Disclaimer: I do not own Toy Story.
A/N I would like to thank those that have taken time to read, alert, favourite, or review this story so far. It means a lot :)
With a sigh escaping his lips, Andy Davis made his way into the Anderson's garden, clutching the donations box within his hands tightly as he did so.
The atmosphere around him was calm as he stepped through into the garden, seeming to settle his nerves softly as he inhaled deeply. He can go through with this. He wasn't going to use these toys to inspire his creativity anymore, so it wouldn't be fair to keep them away when they could make others happy.
As his eyes came across the group of toys in the garden, all huddled together, he then came to the realization that the child must have been inside at the moment. Nevertheless, when Ms Anderson caught sight of him she smiled before greeting:
"Hey Andy." She called, with the initial shock of seeing the boy she hadn't seen in a good few years beginning to die away as she did so.
"Hey." Andy greeted nervously as he began to make his way towards her.
"And I hear you're off to college."
"Yeah," Andy began to stammer. "Right now actually."
Ms Anderson smiled before asking:
"So, what brings you here?"
Andy stopped, dead, in his tracks as he tried to rack his mind for what he should be saying next. For some reason, it almost felt as though he had been given a new mind that he hadn't gotten used to yet, and this was one feeling he didn't particularly enjoy. Nevertheless, he smiled and held up the box in his hands.
"I've…er…got some toys here…" He told her before waiting for an answer.
Ms Anderson's expression brightened at the mention of this.
"Ah. That's a very nice gesture." She began, with her voice high in gratitude, before adding: "I'm sure Bonnie'll love 'em. She'll be outside in the moment; she just went inside for a drink.
"Uh… That's okay…" Andy murmured before setting the box down on the ground as an unnatural sensation ran through his nerves like a speeding bullet. The abnormal sense of curiosity seemed intoxicating as a sudden question ran through his mind.
Andy knew she worked at the day care - so she looked after kids a lot - but was the child really hers? All in all, Andy should've known that this question had been stupid. Nevertheless, he couldn't force the curiosity away as he asked the question.
"Is Bonnie yours?" As soon as Andy had muttered these words, he knew that he shouldn't have done. However, a similar sense of insecurity had taken over the older woman at this point as well; and she answered the question.
"Well…" She began slowly, blinking hard in an attempt to clear her rushing thoughts. "In a way."
Andy's eyebrows arched at this. However, before he could ask anything, she spoke up again:
"Well, she's my child obviously. But I and my husband don't believe in having kids of our own when there are so many whom need help." Ms Anderson knew she probably shouldn't be saying any of this, but she had been unable to stop herself as she continued: "You see, her biological father died a few hours before her birth and her mother… Well, she didn't last much longer either. Poor girl; she had only been your age when she passed away."
This thought unnerved Andy for a few short moments, but he eventually shook the feeling off.
"But, as I said before, I and my husband love Bonnie as our own."
After another few moments, she shook her head.
"What on Earth am I saying?" She asked herself.
"It's all right…" Andy murmured, wondering whether he had just made the situation tens times worse than it ever should be or not.
With a smile, Ms Anderson then said:
"Bonnie will be coming down any moment now."
Andy smiled at the sight.
Before him stood the toys he had grown so close to over the years, along with other toys which had always belonged to the girl, all with expressions of artificial joy upon their faces as they gazed in his direction. And Andy had given a majority of the toys to Bonnie only a few moments before.
Nonetheless, as Bonnie placed the toy she currently held to the ground, a sense of curiosity overwhelming her every sense as she scrambled over to the box. It didn't seem empty to her, and this feeling was made definite as she peeked over the rim of the box. A smile overtook her face as she beamed at the contents.
"My toys!" She exclaimed in joy when her eyes came over the contents.
With his eyebrows arching, Andy was left confused as he leaned over to see what she was on about, but he was only left even more puzzled when he saw what was inside the box.
"Huh? How did you two get in here?" He asked himself as he picked up both the Sheriff and the Cowgirl from inside the box. He honestly had no idea how they had even gotten in the box in the first place and, for a few moments, he had almost forgotten who they even were. He had been left shocked to be honest - but he simply shook the feeling off as he gaped at the two toys in a sense of interest.
