Sonata for Disorder in A Major

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

Presa watched Sia settle herself in the chair with a deliberate slowness, keeping her body just so until she finally relaxed just a tiny bit into the plush upholstery. 
The more she was getting used to human body language, the more she could recognize that Sia had to be in some form of pain. Pain which the medication she had taken was not fully controlling.
She wanted to reach out, to gently soothe it, to use her innate ability to manufacture some soothing pollen or nectar, but Presa had given her word, and she was determined to keep it.
Once Sia made herself comfortable, she let her head sink back a bit, her eyes a bit distant. 
“I was born with what human medicine calls an autoimmune disorder. Are you familiar with them?”
Presa let a little exasperation slip into her voice. “You do realize we have immune systems too, don’t you? As do many of the other species who have been brought into the compact.” Technically, the production of many xenodrugs was their immune response, but since Presa didn’t have the knowledge on that subject that a dedicated biologist or xenomedical researcher would, she wasn’t going to bring that up just yet.
To her credit, Sia ducked her head with a little grunt of embarrassment. “I apologize. Since you said you weren’t entirely familiar with humanity, I have been assuming you would need some concepts explained from the base level.”
Presa decided it would be safe to reach out and touch Sia’s knee, making sure she avoided any bare skin. “Apology accepted. Please, tell me more?”
Sia went very still at the touch and Presa feared she’d gone too far for a moment. Then, to her surprise and relief, Sia reached out to lightly touch her hand, soft skin contrasted by firmer callouses. 
“It presents as a form of arthritis. My joints become inflamed and I often have a great deal of pain despite the maintenance medications I take to help reduce the impact.”
Presa turned her hand so she was gently holding Sia’s, concern welling up in her. “The pills you took after playing.”
“A basic anti-inflammatory,” Sia confirmed. “Enough to let me function while still being able to perform, to get around the house, and my day to day routine. I also take some drugs that suppress my immune system and cushion me from some of the other side effects.”
“But you are still in pain,” Presa murmured as she met Sia’s eyes, filled with proud defiance.
“I have been in pain my entire life. I learned to walk despite the pain. Everything I do is in spite of the pain, and because I will not allow my body to hold me back from the things that make me myself.
“I respect that,” Presa said as she relaxed back a bit, leaving their hands entwined. “It shows determination, and courage. It’s...admirable.” 
For a completely barbaric solution to a problem that should have been corrected at the earliest opportunity, at least.
“You must have seen reports on Afifini medical technology. We might be able to find some solutions to your condition without affecting your Domestication.”
“I have seen reports,” Sia said as she settled back, and after a moment she gently extracted her hand. “I saw the videos and reports from humans who were taken for Domestication in the first days of the conflict, or from the earliest...harvests.”
Presa didn’t think she was imagining the slight tremble in Sia’s voice, but it was hard to tell if it was from arousal or fear. She felt a little pang of disappointment at Sia’s withdrawal, but gave the human room to speak.
“I was intrigued. Excited. Especially when I learned about the way your people practically eliminated cancer and some other serious diseases from the worlds you took control of. After Tau Ceti was taken by the Compact I signed up as a candidate for Domestication as soon as I could, but then I started talking to Florets about their experiences, and to some people who were not domesticated, but had begun receiving treatment for medical and psychological issues using xenodrugs.”

