AN: A quick one-shot about what a possible future might be for the toys. Happy for most, but a tragedy for two.
Disclaimer: I do not own Toy Story. Pixar does.
Watching as the sun rose from her perch in the rafters, the early morning light peering in through the small window that had been added long before the Anderson family had moved into the old house, Jessie let out a soft sigh as she mentally prepared herself to meet another day.
Dropping to the floor, she hurriedly swept away the daily concern over being seen by the few inhabitants of the house that still remained, for the slight thud her boots had made when they had hit the rough wooden floors of the attic was nowhere near enough to draw attention to the activities of the unknow house guests. Besides, on a weekend morning, Bonnie would still be sleeping until she had to head on out to work, cutting out the dangers of one human, while Mrs. Anderson had begun to lose her hearing to old age a few months ago, nullifying the second threat she posed to their little community. Nodding a greeting to Hamm, who had signed for morning watch when they had first gotten things set up, she quickly made her way back towards the deepest corner of the attic, her sense of pride growing with each step as her home, a settlement that would make any pioneer proud, came into sight.
Placed under the west facing window, at first glance the corner looked like any other part of the attic: a random assortment of boxes and containers that someone had stacked around an old black and white t.v. that was still connected to an old game system that probably should have been thrown out a long time ago. Facing a scene so average, so normal within an attic that had constantly had boxes shifted around as old decorations were uncovered and reburied for discovery again at a later date, no one would ever think twice about it, most likely forgetting about its existence as soon as they had moved on to find whatever it was they were searching for.
It wasn't until a closer look was taken at the clearing, however, that someone would notice that, instead of being packed to the tearing point with knick knacks and trinkets that the family below had still wanted but had needed out of the way, each and every box had been opened and closed, its contents carefully distributed amongst other boxes on the other side of the room. It wasn't until a closer inspection was performed that someone would recognize the ragged holes that littered the sides of the boxes as doors and windows instead of the initial mouse holes they would first be mistaken for. But the real kicker would have come, if there had been anyone around to be kicked, had the person actually peaked into one of these holes and found the multitude of miniature furniture that littered the different sections of the boxes, with cloth partitions hung from the top to create a semblance of privacy from one 'room' to the next. If anyone had bothered to look, they would have found an entire civilization of just toys.
But lucky for them, the creators of this little piece of paradise, humans were an incredibly unobservant species, so it had never happened.
After the first few months the toys had been stuck in storage, it had soon become a fact known to the inhabitants of the little town that they were safe there, that the few humans they ever saw would never again disturb them until they were finally needed by another child. They had all been unnerved by this revelation, for although they had all understood that Bonnie, now a grown woman who was working her way through college and planning her wedding to none other then their old owner Andy, had grown up and no longer needed them, the idea that they were free agents, that they could now come and go as they pleased without regards to how a human would react, had been a jolt, an uncertainty in which a new fear began to grow: the fear of possibilities. Being a toy, the world was open to them through a child's imagination, allowing them to be anything they child willed them to be at the moment. But only as the child willed it.
With their children grown and gone, at least for the meantime, they no longer had that comforting restriction.
Pausing to wave at Mrs. Potatohead as she pushed aside the purple scrape paper window covering she had added to the house to give it that extra homey feeling, Jessie couldn't help but smile as she maneuvered through the assortment of villas and townhouses, nodding and greeting her friends as they began their preparations for the day. Glancing between the buildings into the parallel pathway to her right, her eyes lit up with mischief as she spotted Woody, the old cowboy doll meandering down towards the village square with a roll of paper in his hands, probably the notes for the meeting that would take place later that day after Mrs. Anderson had finally left for work.
Sneaking through the alley, Jessie softly began stalking her prey as he continued on his way through the town, vaguely acknowledging the toys he encountered as he reviewed the notes, his eyes glued to the roll of sticky notes he clutched in his hands. Frowning, she quickly scoured the area, her face swiftly lifting in a grin as she spotted the three young peas racing towards her. Placing a finger over her lips to signal for silence, she motioned for the children to gather around her, her voice low as she explained the help she would need from them. After just a few moments the group once more broke up into its two separate parties, the gathering too fast for anyone to confirm whether it had actually been there or not.
