AN: My first Toy Story fanfict! Yay! Hopefully, this will be the first of many. All reviews and suggestions are accepted and loved, but flames will be used to help global warming. I hope you enjoy the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Toy Story. Pixar does.
Sitting on her bed, Bonnie let out a frustrated sigh as she stared at the toys before her, her young mind racing with the problem that she faced.
It was wrong. It was all just very, very, wrong.
Buzz Lightyear, by very definition, was a space toy. Traveling across the universe, he spent very little time on Earth, if any at all. He loved the open emptiness that surrounded their little planet, preferring to look to the stars and the future rather then what was surrounding him and the present. For as long as he was alive, he would always thirst for the freedom that the spaceship offered him, giving him passage to whatever distant world needed his help. He would never be happy if he was grounded, which led Bonnie to the main part of her problem.
Jessie, or Jessica Pride as Bonnie soon learned through some research on the internet, was a cowgirl. She was someone who lived with her feet firmly on the ground, tending to her horse Bullseye and the cattle that she occasionally was asked to herd by the Sheriff. Tight, enclosed places scared her, which basically put rocket travel completely out of the question, seeing as how most of the rockets barely had enough room for a single person to stand, much less the six or seven they crammed into each launch. She was also terrified of the dark, the result of a nasty encounter with a rock slide and a very small cave. She longed for the light, open spaces of the Wild West, both the resting place of her home and her heart. Even if she was put into hyper sleep to travel from one planet to the next and didn't have to deal with the dark or the tight fit, the homesickness might just be enough to kill the resilient cowgirl if some alien didn't do the job first.
As friends, two of them were great together, Jessie's natural enthusiasm helping to break Buzz out of his stickler 'by the book' personality, while Buzz helped to keep Jessie from doing anything too reckless that might get them killed. But that was when they were only friends, only people who trusted each other with their lives but held absolutely no romantic interest in each other what so ever. As friends, they were perfect for each other.
But as a couple, as boyfriend and girlfriend, they would make a horrible pair. With nothing in common with each other, their clashing differences would eventually tear them apart. Buzz would come to resent Jessie for keeping him from traveling across the different galaxies and having adventures, Jessie would hate Buzz for taking her away from the comfort and safety of her home and making her live some of her worse nightmares, or they would both follow their own passions and never see each other, eventually creating a tangled web of lies and mistrust when they fell in love with someone else, but wanted to wait until they saw each other again to break it off. If Buzz and Jessie were to ever become more then friends, they would just be one big mess.
Why, then, did it seem like they were meant to be?
For a while, she had tried fighting her initial thought that the two of them should be together as a couple. In many of her early games, she had often tried to pair up Jessie and Woody together, going back to her old belief that brave beautiful cowgirls fell in love with dashing cowboys, especially if he happened to turn out to be the leader of the whole town. The two of them, along with Buzz and any other toys that she decided needed to join the game, would save the poor innocent victim from the clutches of the evil Witch and Dr. Porkchop, almost dying about twenty times in the process before finishing the game with a kiss of true love, signaling their happily ever after.
But it had just never felt right. Each time her games ended, Bonnie had been left with a bad taste in her mouth, as if her heroes had just failed to save everyone and the villains had won. So, after a few games with this ending, she had finally abandoned the idea of Jessie and Woody ever getting together, something she was glad of when she later found a website that claimed the two of them were long lost siblings. If she had been a bit older, she might have found the fact a bit disturbing, but at the time she had just wrinkled her nose and continued on with her games, making sure to throw in a 'brother' or 'sister' reference every once and a while.
Then, there had come her idea that, perhaps, her toys didn't need to be in a relationship at all. Of course, there were some that had already formed, like the Potatoheads and Trixi and Rex. Those two couples would never have anything to worry about, for they were just too perfect to split apart. But why did the main heroes of her games have to fall in love? With Jessie and Woody siblings, the only other human hero toy Bonnie had was Buzz, and the whole point of her trying to find someone to pair with Jessie was so Jessie wouldn't have to be with Buzz, thus saving the two of them a lot of future heartbreak. So, for a while, at the end of each of her games, after the village had been saved and the evil villains defeated, she would quietly move on to the next game she had forming in her mind, skipping the normal declarations of love between her toys that usually ended their adventures.
And once again, it had felt wrong. How many of the stories her mother told her each night before she fell asleep ended with the main character getting their heart's desires, including the perfect romance that only ended in death? As far as she could remember, every single one of her fairy tales included love in one form or another, a detail she greatly liked about them. It just seemed fair. After the hero or heroine went through all the trials and problems that the villain put in their path, they were rewarded with a happily ever after that included their one true love. Who was she to deny the heroes of her own stories their own happy endings, even if they were just wrong for each other?
