A/N: WOW, thank you guys so much for the reviews! As promised, this one is longer, Jessie's gonna get herself into a heap of trouble XD. THANKS!
Sometimes, Jessie took things out of hand.
She jumped the gun, she leapt without looking, she ran at conclusions before the coach blew the whistle, and, in general, she could be a real 'piece of work' as Woody had dubbed her. She needed closure. Nearly every movie left her wondering, "Well, what happens next?", she couldn't start a book and finish it later, and secrets never stayed out of her view for long.
It was like a disease way in the back of her mind. She knew she got excited, dangerously overzealous, even, but she didn't care. Who needed to play it safe? People who played it safe lost their lovers, forgot their friends, and missed out on once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Ever since Woody had stolen her away from her supposed dream, she had promised herself never to look back.
That was the only thing keeping Jessie from glancing back where the trailer had sped through the rain.
Rain, was cold, Jessie decided. It seeped through her clothes, clung to her skin in heavy waves, and soaked her hair until it burned a deep red wine. The water pouring from choked, coughing clouds tasted bitter, like water that had been left out too long. It rubbed foully against her tongue. Ick.
Once more, Jessie pulled at her sobbing hat and rang out three tons of water. Never once did her feet cease their restless tread through the inch-deep water. Buzz would be after her soon. She knew he would. Maybe even Bullseye. Goodness knew Buzz wouldn't let her abandon the group.
Or would he?
It didn't matter. Jessie would find a way back. She always did. If Woody could cross town and back like it was nothing, she could make it to a carnival, grab her best friend, and catch a trailer.
Jessie gave little thought to the fact that the trailer, by every instant, plowed mercilessly farther and farther from her location, and closer to home.
She and rain did not mix well.
"Woody, you owe me big for this," she muttered beneath soaked lips and dry throat. He would thank her, eventually. He might not be so happy when she first got there and told him she was essentially kidnapping him, but eventually, after she had him in the trailer, after he had talked to Buzz, after she had hugged the life out of him, after he saw his friends, he would thank her. And she would be right.
Jessie gave little thought to Bo Peep.
Maybe she would have to stay the night at the carnival. The thought was a distraction from the thunder cracking and whipping at her eardrums from above, the rain pelting her harder and harder every instant, and the unrelenting mental tug backwards, so she entertained it for as long as it stood. She could stay there for a night, could she not? If she had to. If it took a little while longer to convince him. Or, if he didn't come back, at least she would get a little more time–
Lighting sliced the field of stars above her head. She would not even think about the possibility of going back without him. She wouldn't.
She had no choice.
She had to bring him home. No exceptions.
Jessie gave little thought to what would happen if Woody simply refused.
Shivering, Jessie yanked her hat off, rang it out again, before mushing it on her head, sending little trains of rain cascading down her forehead. If she focused, she could feel each droplet. If she blurred her senses and focused on the road ahead that never ended, it seemed she was drowning.
The light ahead only seemed to get smaller as she went, but that couldn't be true, could it?
More water seeped and slid across her face, but this time, it started at her eyes.
Jessie rubbed at her eyes, furious for crying and boiling that she wouldn't let herself mourn. After all, he was practically dead. If she would never see him again, it was the same–
A sob hitched in her throat, but she swallowed it down. No crying. Not for Woody.
Jessie had given little thought to walking in the middle of the road.
First, it only seemed to be a glow from the moon, or stars, or a lighting flash. But it stayed. It grew. Her boots quit on her, and she stared at the increasingly bright pavement, but until she spun around, she had hardly guessed that another trailer would speed at her.
While her mind screamed at the decision, she fell to inanimate mode, which, she later realized, probably saved her life. The monster of a vehicle swerved, as if she was a rodent, and came to a dead halt on the side of the road. Jessie remained still.
"What was that, a snake or something?" A male voice, coated in a thick New York accent and probably wearing a hockey shirt, boomed through the quiet that had once more invaded the forest and road. Rain continued to pelt Jessie's body.
