Woody gazed out the window from Bonnie's room. He ignored Rex's nervous fears behind him. He didn't often ignore Rex. Usually he was down there trying to calm his fears, but this time Woody wasn't sure of the answer, this time he wasn't feeling up to it. He eyed the 'Garage Sale' sign Bonnie was hammering to the ground. They had gotten lucky with Andy. He gave them away to someone young and imaginative and they were all together. Being sold at a garage sale wouldn't have been that bad, in his opinion, if only they were sold together. He felt bad about this. He knew that if he was still with Andy, being sold at a garage sale still would have been the worst possible thing ever…all together or not. Woody just didn't have the same connection with Bonnie as he did with Andy.
Woody turned his attention back to Bonnie, only to see she had left. Worried, he turned to face the room. "Everyone get back to the toy box! Quick!" he yelled, not knowing when Bonnie had left. He watched for only a second as the toys rushed back to the toy box, making sure they all heard him, before he jumped off the windowsill and climbed down the bookshelf. He went as quickly as he dared too. He jumped off the last shelf and onto the floor. He landed on his stomach.
Jessie came towards him. "Here," she said, reaching down to help him up.
"Thanks, Jessie." Woody straightened his hat on his head before pulling Jessie along to the toy box.
Buzz held the lid open for Woody and Jessie, closing it just as they heard the bedroom door open. Buzz's glow in the dark suit was the only light they had. "That was a close call, Woody," Buzz pointed out in a whisper.
Woody ignored him. He didn't doubt Buzz knew the reason Woody's mind had been occupied. They've been close buds since their adventure at Sid's house years ago. Thinking back, Woody couldn't believe just how long ago that was. Buzz knew Woody well, almost better than anyone else. Woody focused his attention to the sound of Bonnie's footsteps instead. They seemed to have been getting closer to the toy box. "Everyone freeze." Woody placed his smile on his lips and froze.
The lid of the toy box opened and Bonnie appeared over them. She had grown since Andy gave his toys to her. Her once brown short hair was dyed to black and was down to her mid-back. Glasses now covered her brown eyes today. However, on other days she would wear color contacts; green, blue, or, on occasion like Halloween, red. She wore a dark red strapless shirt that showed off her rose tattoo on her upper arm that she got a year ago, much to her parents displeasure, and denim black short shorts that showed off her smooth, tan legs.
She reached into the toy box and picked up Trixie and placed her into one of the two boxes that sat in front of the toy box. She then reached in and Woody could only watch as Buzz was picked up and placed into the other box. Slinky was placed in the box with Buzz. Dolly was placed in the box with Trixie who was followed by Totoro. Woody kept an eye on which toy was placed in which box. By the time Woody was placed in the box with Buzz, Slinky, Jessie, Bullseye, Hamm, and Rex, he concluded that all of Andy's old toys were being separated with Bonnie's toys. Mr. Potato Head was placed in the box with them, so were Mrs. Potato Head and the three aliens. Bonnie closed the lid of the box once all the toys were placed into a box.
"What do you think is happening?" Rex asked quietly once they heard Bonnie leave the room with the other box.
"We're going to the stupid garage sale. What did you think?" Mr. Potato Head snapped, glaring at the dinosaur.
"I don't think that's it," Slinky said. "You noticed we've been put into a different box then Bonnie's other toys? We all once belonged to Andy."
"Great. She's selling us and keeping her own toys," Mr. Potato Head mumbled.
"Woody, what do you think?" Hamm asked.
Woody froze when all eyes went on him. "Well…I'm guessing, one box is heading to the garage sale and the other is being donated."
"But why separate us like she did?" Jessie asked, as she absentmindedly patted Bullseye's head.
"Maybe, Bonnie is trying to fulfill her promise to Andy," Buzz guessed. "Perhaps, she'll donate us. Donating us to the right daycare would ensure we'll be cared for and together," he pointed out. "If we are being played with, with the right children of the right age (unlike last time) we should be well looked after and would forever be played with."
Woody nodded. "That makes sense," he said. "Shh…I think I hear Bonnie coming back."
Bonnie came back into her room a moment later. "Thanks, mom, for taking care of that!" she was yelling over her shoulders when she entered the room. She picked up the box of Andy's old toys and left the room. "I'm taking these over now," she called out to her mother.
Woody stumbled over to the box's handle flap. He didn't dare touch it or get too close, as Bonnie's hands were in the way. But he tried to see around them. He sighed when all he could see was the ground. "No use," he whispered back to Buzz. The box suddenly jerked, making Woody fly into Buzz. "Orf!" was the sound Woody made on impact. "Sorry, Buzz," he apologized as he rolled off of him.
"Not your fault."
The box flew and landed on something like a cushion.
"Where are we now?" Rex asked quietly.
