HEEELLOOOO! Anyone there? Razi? Daxx? Kett? Star? Frosty...BL? Huh. Anyway...I'm sorry about the mistake in the last chapter, about the Pea's names. That was my mistake! ^^;
I've been a-getting a lot of...ah, grief, for taking down 9 The Savior Returns. I'm writing a make-up story for all you impatient fans, so please don't eat me! BTW, On my profile I know my age still says 15. I've been 16 for two months, I'm just too lazy to update. Isn't that right, Razi?
Okay, back to the story. Here is where we set out a adventure! Whee! Okay, so read, and I do hope to have more than TWO reviews this time! Speaking of two...
OMG OMG OMG OMG ERIK IS SO DAMN CUTE! As in the famous words of Agnus, "He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" I managed to catch the end of the Happy Feet 2 trailer on Entertainment Tonight a few nights ago. I was jumping and squealing and having one of the most empic fangirl moments. I'm sopoooooooooo excited.
Okay. Read. Now. PLZ
Chapter 4: Of All the Rocks in the World
All of the humans in the house left early that morning. Mr. Anderson went to work while Bonnie and Mrs. Anderson went to Sunnyside Daycare. It was a usual day for them. 9 woke with a start when he heard the car door slam. He lay for a moment, keeping his eyes closed, listening to the dull roar of the car's engine, and then the crunch of gravel beneath the heavy tires, signifying that they were driving away. Once more, the toy clan and stitchpunk coven were alone.
9 sighed deeply. Flexing his fingers, curling them a bit, he felt a soft fabric underneath his fingertips. Opening his eyes slowly, he saw that 7 still lay beside him. She appeared to still be asleep, breathing deeply, her eyes closed. 9 looked up, and saw that all of the other stitchpunks were gone.
They must already be awake, 9 thought to himself when he felt a movement from below. Looking down, he saw that the female stitchpunk was looking up at him, smiling.
"Look who's finally up. Good morning, you." 7 said teasingly. 9 chuckled lightly, holding 7 to his heart for a moment before they both sat up.
"Morning to you too. Is everyone alright?" He asked, and she nodded.
"Yeah, they're all fine. They got up early, but no one minded that you slept in for a little bit longer. I told them that you didn't get any sleep last night. They understood." 7 explained, her dark eyes shining as he looked into them.
"Thank you." 9 said softly, looking down at her in love. She laid her head on his shoulder, taking his hands. As he leaned his temple against her own, he wished with all his heart that they could go home. That they could just forget this madness and go back to where they belonged.
"It'll be alright." 7 whispered from below, as if she could hear his thoughts, and he tightened his fingers around her hand, sighing. They sat for a few more moments together, before withdrawing from one another.
"C'mon. We've gotta find the rock that the twins found. Woody said he'll be able to help." 7 said, and 9 nodded silently. Together, they crawled out from underneath the bed, and 9 looked around at his coven. They were all talking cheerfully with their new friends, some laughing, and 9 was hit with a sudden thought – what if his family wanted to stay? They were all they had back home in London, just the nine of them, and perhaps they grew bored of each other's company. 9 blinked at this thought, and his heart fell. Not that he didn't like it here – he just knew that he didn't belong.
"I'll go get Woody." 7 said quietly, noticing her friend's change in demeanor. A great shadow had fallen over him, and she knew that look. He was sad, but considering something that he didn't want to do. She had seen that look when he had fought the Fabrication Machine by himself, right before he was killed. 9 nodded slowly, eyes still upon the two intertwined families. 7 walked off to find the cowboy, and his eyes trailed after her, watching her beautiful being...
Suddenly, there was a large, warm hand upon his shoulder, jerking him out of the reverie, and he turned quickly, slightly startled.
"Hey. Are you okay?" The one-eyed Healer asked him. There was a worried look in his eye as he saw that his best friend looked quite distressed.
