Summary: Toys can't get sick. They can, however, become exhausted. And Woody's been around the building block enough times to recognize when a fellow toy is coming down with a case of the exhaustions.
a/n: I think I last wrote for this archive like five years ago, but I'mma hit y'all with this last lil one-shot bc I was reminiscing and found all my shitty old stories and decided I wasn't going to leave this stupid archive with all those god-awful stories as my legacy. so here's a stupid little woody/dolly drabble bc I'm pretty sure toy story 4 is going to destroy any hope for that pairing. enjoy.
"I'm pretty sure this place was carnage central last night."
The observation, though tarnished by Hamm's pragmatism, was still startling in its accuracy. While Bonnie's bedroom had always erred on the side of cluttered, the past week had seen its interior laden with scattered toys, crumpled tissues, and discarded blankets that were periodically brought to the bed and later kicked away. Last night, the toys had laid their plastic and plush heads down amidst the chaos. Now, illuminated by the milky light of dawn, the bedroom betrayed no trace of its previous carnage: in fact, it was cleaner than it had been in weeks. Every tissue had been binned; the inanimate toys were either shelved or stacked neatly in the toy chest. Even the blankets had been meticulously folded and placed on the foot of Bonnie's bed in anticipation of the little girl becoming chilled.
Jessie whistled in astonishment. "Well, I'll be stitched. Maybe her mom came in last night?"
"We would've heard a human," Buzz disagreed, examining the immaculate tea table. It had been covered in blister packs mere hours ago: now, the surface was pristine enough to be eaten off of. "It was another toy."
The awestruck crowd turned inward to locate and adulate the culprit for his or her work. Woody, already fostering a conviction of his own, looked outwards. Bonnie was still sleeping, her breaths reedy with congestion, but—to his immense relief—no longer troubled; her purple-haired companion, however, was nowhere to be found. With a slight frown, the cowboy hoisted himself onto the tea table and spotted the doll in question at the window, watering the flowers.
That doll's got it in her for herself, he thought good-naturedly, swinging his lanky frame onto the window sill. Or maybe she's just been a clean freak this whole time.
Woody waited until Dolly had finished her task to start his interrogation. "Well, howdy hey there, Miss Dolly. Aren't you tired from getting the place spruced up last night?"
Dolly smiled wanly at her companion as she replaced the little watering can and gave the straggling rose bud an encouraging pat. "You sound pretty sure of yourself, Sherlock."
"Oh, come on, Doll Face. You've been itching to get this room cleaned since Bonnie got sick. And you're the only one who cares enough," he added, bombastic tone tapering into a more gentle inflection. Dolly graced the kind remark with another grin, but it was glaringly halfhearted. "Come clean, Dolly. Bonnie being sick has really got your pigtails in a twist."
"Again—such certainty," she ribbed. The humor quickly fled from her voice as she sat down heavily on the sill and began to dandle with the largest button on her dress. "I'm sure Andy got sick plenty of times, but Bonnie… even when she was a baby, she never got sick. This was the first time."
"And it scared you," Woody said softly. He too remembered the little prickle of anxiety in his cotton heart whenever his owner took ill. The fragility of humans had always disconcerted him: one virus was enough to kill them. What divine forces could protect his precious owner from that microscopic capsule of protein and lethal genetic code? The dreadful uncertainty of it all had lent itself to more sleepless nights than he would ever admit to his fellow toys. Bonnie's bout of bronchitis had soured his taste for sleep as well, but he had managed to doze the past few nights with the knowledge that her medication was combating the disease. Dolly, of course, had kept him company during these late hours: upon reflection though, Woody realized that she had never followed him to bed when he finally felt relaxed enough to sleep. "You know she'll be just fine, Dolly. She's a strong little girl."