When Bonnie reached for them, Andy withdrew his arms away from the girl and stared at her in a sense of pure shock as he held the two rag dolls to his chest - acting as a five year old in a way. But the look on her face at that moment almost broke his heart, and he sighed.
"Now, Woody…he means a lot to me." Andy began slowly, the corners of his lips sinking into a small frown as he did so. "And he's smart, brave and kind; like a Sheriff should be. But what makes him special is that he will never give up on you. Never - no matter what."
If it had been possible, the heart of the Cowgirl would've skipped a beat at these words. For some reason, these struck her as odd. But she knew they shouldn't have as she knew exactly how and where to compare these words to her life. Woody didn't give up on them, and he helped them through the mess they had lost themselves within. Nonetheless, she still felt as though it was for some other reason; but she couldn't place her finger on it for the life of her.
"And Jessie… Well, she's the best companion you'll ever come across, not to mention that she's the 'roughest, toughest' Cowgirl in the west. But she'll stick by your side no matter what, no matter what. And she's nice, kind and smart like the Sheriff."
Andy shifted his gaze towards the young girl before him and saw that she was gazing at him in a sense of keen interest as a wide smile overtook her face. The very sight made Andy smile.
"But the thing between them is that they make one of the best couples in the West." Andy continued enthusiastically as he brought the two of them together, side by side, slinging the Sheriff's arm over the Cowgirls shoulders in the process. "And, together, they keep the town safe day after day. And they won't give up on the people until the very end."
Bonnie's smile widened at this and Andy chuckled a small sigh before extending his hands towards the girl.
"You think you can handle them?"
Nodding sheepishly, Andy passed the dolls into her hands and she hugged them to her chest.
Nevertheless, as she did so, the recollection of the day streamed back - but this would never be heard…
'The continuous beeps from the machine beside her seemed to scald her very mind like a repellent as the final seconds of her life began to tick away. They had both been saved just in time before, but it was obvious from the looks of her that she wasn't going to live much longer.
Her new born daughter lay in the cot beside the bed, having been brought into life through a Caesarean procedure which Jessica Jane had barely survived as the new born child awaited arrangements for a private room she would desperately need. The child seemed healthy enough for sure (despite the fact she was little more than six weeks early), but they couldn't take the risks. If the child had been forced into life because of the current condition her Mother had been suffering moments before the birth, well...then it'd be for the best if she was excluded away from the other patients both for her own sake and for the sake of others.
Jessica's heart rate was fair, and her breathing was steady; nonetheless, but she could still feel the world fading around her as her vision blurred.
Soon enough, the only humans within the room were Jessica herself, her young daughter and the single nurse who must have had her hair dyed within the last month or so, because it was purple. Nevertheless, the seventeen year old (young to have a kid at this age but no surprise) still had one goal running through her mind at the moment and she was determined to make this happen.
"N-n-nurse." Jessica Jane began to mutter with quivering lips, attracting the attention of the nurse almost instantly as the purple-haired woman turned around to face the dying patient. "C-can I hold h-her?"
It wasn't much to ask - but she knew that, in this situation, it was a lot more than what met the eyes. But she needed this; even if she'd die a few moments after - she needed to warn her; otherwise she'd be one of the ones in danger.
'Only the bond can keep it that way...'
The bond would keep them safe, and Jessica Jane was sure of this as she snapped herself into full alert. It pained her for sure; but it'd all be worth it in the long run. When she was safe it would be worth it; when they were all safe.
Feeling the ripping pain tear through her lungs like a bulldozer, she did her best not to cringe as her eyes met the nurses soothing ones. For the moment, the nurse just stood there as she racked her mind through what she could possibly say to refuse the wished of the patient without offending her; she wasn't in any state to be holding a new born after all. Nevertheless, even this fact didn't stop Jessica.
"P-please?" The young teenager begged, almost slipping into the state of unconsciousness as she did so, her voice breaking as she tried to keep herself together. "L-let me hold m-my d-daughter..." She added helplessly, her voice trailing off into the distance as she did so.
