AN: An extremely weird comparison I made quite a while ago and only just got around to finishing. Hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Toy Stoy. Pixar does.
The first time Jessie heard the story of Cinderella was, interestingly enough, only after she had been adopted by Bonnie.
Emily, her first owner, had never truly been interested in fairy tales and magic. She had viewed it as impractical, a young girl just waiting around for some guy to waltz in and save her from something she could have easily defeated herself. To Emily, a girl should be able to save herself without the help of a man, and if he had to be there, he should remain a minor character that just helped to move the story along. It was this belief that had determined the majority of the adventures Jessie would experience with Emily during their play time and that had banished the existence of red capes and poisoned apples from the household.
Then there had been Molly. More of a romantic at heart, Molly had memorized both the original and the more child friendly versions of the tales by the time she was six. She had been enthralled by the idea of young girls living their dreams with the help of magic, of evil and good fighting in epic battles that would determine the course of the world. She had many times imagined what her own Prince Charming would be like, often fretting over the worry that she wouldn't know him when she saw him and would miss out on the greatest moment of her life, the moment when she would find her one true love. Up until she was almost nine, she had asked her mother to tell her one of the many fairy tales each night, mouthing along with the story and quick to correct Mrs. Davis if she should forget some small fact or detail. But though Molly had played with her many times over the years, she was still Andy's toy, so by the time bedtime had rolled around, Jessie had always either been tucked away into the toy box or lying on whatever surface Andy had left her for the night, ready to play the next day but too far away to hear the story.
So, it had thrilled her that first night at Bonnie's house when, at the little girl's insistence, her mother once again told the tale of the poor Cinderella and how she became one of the most beloved Queens of all time.
For some reason, the story disturbed her far more then it should have.
Perhaps it was because of how mean the evil stepmother and stepsisters had been to poor Cinderella, a cruelness that made their own evil Witch and look like the nicest little critters you could find. Or perhaps it had been the way the mother had cut off parts of her daughter's feet so they could fit back into the slipper, and it was only because the shoe was filled with blood that Cinderella had gotten her own happy ending at all. Or perhaps it was the way the birds, at the end of the story, plucked out the eyes of the three women for Cinderella's wedding gift. All of these were disturbing enough on their own, but together it made a gruesome tale that, somehow, Bonnie was still able to love.
But it was neither of these things that, weeks later, still had her climbing off of Bonnie's bed to turn towards the windowsill, the only place free of toys where she could sit and think for a while. No, what truly bothered was that fact that, in many ways, she was exactly the same as Cinderella.
Of course, to come to that conclusion, Jessie had had to throw away some of the more important details of the story, such as the fact that Cinderella had been an human who had lived under the rule of a woman who only married her father for his money, not because of love, while she was a doll that had never known her parents. She had never been hated by someone who she had been forced to live with, nor had she ever been forced to be said person's slave. She had always had her freedom and been able to charm over most of the people she had met in her life. She had never been to a ball, nor was she trying to run away from her only life by marrying a prince she had known for three nights. She had no magic bird friends to help her, nor a magic fairy godmother to give her everything she would need to go have fun. In these aspects, the two of them were as different as the sun and the moon.
But take all of that away, and the things that were left were similar enough to strike a cord with the cowgirl, a strike hard enough to send her curled up under the glow of the pale full moon as she tried to work out the thoughts within her head.
The first not-disturbing-at-all similarity between the two of them was their love of animals. It was the most obvious one that Jessie had thought of after the story, when she had finally gotten the time to sit down and think about why the story had bothered her so much. Of course, after hearing a few more fairytales over the past couple of weeks, it had become clear that a love for all things fluffy and wild was a common trait in the women of the tales, most likely so the little girls that were listening could relate better to them. It was something so common that it she should have been able to overlook it completely, but for some reason she just couldn't. Mainly because that first similarity led to the others that were currently swirling around in her head and making sleep impossible.
