[Author note: does not like the e-mail symbol, so I've written out the e-mails in the first letter and then abbreviated them to usernames thereafter. Sorry!]

From: fox .gov

To: jhopps

Subject: So I got here

Hey, Carrots, check out the e-mail address they gave me. Still think this was a good idea?

-fox, apparently

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From: jhopps

To: fox

Subject: Re: So I got here

Dear Nick,

I thought they'd treat you better. :( Let me make some calls.

Love,

Judy

P.S. I'm really proud of you!

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From: fox

To: jhopps

Subject: Re: So I got here

Oh, Carrots, I thought I'd rubbed off on you at least a little. Your letters read like they're out of the public school style textbook. Love? I think you're jumping a little ahead. You should know I'm not ready to meet your parents, and they sure as heck aren't ready to meet me unless I throw on an apron and a drawl and roll around in flour.

Don't make any calls for me. I'll handle this myself.

But thanks.

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From: jhopps

To: nwilde

Subject: Too late

Dear Nick,

I figured by 'handle it' you meant you'd leave the address that way and stare at it resenting everyone for reducing you to your species so I went ahead and called Sergeant Bearester and she changed it. Now you can focus on becoming a better officer and not on resenting everyone.

Speaking of Bearester, Chief Bogo assigned me a temporary partner. Don't be jealous. He's a brown bear named Paddington and he's really sweet. Just a really nice guy. Some of the guys really love him.

Yeah, that's right. Friends can love other friends and it's not weird.

Love,

Judy

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From: nwilde

To: jhopps

Subject: Re: Too late

Okay, Carrots, you got me. I guess I should start thinking like you, about what's best and not what's most fun. Or, what did you say, "be smarter, not a martyr"? And I have to admit, it's a lot nicer looking at my name when I log in. Thanks.

I was also worried that Bearester would take it out on me, you know, "so, Wilde, you gotta have your friends take care of you? What if your friends are DEAD? WHO'S GOING TO LOOK OUT FOR YOU THEN? YOU GOTTA LOOK OUT FOR YOU." But she's been—I hate to say it—pretty cool about it. As in, didn't mention it. As in, remembered that I beat everyone else in the hundred yard run in the morning. Of course, that afternoon when we were lifting weights they had to go out to the Midsize Fitness to get something I could even lift (and meanwhile they used *me* as the weight for Wolferson, which wasn't humiliating at all but DON'T call anyone about it, I'll handle it and I mean it this time). What did they do for you?

Paddington sounds like a great guy. Dumb as a brick, but I bet he holds doors for you and gets you coffee. So you've got that going for you. Next time I'll tell you about all the top scholars I'm rooming with.

Nick

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From: jhopps

To: nwilde

Subject: Re: Too late

Dear Nick,

OM goodness I busted out laughing at my desk when I read your Bearester impression. I can hear you doing it and it's perfect. And yeah, she's all about performance. If you can do the work, she's on your side. For my weights, she had me lifting two of her rings. Class rings. About ten pounds each. Using you as a weight is definitely not okay but…I'll let you take care of it. Just don't—no, I'll let you take care of it.

Paddington is not dumb as a brick. He's sweet, but that doesn't mean he's not…I mean, he is smart in his own way. We got an assignment to track down missing bolts of expensive fabric from a warehouse in Savanna Square. Paddington was the one who thought we should sniff around the warehouse at night to see if we catch any scents or maybe see the thief.

So I'm at my desk in full gear even though everyone else is home. Paddington is…resting up for the night.

Tell me about your class. I never really got to know most of mine. First they didn't take me seriously, then they didn't like that I was beating them. I guess Hornton was okay but she got assigned to a desk in the Savanna district. She did call to congratulate me after our case, though.

I think I hear Paddington moving. Got to go.

Love, Judy