"Oh no no no, this is all wrong," Ken exclaimed, frantically running around his dream house. "This cummerbund clashes with the flowers we got but this one washes me out! This is a nightmare!"
In his hands he dramatically presented what appeared to Woody and Buzz to be two identical pieces of fabric. The pair exchanged a look, not knowing the appropriate response.
"Uh," began Buzz. "What about... no cummerbund?"
"No cummerbund?"repeated Ken as though the very idea could kill him. "But the Romantic Wedding Dream set wouldn't be complete without it! I can't let Babs down on our big day! Oh what a disaster!" He dropped to the ground, buried his head in hands and began to sob.
Woody sighed. "I got this," he said quietly to Buzz. "Hey Ken," he sat on the ground beside him and gently placed his hand on Ken's shoulder.
"I mean, every boy dreams of his big day and what if I go out there and she sees my outfit and changes her mind?"
"She's not gonna change her mind,"
"Well she's never seen me in salmon, she might,"he sniffled.
"Ken, Barbie loves you. I promise." Said Woody with a small chuckle.
"I know," said Ken, slightly embarrassed. "I just want everything to be perfect for her."
"I understand, but this day isn't about everything being perfect. It's about celebrating what you feel for each other and sharing that with your friends. Heck, Barbie would marry you if you were wearing a plastic bag."
Ken chuckled. "I know you're trying to cheer me up but don't even joke about that."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room Jessie, Trixie, and Dolly were helping Barbie get ready with much less drama.
"Oh! Isn't this exciting girls?" exclaimed Barbie, as she twirled around the makeshift dressing room they had made for her on the cubby shelf. She looked at herself again in the hand held mirror Jessie had found. "Thanks for helping me get ready."
"Of course!" said Jessie as she braided Barbie's hair, decorating it with ribbons as she tied it with a rubber band.
"I'm so glad it fits!" Barbie said with delight, clapping her hands. "It's right out of the box!"
"So, how did Mr. Hair Gel pop the question?" asked Dolly
"Oh, it's so romantic! Someone donated a bunch of doll clothes brand new and when Ken saw this he said "we should get married' and I said 'okay'!"
"A love story for the ages," marveled Trixie.
"And thank you all for coming, it means so much to me,"
"Our pleasure," said Dolly. "Lucky for us Bonnie has a hard time picking just one thing for show and tell. I'm assuming the reception is open bar?"
Barbie laughed again, unable to contain herself. "Oh, I'm just so happy I could just… I promised I wasn't going to but I just.. It's so…" Overcome with emotion, she began to wail loudly, much to the discomfort of her company.
"Hey, uh, isn't recess almost over?" tried Jessie, hoping to change the subject. "We better get you out there!"
"Oh you're right!" she trilled, her mood changing immediately. She checked the mirror again, putting on the final touches, brightening by her lips with a pink magic marker and then carefully placing her veil on her head. The set hadn't come with a veil so they had to improvise by tying several tissues together to create a length Barbie was satisfied with. "Alright! I'm ready! How do I look?"
"Like a princess!" exclaimed Trixie. "Or a very wealthy heiress."
"Oh thank you!" beamed the bride, smoothing out her gown. "I hope I can remember this day for the rest of my liiiiiife…" her lip began to tremble and it was clear she was on the verge of crying again.
"Well here comes the bride, let's go!" declared Jessie, grabbing Barbie's arm before she could begin to cry again.
The toys had gathered in the center of the classroom for the ceremony. They had crafted benches out of legos and blocks and placed them to form an aisle for Barbie to walk down.
"Oh isn't it so romantic?" mused Mrs. Potatohead to her husband.
"Yeah, yeah I guess," he said, less enthused. "We didn't need to bring a gift did we?"
Ken stood anxiously at the altar as Mr. Pricklepants ran through his vocal warmu ps. He had insisted on officiating the ceremony and no one had dared protest.
"Marriage, Mirage, Marri-ah-ge," the porcupine whispered to himself with vigor.
"Oh, what's taking so long?" Ken wondered aloud, tugging at his collar. "Maybe she saw the cummerbund and turned around. Is there time to change? Have I ruined everything already?"
"Oh that would be dramatic!" Exclaimed Pricklepants, an idea forming in his mind. "Nothing makes a wedding more memorable than disaster! Do you think someone will object? If so, I may need to alter my monologue. Or add another."
