They crawled out the door to Bonnie's room in single file. Once in the hall, they straightened up and looked to their right. Nothing. They looked to their left. Not a single toy could be found. Jessie crossed the hall and poked her head through the bars at the top of the rail. "I don't see them," she said with a slight pout.
Buzz placed a gentle hand on her arm. "What do you want to do now?"
Jessie grinned. "How about taking our own tour?"
Both toys looked hopefully at Woody. Woody glanced from one grinning face to another and rolled his eyes. "Looks like I've been outvoted."
"Great!" Jessie exclaimed. "C'mon, let's go!"
Woody sighed. "Where to first?"
Jessie's eyebrows furrowed as she scanned the area. "How about…."
"Ssh! Guys, I think someone's coming!" Woody hissed suddenly.
Buzz looked quickly behind him. They'd wandered too far away from Bonnie's room to make it back in time. They'd have to move forward. "This way," he mouthed and motioned for them to follow.
A door creaked open a few feet ahead of them, and Woody grabbed both his friend's hands before ducking inside. Just as they fell over the threshold, Woody heard heavy footsteps on the top of the stairs. "That was a close one," Woody said.
Jessie nodded. "I guess it's gonna take us awhile to figure out this family's habits." She placed her hands on the wooden floor and pushed herself up. She gave a low whistle as her eyes adjusted to the strange lighting and she took in her surroundings.
"This is a great place to start our exploration," Buzz agreed.
Woody looked up and saw rows and rows of bookcases pushed together. Each case was filled to maximum capacity with books. "It's a library!" He exclaimed. He wondered idly if they had any books from the old Woody's Roundup show…
His thoughts were interrupted by a squeal from Jessie. "Jess? What's wron-?"
"Jessie? Buzz?" A soft, yet firm voice cut him off.
Woody looked up to see where the voice was coming from, but it was hard to see since the only light was coming from a small lamp on top of one of the bookcases.… and gasped as he rubbed his eyes. Was he dreaming? Was he seeing things? Maybe they had gotten obliterated in the incinerator last night and this was heaven…
"Well, bless my soul," The soft voice said.
Buzz followed Jessie's stunned gaze and finally pinpointed where the voice was coming from. On top of a tall bookcase standing just to the right of where the toys stood, was
"BO!" Jessie shouted, finally coming out of her stupor. She bolted forward, but a pair of strong arms held her back. She struggled for a mere second before she caught Buzz's meaningful look. Not yet.
They both looked at Woody, who was still standing shocked on slightly wobbly legs.
"Woody," she breathed. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again."
"Bo? Is it really you?" He'd been through so much over the past few days, and if this was a hallucination…
"Yes!" Jessie screamed. "It's really her! Now go on, get up there!"
Woody blinked and shook his head to clear it. Within a second he was on the other side of the room, at the bottom of the bookcase.
Buzz quickly jogged over to give his friend a boost. Jessie leaned her head all the way back and watched, open mouthed in awe as Woody climbed shelf by shelf as if in slow motion. She wrung her hands together in anticipation.
The seconds ticked slowly like years until Woody reached the top. Bo held out her hands to him to help him over. The sheep mewed excitedly and Woody laughed as they licked his fingers.
And then she was in his arms, her tears soaking into his shirt, her tiny hands clutching his vest tightly. Woody buried his face in her bonnet and it was just as soft as he remembered. He squeezed his eyes shut and held her as close to his chest as possible, not even caring that he could barely breathe. They whispered into each other's ears, it was all nonsensical nothings, but every word that was spoken was just as important as the last.
Woody opened his eyes and jumped in surprise as he realized that Buzz and Jessie were on the top shelf with them. He'd almost forgotten that there were other toys in the world.
Jessie hugged Bo Peep from behind. "I'm so happy to see you," she said. She thought for a moment. "You don't know how hard it's been for me and Mrs. Potato Head, alone in a room full of menfolk." They all laughed at that.
"But, how did you end up here?" Buzz wondered aloud.
"Well, Andy's mom gave me to Bonnie's mom almost two years ago," Bo Peep explained. "Bonnie's such as smart girl. She started to read at a real young age." She smiled, remembering. "And we've been reading together ever since."
"That's… sweet," Woody said. He saw a sparkle in her eye when she mentioned Bonnie's name. It reminded him of how he imagined he'd looked whenever he spoke of Andy, and he found that he was oddly okay with that.
Bo's eyes widened and she looked up at him. "But how did you find me?"
"It's a long story, Bo," Woody said.
"But it's gonna have a happy ending," Jessie added with a grin.
Buzz and Woody shook their heads in agreement.
"Well, Bonnie's family will be having dessert," Bo said. "So you have time to tell me."
Woody wrapped an arm tightly around her shoulders and settled back to listen to Jessie recount all the events of the past few days to Bo. He smiled in satisfaction, knowing that they had all the time in the world to tell each other about the past two years.
"Aw, Woody. I'm sorry about Andy," Bo said sympathetically when Jessie was finished.
Woody nodded. "It'll be okay now."
"Now that our family's back together!" Jessie added.
"Right," Woody said, reveling in the words our family's back together.
Bo smiled at him and tucked her head in between his head and his shoulder. He turned his head to rest his chin against her bonnet. Now it would be okay, he reminded himself. Just as long as he had what he needed.