The Florette's Dilemma

5- Her First Morning

by Motherlygirl

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

Mane slept peacefully. It was better sleep than she'd had in years. Nine full hours of soft, happy, relaxed contemplation. She had no dreams and no nightmares. She didn’t need to spend two hours tossing and turning, or wake up to the sound of screaming, or have to be up by a certain hour. She was simply allowed to rest as her body saw fit, and perhaps a tad longer due to chemical persuasion. The night was a peaceful one, a comfortable one, a restful one, and it was far and away the most pleasant night she could remember ever having experienced in her life. She drifted gently through the hours until her consciousness came floating slowly up to the surface when morning arrived...insofar as "morning" as a concept existed on a big ship that was currently patrolling the small area of space that surrounded a space station. 

Mane awoke slowly and steadily. It would almost feel wrong to emerge from her sleep in such a gentle fashion, if the bed and blankets and pillows surrounding her tired body were not so insurmountably comfortable. Her eyelids fluttered gently open, their lids bleary and slow. She felt heavy, but in a soft and nice kind of way rather than a limiting one. Her arms and legs did not want to leave the bed, or remove the fuzzy blanket that was draped so carefully over them. Her hair and sweat and clothes had no doubt become an awful mess overnight, she thought to herself. This put a big frown on her face already. Would Effus be angry she went to bed in her coat, after making such a big deal that she left it behind? Would Aria be tasked with washing her clothes? She chose to hide from these thoughts by trying to bury her face in her pillow, but her scratchy beard thwarted this clever plan. Mane groaned from deep in her gut and, feeling defeated, she crawled out of bed. It was a bit difficult to fully disentangle the web of blankets and sheets that she had woken up inside of, and the sluggish nature of her still-partially-asleep brain wasn't helping matters. She fell on the floor, a blanket sticking out from the fort and wrapped around her. 

"Oh, Mane! You woke up!" Effus was already tending to her. A pair of leaves slid between her body and the soft mass she was encased in. They wriggled and pulsed with an odd rhythm. Their movements somehow seperated the blanket from Mane's body and gently slid her out of it onto the floor. "Are you hurt, dear? I'm sorry, I should have left some pillows or something by the bed in case you fell out of it, you didn't land on your head did you?" 

"Nooo," Mane answered dismissively as her shaky body first sat up and then rose onto its feet. She dusted off her body and felt tingles as her right leg and right arm-which were both partially asleep, evidently-slowly regained sensation. "Were you...watching me sleep?"

"No no, dear. I'm sorry if this was invasive." Effus shuffled away and gave Mane some space. "I opted to take today off and tend to my humans and my hab, you see. I was preparing little Airy's favorite breakfast-we do this on the first morning of every new human's stay here-when I saw you fidgeting and worried you were having a bad dream. I came to check on you, you were awake, and...this happened." 

"I see," Mane muttered. She waved her right arm about and used her left to massage the back of her neck. There was no implant there, though Mane had not suspected there would be. Until just now. 

See, her rational brain knew that if they tolerated her for an entire day after she did what she did, there was no need to worry they'd give her one without warning like that. Her rational brain knew that even if they did choose to give her one, there was nothing she could do in the matter. Her rational brain knew that their choice not to violate her wishes was not only keeping her from getting implanted against her will, it was the only thing that possibly could. Her rational brain knew that worry and suspicion and action were all completely useless to her, and thus all wasted energy and made her feel worse. The uncontrolled part of her brain, the one that saw big dogs when she was a child and ignited the long obsolete flame that sent her brain smoke signals warning it beware, wolf! was not having it. Still, she had practice ignoring the mood killing bastard. She smiled half-heartedly at Effus. 

