Chapter 2 - Confessions

Roughly two hours later, Nick found himself back at the apartment he shared with Judy. The group of singles had started to dwindle soon after the cake had been served and he managed to catch a lift home, knowing that Judy had driven with her date. Slowly trudging through the apartment he dropped his earlier discarded tuxedo jacket over the back of a dining room chair and opened the fridge, his brow scrunching together as he inspected the contents. With two bottles in hand, he collapsed onto their worn couch, tugging off his ridiculous bow tie and undoing the top two buttons of his dress shirt.

Cracking open the beer, he took a swig and couldn't suppress the long sigh that followed. Thanks to Judy's date reappearing by her side, he had successfully managed to dodge her and the questioning gaze she directed at him the rest of the evening. Eventually she would come home demanding answers to his cryptic confession, but for now it was more appealing to focus on maintaining his buzz while he turned on the television, desperate for anything to keep his mind occupied.

Before he could empty the bottle, his ears perked up at the sound of the front lock clicking open. Listening intently, he counted the footsteps, quickly deciphering that she had come home alone. Not that he was surprised, her dates rarely made it to the 'come up to my place' point. At first he had been offended, assuming that she was embarrassed to introduce her fox roommate and friend, but she had assured him otherwise. Lately, she had made it a point for any new suitors to meet him at the beginning of the date when possible, because as she had explained, it might be his only chance, if they were another dud.

Quietly, she padded into the living room, the small lamp in the corner illuminating the subtle sparkle of her sleek emerald gown. Dropping her purse and cardigan onto the coffee table, she cautiously sat at the opposite end of the couch, pulling her legs up to tuck beneath her. He gave her a polite nod to acknowledge her arrival, but otherwise kept his eyes trained on the television.

"That was some party, huh?" She broke the silence first, just like he knew she would. "I've never seen the captain cut loose like that. I mean sure, he'll toss back a few drinks with us after we wrap up a big case, but I've never seen him get his groove on."

She was trying to lighten the mood by making him laugh, and Nick couldn't resist the bait. He let out a low chuckle and took another sip of his drink. "His moves are even worse than mine." He added to her story, the corner of his mouth turned up in a smirk.

He could see Judy physically relax out of the corner of his gaze, her bare shoulders lowering as she sank further back into the worn cushions. He leaned forward enough to reach the other bottle, carrot water, and nudged it closer to her side of the table.

With a smile she picked it up, muttering a quiet thanks as she cracked it open.

"Did Chad have a good time?" He teased. "You know I would have made myself scarce if you wanted to bring him up."

Judy just about choked on her water at the suggestion. "Oh please!" She laughed and coughed at the same time. "I mean, he was nice enough, but hardly worth keeping around."

"I dunno Carrots, he seemed pretty popular on the dance floor." Nick watched how her eyes lit up while she laughed.

"Well then one of his new groupies can date him!" She shot back. "He's still there dancing. I called a cab!"

"He's not?!" An incredulous look crossed his face.

Judy was full on laughing. "He is! I kid you not!"

They continued to laugh heartily, it could have been the remaining booze in their systems or the stress they had both been carrying since earlier, but it felt good to let loose. After another few minutes they both managed to calm their giggles. Nick was blotting his eyes with the fur on the back of his paw, wet with gleeful tears.

Judy spoke up, turning in her seat to face her friend, a serious look on her face. "Did you mean what you said earlier?"

Nick froze, his eyes wide, caught off guard by her questioning. But quickly he shifted his demeanor and leaned back trying to act casual. "I tossed back a few too many at the reception, so let's just say I didn't."

It was clear that she wasn't about to buy it for a moment. "Nick, you basically told me that you think of me as your lifemate."

He reached up quietly and scratched the back of his twitching ear as he considered how much more to reveal. But it was clear that there was no getting out of this now, it was time to come clean.

"Is that really so odd?" He finally asked with a raise of his brows as he gestured around their minuscule apartment. "Look at us, we live together, eat our meals together, hang out on our free time…"

Judy opened her mouth to argue, but seemed to lose her train of thought as he continued.

"...and then we go to work everyday, where we are literal partners!"

"Well yeah," She finally coaxed out a response. "We're roommates and work partners."

Nick's chin dropped forward and one eyebrow quirked up. "Is that really all we are?"

"And best friends." She added like it was so obvious it shouldn't have to be stated. But then her ears fell back and a look of sadness washed over her. "I just… I thought you were okay with being friends."

Nick shifted across the couch to move in closer, placing a paw beneath her velvety chin and lifting her gaze up to meet his. "I'm absolutely okay with it. Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me."

"But Nick…" Her eyes glistened and he could see the guilt welling up behind them. "I don't want you to give up on finding love and happiness because of me."

"Carrots," Nick smiled and cocked his head to the side in his best 'you should know me better than that' type manner. "Who said I wasn't happy? I'm very happy."

Judy blinked back tears and let a smile break out as she waited for him to explain.

