Author's Note:

Originally, I was going to post these three fics separately, because their storylines do not correlate at all. But their themes of loss and grief do correlate, and I eventually decided to post the stories together as a short anthology.

==For Infinity and Beyond==

==Chapter I==

Final Entry

Buzz Lightyear Personal Log: Final Entry

Somehow, I both knew and didn't believe that this would ever happen. Somehow, I knew that I would die in the line of duty, and somehow, I never actually believed it.

But here I am, stuck aboard a 42 set to explode when she reverts from hyperspace to realspace. I can't use the same trick that I used with the Alpha 1 years ago because I don't have an extra ship onboard. The escape shuttle is currently at Star Command for repairs.

It figures, doesn't it?

I can't simply jet out of the ship at the moment of detonation. My suit won't withstand that kind of violence.

I am going to die.

I say that, but I still can't seem to make myself believe it. I've cheated death so many times on so many fatal missions – it was like each victory made me more and more invincible. I couldn't be killed.

Doesn't change the fact that it's going to happen, whether I believe it or not.

This log is being transmitted to Star Command and being recorded even as I speak. When I'm done, it will be ready to be heard.

Warp, Booster, XR, kids: I've left you all messages on my computer to be opened upon my death. So I'm going to say next is for Mira only.

Mira, I'm so sorry I won't be there for you anymore. I'm so sorry I won't be there for our children anymore.

I'm sorry I'll never get to see our baby.

Yeah, I know you're pregnant. I've known for a few days now, but I wanted to hear you say it first. Corny, isn't it?

I don't have any more name ideas for you. You're on your own, there. Whatever you pick, I'm sure I'll like it.

I hope I can still watch you. I want to see our kids grow up. I never wanted to die before they grew up. I never wanted to leave them without a father. I never wanted to leave you without a husband.

I love you… so much.

I don't think I've said that often enough. I think that I took our love for granted. We knew that we loved each other, and that was enough.

Now, I wish that I'd said "I love you" more often.

Isn't it so stupid that sometimes we don't realize important things until we're about to die?

At least I'm dying out among the stars. There won't be a body to bury. You know how much I hate funerals. Your last memory of me will always be seeing me smile at you as I headed out the door.

Death can't change that, thank God.

Don't take this out on the team, okay? They really don't need your fireworks. And tell Warp that I don't care if he's leading the team now – he is not changing the name to Team Darkmatter! If he tries to do that, you can blow the fireworks at him all you want.

Mira honey, be strong for our children. They'll need you now more than ever.

But don't be afraid to cry. I always hated to see you cry, 'cause it meant that you were hurting. But I knew that it would hurt you more if you didn't cry. I don't want you hurting any more than you have to.

When you need to cry, go to Warp. Just… go to him. Don't be afraid to trust him like you used to be. He won't let you down.

I think that, sometimes, he's jealous of me 'cause I got you. Remember that I said he always liked redheads?

Boy, I sure didn't deserve you. Never ever. So what if I am the Galaxy's Greatest Hero? I still didn't deserve you. I was egotistical, one-dimensional, obsessed…

Your dad sure agreed, didn't he? Remember the near-explosion we had when we told him we were engaged? Zurg had never scared me that much!!

Remember our first date? When I showed up an hour late?

Truth is, I was there early, but I didn't go into the restaurant. I saw you pull up, walk inside, and order a glass of Dr. Pepper at the counter. I just stood there, gawking like an idiot, as I watched you sit there, sip your glass, and talk to the waiter. You were wearing a rose-pink sweater and a khaki skirt, and you looked soincrediblybeautiful.

Then you finally left the restaurant, and started to pull out of the parking lot. That was when you nearly ran me over. Typical Lightyear luck, isn't it?

Then I pretended I had been late and apologized. You were more than a little irritated, but you forgave me.

I'm sorry I never told you that before now.

There's so much that I want to tell you, but I don't have time for it all. I guess it'll just have to wait, huh?

I'll be waiting for you, Mira. I don't know if I'll be watching you, but I'll be waiting for you to come home.

Uh-oh, it's almost time for realspace reversion. I hope it's quick. Oh! Sorry, Mira, I didn't mean to say that!

I love the baby. Make sure he or she knows that, hon.

Trust in God – He'll help you through this.

I love you, Mira Nova-Lightyear. Death cannot change that – death cannot separate us. Not really. I'll always be a part of you.

For infinity and beyond, I love you. Don't ever forget that.

For infinity and beyond, Mira, I love you.

==Chapter II==


Buzz's voice faded away, and the player was clicked off. The room was silent for a minute.

