Been a while again huh? December was really nutty with work and the holidays and the lot. This last week I've contracted the plauge. You don't want any more excuses do you? Have some fic instead! Hopefully I'll be inspired and there will be some more soon
Characters: Jessie & Rex (others appear. Some J/B)
Summary: Set during Toy Story 3. The toys prepare for their escape from the caterpillar room but Rex is missing and Jessie tries to help him
Notes: Another prompt fill from the Disney comm. Basically the idea was fluffy interaction between Rex & Jessie and an explanation for how his tail got put back on after the toddler attack and before Buzz leaves to talk to Lotso. This became very Jessie centric (and I couldn't help some otp fluff) and fluffy and kinda angsty but i like it well enough. First time writing Rex (who is difficult b/c there are only so many ways one can say "he was nervous" :P). The line at the end is a random reference to the the TS3 audio commentary... just thought I'd let you know. Enjoy
"What else needs to be done, Buzz?" Jessie asked the space ranger as she set down a long length of orange yarn at her feet. The plan to get out of the caterpillar room was coming along nicely but there were still a few things to finish up. Jessie didn't quite want to call it an escape plan. Escape entailed that they were, in fact, trapped in here as Mrs. Potato Head had shrilly decreed and that just couldn't be right. Lotso wouldn't do that to them, not after all he had said, not after how perfect this place had been, not after she had been the one to convince them all to go there. Jessie wasn't sure she could handle that guilt. Buzz turned from eyeing the transom to face her and the cowgirl's attention was quickly back on the situation.
The space ranger looked down at the rope she had gathered and then up to meet her gaze. He seemed to falter only slightly. "Uh.. th- thanks, Jessie. Why- why don't you go check on Rex and Hamm and make sure they've got the trajectory right for the broom. And that they're not fighting." He added with a small chuckle.
"Righto, Ranger," Jessie smiled back and then took off in the opposite direction. She smiled even harder once she was sure he couldn't see her face. Buzz had made it through three whole sentences with her and hardly stuttered. She knew it was the nature of the situation and the fact that there were pressing matters at hand, but it was progress.
In no time, she was at the far wall and could see the very edge of Hamm's foot. "You fellers alright up there?" she called up.
Hamm's face suddenly appeared over the edge of the shelf along with Bullseye's. "We're fine," Jessie was surprised not to hear any of the pig's usual sarcasm. This situation was obviously wearing on everyone. "We've almost got this thing lined up to Buzz's specifications."
Bullseye whinnied in agreement. "That's good news. We've only got another five minutes or so til go time." Hamm nodded and started to turn away but another thought struck Jessie. "Hey, isn't Rex supposed to be helping you?"
Hamm rolled his eyes, "Yeah, he's supposed to be, but old lizard brain's off somewhere freaking out over his detached tail."
"I see," Jessie said quietly and left the pig and horse to their task. Rather than reporting back to Buzz about their status she decided to go find the missing dinosaur. Rex was always one for worrying but this whole tail thing seemed to have taken its toll on him. She asked around to the other toys but no one seemed to know where the big lizard had gotten to.
Jessie was about to give up when she heard a small noise from behind the puppet theater. She stopped in her tracks, sure she'd imagined the sound, but when she heard it again and hurried to find its source. Treading lightly, she pushed aside the side curtain of the theater only to find Rex, nearly hidden in the back corner. Her boot squeaked as she stepped closer catching the other toy's attention.
"Jessie!" Rex practically screamed dropping what was in his hands and hurrying to cover his mouth. "I.. I thought everyone was working on Buzz's plan."
Jessie smiled, trying to look as friendly as possible, "They are. But I noticed you weren't around and I wanted to make sure everything was okay. Everything is okay, right Rex?"
"Well," Rex began ringing his small hands together in a manner he usually saved for when he was really nervous. "I just…"
"If something's the matter Rex, you can tell me," Jessie said taking a tentative step forward. Rex still fidgeted uncomfortably, refusing to look her in the eyes. The cowgirl decided to try another approach realizing the item he had dropped when she had found him. "Is it because of your tail?"
Rex's tiny eyes went wide, as if she had just uncovered the darkest of his secrets. He shifted again before nodding and hanging his head.
Jessie smiled reassuringly and placed a hand on his shoulder. She could feel the dinosaur actually shaking from nerves. "Would you like me to help you get it back on?"
"Would you?" He asked in a small hopeful voice.
"Of course!" Jessie said a little too loudly. After a quick search she found the dropped tail and very carefully approached Rex with it. Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl of Woody's Roundup fame was known for her love of critters and even though Jessie was just a toy version of that persona, she had always had that same soft spot as part of her own character. A dinosaur was very different from a critter on the prairie, but she still didn't want to see him in distress, especially since he was a friend.
The cowgirl kneeled down behind Rex, placing her hand on his lower back again as gently as possible. He was still shaking and she slowly began to pet him hoping to calm him down. After a bit it seemed to work and he stopped fidgeting enough that she could see how to line up the missing piece. The tail had a small green square on its end that fit into a square opening on Rex's backside. "Okay, this'll be quick" she assured him and carefully lined up the opposing squares. Once she was sure they were in place she put enough force behind the tail piece to make sure it snapped back in.
Rex jumped a bit but seemed no worse for wear. "There ya go, all better" Jessie said happily as she stood back up and faced the dinosaur. He gave the reattached piece a few test twists and finally looked relieved for the first time since Jessie had found him. Jessie bit her lip but decided to ask her friend one more question "Why didn't you just ask one of us for help before?"
The nervousness Rex displayed this time was different than the first, "I was afraid"
"Well that- that someone'd make fun of me for it. I didn't want to be a broken toy."
"We all got beat up pretty bad by those toddlers. I don't think anyone would have faulted you for needing help getting pieced back together."
"Hamm or Potato Head…"
"Oh, they're just jerks," Jessie teased. "Besides, who cares what they think." Rex's head still hung low and he was back to not making eye contact with her. "Is there something else?"
He didn't look up and his voice was so small Jessie had to strain to listen "What if—What if no one wants to play with me anymore because I'm old and breakable? What if that's why Andy got rid of me?"
Jessie's heart sunk. She remembered that feeling so vividly from Emily. All the self doubt, all that feelings of worthlessness, all the excuses and the perceived inadequacies. The cowgirl had eventually overcome them but this whole situation with Andy made all that pain come back. She didn't want any of her other friends to have to feel that same way, ever.
Without warning, she threw her arms around the dinosaur's neck, hugging him fiercely. "Rex, you are the best toy any kid could hope for! The kid that gets to play with you is lucky. Don't you ever think differently!"
Rex didn't react at first but finally returned the hug as best he could with his small arms. "Thank you, Jessie."
Jessie pulled away readjusting her hat on her head and giving him a soft clap on the back. "What do you say we go help the others finish up the plan? Buzz isn't going to get to that transom without help."
Rex nodded and the two began to make their way out of the puppet theater before the dinosaur stopped. "Hey Jessie, what is a transom anyway?"