Good morning, all! Last night I saw Zootopia and I fell in love with the story and the characters, especially the chemistry between Nick and Judy. I understand the relationship is officially platonic, but that chemistry was just too good to not play with. I loved Nick's character and decided to explore a bit. For now this is a oneshot, I don't know if I'll create a full fic out of it. I hope you all enjoy it regardless!
Predator. Nowadays it's used in such a negative context, despite the strive for equality in Zootopia. Predators will always be the hunters, the killers, the sadistic blood suckers who enjoyed playing with their food before consumption. You get the idea; point being is predators are not looked too kindly upon, especially the foxes.
Now a police officer himself, Nick P. Wilde now served both predator and prey, in the harmony his partner, Hopps, had dreamed of…what every sap that took their first foot in Zootopia thought. How wrong they quickly were, and that little sheep didn't help matters much, either, rustling up the predators to strike on the prey. Talk about discrimination. He understood it, they're the little guys in essence, but, could any of them be faulted for D.N.A.? Can any predator for that fact? Genetic makeups are the one thing others cannot be accountable for. As tempting as pinning the blame on another is, this one could not have been overlooked.
Nick had to give credit to Judy; those big eyes saw the world in a very optimistic light. And while it did backfire on her for a time, she managed to make it work. Actually, Nick was rather impressed. Watching Judy in the break room, her tail twitching gently, he remembered just where they left off.
"You know you love me." He had said to her. The fox leaned against the freshly painted lining of the doorway, watching her pour herself a glass of carrot juice from a glass bottle that had her name smeared over in marker and tape. She had adjusted well since cracking that big case. Judy just had to get her little paws on such a big endeavor.
Nick thought into what he had said to her, everything they had been through together. She was far from weak, but Nick still had that drive to protect her. Call it part of his D.N.A, his genetic code that compelled him to lure over Judy protectively, and for a while he could not fathom why.
"You alright, Sly?" Judy asked teasingly, an orange mustache remaining after she took a sip of juice. A smile overcame Nick and he handed her a napkin, those amethyst eyes foretold so much. She trusted, yet was skeptical. That was her code, after all, to fear the predators, but she defied the laws. Judy was not like the others, in fact, she went against everything bunnies stood for and that attracted Nick all the more to her.
She believed in him when no one else would; that lonesome little pup that wanted to be a scout now to a sly fox with a badge, and all because a little rabbit believed in him. Nick bristled in frustration at the feeling that had begun to develop in the pit of his stomach. All of this was so new to him, years of others turning their backs on him to others clapping him on the shoulder. A former con artist could have never dreamed of the moment he would be accepted into society. Nick wasn't one to cry discrimination, but to be labeled because of what someone was and lineage kind of prevented someone from being anything more in the caste system than an untouchable.
No one to hire him, not even look at him without sneering, denying service. What was to be expected of him? He had to make ends meet somehow, and he was smart, despite the allegations. He was clever and slick, yes, but he was so incredibly smart. He kind of got a rise out of the shock when others realized they had underestimated him. He decided he would find joy in giving people the slip because they wouldn't hesitate to do it to him.
That was then. Now people looked at him with respect. Like Judy had, he gave his breed a chance to be something more than clever, slick thieves. He had to make it up to her, somehow.
"Hello, Zootopia to Nick? Are you alright?" Her laugh was like a tinkle, it came out short and sweet. Nick smiled and nodded in reply.
"Yeah, Carrots, I'll live."
"You're staring off into space, like a space case."
Nick approached her after she finished and had cleaned herself before playfully flicking her ears. "Come on, I owe you dinner."
"For what?" Judy's nose twitched inquisitively. Nick's tail swished gently, contemplating.
"For helping me here, I guess? C'mon, dinner's on me."
Everyone else had dispersed for the evening. Judy wanted to stay to polish off an incident report she had earlier filed of a weasel stealing from the holistic shop. What a weasel would want with crystals, Judy would never understand. But, nevertheless, it was still a criminal to stop. Nick got a kick out of that carrot pen as it moved with her, tapping it against her cheek occasionally before scribbling once more.