Strict orders would force the nurse away from allowing this to happen; but the girl was dying and, frankly, Dorothy Parker simply couldn't bear the thought of refusing the teenager her final wish when she was literally moments away from dying.
Sighing, the nurse spoke up:
"Okay. But you only have five minutes."
By the time she had her daughter within her arms; Jessica Jane was already beginning to fade away. But she kept herself from doing so as she forced herself to stay awake. She had to do this - for her.
Leaning down, her embrace around her daughter tightened as she gently placed her lips to her daughter's forehead and pulled herself away slightly before whispering into her ear.
"You don't have to worry about the Fates anymore hon." She lied - of course they were still dangerous; but Jessica wasn't prepared to admit this yet - with her voice as sincere as ever as she spoke. "They're not going to hurt you anymore."
This wasn't the truth - but it wasn't a lie either. She could go through life without being hurt by the Fates - and this was why Jessica Jane was trying to help her now - but the chance that she might end up knowing too much still roamed. And it was dangerous.
Sighing, Jessica continued: "They can't hurt you no more. It's you. You're Fate - you control your own destiny. It's your name." Chuckling a sigh of relief, she couldn't help but let out a toothy grin. "Zaya Pride… That would've been a good name had your Daddy lived through it… But he didn't."
She paused for a few moments as the painful recollection began to make itself evident. Nonetheless, she brought herself around to ignoring it for the time being as she sighed. It was only herself and her daughter in the room now; but it wouldn't be for much longer though.
"They think your Daddy tried to kill us; they thought he went insane. But they're wrong. I know from heart that he never would've hurt us. I loved him and he loved me - both of us actually. And he practically destroyed himself to get us to this stage and he weakened the scent. I won't be living for too much longer though, but he was no Mad Man; he was a hero."
Her daughter stirred within her arms as she stared up at her Mother with intent eyes. The very essence within those eyes made Jessica's heart melt - they were exactly like his. And the hair colour wasn't so far off either.
"I'm sorry you couldn't have been conceived in a natural way." Jessica began. "I really am. But you were born under natural circumstances, so I swear you'll be all right."
Jessica knew this was a lie. But she knew the child had a special mind and, at that age, a mind could absorb as much as a tolerant sponge. So the teenager tried at her shot.
Nevertheless, now it was time to get to the point.
"You are the bond sweet heart." She murmured, her voice as weak as ever as her inner strength began to drift away, softly into her daughter's ear. "And, if you can bring them together, then you are saving more people than you think."
With the world fading around her again, she kissed her daughter on the cheek before drifting back into her final position.
And her daughter (soon to be Bonnie Anderson) could sense the difference as her biological Mother's life drifted away into the dark…'
Holding the rag dolls within her arms, the young Bonnie Anderson gazed at them with an expression of curiosity etched all across her face as the corners of her lips itched into a small frown.
Andy Davis noticed this and, when he did, his eyebrows arched at the sight. Bonnie seemed to gaze at her toys as though they were explosives which were ready to set off at any moment. She wanted to look at them; but there was something about them that struck her as no more than odd as she hugged them closer to her chest
Meanwhile, as the Sheriff's eyes went over the Cowgirl's, he felt relaxed in a way that made his nerves loosen instantly. He had no idea what might have caused this; but it was a feeling he cherished nonetheless. It felt odd actually, he had known her for nine years (and each one of them he could recall), but he still felt as though he was gazing through her beautiful eyes for the first time in his life.
Wait…? Did he just call her eyes beautiful? Even though he had been very close with her over the last few years (with the one known as Buzz Lightyear staying completely out of his way for some unknown reason), he could only guess that he just had. But there was something else getting to him as well, but he couldn't quite pick it out. Was it relief over the fact that Andy wanted to give his toys away to enlighten the girl's spirit? Or was it something else completely? Sheriff Woody really couldn't tell.
Jessie, on the other hand, felt her heart rise within its tracks; and this sent the whole feeling fluttering endlessly through her stuffed body like a spasm of shock. For one reason or another, Jessie felt as overjoyed as she had been in her entire life. Nonetheless, she wasn't sure whether this had been due to the fact that she was being sent to another owner, or whether it'd been something else completely. She honestly had no idea whatsoever.
