Hello all! It's now time for my first movie fanfiction, and Zootopia it will be!

Backstory: Me and my boyfriend just watched this movie on Saturday (the night before when I started writing this story), and I loved it! It had several good messages a lot of young children these days really needed to hear and see, the main one being no matter who you are, never let anyone tell you you can't do anything you set your mind to. It was a pretty good flim- if you love animals and humor with an important message, check it out!

Anyways, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde were two very awesome characters and so, I decided to write a fic about it. It may be a little dark, and so I apologize-the police business is a dark place, and it's not always as light hearted as movies make it out to be, but I'll be keeping this fiction as in character as possible.

With that all said, please enjoy! I own nothing, just the plot and the drug boss and his crew. This is set a year after the end of the movie.

Forever My Partner

It was supposed to be a routine day. That's what Judy Hopps first thought when she and her new partner Nick Wilde headed out for their assignment-to stop a gang of raccoons from drug smuggling across the Sahara District to the Rainforest District.

She and Nick were having their usual banter, Nick being the fox he was acting goofy and distracting her as she drove down the street to their stake-out spot. Judy was laughing, enjoying her company and her usual drink-a light carrot smoothie. Nick was sipping on his latte and trying not to spill it on himself.

It was supposed to end as a routine day usually did. Judy and Nick found one of the smugglers, followed them to their secret hideout, saw enough evidence that would get them locked up for years, and she and Nick went to collect some before calling for backup to wrap this case up. Judy was supposed to be relieved that the case she and Nick had been working on for close to four months was finally coming to a close before their vacation time begun. She was looking forward to heading home, bringing Nick to meet her large family, her Mom and Dad, and her childhood bully turned friend who was also a fox. They would have so much to talk about, and Nick was looking forward to eating some more of her family's delicious fruits.

It was supposed to be exactly like that.

But in this line of work, nothing always comes out the way you want it.

Judy was panicking as she and Nick ran from the raccoon's henchmen, all of whom were carrying light firearms. They had fired twice and missed both times, but barely. Nick was carrying enough evidence that the entire organization would be shut down, if the duo could just get to their car...

A shot fired. Then another. A scream was heard. And Judy's heart nearly lept out of her chest.

Nick had gotten shot twice in the legs, and had fallen, the evidence flying out of his paws and landing near Judy's feet. She quickly scooped it up and placed it inside her vest before running back to her partner.

It was the last thing she could remember before something nicked her in her arm, a figure approached them both, and her world went black.

When Judy first came to, she thought she was going crazy. She was strapped down on a table that was vertical, but she could move her head. Then her vision cleared and she got a good look at what was really happening. Deja vu hit her hard.

She knew this place. It was where the first massive missing mammal case had gone down. The original 14 cages were empty, the lights were off, making everything dark. She laid back down against the cool metal and tried not to panic. It was pitch black dark, she was almost certain all her equipment and the evidence was taken from her, and Nick was nowhere to be found.

Judy had no choice but to wait.

Time ticked by. The silence was hurting her ears, and she let them droop closer to her aching head. As she tried to process what was happening to her and her partner, a door swung open. Lights were flicked on, and the brightness made her eyes squint.

"Ah, I see the bunny is awake. Good, good. Bring him in." A strange accented voice ordered. Judy turned her head to get a better view of who was talking, but all she could see was a bright gold sweatsuit and a raccoon tail.

Someone was wheeled in the room, and Judy heard painful gasps. The person strapped to the other cold slab was covered head to toe in blood and matted fur, and a muzzle encased his mouth. Purple eyes widened in horror as she realized who it was.

"Nick?! NICK!" she screamed. Judy heard laughter as the door closed on them, leaving just the two partners in a glass room, one of them who was bordering on a full blown panic attack.

Judy knew about Nick's past, about how prey had builled him and strapped a muzzle to his face. But as she looked over at her friend, she realized something.

Nick's fear of being muzzled ran a lot deeper than that. It scarred him, far deeper than he wanted to admit. His eyes were darting left and right as he started to realize what was on his face and where he was. Judy knew she needed to figure out a way out of their bonds and get Nick to calm down, and fast.

She concluded she was hurt minimally, only bruised and her arm sporting a new gash, more than likely from transport to where she was at, as she couldn't recall getting hurt while running from the henchmen. The bleeding had stopped, and her fur was matted and clumped in the spot where the gash ran. Other than that and feeling very, very woozy from whatever they had shot her with, she felt... okay-ish.