"Yeah…I'm fine." 9 answered automatically. He didn't want the ones he loved worrying about him. He'd get over this soon. However, 5 saw immediately through the lie. He had become 9's best friend almost as soon as they had met, and that's not something that happens every day. 5 loved 9, and was his forever best friend – he could tell that 9 was upset easily.
"9, you're not fine. I know that look. What's the matter?" 5 asked gently, and 9 knew that he was trapped. He could not lie again to 5. He hated lying, but he also knew that 5 could see through everything. He saw through the lie that he wasn't going to let himself die to save them. He saw through the lie that 9 only liked 7 as a friend. 9 sighed, and turned to his friend.
"5…we don't belong here. I know that it's really nice to be in new company and have new friends, but…I just don't feel right here. I wanna go home, and I want you all to come with me. But what if they all, you, want to stay? I couldn't leave then. A leader can't abandon his family. I mean…I feel so selfish, wanting to go home so bad. I want what's best for us, but…I just don't know what to do. I don't know what to do." 9 confided to 5, dropping his head and ending the statement in a whisper. He felt so ashamed. What was he to do? How could he lead them out of this mess? What did they want to do? What…
"9," 5 said, shaking his head, "you think too much. Don't feel selfish, don't you dare. I wanna go home too. We all do. 1 hates the weather here – it's too hot, and remember that he's old. Home is where we truly belong. That's what's best for us. Yeah, I like Buzz and Woody and all of the others, but it's not where we belong. We can't make a child happy – we have a mission back home. We have to keep the Earth safe for when the humans finally return. Don't worry. Everything'll work out." 9 nodded, comforted by his brother's words, but he still felt so confused inside. His mind was nothing but a churning mess. He found himself wishing that he could siphon out everything that bothered him and put it in a jar and place it high upon a shelf with the label, "DO NOT TOUCH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES."
5 saw that 9 was still very distressed. He knew why – he didn't want to ever lead his coven into danger again. His heart, a part of it, deep down in the darkest crevices, was still broken from when he had lost his friends out of his doing. 5 knew that the guilt would eventually lift, but there would still be a pain there, no matter how deep down, although it would eventually begin to disappear. 5 had come back, and so had 9. Reaching out, trying to comfort his friend in the only way he knew how, he wrapped his arms around 9, hugging him tightly. 9 hugged him back, sighing into his shoulder and closing his eyes tightly. He felt infinitely grateful that the guardian of the coven, up in the Land Beyond, had given 5 back to him. He needed him now, very much. 5 patted his back in comfort.
"It'll be okay. We both made a promise never to leave again. I intend to keep that promise." 5 said softly, and 9 nodded. They withdrew from one another, just as 7 returned with Woody in tow. The two boys looked up at the leader of the toys.
"Okay. What we need to do today is to find what kind of stone that transported you guys here. Any ideas?" Woody asked, looking to each face of the three. 9 blinked, then turned.
"6! 6, buddy, c'mere. I've got to ask you something." 9 called for the striped ragdoll. 6's head snapped up, for he and Bullseye were playing together, and he rushed up, coming to his friend.
"Okay, 6. Do you remember the rock the twins found, and it flashed and we ended up here?" 9 asked gently, but urgently as 6 faced him. 6 blinked, his mismatched eyes wide and looking up into 9's own. He could easily read the anxiety in his friend's high voice – his mind might not be completely there, but he wasn't stupid.
"Yes, I do." He replied softly, nodding, tapping his fingers against his key. The thing was pratically useless now, as it had served its purpose in the second war, but 6 still preferred to wear it around his neck. He felt safe and secure with it for an unknown reason.
"Good. We need you to draw it. We need to figure out what it is." 9 explained, and 6 nodded fervently. He immediately looked all around for a piece of paper. He spotted a piece of loose notebook paper sticking out from one of the drawers on Bonnie's desk. He ran through 7 and Woody, reaching for it. He stood before the desk, craning upwards as far as he possibly could. However, he was too short to grab the paper. 6 frowned in frustration. Oh, how he hated being shorter then the other guys! Suddenly, the largest stitchpunk lumbered over, watching 6's predicament. He reached up, and the striped stitchpunk male cringed, as if afraid of being hit (however, 8 had not hit anyone since the second war had ended). 8 didn't hit him – he merely grabbed the piece of paper from the drawer and held it out to 6.