"What?" Exclaimed Ken who would've been sweating if he could.
"It's fine," assured Buzz, standing next to him acting as best man. "Look."
First down the aisle came Big Baby, carrying a bucket filled with paper flowers. He was supposed to distribute them evenly as he walked down the aisle but instead he came to the end and dumped them out all at once. He stumbled off to the side to sit down and when he did Ken saw Barbie for the first time. The dress truly was a sight, so wide it barely fit down the aisle, the hoop skirt covered in frills and beads. The sleeves were long and lacey, and in her hands she carried a bouquet of paper flowers the children had made during arts and crafts. Once their eyes locked, the pair struggled to hold back their tears. The closer Barbie got, the more apparent their sobs became until she reached her betrothed and they both were full out wailing.
"Ah! I love you so much!" sobbed Barbie.
"I love you so much!" sobbed Ken back, taking her hands.
"You look so handsome!"
"Thank you so much for saying that, I was really worried!"
"Well, there's no question that they deserve each other," Woody whispered to Buzz as the couple continued to sob and compliment each other.
Mr. Pricklepants cleared his throat dramatically. "Do we have the rings?"
"Right here!" Said Jessie, standing beside Barbie acting as the maid of honor. She ushered Bullseye forward, who carried two homemade rings composed of pipe cleaners, glitter, and press on gems.
"Oh it's so sparkly!" Barbie exclaimed happily.
"Only the best for you, Babs," said Ken. Taking them from the horse.
"How much do you think you could pawn those for?" Whispered Buttercup to Hamm from their seats.
"Looks to me like 10, maybe 15 cents," he responded.
"He definitely went name brand on the glitter,"
Barbie swooned and bounced in excitement as Ken slipped the over-sized ring onto her wrist (though, in fairness, it acted more as a bracelet). They looked into each other's eyes when Stretch called out from the door.
"Recess is over!" She yelled. "They're coming!"
All the toys fell to the ground where they stood or sat, as the children entered the room. The ceremony was held in the Butterfly room so the children came back in a nice, orderly line. Two little girls sat at the wedding scene and picked up Ken and Barbie to continue the ceremony.
"Oh I'm so glad the volcano didn't erupt before our wedding!" said one little girl holding Barbie.
"I've always wanted to get married by a volcano!" Said the other, speaking for Ken. "We better get married quick!"
They acted out the rest of the wedding ceremony, exchanging vows and directing Pricklelants as they had seen grown ups do on TV and movies. They spent the rest of playtime creating an elaborate love story for the couple, adding a few tweaks to make the story more interesting.
"All right! Line up for lunch time!" Came the the teachers voice from the door. The girls carefully placed the dolls done, satisfied with how the wedding turned out and ran to join. The children eagerly followed the teacher out to the cafeteria.
"All clear!" announced Rex happily as the last child left and the teacher locked the room for lunchtime.
"Time for the reception!" declared Ken excitedly, jumping in the air.
Twitch turned on the CD player, putting on a mixed CD Trixie and Rex had made for the event. The room filled with music as all the toys went to dance and congratulate the happy couple.
"Oh, it was such a lovely ceremony," said Mrs. Potatohead to the newlyweds. "Reminded me of our wedding, didn't it dear?"
"Oh that's so sweet!" exclaimed Ken, placing his arm around Barbie. "Who performed your wedding?"
"Oh it was a Christmas wedding, very sudden. We didn't even have time to register."
"Well, if you ever want to renew your vows, I'd be happy to help you pick out the color scheme!" said Ken.
"Yes, oh sweetheart! We should renew our vows!" she shrieked happily to her husband. "Oh my goodness! What an idea! Now you can finally get me a ring! Oh let's go tell the children!"
"Whatever you say dear!" said Mr. Potatohead as she dragged him away. He glared at Ken as they turned around and whispered to him "Thanks alot."
Woody watched from the side as his friends pranced around the room, dancing and laughing as the music played. He saw Buzz walk up beside Jessie, who was looking around the room with excitement.
He cleared his throat and stood as tall as he could manage. "Jessie? I- I was wondering if you'd maybe like to, if I could have the honor of-."
She turned around quickly, happy to see him and immediately grabbed his hand before he could finish.
"Come on Buzz! Let's dance!" Jessie sang as she tugged on his hand and led him to the dance floor.