But her partner... she didn't understand why they had hurt him and not her. They hurt him pretty bad, almost like they wanted to torture him. They were both cops, both on the same side, both after the same person! So why was Nick bound and muzzled? And what had they hurt him with?

Judy began struggling against her leather straps, trying to wiggle her way out, watching with sinking hope as Nick struggled even more against his bonds. His back arched as he tried to scream and fight his way out, and his chest was rising and falling way too quickly. He was starting to hyperventilate!

Judy's eyes filled with tears at the pain her closest friend had to endure alone. There had to be a way to free herself and save Nick! There had to be!

Screaming alongside Nick, Judy kept wiggling her wrists and ankles, desperate to free herself. She felt the burn from all the friction burning her fur and her flesh but she couldn't bring herself to care at that moment. Adraline pulsed through her veins. She needed to free Nick, and get him to calm down before his heart gave out.

Judy couldn't remember when or how she broke her leather straps and pulled herself up and off the table. She barely remembered pulling the same leather straps off Nick and thanking the lucky stars above the building had very lax security since the whole Night Howlers incident. Everything was a blur to her, if she was honest.

Judy's large eyes ran down the length of Nick's body, now able to clearly see his injuries. His uniform was torn in multiple places, and his legs were bloody. She saw two gunshot wounds in one leg, and at least one in the other. His arm was broken and twisted in a weird position, and his bullet proof vest was shredded, revealing a gunshot wound in his chest that Judy was uncertain if it was fatal or not.

But the muzzle strapped to his face was scaring him, more than the pain he had to be feeling. Forcing him to relieve things he didn't want to relieve. Judy could see it in his face, in his wild green eyes, in the pleading expression he wore that just didn't look anything like the calm, sly red fox partner she'd come to love.

"Shh, Nick... it's gonna be alright. I'm gonna get this off, okay?" she whispered, struggling to keep her composure as he whimpered pitifully. He tried to grab for her collar, but his hand kept shaking and his eyes squeezed shut. Judy placed her paw over Nick's forehead and tried her best to soothe him while she looked for a way to remove the muzzle buckled tightly over his mouth.

Judy carefully turned Nick's head to the left and found the buckle she was looking for. But some of Nick's fur was also tangled in the buckle, so simply removing it wouldn't do. She glanced down at Nick, and smiled warmly, tears finishing its trail down her cheeks.

Nick appeared to have passed out, more than likely from the shock of blood loss. She checked his pulse- it was slow, but there. He seemed more peaceful than he had earlier, and she couldn't bear to cause him anymore discomfort. She wished she had some way to contact her squad, until something hit her.

Right before they were captured, Judy DID call her squad to let them know they had finished their mission and that they needed backup and to call the mayor. She assumed that had to have been hours ago, and their location had drastically changed, so now they had to locate them.

Judy's face hardened and she began looking for something to cut Nick's muzzle off. She had to make sure he lived. She had to... because if he died in her arms... she didn't know what she would do.

While she had no phone to provide her light, the idiots who wheeled Nick in the room had left the lights on, so Judy had a clear cut way of looking around. She flung open every cabinet, pulled up every piece of fabric and paper, all in an attempt to find something sharp to cut the leather off.

Judy heard someone walking towards their room, and she hid under a nearby desk. Her paw stuffed in her mouth, eyes frantic, heart racing, she knew if they stepped in the room, Nick was as good as dead. She was missing and they were going to take it out on him!

The door opened. The head boss and two henchmen stepped in the room and realized that Judy was missing and that Nick was unconscious. He snapped his fingers and ordered the two butch opossums to locate her. One of them searched the entire room while the other roughly handled Nick, causing him to cry out in pain.

Judy had had enough. Was she terrified, yes. Yes she was. But Nick was her friend and he wasn't able to fight them off. She wasn't about to leave him like that.

"Time to put all those years at the academy to good use." she said to herself as she revealed her presence to the drug boss and the henchmen. She stood her ground.

"Get away from him. You two bozos have an issue with me now." she said, her voice dangerously low. The raccoon boss laughed and snapped his fingers towards Nick once again. Judy's eyes flittered towards them, and she almost cried.

Nick was awake, his eyes full of pain and fear. His head lolled around as the one henchman shook him a bit roughly. Judy felt sick as she watched his blood dripping on the floor below, trickling down the corners of his mouth. He struggled to made a sound, to do something, but his body was useless, weak from the injuries and blood loss. All he could do was focus on Judy.

