Author's Note: Wow, I am so blown away by the responses from the last chapter! Thank you SO SO much for every single response, no matter the length or the content. The fact that you were willing to take the time to let me know how the story made you feel is amazing.
I did add a few very short scenes to the last chapter, so if you read it immediately after I posted it, I encourage you to re-read!
Also, I'm pretty sure the creators mentioned that birds and reptiles are not part of the "speaking animal" world, but you'll just have to extend your imagination here with me. For Nick and Judy's sake. THEY DESERVE THIS VACATION, OKAY.
Here, have a fairly short fluff time of vacation. Enjoy!
The runway from the plane was framed with ordinary metal grey walls, and the carpet beneath their feet was nothing special – faded, rolling up on the corners and bearing a peculiar pattern that made Nick dizzy to look at.
However, as soon as they shuffled a few more feet ahead and cleared the sterile runway, Nick and Judy looked up to find themselves completely enveloped by sunshine, courtesy of the tall windows lining a corridor surrounded by tall trees like the ones in Sahara Square, and just as much sand to boot.
Only here, just beyond the strip of windows where Judy pressed, delighted, was a seemingly endless stretch of crystal blue water with matching sky, sparse clouds just as white and fluffy as a sheep's wool, and a whole crew of uniformed animals waiting for the plane's arrival.
"Welcome," beamed a toucan as she placed colorful leis around both of their necks, "to Aquai'i!"
"This place is so cool, Nick! Read this brochure!"
While Judy was busy spinning in a circle to see everything, reading her map and talking a million miles an hour all at the same time, Nick was standing near a patch of overly large, unfamiliar foliage that looked straight out of the Cretaceous Period, all the while nervously eyeing a massive gorge right next to them.
"Nick, do you see that? Look, that's a real volcano!" chimed in Judy excitedly, before turning to gasp dramatically in his direction, brochure clutched to her chest. "Do you think it'll explode?"
Nick eyed the rickety wooden bridge over the gorge. "There is no way in hell I am crossing this rickety-ass bridge."
The massive mountain next to them trembled violently, puffing smoke in the air, and both small mammals responded by screaming, dropping all their things and hauling tail across a very rickety bridge.
"Ooh, Nick! Look! Name keychains! And all the names have little flowers on them!"
Nick smirked. "Bet you can't find Laverne on there."
Judy rushed to the stand and eyed the colorful selections excitedly. "I should get these for my brothers and sisters!" she told him, before quickly reaching up and reciting aloud, "Okay, let's see - Jimmy, Jerry, Jenna, Jessa, Jacob, Julian, Jura, James, Jenny – "
~Two Hours Later~
"Nick, I'm done!" Judy emerged from the checkout line with two large bags heavy with merchandise. When she didn't immediately spot Nick, another customer pointed to the fox nearby, who sleeping on a sofa.
"Zzzzz," was his only response.
"Is it carrot?"
"No, of course not!"
A giggle. Her very best attempt to keep a straight face. "Uhhhmm…"
"Fine, I'll try it."
"… it was carrot."
"So, how do I look?" asked Judy, swishing her hips in the grass skirt, coconut bra firmly in place. From behind the screen where she'd changed, Nick's voice called out.
"Gorgeous!" he said, before hopping out in an identical ensemble, coconut bra and all. "But not as gorgeous as me!"
Judy's hysterical laughter dropped her straight to the floor.
"I wonder where our surf instructor is," said Judy thoughtfully, kicking her legs in the water on either side of her floating surfboard.
"No idea," said Nick, looking around, "but all of this open water is totally freaking me out."
"HEY GUYS!" greeted a massive set of jaws with equally large teeth, all of which burst forth in the water right between Judy and Nick, the latter of whom screamed at the top of his lungs, fell into the water and scratched up his board like a crazed cat.
"MY NAME IS BILL," yelled the huge buff shark excitedly, "TODAY WE'RE GOING TO SURF AND HAVE A TOTALLY AWESOME TIME! AREYOUREADYALRIGHTLET'SDOTHIS!" And with that, he pushed off, creating a wave all of his own, and Judy clasped her hands excitedly before flopping onto her belly to paddle.
"Come on, Nick! Let's go!" she exclaimed.
Nick's response was a strangled gasp as he clawed his way back onto his surfboard, gargling something about massive heart attacks.
"This has to be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," remarked Judy thoughtfully, leaning on her elbows as they watched the sunset.
Nick looked over at her, and without taking his off his mate, he reclined fully against the sand and agreed most heartily.
The beach was quiet at night, and the small stretch in front of their rented bungalow was empty, save for Judy running along the shoreline against the star-speckled sky, delighted every time the water lapped at her ankles.
Nick appeared behind her and swept her off her feet, grinning to himself when Judy laughed happily, looping her arms around his neck. Both of the mammals calmed, slowing their movements until Nick gently lowered Judy to her feet again, though they remained close.
Tipping his head to hers, Nick caught her lips in a kiss. "I love you," he murmured against them, eyes closed.
Judy's lips quirked against his, and her hands moved up, pressing through his fur and traveling down the back of his neck to his bare back. "I love you, too," she replied softly, before pushing up on her tiptoes and pressing him to her. Nick caught her around her middle and pulled her impossibly close, mouth finding hers again.
Water continued to move close to them, pushing up the sandy banks and brushing at their toes. The sounds from the rest of the island were far away, and the only noises that reached the pair now were natural and soft. The moon sat large and regal against the shoreline, content in its spot just above an expanse of dark water that seemed to go on forever.
Nick's mind briefly flashed to the very first moment he met Judy – when she'd come to his rescue that day in the ice cream shop. The problem had been artificial, but her willingness to help had not, and perhaps it was even as early as that moment that she began to really affect him, because he remembered now how she had stayed on his mind that whole day.
His larger hand moved down her side, mostly bare, save for the swimsuit top that covered her. Lust was something he'd felt plenty of times, and he'd felt love a great deal, too. But the desire for someone - which was so far removed from being singularly one of those things, but was in fact, a combination of so much more – that was something entirely new to him.
It was frightening, but he wasn't afraid. Not anymore.
Judy's arms closed around him, and Nick tucked into the sensation until he pulled away just enough to say huskily, "Maybe we should get back to our bungalow."
Judy's lavender eyes flickered at the small, cozy structure, some twenty feet away. Her lips quirked again at a smile, and she drew Nick closer, one hand moving slowly, tenderly down the center of his chest, down to the top of his trunks.
"I think we're close enough," she whispered in reply, before tugging him down to the sand with her.
Author's Note: Thanks for hanging, guys!