August 10th

I think I've finally bulled through/identified what was driving me buggy about the latest bout of Paul/Yvette activity.

Last night I managed to haul Yvette's mind out of the gutter (the downside of borrowing actors that one tends to think are utter hotties is that one's own characters get ideas - talk about vicarious living) and I've gotten her and the Driver back onto a track that is much more fitting for the pair of them. As I said, give them what they want for a while, then go back and re-write/delete/re-write until I get what I want from them. It's not the most efficient process, but it's not like I'm working on a deadline.

Right, so I've got the Driver making it dam' clear that driving is all he does (sorry, Yvette). That's one obstacle clambered over, on to the next ones.

(the polished version of "Berlin to Paris" is going to go online later today or tomorrow, watch *splat* for a link)

Yvette's going to spend a few days in Paris, by herself, with her celphone off. Refusing to get in touch with Paul - until his patience finally snaps and he Summons her - is about as far as her rebellion/lashing out can go. As mentioned before, the existence of the Blood Bond makes creating any sort of conflict much more difficult than usual, as ghouls are masters at subsuming their own desires in favor of their domitor's.

Anyway. Paul is pissed, because Yvette has been serving up a whole heaping mess of unanticipated surprises of late - she's refused the Embrace, she managed to pass the 'test' by his Sire in an unexpected manner (grudging admiration for that one, but annoyance that he didn't see it coming) and she apparently took his suggestion of taking a few days off at face value - not immediately calling him desperate to know where he is, when can she see him, etc. This behavior does not make Mr. Control Freak at all happy.

So, what does a control freak do when they're feeling like their losing control? Reassert it, of course - by whatever means necessary.

When Rachel and Paul were an item - so to speak - assertion-of-control tended to involve a lot of kink-flavored rolling around. It was fun to write about (see 'vicarious living, above) and, besides, Paul got a hell of a kick out of every incident. Rachel wanted him, of course, but couldn't ever admit it, and wheedling that admission out of her every time, well... for the kindred in general and Paul in particular, that's better than a day at the bloodbank.

Being a ghoul, Yvette thinks Paul is the sun, the moon, the stars, and certainly the person she most wants to get naked with. As far as I can perceive, White Wolf canon dictates that every fully-Bound ghoul has some sort of lust for their Domitors - some sublimate it, most don't. As evinced by earlier stories, Yvette doesn't hide how she feels about Paul's room-temperature carcass and, in fact, is feeling a bit neglected in that regard.

(For the record: ew! It's bad enough when I'm trying to cuddle-up to my occasionally-chilly husband in the evening - brr! The idea of wanting to snuggle up to a non-breathing, room-temperature body-shaped thing makes my skin creep. Just for the record)

Paul's not a person to give someone what they want - particularly if they want it so openly. So, the usual d/s kink flavored fun as means of re-asserting control isn't going to work in this case. Rachel might have been able to justify a lot of screwed-up behavior, but her ability pales in comparison to that of a ghoul and their domitor.

So, control must be asserted/re-asserted in other ways. Canon has mentioned a few traditonal things - withholding (or threatening to withhold) vitae, sheer physical punishment, handing the ghoul off to be the plaything for something/someone else. I just need to create a small pile of potential ideas, and assess them.

It's going to be one-on-one, that much is for sure. Paul's a possessive SOB, particularly when it comes to Yvette. He's not going to trade her away for three months in return for a boon, or set her up to be assaulted (physically or mentally). Punishment (because that's how he perceives it) has to clearly come from him, or not at all.

I've got a few ideas, but they need finessing - so much so that I'm not going to write them down, yet. Writing things down can make me feel committed to some plot point over another. I'm going to keep on with the mental 'doodling' and see what else comes up. At least I've figured out why certain things can't happen. I've long known that certain things shouldn't occur in Paris as yet another d/s-ish Paul-and-whomever scene was leaving me cold, and that ain't the norm for my fetid imagination - but I was having a hell of a time figuring out why. Now I know why. Punishment is not about giving someone something they want. Duh.

Gotta love those Blinding Flash of the Obvious moments.

Incidentally, most of this got shaken loose by watching Croupier last night, particularly the clinch between Jack and Bella (I can't call it a love scene *wince*). During the viewing, I scratched my head for a few moments wondering what the subtext was in that very abrupt liason before I finally realized, duh, Jack had just been through a frightening moment of non-control (and I defy anyone who's seen the movie to tell me that Jack isn't a control freak) when he was jumped by the gambler he caught cheating.

True, Jack 'won' that fight - he was hurt, and he had the upper hand at the end of it (and that momentary glimpse of a vindictive/vicious side to Jack was a hell of a thing by itself) but a simple draw wasn't going to be enough. Jack needed to feel like he was once again in full control of his situation, any situation that happened to be at hand. At that moment, Bella was to hand, and then the scene made sense. This is why I need to watch movies more often - I need more practice at figuring out subtext and how it applies to character motivation... If the scene is about what the scene is about, you're in trouble - yet another snippet of wisdom from Bob McKee...

Postscript: I swear that this weird omnipresence of Clive Owen in the Yvette/Paul series is a momentary thing, and ends once Yvette gets to Paris. Erm, well... it should...