Sitting up on her bed, Bonnie reached over and grabbed the two offending toys, her nose wrinkling as she held the two of them so they were standing side by side. Although she loathed the idea, they were cute together, in a strange yet nice way. Although Jessie was taller then he was, Buzz was broader and more muscular, more then strong enough to protect the both of them should it come down to it. They both had this glint to their eyes when they were together, or so Bonnie believed. It was most likely just a reflection from the lamp on her bedside table, for toys couldn't have happy gleams in their eyes, but still. Just being together, the two of them looked happy, even if her mind did place twin pools of sadness behind them for their inevitable fate. She could imagine it perfectly...
The moment Bonnie closed her eyes, they were in the middle of the desert, inside a single white picket fence that separated the only patch of green for miles around from the never ending sands. Standing there, the slowly rising sun illuminating the scene, were Buzz and Jessie. Buzz, as usual, was clothed in his space suite, ready at a moment's notice to jump into battle, whether it be against the horrible bandits One Eye Bart and Betty or against the monstrous aliens that roamed the galaxy, searching for defenseless planets to destroy without regret. In contrast, Jessie wore none of her usual attire, her signature cow pattern pants and gold embroidered shirt replaced by a simple ensemble of a tank top and night shorts, her normally braided hair framing her face in a night mussed mess. For a long while the two of them just stood there, watching each other as the darkness faded before the insistent light as it crawled its way across the world, bring with it a new day. Finally turning away from her, Buzz sighed as he faced the sun, its rays glinting off the white polished metal of his suite.
"I have to go."
Although his voice was calm and emotionless, Jessie could tell that the words hurt him, the clenching of his hands and stiffening of his spine giving away the pain he was in. He was trying to act brave for her, act as if this wasn't the hardest thing he had ever had to do, but she knew him far too well. Taking a step forward, she wrapped her hands around his waist and buried her face into his armored back, her voice tiny and fragile as she spoke her useless request.
"Stay with me? Please?"
If it was possible, Buzz stiffened even more under her touch, the sound of her voice, so small and defeated, almost shattering his already glass nerves. The roughest, toughest cowgirl in the entire West was breaking, and it was because of him. Oh, what he wouldn't give for things to be different, for him to be able to turn around and take her into his arms, promising that he would never leave her for any reason ever again. Although they had been preparing for this day for a long time, it was still much harder then either of them had ever believed possible. It was much more painful, and while he hated being the source of her pain, there was nothing he could do to change it.
"I'm sorry Jessie, but you know I can't."
Stepping away so he was out of her reach, Buzz allowed himself to glance over his shoulder at her, though he cursed himself the moment he did. Without her boots, the two of them were about the same height, able to look each other in the eyes as they broke the other's heart. It was strange seeing her without her wide brim hat and her hair free from its usual braid, clothed only in the pajamas she had slept in the night before. There was something about the image before him, about the sight of his normally loud and confident girlfriend looking so defeated, that drew him towards her again, just enough so he could cup her face between him palms. Gently swiping him thumb under the corner of her eye, dispelling the tears that had formed there for the moment, Buzz sighed as he shook his head, his own azure spheres fluttering shut for a moment to hide his pain.
"I want to, I want nothing more then to stay, but I can't. I've been trained my entire life for this, for traveling from planet to planet, helping those who need me. And after everything I've seen, Earth, even with you here on it, will never be enough for me."
Staring deep into Jessie's emerald orbs, Buzz could feel his breath catching as he was lost in their depths, as wave after wave of sorrow and hurt radiating from her washed over him in a silent plea. For a moment, he was tempted to ask, no, beg her to reconsider coming with him, to rethink her choice of staying on her family farm and not joining him for the adventures of a life time. But he bit his tongue and instead pulled her in for a hug, burying his face into hair for the last time in what would be a long while as she pressed her face into the crook of his neck, a few stray tears wetting the shirt he wore under his suite.
Buzz knew that, should he offer to take Jessie with him right here, right now, she would probably agree. Months of refusing his offer would fly out the window and they wouldn't have to be apart. They could spend the next eighteen months traveling the galaxy, visiting all the other planets and just being together, like they were when he was able to get leave to return to Earth for a few weeks between missions. But he also knew it would be living hell for the cowgirl. Fears were not something tolerated in Star Command, and with Jessie's phobias of the dark and small places, not only would it be difficult to convince the High Commander to allow her to accompany him, but she would be miserable during the jumps between planets, when one would often have to spend days staring at someone else's elbow for entertainment and blackouts were common. There was no way he could ask her to do something like that for him, and besides, with no training, she would be good as dead the moment they got into an altercation. No, it was better for him to say nothing, leaving the love of his life safe on her farm.
