Mike was jolted awake when the plane hit a pocket of air that bounced him around a little. He tried to take a look at his watch, but his eyes were still blurry from sleep. He looked out the window next to his seat and only saw darkness with an occasional blip of light below.
Mike felt a little rested, but his body begged him for just a little more sleep. He needed to know where they were before he could allow himself a little more rest, and when the flight attendant stuck her head through the heavy dark blue curtain at the front of first class, Mike waved her over.
"Where are we, and what time is it?" Mike was tired so he was quick and to the point. The flight attendant, cute and young Mike noted, held up a finger to him telling him to wait a moment. She walked back behind the curtain and Mike figured she was going to ask the pilot where they were. While Mike was waiting, he looked around the first class section on the plane. It was almost empty, except for himself and one other man who looked like an overworked businessman. The man had his seat laid almost completely back and was snoring quietly. 'At least he was able to sleep through the turbulence' Mike thought.
After a few minutes the flight attendant pushed her way through the curtain once again and walked straight towards Mike. She had a smile on her face which made her features even more beautiful. If it was a different day Mike probably would have flirted with the girl, maybe even gone farther if she was willing, but Mike only had Julie on his mind today, and so his thoughts on her beauty were just observations. "Sir, we are over Eastern Texas right now and it's 3a.m. central time." The girl looked like she had more to say, but just stood there quietly looking at Mike.
"Thank you," Mike was relieved that he had at least an hour before the plane would be starting its descent down to the Atlanta International airport for his connecting flight. He hoped to be able to fall back asleep for a few minutes if he could.
The flight attendant stood there for another moment then looked to have found her courage, "You are welcome. May I ask you a question sir?" her face flushed a bit and she did not keep eye contact with Mike when she talked to him. "Sure, what is it?" Mike was trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice, he really just wanted to be left alone so he could sleep.
"Are you Mike Donovan? THE Mike Donovan from the L.A. Resistance" The flight attendant giggled the slightest bit as she asked Mike this question. Mike wasn't sure if she was embarrassed or something else. "Yes, I am he, and what might your name be?" Mike was sure he was kissing his sleep time goodbye, but he wanted to be gracious to the girl too. He had become use to people asking for an autograph or photo back home in L.A. but those had mostly died a few months after the war had ended. People seemed to have gotten back to living life, and Mike was glad the spotlight had faded from him. The flight attendant smiled back at Mike and stood to leave. "I'm Christi, if you need anything else while you are on this flight, please don't hesitate to ask Mr. Donovan. You saved our lives, you and the Resistance, we will never be able to pay you back for that. But thank you, and...and...well just thank you.'
Mike smiled at the girl. It was hard for him to take credit for saving the world. He would have been blown to pieces along with everyone else if it wasn't for Elizabeth turning off the Dooms day device. "Thanks, there is no reason to pay any of us back, you would have done the same thing if you had been in our shoes. We do what we have to, that's all we did. But thank you again for your kind words. They are encouraging." With that said, Mike pulled the thick airline blanket up around his body and snuggled down in his seat hoping to salvage at least a few minutes of sleep. Christi took Mike's hint and strolled back behind the curtain. Mike thought he could hear giggles coming from beyond the curtain, but at this point in time he really did not care. The last thing Mike heard before he fell fast asleep was the slight sleeping sounds his first class buddy was making.
An hour after Mike had fallen asleep he was woken up by Christi the flight attendant. "Mr. Donovan, we are about to land, we need you to put your seat in the most upright position." Mike was even more groggy waking up this time, but he was quickly pushing through the fog in his head. He found the control buttons on the side of his arm rest and was almost shot out of his seat when he released the buttons too quickly. He found himself in a very upright position, almost too upright, but he managed to fix his seat to a suitable angle and ready himself for landing. Mike always loved the landings on these bigger planes. They touched down so much smoother than the small planes he flew occasionally during the war. They were no match though to those alien starfighters. Those were as smooth as silk when flying and landing. Mike missed having one around for him to fly from place to place. He knew there were a few of them around, and Mike would have to look into buying one, even if it wasn't working well. He knew he could find someone to fix it, even Martin could help him with some repairs. He seemed to have some knowledge of the fighters himself. But Mike tried to push those thoughts out of his mind for now. He wanted to stay focused, Julie was where he was focused and that is where he wanted to stay.
Before he knew it, the plane had landed and it was deboarding. Mike looked around, made sure he had everything he brought on the plane with him. He checked his pocket at least three times to make sure the ring was still in it's box tucked away safely. It was always there, and Mike sighed a breath of relief knowing he had made it this far.
Mike had to figure out where his next boarding gate was, and at 4:30 in the morning the airport was starting to come alive for the day. He checked his ticket and went to look at a reader board with all the flight information on it. He scanned the whole board twice before he found his connecting flight to Charleston. It said it was on time and was leaving in twenty minutes. Mike realized that he had to run part of the way through the terminal to find his gate. It ended up being one of the farthest gates from where he came off the plane from L.A.