"Well, bunnytail, I'd say ya got two choices. Either lay back on your table and I might spare you and your whimpering cat over there..." The henchman pressed a cold barrel to Nick's temple as his boss grinned wickedly.

"Or you'll be cleaning his brain off the ground. Choice's yours, honey."

Judy was silent, seething due partly to the stupid nickname, and thinking of a way to save Nick. She looked at the boss, who was unarmed and wearing a bright adais gold sweat suit and white and gold matching sneakers. She had a strong feeling he had a weapon on him as well.

She glanced at the opossum who had a gun pressed to Nick's temple. She couldn't do anything rash- Nick would certainly die if she did...

Judy then looked at the dumber opossum who was inching closer and closer to her. Both her and him were near a computer that apparently no longer worked. Judy calculated her odds of saving Nick- she has a good chance to take them out if she can just knock a gun out of one of their hands... but after that...

Nick's pained moan echoed throughout the room and Judy had decided there was no time to wait. She ran towards the first opossum that was trying to close in on her. He did in fact have a weapon on him, and tried to pull it out, but she was far faster and she made use of it. Or at least, she tried to.

Judy yelped when the opossum's long tail suddenly lashed out at her, knocking the wind out of her. The raccoon boss chuckled before exiting the room. "Kill 'em."

Judy gulped. Nick was in serious trouble!

Running towards the opossum who knocked her breathless, she ran under him between his legs, hopped up on some medical equipment, and lunged at him, leg outstretched. Her back leg connected nicely with his jaw, and he stumbled to the ground, stunned, his gun clattering nearby.

She lunged forward and grabbed the gun, and succeeded before she was slammed into a cabinet. The fighting opossum lunged after her again, teeth bared, while the second one gripped Nick tight and cocked the gun, laughing. Judy looked up at them, and she felt like she had an out of body experience- she'd never had to fire a weapon before.

She could barely remember cocking the gun, firing a well placed shot at the first opossum, killing him, and sending a second bullet in the second one's leg, forcing him to drop Nick and the gun he held. With a painful thud, Nick hit the ground hard, and felt the breath knocked out of him.

Judy didn't stop. She kept firing until the gun was empty, angry, screaming, terrified. It was when the adrenaline wore off, and she sunk to the ground and let the gun clatter to the floor that she realized what she had done. That broke her a little bit, and she finally let herself cry.

Then she heard a weak, frail whimper. It snapped her out of her pity. "Nick... Nick, oh god..." she whispered. She scurried over to him and gently touched his cheek.

Nick's eyes fluttered open and closed as he tried to take in oxygen. It hurt. By the gods it hurt. He couldn't remember what had just happened-all he could recall was feeling pain shooting all about his body and something cold being pressed against his temple...

His thoughts halted when he felt his legs being moved. At that point, he didn't care anymore and so he screamed. He screamed and he screamed, Judy trying to soothe him once again and find a comfortable position to carry Nick so he wouldn't be in so much pain.

"I'm sorry, Nick!" the tiny bunny apologized over and over. "I'm so, so sorry, Nick... please just... just h-hang on. I'm getting us out okay?"

She had no other way to effectively carry her friend without hurting him more and putting strain on herself. She carefully maneuvered Nick on her back and forced her legs to work, stepping tentively out of the room, leaving all the carnage behind.

She knew the head poncho would return and find his two henchmen dead, one of them without a gun, blood dripping from both of them making a trail down the hall, and would soon call out more animals to hunt them down.

Judy didn't care if she had to work another day on this blasted case at that point.

She just wanted Nick to make it out alive.

Judy hurried as fast as she could, Nick letting out a soft groan each time she made any unexpected, jostled movements. She couldn't be sure which way they were heading but she knew she had to hurry.

As she darted down a corridor, she skidded to a stop. There were two more animals slowly coming her way, and from the silhouettes, they were carrying guns. Judy looked around and quickly darted into a tiny, dark, somewhat hidden corner.

Nick whimpered and opened his eyes a little, looking at Judy with half-mast eyes. Judy smiled shakily.

"Shhh. Just hang on, okay?" Judy whispered, stroking his forehead as she checked to make sure she didn't lead them right to her. Nick sighed, and sank further into the cool wall. It felt so good, and his eyes closed once again.

