Andor Province, Bajor; six months later
"Your mother's become an overnight sensation," Vedek Kitran Desantos said, doing his round with the vespers lanterns at the Dohme Temple. "I read in the news that within two days of opening the Global Bank of Ahnes, over three hundred Bajorans walked away with business loans. It will do great things for our planet."
"Indeed," Gaya Mylanti nodded, walking him. She noticed he was sticking with the long black robes these days, and the new look favored him immensely. "She's also had dinner twice with the First Minister and once with the Kai. I think they're finally starting to patch things up."
"Did she sell the property on Lissepia yet?"
"She's thinking about it," Mylanti sighed. "It's hard for her. Ahnes was my father's name; she built the Palace of Ahnes on Lissepia in his honor, and the rentals garner a steady stream of revenue she's redirected to Bajor. It make sense to cut ties and go on, but she feels it's a roundabout way for Bajor to receive reparations."
"It's probably why the Lissepian government isn't saying anything," Mylanti mused. "I thought they'd be livid about all the money my mother's moving off-world."
"They will forgive," Desantos smiled slightly, lighting the last lantern. As the sun fell, the lanterns glowed brightly in the monastic gardens. "After all her contributions to their elite, they'll forgive anything."
"Seems to be the theme," Mylanti chuckled. "I myself have learned to forgive everything lately. I finally understand my mother in a way never did before. I feel...lighter because of it." She met the Vedek's gaze. "How about you?"
"If you want to know how he's doing, just ask."
"How is Rinan Slava doing?"
She didn't miss how the Vedek's whole body stiffened at the name, despite the flawless composure of his face.
"He's grown quiet," he answered finally, after a pause. "He now knows he's no longer the center of attention, and never will be again. As horrific as it sounds, I think he sometimes misses his days with Gul Morat and all their 'parties.' Every so often he'll make a remark about craving Cardassian sugar candy or missing the taste of top-shelf kanar. We don't indulge him, of course. There will be no more indulgences for Rinan Slava." Pause. "It makes it...easier."
Mylanti nodded. "Easier to forgive."
They paused in thoughtful silence together as nighttime enveloped them before. The scent of nocturnal jasmine slowly began to fill the air. In the distance, they heard the voices of children heading home from play.
"Vedek, my mother's second dinner with the Kai is next week. Will you accompany me?"
"Of course, Mylanti. It would be an honor."
~ END GAYA'S ASTRONOMY ~