"Here. Draw the rock." He grunted, and 6 gently took the paper from him. He gave him a friendly smile, one that 8 returned. The young male then turned and ran back to his other friends, leaving 8 to go back to watching the ragdolls and toys with his new friend, Tortoro. 6 laid the piece of paper on the ground, sitting on his ink-stained knees. His large eyes then darted back and forth, his fingers twitching.
"What is it, 6?" Woody asked the strange ragdoll. He looked up at him, his large eyes wide.
"Ah…um…" 6 stammered, his fingers wrapping unconsciously around the key around his neck. 9 gently placed a hand on 6's shoulder, answering the question for him.
"He needs ink. Then he can draw it for us." 9 explained, and 6 nodded. Woody blinked in confusion.
"Ink? Like, pen ink?" He asked. 9 considered this for a moment, then nodded.
"Yeah. That's close enough. Do have any pens that could be spared? We could get the ink from there." 9 said. Woody nodded, and turned to Buzz.
"Buzz, are there any of Bonnie's dad's company pens left? The blue plastic ones?" He asked the space ranger, who nodded.
"Yes. There's a bunch in the blue coffee cup on the bar. I'll get one." He said, quickly running out the door. 9 sat beside 6, crossing his legs and putting an arm around his striped shoulders. As Woody watched, he noticed a small scar on 6's left shoulder – almost like 9's, but it was much smaller and barely noticeable, hidden in the pattern of dull black stripes. He then heard 9 whisper to 6, and the striped ragdoll whispered back. Woody could barely hear them, for 9 had explained that they rarely talked loudly during the wars. If they were loud, they'd immediately be found.
"Are you alright? Did you sleep well?" 9 asked his friend, as Woody listened to their quiet conversation.
"Yes, I did. 7 said you didn't sleep well." 6 said softly, his wild eyes filled with compassion for his friend.
"Ah, well…I'm okay. Don't worry about me."
"I do, still. My friend…should sleep well."
9 chuckled lightly, ruffling 6's wild, ink-stained hair. 6 laughed softly, smiling widely. The stripes framing his mouth and lips were stretched across his cheeks. Buzz returned then, jogging into the room and holding a large, Styrofoam plate in his hands. On it, there three plastic pens, almost like a serving tray. The outsides were three different colors – light blue, green, and black. He walked up to 6, holding out the pens.
"They write in different color ink. Maybe the color will help us figure out what rock it was." Buzz said to 6, who nodded. He gently took the green pen in his long fingers, then turned and handed it to 9. Without missing a beat, 9 took the pen and broke it half with strong fingers. He liked using his hands, and although they didn't look it, they were quite strong. The pen broke with a clean, sharp snap, but 9 merely placed the two halves beside him. He gently took out the long, thin, plastic reservoir where the dark green ink resided. Pinching the tip with his index finger and thumb, 9 pulled the top off carefully, as not to spill the ink on himself. He tipped the reservoir into the plate, and a good amount of very dark green ink poured smoothly into the plate. 6 acted immediately, dipping his eight long, pen nib fingers into the ink. Buzz took the reservoir and the pen halves, depositing them in the tiny wastebasket behind Bonnie's door, which was decorated with frilly pink flowers. They wanted to hide all evidence that the stitchpunks were even there. With a larger piece of paper underneath the one 6 was drawing on to make sure the floor didn't stain, 6 pressed the tips of his fingers to the paper.