"I don't know, and I really don't know why you're getting out to look," Another voice, female and high-pitched, tired and weary, mumbled from the trailer. "Dianne is asleep, do we have to look at rodents?"
He man laughed, heartily and through his gut, as he scooped Jessie up in a burly hand and looked her over. "Not a rodent, dear, it's a doll. A cowgirl doll, to be exact."
"Fantastic. Now leave it there so we can go to the carnival."
The man seemed to have other ideas, because Jessie couldn't do a thing about it as he carried her to the trailer, waved her for a moment before the wife, and dropped her neatly on the 'kitchen counter' of the trailer. "Dianne's been wanting some new toys, right? I'll clean this one up and give it to her, she loves lost toys."
"That's disgusting, Rick." The woman climbed back into the trailer and buckled back into the passenger seat. The whir of the door shutting was drowned out by the engine sputtering to life, and Jessie was left until morning, facing the wall of the trailer, curiosity burning and a sick, vile feeling growing in her stomach.
Well, at least she didn't have to walk.
After getting the best cleaning job a man in a trailer could give to a cowgirl doll, Jessie sat, still in inanimate mode, perched on a plastic cup, across from a young girl who Jessie assumed donned the name Dianne. She had several toys and stuffed animals surrounding her, some whose faces she could hardly see, and others who almost looked familiar. Some looked friendly, others looked mean, some were cute, and some were downright creepy.
The trailer still bounced along the road, leaving Jessie wondering about what time she had left her trailer, how long she had walked for, and just what time it was now. Had she passed out at some point and not realized it? Probably. Was she delusional? Most likely. Was she wrong for doing this? No way in heck.
Dianne, who had begun shifting since Jessie was placed in 'her spot', appeared a bit older than most children who played with toys. Jessie guessed about fourteen – a little older than when Emily started to find lipstick and boys more fun than horses and cowgirl dolls. What this kid was doing with a bed of toys, Jessie couldn't guess.
"Mom…" Dianne murmured, still very much asleep. "…are we almost there?"
"Almost, sweetie. But look what daddy found on the road, a cowgirl doll," The mother, whose name Jessie had learned was Abigail, replied in a flat voice. "Don't worry, he cleaned it with his magic soap."
The prospect of a new toy had Dianne up like a shot, and she bounced directly form the bed up to where Jessie sat. "Well, hi! Hey, you're one of those cowgirl dolls! It's…uh…I know this…" After a moment of searching through her memory, the girl snapped her fingers, sent a mess of her thick raven hair waving, and announced, "…Jessie!"
"Thanks, dad!" Dianne looked to be a sweet enough girl. Her nose was a little bigger than it should have been, but she wore it well, and it complimented her dark-chocolate eyes better than a petite one would have. She looked excited at everything, and it appeared the ponytail holder she put in was used often. Her pajamas were loose and comfortable, the t-shirt with a picture of a new animated movie, Trucks.
Dianne's voice lowered, and she brought Jessie down to the bed, before picking up each toy and introducing them.
"This is Cali," Dianne murmured, holding up a caterpillar. "She's always sneaking off somewhere."
Next, a teddy bear who had seen one too many rough days at the park came into view. "This is Mr. Smith John, the guy with a last name for his first and a first for his last."
"This is Illuminata."
"Meet April, May, and June!"
"This is grouchy ol' Mr. Beary."
The next fifteen minutes went by similarly, where Dianne introduced oddly-named characters to Jessie, who didn't plan to remember any of the names except for Cali, who could probably be of some use to her.
"And finally, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet…" Dianne stretched across the bed, dug through a mountain of pillows and blankets, and muttered something about needing a bigger bed as Jessie waited in disinterested silence.
Finally, Dianne pulled a large, raspberry-colored bear out and plopped him in front of Jessie.
"…this is Lotso!"