Soon enough though, the thoughts were obliterated from Bonnie's mind and she smiled a toothy grin.
Chuckling slightly, Andy found his gaze drifting towards the collection of toys upon the ground, and an idea almost instantly occurred.
"Oh no!" He suddenly exclaimed as he picked up the Piggy Bank (known as Hamm) with one hand. "Evil Dr Porkchop is attacking the haunted bakery!"
"Oh no!" Bonnie called out as she darted to her feet, still holding the couple within her arms in the process. "The Ghosts are getting away! Woody and Jessie'll stop 'em."
And with this said, Woody and Jessie both experienced the best playtime they could ever recall. And this set their souls up with joy as the hours of the afternoon began to roll on.
For some reason though, as their eyes came across the three peas, their artificial smiles inched a little wider. And the playtime continued on…
"Honey," A middle-aged woman began, her voice both firm and outstanding as she made her way into her daughters room, whilst carrying a box that was clearly labelled 'yard sale' in permanent marker. The exact same brand of marker that had been used to mark the Sheriff's boot, as well as the Cowgirl's. "You really need to get rid of some of the junk in here."
By now, Molly had recently turned eight and giving away toys was one stage the young girl did NOT like going through - even despite the fact that she didn't even play with half of her older toys anymore
Sheriff Woody Pride felt odd in this situation. He honestly felt that he should feel guilty over something for one reason or another; almost as though he had forgotten the name of something he should bring with him always. Nonetheless, he soon sent this feeling away and, soon enough, his inanimate gaze caught sight of the lifeless Jessie a meter away from him. And he could tell that she knew exactly what he was thinking; she always did - almost as though their lives had been connected together with a link.
Molly had 'borrowed' a few of Andy's toys earlier on in the morning and she was now currently setting them on a grand adventure in her own bedroom. But the endless fun never lasts, no matter what. It always ends sooner or later.
And now she was staring right at the current burden within her life and this, of course, was the donations box within Ms Davis' hands…
"Do I have to?" Molly asked, her voice low in protest, as she tried to force a sigh away. She hated giving away toys, especially when she wasn't finished with them…
"Yes, they can make other kids really happy." Ms Davis told her daughter. "And besides, you have so many toys that you don't know what to do with them."
"But Andy has more," Molly pointed out.
"Yes, I know that. And I'll be getting him to sort through his later on."
"I don't want to get rid of any though," Molly admitted as her lips began to sink into an obvious frown.
"Come on," Ms Davis began to urge, suddenly becoming tired of having to argue with her daughter. "What about all these pre-school toys? You haven't played with these in ages."
As Ms Davis murmured these words, she made her way over to the corner of the room and picked up a small karaoke box before showing the face of it to Molly.
"But that's Andy's,"
"Well he's not going to mind," Ms Davis pointed out. "The boy's almost fourteen."
"But isn't he going to be upset that you threw it away without asking?"
"I doubt he'll notice," Her mother admitted before placing the machine in the box. "He hasn't played with it since he was your age. Especially not with his old Buzz Lightyear around."
"And what about this rubber penguin?" Her Mother then asked as she picked up a small rubber penguin which had been perched directly atop of Molly's bed.
"Wheezy," Molly corrected her voice low in protest as the corners of her lips sunk towards the floor.
When Ms Davis began to look at the rubber penguin a bit more closely, the corners of her lips twitched into a frown as her eyebrows arched towards the ceiling.
"I thought I got rid of this years ago?"
"That's Andy's as well,"
"He's not going to notice. He's too busy playing on video games now anyway." Ms Davis convinced Molly as she tucked a strand of messy blonde hair behind her left ear with her free hand. "And besides," She began, holding up the squeaky to again. "It's broken anyway."
And just like that, she squeezed the toy in her hand. What should've been an enthusiastic scream turned out to be something much, much different.
It almost sounded like a cry for help as Wheezy blankly stared at the air before his face; and his crackled cry of agony seemingly lost itself as he was placed in the box.