"Of course," Dolly agreed. The nervous flick of her Googly eyes betrayed her persisting anxiety, which she addressed before he could point it out to her. "Bonnie's my whole world. The thought of anything happening to her… I don't know, it really freaks me out. And all her old toys—they really depend on me. The second she got sick, they all looked to me. And since my head isn't half as big as yours—"
"—I didn't know what to do. So, I just pretended it didn't bother me. You're the first toy to talk to me about it. I'd thank you, but that head of yours is big enough."
Woody playfully socked her in the felt arm. "Let's not drag head sizes into this. Aren't those clips of yours held up by your head's gravitational field?"
"Oh, a cowboy and a comedian? Some toys have all the luck," Dolly lamented. Her giggles were interrupted by an inexorable yawn, which she tried to suppress with her fingerless hand. The gesture was futile: Woody noticed and quickly changed his tune.
"When was the last time you got a decent night's sleep, Doll?"
The little rag doll groped for an answer that wouldn't elicit concern from her gangly companion. "I've been dozing here and there," she said breezily. "I'll catch up once Bonnie's fully recovered."
"I'm not worried about Bonnie recovering. I'm worried about you," Woody said, reaching out to tilt Dolly's face up to his own. The twin spots of blush rouging either cheek began to burn a violent red.
Dolly snorted derisively and extricated herself from his grasp with a slight twist of her head. "You're wasting brain space doin' that, Sheriff. I'm fine. You act like I'm the sick one."
The cowboy recovered her face, vinyl countenance furrowed around a stern scowl. "God, you're stubborn, Doll. You may not be sick, but you're exhausted and I know it. You've gotta take a load off before you end up hurting yourself. I've got half a mind to duct tape you to the pillow, but I know you'd just come after me and my hat afterwards."
She smirked in spite of their close proximity. Her penchant for stealing hats was often a source of contention between the two dolls, especially since Woody had no way to retaliate ("I believe you'll find that all of my accessories are sewn on!" she had boasted when he had attempted to make off with one of her clips). "Well, I guess I better catch my forty winks before you start getting creative with the tape, huh?"
Woody couldn't help but chuckle at her remark: Dolly had a knack for defusing tensions. He slowly released his hold on her cheek and smiled. "Ya know, it'll probably be another hour before Bonnie wakes up. I think you and me are in need of a little shut eye."
"You got me, cowboy," Dolly said, not bothering to mask her yawn. "You think the room will survive without their brave leaders at the helm?"
"They'll manage. After you, m'lady," Woody quipped. He removed his hat and swept it chivalrously towards the cushioned little nook of the bedroom, which was the perfect oasis for an enervated toy.
"Don't mind if I do." Dolly hopped off of the window sill and landed on a flowered pillow; Woody followed suit. The cowboy uncapped again, this time placing his beloved chapeau out of Dolly's reach, and grabbed one of Bonnie's star-spangled blankets. As he pulled the cloth over them, Dolly quirked an eyebrow at him.
"You sure you're up for this, Sheriff? I've been known to kick in my sleep."
"I'll be fine as long as you keep that big head on your side," he teased. Something in his chest unclenched at the sight of her smiling lethargically at him, something that he hadn't even known he was clenching in the first place. He supposed it was the alleviation of his concern for his good friend, but as Dolly arranged herself on the pillow, Woody was struck by a flash of insight. Dedicated as he was to leading his fellow toys, he had never harbored such anxiety over any inhabitant of the room, save for Buzz and Jessie. The space ranger and cowgirl, however, were more like his family: Dolly was neither friend nor family. She was…
"Nighty night, cowboy," Dolly whispered as her felt eyelids began to lower.
She was his partner.
"Sweet dreams, Doll Face."
a/n: bruh I'm so gay for this ship. oh my god. this is the fluffiest, stupidest thing I've written in years, but it's also the fastest I've ever churned out a story, so I guess that speaks to how much I love these stupid dolls. oh man. let me formally apologize for all those stupid toy story fics I threw at y'all in, like, fucking 2010: they were so bad. and owl city-centric. like I could not shut up about owl city, could I? hopefully y'all will take this little fic as compensation. hope you enjoyed!