They climbed down the shelves and followed Bo to a safe distance in silence, half because they couldn't risk getting followed an half because Jessie was dreading what Woody had to say. Buzz kept stopping every few seconds, looking around in paranoia and confusion util Jessie led him forward again. Finally, they arrived back at the familiar area of the lost and found. and Bo could tell the conversation was not going to be pretty. She turned the attention to Buzz, whose current state left him exhausted on the floor.
"Hey, Woody brought batteries!" she said in a gleeful tone and large smile. "Jessie, why don't you go get them? I left theme on the table."
She nodded, getting up from Buzz's side as she went to retrieve them, avoiding Woody's glare.
"When you get back, I'd like to have a word with you!' he called after.
"Woody!" said Bo when Jessie was out of earshot, hitting him on the shoulder. "I thought we said no lecture!"
"Bo she can't just leave the room without telling anyone!"
"You mean without telling you," she corrected, making sure Jessie still couldn't hear. "She did what she thought was the right thing to do. She came to help a toy. Sure it was impulsive. But I wonder where she learned that from?"
She was right. He had no right to give Jessie a hard time about something he did, well, on the regular. One again, Bo had save them from a pointless fight. With barely any effort at all.
Jessie jumped down carrying the batteries and she knew instantly the mood had changed as the pair had once again become trapped in their bubble. She smiled. "You didn't think to bring a screw driver did you?"said the cowgirl lightheartedly.
"Ya got one we can borrow, Bo?" he asked with a grin.
"One step ahead of you," sang Bo as she headed to the cabinet. Jessie sat on the ground beside Buzz who rested his face on her shoulder, looking up at her in adoration even though he was barely able to keep his eyes open. Woody sighed and joined them on the ground as they watched Bo search for a screwdriver. Woody smiled as she muttered to herself, as he remembered she often did when trying to focus. He missed the smallest things about her, like how she never threw anything away but rather sat it down gently. She scrunched her nose ever so slightly as she looked, never becoming cross or impatient where he normally would.
"It's almost like she never let, huh?" said Jessie, observing the goofy grin she hadn't seen in years.
"Imagine that," he chuckled, his eyes glued to the shepherdess. "Just imagine what it'll be like when she comes to Bonnie's."
"Oh Woody, I don't think that's gonna work…" began Jessie hesitantly.
"Of course it will," dismissed Woody, the gears in his head turning. "I mean, that's what you and Buzz came here to do right?"
"Oh, she'll love it at Bonnie's," continued Woody, excitedly. "It may be hard to get the lamp there, but she doesn't seem to care too much about it. Once we get her sheep, she should be all set. Should we have her delivered on Bonnie's birthday or before? Ya know, I know just where mom will probably put her-."
"-on a shelf?" finished Jessie, somewhat uneasy.
Woody saw the dismal expression she wore and caught himself. "Um, yeah well but only when they're home and only until Bonnie is older. I'm sure she'll incorporate Bo into playtime, heck if she's anything like Andy-."
"Bonnie isn't Andy," said Jessie solemnly.
"Well, yeah of course, I know that."
"Do you?" asked Jessie.
"Do you?" repeated Buzz in a whisper, the poor toy exhausted. Jessie lovingly stroked his cheek and made sure he stayed upright before returning to face Woody who looked at her, utterly offended.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It's that… you're trying to fix something I don't think is broken."
"Everything alright out there?" called Bo from inside a cabinet.
"Peachy-dory!" called Buzz back enthusiastically, Jessie offered a confirming thumbs up and Bo went back to her search.
"Look at her; she's happy here."
"Because she has no other choice," said Woody in a hushed tone. "She didn't want to leave Andy's so she's doing the best she can. Now we have a second chance to all be together again. For us to be together again," he whispered, the idea was once so fanciful it still didn't feel capable of reality. "Of course Bonnie will love her! She'll love it at Bonnie's!""Will she? Will she really love having to give up the life she's made here to probably sit on a shelf?"
"What are you saying? I'm being selfish?"
"No! Well, yes? Maybe? You've done this before; at Andy's, here, Sunnyside-."
"I was right about Sunnyside!" insisted Woody.
"Not really," said Jessie, which surprised Woody. "Yes, it wasn't what we thought it was. But Ken and Barbie proved it could be fixed, You didn't let us give it a chance. You shot it down before we even got there because it wasn't your idea. And I thought I was wrong but I wasn't! We weren't happy being locked in the toy box and I found us a way to a better life, just like you did with me and Bullseye! But you wouldn't let us move on. Maybe we weren't meant to be at Sunnyside, but that doesn't mean it was a bad idea."
"But then we found Bonnie-."
"But then you decided to give us to Bonnie," corrected Jessie, her voice becoming louder and stronger. "And I love it there, I do, and love Bonnie but you never asked. When we didn't want to go to the attic, it's like you decided anything I planned was wrong. And then when we decided to go to the attic after all, you changed your mind. Without asking or telling us. You always decide what's best, even if it was someone else's idea first."