"Really?" said Buzz, surprised for some reason, trailing happily behind her. "Yes, I mean okay, I could-."
Just before they made it to the center of the room, the song changed from the upbeat pop song to a slow love ballad. Buzz stood in front of the cowgirl, his former confidence fading. He smiled nervously.
"Oh, uh," said Buzz shyly, kicking the floor. "Did you want to wait for the next song?."
"Don't try and tell me you don't dance," she teased, raising an eyebrow.
"Heh, no um," he tried, nervously rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand. "I just… don't know this song."
"Well it's a slow song, you don't have to do much," she said sweetly, swinging his arm and stepping closer to him.
"Yes, well it's um very, it's just that I wouldn't..." he stuttered, his eyes darting back and forth from her face to their adjoined hands. She tilted her head and smiled at the familiarity of his nerves. Before he knew what was happening she quietly placed his hands on her waist and placed hers gently on his shoulders. They stood still for a moment and once Buzz realized what she had done, he relaxed and they began to sway. He sheepishly looked in her eyes, and she gave him a playful wink. He suddenly felt silly for being nervous. Jessie tightened her grip and brought him closer, resting her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. Her hat brushed against his forehead and a smile found it way onto his face and he looked at her peaceful expression. Before, being this close to her would make Buzz uneasy, but now it felt natural. He looked over to Woody and gave a thumbs up, as though he had planned this.
Woody chuckled at the pair, and have his pal and thumbs up in response. He wondered if Buzz knew she had lead him a block so he stood a little taller so could rest her head on his shoulder easier. He sighed as Ken and Barbie also took to the dance floor in a similar pose, gushing about how happy they were.
"She woulda loved this," said Slinky as he sat beside Woody. Woody didn't even need to ask who Slinky meant. It was obvious.
"Yeah, she would've," agreed Woody with another sigh.
"Ever wonder what she's up to?"
"Every day, Slink," Woody said sadly, "Every day."
Eight Years Earlier
"Buzz! Buzz! Come quick! The water hole's been poisoned!" Exclaimed Andy frantically as Jessie.
"Again?" Andy adopted a deeper voice for the voice of the space toy. "Blast! But the orphans have their swim practice there!"
"We gotta warn em!" Jessie declared. "But how are gonna figure out who did it?"
"There's only one cowboy for the job!" Buzz said. The world around him transformed from Andy's room to a spacious desert where all his best adventures took place.
Jessie nodded. "Yodel-eh-e-hoo!" She called loudly. In Andy's mind, the yodel echoed to the corners of the earth. The pair waited anxiously for a response.
"Where could he be?" Jessie asked nervously.
"There's only one reason Sheriff Woody wouldn't answer a call for help," stated Buzz, running his chin. "He's been kidnapped!"
"By the most devious villain in the universe…"
"Evil Dr. Porkchop!" they exclaimed in unison.
Sure enough, across town (or rather closer to the bed) Evil Dr. Porkchop had Woody tied up and dangled over a barrel of equally evil monkeys.
"Ha ha ha!" The pig laughed as the cow boy struggled to loosen the jump rope that bound him.
"You'll never get away with this!" Woody declared.
"Oh, but I already have!" The swine cackled. "And once you're out of the picture, the town will be mine!"
"My friends will rescue me!"
"Not if they can't find you!" Declared the pig triumphantly. "All across town I've planted crimes to distract them. They'll never reach you in time! Ha ha ha!"
Buzz and Jessie made their way to Woody the best they could, Jessie riding on Bullseye and Buzz taking to the sky.
"Any sign of him?" The cowgirl called up.
"Not yet," Buzz responded. "But we need to hurry!"
The pair moved forward faster, when Bullseye stopped dead in his tracks. "What's wrong boy?" Jessie asked, but the answer quickly makes itself apparent. In front of the water hole stood Woody's trusted dinosaur but he looked down menacingly at Jessie.
"Oh no!" Jessie exclaimed. "The water! It wasn't poisoned! It has mind control potion!"
The Dino roared aggressively at her, confirming her suspicion. The large reptile charged at her, but she and Bullseye dodged at the last second.
"Buzz!" She called.
"On it!" He said, swooping down firing his laser, but the dinosaur was impervious and kept attacking. On the ground, Jessie and Bullseye ran around his feet and she was able to lasso the creature's ankles, bringing him to the ground. Once he was immobilized, Jessie sprang into action to tie the knot.
