A/N: After her period of absence due to her injury, Judy officially returns to the ZPD. However, some things are still different from how they once were.
I've had a period of absence myself due to my final year in university. But after 4 long years of stress and inflated tuition fees, I'm finally leaving it all behind next month. Time to begin a depressing 50-year career that may or may not kill me! Woo hoo! Have a chapter to celebrate :)
Thanks to GhostWolf88, Wrong Password, Combat Engineer, BeecroftA, The AlienHeart, Guest (multiple), side-fish, Naoko Mint, upplet, InTheLionsDenOnDA, 22animals, snoopykid, Cimar of Turalis WildeHopps, WolfofAvalon, YanSte33, DancouMaryuu, IIIFenrisIII, WingedKatt, Omnitrix 12, Viper76, and WildeTalez for reviewing!
Chapter 14: Familiar Unfamiliarity
"I trust that you are feeling up to par, Hopps?" A gruff voice said from behind a large desk.
"Yes sir." Judy nodded.
"Well, I'm glad to see that you haven't gotten yourself into career-ending trouble since the last time I caught you sneaking around. Maybe I won't need these today." Bogo pointed to some migraine-relieving pills sitting on his desk.
Judy laughed, before realising it sounded a little forced.
"So what did you want to talk to me about, Chief? You didn't give me any assignments while we were at the bullpen."
Bogo sat up in his chair.
"If you remember what I said back when we arrested Bellwether, I told you not to come in for a while to avoid the vermin."
"The press. News reporters. Ugh." Just saying it out loud seemed to make Bogo want to physically retch.
"They're not that bad…" Judy replied.
"Oh really? Coming from you?" Bogo fired back, crossing his arms.
"…Well okay, I guess they can be pretty bad." Judy replied. The awful press conference that caused the rift between her and Nick still had a nasty habit of popping into her head uninvited from time to time. Even though Nick had specifically told her not to worry about, she still couldn't help but shrivel up inside a little every time it came up.
"So, what about the news reporters?" she shook the thought away.
"That," the chief leaned forward. "…is your next assignment. Even though it's been a while, there's still a chance that they'll want to find you for their stories, especially regarding the Nighthowler case."
Judy's eyes widened, and her ears drooped.
"So…you want me to do more interviews?"
"Not exactly. I don't plan to throw one of my best officers to a bunch of rabid mammals. The press is currently more focused on the upcoming elections to install a new Mayor for Zootopia anyway. That means that that they're more likely to leave you alone. What I'm planning is something simple. Like representing the ZPD for charity events, public school visits, that sort of thing. You'll be handling public relations for the precinct."
Judy glanced down, before looking back up.
"Chief, don't you think it would be better for someone else to handle this sort of thing? I can do small cases, investigations, even patrolling. My leg is fine, really."
Bogo shook his head.
"It's not about your leg. I'm giving you this assignment because I think you're the best fit for it. That is all."
"But, are you sure that you trust me with this sort of thing? I mean, the last time I did that, you know what happened…" Judy said slowly.
"Like I said before—not your fault. And you already paid for that by quitting and coming back. In the end, things turned out this way, so there's no reason to get worked up over it. And as for the interviews, I'm pretty sure you have a better idea on how to handle them, yes?"
"Then that's all I need to hear. You can spend the rest of the day at your desk. Antlerson should have left you a box of stuff you'll need to get back up to speed. If you have any other problems about settling back in, you can direct them at anyone other than me." He glared.
"Got it, Chief. Thanks." She managed, trying to hide her disappointment.
Jumping off the chair, Judy left the room, closing the door behind her. The moment she stepped outside, the familiar sound of a busy morning filled her ears once again. The ZPD was crowded, as it always was. Everything seemed to be back to normal, at the very least. The other officers who weren't too busy seemed to pass her a glance as she walked by, while the ones she did recognise waved or called out to her. Judy waved back, but with a lot more reservation. She still wasn't used to being the center of attention like this.
"…No, you can't!"
Judy paused halfway down the stairs at the sound of a loud, disgruntled voice. It was coming from right below her. She peered below the railings at the source of the voice, which was coming from the front desk. It was Kang—Clawhauser's replacement—talking to a pair of antelopes.