"He knew," she whispered finally. "He knew about the baby."

He nodded. "It figures. His 'ranger instinct' and all."

She couldn't smile at that, not yet. Maybe someday, but not just yet. "Yeah."

"Thanks for letting me listen to this, Mira."

She took a deep, shuddering breath. "No problem, Warp. He said it was just for me, but I thought… I thought you might like to hear it."

"Yeah." Pause. "So… when are you due?"

Mira hung her red head. "Get this: his birthday."

"You're kidding."

She shook her head. "I wanted to tell him that. I kept putting it off for the right moment, and now…"

Warp had known Mira for a long time now. Calm though she was on the outside, somewhere on the inside she was screaming.

Somewhere on the inside, so was he.

He had always hated feeling helpless, and never had he hated the feeling more than now. He couldn't do anything to help, couldn't say anything to make her feel better. He couldn't say that it was all right because it wasn't. It wasn't all right. Buzz was gone. How could it be all right?

It was weird. All those times in the past he'd tried to kill Buzz, and now that Buzz really was dead… Warp hated it.

After several minutes, he broke the silence, unable to endure it any longer. "Can't believe he thought I'd be insensitive enough to rename the team Darkmatter."

Mira gave a small, choked laugh.

"I mean, who does that guy think I am?" Warp continued, mock-indignantly. "Some kinda egotistical nut like he was or something?"

"Wa-arp," came the warning tone.

Warp flinched. "Sorry." Pause. "Hey, even he admitted he was."

Mira rubbed viscously at a moist eye. "Yeah. Okay, he was. And one-dimensional… and obsessed…"

"Definitely obsessed with Zurg," Warp nodded.

"As much as Zurg was with him?"

Warp cocked his head as he considered that one. "I'd say so, yeah."

"At least Buzz never said, 'Curse you, Emperor Zurg!'"

"You sure about that?"

"Well, I never heard it, anyway."

"Yeah, I guess you'd know."


Another pause. "You won't believe how many people are turning up for his memorial service," Warp ventured.

Mira gave a small shrug. "Try me. He was a galactic hero."

"Yeah, but, I mean, I've never heard of anybody getting this many people to come to a funeral."

"How do you know who's coming?"

"The Tin Toy's been keeping a list online and advertising. So far, over one million people have signed on."

"You're kidding!" Mira gasped, jerking her head up in surprise. "But this is at Star Command! We'll never be able to house that many people!"

"You might have to make plans for another one on-planet, then, 'cause they're coming."

"Oh, wow." She lowered her head again.

"Yeah. Cosmo, Sally, Dr. Furbanna, Petra and Plasma Boy, the Clones, Becky and her dad, Dr. Animus, Ed, Professor Triffid, Brent Starkisser, Vicki Vortex, Bonnie Lepton, 42, Ty Parsec, Rocket Crocket, and… oh yeah, get this. Gravitina might even make an appearance."

"Wow." Again, a pause. "You think you're up to handling the team?"

"No," he said shortly.

Mira had to smirk slightly at that – so much for the overconfident Warp Darkmatter.

"I mean, Buzz left huge boots to fill. How can I take his place?"

Mira lifted her head to look Warp in the eye. "You can't. Ever. But you can still do his job."

"I'm not so sure."

"Well, I am. And so was Buzz." Warp nodded reluctantly, and Mira stood. "I've got to get back to the kids now."

Warp nodded again. "You want me to drive you back?"

She looked ready to protest, then thought better of it. "Sure. Thanks."

"No prob."


The Lightyear house was in sight when Warp finally broke the silence. "So, who's watching the kids?"

"Booster and XR."

"Sure that's not too dangerous?

"I think they've matured a bit in the past two decades."

"You'd think." Warp pulled into the driveway. "Well, here we are. You gonna be okay?"

Mira nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll be okay." She yawned wearily. "I am so tired."

"I bet. Well, just… take it easy."

She nodded again and stepped out of the car. "Thanks, Warp."

"Sure thing."

She shut the door and walked up to her house, then stopped. She came back to the car and opened the door. "Warp?" she asked, her voice small and weak.

Concerned, he looked up at her. "Yeah, Mira?"

"I'm not okay!" She broke down into tears.

"Oh, Mira…"

"I'm not okay!"

Warp pulled her into the car and gathered her into his arms, letting her cry into his broad shoulder. They stayed there for a long time.

