Disclaimer- Zootopia belongs to Disney. I make no money off this story. Please don't sue me.
FYI- (Bold&Italic means Text) (Just Italic means inner thoughts)
Chapter 10 Part One- Realization
Two hours had passed since Nick kissed her. For Judy, those two hours felt like an eternity. Her mind kept replaying the kiss, refusing to branch into any other subject. Her heart would flutter at times. Butterflies would burst into existence, and disappear just as quickly.
And she loved every second of it.
Her mind was scattered, making it impossible to concentrate on the latest episode of 'Sky Times'. She watched the show less for the plot and more for the main character, a charming cheetah named Carlos who fit his suit in all the right places.
However, she had her own predator in mind tonight. A fox who not only fit in all the right places but talked in all the right tones.
I should have invited him inside, Judy thought to herself as she pulled the sheet over her head, trying to hide from her own embarrassment.
Chill, her mind answered back. You're beating yourself up over literally nothing.
That's exactly why I'm beating myself up! I didn't do anything, I just stood there like an idiot!
What could you have done? Passionately kiss him back? Stop trying to fool yourself girl; in that moment you were effectively brain dead.
So he hustled me?
Pretty much, but in a good way. Judy thought of responding, but her mind beat her to it. You're still smiling like an idiot.
She was smiling like an idiot. Touche brain, touche.
A minute or so passed, yet Judy was unable to enter the blissful trance called sleep. She tossed and turned, before throwing the pillow against the wall. Brain, why are you doing this?
Her brain answered back. Well now that you can think straight, why don't you text him? It might even make you feel better and who knows, you may even fall asleep.
Her ears perked up at the idea. Why didn't I think of that?
You did think of that. Come on Judy, you know you want too~
And say what?
I don't know, maybe ask him if he got home safe or something. Just make conversation.
Or I could just go to sleep like a normal bunny.
You and I both know you're not normal. Judy shared a laugh with herself, which out of context, and even in context didn't sound normal.
Fine, Judy agreed. But you'll let me get to sleep, right?
I am a merciful god, so yes. But text the handsome fox first.
That wasn't going to be a problem. Texting the mammal she just spent all day with, and drooled on didn't exactly sound like a problem. Reaching over to her nightstand, Judy grabbed her phone.
Sharpe hadn't texted her back, but that was expected of the Lieutenant. The snow leopard didn't usually get the weekends off, so if she did respond, it would be in the dawn hours, or sometime in the afternoon tomorrow.
Judy navigated towards her contacts and opened up the conversation she'd been having with Nick.
As she reread the conversation, memories of the train ride rushed back to her. A gentle smile formed on her face. She knew what she wanted to say, and how to say it.
Trying not to look desperate, while also looking casual at the same time, her mind teased. Nice Hopps, nice.
Five minutes passed, and Nick hadn't responded. Why isn't he responding? Did something happen? She thought, panic creeping up her spine.
Judy's imagination started to get the better of her as time went by. Thoughts and scenarios appeared in her mind, each one progressively worse than the last.
Her panic slowly increased as ten minutes rapidly turned into fifteen minutes of deafening silence. Where is he? Why hasn't he texted back?!
He's probably just in the shower, her mind answered. You are not going crazy bunny on me.
Judy practically hopped out of her skin with surprise as the phone vibrated. She glanced towards the screen frantically, her panicked eyes conveying just how much the message meant to her.
Please be Nick, please be Nick! She needed to know if Nick, her fox was okay. She needed to see his grin one more time.
Sup Fluff. What's happening?
Judy felt the stupid, happy grin form on her face as relief spread throughout her body. Her fox was safe, not that he had been in any danger in the first place. Probably just took a shower, which was exactly what her mind had told her.
She quickly typed her response.Trying to fall asleep. Just making sure you got home.
D'aww, you're adorable. That means I'm home btw.
Glad to hear.
You want pictures?
She chuckled quietly. Lol, I'm good.
Shame. I thought you of all mammals would want a photo of me fresh out of the shower. Oh well, your loss. Judy imagined her red cheeks were perfectly visible even in the dark room. The thought of Nick, water dripping from his shirtless chest required further investigation.
Maybe later . ;)
What a naughty bunny.
Oh yes, this definitely requires further investigation, she thought to herself.
Anyway, I gotta head to sleep. Important fox things to do tomorrow.
Such an important mammal.
That's me, Mr. Important. Has a nice ring to it.
Judy giggled at his antics. Whatever you say Slick.
I'll take that as a yes. Anyway, night Fluff.
Night Wilde. Love you. Immediately after her fingers clicked the send button, absolute dread filled her. Judy dropped the phone onto her bed in shock, paws covering her mouth.
I just sent that, she said to herself, stating the obvious. Her mouth hung open, a visual representation of how shocked she felt. I just sent that to Nick.
You did, her mind responded teasingly.
I didn't mean to send that!
Yeah, ya did. You love him, and breaking news, he probably loves you back. Well, not probably. He does love you.
