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Date: 2011-02-17 08:09 am (UTC)
edithmorningstar: Edith Piaf, eyes closed, black & white (bask)
I definitely think Gregor & Dono is worth a try, though I don't think it's going to become an OTP for me, but who knows.

I love Byerly with Ivan, and he's obviously so much better suited there, but I like the idea of some fooling around between him and Gregor. Like, maybe because he's the only person Gregor *knows* is queer and he wants to talk about how you can tell if you're gay with someone before he risks a lot more approaching someone else, and By decides to show him the ropes.

I agree on Gregor and Ivan seeing each other as family - but then I was able to suspend that for Miles/Gregor. Ivan's less a foster brother to Gregor than Miles is, in any case, and the high Vor are all used to marrying relatives anyway. But the main block there is I just don't see enough chemistry to manufacture something I can believe in enough to write.

Philomytha mentioned Galeni as an option too. I could see him as an endgame partner for Gregor, someone who could be equal to him long-term. I guess the main reason I find myself shying away from leaping into it is that it feels too much like the gay version of Laisa, in terms of all the Komarr politics it would bring up. Also, there's the very real possibility that it would destroy Galeni's ImpSec career, which is both something I'd hate to see happen for Galeni's own sake, and something that would suck for Barrayar at large, though could be mitigated on the social scale by the Komarran as Imperial Consort thing. I just can't see Barrayar at large being willing to accept an ImpSec officer having that kind of access to and hold over Gregor and still keep his position, even if he weren't Komarran. There'd be so many rumors of Galeni seducing Gregor as a Komarran plot, and no-one in ImpSec under Galeni's command or in his circle could be part of Gregor's guard, etc.

So that would suck. And unlike the reception to Laisa, where her being Komarran is mitigated by the "at least he's getting married and we'll have an heir" factor, the old guard on Barrayar would have no reason not to outright despise and sabotage Galeni. It could make for an interesting fic, them having to get through all of this and push Barrayar to change a lot in the process, but it may not be the Gregor fic I want to write quite yet. At least, I plan to use hints on Betan reproductive tech from Shards of Honor, plus what we saw with Dono, to make sure Gregor can at least be clear he'd get a biological heir regardless of who he's with. So the old guard might be won over in time, enough not to actively hate Gregor being with Galeni. But it would be hard.

For a less fraught potential long term serious partner for Gregor, they would have to either not be in the military at all/anymore, or be in another branch than impSec and also be willing to give that career up once the relationship became public. They would need not to be a Count or a Count's heir or a Minister or anyone else with significant enough political power that a relationship would be seen as a kind of coup. I'm thinking about how - gosh, I forget if it was Lanna or Philomytha or maybe Dira who had a fic where Alys had wanted to be with Simon for years, but couldn't until Gregor safely had heirs and/or Simon was out of ImpSec, because otherwise it would be viewed as an alliance with the goal of promoting Ivan's claim to the throne, no matter how ridiculous everyone would know that was.

The problem there is we see so little of the middle class of Barrayar. They must exist. Even, heck, upper class who aren't Vor. We see Vor, proles who have positions of power in the military or government, and the lower ranking people in service to the Vor or in the military. We don't know the tradesmen or scientists or craftspeople or artists or whatever. So I think in many ways an ideal civilian match for Gregor would be someone whose career has nothing at all to do with politics, but who is very competent and successful in their field. This is basically what Laisa is - both as a member of a trading family (upper class enough in pedigree to satisfy the Vor but still technically prole) and as a scientist. Some third or fourth son of a Vor family that doesn't have a Countship, if Vor at all.

And all that said... I am even more starting to like the chemistry possibilities of Galeni, so, heck, maybe the fic where they have to go through all the societal crap will get written anyway.

Ok, riffing off that, I kind of like the idea that when Gregor snipes Laisa from Galeni in Memory, maybe it turns out that she actually has someone back home, or has connected with some entirely other Barrayaran, and hadn't even considered either of them romantically. But in examining his jealousy and anger at Gregor over Laisa, Galeni has to acknowledge that he actually has feelings for Gregor. (I think it was obvious in canon that for all his honest liking of Laisa, he was in love with the idea of her rather than actually connecting well with her enough to honestly have fallen for her.) Meanwhile after Laisa lets Gregor down gently, he has to face facts and acknowledge that if he was only able to be truly interested in one woman in all the time he's been on the market, maybe it really just isn't meant to work out for him with a woman, and he should let himself give that up and screw up the courage to work Barrayar towards accepting him with a man.

There's possibilities there, definitely. I worry how good I'd be at writing two characters who both have a lot of introversion and reserve, but that's a challenge worth trying.
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edithmorningstar: Edith Piaf at the microphone, arms flung wide. Colorized. (Default)

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