The Florette's Dilemma

28- Connections

by Motherlygirl

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

Hello! Content warning this chapter for drugs, specifically xenodrugs being used for bad ends.

Mane felt awkward around Aida. This would the first time she went out and about with a floret that wasn't personally connected to her, Effus, or both. She and Melody shared an owner, of course, so there was only really two or three degrees of separation (depending how that counting system worked, Mane could never remember that). Melody might tag along, though- Mane predictably found that she hoped she would. It would make things less awkward to have a companion that wasn't either a stranger or someone Mane had earnestly tried to kill. She slipped her coat off and hung it again from her shoulders in an effort to feel bigger and less overwhelmed. Standing where she was, namely next to the entrance of an affini habitation pod, this had little effect. Still, Mane thought to herself, it couldn't hurt to make herself a bit less oppressively small. Cordelia emerged from her florets' room with both girls in tow. Each of them wore a collar, which were both attached to Cordelia by one pink vine each which served as a leash. Mane quickly noticed that Melody wore a smaller one than she had last time, backwards so that the leash was tethered behind her head, and a shirt with a big poofy collar of its own (all entirely unfolded and sticking straight up) to partially obscure the more literal one. Had she done that to make Mane less uncomfortable…?



Mane felt at once love and guilt. Melody wasn't even her girlfriend anymore. There was absolutely zero need for her to go to these lengths to spare Mane's insecurities, yet there she stood doing it of her own accord anyway. At least, Mane kind of assumed Melody had done this of her own accord. It was certainly possible, she supposed, that this had been Cordelia's idea rather than Melody's. Still...she felt a pang in her heart at this reminder of the seemingly infinite well of kindness that Melody had in her soul. 



"Are you ready, Mane?" Cordelia asked with a calm and soothing voice. Mane froze. Was...was she ready? She had managed last time, but that affini was her guardian. Any beef that Mane had with Effus was entirely personal. Cordelia, on the other hand...Cordelia was practically a complete stranger. Mane had no idea what friction she had to dodge to avoid angering this one, and to make matters worse surely being Mane's legal and medical guardian meant that Effus was held by some ethics regarding Mane's treatment, cultural or self imposed, which Cordelia would either be unaffected by or more willing to overlook. She and Melody's connection, and Melody's fondness for her, offered a temptation to believe she was safe- but she knew better. If the aliens would overlook humans on account of their interpersonal connections, former rebels would not be such a mainstay in affini propaganda. 



Propaganda. She almost forgot how much time she'd spent on that during her time in space, especially...no, no. Thinking about that, right now? That was a good way to break down. In the throes of sorrow she had loose lips and looser grip on her priorities. A sorrowful episode here and now, without the hope of an enraged one usurping it, was as good as a signature on a petition to be Class-O'd. She could not afford to do that. She pushed the memories back and down with the greatest force her mind was able to muster, and after that, she gave Cordelia her most convincing smile. Was it a good one, she found herself asking? No, there was no room right now for doubt in herself. There was only room for bluster. 



"I'm ready," Mane said with a voice charged by optimism. It wasn't too hard for Mane to let herself feel that emotion right now, at least. Cordelia, while her softer and more patient disposition might be more dangerous should Mane lose her hold of herself, was certainly more pleasant to be around. It was easier for Mane to see this affini than her own let her pick out clothes she actually liked, as well. That seemed like an almost decadently trivial thing to spend even a single neuron on right now, but it wasn't as though she had much else in the way of options. She had...never, now she thought of it, had a wardrobe that was well and truly her. Well, not one by that description whose contents she could actually wear on any kind of regular basis. 



"Lovely," Cordelia almost chirped. She extended a vine and waited for Mane to take hold of it. Mane hesitated a little bit but she did eventually do so. Once all three sophonts were secured to her, Cordelia let out a soft little laugh and started moving towards the door. Obediently, all three humans followed in her step. Mane felt somewhat, degraded, to be doing this in such a way, but the prospect of Melody deserving less than she did was sufficiently terrible to persuade her towards silence on the subject. The hab's doors slid open and all four occupants exited the living space it sealed off. "So what kind of clothes do you like, Mane?" 



Oh. Mane...wasn't sure how to answer that question, actually. She started sifting through her options-



"Maximum femme," Melody answered for her with a wide grin on her face. Mane's eyes latched onto her ex, wide with disbelief. "Either cute as fuck or sexy as hell. Bright BRIGHT colors either way, or darker purples in the latter case. Tiny skirts, frilly panties, anything that calls attention to her boobs, preferably while making them-"



Mane jabbed lightly at Melody's arm using her elbow. Her face smoldered with an unbearable heat and she felt like she was going to have trouble breathing. Melody glanced her way and...smirked playfully, the damn traitor. How dare she. 



"Sorry, cutie, have your tastes changed~?" Melody mewled with a growl hidden under it. Her mouth twisted into a playful sadism like that of a housecat. 



Oh. Oh no. Oh, oh god, oh God no. Mane felt herself starting to sweat. 



