DISCLAIMER: No ownership, simply fluff.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Box in the Sky
By Ann


Mrs. Garrett shakes her head as she watches Tootie and Natalie spin around in their chairs. "Girls, stop that. I don't think those chairs were designed to take such abuse. We are in an airplane, after all. I'm fairly certain all these chairs need to remain stable, and you two aren't helping matters any."

Jo looks over from her window seat and smiles at the antics of her friends. She had been very reluctant to take this trip to Houston for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. After all, she was missing the motorcycle races, but if she didn't come along none of the others would have been able to go. Mrs. Garrett is one of those all or nothing kind of women.

The private plane's stewardess comes over and asks if she could get Jo anything. Not able to talk her into a beer, Jo settles for a coke. After her refreshment, she leans back and falls asleep only to be awakened when Natalie comes over to tell her to buckle up for the landing.

A grumpy Jo sits up and attempts to fasten her seatbelt. After several minutes, she finally gives us and ties the two ends together. Blair quickly unfastens her seatbelt and makes her way to Jo. She reaches down to properly fasten the belt, and her hands are promptly swatted away.

"Leave me alone, Blair. It's not like we're going to crash or anything," Jo stubbornly points out.

Blair puts her hands on her hips and replies "Fine. Be irresponsible. I hope you fall on your head when we land." She smartly turns on her heel and takes her seat while Tootie and Natalie snicker in the background.

The plane makes its descent, followed by a very smooth landing. Jo sticks her tongue out at Blair and promptly falls out of her seat as the plane makes a sharp turn toward the hangar. Blair, Tootie, Natalie, and even Mrs. Garrett break out in laughter as Jo sits up rubbing her forehead.

After deplaning, the five enter the waiting limo to begin the next leg to the Astrodome. Mrs. Garrett managed to get some ice from the stewardess before leaving the plane and placed it on Jo's head the minute everyone got settled. Grumbling, Jo leans back and adjusts the bag on her forehead trying to ignore Natalie and Tootie who are playing with just about anything they can get their hands on in the limo. She closes her eyes to the sounds of windows being raised and lowered.

Thirty minutes later, the limo has arrived at the dome, and the occupants sit up to climb out. In the process, the bag of ice springs a leak and ice cold water lands squarely on the crotch of Jo's pants. She immediately springs up in the air hitting the top of her head on the roof of the car. Holding her head, she reaches down and tries to pull the cold material away from her body. None of the others are able to offer any assistance because they are all too busy holding their sides in laughter.

Finally, Blair climbs from the limo and shuts the door behind her. Several minutes later, she returns with a pair of blue jeans in hand. Thrusting them in Jo's direction, she says "Here, Jo. Put these on. I don't know about the fit, but at least they're new and more importantly, they're dry." Jo snatches the pants from Blair's hands and orders everyone from the car.

The four patiently wait outside the vehicle for quite some time before the limo door opens. Jo steps out in a pair of skin tight jeans that are rolled up on the bottom. She walks straight to Blair and yells "Look at me. It looks like I've been poured into these jeans, and they've got to be at least five inches too long. Who did you get them from, the skinniest jolly green giant on the planet?"

Incensed, Blair turns around and walks off muttering "That's the thanks I get. No one else would have been able to procure a pair of new, clean jeans in the middle of a parking lot." The others follow behind as Jo asks "Hey, where did she get these?"

The remaining four make their way to the elevators behind a fuming Blair. Entering the elevator, Blair hits the button marked SB, and they begin their ascent. No one has the nerve to ask exactly where they are going.

The elevator dings, and the doors slowly open. Blair steps out and heads for the last door on the left. Confused, the others follow. Tootie manages to whisper "I thought we were going to a rodeo."

Stepping through the door, they stop and look around in awe. There are glass windows in front and comfortable couches and chairs set around the room. A large buffet is set off to the right, and a TV monitor is mounted on each of the side walls. Natalie immediately walks toward the glass and looks out. "Whoa, we are at the top of the dome! Hey, what are all those little things down there on the ground?"

Tootie steps next to Natalie and replies "I think that's the rodeo arena. See those little tiny ants?" Natalie nods her head so Tootie adds "Those are horses."

Natalie looks at Tootie in disbelief and asks "How do you know?" Tootie merely points her finger at one of the walls. Natalie turns to watch a line of mounted horses walk through the arena on one of the TV monitors.

After a few minutes, Jo finally realizes the significance of the monitors. She immediately shouts "Are you kidding me? We flew all the way down here to watch this rodeo on TV? If I'm going to see horses and bulls and whatever, I want to be at ringside. Okay, who's with me? Would you rather be next to the action or stay up here in the box in the sky?"

Blair watches as Tootie moves next to Jo. Natalie looks between the two before she too moves next to Jo. Finally, all eyes turn to Mrs. Garrett who says "Blair, this is a lovely room and the food looks wonderful, but I think I want to go down to the rodeo for a little while. I'll come back up before it's all over. Hey, why don't you come with us?"

Blair stubbornly refuses as the four leave the room and head for the elevators. She immediately sits down in a chair and picks up a crystal glass. Reaching over, she opens a coke and pours it into the glass. She leans back on the couch and watches the TV monitor while sipping her drink.

Thirty minutes later, a bored and disappointed Blair stands and looks out of the glass windows. She only wanted to make the day perfect for the others. Tootie and Natalie were so excited when they found out they were going to see a bona fide rodeo.

Blair begins to wonder if she is missing out on the true experience. Sighing, she places her forehead against the glass and tries to make out the figures below. A reflection catches her eye, and she squints to see the image of Jo moving toward her. Keeping her head against the glass, she ignores her visitor.

Jo stands in the door watching Blair before deciding to move into the room. Glancing around, she realizes how much trouble someone had to go to in order to prepare for their arrival. She steps further and further into the room until she's standing next to Blair.

Nudging Blair with her shoulder, she waits for a response, but none is forthcoming. Jo finally decides to bite the bullet and start the conversation. "We're sorry, Blair. It's just that we wanted to see the rodeo first hand. It really is amazing and both Tootie and Natalie are having the time of their life. Hey, did you know your family has box seats right next to the arena? The guy downstairs told us all about it. Why didn't you say something?"

Blair mumbles "Because I didn't know. I've only watched the rodeo from the monitor, and I've been perfectly content doing so. I guess father didn't think I'd want to be so close to it." Jo extends her hand and says "Well, we're going to fix that oversight right now. Mrs. G said there were some ladies getting ready to do some sort of routine on horseback. I bet you would like that. What do you say we go down and join the others? You can even take your crystal glass with you. We can come back up here and eat all this food later."

Several seconds go by before Blair looks down at Jo's hand. Smiling, she takes the hand and looks back up at Jo. Jo returns the smile and leads them from the room. The two walk hand and hand the entire way down.

As Blair steps into the boxed seat area, Jo leans forward and whispers "Next week, I'm taking you to the motorcycle races." Blair squeezes Jo's hand and glances up to the sky box thankful to be down here with Jo instead.

The End

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