, perhaps, but only because Melody was a loving person in general. She...always had been. 

"B...bye…" Mane squeezed from her vocal cords. She struggled not to let her face show any clues that it hurt so badly to have to do this. Her efforts yielded no fruit. She knew. They all knew. She knew that all of them knew. She was in pain. 

"We'll see each other again," Melody said in an effort to reassure her ex. The girl's soft voice and gentle smile were far outweighed in Mane’s mind, though, by the revelation that her words thrust onto it-Melody presumably having falsely assumed that Mane had already reached it. Would they ever see each other again? They lived with different affini, which were completely in control of their schedules, and Mane was going-who was she kidding after all, her freedom was living on borrowed time-she was going to be owned by an affini sometime soon, not just be in the custody of one. What if her future owner took her somewhere else? 

No, no, no, not after all this!

"See you," Mane sputtered out with a forced smile. Effus took one of Mane's hands in a vine and gave it a soft squeeze. Mane was neither reassured nor bothered, though in her haze of emotional exhaustion she couldn't overthink things enough not to trust and appreciate the gesture's intent. 

"You'll see her soon, little one. I promise," Effus said as her flowers danced, "I could never part you two." Mane nodded, squeezing the vine back. She...trusted Effus, on some level. Effus was benevolent, that much was clear, even if her values were far from ideal. Mane believed that Effus at least bought into the truth of what she was saying. She specifically would not part them. 

"Thank you…" Mane mumbled, shifting towards Effus and trying to curl up to conceal her face. "I...I wanna take a nap."

"I can help with that," offered Effus, "if you wish. Come come, let's get you back to the hab." Effus led Mane by the hand across several parts of the ship. Before long they arrived just outside her hab. Effus opened the door and ushered Mane in. The human treaded to her bed, collapsed into it, and almost instantly she fell asleep. Her face looked peaceful again. Effus left the room and tended to other tasks. Once an hour or so had gone by, Effus returned. She loomed over her and removed the coat, hung it from a hook Aria had installed in the wall at her behest, then tucked Mane in. She'd had a rough couple of days and seeing her relaxed even a little-

Mane started twitching in her sleep. The relaxed look on her face started to erode. Effus felt a sharp sting of emotional pain in her core. She instinctively primed a thornful of a concoction-made from the pollen of three different varieties of flower growing from her body-which, on injection, had a powerful calming effect on humans. The realization hit her, as that thorn crept closer to Mane's body, that she didn't have permission to do that. 

She shouldn't NEED permission to do the right thing! That poor little human was probably having another unsightly nightmare! But...Erias hadn't told her about their meeting, much to Effus' chagrin, but the elder affini had said no giving Mane drugs without her consent. Her vines wiggled with agitation. She could feel her loaded-up thorn begging her to just, let it show this poor thing some kindness, she deserved soft happy dreams, she deserved...no. The thought of an angry Erias flashed through her mind and proved sufficient motivation to resist those urges. If Mane insisted on this, then...Effus supposed that her stems were tied. She sighed in a big huff.

"Airyyyyyy," she moaned loud enough to be heard through the hab. Aria obediently came running with a big grin on her face. 

"Yes Mistress?" Airy asked, doing a cute little twirl in the sparkly white dress she was wearing for the day. The sight of her floret proved as captivating to Effus now as it had when they first met. "Is everything alright? Is Mane okay?"

"She's...at rest, one might say," Effus grumbled. She reached out with a hand made of leaves and used it to pet Aria. The floret trilled happily, rose to her tip toes, and nuzzled in with a grin. "Good girl. I'm...kind of at a loss. Can we snuggle, for a little while? Until I feel better?"

"Yes Mistress, of course!" Aria trilled happily as an answer. Effus proceeded to glide gently to her bedroom with Aria in tow. She collapsed into her bed and pulled Aria's soft body against her. Cradled it in a network of soft, loving vines. Stroked her hair and her face. She reminded Aria what a faithful little human she was, and how gentle and kind she was. Of how greatly those traits of hers were appreciated and loved by her owner. This ritual improved Effus' mood by a great deal, and it did so quickly. It seemed, too, that it greatly improved Aria's feelings and made her feel happy. Effus was glad for that, not a little bit because she felt that Aria had earned it with her exemplary service helping tend to Mane specifically. 

"You're a delight, Airy," Effus whispered into Aria's ears. She used a vine with a kind of braided barb on the end to comb Aria's hair, slowly and carefully. "I'm so proud of you, little one. You are a wonderful floret and you deserve the best." She meant every word. 

"So does that mean I deserve you?" Asked Aria, relaxed and happy and content. Her dilated eyes, slow soft use of her voice, and limp body language all reinforced to her owner just how happy and safe she felt. It was a great reassurance to Effus that she was a good owner. Aria giggled at herself, earning her several gentle pats from a makeshift hand. 

"Perhaps it does, little one," Effus softly conceded. She didn't quite feel that way at the moment though. Her, the best? The best among the affini? Hardly. "If you say so then I am helpless to contradict you."