Woody looked out of the handle flaps, now that Bonnie's hands were out of the way he was able to see. He was facing Bonnie at the driver's seat. "The car," he whispered back to his friends. He settled back on the ground. "Might as well get comfortable. Don't know how long of a drive we have."
Buzz sat down next to him, with Jessie on Woody's other side. Bullseye laid on the ground at Woody's feet and the other toys lounged around various parts of the box, murmuring quietly to themselves, making guesses to their destination.
"What daycare do you think we are going to?" Woody asked, for the sake of starting a conversation.
"The only daycare I know of is Sunnyside," Buzz said. "And I really don't want to go back there. Even if Lotso isn't there anymore."
"It would be nice to see Barbie again, though," Jessie pointed out. "I often wonder how she is with Ken and the other toys."
"We might not even be going to a daycare. Bonnie could be doing what Andy did; giving us to another child," Woody said, almost sounding weary.
His three companions, Buzz, Jessie and Bullseye, eyed him because of his tone. "Is everything alright, Woody?" Buzz finally asked.
Woody shrugged his shoulders. "Just thinking how exhausting it sounds; being handed down to one child after another. Somewhere along the line we all are going to get separated. We were lucky last time…and this time, but we won't always be this lucky. I'm just not ready to..." he paused, trying to think of a word to describe his feelings. "…to move on." Buzz and Jessie nodded their understanding.
"I know how you feel, Woody. I was the same way with Emily. I just want to go back in time to be played with her again, in her room with the other toys," Jessie said with longing. "Sally, an All American Girl doll Emily's Grandmother gave her, and Janet, a cowgirl Barbie doll she had. Not to mention Jean, Emily's toy horse I rode."
Seeing as how Andy was Buzz's first owner, he couldn't say anything of comfort except, "There are times where I wish the same thing."
They sat in silence for the rest of the hour long ride. Finally, after what seemed like forever, Bonnie slowed down to a stop. Woody quickly stood up and looked out the handle flap. "She's not taking us," he whispered to the curious toys behind him.
"What do you mean, she's not taking us? Where are we?" Hamm asked.
"I can't tell, but she left her driver door opened."
"Move over so the rest of us can see," Mr. Potato Head demanded.
"There's nothing to see!" Woody snapped. "All I can see is a green house across the street." He looked back out. "Everyone down! She's coming back!" Woody ducked down, hoping Bonnie didn't see his eyes peaking out of the handle flap.
Bonnie's fingers slipped into the handle flaps and she tugged the box over to her. The toys jerked and banged together at the sudden thrust. Woody kept his body on the ground as the box moved when Bonnie jogged around the car to the house it was parked in front of.
"What's going on?" Rex whispered.
"We must be at our destination," Woody whispered back.
"Well, we're not at a daycare," Mr. Potato Head pointed out, unnecessarily.
The movement stopped when Bonnie did. "Then, will you please make sure he gets this?" They heard her asked someone.
"Of course, I will. I'll also give him the message," a famine voice assured Bonnie, taking the box from her.
"Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to meet you."
"It was a pleasure to meet you too, Bonnie." Woody could almost hear the smile in the woman's voice. "Good day now."
The toys heard the front door close and felt a bump as the new woman placed the box on top of something nearby the door.
"She was donating us to another child. A boy, by the sounds of it," Mrs. Potato Head said, quietly, well aware that the woman hadn't left the room.
Woody looked out the handle flap, but could only see the door next to them and in front of them was a window and stairs heading up. He walked to the other end of the box. Buzz was already there, looking out. "What do you see, Buzz?"
"Just a piano, window, and…" he stretched out to see at a different angle. "…there's a TV, the woman is sitting on the armchair watching TV. There's a bookshelf on the wall next to her." He pulled away. "Anything on the other side?" he asked
Woody shook his head. "No, just the door, a window, and stairs. It seems to be a small room." He faced the other toys. "I guess we'll just sit and wait."
They waited for a half an hour before anything else happened. A door from someplace in the house opened and closed. The chair the woman sat on squeaked when she stood up. The toys in the box tensed up and listening, being the only thing they can do since they couldn't see much.
"Dear!" the woman cried out delightedly. "I didn't expect you out for another half an hour. Writers block?" They heard a frustrated huff. "Your writers block has been coming more and more frequent. What's wrong?" the woman asked.
"I don't know." It was a man, low and very familiar to Woody, but he couldn't place it. It was familiar and, yet, not.
"Well, since you're out of your hole, I'm going to go pick up the twins from daycare." The toys grinned at one another at the idea of there being twins, two young children to play with them. "Keep an eye out for Emily. Don't go back into your hole and forget you have a young daughter taking nap," the woman scowled teasingly at her husband.
Jessie tensed next to Woody at the sound of the name. Being aware of her past, Woody pulled her into a side hug. "You'll be okay?" he whispered to her quietly so only she can hear him. Jessie nodded, but didn't vocally say anything.
