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Stargazing From The Palace Gardens

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Femslash Ficlet #6: Bujold's Barrayar, PG-13

"A hundred worlds and more," Princess Kareen murmurs, her head tipped back against the back of the garden bench, her wine-glass tilted between her fingers. There's a royal reception behind them, its noise and lights muffled by the intervening walls of foliage and most likely hidden soundproofing, but right now it all sounds very distant to Cordelia. Kareen's soft, even breathing sounds, well, not so much louder, but much more important.

Still, the party's not so far away, Cordelia reminds herself, and someone must notice the absence of the Princess sooner or later. Also, this wine is really rather strong. Cordelia sets her glass down beside her hip before she leans closer to Kareen. "Many more," she replies, pointing up at the stars. "See that one, the yellowish one, about ten degrees down from north?"

"Is that Beta's sun?" Kareen asks, wide-eyed as a girl, but wistful.

Cordelia laughs, more than she should, louder than she should; she can see a lock of Kareen's hair blow sideways before she stops herself. Extraordinarily strong wine. "Actually, no. We can't actually see Beta's sun from Barrayar; it's behind that star, blocked by it. But seeing that star lets me know it's there."

"I'd like to see Beta," Kareen says, shrugging almost immediately after. "Not that Barrayaran royalty would be exactly welcome there."

Cordelia wants to suggest some crazy plan, but really, she has more sense than that. "I didn't really think a Betan military officer would be welcome here, but you and Lady Alys have made me feel very welcome."

Kareen smiles at that, turning towards Cordelia, taking her hand in a long smooth one. "You are welcome. As welcome as a breath of fresh air." Her smile starts to twist wryly again, so before it can get there Cordelia leans forward and kisses her.

Damn strong wine.