Her hand felt so cool on his sweat-slicked fur, he just... wanted to go back to sleep. His body really hurt and the muzzle...

The muzzle!

Suddenly Nick became more alert, realizing that he was still unable to get the thing off, and tugged hard on Judy's wrist, trying to plead with her to get the thing off. Judy sensed that and rubbed his chest, feeling blood soaked matted fur underneath her paws, and shuddered.

"Calm down, Nick! Calm down, just try and relax! I'm sure our squad's waiting on us, we just... gotta get out of here, okay?" she soothed. Nick eventually passed out yet again, and Judy took another check on his pulse- still there, but even weaker.

"Where the hell are those two?!" one of the henchman growled. "I swear I'll rip that damn rabbit apart! And that fox is gonna be next!"

"No, no, save them. I have something else in mind..." the second one spoke, his voice dripping of malicious intent. "I'm going to break them before they die... that fox will be perfect..."

Judy shuddered as they walked right past them, somehow ignoring all the blood that could have been their downfall. She checked on Nick again- Nick's eyes were half mast and his breathing sounded a bit shallow.

"Hey, Nick. I think I might've found the exit. I'm gonna try and dash for it. Think you'll be alright?" she whispered to him.

Nick nodded once. He knew she wanted to get him out as soon as possible, and he decided to thank her as soon as he was feeling better... if he made it that long. He knew he'd lost a lot of blood already so he wasn't going to push his luck.

But if he were to die right now... well, it wouldn't be so bad, he figured. He'd be alright... because his dumb bunny was still here, still alive and safe and...

Nick thought about her for a bit as she hoisted him on her back again. She was a tiny bunny for a 25 year old, and he was almost 30. He towered over her some six or seven inches and was considerably faster, seeing as how he was a predator and all. But she had a fire in her, a large, burning fire inside her he wished sometimes he could have himself.

She wasn't afraid to try, even when all the odds are stacked against her. He... he had just given up. Ever since he was nine and he was first bullied and that damn muzzle and carrying it around for so many years...

Nick's train of thought suddenly shifted. He had been wondering why she carried that fox repellent the first time they met but never used it. When he was upset and snapped at her, he saw he almost grab for it, naturally, and he figured it was because he was predator and she was prey.

But there was a type of fear that Nick couldn't recognize... maybe something had happened in her past, something she kept buried like he had?

If he lived, he decided, he would ask her about it.

For now, he just wanted to sleep. His body was killing him...

Judy moved. She knew she had a very limited time to make this plan of hers work, and with Nick's breathing growing more and more shallow, she couldn't afford to waste anymore time.

She had a pretty good recollection of how to get out of the place once she stepped outside. She had to navigate the security gate, run a few more miles, and her squad could meet her there because she couldn't get him to a hospital in time.

But the timberwolves were stationed, and as dumb as they acted, they had also learned since their last encounter. So when Judy heard a massive crash, followed by an alarm, she winced.

What she wasn't expecting was a gunshot right to the back of her thigh. She crashed to the ground, Nick tumbling like a lifeless doll next to him. Judy cried out in pain as she assessed her injury.

It was bleeding and there was no exit wound, meaning the bullet was still trapped inside. She looked over at Nick, but didn't have time to go and check on him, as the raccoon boss and three new henchmen-Judy groaned when she realized they were all grizzly bears- and the white and black timberwolves from before now all surrounded them.

"Well, well, well. I see you took out two of my henchmen all by yourself. Congrats on that." the boss stated simply, looking at his gun with a blank expression. He rubbed it clean on one of the grizzly bear's sweatshirts before putting it away. "However, this is where you're gonna die."

"Not if I can help it." Judy growled, struggling to stand despite her gunshot wound. She looked all around her and realized she might not get out of this one alive- the timberwolves were slow, so she could just make them kill each other, but those grizzlys... they were on a whole new level altogether...they'd rip her apart. They would rip them both apart.

Judy looked all around. What could she do?

The grizzly bears stepped forward. Judy pulled out the stolen gun out and held it out, hoping that it would work as a decoy despite being empty. "Stay right there, or I'll be forced to shoot!" she ordered.

One of the grizzly bears grinned and cracked his paws. He stomped forward, not worried about the gun or the bullet that could kill him. He stopped at Nick and picked him up by his arm. At that point, Nick couldn't feel a thing and had long since fell unconscious.