For the young abandoned husband
Left alone without a reason
For the pilgrim in the city where
there is no home
For the son without a father
For his solitary mother
I have a message
He sees you, He knows you
He loves you, He loves you

Every heart that is breaking tonight
Is the heart of a child that He
holds in His sight
And oh how He longs to hold
in His arms
Every heart that is breaking tonight

For the precious, fallen daughter
For her devastated father
For the prodigal who's dying
in a strange new way
For the child who's always hungry
For the patriot with no country
I have a message
He sees you, He knows you
He loves you, Jesus loves you

Every heart that is breaking tonight
Is the heart of a child that He
holds in His sight
And oh how He longs to hold
in His arms
Every heart that is breaking tonight

- "Every Heart That Is Breaking," by Twila Paris (Album: For Every Heart)

==Chapter III==


"Okay, come on, Mira, you can do it… One down, one to go…"

Mira growled behind clenched teeth and pushed with all the strength she had left. She screamed. And then…

It was over.

"You did it," came Warp's relieved voice.

Mira nodded, and pressed her head back against the pillow.

"You have a pair of fine-looking twins here," the doctor congratulated her.

Mira nodded wordlessly, beaming as the babies were placed in her arms – the boy the exact same coloring as his father's, and the girl with her mother's skin and eyes and her father's navy blue hair. Warp leaned protectively over them. "So, what're you gonna call 'em?"

She smiled. "Buzz and Skye."

Warp smirked. "Now I just knew you'd call the boy Buzz."

"That obvious?" Mira asked, cocking an eyebrow.


A nurse came into the room. "There's a whole crowd waiting for you outside, Mrs. Lightyear – the rest of your team, your children, Captain Darkmatter's family, and Commander Nebula."

Mira looked up at the doctor. "Doctor, may they all come in? Please?"

The doctor looked heavenward briefly. "Only if it's for a minute."

Mira grinned at the nurse. "Let them in."

Five seconds later, Booster and XR appeared, with the other five Lightyear children on their heels and Commander Nebula and the Darkmatter family bringing up the rear. From the teenagers to the toddlers, the children were all quiet in awe.

"Congratulations, Mira," Commander Nebula smiled.

"Thank you, sir," Mira smiled back.

"This is so cool!" Booster gushed.

"Cute little things, aren't they?" XR mused in a bout of sentimentality that had become more common in recent years.

Mira smiled at her children. "Hey, guys, come meet your new brother and sister. This is Buzz and Skye."

There was a general soft chorus of "Hi, Buzz! Hi, Skye!" until the doctor shooed them all back out of the room. Warp winked at his wife as she helped hustle the kids back to the waiting room.

Mira turned to Warp. "Thank you so much for all your help, Warp."

"No problem. It was the least I could do."

Mira took a deep breath. "Warp?"


"I… I can't raise these kids on my own. They need a man in their lives besides their grandfather. I know you have your own family, but… but I need you. I need you to be there for me. And for them."

Warp nodded solemnly. "Sure thing, Mira. That's what friends and partners do."

Mira nodded back. "Thank you." She looked down at her babies and smiled at them. "Hey, sweethearts, when you get old enough, I'm gonna have to tell you all about your daddy. Both of you share his birthday, and, Buzz, you share his name. He was a hero, and he was a wonderful father. Your brothers and sisters will tell you all about that. And you know what else?"

Buzz and Skye yawned in unison.

Mira's smile grew wider as she said softly, "He loves you. Even now, when he's in Heaven. He'll love you for infinity and beyond."


Author's Note:

Cookies for whoever remembers that "Tin Toy" (ch.2) is what Warp calls XR in episode "NOS-4-A2." Also to whoever recognized Buzz's memory of his first date with Mira (ch.1) from Father of the Bride, Part 2. And lastly, to whoever recognized the "crying" scene with Warp and Mira (ch.2) as being from an Adventures in Odyssey episode. Whoever figured any of this out, let me know in a review!

I honestly don't remember what gave me the idea for this story, though I wish I could remember. It's supposed to be a gently angsty piece – a full circle of love, death, grief, acceptance, moving on, and love again. It's sad how we really do take the people we love for granted sometimes, and that's something I wanted to touch on.

More than anything, though, I wanted to touch on the fact that Mira knew that she would be reunited with Buzz, because they were both born-again believers (in my stories, anyway). If you don't have that assurance, I encourage you talk to someone you know who does know that they are saved. If not, you can find a Bible – a King James or New King James edition would be best – and read the Gospel of John. Jesus once said in John chapter 3, verse 16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." That's the exciting truth – that if you accept Christ as your Savior, you'll one day be with Him in Heaven forever.