Dissonance to Concordance

by Fractured Puppet

Tags: #cw:noncon #consensual_kink #D/s #f/f #pov:bottom #sub:female #accidental_hypnosis #bondage #cw:chronic_illness #dom:plant #drugs #Human_Domestication_Guide #hypnotic_music #music #pov:top #power_exchange #power_struggle #scifi #spoiler:theyre_both_useless

Sorry for the delayed update! I was on the road last weekend for a friend's wedding and physical therapy kicked my ass today. But - chapter! Yay!

When Presa finished her song and opened her eyes again, Sia was watching her with an unfocused, blissful expression, her visible skin warmed with an obvious flush. Her smile was so wonderfully uncomplicated that it made Presa want to sweep her up and cuddle her for hours, but it also made her feel a churning unease. She hadn’t intentionally released any pollen, but had some escaped? She should have noticed. She would have noticed!
“Sia?” She let her branches and vines return to normal as she took a cautious step forward. “Sia, can you hear me?” 
“Ah?” Her eyes fluttered, and after a second of confusion she seemed to shake herself into awareness, her eyes narrowing with suspicion. 
“What was that?” 
“Just a song,” Presa said as she backed away slowly, moving behind the couch and sitting down on the floor to put them on more equal footing. “I composed it during my second bloom, inspired by the grass and winds on the world where I first bloomed, and spent time learning to play.”
Sia’s lips turned sharply down into a frown, clearly growing more upset, and Presa had to concentrate to stop herself from trying to release a bit of pollen to try to ease the human’s nerves. 
“You. Promised. I had your word, Presa!” 
Presa flinched at the last, looking away in shame. “You did, and you still do. I made every effort not to release any pollen and cleared the branches I was using of as much sap as I could. I wasn’t attempting to do anything except to share a song with you, just as you did. I swear that I had no idea it would affect you that way.”
Sia walked back towards the instrument cabinets and put her head against the sealed glass, and Presa wondered if something about the texture or temperature was soothing. If Sia was still willing to discuss pairing, perhaps she could get something similar in her hab to calm her.
“Binaurals,” Sia finally muttered, almost too low for Presa to make it out. 
“I’m sorry?”
Sia turned around, her eyes less full of hurt but still wary. “An effect where a sound is perceived at different tones in each ear. In humans, the effect can be relaxing...and hypnotic. Normally they would be created by having the listener wearing headphones, or using specially directed speakers.” She took another breath. “I am not sure if a real kesra would produce them, or if it’s something with the way your...body... created the notes, but it seemed to have the same sort of effect.”
Presa nodded slowly. “It seems like as good an explanation as any. Regardless, I apologize. I hoped you would enjoy the song, but not...that.” 
Sia grimaced and put a hand to her temple, and Presa felt another lurch of concern.
“I did enjoy it,” she finally admitted. “I was fascinated by the structure of the song. How did you use two different chromatic scales at the same time?” 
“Chromatic…” Presa puzzled at the phrase until she had a realization. “Oh! The tonal flows? Yes, there are two asynchronous flows - 24 tones in total.”
“That hurts my brain a bit to think about, but I would like to learn more about your ‘flows.’ I wonder if our musical scales map to them exactly, or if there are differences as the number notes you use changes.”
Presa smiled, pleased that Sia seemed to be warming again. “It sounds like an interesting way to spend time together.”
Sia’s eyebrow rose. “...are you asking me on a date, Presa?” 
Presa slowly rose to her full height, opening her hands and fronds. “I did hope to learn if we might make a good pairing. I feel like we’ve found some fertile ground, even with my...misstep.” 
There was a moment where Sia seemed to consider that, then nodded. “Perhaps we should discuss that in more detail, then.” 
Presa knew they were likely far from agreeing to pair, but she still had a bounce in her step as she waited for Sia to equalize the door and open it onto the hallway, then followed her out. 
She had expected Sia to lead them back to the front room, but instead she continued until they reached what could only be the bedroom door, sliding it open before gesturing inside. 
“Please, make yourself comfortable.”
The room had rose gold walls that seemed to glow with the afternoon light, with a bed large enough that Presa thought even she could lay down comfortably in it by the window dressed with soft, comfortable looking fabrics and another overstuffed chair across the room from it.

She recognized closets and furniture from the files on Domestication she’d read, but Presa’s attention was caught by a framed painting on the wall above the chair. 
It seemed to be a real canvas, not a printed reproduction. She could make out brush strokes and textures in the colored pigments, and as she took the artwork in, her eyes widened in surprise. 
There was a human woman in some kind of loose wrap, not so different from some of the Companion dresses Presa had seen other Affini provide their florets. She was draped over a mossy rock in the shadow of a large tree, and from the tree there appeared to be a being who was both leaning out of the tree and part of the tree - surprisingly similar to an Affini despite her more human features - who had extended branches and leaves that seemed to be wrapping around the human’s breast and thigh.
“Oh my,” she breathed with a pleasantly aroused surprise. “I...that is...ah...interesting.” 
No wonder she has been so adamant about being Domesticated!
“The Wood Nymph’s Lover,” Sia’s voice came from beside her, and Presa turned to meet her eyes, noting the way she had once again become a bit flushed. “Painted by an artist named Rikard Porcelbahn, two hundred years before humanity discovered spaceflight - close to a thousand years before your people discovered us.”
Once again Presa found herself in a surprised sort of awe. “Remarkable…”
Sia nodded. “Our myths and stories spoke of creatures bonded to the land, the waters, the rocks, the trees...nearly every culture before spaceflight on Terra had such legends.” She longed at the painting with a sad sort of longing that made Presa want to hug her. “When I was a little girl, my baba would read stories to me. Every time I heard about wood nymphs or dryads, I wouldn’t stop thinking about them for days. I would pretend one lived in a tree in our arcology, and I’d write letters to her and leave them in the branches.” 
Presea imagined it, and smiled softly. “That is absolutely adorable.”
Sia shook her head at herself, and looked back up to the painting. “As I got older, I knew it wasn’t real, but...I daydreamed. I suppose I fell in love.”
Presea wanted so badly to reach out and touch Sia’s arm, to draw her close, but something told her that this moment of honesty needed to be on her Floret’s terms.
Sia ducked her head, her curls bouncing a bit with the movement. “When I saw the broadcasts from your first contact...you came off forcefully, but I thought that God or Yemjoa or someone had decided to make those old dreams a reality.” Her flush deepend and she looked rather charmingly awkward. “Especially after some of the first Domestication...testimonials.” 
“But then something must have…” Presa found herself settling on the bed. “Please forgive me - I am not really used to this. But - it seems as if something frightened you?”
“You could say that,” Sia said with a pained expression, then glanced at the empty chair. “Let me sit down, and I will try to explain.”

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