The next few weeks were possibly one of the craziest Lily had ever seen. Dissolvement of the Terran political parties, Affini stepping into power and making all these new laws, rules and regulations. One hardly needed any money these days as most things were signed off as basic rights all should have. Living hab units were now being shipped into the system, Cities were being rebuilt from the ground up, where tall buildings got replaced by slightly greener sturdier and by Lily’s word fancier living accommodation than she’d ever seen before. The layout wasn’t all that different although the Affini were moving buildings around like Legos at this point. Where once you’d see a world trade centre on one side of the street it was now a brand new mega structure on the other. Heck, even her apartment building had been remodelled, as tiny as it was somehow the Affini found space, or rather made space, to fit in a spacious two story building fit to house Terran or other xeno alike.
Jobs and work had also met changes as defence of the planet did not fall under Terran rule anymore. Considering that was an occupation more than 40% of Brypso 3 37 A5 had, it was no surprise how new businesses sprouted out left and right to accommodate for that influx of workers.
Lily’s job also saw some change. With half of the department missing, thanks to the Affini taking most who fought for domestication, her job became even more hectic. It was now her job to fill out Affini forms on convicts needing to get through the masses that went through this station in the last few months. Admittedly the forms were much easier, cleaner to read and less straining to look at worrying one would make a mistake in undefined ambiguity.
The pills sure did help this time at least. No more shouting at problems or the need for a fast pace. She was allowed to get her work done first before assigned to a different task. She definitely felt a bit better with time; those nervous twitches came less and less frequently to her rather skittish mind. Alas, still her tears persisted. Even when neutral in her emotions, Lily’s body couldn’t help but shed tears. There was of course always a full tissue box right next to her, courtesy of the companion Affini, to help accommodate for that.
The only thing that drastically did change her work place however…
“Why are you here? A-and not I mean… not working with the rest of your people?” Lily wondered as to why Silwey was sitting behind the lieutenant’s desk and also why hers had been moved right next to it.
“I’m observing and managing.” Silwey chimed happily, giving Lily a smile. “I decided to take up your ‘law enforcement’ and steadily phase it out.”
That ‘observing’ felt just a little too emphasized, making Lily’s cheeks turn bright pink as she tucked her head into the papers again. The awkward feelings her heart was stirring inside of her as she thought about the words spoken. Her head shot up as she finally came to register the second part of what was said. “W-wait! P-phase out?! How will your laws be enforced then? What will I do without a job?”
“We have our means and methods that we can utilize to help you precious little things live your lives comfortably.” Silwey hummed again giving Lily a boop on her nose with a vine. “And I suggest to you, after your job with me is over, to find something that makes you happy.”
“... Right… I’ll… think of something.” Lily said, trying to ignore the eager vines around her, scared of what they might do.
Field work also changed for Lily. Instead of chasing after bike thieves and cracking down on drug dealers, her job became relatively lax. Simply meeting with the homeless and directing them to the nearest shelters with homeless vouchers to restart their lives or helping out in traffic, which was starting to flow much better now with the new systems in place.
Eventually she found it hard to even notice a thing to do for her. Silwey was right, somehow law enforcement wasn’t needed as much as before. And even at times it was the solution, the best solution Lily could give on her new orders, was to give people tickets and directions of where to go with them.
Eventually however came the point when Silwey announced their job was done. Lily was stunned as she just sat there in front of the large Affini woman. “Done? B-but… surely there’s more law enforcement that needs doing…” Lily squeaked out, stunned by the concept of law enforcement not being necessary any more.
“Well yes, but the Compact has those sections covered sweetie. Of course that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet.” Silwey chimed wearing her soft smile like always. “The little weeping angel will help me out like we agreed, won’t she?”
How could Lily say no? How could she say no to those pretty rose gold eyes? To that soft smiling expression and those welcoming vines. Gah! She did it again. Lately the poor lass had been getting more and more intrusive thoughts about her companion, ones she still couldn’t fully comprehend or explain.
Just like that Lily was swept away to help out the Affini in her duties. Being asked questions about things she did not fully understand or help out with tasks involving Affini reforms she felt just a little bit under qualified to handle. All of it was starting to get to her admittedly. She began feeling anxious again wondering what in the star's given planet she was even doing. Truth be told, the regular streams of tears didn’t help her mentality much either. Meeting Affini official after official trying her best to wear a smile while her heart kept racing, tears kept flowing and breathing began to shallow. Some of the Affini even voiced their worried concerns to that matter but Lily always insisted she was fine.
