"Now, are you going to be careful with it this time, Bonnie?"
"Uh-huh! I promise!"
Jessie waited until the humans' footsteps had died away, and then she jumped out of the toy box. She ran over to the dresser and climbed up. No one was there!
"…And here I was, thinking that I'd save you a trip by coming down first!" a voice called from the floor.
Jessie whirled around. Sandy was sitting by the toy box, grinning up at her.
"Sandy!" the cowgirl squealed. She hurried back down to the floor and ran up to the wolf, grabbing him in a hug.
"You're all right!" she exclaimed.
"Of course, I'm all right," Sandy replied. "A bit cracked, but good as new, nonetheless."
Jessie looked at Sandy's side. There was a crack there, stretching from the back of his neck to his lower belly.
Sandy shrugged. "I kinda like it," he said. "Hey, how about we have that party now?"
"Um, sure! Okay!"
Jessie ran off to round up the other toys. Sandy glanced around the bedroom, stopping when he saw Buzz, who was sitting in the doorway of the closet. The wolf walked over to him.
"Hey, Buzz," he said.
"What do you want?" the space ranger asked.
"I want to talk to you," Sandy replied.
There was a long silence.
"I'm sorry," Buzz said. "For everything."
Sandy raised an eyebrow. "You think that you need to apologize? To me?"
"Of course I do!" said Buzz. "I was cruel to you, without any reason! What I said about you was horrible."
"If anyone needs to apologize, then it's me," said the wolf.
"You…what?" Buzz was confused. "What did you do?"
"I took what you said in the worst possible way," Sandy explained. "Look, I did a lot of thinking while Dad was fixing me up, and, well… I know why you said it."
Buzz stared. Sandy grinned.
"Did you think that Jessie never talked to me about you?" he asked. "I don't know much about people yet, but I could tell that there was a bond between the two of you, even though you never came up to the dresser. It was my mistake that I didn't try to talk to you before it came to all of this."
"So you…? You and Jessie…? You aren't…?"
Sandy shook his head. "Nope. She's my best friend, I think, and she's very kind, but that's all."
It was like an incredible weight had been taken off of Buzz's shoulders. He smiled at Sandy.
"Thank you," he said.
"Hey, any time," said the wolf. "Don't be so hard on yourself about things, okay?"
Buzz nodded. He looked out across the bedroom floor, to where Jessie and Mr. Pricklepants were setting up the CD player. The cowgirl had been watching them, but she turned away as soon as she saw him looking.
"She hates me now," Buzz sighed. "She probably wishes that it was me who got broken."
"I wouldn't be so sure," said Sandy. "I think, if it had been you who was broken, Woody never would have been able to drag her away from your body."
"You really think so?"
Sandy nodded. "Give me ten minutes. I'll see what I can do."
Sandy approached Jessie, who was just pushing the "play" button on the CD player.
"Let's chat for a bit," he said.
"Okay," Jessie replied.
The two of them walked over to the base of the dresser and sat down.
"So, what were you and Buzz talking about?" Jessie asked, trying to sound indifferent.
"Oh, not much," Sandy said with a shrug. "He's really been beating himself up."
Jessie frowned. "Good," she said. "He should be."
"Do you really think that?"
"What do you mean? Look at what he's done to you!"
"Yeah," said the wolf. "And?"
"And? And he's thoughtless and mean and… And…"
Why is it so difficult to insult him?
"You miss him, don't you?" said Sandy. "You haven't hung out with him since I got here."
"Yeah, I haven't…"
"He misses you, too, you know."
Sandy watched the space ranger and cowgirl walk off, hand in hand, and he smiled to himself. The wolf turned around and went to join the other toys on the dance floor. It was time to have a real party!