"So here's how this is gonna work. You're gonna drop the gun, kick it over to him, and then I'm gonna kill you both. Can't have the ZPD interferin' with my plans and my money, you know?" the boss chuckled. "So whaddya say, bunny?"

Judy refused, stepping forward, aiming for the drug boss, still playing with death and she knew it. "I'm not dropping the gun. Now put your hands up."

The boss laughed and the grizzly guard holding Nick shook him roughly. Judy hated having to use him as some sick form of bait but what choice did she have?

"Oh? So I guess you don't care much for your friend, huh?" Judy winced, her nose wiggling like it did when she was getting upset. He had no right to tell her anything about her best friend, her partner!

"Wait... guys, wait, wait, hold up! I think our little bunny cop's blushin'! Is that your boyfriend?!" the boss started laughing harder, and soon, so did the others. Judy's nose wiggled faster and her face was burning up.

"H-He's not my... no, it's... that's not true! He's one of my best friends!" Judy countered but her heart was saying something else. It was racing so much it was making her think all over the place. At the worst time, no less.

Was Nick something more to her, something she'd never notice until now? No, that can't be right- they've only been partners for a year! But they did work together to crack a difficult case...

"Oh well. Kill the lovebirds anyways." the boss suddenly and bluntly said, and like that, another bullet was fired at Judy, this time, nailing her in her vest. She smirked, grateful they completely missed. Until they fired another shot at Nick.

"Nick... oh god, NICK!"

The gunshot fired at him hit its target, his shoulder. Nick barely let out so much as a cry before he was a limp body on the ground, bleeding profusely.

"No! NO! Let him go! Let him GO!"

Judy's body filled with anger and she charged at the grizzly bear who dropped Nick like a sack of potatoes. She forgot all about her own injuries and she went ballistic. Kicking as hard as she could manage, she incapiatated another henchman and grabbed Nick, running for their lives.

"Shh... oh god, Nick, I... I'm so sorry... I'm sorry..." she was finally sobbing as her legs gave out, and she collapsed on the ground, cradling Nick to her chest. "I'm so, so sorry..."

Judy couldn't save him. And Nick was going to die. All because of her.

Nick was starting to realize he couldn't feel his legs. He couldn't feel much of anything except her tears, cold and wet, falling on his cheek. He let his eyes remain closed and simply savored what he could feel of her- her soft fur, her cold tears, and her chest hitching against his head as she cried.

"C-Carrots..." a soft moan sounded from below. Judy looked in Nick's face, and was almost... shocked at how peaceful he had suddenly looked. How calm he looked despite the pain he must've been feeling-

Feeling. His shoulder. The blood loss... he was going into shock. He was probably numb.

"Don't talk, Nick. Please..." Judy sobbed. Nick swallowed, deciding he was glad he could barely feel a thing, and closed his eyes, a small smile still on his face.

"It's... it's gonna be alright. Y-You're gonna... be... alright..." he breathed as he lapped into unconsciousness. Judy shook him, slapped his cheeks, screamed, did anything to wake him before she heard what she considered her saving salvation.

"Officer Hopps! Officer Wilde! Can you hear me?!" Judy's head shot up and if she could danced for happiness, she would have right then and there.

"Yes! Please hurry! Officer down! Officer down!" she yelled back,. The two timberwolves turned as they saw bright white light coming towards them. Suddenly chickening out, the duo dropped their weapons and ran. Of course, they didn't get far.

Judy was beyond thankful when she saw the towering figure of her boss, Chief Bogo, coming down the path where she sat with her injuries, Nick out cold and covered in blood and wounds, and as Bogo approached her, she panicked.

Nick didn't appear to be breathing.

"Chief! Chief, Nick! He's not breathing! He's not breathing!" she screamed in horror.

Chief Bogo took one glace at them both before his booming voice yelled, "Hey! We need a stretcher over here NOW! Officer Wilde is DOWN! Hurry!" He waved his arm over to a paramedic, who was rushing with a stretcher. Another paramedic ran behind him, carrying another stretcher and a case.

They hoisted Judy on one of the stretchers, and as they assessed her, they checked her eyes for any signs of head trauma, flashing a light in her eyes, poking and prodding, asking questions such as, "What's your name?", "What happened?" , "Do you feel any pain?" and "Does it hurt to breathe? Can you sit still please, ma'am?"

