Disclaimer: I don't own the Toy Story movies or characters

Lightyears Away

By Jennifer Collins

Jessie opened her eyes and yawned widely, stretching. She turned her head lazily. Bright sunlight peeked at her through thick curtains. She had to think for a moment where she was. Then all the events of the previous night came flooding into her head and she smiled. She was home. She lifted herself up on her hands and grinned when she looked down and saw the large Buzz Lightyear image that was sewn into Andy's sheets. Her heart skipped as beat as she recalled how cute he was when he'd nervously tried to pay her a compliment.

Something nudged Jessie in her side and she turned to find Bullseye gently rubbing his muzzle against her. She patted his head. "Good mornin'" She greeted him quietly. "How did you sleep?"

Bullseye licked her face happily and she giggled. "Me too." She sighed softly. "It almost feels like a dream, doesn't it, Bullseye?" He cocked his head to the right as he looked at her thoughtfully. Jessie raised her right foot and peered at the bottom of her boot, where Andy had written his name last night. In permanent marker, no less. She scratched her fingernail over the bottom of the "D," but of course the imprint stayed intact. The cowgirl recalled how Andy had played with her and the horse all night. She'd been the star of a daring bank robbery rescue, right after her new friends had come to rescue her for real.

Suddenly Jessie felt a light tap on her shoulder. "Good morning, Jessie."

She looked up. "Woody!" She smiled.

The cowboy tipped his hat. "How was your first night in your new home?"

"Mmmm…. Comfortable!" She wrapped her arms around herself. "It's sure been a long time since I've slept in a bed." She looked around the room. Toys were stirring up everywhere. "Where's Andy?" She asked.

"Well, it's Thursday morning, so Andy's at school."

"Ah," she nodded. "So… what do we do now?"

Woody laughed. "We pretty much do whatever we want until Andy comes home to play with us," he said.

"Oooh, that sounds like fun!" She grinned as Bo Peep came up behind them and put her arms around Woody, hugging him from behind. "Well howdy, Partner!"

"Howdy yourself, Cowgirl," Bo greeted her with a warm smile.

As Jessie watched them embrace, she recalled how a certain space ranger had let her lean on him as they'd all watched the squeaky little critter, Wheezy live and in concert last night. He'd even awkwardly (and adorably) put an arm around her when she'd leaned her head on his shoulder. She smiled at the pleasant memory. "Where is that space toy?" She wondered aloud.

"You mean Buzz? Why, he's right over there," Bo said, gesturing with her crook to where Buzz was sitting on Andy's desk with Hamm, Rex, and Mr. Potato Head. They were playing a video game. Bo smiled knowingly at her and Jessie shook her head, rolling her eyes as she ran off to join them. She could hear Woody chuckling softly behind her and she turned briefly to stick her tongue out at them.

"Hey howdy hey!" She greeted the group, throwing her arms around the space ranger from behind. Her sudden weight threw him slightly off balance and he stuttered for a moment before answering her.

"Oh, hi there, Miss Jessie," he said.

"Miss Jessie? Why, there's no need to be so formal with me, Buzzy Boy!" She thought for a moment. "Should I call you Mr. Lightyear?" She wondered.

"Well… no. Everybody calls me 'Buzz.'"

She nodded. "Well, there you go!" She giggled as she grabbed her cowgirl hat and placed it on top of Buzz's helmet. The other toys laughed. Buzz's face flushed as red as her hat, and they all laughed harder.

"What are you playing?" She asked excitedly.

"Buzz Lightyear of Star Command!" Rex shouted. "I'm teaching Hamm here how to beat Zurg!"

"Cool! Can I play?"

"Of course you can, doll face." Mr. Potato Head patted the space next to him.

"Uh, here," Buzz said. He handed her a controller. "You can have my spot," he said, rising from the desk.

"Where are you going?" She smiled coyly at him. "Aren't you gonna teach me how to play?" She pouted.

"Yes… okay." He pointed to the buttons on the controller. "This one makes him…. uh, me…. kick and that one blocks an attack. If you press the bottom two at the same time you get a special move," he explained.

Jessie giggled. "What does this one do?" She asked as she pressed the blue button on his chest.

"To infinity and beyond!" Buzz's voice box exclaimed. He blushed again.

She laughed loudly, slapping her knee. "Awww, that's so cute! Here! Pull my string!" She turned slightly around.

Buzz hesitated. "Come on, Space Boy, pull my string!" She ordered.

"I'll do it!" Hamm said, yanking on the pullstring.

"Yo-de-lay-hee-who!" Jessie's voice box sounded. She laughed uproariously.

"Oh, that's so neat!" Rex said enthusiastically. "I don't have one of those."

"Well, show her how you roar!" Mr. Potato Head reminded him.

"RRRRROOOOOOOOOOOARRRR!" Rex exclaimed gleefully. "Was that too scary?"

"Not at all," Jessie said laughing. "But it was still scary. Just not over the top," she offered when she saw his face fall slightly.

Rex jumped up and down happily.

"My cork is removable!" Hamm said, not wanting to be left out. "You wanna see?"

"Of course I do, Hammycakes!" Jessie eagerly paid attention to the other toys.

Buzz watched as she and her new friends all took turns showing each other what they could do. Jessie was an intelligent girl and she obviously knew what each toy's function was for, but she acted surprised every time and was genuinely delighted. He smiled.

"Aw, is that cute little doll turning Buzzy Wuzzy into a big mushy wushy?"

Buzz whirled around and narrowed his eyes at Woody. He hadn't even realized the sheriff and his woman had come up behind him. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.

"Sure you do. You like her," Woody teased.

Buzz crossed his arms. "She's a very smart woman with a bright sense of humor," he said defensively.

Woody and Bo laughed. "So you do like her!" Woody said, always glad to have a reason to laugh at his friend's expense.

"I like all the toys in Andy's room."

"But not all of them are as purdy as Miss Jessie," Bo Peep said. She didn't miss the meaning behind the look of objection in Woody's eyes as he regarded her and she sighed inwardly, her heart nearly skipping a beat. She laughed when she saw Buzz stubbornly turn his head so she wouldn't see him blush. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I think she likes you too," she added thoughtfully.

"Really?" Buzz turned his head back to face her. "She's not just toying with me?"

Woody placed a hand on Bo's back. "Say, Bo," he said. "Why don't you go find that out? Buzz and I have to plan tomorrow night's meeting. Sunday is Molly's play group and we'll have to be prepared in case any of us get separated."

"Sure thing, Sheriff." Bo said sweetly. She loved when Woody acted all authoritative and besides, she was eager to talk to the only female toy in the room who was actually close to her age. She wandered off to go find the cowgirl once Woody and Buzz started to get down to business.