it's not a walk in the park

four. changes of plan

by cloverfin

Tags: #Human_Domestication_Guide #multiple_partners #nb/nb #polyamory #scifi #bondage #cuddles #D/s #discipline #dom:male #dom:nb #exhibitionism #hypnosis #m/m #m/nb #puppy_play #sub:male #sub:nb #trans_egg #transgender_characters

sorry it's been a while, hoping this makes up for it! 

once again, if you don't know the setting super well, definitely recommend checking the wiki if you don't understand what a drug I'm referencing does


[ chapter four: changes of plan ] 
After Rosali finished evaluating the mental health of that poor little ward, she took a moment outside the door to collect herself and walked back to the waiting room.  There weren’t that many problems, truth be told.  Nothing that would warrant immediate domestication, certainly, but there were enough red flags in the stories Valentine told her of their life that made Rosali very sure of how they would end up.  She would have to prepare Irisent and Juniper for their ward’s future and the best choices to make them comfortable until they chose domestication or the ship’s council decided to place them in the domestication program at the end of the wardship.  
Rosali shuddered when she thought about how Valentine had gone blank reciting the horrors of their childhood.  No sophont should ever speak to another like that.  And their medical history? The numerous signs of broken or bruised bones and long-term nutritional deficit were just awful.  Rosali could never sympathize with the Terran governments and business conglomerates for how they treated their own, after all the sights she had seen in her work.  
She signaled Irisent and Juniper to come back to the room, shaking her head slightly when Irisent pointed to their sleeping florets.  The pair left them curled up together on a pillow pile and followed her back.  
“How are they?” Irisent switched from the Terran Common he had been speaking into the dialect of Affini they were most used to.  
“It’s not pretty, I have to admit.  Countless past injuries, signs of malnutrition, a trauma history longer than I care to recount, and horrible agoraphobia.  Despite it all, I don’t think I would recommend forcing a contract on them currently,” She shook her head, picking up a datapad from her desk and watching in the corner of one of her many eyes as Juniper scooped up and wrapped himself around Valentine.  
“The thing that surprised me the most was the seemingly suppressed gender and species dysphoria.  They seem to be so comfortable in their body and questioned about it without pushing they say nothing of it but as I got deeper into their psychological history it came up quite a lot.”  She scowled now, looking at the transcript of their conversation. “As far as I can tell, their father was deeply against the idea and conditioned them out of it through physical means. Terrans can be so brutal sometimes, really,” she muttered that last line, as it wasn’t really fair to all the sweet sophonts they had rescued and cared for.  
“What do you suggest we do?” Juniper interjected, not bothering to switch to Affini like the others. He was still learning Terran Common, so he needed to practice as much as possible, so Rosali humored him and replied in Terran as well.  
“The best plan of action, in my opinion, is to proceed with body modifications and offer to start them on Class Gs when they’ve adjusted to the new look.  Towards the end of their session, I pressed further on the species dysphoria and discovered them to be very fond of the concept of “dog boys,” honestly, we couldn’t have found a better guardian home for them than yours, and particularly desiring to be more similar to something called a “golden” which after doing some quick research I discovered to be a rather fluffy long-haired dog with yellow-brown fur.”  
Irisent cooed, stroking Valentine’s head, clearly imagining them with an adorably fluffy pair of ears sitting atop it.  “Well, how soon could we start the modifications, and how far do you think we should go?” 

“I was thinking limb replacement, those plant-tech paws that can be exchanged for Terran-equivalent hands and feet would be the best choice there.  Additionally, ears, a tail, and a handful of facial modifications, mostly the same that your Micha had.  They’ll still be more Terran than canine, but this would allow significant comfort increase, and potentially assist with their agoraphobia.”

“Oh, that’ll be so adorable, won’t it?” This time it was Juniper’s turn to coo lovingly down at their sleeping ward, vines tangling around them to squeeze gently.  “How long will the modification process take?”  
“I think I’ll need about four days to work, adding the mods in stages ensures the immune system won’t try to attack the new pieces.  In that time, I recommend you provide them with an individual room in your hab and prepare additional help around the shop for the next couple of weeks.  They’ll be on a heavy xenodrug regimen to keep them from injuring themself while recovering and adapting to their new limbs and tail.”  
The conversation had grown loud enough to disturb the sleeping ward, as they squirmed and blinked slightly.  Juniper just smiled down at them and shook one of his flowers over their face, the resulting pollen cloud dragging them back into slumber.  
“I, for one, would do anything to make them comfortable, I agree to go ahead with modification surgery.” Juniper nodded firmly, unwrapping themself from Valentine and instead curling around Irisent, the size difference between them rather endearing to Rosali.  
“Now, obviously you still have three months before their wardship comes up for discussion with the council, but I believe Valentine would benefit more from voluntary domestication on their terms, and sooner than the three months.  I think it would be best if you both try your best to convince them to sign a contract with one of you.”  
Irisent and Juniper shared a sneaky grin, before turning to Rosali with shared looks of determination on their faux faces.  Irisent was the one to speak, thorny teeth showing through in something of a mischievous but menacing grin.  “We’ve decided to make it a little bit of a game, a race of sorts.  We have a bet on to see who’s the first to break them.  I heartily doubt it’ll take less than a month of our combined biorhythms to make them choose a collar over the cuffs if you know what I mean,” he winked and turned for the door.  
Once Irisent left, Rosali snaked a vine around Juniper’s waist.  “Hey, wait for a minute.” 