"Got cha!" She declared proudly. "Looks like a new record!"
"Way to go!" Buzz said proudly, landing on the ground to admire her handiwork. "Now, time to-."
"Buzz! Look out!" Exclaimed Jessie, jumping on him bringing them both to the ground. The space ranger blushed upon realizing the cowgirl laid on his chest, but quickly regained composure when he saw the reason why. The Dino has broken free! "Tarnation!" She exclaimed, jumping back into action. She pulled another rope from Bullseye's saddle and this time lassoed the reptile's neck. He retaliated and pulled her up and she ended up sitting on his back.
"Jessie!" Buzz called, concerned.
"Go find Woody, spaceman!" She called to him without fear, riding the dinosaur as though it was a bucking bronco. "This ain't my first rodeo! Ye-haw!"
The ranger nodded and took back to the sky. He flew hundreds of miles in minutes, scanning the area for signs of his best friend. "I'm coming Woody!"
Suddenly, his jet pack began to sputter causing his balance to waver. "What?" He said, liking at the dark smoke forming behind him. Before he could investigate further, one side exploded! The helpless ranger was sent spiraling down to the ground, hitting the sand hard. "What's happening?!"
"Houston, looks like we have a problem," laughed a nefarious voice.
Buzz didn't even need to look up to know who had spoken. "One-eyed Bart," he spat as the shadow covered him. "I should've known!"
"Looks like you won't be completing your mission, space-case!"
"What have you done with Woody?!"
"It isn't Woody you should be worried about," the villain declared. He brought his fingers to his mouth and let out a high pitched whistle. From behind him, a familiar light arose, one-eyed Betty rode in on their infamous force field dog, laughing wildly. The dog surrounded Buzz and he suddenly felt weak, falling to his knees in pain.
"We've upgraded to a new force field," declared Betty. "Ultra powerful Nella Prime magnets! Compliments of Evil Emperor Zurg!"
"Zurg!" Buzz struggled to speak and the magnets continued to drain his life force. "I… should've… known…"
The pair continued to laugh as he tried to fight the pain. He couldn't fly away, could barely stand. He knew he would never reach Woody now!
"Give it up ranger, you and your friends are finished!"
Buzz turned to see behind him and saw in horror that the dinosaur has thrown Jessie off his back and now had her and Bullseye cornered beneath a boulder. One roar and it would roll down and crush them! Jessie's face remained courageous though Bullseye was shaking in fear behind her. But she knew she was stuck.
"There's no one left to save you!" Betty laughed, standing beside her partner in crime.
"There is… one… person…" Buzz said to himself, with his last bit of strength, he popped open the communicator on his wrist. "Get me… special agent… Peep."
He fell to the ground in exhaustion, luckily his message had gotten sent before he did. It flew across the globe and finally reached the green army men who had set up base on the outskirts of town (or the other side of the bed).
"Sir!" Called the private saluting as he burst through the door. "We have new orders! Commander Lightyear is calling for… Agent Peep."
"Are you outta your mind Private?" The sarge yelled, slamming his fist on the table. "She retired years ago! There's no way she'd take on a mission!"
"But sir it's… the sheriff."
"Send a unit ASAP! Code red! This is not a drill boys! Move, move, move!"
R.C. acted as the special unit, locking onto Bo Peep's last known coordinates. "Sir, are you sure she'll agree to help?" panicked the private as they called the to contact Peep on the large computer screen.
"Whatever it is, I'm not interested," came Bo's voice thought the screen. Before she could hang up, the sarge called out.
"Wait! Miss Peep!"
"Sarge, I'm retired!"
"Dr. Porkchop has your Sheriff!"
"Sheriff Woody?" The voice said quietly. "I haven't heard that name in years."
"We need you and your sheep to track him down and save him!"
"Send your men to surround the perimeter," she said. "No doubt that dirty swine has an escape route planned."
"You'll do it?"
"Sheriff Woody saved me and my sheep from Porkchop before and I'm just doing it to return the favor," she said, still not appearing on the screen. "Send the unit."
The transmission ended and the army men flew into action. The scene faded as Andy grabbed R.C.'s controller and sent him towards Molly's room.
"Special Agent Peep is on her way!" Declared Andy, jumping up to follow the car into Molly's room. He burst through the door and ran inside.
