Three years they spent exploring one sector of the Oort Cloud, setting up food/fuel caches for future explorers wanting to stop for a respite.
Lee and Guin needed a respite of their own.
Often, they recharged by returning to Mars and going on separate adventures even though they were present in each other’s thoughts any sol they wanted.
They recorded the location of their last cache and turned the spacecraft toward Mars.
A year of anticipation, of seeing old friends in person, smelling familiar scents again, creating new memories…