"Having you in my life has done nothing, but improve it. This: what we have here, this is enough for me…" He watched her smile widen and her face soften as he continued. "And when you find the right one and you're ready to settle down, get married and have a whole warren of tiny little kits, I don't want to get in your way."

Judy's eyebrows popped up, and he assumed she was impressed with his correct usage of rabbit terminology.

"… though I do hope whoever he is, he's open to the idea that I will always be your best friend." His green eyes lit up and and he smiled as a daydream hit him. "I can be crazy uncle Nick!"

The fox chuckled a bit at the thought and sank back into the couch beside her, his tail curling its way between them. Judy still had her long feet tucked up under her, and her smaller size left her leaning into Nick's weight dipping the center of the sagging cushion. She let her head fall onto his shoulder as they both relaxed and trained their eyes back on the television. The tips of her ears tickled the edge of his face and he playfully swatted them away.

"I don't know why I never even considered it - being your lifemate. I had completely taken it off the table." She spoke up without moving from her cozy spot.

"It's the interspecies thing, not to mention a predator-prey relationship is pretty much unheard of." Nick explained in a casual tone, despite his heart speeding up at her topic.

"Well a bunny copy was unheard of before I came along." Judy piped up from beside him.

"Very true my dear, you've made big strides against stereotypes." He nudged his elbow into her side playfully.

"And yet," Judy sat back up and turned to look closely at her friend beside her. "I didn't think it was possible for you to find me… for you to think of me that way."

Nick's head whipped to face her, his ears perked up, alert. His tone was both soft and serious as he set the facts straight. "Just because you aren't a fox, you didn't think I would be attracted to you? That I wouldn't be able to fall in love with a caring, funny, annoyingly optimistic and beautiful bunny?"

He could see the shock in her large violet eyes that she tried to suppress, it was clear she really hadn't thought it possible.

"You're in love with me?" The question slipped from her lips in a whisper.

He paused to consider the ramifications of his answer, but the hesitation was brief. "Yes."

His eyes were locked on hers as he gauged her reaction. She didn't seem overly upset, but she wasn't exactly jumping for joy either. Instead she looked deep in thought, staring down at her paws folded in her lap. He scrambled to think of something to say that would ease her mind and fix his mistake.

"But I understand that it's one-sided, and I've already accepted that."

"You know, Nick," She lifted her gaze back up to meet his, her expression was soft and optimistic. "Just because I said I took it off the table, doesn't mean I'm opposed to the idea."

He blinked in surprise, his tail excitedly flipping around to his other side in anticipation of what she might say next. He couldn't squash the little bit of hope he felt rising in his chest as she went to speak again.

"You know what all those males that my mother sets me up with, have in common?"

His face contorted to confusion, not expecting this shift in questioning. And he couldn't prevent the sarcastic tone that slipped out. "You mean besides the fact that they're all your own species?"

Judy looked him straight in the eyes, her ears standing up tall as she took his hands in her own. "They're not you."

Nick felt his heart drop into his stomach and was pretty positive that it might have skipped a few beats in the process. He felt both energized and exhausted from the stressful rollercoaster of an evening as he watched her violet eyes sparkle with joy.

"Are you saying...? Do you really mean...?" Nick couldn't remember how to finish a sentence, but he also didn't really mind as he smiled down on the face of his best friend.

Judy just nodded with enthusiasm, her ears bouncing up and down as she moved. A smile so wide it lit up her entire face. "I'm saying, that maybe I didn't realize it at the time, but I think things never really worked out with any of them because I've already found my lifemate too."

Nick could feel his own goofy grin stretch across his face as she continued.

"And I'd be willing to give 'us' a try." She squeezed his paws, still held tight in her own. "If you're willing."

"Judy, I can think of nothing I've wanted more."

She stretched up and placed a soft kiss on the end of his muzzle, causing his eyes to lazily fall shut, a look of pure contentment on his face. Judy wrapped her arms around his middle and snuggled up against him, practically curling into his lap as his arms encircled her in return.

"You dumb fox," She snickered into the fluff of his fur poking out from the top of his open collar. "you should have told me sooner."

"You know, I expected the sly bunny to figure me out by now." He teased back. But before he could follow up with his next quip, he was silenced by her soft lips on his own.

The End

AN: Ok, it happened, I wrote fluffy Wildehopps fic. I knew I wouldn't be able to resist the adorableness of this pair and yet I tried. (Don't worry my TMNT readers, I won't abandon my old fandom)

Anyways, I hope I lived up to the expectations of all you Judy/Nick fans out there. I liked the idea of Nick completely aware of his love for Judy and basically willing to accept a completely platonic lifemate if it meant being with her. But of course, I couldn't resist letting these two fall in love, because - gah they are so cute! Whether you ship them or not, I think the platonic relationship these two have should be everyone's goal!

So… I'd love some feedback. Was it good? Terrible? Should I write more or run from the fandom with my tail between my legs? (hah - pun intended)