AN: I don't own Toy Story – Disney and Pixar do (but not necessarily in that order). This fic was written in response to a request given via LiveJournal. Also, I've only seen Toy Story 3 once at the time of writing this, so forgive me if I've forgotten any details.

"After Ten Years"

By EsmeAmelia

Jessie gripped the bars of her cage, staring at Buzz striding back and forth. How long had he been doing that and only that? She had long ago lost track of time in this dark paradise-turned-nightmare. Perhaps it was midnight, perhaps it was nearly dawn, she had no way of knowing. The only thing that had changed for the entire night was the direction in which Buzz strode. Right for twenty paces, then left for twenty paces, then right for twenty paces again . . . he didn't even bother varying the number of paces.

She hadn't bothered trying to talk with the others in their own cages. Maybe they were sleeping. Most likely they weren't. She doubted anyone would get any sleep tonight, including Buzz. Lotso and the others would probably let Buzz sleep during the day while the toddlers in the Caterpillar Room tortured his family.

Yet it wasn't another day in the Caterpillar Room that was looming over her right now. The dried paint on her would wash off. Possibly. If she was ever allowed near a sink. But no, paint she could handle, which she only realized now, all too late. She was stupid. They were all stupid. Stupid to send Buzz to talk to Lotso, stupid to trust Lotso, stupid to donate themselves in the first place. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Buzz was striding towards her cage. For a moment she hoped he would stop for a moment when he reached, that perhaps some fragment of his memory would be triggered when he saw her . . . but no, he passed her without so much as a glance.

Jessie scooted to the back of her imprisonment. She sat against the wall and drew her knees to her chest, though she knew Buzz probably still had a view of her. By now she didn't care if he saw her or not – she no longer made any difference to him, so why would it matter if he couldn't see her? Her mind drifted back to that day, over ten years ago, when she met that sweet little space toy. Prospector had given long speeches against space toys, but she couldn't recall having ever actually met one before Buzz.

The first thing that struck her about Buzz was his determination. How he had traveled such a long way to rescue his best friend. Not only that, but he braved the airport to get Woody back. And then . . . he helped Woody rescue her, even though he barely knew her, even though he had absolutely no reason to do so.

Something happened after that. Once she was settled into the notion that she actually had a new home and a new family, she spent more time with Buzz than anyone else. They challenged each other to see who could ride the Hot Wheels loop the fastest. They talked about their various escapades in Andy's playtime. They played video games, seeing if they could beat each other's high score. Maybe even Andy sensed something between them, since he sometimes made them action partners in his playtime.

Even later on, when Andy began to ignore them, Buzz's presence helped make things easier for her. With Emily, she had been alone, but with Andy, she had her friends with her – and she had Buzz.

Ten years.

But now he didn't even remember her.

She buried her face in her arms, wishing for the first time that toys could shed tears. They could cry – well, they could go through the actions of crying, but they didn't have tears, no means of truly releasing their sorrow. She had never really thought about it before, not even when Emily abandoned her, but now she actually envied humans for that simple ability.

She heard Buzz striding past her cage again. Thirteen . . . fourteen . . . fifteen . . . sixteen . . . seventeen . . . eighteen . . . nineteen . . . twenty . . . and then he turned and started back the other way. Again. And once more, no pause between his strides, no stopping for even a moment, no indication that he even had a hint of memory.

Surely there was some way to fix him, right? There had to be.

There had to.

But even as she thought this, doubt clouded her mind. Maybe there was a way to fix him . . . but maybe there wasn't. Whatever the case was, Lotso and the others would never let her close enough to Buzz to find out.

Worse than that, Buzz wouldn't let her close enough to find out.

Andy was gone. On some level, she had always known that would happen sooner or later. Why should Andy have been any different from Emily? Even though Woody would always insist otherwise, Jessie hadn't been able to completely believe him. In the end, all children outgrew their toys.

Woody was gone. It was for the best. Better for him to be packed up for college than here, witnessing the transformation of his best friend into a heartless slave. Still, some part of her wished Woody was here. Maybe he would have some ideas on how to snap Buzz out of this.

And Buzz was gone.

Buzz was gone.

Buzz was gone.

There was no way Jessie could rationalize that. It was a result of nothing but stupidity. Why couldn't she turn time back to this morning? Just this morning?

Ten years.

A good amount of time.

But amounts didn't matter when they were over.

Buzz kept striding.

And striding.

And striding.

Maybe he would stride forever, never suspecting that he once led another life, a life where he had a family.

A life where he had love.

Ten wonderful years.

But it was all over.

THE END