“Lily? Are you alright?” A soft voice spoke to her ears that almost made the girl voice out an involuntary sound.
“A-ah y-yeah I’m alright.” She blatantly lied while looking away in the middle of one of her crying episodes, already starting to lose her eyesight. Things began to swim around while she couldn’t focus on anything.
“Really now? You don’t seem okay.” The large woman said as her hand grabbed hold of Lily’s before dragging her into an empty conference room. With gentle handling she seated Lily onto a chair and kneeled down beside her. “Now then. Are you sure you’re okay?” Silwey asked, dabbing a few handkerchiefs onto those red cheeks.
Lily looked away reluctant to say much. She was already impeding on Silwey’s work and now they took a break from all the important things it to worry about her?!
With the room staying silent the Affini woman gave out a sigh. “Look. Do excuse me for this, but I’ve checked your medical records. Xeno wellness being our top priority and all that. I wanted to know if you’re taking all your prescription drugs correctly?” Silwey asked with concern in her eyes.
“I… y-yes I am, b-but they aren’t doing much for me…” She finally admitted, hanging her head down in shame.
Lily’s cheeks got cupped in the sizable hands of the woman kneeling before her, rubbing those finger like vines over her head. This instantly induced electricity to run over Lily’s mind, inducing goosebumps as she began to calm down. “Sweetest, it’s okay. It said in your records you’re currently transitioning and also take prescribed sedatives for your anxiety? But I don’t feel like that’s the whole picture here. Would you like to talk about it?”
Lily felt like her heart got pierced by a needle on how Silwey wanted to pry her open like a can of beans. Was it that obvious something was wrong? Her bright eyes looked up at the Affini with doubt in her eyes. “I-It’s… I guess it’s just t-things that happened in the past… a-and things that keep happening...” Lily began to trail off, making half word sounds trying to come up with the best explanations to what she was feeling.
Silwey simply tucked the girl close letting her sink into the vines slightly as she hummed. That definitely instilled Lily’s body with all kinds of reactions, the most prominent being one of care and sorrow. Wherever her bare skin touched plant matter her body felt extra good, tingly even. It was as if her body had been lying to her about how she felt the world around her this whole time. “I assumed it was something like that. You were looking pretty sporadic when holding that silly little gun in your hands. You know Lilyan if Terran drugs can’t help, have you considered the option of xenodrugs?”
A lump clumped up in Lily’s throat as she squeezed Silwey just a little bit tighter. That full name Silwey used struck more than just her mind. Her heart was racing to it as well, somehow glad the large woman knew so much about her. She mumbled something but it fell short of her lips.
“Hmm? What was that sweetie? You know you can trust me with anything, I only wish good for you.” Silwey spoke with that sweet melody again while tenderly brushing Lily’s back.
“I-I said I’m scared!” Lily blurred out between her sobs as her arms trembled whilst they held onto the vines. “I-I’m scared of what it might do to me…”
“Oh, Lilyan…” Silwey sighed as more vines came to wrap themselves around the girl. “There’s nothing to be scared of, but I understand your concerns. I believe that you’d be much happier when fear and trauma wouldn’t control your heart. There’s even drugs to help you transition. Far more effective and quicker, might I add.” she chimed, hoping she would be able to sway the girl this way.
That gentle voice was starting to feel very irresistible as Lily listened on. “W- r-really?” Lily asked, looking up to her companion with tears streaming down her face. Her curiosity piqued, seeming to be like the one of a little child when they are offered candy.
“Of course~. Tell you what. Why not just try? If you feel like it’s something you’re okay with you can continue taking them.” The Affini said, giving Lily’s ears a gentle rub while two other vines rubbed against the girl's cheeks, sucking up the tears and drying the Terran's face. “And all the while through it, I’ll be right here by your side, to help you.”
