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Cordelia's Gift.

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Nearly everyone has been in a suspended state of panic ever since Gregor proposed on the ballroom floor at midnight on his last birthday, with a few notable exceptions. Simon Illyan has been taking the philosophical route. While the rest of the General Staff were having convulsions, Simon would sit serenely across from the head of Service Security and, every so often, try to put the conversation back on track by discussing how they're going to secure Gregor's honeymoon.

Gregor's wishing he had that kind of calm right now.

Cordelia had been delighted, in a very focused and Betan way that Gregor honestly finds terrifying. It's like she's taken a mallet and started tapping it on his head, and whatever automatic reaction it elicits is written down and pondered over, and then Cordelia comes back with a different sized mallet and does it all over again.

She's given them sex toys for their wedding. Gregor knows this. Everything gets a thorough ImpSec inspection, even -- no, make that especially -- wedding presents from Cordelia. Although Gregor suspects that this time, the ImpSec inspection was Simon hesitantly opening the box and then slamming it shut.

Miles is frowning at the box and poking it like it's an unexploded grenade. Gregor mostly just wants to fuck him. To be honest.

"This is interesting," Miles says, fingers stroking through something long and silky and has far too much ribbon and far too many straps. "Must be for you, it's not sized for me."

It's not that Gregor doesn't appreciate it. He does. It's not like he can just go out and buy himself some Betan sex toys. Miles could, but that's not something Miles would remember to do. So this is nice. Appreciated.

But it's his wedding night and Gregor mostly just wants to drag his husband to bed, stretch him out, and fuck him thoroughly. And then maybe look through Cordelia's gift to see if there are any of those fake cocks, because that might be fun to play with. But Gregor's a traditionalist, well, occasionally, and he would like some traditional wedding night sex.

"Gregor?" Miles asks and Gregor blinks and focuses back on him. Miles is waving his hand in his face. "Not freaking out on me?"

"No," Gregor says. "I'm considering making put that down and get over here an Imperial order, though, if I didn't know how you'd react."

Miles looks pleasantly impressed and blatantly checks Gregor out. Which is not necessary, damn it. "I'd point out that I actually swore to obey you, oh, ten years ago? And not this afternoon. But, happily, Mother planned for this." Miles reaches back into the box and pulls out what even Gregor, to his non-Betan eye, can tell is something that Miles's mother packed away so that Gregor could tie her son to the bed, and Gregor does not need to know this, and Gregor is very sorry, but he is too much of a Barrayaran prude to handle this.

Gregor rolls out of the bed and stalks over to Miles. Careful not to hurt him, Gregor grabs him by the shoulder. Before he can complete the plan, which is to spin Miles around and frog-march him into bed, and then fuck Miles like every Betan porno about Barrayar thinks the Emperor's relationships with the sons of his Counts go, Miles cuts to the chase by dropping the box and then helpfully trips Gregor back onto the bed..

"I don't know if this is control freak or just frustrated dominant," Miles says, pleased with himself, as Gregor rolls them over and Miles helpfully hands him the fine tech-leather cuffs from Cordelia's gift. Gregor decides that he doesn't care anymore where they came from, or what Cordelia expects them to be doing with them, as he wraps them around Miles's wrists, and points them at the headboard. The cuffs anchor immediately, and Miles umphs happily once Gregor finds the setting that lets him adjust the restraints and the range. "I don't think I care," Miles remembers to finish a few minutes later.

"It's okay," Gregor says, and rummages through the chest of drawers next to the bed, where his armsmen put the sealed box with certain necessary supplies. Unlike ImpSec, his armsmen won't open something that Gregor ordered them not to and then try to tell him it's for his own good. "I don't expect you to ever obey a direct order." And it's a good thing he married him, or he might've ended up having to try Miles for treason for that, one of these years.

Miles kicks him just to make a point and then says, not innocently, "there are ankle cuffs in there, too." Gregor scrambles to the end of the bed and leans out, his legs still pinning Miles in place, while he rummages through the box, looking for them.

"Box that says, night two," Miles adds helpfully, and then Gregor finds it and shakes it out and ignores the note that slips off of it, which he'll look at later, if he remembers, and then he attaches the matching cuffs to Miles's already-crossed ankles and sets them up and then adjusts the anchor range and grav settings until they're both happy with the way this positions Miles, open and splayed and ready for Gregor to just take him, and Gregor does, and Miles is breathless and open beneath him, his head dipped back, and Gregor remembers everything he'd said earlier on the wedding circle, in front of Miles's parents and the planet before him, and yes, he thinks, this is it exactly, all of his promises made action, all his desires before him, his for the claiming, and him for Miles to claim, both of them together, and Miles is telling him that it's good, and keep going, and like that, Gregor, just like that, and this is the best partnership he could ever have dreamed of, that night when Miles took him by the hand and said, we should do this, we should take this risk, let's scandalize the planet and make ourselves happy, and yes, this is it exactly, and this is his world, and Miles is laughing at him, I should've, ung, should've known, and he's beeping himself out of the cuffs so he can wrap his arms around Gregor and he's holding on tight and Gregor kisses him breathless and Miles nips at his lips as they part and he says:

"Admit it. I always have the best ideas."

And Gregor has to push him back down again to explore his body, and he says, later, "you do, you really do."