Juniper sighed, an affectionate tone to his voice as he turned to face her again.  “What is it, Rosa?” 
“Have you told them how you feel yet?”  
“Have terrans stopped being cute? No, of course, I haven’t,” this time the sigh was much more subdued, sarcasm filling his voice and rhythm.  “You know what he’s like, he’s so much more focused on the little ones, there’s been no time for such things as falling in love with the ever-capable cafe owner Irisent.”  
“Hey, enough of the sass kid.”  Rosali smacked his head, grinning affectionately.  “You’ll never know how he’ll react unless you tell him, you know that.” 
“I know… It’s just, I had planned to tell him soon but now Valentine is here and that’s so much more important than telling my best friend I’d like to harmonize rhythms, or that I think our relationship is more than just our shared florets.  You know how he gets, he’ll be so focused on taming our little ward that he won’t even remember to trim wilted leaves,”  the look of adoration on his face was more than a little love-dumb.  
“I understand, but one really can’t provide proper cherishing to their ward if they aren’t taking care of themself, so just, consider your own feelings as well as his.”  
Juniper nodded, before pulling free of her vine and turning to follow his partner out of the clinic.  Rosali shook her head, internally face-palming at her friends’ hesitation to get together.  Almost every time one or the other was in the clinic by themselves, she was forced to listen to their silly pining as if they were completely unaware of how the other felt for them.  It was honestly getting exhausting seeing them run in circles around each other, for the stars' sake! The pair lived together, how did they not share rhythms enough to let their feelings slip? 
Rosali laughed to herself as she bundled up the little ward left on her observation chair.  She began placing flowers with needles on their arms and chest, some hooked up to monitors and others designed to start building up their nutrition, and drug levels, and preparing them for major surgeries.  It would be a long week, with this big project set before her, and she would face it with gusto to see this little one happy and comfortable in their new home again.

Valentine drifted up from the comfortable fog they had been cushioned by for an unknown time, squirming slowly.  Something was wrong, something was strange, a deep itch settled in the skin on their arms, legs, and back, a feeling that filled them with dread.  No sooner did a whimper build in their throat than did another one of those great big beings with swirling eyes lean over them, whispering softly that it would be alright now… all the thoughts in their brain stopped dead and the fog washed over them again.  

The next time the fog cleared, Valentine was hooked up to some kind of machine, a screen covering their vision as their arms and legs moved as though they were walking in slow motion.  Again, a hushed voice murmured that it wasn’t quite time and the fog rolled over their vision, dragging them down to a soft pillowed sleep. 

