Disclaimer: I don't own the Toy Story movies or characters. WARNING: This fic contains spoilers for Toy Story 3. You have been warned.
What A Toy Needs
By Jennifer Collins
"Bonnie," her grandmother called from outside the door to her room. She peeked through the open door and smiled when she saw the child playing happily with her new toys. "Your mother is ready for dinner downstairs."
The tiny brown haired girl clapped her hands delightedly and held out her arms for her grandmother to carry her down the stairs.
As soon as they'd gone, the toys came alive. "See? What did I tell ya?" Dolly, the rag doll asked with a large grin. "You're all going to love it here!"
Andy's toys stood up slowly and looked at each other with weak smiles. Only Rex was running around the room, excitedly chasing Trixie, the Triceratops, who squealed with glee every time he roared. After a few moments, Bullseye kicked up his heels and joined the chase.
Hamm gave a low chuckle. "It looks like some of us are adjusting already."
Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head were standing next to him, holding hands and clinging tightly to their adopted alien children. Hamm wasn't sure which Potato was squeezing too hard, but one of the aliens squeaked loudly into the suddenly awkward silence.
The unicorn named Buttercup nervously cleared his throat. "Okay. How about a tour? What do you think, Dolly? Should we give them a tour?"
Dolly nodded her head, perhaps a little too fast. "A tour sounds nice. I think we should give them a tour," she agreed. She clapped her hands together. "Alright, everyone. Who wants a tour?"
"I do! I do!" Rex shouted as he skidded to a halt. Bullseye bumped into his back and Trixie giggled. "Come on, guys!" Rex motioned with his little arms.
Hamm and Potato looked at each other, then at Buzz, who nodded encouragingly. "Go on, dear," Mr. Potato Head coaxed his wife, and the aliens followed eagerly.
Buzz turned to Jessie, who was idly playing with her braid next to him. "Should we follow them?" She asked.
Buzz shook his head. "In a minute. I'm going to go find Woody," he said.
Jessie pushed her hat back on her head. "He's hiding under the covers. I think we should give him some time."
Buzz nodded. "He's taking this harder than anyone."
"Yeah," Jessie agreed. "But he'll be okay. We all will."
Buzz smiled. "I'm proud of you, Cowgirl."
Jessie grinned back. "If we hurry, I think we can meet the others in the hall," she urged.
Buzz looked up towards the bed. "I really don't think we should leave him….. maybe you should go talk to him," he pressed.
"Me?" Jessie squeaked.
"Well, you understand this better than anyone," Buzz pointed out.
"I don't know, Buzz." She lowered her eyes to the floor. "It's been such a long time… since I've…."
Buzz took both of her hands in one of his and used the other to tap lightly under her chin until she looked at him. "Come on, Jess. Woody needs you."
Jessie sighed. She knew he was right. With a gulp, she grabbed onto Bonnie's bedspread and pulled herself up to the top. "Hey howdy hey!" She called, but there was no answer. "Woody?" She spun around slowly, surveying her surroundings. She spotted a lump wrapped up in the blankets near the pillows. "You know I can see you."
He didn't answer. With a groan, Jessie got down on all fours and proceeded to crawl under the covers. Before she reached him, he pulled the blanket down and sat up on one of Bonnie's pillows. "Hey partner," Jessie greeted him in a soft voice.
She paused, unsure of how to begin. "Want some company?"
Woody shrugged. "Why aren't you taking the tour with everyone else?"
Jessie bit her lip. "I was worried about you. Buzz too. He's waiting on the floor."
Woody nodded, but he didn't say anything else.
Jessie sighed. "You made the right choice, Woody. For all of us." She wrapped an arm around his shoulders and hugged him tightly. "I don't think I got the chance to thank you."
Woody looked at her face and found her big green eyes to be caring and sincere. He slowly returned her embrace. "I know I did. It's just hard. Maybe you should go play with others for awhile, Jessie."
