It won't be long until Andy gets home, thought Buzz as he surveyed the bedroom. It had been a very dull day. Some of the other toys were watching a game show, but it wasn't the kind Buzz liked, where people got messy and did stunts. Woody wasn't too fond of those shows, mainly because he was afraid that Jessie would try to imitate them.
Where is Jessie anyway? Buzz frowned. He hadn't seen her since early that morning when she and Bullseye had run off somewhere. But Bullseye was with Woody now; Buzz could see him on the desk, sitting with the Cowboy as they watched television. Well if Bullseye's here, then Jessie must be…
Something hit him on the back, startling him so much he nearly fell over. "TAG!" Jessie hollered, rushing past like a hurricane. "You're It!" Buzz stood there, rubbing his shoulder where'd she'd smacked him. Jessie looked at him expectantly. "C'mon! You're It!" Still, Buzz looked confused.
She sighed in an exaggerated way. "Ain't you ever played Tag before? You're supposed to chase me!"
"Oh yeah, Tag," said Buzz slowly. "I think I saw Andy play that once. Or maybe it was on television…"
Jessie looked at him in disbelief. "You've never played Tag?"
"Well then," she smiled mischievously. "I'm just goin' have to teach ya!" Running over she grabbed his arm and dragged him to the center of the room. "Ok," she said. "The game is simple! I run and you try to catch me by tappin' me on the shoulder! Get it?" Buzz nodded. "The nightstand is Base, which means if I'm touchin' it, you can't tag me! Understand?"
"I understand. But what if I tag you? Is the game over?"
"No, that's the best part!" Jessie excitedly pulled down her hat. "If you tag me, then I'm It and I have to try and catch you!"
"And it just keeps going back and forth like that?"
"Isn't it great?" She shouted happily. "Ok, remember you gotta catch me! Ready, set…" Like a shot, the spry Cowgirl dashed away.
For a moment, Buzz just watched her. Jessie dug her heels in and turned back around. "Buzz! C'mon!" She whined. "Come play with me!"
Finally, the Ranger began to slowly jog toward her. Jessie crossed her arms. "Pfft! Jeez Buzz, I thought you'd be good at this game!"
Buzz frowned. "I…I can be good!"
Jessie shrugged and turned away. "I guess some guys just don't have it in 'em! Aw well…" She looked slyly over her shoulder at Buzz.
"Oh yeah? Well I'll show you!" Jessie shrieked and ran as Buzz took raced after her.
By the nightstand, the Cowgirl ducked behind a trashcan. Buzz slowed down as he neared. "That's not a very good hiding place!" He called as he peeked around the metal cylinder.
No Jessie. Buzz scratched his head. Maybe she had moved to the other side. He circled the can, but she was nowhere to be seen.
"BOO!" Buzz nearly jumped out of his spacesuit. As he turned, he could see Jessie doubled over with laughter; she'd been behind him the entire time. He took a step toward her. With a gasp, she sprinted away again.
Buzz wasn't too far behind. "I'm going to get you!"
"Nuh uh!" By the desk chair, Jessie caught the leg and scurried up quick as a squirrel.
On top, Andy's other toys were seated in front of the TV set, their eyes glued to the screen. "Well, it looks like none of our contestants have the answer to Final Jeopardy, which, of course, should've been…"
Jessie darted in front of the TV, her boots stomping on the remote control. "HEY!" Shouted Andy's toys as the channel flipped.
"Act now and you'll receive a free mystery gift, a thirty dollar value…"
"Change it back! Change it back!"
Woody reached for the remote, only to find his fingers caught under Buzz's shoes as the Ranger followed Jessie. "Ow!" Woody yanked his hand away. "BUZZ!"
The channel flipped again. "Hey you guys…OH MY NOSE!"
"Put it back on Jeopardy!" Cried Mr. Potato Head.
"I need to know what river breaks through the Himalayans and empties into the Bay of Bengal!" Rex howled.
Woody finally grabbed the remote and began to flip the channels. "Just use the back button!"
"I can't! They changed the channel twice!" The Cowboy finally found the right station, just in time for the toys to hear the credit music.
Jumping back down to the chair, Jessie did a somersault from the seat part and landed neatly on the floor. Buzz crawled down the chair after her. As he touched down, he began to pant.
Jessie didn't notice. She was too busy laughing joyously as she raced away. She took a look over her shoulder to see how far ahead she was. "Buzz?"
The Ranger was kneeling on the floor, gasping for air. "C'mon, you can't be tired already!" Buzz waved her off as he continued to hyperventilate. Jessie's look of fun quickly turned to concern. "Buzzy?"
Jessie walked to him slowly and put a hand on his back. "Buzz, are you goin' be ok?"
He nodded. "I think so…" he wheezed. Suddenly, he grabbed Jessie around the waist and dragged her to his chest. "TAG!"
"You were fakin'?" Jessie cried in disbelief. Buzz nodded and laughed as she smacked him on the shoulder. "No fair! That's cheatin'!"
"You never said as much."
"You big mean Space Toy!" Jessie crossed her arms and pouted. "You got me all worried about you!"
Buzz gave her an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. Were you really worried about me?"
Jessie turned away with her arms still crossed. "No…"
"Are you sure?"
She moved her head back slightly. "Maybe a little…"
Buzz realized he was still holding Jessie, so he loosened his grip so she could get free but she stayed put. She twisted around to face him, and that's when she noticed his cheeks were turning red. She hadn't realized how close their faces were, close enough to feel his breath. Suddenly, the Cowgirl could feel the heat rising on her face too.
Buzz let go and she stood up. "It won't be long until Andy gets home…" He mumbled, avoiding her eyes.
"Yeah…" Jessie pulled her braid over her shoulder and began to fumble with it. "It's almost that time…"
Buzz got to his feet. With a genial smile, he held out his hand for a shake. "Good game…Whoa!" Jessie had grabbed him for a tight hug. With a smile, Buzz hugged back. He'd grown awfully fond of her grassy scent…and of hugging.
As Jessie walked away, she gave a little wave, which Buzz returned. As he watched her fondly, his best friend stalked to him.
"Hey! What is wrong with you?" Woody snapped. "You made us miss the last part of our show, Rex is having one of his episodes because he didn't get to hear the answer, and you crushed my fingers! What do you have to say for yourself?" Buzz was still staring off into the distance. Woody pushed him on the shoulder. "Hello? What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Hmm?" Buzz looked at him. "Oh, hi Woody."
The Cowboy crossed his arms. "'Hi Woody?' That's it? There's nothing else you want to say?"
Buzz looked down. "Hey, what happened to your fingers? They're all red! You get them caught in something?"
Woody looked at him in exasperation. "Oh forget it! Buzz," he sighed as he walked away. "You're hopeless!"