"Of course, Carolina." Where had he heard that voice before? It bugged Woody not knowing.
There was a lot of movement going on from outside the box before footsteps came towards them. Woody stood up and peaked out of the handle flap. The woman was at the door with sunglasses on top of her shoulder length dark hair, a red handbag was over her shoulders and keys jiggling from her hands. Before leaving she saw the box and turned back to her husband. The man was just out of Woody's sight, much to his frustration.
"Before I forget, an old friend of yours came by today."
"A Bonnie Anderson. Sound familiar?"
"Anderson? Bonnie Anderson? Bonnie…" the man said distantly in thought. "Oh! Bonnie Anderson. Yes, I knew her. She came by today? Why? I haven't seen her in…years! She must be around..." There was a pause as the man mentally calculated Bonnie's age. "…seventeen years old now."
"Yes. She came by to drop of this box," she said tapping the top of the box. "And to say thank you. She had loved them when she was younger."
"Thank you?" The woman nodded. "Hm. Anyway, you should get going. The daycare can only handle so much of John and Alice Davis."
Davis? Woody sucked in a breath when he realized just who the man was and why his voice sound so familiar to him. "Andy?" he breathed out, his heart pounding in his chest. He took off his hat and threw it to the ground to give him more room.
"Woody? What is it? Woody?" he faintly heard Buzz ask.
He ignored him and stuck his head as far as he dared out the handle flap.
"Woody! Are you insane? You could be easily seen! Woody!" Buzz grabbed hold of his legs, but didn't pull him back in.
Woody didn't care. He was staring at the man that was kissing the woman goodbye. Familiar short thick brown hair and blue eyes. The same barely noticeable freckles were across his nose. The familiar smile across his face. The twinkle in his eyes as he stared at the woman he clearly loved. It was Andy Davis. Woody couldn't believe it. His little boy was all grown up and married with at least three children of his own.
He felt a tug and he reluctantly put his head back inside. His mind still shock. He barely noticed the crowd around him.
"Woody?" Jessie touched his arm.
He looked up at her before turning his gaze to each and every one of his friends. "She gave us back." He started to slowly smile.
"What?" Slinky asked.
Suddenly, Woody grabbed on to Buzz and excitedly told him, "It's Andy! Bonnie gave us back to Andy! We're back!"
The toys were suddenly talking excitedly with "What's" and "Really's".
"Shush! Shh!" Buzz shushed when he realized they might have been too loud. "Quiet, everyone."
The sound of the door closing took everyone's attention when they realized they were now alone with the man that might be their old owner. There was a tense stillness in the air. Everyone's ears were tuned to the man that had yet to move from his spot. Suddenly, the footsteps of the man brought him closer and closer to the box. No one in the box said a word or moved. Slowly, one by one, they turned to their frozen state, anticipating the moment Andy would open the box. Woody was the last one to freeze up. He'd been waiting for this moment the second Andy got back into his car to drive away for college, leaving Woody behind with Bonnie and his friends.
The flaps of the box came undone and Woody got his first close glance at Andy in years. He could tell Andy got older by the small winkles around his eyes and the touch of gray in his brown hair. Woody couldn't believe that his little Andy was now almost thirty years old.
Andy's face broke into a small smile as he reached into the box. Woody felt his hand grasp around his waist and felt such happiness that he hadn't felt in years. He was lifted out of the box and came face to face with his favorite boy…err, man.
"Woody," Andy breathed out as he traced a finger along Woody's vest, sheriff badge, gun holster, and hat. Andy reached over behind Woody and pulled the string.
"You're my favorite deputy," Woody made his voice box say. The next line was suppose to be 'there's a snake in my boot', but Woody wanted Andy to know that he still was his favorite deputy, that Woody missed him and was glad to see him again.
Andy chuckled at him. "And you are still mine, Woody. Oh, how I missed you, partner. I missed you a lot." With Woody still in his hand, Andy turned his attention back to the other toys. "Wow! You're all still here!" he said, amazed that all of his old, favorite toys were still in neat condition and together. "Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Slinky, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Potato Head, and all three aliens," he said, checking to see if he was right and they all were there. "Bonnie certainly did take good care of you all, didn't she?"
Andy grabbed the box and moved to sit on the couch. He dumped the box over, spilling the toys onto the cushion next to him. He picked up each one and examined them, looking for any damage. Not like he would have put blame to Bonnie and hate her or anything. It was just something he wanted to know. A reason to hold each toy. He noticed that his name was still on their feet, faded with time, but still readable. It made him smile to know that, even twelve years without them, there was still a clue to who they belonged too.
The front door opened and Andy carefully placed Woody back in the box and set it aside as two young children of five or six came running in. "Daddy! Daddy!" they called out as they ran over to hug Andy. One child was a girl with her mother's lighter skin coloring and dark hair. They other child was a boy and looked more like his father then mother with his blue eyes and brown hair.