Sia seemed to be getting more agitated, and Presa could see the frustration in her expression as she caught herself, closed her eyes, and did some kind of breathing exercise to calm herself again. 
As she waited for Sia to open her eyes, Presa tried to keep herself from rustling too much as she adjusted herself on the bed, and waited for Sia to finish collecting herself before she spoke. 
“What did they tell you? It seems to have been very upsetting.” 
Sia let out a soft, bitter laugh. “That’s a way to put it.” Another deep breath, and Presa tried not to think about how lovely Sia looked when she wet her lips before she spoke again.
“Every single person I talked to, Domesticated or not, who had been treated with Affini xenodrugs mentioned a loss of manual dexterity. From just being ‘a bit’ clumsier than before to completely helpless at tasks without their Owner’s help.” 
Presa winced. “Ah.”
“Ah, indeed,” Sia said with a slightly mocking note. “More than a few also reported having episodes of brain fog or slight memory issues. Forgetfulness. Things slipping their minds more easily when trying to do a set of tasks or working on a more complex problem.”
“We’re still adapting many of our xenodrugs and natural products to human biology,” Presa admitted reluctantly. “Side effects like the loss of dexterity are…” She stopped herself from saying cute just in time. “To be expected. The same with the cognitive effects. But xenobiologists and pharmaceutical researchers are working to better adapt and tune then, with advances being made almost daily. I would expect to see those eliminated in many cases unless they are actually desired by the Owner and their Floret.”
Sia snorted. “Be honest, Presa. The owner decides. The Floret doesn’t get a vote, they’re expected to accept it. Isn’t that how it works?” 
Presa stilled for a long moment. “Often,” she finally admitted. “Yes.”
Sia stood with a soft grunt, and began to pace, gesturing occasionally as she spoke. “Do you know what it’s like to grow up disabled on Terra? How you’re constantly looked down on by “normal” people, no matter how hard you work? How skilled you might be?” 
Presa didn’t, but given some of the information about the Terran Accord she had read, and their general attitudes, it was not difficult to imagine.
“We won’t even get into the fact that I’m Black,” Sia said with a sharp toss of her head. “Everyone used to say it didn’t matter, but it damn well did - until you showed up. Now…” She seemed to realize she was drifting from her point, and refocused herself.
“I worked and I sacrificed and I bled to become one of the best Violinists on Terra. Maybe one of the best in the Accord. I sold out performances and I was asked to play on dozens of worlds for special events, government functions, corporate celebrations. But if I showed up using my cane for support because of a bad joint day, or a powered chair to get through an airport with less effort…”  Sia’s face twisted with remembered pain and scorn. “They’d get this look...like they couldn’t decide if they were impressed or insulted. The worst ones always decided to pity me, like I was some poor, unfortunate creature who they would have to look after until I left and would no longer be their problem.” 
“Is that why you chose to emigrate to Tau Ceti VI?”
Sia seemed surprised to hear Presa speak, as if she’d gotten so deep into her remembrance that she’d forgotten anyone else was in the room. 
“Partially,” she admitted, but it seemed as if Sia was holding something back. “Touring is hard on an abled person, too. All the travel, all the performances...it can be grueling. I decided to come to Tau Ceti because the lower gravity would reduce my fatigue and be easier on my body.” 
“What about your...family?” 
Sia shrugged. “Dad was a professor of theoretical energetic physics at Temple. A few years before the war with the Affini began, he was ‘requested’ to assist with a ‘top secret project.’ No one heard from him after that - I’d been away from home for a long time by then.”
“My mom asked for a divorce when I was sixteen. I don’t know all the details, but I think she’d decided that she’d done enough for us both, and wanted a chance to go chase some of her dreams. I was already getting recognition as a prodigy. I was sad, but she told me to go be the best no matter what, and Dad…” Sia shook her head, making her curls bounce. “Dad never told me what they discussed in private. Said it wasn’t his story to tell. But he agreed to an amicable separation.”
“That seems like it must have been very difficult for you.” 
Sia snorted. “I was far from the only teenager in Philly with a single parent. I coped.” 
Presa had some deep doubts about that, but she chose to let it be. 
“Ten years ago I was on a major concert tour that my record label had set up. Thirty star systems in thirty days. It was a huge PR event to show off both my music and some other artists, and the capabilities of some of the newest jump drives. We started on Terra - we did a show to launch the tour in Geneva, then they shuttled us up to a waiting ship that jumped as soon as it was able. We’d wake up in a new star system, get sent down to the concert hall, perform, lift back off, and repeat.”
“That must have been extremely stressful.”
Sia nodded, and finally returned to the chair, her eyes distant once again. 
“It was hard but I was making myself do it. I was carefully medicating myself and using my cane or my chair where I needed to. But on the 24th concert…” Her entire face fell, and Presa felt a swell of dread.
“I wasn’t feeling well but I was pushing through it. I thought I was just nauseous. Maybe a bit of food poisoning from the local delicacies we got served before the show. My arms and my chest and shoulders were aching a bit more than usual but I thought it was just the wear and tear of the tour.”
“But it wasn’t.”
Sia shook her head slowly. “I was having a heart attack. I collapsed on stage. I don’t even remember the concert. The next thing I knew I was waking up in the ship’s infirmary with my agent and the tour manager looking at me with so much concern that I wished I’d died instead.”

Show the comments section (6 comments)

Back to top

Register / Log In