Leia Organa is the new president who calls Rey to clear out bad energies after the White House is vacated by its disgusting former inhabitant. Ben Solo works for his mother and is quite the skeptic.
Thank you to Skyeryder for the beta-read, to Moooooon for being herself and for helping me with the witchiness, and to Michelle, Melissa, Dani, Els, and Nikki for egging me on when the idea popped into my head.
So the elections in Chandrila obviously fall at a different time than ours. We're imagining this to be set in early Septmeber, with events leading up to Mabon.
Some days Ben Solo wondered if his mother was a sadist. Some days it felt like his mother was punishing him for the mistakes he made in his youth. But most days he was just tired.
He felt both of these things quite profoundly on his first day in the White House. His first steps should have rung warning bells, but he didn't quite register the leaves and herbs until he was fully inside. Ben was rather surprised to find plants everywhere, in the White House of all places. The scent of green and growing things filled the air, and it was wrong; there should not be plants all over the White House for fuck's sake. But because his mother was Leia Organa, and because Leia Organa always got her way no matter what, Ben decided to just roll with…whatever it was and hoped it was just a plant phase. One could never tell with his mother.
Ben wandered around looking for Leia on his first day of work as Chief of Staff in the new Organa administration, so blindsided that he couldn't even fully appreciate that he was working in the fucking White House and not under some trumped-up, evil man's thumb. Though he wasn't particularly enthused about the job, Ben had accepted his mother's offer because he had been stupid in his younger days. So he decided to work with her, as a favor, he said, certainly not because he felt her owed her. In all his years, with his fancy degrees, Ben never thought that he would come to his mother for help, or work for her after she had rescued him from a shitty situation. Somehow, Ben found that he didn't hate the idea of working for her.
So he wandered around the White House looking for his mother, the new president. But what he found instead was a very small, very strangely dressed woman.
"Are you lost?" he asked trying to keep the confusion and distaste from coloring his voice.
She turned around to look at him. The woman was dressed in a cardigan that was roughly five sizes too large, with enormous, overstuffed pockets. Beneath that lay a gauzy, also too-large blouse and a beaded, tiered skirt that he felt might look more at home on an old-timey fortune teller at a carnival. Her hair was twisted into a messy braid over one shoulder with little pieces framing her face, and somehow she had vines and ribbons plaited through the braid.
"Oh, hi," she said brightly. "I'm not lost! Are you lost?" Her voice held a trace of a British accent.
Ben just blinked down at her.
"Who are you?" he asked after a moment of staring.
"I'm Reannon Byrne, but you can call me Rey," she said and stuck out her hand.
The half-moons of dirt beneath her nails kept him from shaking that hand. Ben despised dirt, so he gave an awkward wave, which she returned with a quirk of an eyebrow.
"Why are you here?" His words came out slowly; he was still confused and staring at this very odd little woman.
Leia chose that moment to appear.
"Oh, Benji," she said, and Ben gritted his teeth at the childish nickname. "I'm so glad that you're here! And I see that you've met Rey!"
Rey seemed to have disappeared.
"Right," Ben said, "and who exactly is Rey?"
"Rey is helping me clear out all of the bad energy from…the previous resident."
"Oh," Ben said simply.
Leia refused to say her predecessor's name because the evil old man had been the reason for Ben's falling out with his family and subsequent need for rescuing. Ben had worked for the former president in his younger, stupider days when he was drunk with power, and his atonement or penance or thanks or whatever it was, was working with his mother. In the end, Ben had seen the error of his ways and gone to Leia for help, and it had been Ben switching sides that helped Leia win the election. So he felt a very profound sense of duty to rid the world of all traces of the White House's previous resident.
Although Ben did not understand why his mother felt compelled to hire someone as odd-looking as Rey was to help her get rid of… whatever she was getting rid of, Ben decided to just roll with it and hopefully avoid this very strange looking small woman. As the day went on, Ben wandered around familiarizing himself with White House protocols and the new staff, he kept coming across leaves and herbs twisted together lying in corners and on windowsills or in drawers. It was all very odd and very unprofessional, and Ben felt that it should not exist in the White House. So when he finally encountered the strange Rey again, he asked her what she was doing.
"Well," she began, "your mother asked me to help her get rid of all the negative energy that lingers here." She sounded sincere, but Ben was skeptical because she looked so odd and was mussed and dirty, and she smelled like the forest at twilight.
Not that he would know what the forest at twilight smelled like; Ben was not a fan of the outdoors.
"What exactly does that entail?" Ben asked suspiciously.
She thought a moment before speaking and dug her hands into her very large pockets.
"I'm using these herbs, rosemary, sage, and lavender, and leaving them where the energies seem to have collected the most." She sounded so matter-of-fact that Ben almost believed her for a second.
"You are leaving… plants… in corners to get rid of… energy." He did not believe this charlatan woman.
Rey blinked up at him with large green eyes, green like the leaves dripping with rain, or like the leaves that she kept trailing behind her like breadcrumbs on a path.
"Of course!" Her bright, cheery voice was beginning to grate on his nerves. "Tomorrow, I'll come back to check the progress, lay a salt perimeter, maybe bring some crystals and mirrors." Her brow furrows and her nose scrunches as she appears to be deep in thought.
Feeling his mouth fall open, and not caring, Ben gaped at her.