Chapter 1- The Morning After
A lone ray of golden morning sun had slipped through the blinds of the clean window nearby, and had been steadily creeping up the side of the couch for some time now, like a lazy bug inching up the stem of a flower to taste the sweet morning dew on its petals. The warm light climbed up the side of the fox's head, turning its crimson hue into honeyed amber. Time could've stopped there, and the scene would've stayed frozen and beautiful forever. Time however, did not stop there, and the ray of light flittered over the fox's eyes, dashing his peaceful dream and yanking him into a rude awakening.
Nick Wilde's eyes flew open with a start. He stared blankly at the ceiling for a moment before he felt the harsh beam of sun start to blind him, causing him to roll over to his side with a groan. He swore into the blanket covering him as he kicked it off, then forced himself to sit up. He held his head in his paws and looked down at his red fuzzy chest, then began to take inventory of himself. First, his chest was bare. This was odd, he hadn't remembered taking off his favorite green Hawaiian. In fact, he hadn't even remembered falling asleep the previous night. Giving the blanket another kick, he found that the only thing he was wearing were his lucky pair of golden boxers that he'd thrown on the morning prior for his first day of work.
"Work…" he muttered to himself. That was right, he'd just graduated as the first fox member of the Zootopia Police Department. Nick smiled as he remembered Judy presenting his badge to him. His thoughts turned to Judy, and a smile crept into his cheeks. "Judy… Judy." He muttered to himself.
Nick's head shot up from his paws. Standing before him, at his eye level from his position, was Judy Hopps, a grey rabbit and his new partner. At first, he stared at her, confused. She was wearing blue and white striped pajama pants and a comfortable blue t-shirt. Why did she look like she had just woken up? And why was she standing in front of him? Nick glanced back down at himself, then yipped and grabbed the blanket and threw it over his shoulder, covering himself back up.
Judy giggled at his reaction and crossed her arms with a sly smile on her face.
"Good morning, Sleeping Beauty~"
Nick looked away, avoiding her gaze, causing him to notice that he was not, in fact, in his own apartment. "What… What happened last night?" he groaned, rubbing his eyes.
Judy giggled again, then sat down behind him and hugged his shoulder affectionately. "We had fun last night, don't you remember?"
Images of the two of them dancing together at Gazelle's concert flashed through his mind, making Nick snort in amusement. "I meant, why am I sitting on your couch right now in my underwear, Carrots?"
"Do you seriously not remember what happened after the concert?" came Judy from behind him.
Nick's smile slowly vanished. She was acting pretty bubbly, almost suspiciously… "My God, we didn't-?"
Judy froze and she felt a hot blush start to seep into her cheeks. "N-No! Nothing like that!" she stammered.
For whatever reason, Nick found her flustering very amusing, and started laughing to himself. Nudging Judy back against the back of the couch, he laid back down and rested his head in her lap, looking up at her with that flirty expression only he could do. "But seriously Carrots, what DID we do? And why can't I remember it?"
Judy avoided his gaze because her blush hadn't nearly left her cheeks yet and she knew he knew it. "Well… after the concert, we were supposed to meet Gazelle, since we kinda saved Zootopia from Bellwether and all… Anyway, something came up and Gazelle was busy, so she had a limousine take us home and promised to meet with us today." The grey rabbit paused and started chuckling to herself, making Nick raise an eyebrow curiously. "And then, uh… You found a bottle of blue stuff and totally ignored the label. You just shouted 'Watch me chug this blueberry juice!' then popped the cork off and knocked it back before I could stop you."
By now, Judy couldn't contain herself any longer and burst out laughing, while Nick's flirty expression became annoyed.
"So, uh, anyway, apparently that stuff was technically blueberry juice, but mixed in with like, a LOT of vodka. I don't think I need to tell you what came next." She started giggling again, then gave Nick an affectionate scratch behind his ears when he rolled his eyes up at her, smiling. "So yeah, you got hammered pretty fast and collapsed onto my lap and started muttering gibberish, so I figured it would probably be best if you stayed here tonight. When we got here, I made you drink some green tea blend so you wouldn't be throwing up everywhere. You started complaining about how hot you were and fumbled around with your shirt, so I, uh, ya know…" Judy looked away again, and it was Nick's turn to chuckle.
"I get it. Thanks, Judy. I really appreciate it. Now, uh, where are my clothes?"
Judy's eyes widened. "Oh. Oh no. They were reeking of alcohol, so I did a load of laundry last night, and fell asleep before it finished… Which means it needs to be washed again…"
Nick groaned and Judy covered her eyes with a paw, then got up and silently trudged to the door and hurried out, presumably to the laundry room of the apartment complex. Now alone, Nick sat up again and looked around. He had never been in Judy's apartment before and couldn't help but notice that it was pretty small. He sat across from a TV on a beat-up looking stand. There was a wooden coffee table with carrots etched into it next to him, all of this resting on a plain but warm colored red rug. Nick guessed these were all from her old house on her family's farm. In the same room was a fridge, a microwave and a small island, which served as Judy's kitchen. Next to the TV was a door she had left open, revealing a dark room with a messy bed, a nightstand with an old lamp and a desk with papers and notes strewn about it. Connected to the bedroom was a darker room that Nick guessed was her bathroom, and he was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to pee.
Jumping up from the couch, Nick bounded past her bedroom and into the bathroom, determined to relieve himself before she came back. Flicking on the light, the fox was relieved to see that he was right, and he was incredibly careful to aim, something he neglected to do in his own home. Once he was finished, he started back towards the couch but stopped himself as something caught his eye. Turning back to the desk, Nick saw several pictures of the two of them tacked onto the wall next to others he guessed were her family. One in particular stood out from the rest: It was a close-up of him, but a big red heart was drawn around his face. A single memory ran through his mind.
'You know you love me.'
'Do I…? Yeah, I know I do.'
Nick felt his cheeks grow hot. He'd thought nothing of what she said at the time, but now the memory was causing him to feel… strange. Before he could think about it anymore, he heard the door start to open, and sprang back onto the couch just in time to see Judy walk through the door.