But oh how he was tempted just the same.
Softly humming the old lullaby his mother had used to put him to sleep when he had been an infant before she had turned him over to Star Command for training, Buzz gently rubbed Jessie's back as her few heartbroken tears quickly dried, the cowgirl regaining control of her emotions. When she finally relaxed into his arms, the tension leaking out of her like air from a holey balloon, it was with a heavy heart that he continued, his mind racing with a thousand thoughts that just somehow seemed to fit the moment perfectly.
"I talked to my commander yesterday, and he said that the tour should last about eighteen months, if everything goes according to schedule. If we fall behind, it could be closer to two years, but none of the planets we're suppose to visit have placed any formal complaints, so we should actually get ahead. We'll go, make sure the planets are following the pre-established order as directed by Star Command, refuel, resupply, and leave, all within a few days, a week at the most. And besides, they have these new tele-communicators that are free for the crew, so I'll be able to call you everyday. It'll almost be like I never left, and I'll be pestering you so much you'll probably be glad that I had."
Not really paying attention to what he was really saying, Buzz continued to talk as he held her, extending the last few minutes he had left to spare before he had to go. But as the sun continued to rise over the horizon and warm the world around them, he knew there was nothing else he could do. Pulling back, Buzz offered Jessie one last smile before letting go, putting a respectable distance between them as he prepared to leave.
"Are you sure you don't want to come in for breakfast, say one last good bye to everyone?"
Shaking his head, Buzz picked up the bag he had packed up the night before and swung it over his shoulder, his heart heavy as he glanced over his shoulder at the sun.
"I can't. I'm second in command for this mission, so I have to be there and get settled in before anyone else, so I can help with role call and loading. Plus, I already said good bye to everyone last night. They knew I was leaving early, and I didn't want to have to wake them. But I'll call as soon as we get into space. Okay?"
Jessie nodded as he spoke, a small smile crossing her own lips as he mentioned the others. It would be strange, living on the farm without Buzz, who had been the second in command here for as long as anyone could remember. But she knew how much this meant for him, how much the mission could mean for all of them. If the mission was a success and he got a good recommendation, the next mission he went on would be one he led, one where he called the shots and determined the game plan. It would mean fewer missions, but more time spent in space, a trade off as he obtained more responsibilities. Watching as he opened his mouth to say something else, Jessie quickly cut him off with a quick peck on the lips, his eyes immediately becoming dazed and glassy as a goofy grin replaced the words he had been forming.
"Just make sure to stay safe and beat some Zurg cronies for me Buzzy."
Turning around, Jessie started to make her way back towards the farm house, forcing herself to keep calm as she walked. Behind her, she could hear his wings deploy as his suite turned on, the small engines that made flying possible beginning to rumble with life. She knew he would be gone soon, off on another adventure, so she just kept walking, determined to keep herself under control until she returned to her room, where she could spend the last hour before the others awoke mentally preparing herself to face the world, waiting and wondering if her spaceman would ever return to her.
Jessie paused at the sound of her name, her heart racing as she turned back to where he was hovering above the ground, his suite giving off a slight whine as it was forced to idle. For a moment Buzz just stared at her, his eyes roaming her face as he once more memorized exactly what she looked like. Giving a small nod, he flashed her a genuine smile before continuing on with what he had just been saying.
"You know, even though Earth might not be enough to keep me, for a certain reason, it's always been my favorite of all the planets I've visited. There have been others that are more beautiful or more interesting, but Earth will always be my home."
A large smile spreading across her face, her heart stuttering under the intense gaze he was giving her, Jessie responded the only way she could think of.
"I hope I'm part of the reason for that Space Ranger."
Letting out a small chuckle, Buzz rose higher in the air, the whine of his suite rising into a loud roar, the wind from his turbines kicking up the dirt below him and sending her hair into a whirlwind of a dance, knotting it worse then it ever had been before. But she could care less about the sand that was rubbing her skin raw or the hours it would take to brush out the tangles, for she was completely fixated upon the words that fell from his lips, his eyes, his tone of voice, even his every movement confirming that what he said was the truth.
"Jessie, you are the reason."
With that he took off, flying off into the rising sun towards the rocket that would take him to his space ship, from which he would begin his travels across the system. Placing her hand against her heart, Jessie winced as it throbbed painfully against her chest, as if the organ was alive and already longing for her astronaut's return. Pressing down on it to keep it from breaking free to follow him, Jessie let out a long sigh as she watched him disappear, the blinking of his wings quickly, far to fast for her tastes, fading into the morning's light. Turning away from where she had last seen him, Jessie spoke gently to her heart as she made her way back to the house, where she would wash up and try to go about her day as normally as possible.