Once her mother had left the room a few moments later, leaving the box behind so that her daughter could fill it up with the junk she didn't need as she did so, Molly's gaze shifted towards Bo Peep..
And this was when her own decision was made final, with Woody's heart sinking within his chest as the porcelain antique was placed in the donations box.'
As Woody's gaze travelled back towards the window, he felt his heart collapse in on itself.
Bo had once meant so much to him she had been his world at one point actually - and his heart felt like it should shattered at any moment as he began to longing gape outside the window. Nevertheless, he felt a weird feeling overshadow him that he sensed shouldn't be there; almost acting as though it was from another world as far as the Sheriff was concerned and he let out a long awaited sigh. He could remember that day fully well and he knew something should've snapped within him that hadn't been there before. Or maybe he should've done something to ensure that she was kept safe? Or maybe he should've gone with her? He still couldn't understand why he didn't do anything that day, but something had kept him from doing so. Common sense maybe? He really had no clue.
But he didn't think that had been the problem either. Maybe he had been afraid of what he'd leave behind? As Woody thought over this idea some more, he found that it suited the situation the best. On that day, he had more than he could ever want. But Bo hadn't been all of it. In fact, to tell the truth, she had barely been any of it. Sure, Woody knew it was bad to think in this way, but it was the truth. He really did not know why (especially considering the fact that he and Bo had been together for quite a few years before being torn apart), but he had never really been happy with her; almost as though everything between them had been unnatural and artificial - no much more than a simply dream which was beginning to fade away - and that he belonged with someone else which, in all retrospect, was really the truth. And he had been linked with this someone else even before the time of creation - literally…
Sighing again, Woody's mind went through a mental blockage. He knew that it was horrible to be thinking this way about her when she'd been gone from his life for so long; but the sensation was far too powerful to ignore. It was almost as though he didn't even belong in the world she had existed in.
There was someone else attracting his attention more so that Bo ever had; but he had been unable to place his finger on exactly who it had been. And it remained in this way until he felt the hands on his shoulders - he hadn't even heard her approach - and then his mind was drawn back to the night that changed everything for them and was, ultimately, the reason why his mind was currently reeling in the way it was…
'At this very moment, the Sheriff felt as though his heart had been torn from his chest before being ripped into a thousand pieces.
To this point, he still couldn't understand why he hadn't done anything to save Bo from the Fate she faced only a few months before. Why didn't he do anything?
As the weeks passed by, Woody still found himself halfway between the state of depression and the feeling of loneliness. Bo had been a huge part of his world and she had been taken away from him within the fraction of a moment. His whole life had been taken away from him within a few seconds - and now all he could do was mope.
Nevertheless, the dull sensation, settling deep within his chest, seemed to be derived from something else that Woody couldn't quite place his finger on. And this unnerved him slightly - it seemed almost as though someone very close to him had actually died rather than have just been taken away - but he allowed the benefit of the doubt to overwhelm him completely as he convinced himself that it was just the despair he felt over the loss of Bo. Nonetheless, there was a part of him which knew the dull sensation within his body had been due to something else - it always had been. But was this a sensation from another world? Sheriff Woody guessed he would never know.
There was no question over the fact that his friends were worried about him - they made this obvious enough - and Woody knew this. He tried not to make it obvious that he was obviously troubled by…something, but it was hard to do so at times given the fact that he barely even knew why he was still so upset. Bo had left their family a few months before, and yet Woodrow felt as though someone very close to him had died, and this pain was slowly increasing.
He had been unable to sense her coming, approaching his current position by the windowsill, until he felt her place her hands on his shoulders.
"Hey…" He heard Jessie murmur softly as she settled herself beside him, giving his shoulders a slight squeeze as she knelt before the glass of the window. "You all right?"
If Woody had been slightly more alert, then he may have jumped when he heard Jessie speak up. Nevertheless, he simply sighed now as the feelings of confusion began to settle upon his conscience again.
He really was unsure how he even managed to find himself in this state to begin with, but even this didn't stop the strain in his heart from loosening at the sound of her comforting voice. And this was one sensation he desired as he sighed; bracing himself in the mean time.