"I kept us together," Woody said at last, his tone and eyes were defensive but his face held a small shadow of defeat.
"You did, but it's impossible to talk to you," said Jessie, her voice lighter and calmer. "If anyone ever tries to disagree with you, you refuse to listen."
"I'm not listening to this," said Woody, about to get up to walk away.
Buzz clumsily reached out his arm and grabbed Woody's hand to pull him back down. "Hear her out," he managed to mutter, his former self shining though in Jessie's defense. The cowgirl offered a faint smile of gratitude as she found the words to continue.
"You're afraid of change, Woody," said Jessie delicately. "And that's okay. Change is scary and sometimes you don't get to choose when things change. But sometimes you do. I chose to go with you to Andy. It was hard but... I don't want to think where I'd be if I hadn't."
"Well I was right about that.."
"What I mean is…" Jessie went on before Woody could stop her again. "You spent so much time figuring Andy into everything; if Andy needed you, what Andy will do, how to be there for Andy. And that was fine because it made you happy. But he moved on. Bonnie isn't Andy, the same way Andy wasn't Emily. They're still special to me. But even though I thought Emily was my world, when she left my world didn't end, it just changed. And I had to change with it."
Woody looked down to the ground, understanding what Jessie was saying but not sure he liked it.
"Bo's world didn't end when she left us, it just changed," said Jessie. "She's doing what she loves and she's happy. We can't make her leave just because we miss her. You can't decide this for her. Not all problems can be solved by finding a new kid."
"So what? I'm just supposed to let her go again?" said Woody angrily, rising to his feet. "Is that what I chased you two all the way here to find out? And what if I hadn't? Hm? W-were you just gonna come here, find her, and then come back to Bonnie's room to tell me she's happier without me?"
"Woody, that's not what I'm saying…"
"I think that's exactly what you're saying," he said, walking away from her, She tried calling out to him, but it was no use.
"I found the screwdriver!" announced Bo, as she came running back with the tool in hand, just in time for Woody to walk past her. "Where ya going sheriff?"
"I uh, I'm gonna keep lookout. Make sure we weren't followed," he murmured, Bo knew this wasn't the whole story but Buzz's condition desperately needed addressing.
"Okay, well hurry back," she said solemnly, adjusting her drip on the screwdriver. "It's the first time we've all been together in years, don;t want ya in a sour mood."
He should have know better than to try to and hide his mood from Bo, but he didn't want her seeing him like this. He sat in the doorway trying to collect himself and sort the anger he had for Jessie from the anger he had for himself. It wasn't selfish for him to want Bo back in his life, was it? This was a rare thing for a toy; to be reunited like this. How could it be anything besides fate? How could Bo deny they were meant to be together?
"Hey there Woody," came a familiar voice, distributing his thoughts.
"Well look who it is," said Woody trying to muster some good spirits happy to see Buzz back to normal. "How ya feeling buddy?"
"I've felt better, I've also felt worse," he said as he sat beside him. "Not too crazy about the idea of Jessie seeing me with a low battery..."
"So who's idea was this? Yours or Jessie"s"
"Jessie's," said Buzz matching Woody's serious tone, bypassing the small talk. "But we all supported it."
"Then why not tell me?" he didn't let Buzz answer. "You both know how long I've been looking for her, how much she means to me. Why wouldn't I want to come?"
"What if it wasn't her?" countered Buzz. "We thought were were doing what was best for you."
"You mean Jessie was."
"No, I mean both of us," insisted Buzz. "Woody, we're sorry you feel left out but that wasn't out intention. But does that really matter now? We found her!"
"And if I hadn't followed you I never would've known."
"Oh, right," said Buzz. "She did mention something... "
"Buzz, she can't be happy here can she?"
"Do you really want that to be true?" asked Buzz. "She's been gone a long time. Do you really want there not to be a single moment in all those years where she was happy? I think she'd want you to be happy, for all of use to be happy, even if she can't be there. Doesn't mean she forgot about you. How could she?"
"But… do you think she would choose to stay here?"
Buzz saw Woody was afraid to ask Bo to come back with them and Buzz understood now why Jessie hadn't pressed the matter. They hadn't considered it being a question at all. If this wasn't a rescue mission anymore, how were they going to leave?
"It wouldn't be because she doesn't care about you," said Buzz after a moment, choosing his words carefully. "But toys don't get to choose what happens to us very often. And when we do, it can be scary. Just because she comes with us doesn't mean she'll get to stay. We've managed to stay together longer than most, but at the end of the day we know that can change in a second. Here... it seems like she's happy. She's helping toys, she's not bound to a shelf, she's free. You know her better than anyone, you know that's what she's always wanted."
"I know you're right," said Woody, though he hated to admit it. "And I know Jessie's right, I guess. I'm glad to know that all those years we were apart that she wasn't miserable and lonely. I would never want her to be. But I... I can't leave her again."
"Then don't," said Buzz simply. "Ask her, she won't do anything she doesn't want to do, we both know that. But maybe..."
"Maybe ask a different question."