"You really don't have to stay home to look after me," she muttered and sounded almost apologetic. She wasn't worried she was wasting resources. "I can make do. I'd just need a guide to take me wherever that interview is-" 

"No," said Effus almost playfully. She slid along the ground to the kitchen and got back to work preparing food, but at no point did Mane not have her attention. "You are worth it, dear. You need care, you need supervision. I am eager to give it to you." She stirred some kind of batter with a wooden spoon that she grasped in a spindly, many-threaded vine that separated into even spindlier digits near its tip. "And if I leave you have to put the cuffs back on."

"I have to-" Mane looked down. Sure enough, her wrists were no longer wearing the cuffs that had been slapped onto them the previous day. "Are you allowed to do that?" 

"Why of course I am. I have to!" Replied Effus. She sounded matter of fact. 

"No I mean-of course you can't take them off, then leave me alone and not put them back on. I meant taking them off in the first place. Is that, like...allowed?" 

"Honestly, it isn't," said Effus, her voice chipper and sharp. She excreted a mix of sap and pollen and syrup into the batter from several of her appendages-some bark, some vine, some flower-and began stirring with newfound intent.all the while, she used her makeshift mask-face to indicate none of her attention was actually going into this task. Mane had all of it. She had an attention Mane-opoly, if you will. "But if you never leave this hab without putting them back on and you never give me reason to believe you'll hurt anyone-and YES that includes you-I can do it without consequence. Does that answer the question, little one?" 

"I suppose that it does," Mane sighed. She turned over her hands and inspected them. Wiggled her fingers, used them to feel at her wrists. There were zero signs of abrasion or injection. "Followup question, if I may ask: why?" 

"I don't know," Effus said. Her vines waved up and down behind her in a motion resembling a slinky having one end flicked in those directions. "You looked so nice and peaceful asleep, and letting me tuck you in was so sweet and I knew it was probably a big deal for you so...I took them off as a reward." Mane narrowed her eyes and made a fist. Not an angry fist, mind, but one perhaps of annoyance. 

"So...they're NOT a punishment. But getting rid of them is a reward." She enunciated clearly. She sounded...betrayed? But yet at the same time, she also sounded like those rebels would when they thought they found a hole in affini reasoning. That was okay, though, because if anything Mane had shifted the conversation back into Effus' wheelhouse. She could handle this. In fact, it was essentially her specialty! 

"Yes, darling," Effus replied with something of a condescending singsong quality to her voice. "They are not a punishment. They're a safety measure. Something I can use to monitor your health and wellbeing, which also acts as a failsafe against certain things which might allow you to come to harm. But, if you prove you don't need them, I can show that I love and trust you by taking them off. It's the gesture, you know?" 

Mane scoffed. She wanted not to let them, but the words "love" and especially "trust" sliced through her like a knife cleaving hot butter. Yet, the reaction they set off inside of her was a negative one-all vitriol and clouds of smoke and disdain that burned your eyes. "Trust," huh? That's why they buried the same bits of themselves in their favorite and least favorite humans' spines? She took a deep breath. These feelings were irrational. She had to shove them aside for things to go well. Unpacking them was important, but it could wait for when the time was right. She glanced at the room with the massive bathtub. The thoughts of her clothes and filthy hair and probable stench resurfaced. That she could do. 

"Should I take a shower?" Mane asked suddenly.

"Sh-should you?" Effus asked and froze with bona fide confusion, but only for a moment. Just as quickly, she was back to working on the coming meal. "I don't understand your question, sweetheart. What do you mean?" 

"I-I guess," said Mane with a weak chuckle. She scratched, awkwardly, at the back of her head. Dandruff came falling gently down from her head. "It would be more accurate to ask if I should do it now, specifically. know. Food is almost ready." 

"Good girl!" Effus exclaimed. Mane seized up, but in a good way. The whimper that barely flopped out of her lips was mildly concerning, though, so Effus made a note not to use that specific pet name again for a little bit. "It can wait, dear. And-forgive me if this forward-I know humans with mental illness or trauma often struggle with hygeine. You're also trans, and from what I know about your family I get the idea you might not know how to tend to your hair. I can assist, or you can let Airy if that's more comfortable for you." Mane looked down immediately and her face become beet red. 