Woody and Buzz watched in awe as 6 ran his fingers along the paper. Dark green lines appeared, tracing over one another. The artist's mismatched eyes locked on the paper, but they didn't follow his fingers. It was like he was drawing from his mind, the picture as clear as if it was already drawn. Soon, 6 removed his fingers, looking down at his drawing with bright eyes. He then looked up to 9 expectantly, and he nodded, the two exchanging an unheard message with one another. Woody bent down on 6's other side, examining the picture closely. It was just a round rock, it looked like, but it had obvious features to it – it had small particles within it, and it looked nearly transparent. The picture looked almost real. Woody suddenly remembered Bonnie's mother talking about a stone she had seen in a jewelry store off of Fifth Street. It had been beautiful, she said…and it was the deepest green she had ever seen.
"Trixie, fire up the computer. I think I know what this stone is." Woody said urgently, and the Triceratops nodded, turning and running hurriedly out to the dining room, where the family's desktop computer sat. She and Rex had been watching 6 draw with curiosity, and the female dinosaur knew how to work the computer very well.
"Guys, follow me. We'll figure this out, don't worry." Woody said, gesturing them forward. The four young stitchpunks stood quietly, following Woody as he rolled up the picture and took it with them. The toys and other stitchpunks also followed, and the entire group marched out down the hallway and into the dining room. 9 looked around the house that the humans lived in – it was wood, like their mansion, but had distinct differences – it had mechanics that they did not know of, and it was smaller than their home. It was nice, however. Woody and Buzz then approached a chair that was seated at a tall bar next to a gleaming kitchen, filled with expensive-looking silver appliances. They grasped the back legs, and pulled. The chair scraped slightly against the wooden floor, and the two friends clambered onto the bar. Trixie was waiting for then, standing anxiously by the computer. 9 waited with the others down on the floor, looking up to Woody.
Everything was silent, except for the hurried clacking of keys, from a typewriter, it sounded like. The ragdolls had a typewriter back in their home, and they would take turns making up and writing silly stories with it. 9 found himself smiling as he remembered writing a story with 5, 7, 6 and the twins.
All six of them had sat around the typewriter, each writing a paragraph. It was a story that had began as a simple day in the woods and had somehow morphed into a daring battle with a terrifying black fire-breathing dragon, who turned out to be a nice girl dragon who loved reading. She and the knight became best friends, and had a nice spot of tea together. They had nearly laughed themselves silly when they had read the finished product aloud. Those were the times 9 loved. He loved laughed and talking with his friends, and he made sure to cherish every single wonderful moment with them. He had found that life must be lived in the way they made it. Life could be taken away in a single second, with many hearts left broken, many problems left unsolved, many questions left unanswered.
"Hey, 3, 4 – did you guys find that rock near a river?" Woody suddenly asked, peering over the top of the bar, his soft brown eyes upon the two little twins. 9 jumped, jerked back into reality. Everything had been rather quiet. They nodded fervently, for they had been frolicking beside the river that cut through the outskirts of the Emptiness, just beyond the wall of the city. Woody nodded and turned back to the typewriter-like thing, the letter keys clicking away furiously. They all stood in silence for a few more moments, watching Woody type away furiously. Suddenly, Slinky, the loyal Slinky dog toy, broke the silence.
"Do ya think it's one of 'dem gems?" He asked Hamm, who stood beside him. Hamm opened his mouth to answer, but 9 didn't hear him, for at that moment, Woody called to him from atop the bar.
"Guys! I think I've found it. Come up here." He called, peering down at 9, 7 and 5. 7 immediately began to scale the chair, her slender figure making it look like it took no effort whatsoever. Her much more lanky and inept male companions scrambled up behind her. 9 pulled himself onto the bar, then turned and aided 5 onto the counter. Once all three stitchpunks were standing atop the counter beside Woody and Trixie, the cowboy ushered them towards the strange typewriter. 9 looked the strange contraption over as he approached it – it had the keys of a typewriter, but it also had a flat screen. On this screen, a large picture was displayed. As 9's eyes trailed up to the picture, they widened in shock and recognition.