"Yeah…" The Sheriff lied, feeling grateful that she was there for him. She may not understand what she was going through though, but he was certainly grateful that she was there. And it certainly set his thoughts at ease as he turned his head to face her.
Jessie bit her lip and forced back a sigh. It didn't take much to notice the difference within Woody's tone when he lied - it was easy to see actually - and she could tell exactly when he was telling the truth and exactly when he was telling her a fat load of lies. Maybe it was because they were a part of the same set? Or maybe it was something else completely? Jessie honestly had no idea why. But this never stopped her.
"Woody…" She began to murmur into his ear as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Please… If you're feeling this way then we want to help you." She began slowly as she rested her forehead against the crook of his neck, breathing deeply as she felt the hole in her heart fill up. It was a strange feeling actually. Only moments before, she had felt as though something within her had been missing - but now it wasn't. Allowing her eyes to flutter shut, she added: "I want to help you."
Ever since the day she had first met him (five years or so before at Al's apartment), she began to build a close bond with the Sheriff (even if she was unsure of exactly what it had been) and she had never seen Woody in this state; it broke her heart to see him in this way. Especially after everything that had happened between - even if Jessie began to question exactly what had happened, since it all seemed unnatural.
Sighing again, Woody spoke up:
"I know… But it all just feels so…empty without her around." Woody admitted heavily, his breaths slowing as he did so. Nevertheless, despite the fact that he knew the real reason behind why he felt this way, he couldn't help but wonder why it really felt like this. It wasn't only Bo was it?
However, these thoughts were quickly obliterated from his mind as Jessie began to stroke his back reassuringly.
"I know how you feel…" Jessie told him softly.
"You don't-" Woody began to tell her - she couldn't possibly understand how she felt, could she? - when he then stopped himself; that would be a serious understatement. "I'm sorry…"
Jessie smiled as she lifted her head to gaze into his eyes.
"Do you think you're ready to talk about it?" She asked as she lowered one of her hands to his in order to interlink them together, smiling softly as she did so.
Woody thought over this for a few moments, but then his track of thoughts drifted over to an unrelated topic. At first he couldn't make sense of it- and he never did - nonetheless, after a while he had been able to pick up the message as the memories of the one he had lost came flooding through his mind at a pace he couldn't even understand.
Nonetheless, this feeling was overwhelming as he pulled her closer and pressed his lips against hers.
It was a mistake, yes. But that didn't stop anything.
The kiss was intoxicating as it passed through the two of them like a spark, with the feelings, which had been forever hidden away from them by the artificial world around them, running through their souls like a flame as their lips moved against each other's in motion. Neither of the two knew whether this was appropriate, but they both knew that it felt right as the exchanges passed through them like an everlasting signal.
When they eventually pulled apart, Jessie smiled softly.
And, from that day on, the Sheriff decided that he really liked the Cowgirl's smile…'
Woody didn't gasp when he felt Jessie's hands on his shoulders. Instead, he simply gazed longingly out of the window as the raindrops came hurtling down, the slick mirages colliding and melting into each other as the water slowly streamed down the glass.
The memory remained fresh within his mind as she knelt beside him. That had been the day when he had began to see Jessie the way he should've seen her all along - the day he had been able to see her for how much she was really worth to him - and it had also been the day he had realized why he hadn't been able to see her in this way sooner than he had. He had always been up to stocks with handling Bo and her sheep when, all in all, he should've been noticing how suited he was for the one he had been destined for. Sure, he had liked Bo (and never really minded hunting down the sheep), but she had never been the right one. Maybe this was why his feelings for her had been ambiguous the day he realized his true feelings for Jessie? He was still unsure; but he could sense that he and Jessie had always been bounded together by more than just daily life - a Fate maybe? He couldn't tell.
And, after that day, their relationship had simply progressed from there and he had been left heart broken when Jessie had convinced the others that being donated was better than being forced through losing an owner for a second time. But Woody could never blame her for this; especially after what she had been through with Emily - she just hadn't been ready to lose someone else and Woody had felt the same way. Nevertheless, being donated by Andy himself had set their thoughts at ease - even though being donated did seem to shatter Woody's heart. But Woody wasn't sure what it had been. It felt as though he had lost someone, but with someone else in an entirely different way.