"I'm going to miss him too, you know."
Reaching the front door, the sound of her older brother Woody already awake and banging around as he tried to make breakfast forced her to pause as she wondered it if was really worth it to try and reenter the house with him in the kitchen. Woody was a terrible cook, and seeing as how he knew that, his attempt at trying only confirmed the fact that he knew his best friend was gone, an event that he probably believed warranted him possibly burning down the house to help cheer everyone up with some of his charcoal pancakes. Figuring that it would be better to just do her chores in her pajamas, Jessie made her way towards the barn, her mind filling with thoughts of the space ranger that had just left her.
Eighteen months he had said. Eighteen months of him traveling around the galaxy, checking in on how settlers were fairing and scouting new planets for the possibility of finding a new home for humanity. Eighteen months of him having adventures, almost dying, and probably meeting tons of women that were far more beautiful and interesting then her. Pausing as she pulled on the boots that stood besides the barn door, Jessie once more turned back towards the sun, which by now had fully risen, signaling the beginning of a new day. Turning her eyes towards the sky, she murmured one final promise before she made her way into the barn, her normal 'good morning' smile only a few shades dimmer then usual.
"Come what may Buzz, I'll still be waiting for you to come home. To infinity and beyond."
Bonnie opened her eyes with a sigh as she stared at her toys, her chocolate eyes critically examining them. Although her day dream had seemed hopeful, the idea of the cowgirl and spaceman ever being together as more then friends was so ridiculous it was sad. Things would never work out between them, so why even try?
Sliding off her bed to return her toys back to her toy box, she couldn't help but remember the vision she had just seen a minute before hand. The two of them had looked so cute together, and there was no denying the love that had shone from their eyes, perfecting strengths and turning flaws into endearing quirks. The were no denying the feelings that the two of them had shown each other with their every word and action, even if it was just in her head. Lifting the two toys to eye level for the last time, a soft smile spread across Bonnie's face as she come to a final conclusion. Putting them back into her box, making sure that they were wrapped in each other's arms, she happily made her way down the stairs to where her mother was waiting to take her to Sunnyside.
Space was nice and neat, where everything had its place and a practical purpose. Everything followed a strict guideline of rules and regulations, most of which she would probably never even begin to understand. In space, nothing ever changed, always remaining in the same spot and following the same patterns that it had lived by for the past million years. Ideally, space stood for all things that followed some form of order.
In contrast, the Wild West stood for all things crazy and chaotic. It was a lawless land, where bandits and thieves roamed free, living off the fear their presence caused. Land marks changed as the days passed, and what might have one day seemed indestructible was rubble the next, with no apparent cause or reason. The constant winds changed the very shape of the land itself, turning plains into mountains and vice versa. Animals ranged the area, searching for temporary shelter from the blistering days and freezing nights, only to be forced out soon after they found it as other pressing needs became apparent. The west was one of the last wild places, where only those as unpredictable as the winds themselves could hope to survive.
At first glace, it would seem that the two of them would be incompatible, unable to get along because of their structural differences. But, perhaps, that's what made them so perfect for each other. Space helped to tame the west, soothing some of its fighting spirit until to was wise enough to look to the future, to plan and live for what might come. The west shattered the shell that space had placed around itself, allowing it to release some of its pent up energy on crazy and reckless things without having to worry about what rules or laws it might be breaking. They complimented each other in a way that couldn't be denied.
Perhaps Bonnie was right, and they would fall apart at the seams, unable to pursue the relationship they both longed for. Perhaps it would end in tears and heartbreak and a lost friendship, the two of them unable to reconcile their differences. But perhaps it wouldn't. Perhaps they would follow the fourth path Bonnie had just realized was a possibility, one where Jessie's fears and Buzz's wanderlust slowly faded away, until the day when she could proudly follow her spaceman on his many adventures and he could spend years on one planet with his cowgirl, with neither of them longing for something else. A path where space and the Wild West lived hand in hand and laid together in the same bed at night, just happy to be with the one they loved.
Perhaps the relationship would fail, but Bonnie had so much trust in true love that she couldn't help but believe that, if anyone could make such a doomed relationship work, Buzz and Jessie would be the ones to do it.
AN: Please let me say now that, even though I said in the story that Woody/Jessie was 'wrong,' that is only in the sense that they are siblings in this story. I actually think Woody/Jessie is pretty cute possibility, so please no flames on that. Anyway, I really hope you guys liked the story. Thank you for reading it! :D