Disclaimer: I don't own Toy Story.
It's Good To See You Smile Again
By Jennifer Collins
All the toys in Bonnie's room were excited to see her crayon drawings of them taped to the wall. Slinky gave a low whistle as he appreciated his likeness, Jessie and Buzz slapped each other high five and Trixie and Rex jumped for joy.
"Hey, Chuckles!" Woody called. "Looking good!"
Dolly turned her big round eyes up to the wall and was delighted to find that he really did look good in Bonnie's picture. "Yeah, she really got your smile," Dolly commented with a grin.
Chuckles' frown abruptly turned upside down and Dolly felt her heart flutter at his bright smile. This was a side of her friend that she had never seen before. She sighed slightly to herself as she gazed at him curiously and took in his upturned grin, his rosy cheeks, glittering eyes and the bounce in his step as he bounded after Woody and the others.
"Here we go again," Trixie said breezily as she walked past. She turned to look over her shoulder at the rag doll and grinned knowingly at her.
"What?" Rex exclaimed as he clumsily followed Trixie. "What are you talking about?"
Dolly shook herself back to reality. On the other side of the room, her old friends were joining their new ones in a loose circle around Jessie and Buzz. She heard music and hurried over to stand next to Woody and see what all the commotion was about.
Woody threw a rose to Jessie and the cowgirl caught it in her mouth. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head whooped and cheered and the aliens clapped loudly. "Atta boy, Space Ranger!" Hamm enthused.
Dolly laughed when she realized that the music playing was a Spanish tune. She'd heard brief stories from the other toys about Buzz being reset for awhile during their adventures at Sunnyside, but she still didn't get what the big deal was. "Why such a fuss?" She wondered aloud.
Woody leaned down to her height and whispered loudly, "You guys don't get it. We've been waiting years for those two toys to finally get together."
On her other side, Trixie giggled. "Oh, I think we understand a lot better than you think we do, Sheriff."
Dolly elbowed her in the knee. She looked up to find Chuckles grinning at her from the other side of the circle. She raised her unfingered hand in a friendly wave. Chuckles winked at her in response, and she smiled back at him shyly.
The Spanish song ended and Jessie yelled out "One more time!" to which everyone cheered.
"Now everybody!" Buzz said invitingly.
Mrs. Potato Head shoved her plastic purse in Dolly's hands and eagerly waddled into the middle of the circle with her husband. Trixie left her friend's side to leap after Rex. Dolly turned to look up at Woody, but even he had moved to the center of the room and was swaying in a group with Bullseye, Slink, Hamm, and Buttercup.
Behind her, someone cleared his throat. She nervously turned around and was face to face with Chuckles and his big red grin. "May I?" He asked in his high-pitched voice, which was strange to her ears.
She held up Mrs. Potato Head's purse. The clown took it from her and set it aside. He held out his hand to her expectantly. With a grin, she placed her hand in his and let him pull her towards the others.
She suddenly realized that she didn't know how to paso doble. Chuckles apparently didn't know either, but he confidently took to the dance with fast, made up moves. Dolly breathed a sigh of relief. This smooth, relaxed version of her friend would take some getting used to, but she didn't mind. They laughed together as they danced around and around, all the while holding hands.
Chuckles raised their conjoined hands and motioned for her to do a turn. She clumsily spun under their hands and tripped over his big foot. She braced herself to fall face first into the hardwood floor, but the impact never came. Chuckles' hands were wrapped around her upper arms. He'd caught her.
He turned her back around to him and her face flushed as she looked up into his dark, twinkling eyes. Whether the blush was from embarrassment that she'd fallen or something else, she wasn't sure. Her heart pounded as her head registered the sparkle in his eyes that hadn't been there before.
The song ended and another one started, but by now the toys had stopped dancing and were all going off in small groups to do their own thing.
"So… Woody's friends seem nice," Chuckles commented, a little awkwardly, still in his high-pitched clown voice. He started to walk towards one of Bonnie's chairs.
Dolly nodded. "Yeah, they are," she agreed as she walked next to him. She couldn't help noticing that he hadn't let go of her hand.
She nervously smoothed out a wrinkle in her dress. "Today was a fun day," she said.
"It sure was," Chuckles said with a laugh.
Dolly playfully punched him on the arm. "And you haven't stopped smiling once."
Chuckles' eyes were wide as he looked into hers. "I can't help it," he said with a grin. "I'm just so happy!"
"Well that's good," Dolly replied encouragingly.
Chuckles grinned as he lifted her up right off the floor and spun her around. Dolly squealed in mock protest.
He set her back down, taking her hand in his, and they laughed together again for a few more moments before Dolly looked down at their hands. Her face was a little more serious when she looked back up at him. "It's good to see you smile again, Chuckles," She said quietly. "Really good."
He was quiet for a moment and Dolly feared she'd said too much and was about to change the subject to something lighthearted to get him laughing again, but then he winked at her. "It's good to have a reason to smile again," He said, giving her hand a squeeze.