Lily didn’t understand how she turned out to become so dependent on Silwey for so many things. She guessed it was just the weeks of working besides her that allowed that trust to build and develop. “O-okay… I trust your judgment… a-and yeah… I wouldn’t mind having you by my side.” She softly whispered, looking away in thought. Could it really work? Was she now thinking of the what ifs? What if something goes wrong? What if the Affini invaded sooner? Would she be able to kickstart her new life better? Questions began to bounce around her head as her thoughts lapsed trying to process this big decision she was making.
“Of course sweetest. You’ll see. It will happen in a sprout of a sapling.” Silwey said this strange idiom while giving another satisfied smile.
It was true. Lily needed to fill out just a few forms before her new xeno medication came in a package. The next morning Lily decided to take both prescriptions. I’ll be it, she was nervous about the sudden realization of what she had just consumed, but in the next five minutes that had all just floated away. Bad thoughts simply became a distant memory she couldn't even put a finger on anymore. Thinking became just a little bit more… simple if she was allowed to use that word for it and the constant buzz her heart felt subsided into nothingness.
Lily swore that that was probably one of the better days she had. This feeling, the sudden liberation from the bad thoughts and memories. How could it even get any better than this? Lily bored down the stairs already knowing Silwey was waiting for her arrival.
“Why hello there Lily. You’re surprisingly upbeat this morning.” The Affini woman said.
This however almost felt like a melodic song to Lily’s ears as her mind skipped a thought there. Oh my gosh did it sound pretty. Was this how everything sounded when thoughts didn’t drag you down? She didn’t even notice when her foot tripped over basically nothing as she fell into Silwey’s arms. “A-ah! H-hi.” She meekly squeaked as the rest of her mind got stunned by the sudden brush of skin against skin. Fffffff- stars above and below! She almost felt like she saw colour for the first time. Was she missing THIS much whilst her mind was rotting in anxiety?
“Hmm? Everything okay dear?” Silwey asked, already having a few ideas on what it might have been.
“I-I… y-yeah…” The little Terran replied, still stunned in that welcoming embrace. “W-what’s i-in the pills? I… it feels rather strange to feel… THIS much.” Lily asked, looking up at the woman, not even noticing her eyes were tearing up again, letting a few drops stream down her face. ‘Oh god those eyes. How were they so pretty!?’ How the light danced around in them and the pretty inset dots of blackness felt like black holes that could swallow Lily whole.
Silwey chuckled as her vines moved to rebalance Lily back on her feet. “Perhaps it is that you’ve been prescribed a rather stronger dose than what your body can handle? That shouldn’t be an issue, consider it more like being on a happy pill.” The woman described it as she started walking.
A chuckle escaped Lily for no apparent reason. “Happy pill… okay? Heh, I just… feel strange I suppose.” she chimed, never looking away from Silwey. “Tho… now that I think about it, perhaps it would be best I seek out therapy instead of being, well… for lack of a better term, on strange pills.”
The Affini looked pleasantly surprised. “A wise decision, little Lilyan. Would you like me to help you arrange a meeting?”
“That- That would be very helpful, yes!” Lily sighed happily, glad she had such a friend helping her out.
And so Lily was signed up for a psychiatrist. An appointment was made in a week's time and to Lily’s surprise it would be an Affini doctor. The day went on like a blur as the pill she took still held strong. Lily could tell they met a few more people, but other than saying hello, goodbye or explaining her weeping angel syndrome she was almost useless stumbling over her words. As per her request to not be useless all day the dosage was lowered giving her a one third of what she took the first day. She couldn’t believe her surprise as to how well it worked. Being a little bit more focused without the negativity of her life tampering her assistance to Silwey with her tasks. Naturally Lily kept her transitional dosage the same taking them regularly every day trusting in it actually working out the way it was promised.
A week had passed already and in that time the two worked ever so closely together. Lily felt happy for once even between the tears. Life didn’t feel complicated nor was it without interesting events to keep her mind working. She and Silwey would usually end the days sitting on a park bench talking till the star sank over the horizon.
“So this is the rumored Terran everyone keeps gossiping about.” An Affini woman stepped out of her office.
Lily and Silwey were at the medical centre where staff had been pleasantly surprised by the influx of Affini doctors and medical personnel who were very well versed in Terran biology and medical care.
“I- umm y-yeah? I suppose. W-wait… people talk about me?” Lily was surprised by that fact, unsure of what to think of it.
