Carry This Picture 1

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The plane dipped a little and Lance looked out the window.  He'd become very used to being in the air.  After over six months of training in Russia for a space flight, being in the air seemed to be a daily occurrence.  Between the traveling he'd done in the last month since training had ended, visiting all the morning shows in New York, then the afternoon shows in LA before going back to New York to do some of the evening shows, they were finally slipping out of sight for a while for a good long stretch of relaxation.

"Mmmmnance."

Lance turned his head and saw Colleen rubbing her eyes.  She'd falling asleep in the chair across the small isle in the tiny private plane, somewhere over Philadelphia.  She'd been asleep so long that he'd almost forgotten that she was there.  It wasn't that he really had forgotten her, but more had been focused on what he was about to come home to after being away so long.

"Hi there," he said and turned away from the window for a moment even though what he really wanted to do was to press his face up against the window and watch Jackson, Mississippi come into view as the plane started to descend into the airport flight pattern to land, taking them, coincidentally right over the house.

Moving a little she finally realized that a blanket had been pulled over her and pulled it up a little.  "What time is it?"

"Early."

She smiled at his one word answer, her lips immediately curling from up to down when she saw his expression as he turned on the light above him.  "Early US time or early Russia time?"

"Early where ever you are," he said and moved to look at the face of his watch.  For the last six months his life had been on a stricter than strict schedule with the last month being the most fast paced of them all.  She'd been a trooper though, first stopping everything and leaving for Europe then spending the last three weeks, following him around as he tried to explain the reasons for him coming home, "It's about three in the morning.

"Three?" she groaned and pulled the blanket even farther up and over her head.    It was times like this, with her trying to go back to sleep and him trying to keep her awake a little that really had defined their married life over the last few months.  He hadn't remembered her being so into sleeping, but when his schedule had him up at four in the morning to train, she'd stayed in bed until at least eight when he'd come home for a quick breakfast with her before leaving for training again.

"We're almost there."  He laughed at her and reached over and gave her leg a squeeze.  "Today well tomorrow or whatever day it is, has been really long.  How'd you sleep?"

"Like the dead."  She pulled the blanket down.  "Are we really almost home?"

"Yep," he said.

Her shoulders slumped down as a huge sigh escaped her lips, "Finally."  She watched his face.  "Did you sleep at all?"

He shrugged.  "As soon as I get to the house I'll knock out for a few hours.  Not having a morning call time will definitely be a nice change."

"At this point I think you wouldn't even wake up for an afternoon or an evening call," she said.

He shook his head.  "I guess I wouldn't."  He put a hand out to her and she held his in hers.  "What are you gonna do tomorrow after you wake up?"

"Laundry," she said, "I know that most of the stuff got shipped to the house in LA, but we've got three weeks of dirty clothes to clean.  I know that we sent them out, but washing it ourselves is going to be so much better."

He shook his head around and noticed that his hair was getting too long.  He could feel his hair against his forehead which meant that tomorrow or the next day he was going to have to go and get it cut.  Being home meant that he was going to be able to go over to Hank's barber shop where he'd gotten his hair cut back in high school.  It would be a nice change from having a professional do his hair.  He clicked his tongue at her.  "You're too funny honey."

"What?" she asked, "You may be used to living out of a suitcase, but for me, the longest stretch I ever had on the road when I was doing my flight attendant thing was about four days, unless I was on vacation or something in between trips at work."

"You're so good at it though," he said smiling at her.  This was going to be the first time in years that they'd have absolutely nothing to do.  After all the traveling and all the projects that they'd been involved in over the last year since seeing everyone at Challenge for the Children, they would have exactly thirty days of vacation before they had to reemerge back into the world and become normal people again.  "You're a real pro."

"Well," she said tone turning a little sour.  "What else was I gonna do?  Stay home and not see you for another month?"

Instead of taking the conversation in that direction, he pushed himself up and moved closer to her, puckering his lips so that he could kiss her.  She'd shown a bitter side when it came to all of this, but she'd been classy enough so far to keep her opinions to only short spurts of venting.  He knew that his trip to Russia had put a strain on their marriage and this trip home had been specifically left alone due to the fact that they both needed time to reconnect.  No work, no project and no amount of pressure was going to take them away from Jackson until the end of July when they'd fly out to Challenge in Miami for another year of fun with the guys.  "And I love you for it."

"I'm just glad you and I can be in the same place at the same time and not have to worry about leaving for at least a month."  Colleen moved to kiss him and kept him kissing her for a few moments longer than he'd expected.

"I wouldn't even want to leave at the end of the month, but with Challenge coming up again we can't stay really stay away from Orlando that weekend."

"It'll be good to see everyone.  After we see each other for a while."

He nodded.  It was definitely going to be interesting being together again.  They'd gotten a taste of it again as they'd traveled around the country doing interviews, but day to day life without room service and maid service was going to bring a new light to both their personalities and their marriage.

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Last updated: 08/20/2004.