"Oh, Woody. Always thinking of everyone else and taking care of us all. But why won't you let me take care of you? I've been through this before, remember?"
Woody shook his head. "I tried to understand you all those years ago, but I had no idea. No idea…"
Jessie tightened her grip on his shoulder. "You've led a charmed life, Woody. Loved by Andy's dad all those years, and then a lifetime of friendship with Andy." She sighed. "I think maybe you have it harder than I did. At least Emily's cut was clean for her." She choked back a sob.
"Jess…" Woody leaned his head on her shoulder. "I can't get that image of him waving goodbye to me out of my head. It will haunt me forever."
Jessie looked into his eyes. "Andy loves you, Woody. He still loves you. And you'll always be Andy's toy," she insisted, pointing her finger down at his boot.
Woody managed to crack a small smile.
"And hey, at least you have us. We all have each other and we have you to thank for that."
"We did come a long way to stick together," Woody agreed.
Jessie nodded. "Always a family. You taught me that."
Woody reached out both arms to hug her fiercely. Over his shoulder, she could see Buzz watching them from the floor and she motioned with her hand for him to come up.
Buzz was on the bed in seconds and he quickly jogged over to where his friends were sitting. He gripped Woody's shoulders tightly and Woody turned his head to look at him. "Hey, Buzz."
"You ok, Sheriff?"
Woody nodded. "I'll be fine. The important thing is that we're all together now." He saw Buzz reach out to take Jessie's hand and he had to quickly turn away.
"What is it?" Buzz asked.
Jessie poked him in the ribs with her elbow. "Uh, Buzz? Maybe we shouldn't be too couply around him for awhile."
"Oh." Buzz nodded in understanding. They weren't all together, and that fact was painfully obvious. He thought for a moment. "What about that Dolly? She seems like a nice girl and I think she has eyes for him."
"You know I can hear you," Woody said.
Jessie cringed. Woody had always been the voice of reason, telling them everything they needed to hear over the nearly two years since Bo Peep had disappeared from Andy's room. He'd been so preoccupied with taking care of his family and making sure that they all stayed together…. Jessie felt stupid. How could they not see that he was still hurting over her loss?
"M-maybe it would be a good idea-" She started.
"No!" Woody shouted. "Bonnie is perfect for keeping our family together and she really does know how to play with us. We'll be fine eventually. But don't think for one second that there is another doll out there who could ever replace my Bo!"
Jessie's eyes were tearful, and Buzz pulled her close. "I know," Jessie whispered. "I miss her too."
"Yeah, well. At least you still have each other," Woody pointed out.
Buzz tightened his hold on Jessie. They almost didn't make it, and now he couldn't bear the thought of anything coming between them. "Let's talk about something else," He suggested.
Jessie eagerly brought up the dramatic Mr. Pricklepants and how she'd always wanted to see a real live show…
Woody let them prattle on, though he wasn't really listening. He hugged his arms around his knees as he'd seen Jessie do so many times. Now that he was confident that his friends were safe and would be happy again, he couldn't help but reflect on the loss of friends along the way, especially one in particular….
Mrs. Davis stood in the hallway between Molly's and Andy's rooms. "You never even use that old lamp anymore. Andy always got more use out of it than you did," Mrs. Davis said. A pre-adolescent Molly appeared in the hall with her arms crossed.
"My friend Laura wants it for her daughter. It's her birthday in a few weeks. The girl is really smart, and she loves Mother Goose stories," Mrs. Davis pleaded.
Molly sighed. "Fine."
Woody shook his head. He hadn't even realized that Buzz had been talking to him and he wasn't sure how long he'd been out of it. "I'm sorry, Buzz. What did you say?"
"I said how about that tour now?" Buzz's round blue eyes were full of concern and Woody figured he'd better oblige his friends before they became impossible.
"Sure, Buzz." He helped Buzz get Jessie down to the floor before climbing down the bedspread after his friends.