"T-that's the stone! It looks exactly like it!" 9 exclaimed, rushing forward and peering closely at the picture. It was smooth, like a riverstone, and was a beautiful deep green color. As he examined the picture, he heard Woody groan, "Oh, no." beside him.
"What's wrong? What is it?" 9 asked in concern, straightening and looking at Woody, who had his face planted in his palm.
"That's an emerald. It's a very expensive jewel." Woody explained with a grimace. "They can be found near rivers and such. That is the rock you found." 9 blinked, looking from Woody's face back to the picture.
"And…? Can't we just get one?" 7 asked, crossing her arms. Whenever 7 crossed her arms, be sure to look out. That certain gesture was one of her many "I'm-getting-annoyed-with-you-now," warnings. However, Woody didn't notice this. He threw his hands in the air as if the stitchpunks were the most arrogant beings to ever walk the Earth.
"Guys! Our world is different from yours – much different. We can't just salvage what we need from our surroundings. We toys are different from you guys. The only emeralds you can find here are in jewelry stores or in rock stores." Woody said in an almost snappish tone. 9's brow furrowed and he looked over his shoulder to the cowboy with a firm look. He never liked it when 1 talked to him like that in the past time, but he knew that Woody didn't understand. Taking a deep breath, 9 stood and faced the leader of the toys.
"Woody, I understand. I know that we can't pick up something valuable and not have the humans notice. But I have a plan – what if we pick up and emerald stone from a market that sells uncut stones. We don't need a fancy ring or anything, we just need the rock. Look, all we did was touch the rock and we were transported here, but the emerald was left behind. When we leave, could it be possible for you guys to return the emerald? Or possibly have the child's mother find it and return it?" 9 asked, looking from the faces of his friends to Woody and Buzz's. Woody blinked, considering this query, before turning slightly and scratching his head, thinking this plan over.
"That could very possibly work. Bonnie's mom could take it to the rock shop, saying she just found it and wondered what it was." He looked up at 9, and 5 and 7. "Alright. We'll do it. Trixie, find a map towards the closest archaeological store." Woody said, nodding towards the bright blue Triceratops. Her eyes lit up immediately and she placed her front claws on the keys, typing away madly. Different images appeared on the screen, some bright colors, some merely blank pages. The entire mechanism confused 9 and his friends, but Trixie seemed an expert at working the thing. Finally, there was an image with a yellow background, crisscrossed with black lines. There was one bold line, however, and it cut through the map, ending at a gold star with a dinosaur's skull smiling toothily, but happily from the screen (this sent unpleasant sensations through 9's body, as the skull reminded him of the Spine Machine's Spinosaurus-like head). Shaking his head to clear this thought, he bent before the typewriter and examined the map.
"It's not too far from here," Woody explained. "It's located in a strip mall a few miles from Downtown. It's about six miles." 9 nodded, about to jump down from the counter and prepare for this journey, when 5 appeared at his side. His single eye was full of concentration as he skillfully traced the map onto a scrap piece of paper with the stub of an old yellow pencil. He was quick in finishing this – after all, he had graphed the entire world around him from two perspectives – the cathedral and now the manor. Straightening, he gently rolled the map in his hands.
"We have to find the emerald, or we'll never get home." He said seriously, and 9 realized what he was going to do – he was going Downtown to find the shop. And, seemingly, by himself.
"5, no. I won't let you go by yourself." 9 said firmly, grasping his friend's shoulder, squeezing tightly. He had lost 5 too many times. He wasn't ever going to go through that, experience that sense of dread again. 5 looked up at his best friend with an impassive look, which quickly melted into one of love. He understood.
"Nor will I, boy." A deep, grizzled old voice said beside them, and 5 felt the rolled-up map yanked gently from his hands. Surprised, 5 and 9 turned quickly to see 1 standing beside them, unrolling the map and observing the task at hand. 9 blinked, looking upon the former leader with shock. 1 couldn't possibly be thinking –? The oldest of the ragdolls gave a curt nod and rolled the map up once more, clasping it tightly in his metal, clawlike fingers.
