Author's Notes: Hey a long chapter! Joy! Hope you guys like this one. And thanks always to Madier1095. Even if you're the only one left reading this, I appreciate your reviews like crazy! :D
It was a week before the big day.
The anxiety of the approaching day was getting to Bo's head. She tried to be calm and reasonable as she knew she should be, but it was difficult when she had to make all sorts of decisions. She sat down at the counter in the saloon and caught her breath and imagined herself walking down the isle…
It was late in the day. Everyone had gone home save the Davis' because the saloon was their home. Mrs. Davis was rocking little Molly asleep, and Andy had already gone to bed. It was almost completely silent.
And then there was a beep.
That otherworldly beep she'd heard on various contraptions that she didn't understand. It continued to beep, whatever it was, but it was extremely faint. She slipped delicately from her seat and listened for the noise. It led her to one of the back rooms and recognized it immediately to be coming from the secret underground Star Command base.
Even though the old saloon had burned to the ground, the base remained safe and unfound. Bo had seen others use a new secret passage to get down there. She moved a painting on the wall that revealed a button, and a staircase was created going down in the floor.
The beeping stopped as she was halfway down. Instead she heard Woody's voice echoing through the hallway. She couldn't quite make out what he was saying… Bo was surprised he was even down there. She thought he was working late tonight.
"Hello? You down here sweetheart?" she called meekly.
"I want to remind you what that truly means. You can fulfill that desire to help and serve people here, where people really need you. Besides, if you let me run the whole shebang again, I'll probably become just as selfish as I was before you met me…"
"What?" Bo tried again, confused. "Is there someone else down there with you?"
"Even though you broke my sister's heart, you're still my best friend, and I would love nothing more than to experience my wedding day with you as my best man. Please…"
It was Woody's message.
By the time Bo reached the bottom stair, it was easy to spot where the sound was coming from in the nearly empty station.
Buzz Lightyear sat on the ground, still wearing his Star Command uniform, but his hood to cover his head was down, revealing his dusty brown hair. He hadn't been shaving in the time he spent alone apparently, because he had a short stubby beard. He fiddled with a gadget on his wrist, and it beeped one more time. He closed the little compartment on his wrist, and sighed.
"Buzz!" was all Bo could say. She felt frozen to the spot.
"Hi Bo…" he said quietly.
"I… I don't even know what to say to you… what, and where, and why, I guess?" Bo said fumbling over her words.
"I'm a coward. I ran away. For the first time in his life, Buzz Lightyear ran away from a mission. And it's not just that, I ran away from all of my problems here too. I was being such an idiot. Now I'm afraid Woody is the only one who still believes in me."
Bo tried not be angry, but she couldn't help being upset remembering all the stress he had caused for everyone.
"Well, you have some nerve showing up here, a week before my wedding no less," she huffed, regretting what she had said immediately after.
Buzz still hadn't taken his eyes from the floor.
"You have every right to be upset with me. I don't even know what I'm doing here. I don't think I belong anywhere," he said with a hurt look on his face.
"Oh… shut up and give me hug!" Bo cried. She ran towards him with outstretched arms. He finally tore his eyes away from the ground and looked surprised when she attacked him with an embrace on the floor. "Don't you ever leave us again! I'll slap you silly!"
He stood up shakily when she released him. The ranger let out a wimpy smile, but he looked genuinely better already.
"What do I do, Bo? I'm a wreck. How on Earth do I tell everyone that I have the nerve to come back here and I hope to be accepted again?" he asked.
"Don't worry about that. I'm sure they will all be overjoyed to see you again. I'm just glad you finally got it through your noggin that we're family, and you're stuck with us," she said happily as she slipped her arm through his and led him out of the station.
Despite the lateness in the day, Bo insisted Buzz meet up with Woody immediately. He was incredibly nervous, not necessarily about the cowboy, but his sister. He still had no idea how she felt about him, and he figured she forgot about him completely. The space ranger had no clue what fury the redhead had…
Woody opened the door, which was extremely lucky. Jessie probably would have slammed the door in his face. Of course, even Bo didn't know how the sheriff would react. He tended to blow things out of proportion sometimes.
Woody didn't even look surprised.
He grinned and held out his hand. Buzz looked at it like it was a foreign object, and then realized what to do with his own. After they shook hands, Bo let out a sigh. One Pride down, one to go.
"Welcome back buddy, knew you couldn't stay away for too long," Woody said happily.
"Who's at the door?" called Jessie from inside the house. Woody grimaced. This wasn't going to be pretty…
The cowgirl walked casually up behind her brother and slowly scanned Buzz's slightly unrecognizable, dirty face. Her eyes narrowed.
"Oh, it's you. Back so soon?" Her simple words were like a punch in the face.
"I-I… I didn't think you'd uh, notice I was gone…" Buzz said clueless.
"You think I'm stupid?"