Judy washed out the glass and walked beside him, exiting the department where Clawhauser noticed Wilde's tail twitch lightly. After the Gazelle concert, he noticed a shift in mood and behavior between Judy and Nick, well, rather from Nick as he seemed approachable, yet standoffish, and a grin seemed to overcome him. The cheetah was very intuitive as to what was transpiring that Bogo needed to know why his desk officer was grinning like a moron.
"You don't see what's happening?" Clawhauser perked a knowing brow at Chief Bogo.
"No, what?" Bogo asked nonchalantly. "Do I really care?"
"They don't have a clue, either," Clawhauser shook his head. "Well, here's the bottom line. As the Spicy Mewls say, "Two will become one. They need some love like they never needed love before, wanna make lo-" The cheetah had begun to wiggle in his seat as he hummed the lyrics.
"Alright, enough, enough!" Bogo intervened and sighed, causing the cheetah to stop mid-wiggle. Gazelle wasn't enough, even though he harbored a guilty pleasure for the luscious lady with those divine hips. Hey, the app said he was a divine dancer with her. Back to business, he glared down at Clawhauser.
"This is a professional establishment, Officer Clawhauser, do best to remember that."
This must have been an off day for the chief, so Clawhauser swallowed and nodded, pretending to file paperwork. Normally, he'd get some kind of laugh out of the chief, even if he did try to stifle it back.
"As you were."
The waiter set two menu's in front of ZPD's finest. Nick pawed through the menu, although he could have brought Judy back to the apartment they now shared and they could have cooked something, Nick wanted to treat her tonight. The male was working through his emotions and his feelings. Everything was bubbling up, especially that Gazelle concert. That just topped it off for him.
"You seem so tense," Judy commented. "What's up with you?" Once more, her nose twitched gently.
"Ah, it's nothin'. Not used to fine establishments letting me in." He grinned, referring back to the old days of his tricks and games. He wondered how his former partner was doing now without him, still sucking that pacifier for a meal? He wondered and inwardly chuckled.
"Say, Carrots," Nick started, feeling that familiar dry mouth and heart pounding as he noticed her ears twitch as he had her attention. "I wanted to say thank you for having me as your partner. You know, that story I told you about the scouts and the muzzle. I've lived my life like I was in one. I was scared, yet hated everyone and everything because there was such a stigma against me.
Where was there a place for foxes, you know? We were no better than weasels. Who could trust us? When you met me, I couldn't even buy a damn Popsicle without there being a problem."
Judy leaned back into her seat, listening to everything he had to say. She remembered that day all too well. The Popsicle, what he had to do to make ends meet. Her heart did go out to him. Because like him, she was seen as something other than actually who she was. She was supposed to be a coward, but she persevered, like Nick.
"I know things must have been rough for you, and I promise no more. Things have changed. Anything is possible. You and I are capable of everything we want in life. We have to just believe."
Nick chuckled heartily at that. He could no longer contain himself. Regardless of how much of a serious conversation this was, she sounded like a fairy tale book. He noticed her bristle with agitation, and smirked, patting her clenched paw gently.
"Easy there, Carrots. I agree. I needed to believe more in myself. And that's where you came in and did the unthinkable. You saw things in me others were blind to. You were the only person to see me with open eyes, Judy."
Judy smiled then, he rarely called her by her real name. It was always some nickname; cute or creative that he came up with on the spot. She leaned forward then and placed her paw onto his. "Nick, you don't have to be afraid."
He could have sworn the entire restaurant could hear his heart pounding in his chest. It wasn't often he got like this, but he embraced the feelings for what they were.
"I-I'm not afraid, Judy. Not anymore. But, there is something I need to tell you. I know I'm going to ruin a good thing here by saying this."