"Now, who will accompany me on this outlandish journey?" He said haughtily, his sinister, black eyes surveying the ones who still stood below him.
"1, no." 9 said in the same firm tone he had used with 5. "This city is far too dangerous. You let me go." However, 1 immediately rounded on him, his faded brows forming a tight knit of annoyance in the middle of his forehead. 9 took a step back, startled.
"Now, you listen to me, 9." He said dangerously. "I passed my leadership down to you. My hope was that you were to be a better leader than myself, tenfold. A leader will look after his coven, and protect them with his life. That is still my job, to protect you all. I failed when you died. I failed horribly." 1's eyes dropped to the ground for a moment, before recovering himself, staring directly into 9's eyes. "Now, it is my time to protect you all. We need to get home. They need you, boy. You protect them, as I will." 1 finished domineeringly, straightening to his full height and looking like the noble leader he once was. However, this time, he had a sense of pride towards his fellow members, and perhaps a hint of love. 9 could only stare at the old man, his heart sinking. He couldn't bear to lose his best friends, 7, 5, the twins, 6, or his father, 2, or even 8. But he couldn't lose 1, either. 1 was part of his family now, and 9 felt a great sense of respect and love towards the man that had once shunned him, and nearly banished him at one point.
"Hey – we'll come. We'll help protect y'all, Ni." Jessie said from below, her bright green eyes glistening with the anticipation of a great adventure. Beside her, his fingers intertwined with her own, Buzz was nodding, smiling up at 9.
"We're a family too. We understand how hard it is. We'll go with 1, and we'll find the emerald together." Buzz announced, and 9 sighed deeply. He nodded, closing his eyes and accepting what must be done.
"Alright. You three have to prepare yourselves. This must be done soon." 9 said, and they all nodded in agreement, turning and walking back into Bonnie's room...
No less than an hour later, 1, Jessie, and Buzz were prepared to go out and find the emerald that would take the stitchpunks home. They stood, crowded at the front door. An old flap-door that dogs often used to enter a house was still attached to the tall door (in secret, Bonnie's parents were planning to adopt a new puppy for the young girl on her birthday). Buzz, Jessie and Woody were sharing a heartfelt goodbye, hugging and exchanging promises to come back safe and sound. After all, they had braved the actual Downtown before, and made it back home alive (before almost getting flown away to Japan).
9 watched the three best friends say goodbye, before turning to 1, who was adjusting his cape around his shoulders. His mother-of-pearl crown was being left behind, and the look in his eyes simply dared anyone to make fun of the strange ponytail-like protuberance out of the top of his head. He was very serious, looking ahead at nothing in particular. 9 sighed to himself and walked up to the old man, placing a gentle hand upon his shoulder. 1 turned his head and looked at 9 with a hint of mild surprise in his expression.
"1," 9 began, trying to keep the sudden, unexpected tremors out of his voice. "I made a promise when we came here. I promised that I wouldn't let anyone get hurt here, or-or….just don't make me break my promise. Okay?" 9 said, trying to smile. 1 blinked, then returned the smile, a hint of old vigor and craftiness in his eyes.
"Don't you worry about me, boy. I've lived in a dangerous world for eleven years. This will be child's play compared to fighting off the Machine beast." 1 said, winking. 9 nodded, trying to smile again, before he leaned forward. For the second time in his life, he wrapped his arms around 1 and embraced him like a grandfather. He silently prayed to whoever would be willing to listen to watch over 1 and allow him to come back, safe and sound. 1 stiffened for a moment, before giving a light chuckle and patted the young man's back.
"I'll be alright. Don't you worry." 1 reassured him as they pulled away. They shared a smile when 2 came hobbling forward, deep wrinkles appearing underneath his golden eyes as he smiled widely at 1.
