This is sort of for axelrod
. I say "sort of," because I was feeling a bit vague when I wrote this and thus failed to fulfil the prompt fully. It is Bechdel-compliant, though. I'll hopefully write something closer to your prompt later, but since I've written this, I might as well post it...
Title: In Search of the Big Picture
Characters: Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Martya Koudelka.
Set soon after A Civil Campaign
. No spoilers for Cryoburn
“So,” said Martya, fiddling with the cuff of her blouse, and looking uncharacteristically nervous, “if I –uh – wanted to go back to school, where would be good?”
“Well, that depends what you want to study,” said Cordelia. “Biology? Butter-bugs got you hooked?”
Martya nodded. “I’ve learned a whole heap working in the lab, but – it’s all little bits. I want a look at the big picture.”
“Biology was never my thing,” said Cordelia. “But the university in Vorbarr Sultana is pretty good these days. Gengineering’s not one of its strengths, of course.”
“I was sort of hoping to get off-world”, said Martya.
Cordelia nodded. “Yes, I thought that might be the case. Beta Colony would be best, of course, but I’m not sure your parents would ever forgive me for mentioning it, in the circumstances...”
“Drop dead from horror, I should think,” said Martya. “But - what do you think of Solstice?”
Cordelia smiled. “Of course! I should have thought of that at once.”
“I liked the look of the elective on the aesthetics of gengineering.”
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got it all worked out, haven’t you, kiddo? Did you really need my advice?”
“No,” said Martya honestly. “But I think Ma and Da might need to think I did. I… I’m going to let them get used to me being my own person gradually. Can’t say I want any more family drama for a while.”
“I think that once you work out what you want, you won’t let anything stand in your way.”
“It’s not as easy as it sounds, that,” said Martya, “Knowing what you want. But this is the best way I can think of to find out.”