“Well of course cutest~. Everyone keeps talking about how Silwey found-”
Silwey faked clearing her throat just a bit loudly to cut the Affini woman off. “We could discuss these things for a whole day and still not be done, but dear Lily isn’t here to hear gossip, as I’m sure you’re aware, Mordana.” Silwey spoke, extending her hand.
The Affini, Mordana as it was revealed, only chuckled in amusement before intertwining her viney hand with Silwey’s. “<It’s been a while dear, what’s all the gossip about I wonder.>”
“<Something to speak about on another day. The Terran is going to be your job today, she’s been on a path of betterment and I’d like her to stay on it.>” Silwey replied back, inciting a little devious grin from Mordana in return.
Lily, on the other hand however, understood fuck all of what they were saying. Affini language was simply just too foreign to even try and decipher what it was about. Her expression of concern wondering if the two had some quarrel between them she didn’t quite understand. “I-is e-everything alright?” She asked, concerned for the two tall women.
“Yes it is~.” Mordana chimed leaning forward to take a better look at Lily. “And my, my~ a week on hormone therapy and there’s such superb progress. Terran bodies truly are capable of such stunning adaptability, aren’t they?”
“I d-don’t- ummm... Oh! N-no, no, no, I’ve been on Terran hormone pills for about a year now.” Lily tried to correct Mordana as she seemed like her life was on a completely different rhythm than everyone else.
“Oh precious. I know about that, I have access to your medical files. I’m talking about the lovely changes that are happening now.” She almost sang again making Lily loose ground on what it was she meant.
“Mordana.” Silwey spoke again. Her voice instantly sank into Lily’s mind and calmed it down again, while the other woman looked up at her. “Please. Keep on track today.”
“Pffh, of course, of course sweetie, I’m merely building up rapport with the patient beforehand.” Mordana said, giving Lily a gentle push into her office. “Alright little child best we start before Silwey gives me another root full.”
Lily was stunned by how… human the office appeared. It was just like one in the movies with many bookshelves decorating the walls and ornate yet elegant furniture. In the middle of the room between the coffee tables and lamps there lay a rather comfortably looking chaise and a large chair. Lily assumed one was for the patient and the other obviously for Miss Mordana.
“Get yourself comfortable dearest. Tea?” Mordana asked, walking to her small kitchen tucked in a corner of the room.
“Um y-yeah that would be delightful, thank you.” Lily hummed as she sat on the chaise still curiously looking around at all the bits and pieces of Mordana’s room.
“Sorry about the little ordeal in front of my office, I just wanted to tease Silwey a little.” The woman spoke while coming to the little lounge area with two cups of tea. “She likes you, have you noticed that? Or rather. We think she does. She’s definitely displaying an interest in you, that's for sure.” She added passing the smaller cup of tea to Lily.
“W-what do you mean? I thought she was just being kind because we have to work together.” Lily inquired, being quite confused on what the woman had meant.
That sure triggered something in Mordana as she began to laugh her vines off. “Oh you sweet summer sapling.” She began. “Do you have any idea how many strings she pulled to pull you out of the domestication program?”
Lily felt a knot tying in her stomach with that question. She shook her head.
“Did she tell you who she is?”
Another shake of the head.
“What her job is in the Affini Compact?”
Lily shook her head for the third time.
“Oh that sly deli” Mordana chuckled, going into deep thought for a moment. Her vines slowly swayed, in Lily’s mind almost doing an idle animation of sorts.
“U-ummm w-what’s this all about?” She asked, confused as to why Mordana was so interested in her in the first place.
The Affini blinked for a moment as she was snapped out of her thoughtful gaze. “Oh. Where are my manners? I didn’t mean to trail off so much, but~!” Mordana chimed with a soft smile. “I’d encourage you to get to know Silwey a bit more. But that’s just a suggestion~” She added letting her vines reach for a pen and tablet to tap them up into her lap. “Now then. Shall we start?”
Lily gave a nod and a bit of a nervous shimmy on her seat trying to shake her fears away. “Yeah.“
The following session turned out to be one of simple chatter and questions about Lily’s life she rarely thought about. It didn’t seem like much on the outside. However, considering the silent treatment Lily got from her previous psychiatrist this was rather a pleasant surprise. The questions strangely didn’t bother her even if there was the occasional one that caused her to blush profoundly, she’d still manage to reply to them. Eventually Lily felt like she was being slowly cornered. Questions began to get more complicated and Lily was starting to have trouble answering. Her breathing was starting to get shallow and her body language began to portray that of someone in distress. Despite it all she tried her best to push through the questions saying it was for her own good if nothing else.
