The examination room seemed to have grown several degrees colder since the doctor had handed her her test results. The kindly looking older woman with the pencil stuck in her updo looked sympathetically at her as her face fell and she crumpled the piece of paper in her fist. It was so simple, just containing her name, the doctor's information, and the result of her screening.
She had presented late, twenty one rather than eighteen. They'd screened her every year since then, but the results had always come back as inconclusive.
"Are you alright?"
The doctor's voice was kind, but Alyssa didn't care. She was frozen in place, disbelieving, because this wasn't supposed to happen. She wasn't supposed... Her sisters weren't...
She didn't look like a submissive. She was big and muscled, and no man had ever dared to follow her on the street. She was supposed to be a dominant, not... not this.
The doctor put a hand on her shoulder and Alyssa tensed, clenching her fists harder.
"I... I know this is hard to accept for some people," said the doctor, handing Alyssa a folder full of papers. "But, I want to assure you that it's nothing to be ashamed of. This folder contains some basic information, including the names of government verified establishments where dominants and submissives can go. Many of these places also run groups for newly classified dominants and submissives, and I would encourage you to check them out, especially if you find yourself uncomfortable with this."
Alyssa stood up and shoved the piece of paper containing her test results inside the folder, storming out of the clinic.
Amanda had texted her a question mark, as she had every year since her twin had been first tested. Alyssa turned her phone off- she had no idea how she was going to tell her family about this. Logically, she knew that they wouldn't be disappointed. They had told all of their daughters that, no matter what, they would always be proud of them. But still, both of her sisters were dominants, she was supposed to be a dominant too.
She and Amanda shared an apartment, so she knew that she would have to tell her sister eventually. But, she reasoned, shoving the folder of papers in her shoulder bag, there was no need to do it yet. She paced the streets until, finally, she ended up in her favorite bookstore. Wandering through the stacks of books, she felt her fists begin to unclench, little by little. Being surrounded by pages upon pages of stories, the stories of people who weren't her, Alyssa Naeher, newly classified submissive, made a little bit of the weight lift off of her shoulders.
Grabbing a Tolkien novel off the shelf, she flopped into one of the bookstore's reading chairs and flipped it open to the beginning pages.
Middle Earth, a world without dominants or submissives, a world where she didn't have to worry about any of this...
"Have you read it before?"
A quiet voice interrupted her before she could even finish reading the first page, and Alyssa stuck her finger in to mark her place, even though she didn't need to- there was no way to lose it. She looked up to find the owner of the voice, a blonde woman with her hair in a loose braid. She had a pair of stylish reading glasses on the top of her head and her jeans were high-waisted. Her face looked even kinder than that of the doctor, and, to make a long story short, she was pretty.
But, even though the woman was beautiful, Alyssa couldn't help but feel a surge of anger rising back up into her chest. She had just begun to relax, to block out the world and forget about the bad news, and then this woman had to come charging into her bubble and interrupt it.
So, she gave a terse nod, ponytail swinging from side to side. Her smile was just as tight as her nod, and she hoped that the beautiful woman would get the hint and leave her to her book.
No such luck. Rather the opposite, in fact.
There was an empty chair beside her, and the woman sank into it, eyes raking across Alyssa. Not judging, more... analyzing.
"It's one of my favorites," she said softly. "Do you read much Tolkien?"
Again, Alyssa nodded, hoping that the woman would leave her alone. Her torso was angled away from the newcomer, and she almost felt bad for being so unfriendly, especially when she saw the woman's lovely face fall slightly.
"Are you alright?"
Alyssa was about to nod, but found herself shaking her head instead, minutely.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
This time, her head shake was bigger. She caught the woman's nod out of the corner of her eye while she was pretending to study the cover of the book intently.
"Okay," said the woman, getting up and placing a gentle hand on Alyssa's shoulder. "I hope you feel better."
Then, she walked away, leaving a sweet smell lingering in the air.
She stayed in the bookstore until the clerks began to close down, and then she put the book back on the shelf and began the walk back to the apartment she shared with her twin sister. It seemed ten times longer than normal, thanks to the dread which filled her from head to toe at the thought of telling anyone that she wasn't the dominant they all thought she would be, and was instead a submissive, with biological instincts just waiting to boil to the surface and fuck up her entire life.
She considered taking a few extra spins around the block, just to put it off a little longer, but then Amanda was calling to her, head poking through their second story window, and she knew that she couldn't avoid the conversation any further.
"So," said Amanda, once she had pulled the spaghetti off of the stove and served it up for the two of them. "Why'd you ignore my texts?"
Alyssa shrugged, poking at her noodles, moving a lump of tomato sauce from side to side and watching the red spread across the light yellow of the pasta. She took a sip of her water, and Amanda set her fork down on the table, a little bit too hard.
"I sent you four texts, Lys. You didn't answer any of them. For hours. You've never done that before. I almost called mom and dad."
Despite the lump in her throat, the regret at making Amanda worry, Alyssa just shrugged again.
"Okay," said Amanda, picking her fork back up only to slam it down again, even harder, making her twin sister look up. "There's something going on with you, Alyssa Michelle Naeher, and you are going to tell me what it is, or else I'll... I'll..."