But Judy was struggling to see past the two tall moose to find out what was going on with Nick. All she could really see was Nick's still form gently being laid on the stretcher, a bunch of tubing being inserted in him, and one of the moose pushing his matted fur to get a better look at his hidden injuries. They winced upon seeing the muzzle over his mouth, and she felt her chest tighten even more.

"Will he be okay? Please tell me he's gonna be alright!" she pleaded before she was laid back and strapped down, and a needle was slowly inserted into her better arm. The moose sighed as he wheeled her to an awaiting ambulance.

"We won't know until we get him to the hospital." was all she was told. Judy closed her eyes and let teas slide down the sides of her face, running into her ears.

She couldn't lose him. She couldn't bear to lose such a great partner, a great friend... she couldn't do it. Not after everything they've been through over this past year.

Whatever they had injected her with was making her drowsy, and she decided to let her body rest. She hadn't felt herself fall into a deep rest, her last thought about Nick was if he was okay, if he would fight and pull through.

He had to. Even if he felt he had no reason to, he had to... live...

Judy opened her eyes, groaned and smacking her dry lips together. As she adjusted to the lights all around her, she glanced around the hospital room. Her body felt heavier than before but light at the same time. It wasn't making any sense to her at all, but she didn't care.

Turning her head to the left, she looked at her arm. Two tubes ran through it- an IV and blood to replenish what she had lost. She frowned- had she ever told ANY hospital what her blood type was? She couldn't remember.

Once she was sure her head was clear and she could think straight, she carefully sat up, now noticing the other tube in her busted up arm. Considering she couldn't feel anything at the moment she concluded that it had to be pain medication.

As she moved, a nurse opened the door, and upon seeing Judy trying to sit herself up, she almost dropped her chart and ran over to help her. Judy was embarrassed that she had been caught in such a helpless situation and it showed.

"Don't move around so much! Are you alright? How do you feel?" she asked. Judy smiled at her and glanced away. To be perfectly honest, she felt like crap. Her best friend was severely hurt, she was hurt herself, and now she didn't know what was going to happen next. But she swallowed her guilt and fear down and looked back at the young otter nurse, who was staring back at Judy with wider than normal chocolate brown eyes.

"I'm alright. My leg just hurts." she finally answered.

The nurse sighed and then smiled. "That's good. Don't you worry about the leg pain-the doctor says it'll go away as you heal. You were pretty lucky there, Miss Hopps. A busted arm and leg, internal bleeding and a bruised spleen would leave most people doubling over in pain. Not to mention the burns on your wrists and at least... what, four cracked ribs? I gotta say, you're a strong bunny."

Judy blushed red. "How long have I been out?"

"Just ten hours. You were just in a big drug bust, after all. And don't think you're getting out of here anytime soon- you're gonna need some time to rest." she answered.

Judy nodded before she rested back against her pillows- all that talking was certainly exhausting. The otter checked her chart before she smiled at how well her patient was healing.

"E-Excuse me...? Can I ask you a question, Miss...?"

"It's Thresa. But everyone calls me Terry." Terry answered with a bright smile. Judy couldn't help but smile back.

"My partner, Nick Wilde... is he here? Do you know anything of his condition?"

Terry sighed and closed Judy's chart. She was quiet for a while and couldn't look Judy in the eye. Judy's stomach was in knots- something was wrong. Very wrong.

"Yes, Mr. Wilde... the doctors are still trying to stabilize him." she spoke quietly. Judy felt dread washing over her and waited for the big 'but' that was about to follow. "But to be honest, Miss Hopps... they're not sure if he's going to make it through the night. It's been over ten hours and... he's lost so much blood, and last I heard, they were trying to replenish what he lost and figure out just how badly he was injured. He..."

"What? What happened?" Judy asked. Terry looked up at large purple eyes, full of worry and fear. As much as Terry wanted to shield her patient, she knew she would have found out eventually and the last thing she wanted was an aggravated patient. So she gave in and continued.

"He's got a lot of injuries. Four gunshot wounds that they had to fish out bullets from, three to four broken ribs, massive blood loss, a nasty scar on his arm, and a small gash on his forehead. And then there was the muzzle that was basically stuck to his head..."

Terry stepped to Judy's bedside and patted her arm. Judy blinked back tears and swallowed around a forming lump in her throat. "T-That... he's gonna freak out... he's not supposed to be in there..." Judy realized she was blabbing broken trains of thought but she didn't care.