Now though, as Jessie wrapped her arms around his shoulders, he felt the hole within his heart fill itself up to the very brim - a sensation he had felt five years before, and one that he had come to love. Something within him had died, but it seemed that, just by being beside him at the moment, she had brought whatever it had been back to life. And he was grateful for this.
Having only been donated by Andy a few hours before, Jessie feared the worst for the Sheriff. He hadn't been asleep with the others (who had all been placed on Bonnie's bed just before the child drifted off to sleep), and this was what had worried Jessie.
"You all right?" Jessie asked softly, her voice soothing Woody like an alibi as she inhaled deeply.
"I am now." He murmured as he took the hat off her head. There was something about all of this - the whole world - that struck Woody as no more than completely abnormal; almost as though the very world was artificial. A bugging feeling within the back of his mind suggested that he should no more than he did - that he had forgotten something vital. And, Woody didn't know this but the Cowgirl felt exactly the same way.
"Was it Andy?" Jessie asked as she began to rub his back soothingly.
Woody paused for a few moments, but he eventually continued on:
"I think so…" He lied. He now knew that it hadn't been Andy - but he couldn't tell what it had been.
"You do know that he gave you up for a reason, right?" Jessie asked, beginning to make a fair point that the Sheriff probably would have overlooked. "He gave you up to make another child happy."
"I know…" Woody murmured as he wrapped his left arm around her. "But it can just hurt sometimes, y'know?"
"I do." Jessie answered simply as she lowered one of her hands and placed it atop of Woody's free hand. "It hurt when Emily gave me up too. It'll hurt for a while, and you'll never forget him, but you just have to remember what you already have. You have family; friends; and you have a new owner - we all do."
Jessie hardly even knew what she was talking about as she said these words. But, nonetheless, she eventually found herself believing her own words. And she knew that there was something else bothering Woody, but she didn't want to pester him if she couldn't even pick out what it might be, so she didn't ask.
Sighing, Woody tightened his embrace around her.
"Thanks Jess." He told her softly as he pulled himself as close to her as he could, savouring the moment between them like one's last breath. "It means a lot to me that you're trying to help.
"Anytime." She whispered into his ear as she pulled herself away from him. A few moments of silence hung between them before she broke it. "Bonnie's a very special kid, ain't she?"
"She sure is," Woody agreed. It was true that, in their eyes, Bonnie was unique. But they still couldn't pick out exactly why she seemed special for the moment and, as the situation would turn out, they never would - it was better that way anyway.
And then, just like that, they set up with a conversation which lasted up until the early hours of the morning, spending each and every moment of it within a charade of pure bliss as they completely forgot about the world around them.
Then, however, Woody began to notice the first rays of sunlight splash against the lawn and his eyebrows arched slightly. Had they been talking for that long?
However, he merely forced this thought away as he turned to face Jessie.
"Thanks." He told her again. "I really appreciate your help."
At his words, Jessie merely wrapped her arms around him again as she suppressed the chuckles.
"Oh Woody," She told him with a huge smile beaming upon her face - he was so humble, it was untrue. "I really do love you sometimes."
Her last comment had meant to come out as a casual remark. Nevertheless, as soon as she said these words, her heart froze within its tracks. She had told him this plenty a time; and she could remember them fully well. However, this time it seemed different - almost as though all the other memories had been pulled away from another world and only this time had been for real. And this sent a torrent of rushing emotions darting between the two as the words sunk in. It hadn't been the first time she had uttered these words, and they both knew this, but it felt like it.
Barely even thinking through what he should do next, he pulled her into a kiss…
Everyone had a demon within their soul. And this demon could escape at any time.
Some had the demon perched within them like the hidden plague - silently waiting for the right time to burst out and affect those around them - and others had it perched directly at the edge of their sanity - ready to pounce out at any moment if angered. Some never noticed their demons, whilst others are left unable to go a day without being affected by the soul's burden.
Some acted upon their demons, and went through with treacherous acts, whilst others barely brought themselves to notice their demon.
