Chapter 4

by Fleur Fairyfloss

Tags: #D/s #dom:female #f/f #hypnosis #pov:bottom #sub:female #anxiety #bingo_dot_mp3 #disassociation #dom:plant #drug_play #drugs #drugs_question_mark #Human_Domestication_Guide #monsterfricker_rights #scifi #second_person #storybook_horny #transgender_characters

cw: non-standard lactation, messy feelings about religion, even more anxietybrain

you’re dreaming. you’re dreaming? you–you have to be dreaming, right?
you’re dreaming, ‘cos there’s a rosy hazy mist in the air, and if this weren’t a dream you’d feel it, if this weren’t a dream you’d taste panic thick and coppery on your tongue like you bit clean through and then you’d–
and then you’d sink, and then you’d–
it takes some time for you to notice the warmth. 
the floor is cold.
and you're not on your feet
so you should be on the floor
so you should be cold
but you're not cold
why aren't you cold?
it's--it feels like pictures of nests. like a snake's coils. like being claimed. you don't even notice the thorns until you really try.
"I told you I'd give you a name." (a flinch you can’t keep down. she pets you, long lazy strokes with just enough sting to make you shiver.)
she said--she said she would share a name with you. she didn't say it was hers. she said–
(A soft laugh, like sinking into a pillow packed with knives.)
“I’ve always thought it’s more fun when that sort of thing works both ways, little one.” 
arms cradling you like a prized possession.
“So you may call me Eglantine, and I shall simply call you–”
she milks the moment for all it’s worth, draws out every last drop of dramatic tension ‘til you want to scream
a smile. 
(you think? you think you can feel something, some warm-and-fussy shift in how she holds you.)
so much gentler 
than you’d ever expect from a monster.
faces in the fog you almost recognize. a little smaller, a little softer, like they’d traded a sliver of their selves for so much more.
a fire in the eyes. 
a flicker of hope. 
fear so sharp and cruel it’s a part of her, like gnarled wood, like an arrow in her heart and all her herness is leaking out, like staggering forward and knowing more surely than she’s known anything in her life that she wants to live
she takes your hand in hers, leads you through the fog. corridors you know, but you’ve never known them like this
please, she says. please. if you wake from your dream, then she’ll wake too, and she’ll–
and we’re all hers now, aren’t we?
please. i’ll even–i, i can help, i can make it easier, i–
(the sight of you stills her voice. so small, so lost, so starved for even a scrap of direction)
because it’s easy to forget, right? it’s easy to forget so much. it’s easy to forget the tiny timid thing you were. it’s easy to forget there was ever a time before Eglantine, her exalted prey, and everyone caught in the middle. it’s easy to forget that–
she says it over and over again like a prayer. 
please don’t wake, please don’t wake, please don’t wake
all the fears in her heart coalesced into something sickly-sweet and oversaturated and oozing out something, like a tulip’s afterdark blooming in her bosom 
she sounds so ashamed. you don’t have to, she says. you don’t–you don’t, she says, i understand, she says, i–ijustwantedto–
no, she didn’t.
understand, that is.
but in this moment, drinking deep of the lost look in your eyes? 
maybe she finally does. 
(kinship makes it feel so–)
(i’m only doing what i wished someone would’ve done for me, she tells herself.)
she sits you down on something, something so much softer than you’d expect of this place. guides you.
(you’ve read this story before. a tiny voice from within pipes up, desperate to break the tension. like blood and milk commingling. a sheepish smile at no one in particular. thanks, “The Vampirification of Kras Momzov” and “Harriet Du Bois’ Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Endless Night.”)
her self leaks into the sap and the sap leaks into her self and it’s so easy to lap it up, to suckle, to let its dizzying richness blot out everything but the warmth and the taste and the rhythm and the feeling like you’re not sure if there is a you anymore or a her anymore or anything but two messily merged halves of a whole and–
and it’s so easy to sink. for you to sink, for her to sink, each one of you tugging the other a little deeper. there’s some solace in that, right?
"What do you think I am?"
"A--I, I don't know, a monster."
"Tell me, little one--what's in a monster's heart, do you think? Something cold and hungry and unknowable? Something--oh, how did the other one put it--Horsetag Relatable?"
(oh, god.)