"I know. When we tried to remove it, his eyes flew open and he lashed out with the little strength he had left. That was, like I said, well over ten hours ago."

Judy had a sinking feeling he would- after all, she was the only one who knew just how much Nick hated those things and what they stood for.

"He blacked out after screaming and opening his wounds more... and if I remember correctly, he flatlined once and they almost lost him. I'm surprised he lasted so long, but I wouldn't worry. Our doctors are not giving up and it doesn't look like he is, either."

Judy looked at her in surprise. Terry smiled thoughtfully at her and lightly squeezed her arm before checking her tubes. "He's still alive?! Oh thank heavens, Nick..." she placed her paws over her heart and closed her eyes as a smile slowlt spread across her face. "Thank heavens..."

"I'm not surprised. He's got a reason to hang on just a little longer." Judy opened her eyes long enough to see Terry wink at her as she said, "He has a great partner awaiting his return. A strong partner who would always be with him and stand by his side. He's not gonna give up just yet, so you can't either. You have to hold on for the two of you."

Terry chuckled to herself at what she just said before excusing herself and letting Judy know she could buzz when she was ready to see Nick once he was out of surgery. Judy looked at her paws and smiled to herself.

If Nick was trying to fight for her... then she had to be strong. "No more tears, Jude." she whispered fiercely to herself before her paws clenched and she forced herself not to cry... just yet, anyways.

"Not until I can see him. Keep fighting Nick. I'll be waiting for you."

Judy was finally allowed permission to see Nick when she awoke the following day. She learned that he had made it through his surgery and that he was resting and recovering in intensive care. She was brought in a wheelchair, and once she saw him, she gasped, her paws flying up to her mouth.

"Oh my god... is he..."

Terry nodded. "He's alright for now. He was a strong fox, you know. He flatlined twice, believe it or not, and they had to sedate him to get the muzzle off him carefully before surgery. Thankfully, once they removed it, it seemed like he had the strength to keep pushing through the surgery- and the massive amount of blood he'd lost. I think he needed about five units of blood."

Judy nodded blankly. Terry felt terrible for the duo and wondered if they would ever be the same, but shook that thought out of her mind.

She wasn't sure what was so special about the way these two acted, but she knew one thing- Judy had clear cut feelings for her partner and friend.

Judy sat quietly, her thoughts focused completely on her sleeping partner, trying to figure out where did everything go wrong, how did they end up in this mess. She asked Terry if she could sit by him. Terry knew that wouldn't be best for her with her still healing injuries, but she couldn't deny her patient the one favor she'd been asking for since she woke up. So she carefully helped Judy into a nearby chair and draped a blanket over her to keep her warm.

"Can... I be alone with him?" Judy asked softly. Terry's face softened and she gave Judy a light hug before whispering yes. "Buzz if anything happens to either on of you, okay?" she requested as she left.

Judy hadn't heard. She was busy looking Nick up and down. His legs were probably wrapped, no doubt from the gunshot wounds he had gotten. His arms rested gingerly on a wrapped stomach and chest, his chest rising and falling steadily as oxygen was pumped into his nose. There were two bandages on his forehead and arm.

Judy smiled, a few tears of relief rolling down her cheeks. Nick made it... that was all she could think about. She listened to the various machines keeping him alive before she reached out and brushed his cheek.

"Nick... I-I don't know... what just happened. But that... that was the scariest moment of my life. And probably for you, too." she started babbling to fill the silence.

"I don't know what happened back there... I mean, the plan was perfect, the whole sting was so simple, it was supposed to be in and out and-and we were supposed to be going on vacation and... and..." She stopped herself, allowing her lungs to desperately grab at much needed air.

"I wanted you to meet my mom and dad... and my whole family... I have 275 brothers and sisters and they always ask me about you." she chuckled quietly as she settled back, one hand over her chest as it tried to regulate itself. "They always wondered if I was safe working with... well, with a fox. And you know what I told them?"

Sinking into her chair, she closed her eyes and finished in a soft whisper, "I told them... that this fox is the best friend and partner I could have ever asked for. And that I wouldn't want it to change. Ever. So you have to keep fighting, Nick. Please, for those who care about you. For me... because I... I think I..."

Sleep was so close to pulling her under, she didn't hear the soft voice speaking to her at first. Her ear twitched as she thought she heard her name being called once. Then it became a bit more clearer, and she finally opened her eyes, looking around the room as if there were ghosts or spirits speaking to her.