Bo and Woody winced at each other. As much as they didn't want to leave poor Buzz alone, Bo crept into the house and the two of them left the room.
"No… n-no, not at all. It's just, ah-"
"You just thought I was stupid. It's ok Buzz, I got that part. What I don't understand is why you're back here after the damage you've done?" Jessie asked crossing her arms, her words like daggers.
"I don't think you're stupid Jess, I j-just…"
"Y'know, I don't understand. I thought for once in my life that even if I was the roughest toughest cowgirl in the West, that someone might have thought I was beautiful-"
"You are beautiful."
"-and I bought your sappy looks and tripping over words. You had me fooled Buzz Lightyear-"
"-but I ain't gonna buy it again! So you might as well get your sorry caboose out of here before I personally make you myself!" She slammed the door in his face.
Woody slowly emerged from the other room. Bo decided that it was going to have to be a discussion between the siblings and she really didn't have much part of it.
"Well that went well…" Woody said quietly. Jessie still stood in the same spot.
"Excuse me? I'm sorry, would you have liked us to kiss and make up?" Jessie replied flatly.
"Knock it off Jess, you know he went because he had to. That's his job."
"Fine! Why is he back here then? What more could he possibly do here? It's a boring stupid old town. How can this musty town compare to his fancy, dangerous, thrilling job up in the stars?"
Woody paused. "You know the answer to that question."
"I hate him! I never want to see him again! He didn't even tell me he was going to leave!" Jessie cried, trying to change subject.
"So he was a little bit dumb, but all men are a little stupid when they're in love."
"Then… But, why…" Jessie stopped dumbfounded. She tugged on her braid and looked at the door.
She reached her fingers out painfully and opened the door, only to find that no one was standing there. The cowgirl lost it. She tried to wipe away tears as she pulled on her boots quickly.
"Jess, what are you doing?" Woody asked taking a timid step towards her. "Are you ok?"
"I've got to find him Woody. He can't have gone far…"
"I can't let him disappear again! Do you think he'll come back after all of those horrible things I said? I have to find him!" She bolted out the door calling out for the space ranger. It had just started to rain.
Bo walked out with a concerned look on her face. Woody was already pulling on his jacket.
"What happened? Where did she go?" Bo asked helping him wrap up.
"She's gone out to find him. She'll never stop looking if she can't find him. I've got to go after her," Woody replied. "I'll be right back, I promise." He kissed her lightly and then went out into the horribly rainy night.
Jessie ran through the blotchy raindrops that hit her face. She wished that she had brought her hat with her. It was getting unbelievably muddy and she slipped once or twice, but that didn't deter her from finding him.
"Buzz! Please!" she shouted through the heavy rain. Thunder started to rage above her. It was almost impossible to see anything in the storm.
But there was a dim glow. It was Buzz's suit! It was moving away from her quickly.
She sprinted after him. Jessie barely recognized the scenery. They were near the edge of a cliff base. Buzz maneuvered his way through it easily, trying to disappear through the mountains.
She navigated her way around the steep cliff, the mud making her nervous. And then something, or someone, yanked on her hair behind her.
She lost her balance.
Jessie was falling out of control. The wind was whipping through her hair wildly and out of control, and rain only encouraged her destruction. She glanced up back to where she stood and saw a dark figure blend with the shadows, followed shortly by her brother shouting something she couldn't understand.
This was it, she was going to die.
She could only close her eyes waiting for impact.
What a stupid way to die. In the dark, in some stupid canyon.
The thought about the dark worried her. What if she didn't die right away? She'd be down there in the horrible suffocating shadows. The image came to her like a dark dragon from a fairy tale.
And then she hit the ground. But, it was a lot softer than she had imagined it to be. She felt a bruise on her tailbone, which was painful, but she thought it would have been a lot worse. Maybe she couldn't feel anything anymore? Like she had broken something that let her feel pain…?
Jessie finally opened her eyes and saw the most brilliant cerulean eyes staring back at her. They were flying back up to the top of the cliff, impossibly. And Buzz had just saved her life… He smiled at her. She didn't know what face she was pulling, but she realized she was shaking horribly.
After landing on safer ground, her brother seemed to come out of nowhere and tackled her into a hug.
"Don't you ever do that again. What if Buzz wouldn't have been able to catch you?" Woody said softly. He was crying.
She had no reply as the world was spinning. When he finally let her go, she turned back to Buzz, and tugged on her braid nervously.
"Buzz… I'm so sorry. I shouldn't, I shouldn't have said, I just-"
He shook his head. "Don't worry about it. I'm the one who should be sorry."
"No you shouldn't, it's just…" Jessie glanced back at Woody. "People do stupid things when they're in love." She didn't hold back one bit.
Jessie the cowgirl kissed the sweetest spaceman she had ever met.
Heavens, this is a loaded chapter isn't it? I didn't really prioritize the 'past' chapters with the 'future' chapters, so that's why this is all crunched into here.