A Blue House sketch. By way of explanation.
I was working in the outer office, which I still call that even though it’s properly the house library, trying to straighten out some difficulties that had arisen with the script for Wings, ready for a set run-through in the morning. Although I love him very much, working with Qui-Gon Jinn is a nightmare. So I was not exactly in the most sanguine of moods, nor in the best frame of mind to be interrupted by people slamming the door open. I looked up to check who it was before growling, because a couple of people in the mind palace do have standing permission to interrupt at any time.
It wasn’t one of them.
Reseda Che, who I also love dearly, but who causes roughly seven and three-fourths percent of the chaos around here – which is fully five percentage points above the toleration level for any one character – strode into the office and flung himself into the armchair opposite the desk.
I have always used a swiveling piano-stool as a desk chair, but most of my visitors prefer something more comfortable. (Lord Peter Wimsey has his own chair, in among the incunabula on the mezzanine level of the office.) So most of the seating in the library – apart from the window-seats, of course – is in the form of dark-brown leather armchairs, the sort with brass rivets along the edges, and it was into one of these that Reseda flung himself.
“What is it, Res? As soon as I’m done here I’ll have to start on the next Idyll, so I can give you five minutes.”
“It’s about the Idyll I’ve come,” he said seriously, hitching his armchair forward over the carpet – terrible habit of his – and leaning his elbows on the desk. “You see, I’ve got… an issue, and I was wondering if you could write it in as an angle on the Idyll.”
“What’s the issue?” I asked, skeptical but interested, picking up my pen to take note.
“Um… I’m in love.”
“How nice. With whom?”
I sighed. “Reseda, no. I’m sorry, that’s just – no.” Setting down the pen again, I came around the desk and appropriated the next nearest armchair. “Suppose you tell me what all this is about.”
“I’m in love with Jiron. He’s wonderful, who wouldn’t be? You know that, you meant him to be wonderful. And he’s kind and sensitive and got heaps of personality, and let’s face it, he’s more than a tiny bit gorgeous.” (I regret to inform the reader that I did, deliberately, make Jiron more than a tiny bit gorgeous, primarily for Ferli’s benefit.)
“Res, sweetheart… we’re T rated here. It just wouldn’t work.” My mind was racing hastily over all the possible excuses I could use before getting to the vital one, namely, you can’t be in love with Jiron because that would mean you were gay and I can’t write that!
“It worked for him and Ferli! Listen, Rosalie, you don’t have to be graphic – get Nasriel to tell it, she’s good with delicate stuff.”
I quit being sensitive, and told Reseda the real reason. Honesty is the best policy, after all. “I can’t write regular falling-in-love without wanting to either laugh or vomit, why the blue Wild Space do you think I’ll be able to handle this? Not to mention that I and everybody I know are adamant that what you’re suggesting is flat wrong.”
Surprisingly, he didn’t seem to mind: he laughed. “Oh, Force, is that all? Look, I know it’s… wrong, I know I shouldn’t feel like this – but I do! Please. I’m not asking you to vindicate me, just acknowledge me. Even if you spend the whole story telling me I’m wrong, let me go public on this. I’ll even help with the writing.”
“I’ll think about it,” I promised. “Now clear out – oh, you haven’t told ‘Roni about this, have you?”
“Of course I have. I suspect you’ll have him in here as soon as I leave – he told me straight out that he didn’t know what to think.”
“Right.” This was shaping up to be a difficult day, even without trying to iron out problems with a misbehaving AU, so I set aside the Wings script – not without some small measure of reluctance, I might add. One difficult but adored Jedi Master causing minor issues on one story – and helping to clear them up as we went – suddenly appeared to be less than trying, now that I had two less-adored and very difficult young Knights threatening to wreak havoc on an entire arc.
Jiron didn’t bother to knock either, and had brought Nasriel with him, presumably as backup.
“Hello, ‘Roni,” I said. “Do I even ask what brings you here?”
“Rosalie, I can’t do this. Res and I – we’re a team, we’ve been together since – since forever. You can’t let Res do this, it will ruin everything.”
“It will,” I replied coolly. “He knows that, and he’s still keen to go ahead. Nobody’s asking you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.”
“Can I tell him outright that it’s plain perverse, or do I have to take the soft option and just say it’s because I’m a Jedi and married? ‘Cause Force knows I don’t have a problem with saying it like it is, not even to Res.”
Nasriel agreed. “It’s hard lines on Reseda that he Falls later – but you see, there’s nothing anywhere to explain how he wound up with K’Tarr in the first place. I’m pretty cut up about this, you know, this is my family we’re talking about. But if that’s what Res wants to do, let him do it and take the consequences. You can’t always protect people from their own mistakes in real life, so I think it’s important that if Reseda really wants to come out publicly like that, and not keep in in the Blue House, that it doesn’t just drift on by, that something comes of it.”
“Okay,” I said, taking a deep breath. “Okay.” I toggled the intercom switch on the desk to call Helena. “Would you please…” I paused to think. “Find Reseda, Foz, and Gree and send them in here. Tell Master Jinn I need his advice – not about Wings this time – and I’ll meet him in the inner office in five minutes. And for Force sake, Helena, please, get me some coffee.”
Helena being the efficient and excellent person she is, roughly twenty minutes after this I was feeling much calmer, saner, and better equipped to cope with characters going off and doing their own little thing without bothering to ask permission. Qui-Gon suggested that I keep everybody not already involved entirely out of the story – so no Anakin, no High Council, and definitely, definitely, no Obi-Wan. While I was teetering on the brink of the story, that seemed like a very bad idea, but as I have since realized, it was approximately as bad as most of Qui-Gon’s ideas. (Which is to say not.)
Jiron was given permission to say outright whatever he felt he ought to say – and I must admit he made a tidy job of it. Nasriel narrated, and was, as predicted, good at the delicate touch. Obi-Wan stayed not only off the set but also completely out of the house until Idyll was finished. Kijé made no secret of his disapproval of Reseda’s conduct, but as this was a Sentinel project, didn’t complain too vocally. Overall, we coped remarkably well, and got the story through draft, set, and polishing in under a week. The House was ready to get back to Wings – and then somebody emailed me a packet of plot bunnies, to add to the ones that War Stories is still generating on its own. We’re still trying to get those under control. Wish us luck.
Thanks for reading. MTFBWY.