(trapped in a toy box, fighting, trying to get out)

POP! Whoa! (tumble) Hey, everybody! How's challenges? (Ignore that)

Hi, all! My name's samuraistar! I saw Toy Story 3 TWICE, absolutely LOVED it more than I could ever say, so…I thought I'd try my hand at it in the fan fiction section!

I've already read several TS3 stories, and I've noticed a recurring theme of Jessie having nightmares and Buzz helping her get over them with his adorableness! As you can imagine, I was a little put off, as I had pretty much the same idea myself. But every writer has their different styles and stuff, so I didn't let it get me down!

Having said that, this one-shot is similar to most of the Jessie/Buzz one-shots you may have already read, but I hope you'll read mine anyway, because it's my first one ever!

I should mention that I do have crying in this story; I mean, it doesn't look like the toys actually shed tears, but I just can't work without them, so I hope you'll bear with me for the sake of the story.

Also, I'd like to dedicate this one-shot to the amazingly talented Jennifer Collins, whose Jessie/Buzz fluff stories have inspired me to stick my toes in the toy box! Ms. Collins, if you're reading this, I hope you'll enjoy it particularly!

So how about I stop babbling and get to the story? (rubbing hands together) Please enjoy it, and please review!

"Take care of Andy, Woody. He's a good kid. Tell him to get a haircut."—Mr. Potatohead, Toy Story 3

Hold My Hand in the Rain

Summary: One-shot, set after TS3. Like other stories, Jessie has a nightmare. This time, Buzz takes her outside, where she finds unexpected comfort in the midnight spring rain.

Twenty years in a cardboard box had planted a deep-rooted fear of the dark in Jessie; the close space of its four walls and six sides would have driven her insane had it not been for the comforting presence of Bullseye and (at the time) the Prospector. In fact, the Prospector had talked her through it all and made it more bearable, but the dark was still the dark, and she had longed for the light.

Now, however, the very thing she'd wanted was about to destroy her and everyone she loved. When The Prospector betrayed her, it had nearly cost her her freedom. Now she'd been betrayed by Lotso, and it was about to cost her her life. The only thing that kept her from wishing for that dark closed box was holding her hand, telling her with his eyes what his voice had failed to say before…what it was too late to say now.

"Jessie," she heard him say as he reached for her, "Jessie, it's all right. Wake up." His free hand gently held her face. "You're having a nightmare; you've got to wake up! Jessie!"

With a terrified gasp her eyes shot open and she scrambled upright, dropping her hat.

It was dark; for a horrible second she thought she was back in storage, but she whipped her head around, took in her surroundings, and she remembered where she was: In Bonnie's room, on her bed, lying against a tye-dye pillow at the foot; it was only when she saw Buzz kneeling next to her, his concern-filled face catching the soft glow of his armor, that her rapid breathing slowed back down.

"Buzz?" she blinked. He looked slightly relieved.

"Yeah," he said and gently touched her face again, "It's me. Are you okay?"

Jessie felt something around her hand; she looked down and saw her right hand fitting perfectly in Buzz's left one, just like before.

Just like her nightmare.

Suddenly it all came crashing back and she drew a sobbing breath.

"Oh, Buzz!" She threw her arms around his neck and burst into tears. She'd been too frightened to cry when it had actually happened, but the instant replay had snapped her last nerve.

Buzz was very surprised as he held her; on instinct, he glanced over at Bonnie. Her clean, lovely face was peaceful in sleep and she had Woody in her arm. That was good. He scooped up Jessie's legs in his other arm and stood up.

"Come on, Jessie," he whispered and carried her off the bed, across the dresser, leaped to the computer desk, and opened the window just enough to get them out. He then grabbed an unplugged cord that went to…well, something…and used it to slide down the wall and into the rhododendron bushes. Jessie clung to him the whole way, trembling in his arms like a frightened child.

"I'm sorry, Buzz," she cried as he knelt with her, "I didn't mean to cause you trouble." She knelt across from him.

"Nonsense," he said firmly, trying to wipe her tears, "The only one who's had trouble caused for them is you." He brought her head to his face and stroked her neat red hair. "You want to tell me about it?"

She took a deep breath and looked up at him; she sighed and settled Indian style.

"I dreamed about the dump," she said brokenly with her eyes shut tight.

"Oh," he said softly, "I see." She nodded a couple of times and looked at him.