(you are not going to be pedantic about social media you are not going to be pedantic about social media you know she’s kinder than you thought but you can’t quite banish the fear that the price of going well-actually is her putting you under a Spell, Actually and teasing and taunting and taking her time and ending in what the “Wintffini Compact” twitter would surely describe as “Social Eating Ya” and–)
"...Both?" it slips out, jittery quivery desperation to fill the silence ‘cos you don’t *know* if thoughts can swallow you up from the inside but you feel like if you let the quiet linger too long your own anxiety’ll eat you before she does–
"Ha! Oh, you are a treasure."
you didn't know cackling could sound so warm.
she is a story, but she has a story, too.
Imagine a monster.
Imagine a monster faced with fields fat with prey only to find they won't slake her thirst.
Imagine a monster who dreams of something different, a monster so desperate that her sad diet of scraps threatens to drive her mad.
How far do you think she’d go for a taste of something new?
in a different story, she might luxuriate in it. she might smirk, she might sneer, she might chortle. oh-ho-ho, isn't it a deliciously ironic find, a chapel in the bowels of a place like this?
this is not that story.
she was–
before she was
before she was 
before all that, she was simply so starved for something to follow and fawn over and believe in with every last little ounce of her heart that she was grateful for it. 
(wouldn't you be?) 
she did all she could to be a good girl for her god, and she was rewarded for it! dreams of drowning in devotion and love, the stark certainty that--okay, maybe she wasn't so high on her sacerdotal supply as to expect her god's protection, but she knew she had his love. she knew she had worth. she had to, right? gods know hunger just as well as we do, and a god without worshippers is a hungry thing indeed. 
she was rewarded for it. 
(she told herself.)
she was rewarded for it. 
(over and over again.)
she was rewarded for it.
she was rewarded for it.
(he loves me.)
she was rewarded for it.
(i can feel it)
she was rewarded for it.
(every time i drift off)
she was rewarded for it.
(and every time)
she was rewarded for it.
(someone soaks up the cruelty meant for me)
she'd actually–
she'd cornered you once. after the first time. eyes red and slick with guilt. it's her fault, she said. she didn't mean to, she said. it's just–
(what do you even say?)
it's fine, kellen. i promise, kellen. we go to war with the stockholm syndrome we have, kellen.
(you don't. say the last part. you know it's a fake idea invented to spice up Those Fics and you want to swear up and down that actually it's lima syndrome 'cos you're the captors and she's the captive and if anything she's falling for you but captor implies control and you're not--you're not! in control! you're not even close, you're spiraling, you're--)
turning into something. she's turning into something. they're all turning into something, turning into a cornucopia of somethings, like a maladjusted monster girl encyclopedia. she's turning into--she's–
"growing fucking flowers in her hair now. They all are."
(she's loved her god for so very long and in all that time she's never seen a sign as stark and sure from him as she's seen from one week of her.)
" you think...?"
"No, I don't think, mommy. Uwu." (ooo-woo, she drawls out. a drained, mirthless laugh.) 
"H--hey, be serious!"
"I am serious. Who's left to betray? Or--or turn? She's just--they're desperate. They're coping."
sometimes, coping looks like messy makeshift chapel-gardens and rosewater baptisms and sacristy support groups, like poppy-haired peoplepleasing elementals reassuring each other that she won't be cruel so long as we love her.
sometimes, coping looks like finding a new god. 
she loved fairy-stories 
so much 
that she became one
she remade herself in the image of forbidden forests and tree trunks like elephant’s feet, of forgotten chests with do-not-open vibes, of promises with a price, of pandora’s box buried under peonies. she was found because she wanted to be, and the implications of that are so overwhelming that the only thing keeping you from coming apart at the seams is your brain’s stubborn insistence on processing it through imaginary Bad Tweets.
Wintffini Accord (@haustoricdrilplant)
ME: there is a new type of floret called “doomed gothic heroine”
topless affini with 104 florets: shut the Fuck up
ME: yes ma’am

As usual, I really appreciate ryla, may, atl, and my wonderful partners for their continued feedback and encouragement. <3
It took me awhile to get this together 'cos adhdbrain problems and also burning out a bit after I marathoned elden scrolls in a week and I'm still not sure if it's actually readable or Good, but I definitely haven't abandoned this fic, so please look forward to more. c:

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