So, all the fics that kept me from reading homework last night:Testing the Waters
- If you've ever wondered what conversation was going on in the gallery after Ekaterin accepts Miles' proposal, you should read this story."Forever and fiercely, indeed," he muttered under his breath. Cordelia shot him a question with her eyebrow, but he ignored her and spoke to his future daughter-in-law. "I've asked Miles several times to introduce us properly, my dear, but it looks like we'll have to take care of that ourselves. It is a great pleasure to meet you at last."Barrayaran Etiquette for the Recently Bethrothed
- Miles and Ekaterin have a pre-wedding sleepover. If you liked "Rules of Barrayaran Sex"
, then you should read this one - also if you enjoy the Lord Peter Wimsey allusions (complete with Pym being very Bunter). Miles bowed gracefully, took her hand and kissed it, “I hear and obey, my lady.”I'll Drink to That
- Post-Cryoburn and CVA fic about what might happen after Aral's private service. Sad but not depressing.Each one of Cordelia's boys was, by luck or design, accompanied by a strong and capable woman, faces all varied shades of feminine beauty. They were the intergalactic daughters she had never dared hope for.Skeletons in the Closet
- A more ambiguous look at how Gregor feels after discovering what happened at Escobar. This one was interesting...He hadn’t slept properly for a week afterwards. In the end he had spent his nights locked in the basement of ImpSec headquarters, reading, silently daring Illyan to say one word in protest. Gregor had had enough of being sheltered behind lies and deception. He was no longer a child, and there were things he needed to know. He needed to know exactly what sort of danger he was in. What sort of danger he was.
And the more he searched, the more he discovered gaps in what he found. Things were missing from ImpSec’s records of the war– small things, nothing major, a document here and there. There were a dozen possible explanations Illyan could give, of course. Things did get lost. So much had been damaged in the mess during Vordarian’s pretendership. But Gregor knew that it had been deliberate, and he wondered.
Bubble - An intimate moment between Gregor and Aral at Gregor's engagement celebration. Vorish amounts of alcohol are involved... You may find that the room you are reading in becomes inexplicably dusty..
But he was the Emperor here tonight; he couldn't not be. Marriage was not a private act when you ruled an empire and everyone had been waiting for you to marry and beget heirs for your entire adult life, sometimes getting rather snippy about it, in a deferential yet exasperated sort of way. Yet -- he smiled to himself -- it wasn't an Emperor who'd tremble his way through the vows, or climb into bed with his wife. His beautiful, bountiful, delightful, desirable wife; his completely-unrelated-to-him, answer-to-all-prayers wife. His, at Midsummer.
"I dare you," Aral whispered fiercely in his ear. "I dare you to stay happy forever."
Ka Mate - If you're in the mood for intricate, family-fic about foster brothers, Aral during the Regency, with very nicely done descriptions, and a fair bit of cultural mixing, and Cordelia being faintly amused at Barrayarans... you should read this one. Did I mention shirtless in his prime Aral Vorkosigan? And a few references to the Rules....and a really touchingly well-done family of characters. The other two in the series, The Vorkosigans at Home, are very good as well.
Cordelia realized then that for all Aral was her gentle yet passionate lover, a devoted, deeply caring father, and a brilliant, shrewd statesman, he was - above all else - an exemplary warrior, born the day his mother was killed in front of him. Brave, fierce, loyal and unyielding in defense of his emperor, his family, and his people, he was highly skilled in many forms of combat with a multitude of weapons - including his own deadly bare hands. He was the quintessential Barrayaran military man - a battle-hardened, physically and emotionally scarred survivor. She experienced a brief moment of panic when Piotr approached him, not sure of the old man's intent and hating to have him destroy the almost magical mood of the evening with some typically petty criticism, although his uncharacteristic mood tonight had been nearly as odd as Aral’s was.
There were a few others, but these were the best.