"Ar-Aria, please. If she doesn't mind." It occurred to Mane that asking someone for permission to be bathed by essentially their dog was potentially the most demeaning thing she'd ever willingly done. Then she remembered that asking to let someone's dog lick your hand so they'll feel less alienated by her presence was something she already did all the time. She wasn't sure whether that made the situation better or worse. 


Cordelia's florettes were playing a video game. Aida, as usual, was winning. They each sat on a small cushion, color coded to show who each one belonged to-Aida's was blue and Melody's was an off brownish red color. On the screen, two little pixelated ladies on broomsticks dodged and wove through waves of bullets fired by Terran soldiers and planes, denoted by plain green clothes and matching hats. The little ladies were color coded the same way as the cushions, except the character controlled by Melody was a vibrant standard red rather than the more muted, mixed up color that her cushion was.

The blue girl on the screen-who was named Blue according to her health bar-dove straight through the center of a shotgun blast and hugged a Terran. His clothes immediately became a much brighter green-affini colors-and a vine snatched him away to safety. Blue's score went up and she retreated towards the bottom of the screen to avoid a wave of shots from newly spawned Terrans. The other girl-similarly labeled Red-was dodging about at the very back of the screen and throwing out "bullets" of her own. They were cookies and letters and flowers, of course, and every time one collided with a Terran their clothes lightened and their attacks slowed. 

Red hit each of the newest wave once or twice, and managed to fully pacify two of them (who were rescued, similarly, by vines). Blue made a mad dash forward and, in a display of masterful skill, barrel rolled from one Terran to the next and hugged them all into surrender. The music switched from an upbeat rompy chiptune to a simulacrum of a bunch of trumpets. Confetti flew all about the screen and a gold set of text covered it with information. It broke down all the points the two girls amassed that level, and where from. Blue was far and away in the lead. 

"Looks like *I'm* getting a secret!" Aida giggled. She shot a smarmy look and a matching grin directly to her right, and it gave her a view of her companion player. Melody was sitting cross-legged with a pouty face and a stuffed fox standing in her lap. He was black, with rounded and almost conical ears. His tail was floofy and sported rings of the primary colors on it. 

"No faiiiiir!" Complained Melody, jokingly. "My reflexes aren't as good as youuuuurs!" There was no actual tension between them, of course. Cordelia was a kind and competent owner who would never allow something as dangerous as competition or jealousy to fester between her little humans. This was just a way for them to get to know each other. 

"Then why'd you pick the girl who doesn't dodge as good?" Teased Aida with a knowing smile. "I-frames save lives!" 

"Boo," Melody said in protest. "Why does a bullet hell-"

"A rescue-Terrans-em-up," corrected Aida coyly. 

"That name is terrible and we both know it," Melody spat. She put her controller down and hugged her little foxy friend. He was fairly big, just large enough that a Terran would have trouble wrapping all the way around his torso using just the fingers on one hand. He was stiff enough, too, to stand on his own. The fluffy tail was disappointing in its rigidity as a singular shape, fuzzy like the whole plushie but not actually fluffy like it should be. Still, Melody loved him. 

"Soooooo," said Aida. She contemplated what to get Melody to tell her. She could ask more questions about what brought Melody here-she was the first to volunteer from a recently subdued planet, after all. She could ask about the family that Melody only seemed to communicate with out of some sense of obligation. She could ask Melody's dreams, her favorite color, for an embarrassing memory...Melody didn't have to answer, of course. The entire point was to serve as a bonding exercise. She looked down at Melody's little buddy. "What's their name?"

"Huh? Whose name? Sorry, I zoned out for a second."

"Your little fox buddy." Aida smiled gently. "What's their name? Do they have one?"

"Oh." Melody smiled herself. She petted the little guy in her lap and felt a little shot of good chemicals in her brain. It was like the friendly little thing wrapped around her spinal cord was rewarding her for good behavior-which, of course, it was. "This little guy? His name is Mane."

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