"I'd hate to lose my brother." He said in a joking fashion, but 9 could easily tell that 2 was just as frightened as he was. You see, after the second war had ended, everyone seemed to make amends with each other – most notably 2 and 1. 1 had covertly banished 2 to the Emptiness to simply die. He sported too many outlandish ideas that were quite unhelpful towards the coven. Nevertheless, 2 had forgiven him, knowing that everyone made mistakes within their lives, and the two became brothers once more. 2 said something inaudible to 1, which made both elderly men laugh heartily. They withdrew, and 2 patted his brother's shoulder, the two sharing a beaming smile. It made 9's heart light up to see 1 smile that way – they all had broken free of their entrapment of war. This was also obvious when 9 finally admitted to 7 that he loved her.
"Alright, gang. We have to get going. We wanna get back, y'all, before Bonnie gets home." Jessie announced, placing a hand upon 1's shoulder. 9 noticed that, like 7, her hand was smaller and more delicate, but strong. As if hearing his thought, 7 appeared beside him, smiling widely at 1 and covertly taking her mate's hand.
"Don't go do something stupid, 1." She said, smirking, and the elder returned the grin.
"Oh, but you would know, my dear 7." He replied, before the both laughed lightly and 7 leaned forward, gently pecking 1's cheek. In the past, 7 and 1 mutually hated one another – 1 despised 7's rebellion attitude, and how she was always trying to challenge him and never listen to his orders. In return, 7 detested 1 for keeping her coven under lockdown, and not allowing them to complete the mission they were created for. She hated that he shunned everyone lower than him, and most of all, that he had hurt 9, both physically and emotionally. He constantly shunned him, calling him a fool and a stupid boy. He also wounded 9 during the war, chipping his left optic. He had already reassured 1 that it didn't hurt anymore, but the scar was still there, nevertheless. 1 and the rest of his coven, 9, 7, and 2 especially, had made reparation with him, and now, 1 acted like a still-cranky, but much more loving, grandfather.
Casting one last small smile at his coven, 1 turned and walked out with Buzz and Jessie, the two toys holding hands very tightly. It was quite obvious that they were nuptial, or something similar to that. Finally, they walked out of the dog-door, and into the dangerous world of California, on a quest to retrieve the emerald to take the ragdolls home.
The toys and stitchpunks stood for a moment, silently staring at the nylon flap, before turning away and walking back to Bonnie's room. 7 and 9 lagged behind the rest of the group, their fingers still intertwined tightly. She looked up to him, noticing the sadness that lingered in his long face, in his lips, his eyes. She gave his hand a squeeze, giving him a smile full of love.
"They'll be okay. We made it through two wars – 1 came back, and he'll come back this time. Don't worry." She said reassuringly, housing very little doubt that the resilient old man would be able to avoid the humans, like he did for nearly six years. 9 smiled back at her, feeling extremely grateful that she was here with him. She had been his solid ground for awhile. She always was there for him. Whatever would he do without her?
"7's right," Woody's voice said from their right. Looking towards the cowboy, he placed a reassuring hand upon 9's shoulder.
"A few years ago," he explained, "I was kidnapped by a crazy toy collector. That's when I found Jessie and Bullseye. But when I was trapped, Buzz, and all of the others came after me. They went all the way Downtown, and managed to make it. If they could do that, then they'll be able to make it down to the store, and back. Even your 1. Don't worry about them, 9." He said, smiling, and 9 returned it. Nonetheless, the still felt the gnawing worry that clawed at his heart. 9 wasn't naturally nervous, like 5 was, but losing five of his friends during the first war, and nearly losing them again in the second had made him feel very strongly towards his entire coven. If he lost any one of them again…he just didn't know what he was to do.
"Yeah…thanks, guys." He said, smiling at them, and Woody walked off as they entered Bonnie's room. 9 looked after them all, and sighed deeply. Mostly to himself, and 7, 9 murmured, "But all of the rocks in the world, why did we have to find the rarest one we possibly could?"