Disclaimer: I don't own Toy Story
By Jennifer Collins
"It's been hours, Buzz! I'm really worried about 'im!" Slinky said urgently.
"Yeah, Buzz," Jessie agreed. "Andy's mom will be home soon. What should we do?" She turned her big green eyes to look at the space ranger.
"Uh.. h-h-he probably j-just needs t-to be alone r-right n-now," Buzz stuttered. He really wasn't sure what to do in emotional situations, but he didn't want to admit that.
"But the others're startin' to get nervous," Slinky hissed.
"Hmmm… we can't have that…" Buzz said.
Jessie nodded. "They're all already upset enough over the yard sale." She looked down sadly.
Buzz thought for a moment. "Okay. Slink, why don't you go get Hamm and start a checkers tournament to keep everyone occupied. Jessie, you go find Woody and bring him back to the room before Andy's mom gets home."
"Me?" Jessie squeaked. "Why me? You're his best friend!"
"So are you," Buzz pointed out. "And you're a w-woman-"
"Glad ya noticed," Jessie cut in with a wink.
Buzz blushed. "You're b-better at talking about these things than I am. Perhaps you could offer him some, ah, feminine comfort. Besides, someone has to stay here and keep the others under control," he reasoned.
Jessie bit her lip as she considered this. "You're right," she finally agreed. "Okay, I'll do it."
"Thanks, Jessie," Buzz said with a grateful smile. "You just do whatever it takes to bring him home."
Jessie nodded. She leapt off the bed as Buzz and Slinky started to take their places. She tiptoed to the door and slipped out of Andy's room undetected. She had a feeling she knew where the Sheriff would be…
Thankfully, the door to Molly's room was ajar, and she was able to creep right in. Her heart leapt into her throat when she looked around and found her friend.
He was in the center of the room by himself, shoulders slumped, both hands on his slightly bent knees. His head was thrown back and his eyes were fixed on one spot.
Jessie sighed. She walked over to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. She didn't want to follow Woody's line of sight, but she did anyway and gazed at the empty spot on Molly's dresser. She felt a slight sting at the back of her eyes.
"She's really gone," He said quietly.
Jessie hugged him tightly. "I know," she whispered. "I'm sorry."
He turned to look at her as if realizing for the first time that she was in the room with him, and her heart nearly broke at the look of pain in his wide round eyes.
"Oh, Woody," she said. She suddenly felt helpless, knowing that there was nothing she could possibly say to her friend that would make him feel better. She remembered her mission and she lightly took his elbow with her free hand. "Come on," she coaxed. "Let's go back to Andy's room."
Woody didn't budge.
"You can't do this to yourself," Jessie insisted. "Let's just go back to Andy's room and-"
"And what?" Woody snapped. "Play a game of Pictionary?"
Jessie shrank back slightly and Woody's face softened. "I'm sorry. I know you're just trying to be a good friend. But I just need to be alone right now."
Jessie shook her head. "It's not just me. Everyone's real worried about you, Woody. They need their Sheriff. Please come back."
Woody hung his head and looked sideways at her. "What am I supposed to do now, Jess?"
Jessie's eyebrows furrowed. She felt haunted by the weight in Woody's eyes. "I… I don't know…."
He slumped down to the floor and she followed, throwing her arms around him and pulling his head to rest on her shoulder. He eagerly accepted her embrace, burying his face in her neck and curling up against her.
She gently stroked his plastic hair and rocked back on her heels. "Don't worry. It will all be okay, you'll see," she promised him. "We still have each other. Always."
He picked up his head to look at her and reached out a hand to touch her face. "You're so nurturing," he murmured absently. He lowered his head back down to her shoulder and closed his eyes as she rested her cheek against the brim of his hat. They sat like that in silence for awhile.
Suddenly, she heard the doorknob turning downstairs and her head snapped up. "Andy's mom's home! We have to get out of here!"
But Woody was in his trance again and he didn't show any sign that he'd heard her. Jessie groaned as she grabbed his hand. "Come on, Woody!"
He still wasn't moving and Jessie could hear Andy's mom's footsteps approach the stairs. They wouldn't make it back to Andy's room, but at least she could get him out of sight. "We have to hide!" She whispered loudly in his ear.
She gave him a gentle push, but he just looked at her with a confused expression on his face. "Snap out of it!" She urged as she managed to pull him up to a standing position.
His shoulders slumped again and his rag doll arms flopped down to his sides. "It doesn't matter now," he said glumly.
Jessie felt panicked as she heard Mrs. Davis start to climb the staircase. She looked up at the sheriff with round, fearful eyes. "Please Woody!" She said pleadingly. She thought she heard Mrs. Davis at the top of the stairs.