The soups were presented to them, Nick was growing accustomed to the carrot smell and he honestly didn't mind it. In fact, he enjoyed it, that and blueberries. Judy picked up her spoon and her eyes met Nick's.
"It's funny you mention believing in things. I didn't believe in anything, I gave up." He shrugged his shoulders gently, hearing the spoon drop to the table lightly as he collected both of her paws into his. "Judy, I just want to say, that I believe in you, too. I…" he trailed off. "I believe in us."
"I believe in us as a team, too," she replied.
Nick blinked gently, squeezing her paws momentarily as he shook his head. "No, that's not what I mean. I mean, I do believe in us. I also believe that we can be something more than just partners. You told me to dream, and to believe, right? When I met you, I found new things to dream in."
He knew he took his time getting it out, but, he couldn't help but think it came out in one big rush. What else could explain Judy staring at him with her eyes wider than usual? And her eyes were huge to begin with.
"I want to try something new, something real. With all the fake crap I've pulled, it's time for me to set my sights on what I really want, and I'm looking at her." And just to ease any discomfort she may have been experiencing, he cracked the infamous Nick grin. The one she called cocky, yet charming.
She truly was at a loss for words, something Nick thought would never happen. She always had an opinion, or a thought, it was the little Cottontail Detective in her. Judy, however, felt her heart and her mind racing.
Usually open with her feelings, Judy had felt clouded when it came to what she was feeling for Nick. At first, it was the usual cute and friendly banter, just two friends palling around, especially when they were establishing the apartment together.
Her apartment was too small and Nick lived in a dilapidated home. No place would take Nick in, but now that he was an officer of the law, he had a little more freedom. Of course there was the occasional place that still sneered at him, but they dwindled down to a select few. They would never again have ice cream served from anyone that didn't wear gloves, that was for sure. The fight with the rollers when they painted or the water fight when they tried cleaning off from their paint fight. The nights together where it was cold and they kept one another warm. No matter how innocent, or how much for survival it may have been, Judy knew something was stirring inside of her.
She feared being just as awkward as Nick was now and she let out a breath, which then realized had Nick on edge. She hadn't yet answered him. They had been through so much together; Judy didn't want to be away from Nick. They still had so much to learn from one another.
She felt the heat rise in her cheeks, rouge painting her gray fur with a tint before she looked up from her soup and back into Nick's eyes, finding herself locked there. All she had known her entire life was that she wanted to be a police officer, to serve and protect the people. Now that she reached the peak of her goal, she had to think of a new one. She had the career; she could check that off of her lifetime bucket list. What came next?
For the months that had passed since the first big case, she spent so long figuring that out. She stayed up late at night trying to piece together the clues to her heart and her desires. Judy watched women eye Nick in uniform and that made her agitated, for reasons unknown to her. It was coming together, little by little and the longer she gazed into Nick's eyes, she saw her reflection.
"You don't have to respond right now," Nick coaxed her. He was tempted to urge her for an answer, but the scared look on her face, he decided to leave it at that. "In fact, it's okay. You know, I don't even know what came over me," He chuckled and released her paws to run a paw over his head, through the thicket of fur. "I just needed to tell you."
Judy tilted her head softly and blinked. "But do I feel the same way for you? That's a very good question, you see, I do." She felt the heat deepen and she tried hard to keep her cool, but confessions were not easy.
Nick rose from the table then, letting the soups chill. He rounded the circumference of the table before kneeling down to look her in the eye. "Is that right?"
Judy reached out and clasped him by his shirt collar, their noses tapping as he leaned forward. Nick slid an arm around her back and kissed her gently, allowing his instincts to have control. It felt right, for once in his life. Anything was possible, so long as he had faith in himself and believed. No longer did he live in a muzzle, he and his mouth were free to do as he pleased, and right now, he decided he was going to have himself a rabbit to love.
Predator. Once that word was a nasty term to hurt and discriminate. Now, for Nick, it held a different meaning. Predator was dominant and Hopps most definitely was juicy prey, just wait until they got back to the apartment.