The girl saw the toys on the couch first. She jumped off her father's lap. "Daddy? What are those for?"
"I was wondering the same thing, Alice. Andy, dear?" Andy's wife had finally come into the house and stared at the toys as well. She turned to Andy with a questioning look on her face.
Andy turned to his two oldest children. "These are for you two, but you must promise daddy you'll take great care of them. They use to belong to me when I was your age. They are very special to daddy. Understand?" His two children nodded enthusiastically and gave him pleading looks that he couldn't deny. With a chuckle, he told them, "You may play with them."
His children cheered and reached for the closest toy. Alice took Jessie and the boy reached for Buzz. Andy smiled at his children before standing up, taking the box with him. His wife knelt down next to her two eldest children and started to play along with them, taking hold of Mrs. Potato Head and one of the aliens.
Andy made his way to the kitchen and placed the box on top of the table. He reached in and took Woody again. He stared at his old time biggest pal as he sat down at the table, the refrigerator hiding him from view of the living room. "Are you ready to go to the next generation, Woody? John needs you more than I ever did, partner. He's shy and seems to have a hard time getting friends." He sighed as he thought about his son. "His sister is outgoing and made many friends already, but, John…" He shook his head. "John is lonely and is in need of a friend, a trustworthy friend that would always be there for him. Are you ready for that, Woody? Are you ready to be there for him as you were there for me?"
Was Woody ready to go on to the next Davis generation? He was just returned to Andy. However, it would be the same as when Andy's father, James, handed him down to Andy. They would be in the same house. Woody would still be a part of this family. John, Andy's son, needed him too. Yes, Woody was ready for the next generation. He could handle it.
Almost as if Andy heard what Woody was thinking, he called out for his son. "John, can you come to the kitchen for a second?" Andy sat side ways on a kitchen chair, waiting for John. He set Woody out of sight behind the box.
John came running into the kitchen. "Yes, Daddy?" he asked, standing in front of Andy.
"Can you do something for me, John?"
John nodded his head. "Of 'hourse, Daddy," he said as he gave his father a serious look.
"Can you love and cherish someone that meant the world to me when I was your age? Take care of him and become his pal?" John nodded. Andy reached over and brought Woody out. John's eyes seemed to sparkle with delight. "This is Sheriff Woody, John, and he was my best friend. He belonged to your grandpa Davis before he was passed to me. Woody is one of the bravest sheriff you'll ever meet and he will always be there for you, just like he was always there for me, no matter what happens. Woody is smart and kind and he will never give up. He'll be your best friend forever. Even when you're as old as I am," he said with a chuckle. "He'll be your partner, just like he was mine."
"My first friend?" John asked innocently.
Andy nodded. "Always."
John smiled and looked at the cowboy doll with a new light in his eyes. He glanced at his father, pleadingly. "Can I have him, daddy? Does he want to be my friend?"
"He would love to be your friend. Here, son, take good care of him." Andy said passing Woody over to him.
John took him and hugged him close to him. "I love him already, daddy. Can I go play with him now?" Andy nodded and watched as his son ran out of the room.
"Alice, looky what I have! His name is Woody and he's my bestest friend in the whole wide world!"
Later that night, Woody found himself, once again, in the arms of a little boy. The rest of the crew was spread across the bedroom floor the only toys missing was Woody, sleeping with John and Jessie, sleeping on the top bunk with Alice. Woody smiled and snuggled into the arms of John. Life was looking up once again.
The door of the room cracked opened and Woody waited for his eyes to adjust to the brightness of the hallway light. He smiled when he saw the tall figure of Andy standing in the doorway. In his arms was a drowsy infant with faint tear's on her cheeks. Andy, all grown up with three children of his own. Woody could hardly believe it.
Andy walked into the room, side-stepping the toys laying on the ground with an amused smile, probably remembering all the times he had left his toys on the ground, despite his mother's rule of cleaning up after he was done. Andy reached the bed and checked his daughter on the top bunk. Woody saw his movements, holding his sleeping girl in one arm and fixing the blankets on Alice with the other. He then knelt down and tucked in John's blankets. He knelt back, his eyes catching sight of Woody in his son's arms. "Thank you, Woody," he whispered. "For being there for me and for being willing to be there for John. It's wonderful having you back, partner." He gave Woody a smile before standing back up. He rocked the baby in his arms as he danced around the toys back to the door. With one last fond look back at his children and old toys, Andy shut the door, leaving it open a crack to let a little light into the room.
Woody stared at the door for a long moment. He turned to face the sleeping boy. "I will watch over you, John, just like I did your father and grandfather," he silently gave his word to the boy. "I won't let you down, partner. Promise. For James, for Andy, and for you. Night, partner."