A/N: So, who saw TS4? *hands raise* Ok, who bawled in a theater of kids and adults like a baby and could barely see her way out of the theater? *my hand raises* Alrighty then. Well, not much to say, but I decided to give a little TS story a go. The first chapter's a little short, but the next one will be longer. THANKS!
He was gone.
What was, just a few minutes go, a tearful, all's-for-the-best goodbye, filled with memories and well-wishes, now sat in Jessie's bitter heart like a childhood trauma. It stung. Did he no longer care? Did Bo mean so much to him that he was ready to leave her, them all, to leave Buzz on a whim like that? Had they done something?
Oh, she hated him. She loathed him. It had hardly been five minutes, and she despised him. Jessie hated Woody's guts for leaving her. It was the kind of hate she imagined would morph her into a Lotso. Someone who was beyond redemption, even in the face of friendship and love.
Never mind Bonnie.
Never mind Buzz.
Never mind his friends.
Never mind Bo.
What about her?
Didn't he care for her? On some level, wasn't she important to him?
The walls closed in.
Maybe he had never cared about her. Maybe that day that he told her she was one of his best friends, he was lying.
Her heart stopped beating.
Maybe their jokes and secrets they shared meant nothing. Maybe he was just humoring her with friendship.
A voice, strong and caring, warm and gentle, broke through the tornado that strung her arms against her back and yanked at the corners of her mind. She looked up through eyes she didn't know were crying. "B-Buzz?"
The space ranger stared down at her. She could hardly make out the image through the salty liquid that blurred and fuzzed her eyes, and she rubbed away at her face, like scrubbing the memories away. She wished she could forget it all. Forget the good times, the sad times, the bad, the fun, the boring, the lovely, she wished it would all go away.
"I know it's hard." Buzz spoke in short bursts, and the trailer hitched over a bump into the road. He raised his voice to battle the steady bombing of rain, but he could not combat the sob in his throat and mother nature. "We'll never stop missing him. We don't have to. But he wouldn't want–"
"Stop walking like he's dead!" Jessie thrashed wildly from her corner and met Buzz's eyes. The tears had fallen. "He's not dead! He's over in la-la-land, having a great ol' time with Bo, ignoring us and everything he's responsible for!"
Buzz grabbed her shoulders. Her sobs wracked against him. "Jessie, listen to me! Woody is doing what makes him happy, and we have to stand by him!"
No. She wouldn't be that motherly, responsible, selfless one. She wouldn't sacrifice everything she loved so Woody could have a good time. "Oh yeah?" Jessie shook out of his grip. "Well, you can stand and salute your honor, Buzz, but I'm saving Woody before he ruins my life, and his."
"Jessie?" Rex poked his paranoia-filled head out from behind Bonnie's bag, and his senseless worries finally got to shine center stage and prove they were right as Jessie glared a hole through Buzz's head. "Are you ok?"
Slowly, other toys trickled in as she gave no response. She straightened her spine and dropped her shoulders. Rain pelted louder against the thick glass. Bullseye stared at her with wide, whimpering eyes behind Buzz's shoulder. Yes, she would be that one. The one to make a ruckus. The one who wouldn't accept Woody's decision. Fine.
"He's… he's gone, Jessie," Dolly whispered. They all stared at her, waiting for her to give in. To give up and admit they were right. To send Woody off with a kiss on the cheek and well-wishes like he was off to college.
No farewell words.
She wouldn't be like Woody.
With a well-placed smirk on her lips, Jessie looked at her friends – her comrades – and smiled. "You guys will all thank me. Because, deep down, you miss Woody just as much as I do."
Buzz's eyes bore into hers. He pleaded with her silently. She paused.
Oh no he ain't.
Jessie spun around, and her smirk upturned into a grin when she found the back window still hung open, inviting her to become the hero. To fix everything Woody had messed up. He gave her the sheriff badge for a reason, right?
I'm not coming back until I have my best friend on my arm.
"Well, guys…" Jessie turned back around, saluted her friends, and backed towards the window as the trailer bounced once more. Buzz's eyes lit aflame. Bullseye was about to run at her. Dolly's mind upturned logic and reasoning for her madwoman rescue. "...next time you see me, Woody will tell you I was right."
With that, as a chorus of, "JESSIE!" rang out against her ears, she took a running start out the window, flew through the air, and rolled to absorb the impact against the flooded pavement.
Maybe it was a star.
Maybe it was a helicopter.
But maybe, just maybe, that light she saw in the distance was the carnival, and the heart and spirit of her best friend.
Jessie had a mission.
And Jessie never failed.