As Mike walked up to the gate, panting a bit from the jog, he handed his boarding pass to the lady behind the counter. "You made it just in time sir, we were calling last call for boarding. Do you have anything to stow with you?" Mike made a face wishing he had his small bag with him, but he made it all the way here without his things, he could go a bit farther without them. "No, It's just me."
The lady behind the counter did some tapping on her computer keyboard and then smiled at Mike. "Here is your boarding pass back, feel free to go right up the ramp Mr. Donovan and find your seat. Thank you for flying with United today." Mike took the pass from the lady and headed for the boarding tunnel. This one was much longer than the other tunnel and he realized that the plane he was getting onto was much bigger than the last plane. It was also parked funny at the loading ramp. Mike wondered who they had flying these things these days. Maybe he should have looked into a job as a pilot after the war ended. He may have been gone for bits at a time, but Mike was sure Julie would have been able to handle the bland flying he would have been doing. 'live and learn huh Mike?'
Mike found his seat in first class and noticed the plane was much fuller this flight than the one he took from L.A. He actually had someone sitting next to him, but that didn't bother Mike too much, he had a nice big seat to relax in, and the short flight from Atlanta to Charleston should only take about an hour or so, then he would be so close to Julie. Mike started to get excited when he realized how close he was to seeing Julie again. He started tapping his knee out of nervous energy and he noticed that it was annoying his seat mate. Mike knew he had to bring it down a bit if he was going to survive the flight, so first thing he did once it was available was buy himself a drink. He hoped it would calm him down just enough to make it through the flight and maybe even help him take a quick nap before they arrived in Charleston.
| Julie now had a cot in her room that her mother was happily making into her own sleeping quarters. Julie had become quite tired while her mom organized her room, so she curled up in a ball with her blankets and quickly fell asleep. Her mom continued to set up as much as she could in the little room and once she was done, she realized that it was almost 5a.m. in the morning. She had been up since 7a.m. the morning before. She usually took naps in the afternoon, but that is when she received the phone call that Julie was in the hospital after having a heart attack. She had packed quickly and headed straight for the airport. The beeping sounds in Julie's room were sounding very obnoxious to Mrs. Parrish and as she laid down on the cot hoping to grab a few hours sleep, the beeping felt like it was bouncing off the inside of her head. She put a pillow over her head, but the beeping penetrated right through it. There was no way she was going to get any sleep with that racket going on in the room. Mrs. Parrish headed out to the nurses station where she found one lonely nurse looking at something on the computer. "Excuse me, I am in Dr. Juliet Parrish's room and the beeping from one of her monitors is keeping us awake, is it possible to silence it while we sleep?" The nurse looked at her a moment, then at a big board behind her with names and a lot of information that made no sense to Julie's mom. "Her nurse is on break, but when she gets back I will have her come in and adjust the volume for you." That was all Mrs. Parrish was going to get out of this nurse. She was not a woman to stand around and be content with mediocrity. "Excuse me miss, may I ask what you are doing that you cannot come into the room right across your nurses station and turn down the monitor?" Mrs. Parrish could tell that she was annoying the nurse and that the nurse obviously had been doing something other than work related business on the computer because she stood up, walked over to Julie's room, turned down the monitor, and then went back to the computer without saying a thing to Mrs. Parrish. "Thanks, I thought you could do that for us. Good night!" Mrs. Parrish returned to Julie's room with a small smile on her face. She laid down on the cot and realized the room was quiet. She was almost asleep before she was able to pull the blankets up around her.
When Julie awoke, she looked around her room and found her mom still asleep on her cot. Looking at the clock Julie saw that she had only been asleep for a couple of hours. She did feel a little better, but she was still physically exhausted and felt like a truck had run over her chest. Julie took a peak down her hospital gown and saw the dark bruises that had formed all over her chest. There were some small burn marks where she figured they had used the paddles on her to restart her heart. 'Very attractive Julie.' She rolled her eyes as she thought of how she looked right now. She tried to fool herself that having no one to see her naked right now was a good thing.
As Julie was about to find her controller to turn on the T.V., her day nurse walked in. "Good morning, and how are we feeling this morning?" The nurse went around the room checking all of Julie's monitors and tubes attached and coming from her. "I am OK, just feeling sore. Do you know when the cardiologist is coming by?"
The nurse regarded Julie for a moment, then without saying a word, walked out of the room. Julie tried to watch where the nurse went, but her view was blocked by the partially closed door. Laying back on her bed, Julie let out a deep sigh. She was just about done with being dependent on the hospital staff. She wanted to be in her own bed at home. Not long after the nurse left, she came back in. "I'm sorry I had to run out, I realized I had left a medication drawer open. It's been a rough week you know? Anyways, we haven't heard when the doctors are doing rounds, but they are usually here around 8a.m. I will let you know if I hear anything sooner ok?" The nurse smiled at Julie, checked her I.V. one more time and left.
As Mike walked out of the Charleston airport, he looked for the car lot that held his rental. It was just a bit after 8a.m. eastern time, but Mike felt energized. He wanted to find a hotel that would let him check in early. He wanted to shower and change his clothes before he headed to the hospital. Even though Julie had seen him at his worst, Mike wanted to look his best when seeing Julie for the first time in months.