Hola! I originally intended this chapter for my "What happened during..." story but I felt it should stand alone because it doesn't really fit the Jessie/Buzz theme. I do not own Toy Story (I'm just wondering, if I say I do own Toy Story even though I clearly don't will Pixar sue me for every penny I have? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I genuinely want to know.)
Background: Andy just said goodbye to his toys.
"So long, partner," said Woody, watching Andy's departure. He never took his eyes off of him until he felt an arm wrap across his back, giving him a gentle shake. Woody looked down his left shoulder and saw it was Buzz's hand. Turning to Buzz, he saw the space ranger giving him a consoling smile. "Oh, hey guys!" Woody exclaimed, getting up, "You gotta meet Bonnie's toys! Here's Dolly, Buttercup, Peas in a Pod, Toroto, Trixie, and Mr. Pricklepants." He grabbed Dolly's and Buzz's hands and slightly pulled them closer to say their hellos and introduce themselves. Hearing his new and old friends getting acquainted, he hoped he would distract himself from Andy. Instead, he forced himself to look down the street again in hopes of seeing his owner again. No pastel blue van. No 'donation' box on the yard. No Andy.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group got along with each other. "Mmm, it certainly does smell good. Bonnie's mom must be quite a chef," agreed Buzz after Mr. Pricklepants pointed out the appetizing smell coming from the kitchen. "Can you smell it Woody?" No response. "Woody?" Buzz rotated his body looking for his friend. Woody was walking towards the porch steps, looking down at his boots afraid to look up at the street again. It's best to leave him alone, Buzz told himself, his face falling.
Don't do it, Woody, the cowboy thought to himself gathering his eyebrows together. He stared at his boots, constantly fighting in his head to look anywhere but the street. There's nothing there, Woody. He's never coming back. Never. Don't do this to yourself. Stay strong for the others. Why stay strong, though? Hasn't he already been strong enough for his friends? He encouraged them many times when they were down. It was his turn to be comforted; him to be told everything was going to be OK. What killed him the most was that he was suppose to go to college with Andy.
"Now Woody, he's been my pal for as long as I can remember," Woody heard Andy say to him, "He's brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he'll never give up on you... ever. He'll be there for you, no matter what."
Then why did he give up on Woody? Why isn't he here for Woody now? After so many years. Seventeen years. Boiling on the inside, he dug his fingers into his palms as hard as he could. He stormed over near the screen door. Almost lost my life…to lose my owner…
Jessie turned to look at Woody. He had his arms crossed and placed his foot against the rusting screen door. Still looking down. She couldn't see his expression due to his hat covering his face.
"Howdy, cowgirl," Dolly greeted, holding out her hands to shake. But she didn't realize she slightly startled Jessie.
"H-howdy," responded Jessie, trying to hide her alarmed state. She forced herself to turn her full attention to Dolly.
Woody readjusted his hat and heard Bonnie and her mom through the kitchen window. It was halfway open.
"See, Bonnie? I told you that you'd get the cowboy doll back. And you got even more toys," Bonnie's mom pointed out to her daughter.
"Yeah," Bonnie replied, looking over the pot of boiling water on the stove.
"Be careful honey," her mom warned, gently pushing her back. "I can't believe how old he has gotten. The boy, Andy, who gave you the toys; I use to watch him at Sunnyside when he was yourage." Bonnie's face lit up. It was amazing to her that a big boy like him was her age once upon a time. "In fact, you know that Buzz Lightyear toy?" Bonnie nodded her head vigorously. "I helped his mom look for that toy for his birthday. That's the original," she added with a smile.
"When will the pasta be done? I want to look at my new toys."
"In a couple of minutes. C'mon, lets make some space in your room for the new toys. You want to make sure they all stay together because they are very important to Andy." Bonnie enthusiastically grabbed her mother's hand and yanked it upstairs to her room. Woody listened to their footsteps. Each stair let out a little creak each time they stepped on it.
"Hey, kid," called out a deep voice. Woody recognized it and pushed his hat back. "Up here. By the window. It's Chuckles." He looked up and took a breath, erecting his body. How do I climb up? He jumped onto a yellow shingle, grabbing each one ahead of him and pulling himself up. Up close, he noticed the paint was starting to chip from all the seasons the house has endured. Finally, he reached the windowsill and sat on it, letting his legs hang. On accident, he looked at the street after promising himself he wouldn't. He felt his body start to slump over again.
"What happened, sheriff? How're ya feeling?" Chuckles slowly asked.
"What do you mean?" Woody questioned back, turning his body to the dismal clown.
"You know what I mean. You can tell me if you want." Woody looked down at Chuckle's only pocket where Daisy's plastic heart use to be.
"It's overwhelming to me right now. I…I feel like I should be happy here. I mean, Bonnie is a great kid and the toys here are very welcoming…"
"…But nobody can replace your original owner." Woody gave him a feeble smile. "You were his favorite, weren't you?" Chuckles quizzed. Woody raised his eyebrows and gave a mere tilt of the head in visual response.
"We were close," Woody explained, "I was originally going to go to college with Andy but-"
"I know, kid. I saw. Don't need to explain yourself." Woody turned and stared at the street, forgetting Chuckles was right behind him. He saw a squirrel running down the middle of the street. It abruptly stopped and sat up while whipping his tail hastily, thinking of where to go next. It looked around and delicately placed one of his paws on the asphalt, his head jerking in every direction. He stormed off, swiftly climbing up on one of the trees.
"I've never seen anything like it," Chuckles blurted out after a long silence, slightly scaring Woody.
"A teenager who loved his toy so much." Woody looked down again. Chuckles sighed. "He's grown up Woody. You don't like it. You know you don't. And I don't like the thought of it; I know what you gone through with Sunnyside and everything else. But Andy doesn't like it either." The cowboy's eyes met Chuckle's, and he continued speaking. "He's still young at heart. I watched him. His face was glowing when he played with all of you. His toys." Woody looked at his pocket again and gave a slight chuckle.
"Bonnie's toys," Woody declared, observing the toys mingling with each other. Chuckles calmly laid his hand on Woody's shoulder.
"There you go, kid. Live in the present and plan for the future," he replied, squeezing his shoulder in congratulations. Then his voice became hushed, "But don't forget your past. You are and will always be Andy's toy." Woody reached and looked under his boot, touching the backwards 'N' in Andy's name. His hand writing certainly improved, he thought, trying to cheer himself up.
"Thank you, sir." He cleared his throat and gave Chuckles a genuine smile. Then, from the elderly clown toy, Woody heard the words he have been waiting to hear: "Everything is going to be OK, Woody."
Your reviews (or critques) will be very much appreciated. I hope you liked it :-) It certainly (almost) gave me closure about the trilogy ending and I hope it did the same for you.