Bren stood on his balcony with one hand in his pocket and a martini in the other, looking down over the people gathered in the garden. The wedding ceremony had been perfect, with the bride and groom exchanging their vows beneath the ancient Risean jasmine tree, both looking so beautiful. Photographers were taking pictures at every turn, and the orchestra had kept the atmosphere alive. Evening was approaching, signalled by the faint glow of the lantern bush's bulbs; most of the guests that had attended the reception had already left for home. Bren took a sip from his cocktail, trying to figure out how many he'd already had. His cheeks were still sore from smiling the whole day and all the pictures that had been taken. Below in the garden, he saw Odette and his father dancing and wondered where his brother might be.
His question was answered when his door chime sounded, and as he turned around saw Brin entering the room. "There you are," he said, his face lighting up with a smile. "Odette says you owe her a dance."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Bren apologised, aware that he had been a bit anti-social. "I just came up here to escape the crowd."
"I don't blame you," Brin replied, joining his brother outside on the balcony. "I don't know how many strange people I've kissed today, and if I have to smile one more time, my face is going to crack."
Bren smiled and raised his glass, almost knocking over the telescope that stood on the balcony.
"How much have you had to drink?" Brin asked jokingly.
"I'm still awake, so apparently not enough," he laughed. "So tell me, how does it feel to be married to the beautiful Odette Chang?"
Brin stared down at his bride dancing with his father, and smiled. "It feels right, like the final piece of a puzzle has been found. Bren, why did you leave the Archer," he said out of the blue. The question had been on his mind since they got back from Starbase Aurora, but he couldn't find the right time. "I know you were really happy there."
"I don't know," Bren replied, a bit despondent. "I thought I knew, and at the time I thought it was the right decision, but now I'm not so sure anymore. A lot of things were just going wrong, and I thought it was time to make a change."
"Well, sometimes we are so determined to make a change, that we make the wrong one just for the sake of making it. But it's not too late. You love exploring space; it's always been your dream. Don't give up on it now; don't let a moment of doubt and anxiety ruin your wonderful career. Go back to the Archer, because I know you were happy there. Don't let this opportunity slip out of your hands."
"You're right," Bren sighed. "Sometimes you know me better than I do myself."
"You once asked me why I broke up with Odette while we were in high school, and I couldn't answer you. Well, that was the reason. I felt I had to make a change, but I wasn't thinking clearly and I made the wrong one. I'm just so lucky that she recognised it at the time, even if I didn't, and that she followed her heart. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't be here today. So follow your heart and do what makes you happy."
"I guess the thing with Tiger really shook me. It made me question a lot of things. I thought I was in love, but I wasn't, and I feel like such an idiot. I felt like I led him on, and then broke his heart. I don't want to have to go through a string of relationships before I find the right one."
"These things happen," Brin said, placing a hand on his brother's shoulder. "You live you learn. If you were meant to have a long string of relationships, then there's nothing you can do about it. But personally, I don't think that will be the case. Who knows...you might even find true love among the stars. But you'll never know if you don't give it another chance."
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