In one last, desperate move, she threw her body against his and pushed him into the wall. They were out of sight behind the corner of the dresser, but their impact had made a louder sound than Jessie had intended. Woody gasped as Mrs. Davis stepped into the room. Jessie clapped a hand over his mouth and wordlessly locked her eyes on his.
Mrs. Davis scanned the room briefly, then shook her head when she couldn't find the culprit of the noise. "Oh, that Buster," she murmured to herself as she stepped out of the room.
Jessie breathed a sigh of relief when she was sure Andy's mom wasn't in the room anymore. "That was close," she said.
"Yeah," Woody agreed, trying to catch his breath. "Thanks, Jess."
Jessie nodded. She looked up at him just as he looked down at her. Her body was still pressed up against his, her hands still firmly planted on his chest. He looked at her with large, desperate, longing eyes. Her cheeks grew warm as she realized how close their faces were, close enough for her to feel his breath….
Her eyes widened as he lowered his head to close the small gap between them and she barely had time to wonder if this was the right moment for this to happen when his lips lightly touched hers. It was a soft kiss, and it was over almost as quickly as it had started.
Woody was the first one to pull away. "I… I'm sorry, Jess," he whispered.
Jessie shook her head. "Don't be."
"I… was just feeling vulnerable and I…" he continued, but Jessie pulled him closer to her.
"Ssh… it's okay," she whispered back, her heart pounding.
"A-are you sure?"
"Yeah," she breathed as she waited for him to kiss her again.
She didn't have to wait long. In the next second, his mouth was on hers again, this time more passionately, and she closed her eyes.
He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist as they kissed, and her hands moved over his shoulders and slid up his neck and onto his face.
Jessie had wondered for a long time what it would feel like to kiss Woody, ever since the day he'd shown up at Al's apartment all those years ago…
It suddenly occurred to her that maybe this wasn't the right time for them to make this kind of move and she slowly pulled away.
"What's the matter?" He asked breathlessly, reaching for her again.
He ran his fingers through her braid and the motion was enough to drive her insane. For a moment, she forgot why they'd stopped and she pulled him to her again, tugging him off balance and causing his hat to slide off his head. He decided that it wasn't fair that his hat had fallen off while she got to keep wearing hers and he playfully knocked it off. She raised her hand in protest, but he caught her wrists in his hands and backed her up against the side of the dresser.
This time, he kissed her thoroughly, slipping his tongue into her mouth. She eagerly kissed him back, gently pulling her wrists free so she could snake her arms around his neck. He gripped her waist lightly, pulling her more closely against him and lifting her up on her tiptoes. Her eyelids felt heavy as they kissed and she let her eyes close again, murmuring a breathless, "Woody…" in between heated kisses.
Something about the way she'd said his name jarred him back to reality and he pulled away, horrified.
"No, please don't stop," She protested, pulling his arms around her waist again.
Woody shook his head vigorously. "No, no, no, no. No, Jessie, I-I can't do this," He said.
Jessie pouted, and Woody had to untangle himself from her embrace before his resolve faltered.
"Why not?" She asked. "It makes sense."
"No," He repeated again, as if reminding himself. "No, Buzz is my best friend. I can't do this to him."
Jessie's eyes widened. "What?"
"Oops." Woody pressed a hand over his mouth.
Jessie moved closer to him. "What did you say?" She pressed. "Woody, tell me what you said!"
"Nothing," Woody replied. "I didn't say anything." He took a step back.
"Yes, you did. You said something about Buzz. What are you talking about?"
"I—can't tell you."
Jessie took two steps forward, advancing on him. "You have to tell me what you mean…"
Woody folded his arms across his chest. "Come on, Jess. It's not like you don't know… everyone knows."
Jessie's eyes widened in realization. "Ohmigosh….." She'd had no time to figure out her feelings for Woody, now she had to figure out her feelings for Buzz too?
Woody shuffled his feet nervously. "Um, how about we go back to Andy's room now?"
Jessie nodded slowly, her eyes still wide. She began to tug on her braid.
Woody groaned as he locked his arms through hers and urged her forward. "Oh, don't do that, Jess. You can't act like you know!"
She was silent as she let him lead her the short distance back to Andy's room.
Once they were inside Andy's room, Buzz happily jogged over to them. "Hey, you did it! Great job, Jessie!"
She turned her green-eyed gaze on him and watched helplessly while he turned to mush.
"M-m-ission acc-c-omplished," Buzz added, just to say something.
Jessie offered him a weak smile. "Thanks… I think."