But even if the huddle of toys had just been a coincidence, there was no question to the fact that the events that followed soon after were the hard work of short term conspirators.
His mind so fixed upon the papers he clutched in his hands, Woody had allowed his shield to fall, opening him to any attacks that the cowgirl and children had managed to plan so quickly. He had been planning this meeting for weeks now, constantly reviewing and revising the plan he had been waiting to bring before the board that had formed in the last few years that his vision still swam with marks and calculations, all of which would eventually lead to the success they had been craving for so long. Pushing his tongue against his cheek as he mentally ran through a series of measurements once more, it was with a slight say of relief that his numbers had come up the same that he walked right into their trap.
Letting out a cry of surprise as the three peas barreled into him, Woody winced as he hit the floor, his papers flying from his hand as the children settled themselves onto his chest. Taking a moment to catch his breathe, pretending that the surprise tackle had left him more winded than it had, it was less than a minute later that Woody shot into a standing position, the peas rolling to the floor in a giggling heap. Bending down, his fingers spread wide as he prepared his own tickle-based counterattack, it was only because of her sudden movement and shocked gasp that he realized that Jessie had found his roll of notes. Wincing at the look on her face, Woody twisted away from the peas to tear the papers from her hands, an action she did nothing to stop, and prepare to explain himself.
"Jessie, I can exp-"
"Don't bother Woody," Jessie cut him off softly, her head bowed as she refused to meet his gaze, instead studying the old scuff-marks that had long since been the main characteristics of her boots. "Don't bother. One of these days, you'll see that I was right and that there was nothing we could have done. Maybe then you'll stop risking the others to fix a toy that was broken long ago." Twisting on her heels, the promised play date with the peas long forgotten, Jessie quickly hurried on her way to the duty that had been hers to perform for years.
The sight that met her did nothing to lighten her mood.
The house, if that was what the others still insisted on calling it, had been tucked away into the farthest corner of their little town, as if distance could actually ease the pain the sight of it shot through all of them. The windows and door had long been covered with scraps of cloth that Slinky had found in one of the boxes, completely blocking out the damaging sun that would have only insulted him more. Ducking her head so that she could fit through the entrance, its height and width custom made for someone much smaller and wider than herself, it was with that same wiry, saddened smile that Jessie greeted the toy she had come to see.
Of course, there was no answer, nothing to indicate that the astronaut had heard her voice or recognized his own name. Instead, he remained silent, his brilliantly blue eyes closed despite the many projects that awaited and the people that needed him. He was beyond caring, beyond anything, really, and so continued to sleep.
What else was there for a corpse to do?
Settling herself into the warn chair that had been placed by his side, Jessie's smile slowly faded into a frown as she examined his face, his every feature a familiar setting in the overall scene that she had observed so many times, she was comfortable. There was a sense of home in his features, a feeling she rarely felt outside of this cardboard tomb, and for a single, wild moment, she wanted nothing more then to climb onto the platform he was lying on, lay down, and be held by the toy she loved once more.
Wishful thinking, for batteries hadn't been made in a long, long time.
In a world ever everything plugged into a wall and held its own charge, extra batteries had become obsolete, an necessity that Bonnie and her mother had decided to cut from their budget since they had become a commodity, an oddity. There was no need of them, and so what had once been the driving force behind a great machine was now nothing more then a waste of money, something neither of the Anderson women could afford.
Without them, Buzz had faded until, one day, he had just never awoken.
Grabbing the rag that she had placed into the corner for just this purpose, Jessie went about her daily task of wiping away the dust that had gathered on the spaceman, her hand swift to return the shine to his armor and clear the shield that protected his face. Finding her chore done quicker then she had expected, it was only moments later that Jessie allowed herself to relax once more, her fingers gently reaching out to trace the lines of the plastic that made up his hand. For one delusional second, she could have sworn that he twitched, that he had reacted to her touch and the sound of her voice, but just as quickly she forced herself to reface the reality she had been living with for the past five years.
The love of her life had died long ago, and no matter how much she wished it different, there was nothing she could do to help him.
Bending so that her head was resting against his chest, her eyes stinging with tears she was unable to shed, it was with a sinking heart and heartbreaking sigh that the last of her hope that, one day, things could return to the way they had once been died as well.