“Hmmm... well, I think this was a pleasant conversation dearie. Same time next week?” Mordana chimed, announcing the end of their session seeing as how Lily was beginning to get more and more stressed.
Was it one hour already? Wow time sure flew by with her. Lily was actually surprised, thinking there was more the Affini wanted to ask her. “O-oh. umm y-yeah! I’d like that.”
“Brilliant. I’ll note it down in my calendar.” The Affini spoke while going through her notes. “Oh and Lily.” Mordana turned towards her. “Perhaps it would be wise to get a stronger prescription for your drugs, don’t you think?”
Lily gave a frantic nod, understanding what the Affini meant, saying her thanks before pitter pattering out of the office. Her lips were curled into a smile wondering what the next session would be like.
“Done already?” Silwey asked, making Lily’s body shiver with goosebumps. God that voice felt angelic in her ears.
“H-! Y-yeah, I’m done. We’re we going next?” The girl asked, looking up at Silwey as if she was a child looking up at her parents.
That sure elicited a smile on the tall woman’s face while she looked down at those pretty bright blue eyes. “Somewhere to eat. You haven’t eaten anything yet and I’m sure you’re starving.”
As if on cue Lily’s stomach rumbled making the small Terran blush in embarrassment. She hurried her little run to keep up with Silwey’s long strides. Suppose it was settled then and there without further questions.
It wasn’t long before Lily was given a rather large and very juicy looking burger into her hands while the Affini helped herself to a lemonade and idly drank the glass with one of her vines. Roots? Who knows. All Lily cared about was how delicious this burger looked. She was practically salivating just the thought of eating something that looked this delicious. How each layer complimented the next. The buns were soft like clouds and lightly toasted. The sauce binding the two halves to the simple array of salad and caramelized onions together. Along with the burger in the middle that appeared as if it was made of the best damn grind proportion there was.
“Honey, you’re drooling.” Silwey said, pointing out at how wide eyed and baffled the girl looked staring down at her burger.
“Ah! Sod it…” Lily said, trying to slurp up the drool on her lips while blushing from embarrassment. “I-Is there something good to celebrate about, that happened at work today?” She asked, wondering why Silwey brought her to an expensive place to eat such a lavish and savoury meal.
“Something good to celebrate?” The large Affini woman repeated as she tapped her vines against the bark of her cheek. “It’s to celebrate the start of you taking the first steps of getting better.” She spoke leaning down and over the table to be face to face with Lily, giving the Terran a boop on the nose with one of her vines.
Lily’s gaze dipped down instantly as a strange warmth exploded in her chest and spread through her entire being. Was this really such a joyous occasion? The fact that she was trying to get better. Why was she even trying to get better in the first place? Wasn’t she feeling alright already? That was obviously a no. She knew it and possibly everyone around her knew it. So many questions swung around in her head as she tried her best to not get flustered at how friendly and caring Silwey was to her.
“Y-you’re being really nice to me…” Lily finally spoke, taking a small little bite out of her burger.
“Am I not allowed to be nice to someone I work closely with?” Silwey’s voice felt like a tidal wave of calm again to Lily’s ears. It almost made the poor girl stop chewing as her thoughts melted away as if it was a cube of ice in that tidal wave.
Lily tried her best not to roam free on her dreamy thoughts as she shook her head to snap out of her daydreams. “I-I suppose that- I mean, thank you. I hope it’s not going to affect your work too much.”
“You are my work as well.” Silwey flatly replied while staring down at Lily with those softly lit rose eyes.
“...” Lily tried to say something but it quickly got stuck behind the burger bite and more so behind the jumbled mess of thoughts going through her head.
“Eat up dear. I assume we have a long day ahead of us.” Silwey spoke as she finished up her lemonade.
Lily went wide eyed for a moment bewildered by how quickly the Affini woman drank her fill. ‘Did all plants really suck up that much liquid that quickly?’ She thought to herself as she decided it was best to focus up on the food in front of her instead of dumbfoundedly staring at Silwey.