"How about you tell her which parts were wrong?" Aida cut in, her own smile much the same but without a shadow of restraint. "Ya big fuckin slut." 



Mane knew that this girl wouldn't call her that if it wasn't a compliment to her- not around Melody, anyway- but she still struggled to respond. She was blushing even harder now, and the heat was starting to manifest even in her ears. And...Mane realized based on how her face felt...was she...smiling? Why would this conversation be putting a smile on her face? 



--------



Uthris smiled to themself. They were on break, sitting outside of the restaurant where their girlfriend Ih was a waitress. They were done with their meal, and had been for several minutes, but their break wasn't quite over yet and returning to their post early worried the affini who ran the ship. The entire purpose of their presence was to alleviate those affini's worries even by a little bit, of course, so Uthris made sure never to contribute more if she could help it. This still happened, unavoidably, because affini would fret over anything and everything no matter what- but it helped Uthris feel peace of mind when they could limit it. They consulted a watch on the arm they didn't hold their halberd in. The watch, a bright blue one made of light metals, informed them that it was roughly three minutes prior to when their shift resumed. They got up onto their feet and picked up the halberd from its resting place on the floor next to them. 



Footsteps, raggedy and inconsistent, informed Uthris that someone had run past them. They gripped their polearm and felt a rush of emotion. A problem! Some poor floret had lost track of their owner and become gripped with fear, perhaps, or an independent Terran was having a bad experience with xenodrugs dosed slightly too high. In any case, Uthris was on the trail. They took off towards the sound of the running (and made sure to break off the blade of their "weapon" and holster it under their uniform, of course) and honed their focus in on it. They managed to gauge where it was coming from (ahead and to the right) and formulate a path there accordingly. 



Uthris wove through crowds and made their way to a small resting area, which was lightly staffed by humans. There the sound seemed to end. Uthris frowned and started to investigate. 



"Hey, is someone hurt? Lost?" Uthris called out. There were fewer people present here than there usually were, in fact there weren't any at all, but given the time of "day" that wasn't strange at all. Uthris walked up to the building. Should they call an affini and return to their post? No, of course not. The affini had better things to worry about, after all. Besides, what if they were just hearing things? "Can you hear me? I'm a friend, is everything alright?" They opened the door and stepped inside. The lights were all off. 



Perhaps-



Wait, it couldn't be. Was the ship compromised?



With a single clean motion Uthris snatched the axehead from their uniform and smashed it into its place. With a click it snapped on and returned to its proper, fully extended shape. Uthris then hurled it towards the nearest hallway and retrieved from their belt their actual weapon: a gun. A lowish-end rifle armed only with calming xenodrugs and optionally sedatives for the most persistent silly rebels, but a gun nonetheless. 



They grabbed their tablet...and froze. With all the racket from their weapon, surely a hypothetical rebel would have reacted in some way that they could see or hear, right?



Call for help...or leave...or…



Damn. Uthris gritted their teeth. What would Aether do, if she were her-



Something slid into the back of their neck. A liquid lovingly poured out into Uthris' body and let them know that everything was alright. Their breathing slowed. They even smiled. 



A male figure sighed in relief. Uthris did the same. They were glad he felt safe. They were glad he was safe. 



"Tell me what you know about them."



"Who?"



The figure seemed angry. That wasn't right. Maybe they needed drugs. Uthris opened their mouth to recommend a place with good xenodrugs-



"The Son of Cain. Cain Greshul's killer. Them. Are they on this ship?"



"Mmmmhm," purred Uthris, their heart warm at the thought of that poor traumatized spacefarer being lovingly rehabilitated as they spoke. It made their heart feel all soft and cozy. "Under our makeshift vet's care. She's here on the ship." The man rolled his eyes. Why would he do that? 



"Tell me everything you know." 



"That's it, sorry friend," Uthris said happily. "I can give you their favorite restaurant on the ship?"



"That will do," the man said.



"Asta Ital," Uthris said emptily. The man pulled out a syringe. Good, thought Uthris, now he would be happy and peaceful too-



 The next thing Uthris knew, they were waking up with a call on their tablet. They groggily got to their feet and answered it. A video call opened- it was Aether.



She started signing rapidly, "Where are you? What's wrong? Do you need help?" Uthris laughed awkwardly. Where had they been? Oh, yeah, they knew that. 



"I was on a walk and got really lost," said Uthris confidently. They knew that Aether's tablet would give her subtitles. "I'll be there in a moment. I hope I'm not too too late?"



"Only five minutes," Aether signed in response, "I'm so glad that you're okay. I was so worried." 



"No need to worry," Uthris answered with a reassuring tone (trusting that affini technology could translate that into subtitles somehow). They saw their halberd on the ground, walked over, and picked it up. "I'm in the rest area cause I got tired. I'm setting off to come back to work, be safe Aether!" They hung up and put the tablet back where it went. Uthris left the rest station and moved steadily towards the Confiscated Materials Storage Bay.



They sure were glad that the lights were on, or they may have left their halberd behind. It was a gift from the affini, that would have been terrible! Such disrespect to the affini was unbecoming of their station, after all. 

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