Finally, the fog cleared all the way, and they were able to open their eyes, but as soon as they did they winced, bright light flooding their vision.  It stung, and they immediately covered their face with their … paws? Rather than hands, they discovered they had large, fluffy paws, with squishy pink toe beans instead of fingers and cute dulled claws instead of nails.  They shook their arms, trying to get the hang of how to move their now much larger appendages.  This discovery prompted a rapid examination of their body, to see if anything else had mysteriously changed while they slept in that soft, wonderful fog.  
As far as they could tell through squinting eyes and while unused to the sensory feedback they received from their new hands, they were now adorned with some kind of floppy ears on the top of their head, sharper teeth, a flatter nose, a similar type of paw replacing each of their legs, and a long tail of some kind coming from the base of their spine.  The seams were, well, seamless.  It was honestly quite disorienting because nothing felt strange but they were suddenly completely different.  How long had they been wrapped in the fog? 
As the fog pulled back farther, they were able to open their eyes all the way, adjusting to the light in the room.  There was still fog curling in the corners of their brain, drawing them back down, but the panic had set in now.  They didn’t recognize their surroundings at all!  
Cutting through the confusion of their panic was easier with the way the remaining fog dulled everything but the physical sensation of the blankets on them. They recognized the blanket wrapped around them, it was the blanket they had picked out to sleep with just a while before, in the cafe lounge room when Juniper was settling them in the pillow nest.  Green and soft like moss, but heavy enough to keep them grounded and secure.  Once they identified the blanket, it became clear to them that they were in the cafe, though the room was unfamiliar to them.  
At that very moment, a door opened across from them and Juniper leaned in, swirling shimmery eyes meeting their own as they bent to come inside.  The room was shorter in height than the main rooms of the cafe then, as Juniper had no problem fitting through other doors.  Something about that was soothing to them, that this room was built for a terran rather than an affini.  
“Are you alright, little sprout?”  Juniper’s melodic voice rumbled, and it felt to Valentine that it was striking their very chest and cutting through them in such a lovely way.  
Valentine could only nod, eyes locked onto the affini’s and newly discovered tail thumping against the pillows behind them.  
“Irisent wanted me to bring you to the kitchen for some food, and then we thought you might want to order more clothes of your own.  Is that alright?”  
Again, Valentine just nodded dumbly, fog tightening its grip on their mind again as they reached up for the vines wrapping around them.  
Juniper carried them across the living room, where Micha and Isaiah were perched on one of the couches with game controllers in their hands and some kind of fancy VR headset on their heads.  Whatever they were playing was amusing and high-pitched giggles drifted through the room.  some of the pillow piles had migrated to either Valentine’s new room or wherever the two florets slept when they weren’t out of their mind on drugs, as the floor and furniture were visible through the remaining drifts of blankets, pillows, and plush toys. 
In the kitchen, Irisent had donned an apron and was manning their large stove, a platter of pancakes and bowl caught up in the storm of vines indicated that there was breakfast to be had.  Suddenly, Valentine tipped their nose up as a drifting scent that was more tantalizing than anything they had ever smelled before caught their attention.  Sitting on the counter near the stove was a small plate with small strips of…something that smelled absolutely divine.  They squirmed in the vines that held them close to Juniper’s chest, determined to reach this new treat.  
“Hey!  Put me down!” They squeaked, still pointing their nose in the air.  
“Ah, puppy’s found their way in, huh?”  Irisent laughed, setting three strips of the mystery food on a plate along with two fluffy pancakes, dousing the whole thing in a sweet-smelling brown sap from one of their vines.  “Here you go, don’t eat too fast, alright?”  
Once Juniper finally set them down in a chair, they saw that the strips were some kind of bacon, but it didn’t smell like any bacon substitute they’d ever had on their home planet.  They made to pick up the fork, intending to take a bite right away but paused when their paw simply couldn’t wrap around the handle.  
“Uh, Juniper, was it?” 
Juniper nodded, looking down at them. 
“How exactly am I supposed to eat?  I don’t have thumbs.  Or fingers.”  They growled softly with frustration, grabbing desperately at the elusive bit of metal.  
“Oh, that’s easy, sprout.  All you have to do is ask nicely for one of us to feed you.”  He chuckled softly, a strangely musical sound.  
“You have to be kidding me.  There’s no way I’ll let you feed me like one of those drugged-up little freaks in your pet shop!”  
“Petal, I must insist you watch your tongue, or you’ll be on Class Ws before you can even start one more syllable.”  Irisent snapped, vines under their chin to force their eyes to his. 

Valentine’s eyes widened, and they shrunk back in their seat.  “Sorry, I just want to be able to feed myself.  Even with all this,” and they gestured down at their body, “I would still like to be independent someday.  I can hardly convince anyone I can be on my own if you’re feeding me every bite like a child.” They grimaced, shame clear in every move they made.  
Juniper sighed, drawing a datapad out from his chest and tapping a few buttons.  As soon as he did, the paws started rippling and folding down, revealing two human hands under all the fur.  “I suppose for today I will allow you to eat on your own.  It’s for the best that we feed you, though.  Terrans are so very fragile and they simply deserve the best care we can give them after all you’ve put yourselves through.”  
Irisent released them slowly, allowing them to pick up their silverware and start eating.  It really was delicious food.  The bacon melted in their mouth, and the strange sap was decadent on the pancakes.  Halfway through the meal, Irisent set a glass of milk by their plate, reminding them to take a breath between bites with an amused lilt in their voice.  
When all the food was gone, even the seconds of bacon that Valentine begged for with a shy small voice, Irisent scooped them up and carried them back to the pillow pile in their new room.  He only had to stoop a little, whether that was because he was much shorter than Juniper or whether he had just adjusted his height before coming in, Valentine wasn’t sure.
“Now, we’ve got a very rudimentary room here for you, but we’d like to make you comfortable if we can.  Is there anything you might want to change?” 
Valentine took in the room, head swiveling to see the whole space.  There was a large walk-in closet, a small couch tucked in one corner, a desk and bookshelves by the door, and another door that Valentine figured would lead to the bathroom.  
“I think I’d like to move my pillows and blankets to the closet.  I feel much safer sleeping with multiple doors between me and the rest of the world, you see.”  
“Of course, but where will we put your clothes?”  Irisent nodded as if that made all the sense in the world.  
“I thought they might just go in the wardrobe in the bathroom.” 