"Yay!" Aria beamed happily. "My owner is the best!" 

-----------

Cordelia returned to her hab and entered it alongside Melody. Melody stepped inside, stretched...and then froze, because something jarring caught her attention. She tried for several seconds to figure out what to say, then chose to simply be rude. 

"Cordi?"

"Yes, Melly?"

"Why is...he here?" Melody pointed to Mort, who was currently seated in the corner of the room studying some kind of book. The visiting affini did not give any kind of physical indication that Heather's question reached him. Cordelia just laughed. 

"We're friends! He visits sometimes!" That was...true. Enough. Melody didn't feel uncomfortable around Mort, she just...Cordelia having random visitors was unusual, that was all. Plus, Mort was...probably the least affini affini there was. He was certainly the farthest one on the ship from being emblematic of the species as a whole. His interest in the macabre was a bit strange and she wasn't really used to being around him. "I can ask him to go, if-"

"It's no problem, really," Melody insisted. She meant it, too. Would she have liked a heads up? Yeah, but this wasn't a huge deal. She could handle it, no problem. "I was just...surprised, that's all, and I suppose a mite curious as well." 

"Understandable, really," Mort muttered from his position. "Your owner likes to collect obscure Terran texts. Not...exclusively or specifically Terran, technically, but you get the idea. I wished to imbibe for myself some of their secrets today." Melody rolled her eyes. His weird little act of an eccentric scientist was charming but she never felt like she was playing along properly unless she acted annoyed. He did, after all, seem to get a kick out of it when she-and other florets as well-did that. 

"Okay then, Victor," Melody snarked at the strange affini, "be sure you don't stitch together a ramshackle approximation of the first man and forget to give him a name." She tried not to laugh at her own joke, and she mostly succeeded. Mostly. 

"Ah, the first man! Interesting," Mort mused, making a "monocle" out of a pitch black leaf with a hole in the middle (and then slapping it aside with a small vine), "interesting." He snapped the book shut leaving a shred of leaf between its pages to serve as his bookmark. Evidently Melody's wisdom seemed like juicier quarry to him than dusty texts. "That would be Cain, correct?" 

"Cain is the first, uh, son," Melody corrected gently. "In Christian mythology anyway, that's the only one I studied. Catholic school and all. The first man was a dude named Adam, and that's the unofficial name of Frankenstein's monster-at least, what the author called him in notes to her friends. It's...kind of the point that he doesn't have one though, and the book doesn't really  call him 'monster' so much, it's mostly 'creature.'"

"Fascinating." One of Mort's arms exploded into countless vines which independently set to work on four tablets strewn across the ground. "I take it you went to...private schooling, that was the capitalist term, right?"

"Yeah." Melody's voice faltered as she remembered her experience in high school. It wasn't especially good, though it was better than her school years from earlier. She'd be lying if she said it wasn't partially owed to Mane that it was, though. "Catholic high school, then I went to college. And...flunked out because my mental health took a nosedive." 

"No shame in that, Melody dear." Using pet names like that obviously didn't come naturally to Mort. He hesitated with the word and even after choosing it he almost sounded like he wasn't sure he'd chosen correctly. "Terran mental health care before we arrived sounds, and I hope you understand I mean only sympathies when I say like, like something of a dumpster fire." 

"Hahaha," Melody answered in a pained chuckle, "yeah, yeah that...about sums it up. Things weren't great for me, back on Gisk." 

"But you have me now," Cordelia cooed. She pulled Melody into a greatly appreciated little hug. Aida came running out of the bathroom, having just finished a shower. She hugged Cordelia as well. 

"Cordiiiii welcome home!" Aida cried, nuzzling and rubbing up on Cordelia's soft viney sides. Hands made of pink leaves formed above her head and lowered themselves to pet her hair and stroke her face. Aida giggled happily and reveled in all of the attention. "Welcome back how was it did you learn anything incriminating about Melly and her ex~?" Both Cordelia and Melody laughed. The latter shuffled around the perimeter of Cordelia's body and placed a slight mousy kiss on Aida's cheek.

"No news so fortunate for you this evening, I'm afraid," Melody teased with a knowing smile. Aida winked at her with a teasing grin of her own. 

"You say that Melody but you can't evade me forever! I'll learn SOMETHING soon, just you wait! Mark my words!" 

"Now now," said Cordelia. She pricked both of their necks with pleasant feeling substances, Aida's a weak earthly drug and Melody's a much more potent xenodrug. Both of them were happy and blank in seconds, but Melody was blissed out entirely. Her mouth grinned vacantly as far as it could and she gawked crosseyed at her owner. "Come, dears. I think we should all go cuddle."

"We shoulllld," said Melody. She had zero idea what she was agreeing to but she knew she trusted everything anyone said 100% and was eager to please.

"Yaaaaay cuddles," Aida moaned, more lucid than Melody but nevertheless zonked out pretty good. Their owner took them to her room and dove into bed for a nice, presumably wholesome, extended bout of plantssnugglies. Mort smiled at the sight until Cordelia closed the door, then returned to his book. 





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