How do you know that?!
Because you drooled on him, and he didn't complain? That's true love right there. Besides, what's the worse that could happen? Her brain paused, realizing the potential disaster those thoughts could start. Don't answer that.
Her phone buzzed, interrupting the intense mental debate. Gulping, Judy shakingly opened the app. The weight of the world seemed to bear down on her as she read the message. Blinking, she read the message again. And again; until the meaning of what Nick sent slammed into her.
The message was four words; four powerful and unforgettable words. Four words that brought a smile to her face, and a flutter to her heart.
Love you too Fluff
Sunday held a special meaning in Judy's heart. It was the one day of the week where she knew she wouldn't be called into work. Normally, Sundays would be filled with naps, movies, books, and the occasional exercise; activities vital to a sane mind and body.
But today wasn't like that. No, thanks to her own procrastination, Judy was stuck with piles of clothes desperately needing a wash; Clothes that failed both the sniff and stain test.
Most mammals considered laundry another boring aspect of adult life. After a few decades of laundry, the cycle became second nature. You gather quarters, stuff them into some battered and bruised machine, and hope your clothes survived the onslaught. After the wash cycle, you throw the sopping wet clothes into an equally battered dryer, check for lint, and wait an hour. Sounds fun, right?
The machine in front of Judy shook violently, the bottom scraping against the tiled floor. Judy looked up from her book, making sure the machine wasn't on fire. Satisfied with the results, she turned her attention back towards ''The Tragedy on Madison," the book she was currently reading.
The novel was written by R.E Claws, a brilliant author who specialized in murder mysteries. Judy had been reading them since childhood, and she often described herself as a closet fangirl of the series, and for good reason. The characters were interesting, the plots unique, and the way Claws described the dirty, moldy back-streets of Zootopia was perfection.
Turning the page, she glanced at the clock hanging above the dryer. It was almost 1:00 PM, and she hadn't eaten lunch yet. Her stomach would start growling soon, pleading to be filled with all manner of carrot-related items.
She had a decision to make. Either run back to her apartment, and hope nothing would happen to her clothes, or stay here and suffer.
It was an easy choice.
Judy walked out of the laundromat, heading back towards her room. Giving the customary 'hello' to passing neighbors, she opened the creaky door to her apartment. The apartment looked cleaner without the piles of laundry stacked everywhere.
She shuffled over to the mini-fridge, opening the door and selecting a Chef Luigi's Gourmet Carrot Entree. There wasn't anything "gourmet" about the cardboard box, but it was cheap and tasted decent.
Sticking the box in the microwave, Judy flopped onto her bed. Her mind began to wander, thinking of events and ideas that wouldn't occur for years to come: Promotions, a new apartment, seeing her parents again and getting a pay raise were some of the countless ideas running through her mind. However, despite the diversity of the thoughts, one variable stayed the same. An orange, grinning variable.
In each idea, each dream, Nick was involved somehow. He was there to congratulate her on advancing to Sergeant. He was carrying a cardboard box scribbled 'Judy's stuff' up a steep flight of stairs. He was shaking her father's paw with that trademark grin.
Over the past twelve hours, Judy had come to a conclusion; Nick was, and would be forever engrained in her life story.
She hadn't texted him since last night. There wasn't anything more to say. Both needed a day to digest the events from yesterday.
As she drifted to sleep, the microwave decided to ruin any plans of relaxation. Beeping loudly, it announced to the entire world that her Chef Luigi's Gourmet Carrot Entree was ready. She hopped out of bed, groaning in a mix of hunger and annoyance.
She reached for the door, only for her phone to make an unexpected encore. The slim silver device buzzed loudly, shaking the nightstand.
Someone's calling me? Who calls anymore? She reached for the phone, disconnecting it from the charger. To her surprise, her parents face grinned back at her.
Mom? Dad? Why are they calling me on Sunday? Her parents were habitual mammals. They called on certain days, emailed at exact hours, and hated the very concept of the word surprise. A sinking feeling appeared in her stomach. Did something bad happen back home?
Gulping, she accepted the call. The video buffered for a second, before her mother's grinning face filled the screen. Bonnie didn't look sad, or depressed. She looked like her normal, happy self.
"Judy!" She yelled. Her smile stretched from ear to ear, matching the merry tone of her voice. Judy noted her father was nowhere in sight. "Have I caught you at a lousy time?"
"No, just having lunch," Judy replied. "What's up?"
"I'm just calling to check in with you. I know we usually call on Tuesday, but I couldn't help myself."
"Okay," Judy stuttered out. A sheepish smile adorned her face as an awkward tension formed between the two. Each of them was expecting the other to speak first.
"So… How's everything been going Judes?" Bonnie said, breaking the ice.
"It's been going great mom," Judy replied happily. "Still stuck doing patrols, which is boring." Bonnie's face paled at the word patrols. Her mother was, and would always be a worry wart.
"But boring is safe!"
"But safe is boring," Judy countered, drawing a chuckle from Bonnie.