“We wanted to offer you privacy for getting dressed and choosing out what to wear.  I’m sure I could order a small set of drawers for your room, though, if you’d like to sleep in the closet.  We could, of course, simply design you a more covered bed, if you’d like to keep your closet as a space for clothes, sprout.” 

Valentine paused, thinking about it.  “Could I see my options?”  
Irisent passed them the datapad that they now realized he had been holding this whole time.  On it were a multitude of different bed designs that included covers.  They instantly ruled out all those which were just curtains or cloth drapery, although they looked quite nice it didn’t quite feel right.  Also quick to go were those that had a large opening on the side.  
Finally, they pointed to a large bed that had no coverings at all, but came with a tall frame made of soft but firm pillows, allowing the sleeper to sink down below them fully, and that could be covered with a tent that zipped shut from the inside.  The walls of the tent could be programmed to show any of a multitude of false surroundings, from forests to caves, and they decided it was the most secure option.  
They turned up to Irisent.  “May I pick out a few more things? If I’m going to be here for a few months I’d like to make this place comfortable.” 

Irisent nodded, pointing them to the search and filter functions, and set them on one of the larger pillows to browse.  They lost themself in the many options for fairy lights, novelty lights that were shaped like mushrooms, frogs, or ducks, pillows designed to look like plants and leaves, the wondrous land of plush toys, and much more.  They remembered what Juniper had said about clothes of their own, and ordered a few different outfit combinations.  The gender-neutral styles of clothes they found mostly were oversized sweaters and hoodies, loose-flowing pants or harem pants, tunics, shorts, and leggings.  They passed over the many dress and skirt options but did stop and pick out a fluffy onesie that matched their new look, and another in the style of a cartoon frog.  
When they were well and truly done, they passed the tablet back to Irisent and discovered that their selections had been steadily appearing in their room.  Pieces of the bed were already in place, one of the stuffed toys they’d picked was sitting on the floor next to them, and clothes were appearing in the closet.  They once again lost themself in the wonder of settling into a new room.  Juniper and Irisent assisted them in hanging the fairy lights along the edges of the ceiling and hanging across it as well.  They started settling some of the many pillows and plushies onto their small couch and set some of the lights on their desk and bookshelves.  Another light went in the closet, and yet another was set on the plush edges of their new bed.  As things slowly started settling into place, Valentine’s seemingly endless energy began flagging, and the fog rose to pull them down again.  This time, they accepted it, and began gathering blankets and pillows to themself, settling down in one corner of their new, wonderfully cozy bed, their first plushy, the dragon, tucked close to their chest.  
Juniper noticed them settling in, and chuckled to himself.  “Little sapling, is it time for bed already?”

Valentine was too sleepy to talk, just letting out a soft whine and nodding up at him.  
“Would you like company for your nap?  I’ve nothing to do until dinnertime,” he said, softly, so as to not disturb the calm atmosphere of their new room.  
Valentine nodded again, newly restored paws reaching up for the large affini.  
“Alright little one, I get the picture.”  He scooped them up, bringing them both down to rest in the middle of the bed, and slowly flicking off all the lights except for one star-shaped lamp in the corner that cast a soft yellow light over the whole room.  He drew the tent cover closed slightly, and tucked a few blankets between himself and his ward, and then another to cover them both, affectionately rubbing one vine on their soft head.  “You probably don’t even realize how adorable you are right now, do you?”  It was a rhetorical question, as Valentine was already fast asleep, paws pressing the stuffie close to them and head tucked against Juniper’s chest right next to their core.  “Much more of this, and we’ll hardly be able to stop ourselves from claiming you as ours, little sprout.”  
The peaceful quiet of the afternoon wrapped around them both now, and the fog that held Valentine under didn’t seem quite so oppressive, this time. They rather liked how it wrapped up all the bad thoughts and tied them far away, and how the world was so very cushioned under the affini’s watchful eye.  
The next day, under the cotton candy daydream that was the fog in their brain, it wasn’t so bad to let Juniper serve them breakfast one bite at a time.  Or to allow Irisent to help them into the bath, and insist on both scrubbing them clean and using a fuzzy vine to scrub their teeth as well.  Or even when they both agreed that what everyone needed was a good old fashioned cuddle pile, and tucked Valentine right in the middle between Micha and Isaiah, with brizzen perched on top of all three.  Or when they turned on the TV and all of the rough edges that came with Terran media were sanded off, and the good guys always saved the bad guys instead of killing them.  
They were letting the fantasy of being owned take over, letting their subconscious rule their decisions.  But if the fog said it was okay, they would simply listen, especially when it was getting so hard to fight against it, after all.  

open to friendly critique and/or just nice comments, please don't be mean my heart can't take it /hj 

ideally won't be such a long delay between updates, I put my laptop away at the start of winter break and didn't even think about writing until the semester had started, oops.  

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