"Weird... I thought someone was-"

"C-Carrots...y-you... you dumb... bunny..." a soft voice whispered to her with a light smile. Judy stared at Nick, blinking as if she was sure she'd lost her mind.

"Hey... you alright?" Nick asked, his voice still raw from earlier, his throat feeling scratchy and burning. Judy just sat there, blinking under she stopped and really got a good look at her friend.

"Y-You're... oh my god, Nick!" Judy suddenly cried out in happiness, finally letting the tears she'd been holding in for almost two days go as she squeezed Nick in the strongest hug she could manage, ignoring the burning sensation in her legs. Gasping, Nick wheezed, "H-H-Hey Ca-rrots, gotta-gotta breathe.. need... need ta breathe!"

Judy blushed something fierce, letting Nick go before she rubbed her head sheepishly. "S-Sorry, Nick. You okay?"

Nick nodded, and Judy fixed his oxygen mask. Once he re-settled, he realized at that point the muzzle wasn't on him anymore. "T-they... took... it off?" he struggled to ask in between breaths. Judy nodded.

"You mean... that thing. Yeah, they did... but they said they had to sedate you. You probably don't remember much of that, do you?"

Nick shook his head no. "P-Probably best I don't, either..." he settled on. Judy agreed, and adjusted his sheets carefully about him. Nick sighed against her warm touches and closed his eyes. They both sat in the comfortable silence for a long while, Judy listening to the many monitors and the low volume of the TV that she had just noticed was on.

"Carrots. I wanna ask you something." Nick suddenly murmured softly, catching her attention. She tilted her head a little.


"Your... cheek there... what happened?" Judy blinked at him, clearly confused. She reached up to her right, felt nothing, but on her left, there was a few soft spots where her childhood bully had scratched her.

"Oh... I-I'd forgotten about it..." she mumbled, looking away, a bit uncomfortable. Nick didn't say anything, simply looked at her with that same patience he'd always had for her.

Finally she spoke. "When I was nine years old... we had a talent show in my hometown. I told everyone all about Zootopia and how wonderful it was and how I... wanted to become a cop. And, well, not everyone really agreed with that."

Nick nodded once, allowing her to continue. "See, my mom and dad... well, they were terrified of me going so far away from home. You know, predators and the like. They never thought it was for a place like me, so they weren't too thrilled or... supportive."



Judy sank back into her chair and winced in pain- not too comfortable a position she was in, so she made herself comfortable. Nick could barely move himself but he continued to wait on her. Once she was done, she continued.

"Anyways, we had a neighborhood bully. A... red fox, like you. His name was Giedon Gray. That day, he'd been picking on some weaker bunnies and a young sheep, stealing their county fair tickets."

Judy could hear Nick's eyes rolling as he whispered, "So you... had to go and play hero..."

"Yeah. Kinda like that. But, back then... I was still a chicken, and very much afraid of predators. Of course, I never really admitted it to myself. So when I challenged him, long story short, Giedon scratched me and pushed me down."

Nick was quiet as he let that newest bit of information sink in. "A-And that's why... you carried..."

"Yeah, that's why. And for that brief moment, I... I was terrified he was going to really kill and eat me. Believe me, I wanted to believe that there were good predators out there, but... it just scarred me for a long while. I got the tickets back, but that day always haunted me. Even before I met you. And when I started on the force, I kind of thought, I won't need that, Zootopia is different, I'll be fine."

Judy sighed. "I was so wrong. So, so wrong about a lot of things... and Zootoipia showed me that. YOU showed me that."

Nick smirked lightly but said nothing. Judy's cheeks flushed as she realized that Nick was still looking at her.

"... well, you know you love me..." he finally muttered as he closed his eyes. It felt good to say that, to have her here with him. It felt right.

Yawning, Judy laughed. "Y-Yeah... I know I do." It's hard for me to admit it right now, and not when you're not even fully awake. But I think- no, I'm certain... I have feelings for you, dumb fox.

Judy leaned back against her chair, shocked that she wasn't in an pain, and closed her eyes as she felt the most relieved since all this happened. "I'm glad this is all over. Thank you, Nick Wilde... for being such an amazing partner." she whispered sleepily as it drew her under.


And complete!

So this was my longest oneshot to boot. I tried to break it up but I didn't like the chaptered look so it shall stay all together as a one shot.

Please let me know what you thought of it- I do hope I kept the main characters in character..

Until next time!