Alyssa had to hold back a laugh. Amanda wasn't great at threats.
"Please," she said. "Just tell me. Whatever it is, there's no way it can be that bad."
Alyssa wanted to take a bite of her pasta, just so that she'd have an excuse not to answer her sister, but her stomach was roiling too much. So, she decided, she just had to spit it out.
"Well," she said, hesitating. "My... My test results came back."
"Ah, fucking finally," said Amanda. "We've been waiting for years! So, what is it? Joining the club?"
When Alyssa didn't immediately perk up and confirm Amanda's statement, instead seeming to collapse into herself, the other twin got the picture. She reached a hand across the table to her sister and put a gentle hand on her arm.
"Oh, Lys," she said. "Are you..."
Alyssa buried her head in her hands as Amanda stroked her arm. The silence confirmed it.
"Alyssa," she said. "It's okay. It's nothing to be ashamed of. So, you're a submissive. So what? You're still the same Alyssa-"
Alyssa shoved her chair out and glared at Amanda.
"You don't know what it means, Amanda! I didn't either, beyond what we learned in school! But now, it's... it's fucking different! I never thought I'd have to worry about what... what fucking happens! I don't want to need someone to... to... I can fucking take care of myself, I don't need a dominant!"
Amanda just sat there, listening to Alyssa yell about how she wouldn't be one of those submissives, the ones that everyone saw on television, completely dependent on their dominants.
"I know," said Amanda, standing up and opening her arms, inviting her twin to take comfort in them like she had when they were little. "You... Alyssa, I don't know what to say to you. I'm not... I'm sure there are people who can help you... understand this."
Alyssa felt tears pricking at her eyes, and she rushed into Amanda's arms, burying her face in her twin's shoulder. As Amanda stroked her back, the tears grew. Her sister led her to her bedroom and, the next morning, she found the folder from the doctor's office sat on her bedside table.
She hadn't looked at it yesterday, other than shoving her test results inside. But today, feeling slightly better after having a day to process it, and now that someone knew, even if it was only Amanda, she decided to open it up and take a peek inside.
Other than the basic information about the proper healthcare for a submissive- really, no different than her former routine- and warning signs of subdrop, there was an official looking sheet of paper which listed names and addresses of what she supposed were the government approved clubs and establishments where dominants and submissives alike could go to get training, advice, or simply to meet other recently classified people and make friends. And, of course, the part she had been dreading.
Where submissives can safely obey their biology in the care of experienced and understanding dominants.
Even though Alyssa wanted to crumple up the piece of paper and throw it into the fireplace, she couldn't help but feel a twinge of interest. Something in her chest wanted to know what it would be like to be in one of those places.
Curiosity killed the cat, Alyssa, she said to herself. But, she couldn't stop looking at the list, and one entry caught her eye.
It was so close to her apartment. And, no matter how much she hated it, she couldn't help but feel a shiver run down her spine at the thought of it.
She googled it, and found that it was open beginning at eight in the evening. Entry fee was only twenty dollars. And it was so close.
Really, she had no excuse not to go.
So, at eight thirty, Alyssa pulled her hair up into a high ponytail and donned a jean jacket and a pair of leggings, then grabbed her purse and waved goodbye to Amanda. Her sister gave her a smile and returned her attention to the episode of The Office which was being cast to their television from her laptop.
She walked the two blocks to the club, and took it in for a moment. It didn't look like what she had imagined one of these clubs to look like- rather than being dark and mysterious, it had a polite sign out front, like that of a daytime cafe, and the windows, while they had blinds covering whatever activity was taking place inside, were lit with a pleasant glow.
She chewed at her lip, tapping her toes nervously inside her pair of ankle boots.
"Fuck," she whispered. "Am I really doing this?"
There was a light laugh from behind her, and she turned around to see two women, one blonde with numerous tattoos visible from underneath her sleeves. She was dressed in jeans and sneakers, and she didn't look like someone who Alyssa would have expected to find at one of these places. The other woman, a brunette, was in a pair of Doc Martens, tights and a dress. There was a thin collar around her neck, like the ones that Alyssa saw on all of her friends who were married submissives, bonded to a dominant. They didn't look like the type of people Alyssa would have expected to find in one of these clubs. Then again, in her experience, the submissives and dominants who went to these places regularly were like the ones in the porn videos which she had accidentally walked in on Amanda watching, with the former completely subject to the latter.
Maybe it was like that.
She really just had no idea- she was lost in a world that she had no idea how to navigate.
"I know it seems intimidating," said the smaller woman, the submissive. "But I promise, everyone in there is incredible. I was nervous too, but there's really nothing to worry about."
Her partner nodded in agreement, arm wrapped around her submissive's waist as she pulled the door open.
"We promise," she said. "You'll be okay. You've just gotta take the plunge."
The couple disappeared into the building, leaving Alyssa alone once again on the sidewalk. She took a deep breath, working herself up to it. She couldn't help but let the women's words comfort her, a little bit. So, swallowing down the lump in her throat, she opened the door and took her first step inside.