The toys waited in their places for the story to continue, but Andy was taking longer than usual. Woody looked towards the door, expecting to see Andy walk through with Bo but nothing. Then, yelling came from Molly's room.
"C'mon, Molly!" Andy pleaded. "I need her!"
"No!" Molly screamed back.
"Just for 5 minutes! I'll bring her right back!"
"No, I'm coloring!"
"You don't need her to color!"
"I'm coloring a picture of her! Stop!"
Sounds of grunting and screams of protest followed, causing the toys to look up from their places in concern. Then, the dreaded sound that would haunt them for years to come struck the air.
Molly let out another scream which quickly melted into tears.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Andy said but her crying just grew louder. The toys heard mom quickly run up the stairs to investigate.
"What is going on in here I -oh no what did you two do?"
"It was Andy, mom! He was trying to take my lamp!"
"I was not! I just needed Bo Peep!"
"Andy, how many times have I told you this is not a toy!" Mrs. Davis said, entering the room. "Now look what happened; she's broken."
Woody's heart sunk. Broken? No, she couldn't be! Bo had to be fine. He needed to see, but the worst flooded his mind. What could he do?
"We can fix her, right?" said Andy sadly, truly sorry.
"I guess, but you can't handle her so roughly anymore or next time we won't be able to," said Mrs Davis. "Let me see if I can find my glue gun."
She turned to leave and Molly followed her. "Tell Andy he can't come into my room anymore!"
"It was an accident! You take my stuff all the time!"
"I do not! Your toys just always end up in my room! Mom, tell him-"
Once their voices had faded, Woody slid out of the jump rope and ran into Molly's bedroom. R.C. rushed over to him as he entered trying to explain what had happened but Woody ran past him, too panicked. He hopped onto the desk where her lamp usually sat, but only her sheep were there.
"Where is she girls?" he asked breathlessly. They bahed sadly in response, gesturing to the bed and Woody leapt over. "Bo? Bo! Are you-?"
When he reached the top he found her sitting solemnly, her right arm laying in her lap. Her left arm hovered over where the break had happened, processing the reality of it. Her eyes were wide, still in shock. "Hey there sheriff," she managed to mutter, her tone still clinging to the fragments of its usual luster, though she didn't look up at him.
"Are you okay?" he asked, rushing to her side
"Could be worse," she said with a dainty smile. "Nothing some hot glue won't fix. How are my sheep? They didn't fall did they? Did you see?"
"They're fine," he assured her, placing his hand on her cheek. "Gosh, when I heard that crash I thought…" he couldn't even finish the sentence, the notion was too painful.
"Awh, you're cute when you care,"
"So I've been told," he gave a small laugh.
"Sorry I couldn't rescue you," she placed her hand over his on her face. "Maybe next time."
"Oh, don't worry about me," he choked. "Worry about yourself."
"Hmm, but isn't that what I have you for?" Even in her current state she put him first. He didn't know how she could be so calm, but seeing her so mellow made him follow suit. She brought down his hand to her lap and ran her thumb over the back of his hand "You better get out of here before they get back," she said softly. "Don't wanna make Molly angrier at Andy."
"Okay," he said, not moving. He didn't want to leave her like this. He knew it didn't hurt, but how the experience not be traumatic? But she was far too strong to admit it. He continued to sit beside her in silence, not caring about being caught, only that she knew he was there for her. He remembered when he had lost his arm, but this was somehow totally different. He wasn't fragile the same way that Bo was.
Soon, her sheep began to bah warning them that Mom had found the glue gun and was heading up the stairs. He rose back up, placing a chaise kiss on the back of her hand before releasing it. He quickly leapt off the bed, his eyes not leaving her for a second, as she returned to the position she had been left in. "I'll come check on you later," he whispered before running out in the nick of time.
He watched from the doorway as Andy's mom picked her up to inspect the damage, both children at her side yelling and crying. Somehow, all the noise was drowned out as far as Woody was concerned. He watched as mom began to apply the glue and wished he was there beside her.
"Woody?" Rex asked softly from behind him as the rest of Andy's toys gathered in the doorway to see what was happening. "Is she gonna be okay?"
Woody didn't answer him, and instead kept his eyes on Bo. It wasn't that he didn't want to answer Rex, he truly did. He was just afraid of the answer