Demons were bad - dangerous - but, like most things within life, they could be dealt with.
Every soul had a demon - but some could handle them, whilst others couldn't help themselves to save themselves.
And Katrielle Hay's demon had snapped.
Nonetheless, she only began to realize exactly what she had done in life as she stood within the centre of the hallway. Only conscious beings possessed demons, and she was no more than a lost spirit; so she possessed no sort of demon whatsoever as she stood there, gaping at her hands in a sense of pure shock as it all began to overwhelm her completely.
Of course, it wasn't her fault that her demon had snapped. All in all, it had really been because of the Fates. They had killed her parents, and then they had went over the line by taking her daughter away from her. And, after a while, it simply became too much to bear and she became tired of having to be afraid of the Fates.
Really though, the events of the past decade hadn't only occurred so she could bring him back - no. She had still been afraid, and being afraid of the Fates was one sensation she could barely bring herself to bear. Nevertheless, having the Fates afraid of you was one sensation she thrived for. After that point, then they wouldn't touch you.
But now she realized exactly what she had done, and the very thoughts horrified her as she stared at the smooth skin on the back of her hand. She could tell that she was in the form of her younger self (maybe twenty years of age? She couldn't tell), but this didn't seem to bother her. She had hurt people within her life and, now that the demon was gone, the full impact seemed to hit her like a dagger.
Nevertheless, when she lifted her head, her eyes widened.
He was there too. Alfred Hay was right there - The form of the young man she had once fell in love with. And that was when the world around them morphed into something else - a piece of beauty for the eyes.
At this point, she knew that everything around her was no more than aspects of her own imagination. But Imagination was a lot more powerful than the average one may presume. Imagination was what led her here to begin with; Imagination was what turned the lives of Jessica Jane and Woodrow Pride around for the worst. Yes, the imagination may have been twisted in unnatural ways - but it was still imagination. And, as Katrielle Hay had learned over the years, Imagination can become real.
It took her a few moments, but the world eventually became as real as it possibly could without physically becoming so and this was when Alfred Hay extended his hand; the warm smile inching across his face as he did so.
She hesitated slightly, but she eventually shook the feelings of uneasiness away and she took his hand, returning the smile in the process.
Then, together, they strode further down the hallway of dreams they would forever cherish.
With the essence of affection running through their artificial veins like the nectar of the gods, the two of them savoured the moments as their lips moved against each others in a thematic gesture - with all the memories, which possessed the potential to hurt them, streaming away from their minds in the process as the mutual feelings were displayed.
When they eventually pulled apart from each other, Jessie smiled as the joyful sensation overwhelmed her senses completely (leaving her happier than she had ever been), and this was one smile Woody returned.
It was after this point that Woodrow Pride decided that he really liked Jessica's smile.
A/N Wow, I have to admit that, when I first started this story, I had never expected the story to end like this. But, hey, would anyone? ^_^
As you can probably tell, I was trying to reference the ending of TS3 in this last chapter even as I altered the situation around a bit. I'm not really sure how that turned out, but I had a heck of a lot of fun writing it! To be honest, I'm rather satisfied with this ending, but this is only my opinion.
So Woody and Jessie do end up remembering each other, but still have no knowledge of what had happened to them in their human lives; which would turn out for the best if it can get them away from the Fates. And I sort of gave Katrielle a fresh start within the world she is now trapped in and she has been relinquished of her old ways since her demon can't exist where she is. Zaya, however, became Bonnie through birth and even she couldn't remember any of the events either.
It is not quite explained how Woody managed to bring them back, but that's something I would like you readers (if you don't mind) to ponder over. Feel free to use your imagination!
I'm quite depressed now because the story is over. But I do have to say that I've loved writing every single word of this story, and the past few months have actually broadened my perspective on the world. (That sounds very cheesy, I know, but it's true). And I'd like to thank all you readers and reviewers for sticking with the story! You're all great!
In case some of you are wondering, I don't plan on writing a sequel of any sort for this story. (Unless some of you specifically request of course)
Well, I hope you all had a nice day! And I hope you all enjoyed the conclusion to this story :)