The second similarity that Jessie had eventually found between herself and the fairytale princess had been their tendency to dream, to wonder what the world would be like had things gone differently in their lives. For Cinderella, many of her dreams had consisted of 'what if' situations, wonderings about what her life would have been like if her father had never died, if he had married a nice woman who had loved her, and if her mother had never disappeared to begin with. Would she have found her happiness much sooner than she had in reality, or would she have wasted her days with some man who had never loved her to begin with, someone who was not her Prince Charming? Would she have even known the difference?
Jessie, on the other hand, had spent many a sleepless night dreaming about the world beyond the walls of her child's room, wondering about the adventures that could have been hers around the world had she been human. Even normal, everyday average things that humans did as they went about their lives had appealed to her at one point or another, for each moment that passed for them was another moment they had lived, a desire that Jessie bore in silence. In both reality and the story, they had both dreamt of things they could never have, and so had made themselves secretly miserable in the process.
But even after Jessie had figured out why exactly the two similarities she had found annoyed her, it wasn't until months later, as fall faded to the winter and snow began to cover the ground, that she finally found the last, and largest, of the similarities that bothered her.
Cinderella had been forced to live through three balls before she had found her happily ever after, and even then it had come at a terrible price for some of those around her. They had deserved it, of that there was no doubt, but Jessie still couldn't shake the shivers that traveled down her non-existent spine when she remembered that she was on her third human, and that her own ending might not have the same happiness she had always hoped for.
In all honesty, it scared her to think that this might be her last chance, and it was slowly slipping by, moving on without giving her anything to stop it with.
Sitting with her back pressed against the bookshelf, it was with a sigh that Jessie watched the toys that ambled about below her, their own minds fixed on the present instead of the admittedly distant future that hers was. Shaking her head in a futile attempt to clear it of those thoughts, it was with a shrug that she allowed her mind to follow its chosen course, allowed the thoughts that had been clouding her mind for the past few days room to run their course. So caught up with her thoughts, it wasn't until he cleared his throat that Jessie even realized that Buzz had snuck up besides her, his large smile only a few shades dimmer for her failure to notice him. However, seeing the look in her eyes, his smile gave way for a more serious look as he spoke, searching for the words that would allow him into her mind.
"What's wrong Jessie," he finally asked, his voice soft and caring. Making a snap decision, knowing that, perhaps, his seemingly infinite well of knowledge could help her, she told him everything.
"You know," Buzz said casually as her words fell away, her heart a bit lighter for having shared her worries with the man besides her, as his hand disappeared behind his head as he nervously rubbed it, forcing his tongue to cooperate for the few minutes he needed it to. "In the story, even though the third ball ends, there is one thing that Cinderella always seems to get to keep to remind her of those nights."
Without wait for her coming question, Buzz swiftly planted a kiss on Jessie's cheek before quickly turning away, his own lips whispering a blush worthy explanation before running off to find Woody, murmuring some vague excuse about fixing the spaceship he had just spent all yesterday tuning. His muttering fell on deaf ears however, for the cowgirl he had been addressing had become caught up in the final similarity she had found between her and the fairy tale.
"She gets to keep her prince charming."
Emily and Andy had been the first two balls of her life, the ones that, just like in the story, ended in heartbreak and sadness. For them, midnight had come and long since past, leaving her waiting for the next dance to begin. But Bonnie was the third, the one where Cinderella was suppose to get her happily ever after. Perhaps Bonnie would always keep them, taking them through the various stages of her life, maybe even passing them on one of her own children when the time came. But even if Bonnie did turn out to be another midnight, another child that would one day leave them to their fate, Jessie wasn't scared anymore.
Because just like in the story, at the third ball she had finally gotten her prince. Maybe not one that wore a crown and jewels, one who's only gift would be to hold her in the years to come, one that was made of nothing but plastic and metal wirings, but her prince none the less. Come what may, whether it be a life of love or a trip back to the dump, Jessie knew she would always, for infinity and beyond, have her prince space ranger Buzz.