"I just want to make sure my little girl is safe."
Judy failed to respond, a warm feeling forming within her chest. "You worry too much mom."
"That's my job," Bonnie responded.
"I know, and I love you for it," Judy replied, her cheeks crimson. Bonnie grinned, enjoying the compliment. However, Judy knew her mother didn't really call to 'check in' on her.
"So Judes..." Bonnie teased, reaching the actual reason she had called. "How did those dates go?"
Called it, Judy thought. She had been hoping her mother had forgotten about the date. Not because she didn't want her to know, rather Judy wanted to skip the notoriously awkward conversation that usually followed.
"Dates?" She repeated, trying to delay.
"You know, the dinner and the coffee?" Bonnie smiled at Judy's awkward expression. "You can't just leave you mother hanging."
Her mind went into overdrive. How exactly could she put the feelings dominating her mind and body into words? And besides, what should she tell her? Bonnie's question seemed simple, but the answer was actually incredibly complicated.
What should I tell her? She thought, panic rushing through her body.
Just say it went well. Try and throw her off.
"They went really well," Judy stuttered out.
"Really well? Judy that's great!"
"Yeah… So how's dad doing?"
"You're not weaseling your way out of this," Bonnie stated.
Ignoring the specieist expression, Judy groaned in defeat. This conversation was happening whether she wanted to or not. "It went great. We went for coffee, then for a walk and then he walked me back home."
"What a gentle rabbit. What part of Bunnyborrow is he from?"
Oh. Oh no.
Judy felt her heart stop. Time seemed to freeze around her, matching the icy-cold sensation running through her blood. Her mind, which had been working overtime, completely froze.
She thinks Nick is a bunny. Nick is a fox. Foxes aren't bunnies. Her breathing slowed as she struggled to make sense of everything, despite everything happening in less than a second. It would be so simple to just tell Bonnie that Nick wasn't a bunny. To tell her mom that her date was a sly, cynical fox named Nick.
But, it wasn't that simple.
The memory of her father shoving one anti-fox device after another into her paws flooded her mind. Her parents, despite working with Gideon, had made one thing perfectly clear throughout her entire life.
Predators, and foxes, more importantly, couldn't be trusted. But two years of living, breathing and working in the city had shattered the notion.
Nick wasn't evil. He may have been rude, cynical and annoying at times, but he wasn't evil. She loved a fox who was caring, funny and fun to be around. It was a cruel, unforgiving paradox.
Her mind came to a crystal clear decision. A decision she knew would come back to bite her in the buns, but a decision she had to make.
I can't tell her. Not yet at least.
"He's... " Judy stuttered, unconsciously stroking her ears.
"He's not from Bunnyburrow," Judy finally said, finding the courage within herself. "He was born and raised in Zootopia. Classic city mammal."
Bonnie's ears shot up. "A rabbit born and raised in Zootopia? That's… different." Judy felt her stomach lurch. She wasn't hungry anymore. "What's his name?"
"Nick," she blurted out. The realization of what she said slammed into her like a train.
Crap. Why did I say that?! Oh no no no no no.
Bonnie adopted a quizzical expression. "Nick? Isn't your partner named Nick?"
"Yeah… they share the same name, funny story," she whispered through gritted teeth, praying Bonnie would buy the lie.
"That is a funny story," Bonnie responded. Based on her grinning face, she bought the story. Judy breathed a sigh of relief. "Do you have a picture of him?"
"Not on me," Judy lied again. "He's kinda camera shy."
Yeah, Nick's camera shy… good one Hopps!
"Oh," Bonnie said, clearly disappointed.
"What color is he?" Bonnie's expression soured at Judy's lack of response. "Just humor your mother Judy."
"Red?" Bonnie's face burst into excitement. "Are you dating a hare? How exotic!"
A hare's exotic? Oh, sweet cheese and crackers...
"I'm not dating a hare mom," Judy said dryly. Glancing up at the clock, an idea burst into her mind. A way out of this entire conversation. An escape route her mother couldn't possibly deny. "Oh, I forgot about my laundry. I'll call you back later!"
"Oh, alright," Bonnie said, clearly surprised. "Talk to you later dear!"
"Night Mom. Tell Dad I say hi," she said weakly.
"Alright. Night Judes!"
The call disconnected, leaving Judy alone once again. A deafening, mocking silence had fallen over the room. The call had lasted less than ten minutes, but in those ten short minutes, Judy's entire mindset had changed.
The butterflies had left, fluttering away to wherever they came from. An icy, heartless cold had swept over her heart. She felt a single tear flow down her cheek. A horrible, gut-wrenching realization had set in. A realization that shook her to the core.
Nick was a fox, and she was a bunny.
Authors note- Hey guys! Before I leave, a little bit of insight for the following chapters. First off, I know this chapter is short, but it's a necessity. Chapter Ten is going to be divided into multiple parts due to multiple reasons. You can expect part two, which will be longer, sometime next week. Tell me what ya think in the reviews. Peace!