"It was just like it happened," she said quickly, before her voice could fail her, "We were all there in the furnace together, and…we were all holding hands, and I…I saw you, a-and you were looking at me with that face, and I…I just…" She shook her head helplessly. "Buzz, I was so scared!"

"I know," he nodded and held her again, "I know you were."

Yes, he knew; he probably knew better than anyone how terrified she'd been because of the way she'd looked at him. That face…that expression of unmitigated horror as they were slowly slipping to their deaths…he was sure it would haunt him forever. If he lived to be a hundred years old, he would never forget that face. He wasn't sure exactly what she'd seen, but he knew it must have been the same.

"I was scared too, Jessie," he said quietly and intensely, "I don't think I've ever been so frightened in my life. I've been strapped to a rocket, attacked by a dog, and gone blindly into open traffic…but this one definitely beats them all."

"When we were there," Jessie wept, "I almost wished I was back in Al's apartment. I've been scared of the dark for so long, I couldn't imagine anything worse before. But then it turned out to be the total opposite that nearly killed me." Buzz half-smiled a little.

"You almost wished?" he repeated. She nodded again and pulled back.

"The only difference was," she said and held his hands, "I didn't have you when I was in storage." She looked at him again with this deep look in her starlit eyes.

"If it's a choice between dying with you holding my hand," she said quietly, "and spending the rest of my life back in that box alone…I think I'd rather die with you." She smiled sheepishly at the soft look of surprise in his eyes. "I love you, Buzz. I don't want to be without you ever again." Buzz smiled softly back at her and delicately touched her face.

"Then you never will," he said. He then surprised her with their first kiss, gentle and tender. They touched foreheads with blushing faces.

"I love you too, Jessie," he whispered, "so I'll always be with you." She smiled again and felt small tears creep in; this time, they were happy tears.

"Thank you," she whispered back, then jumped a bit on hearing thunder in the near distance. Almost immediately afterward, a gentle rain began to pour. The air felt cooler now; it felt good.

"It's raining," Jessie murmured wondrously as she got to her feet and crept out of the bushes with Buzz holding her hand. She stared up at the clouds lined with moonlight and held her other hand out to catch raindrops. They felt cool and the sound of them falling was very soothing. She closed her eyes with her face turned up.

"Jessie?" Buzz asked.

"I've never felt rain before," she shook her head peacefully, "I spent twenty years in a box and Emily and Andy were both careful not to leave me out."

"How does it feel?" he asked.

"It feels great," she sighed, "I love it." The white-hot intensity of her nightmare was gently washed away with each drop that caressed her face and hands. Buzz liked how she looked right now, so peaceful and happy. He would remember that face sooner than the one that haunted him, he hoped. This one was prettier, with raindrops full of moonlight running down her face, darkening her hair, disappearing into her cloth body.

Wait a second…

"Hey, Jessie?" he said, touching her back, "We should get back inside before you get too wet." She opened her eyes and curiously looked at herself.

"Aw, man," she moaned, "Now I know why I've never been in the rain!" Buzz laughed.

"Come on, cowgirl," he said and took her hand, "Let's get you dried off."

It was no trouble for Buzz to use Bonnie's hand towel, but Jessie had to resort to sitting on the air vent on the floor by the bed. Buzz decided to stay with her, and that's exactly where Woody found them the next morning.

"So…" he said suspiciously with his arms crossed, "Either of you want to tell me what happened last night?"

The two toys shared a knowing look and barely stifled a laughing fit.

"We had trouble sleeping," said Buzz as he stood and stretched, "Right, Jess?" He helped her up.

"Yep," she chirped, "You know how it is on rainy nights!"

"Uh-huh," said Woody wryly, "By the way, Jessie, you forgot this." He plopped her hat playfully on her head.

"Thanks, Wodoy," she giggled. Woody lifted the brim so he could see her face.

"Hey," he asked quietly, "You okay?" She smiled, knowing he knew her well enough to tell when she'd been through something distressing.

"Yeah," she nodded, "I'm okay." Woody half-smiled and glanced at Buzz.

"All right," he relented, "As long as you guys are safe."

"We are safe," said Buzz as he took Jessie's hand again, "and we're together." He looked at her. "And that's all that matters." Jessie smiled back at him and the three of them joined the others to start the day.


Author's Review:
Yay, happy cornball ending! I really hope you guys liked that, especially the amazing Ms. Collins, as I like to call her! I'll have another one coming up soon…very soon! I hope you'll like that one, too! So please, reviews, comments, questions, or just rave about the movie! I should totally write a Note about it on Facebook! See you next time!