"You can't do this to us! Do you know who we are?" One of the antelopes thumped the desk with an irritated fist.
"Civilians." Kang snapped back. "I won't say it again. You can't just come in here and demand that we set up security at a private affair. I don't care how many zeros you have in your bank account, or how 'important' your boss is. I know a very important person too, you know. I'm sitting on him right now. And when he wants something, I tell to stick it up his—"
Oof. Judy winced. Kang definitely wasn't the same cheerful presence at the front desk. Especially when Clawhauser was manning it. Thinking of Clawhauser made her glance backwards at Bogo's office. It had been a while, and Bogo was pretty busy. It was pretty unlikely that he would still be keeping close tabs on her. He might not even have remembered what had happened last time.
He wouldn't try to stop me now, would he? Judy thought. As long as she kept her mouth shut about what she was doing and acted naturally, no one would be the wiser. She could just find Nick's mom's details, and then look for her when she was off-duty.
The door to the office swung open, followed by a couple of bears. They didn't seem to notice Judy as they stepped out. She slipped in before the doors closed and headed for where she used to sit. True enough, there was a box about as large as herself sitting on her desk, with a note on top of it.
"Judy: Haven't keyed you into system yet. Should be ready by tomorrow. –Keith"
"Well, guess that just means I get to see Ben earlier." Judy shrugged. She didn't feel like unpacking until later, especially since there wasn't much to do for the day. Plus, she did want to see how the cheetah was doing.
She put the computer to sleep and hopped off the chair. It wasn't a long walk to the side staircase towards the link passageway that led to records. The sounds of hustle and bustle in the main lobby began to fade away as Judy moved further towards the other end of the ZPD. It was about five minutes before Judy found herself tapping her access card to open a set of thick glass doors.
The boiler…the boiler…
Records was a pretty small place. As far as Judy remembered, only current records were kept here in Precinct One. The older cases from beyond the past ten years were extracted yearly and brought to a different precinct that was in charge of long-term case storage. As such, there weren't as many people working in records as one would have believed. Judy reached the end of the hallway, which was dimly lit by a few fluorescent lights that definitely needed replacing. In fact, the whole place looked like it needed refurnishing, or a complete overhaul.
A sign at the end of the hallway pointed two different ways. Unfortunately, the words were so faded that Judy could barely make out what both of them said. She raised her ears, moving them left and right. She could hear a low thrumming sound coming from the end of the hallway to her left, with an occasional clunking noise.
Judy followed her ears.
A short while later, she found herself standing in front of a nondescript wooden door. The thrumming sound was getting louder; she could almost feel the vibrations in her feet. Looking around a couple of times, she knocked on the door.
"Come in!" a voice called from inside.
Judy twisted the knob and pushed the door inwards. Surprisingly, the room inside looked noticeably nicer than the entire hallway outside of it. The rectangular room was fairly large, carpeted throughout, and air-conditioned. It also didn't have the same musty smell that was present in the hallway outside. There was however, a strong sweet smell in its place.
In the corner of the room, a larger boiler hummed to itself, occasionally vibrating and shaking. There were fluorescent lights here as well, but they seemed to be dimmed to a pretty low level. A quick glance around the room showed many different filing cabinets and drawers, quite neatly organised using folders and dividers.
Directly on her left was a large desk, with three widescreen computer monitors. Compared to the shelves, the table was a whole lot messier. Papers and files were strewn about haphazardly, some even over the computer screens. Several food boxes and soda cans were stacked in the corner of the table, most of them empty.
Her gaze returned to the person sitting in front of the keyboard: a familiar chubby cheetah.
"Hi, how can I help—Judy!" Clawhauser's face seemed to light up immensely upon seeing her. Judy couldn't help but smile back.
"Hi Ben, it's me. And before you ask, I already got approval from Chief Bogo to come back to work. So I'm allowed to be here."
"Oh, that's a relief! I hate it when the Chief tells me not to let you do things. It's so incredibly stressful that I have to eat more…" he said, reaching over and grabbing a doughnut from a nearby box. Sprinkles and sugar frosting floated down onto the desk.
Ah, that explains the sweet smell.
"It's been a while, hasn't it, Ben? It's good to see you smiling again." Judy beamed.
"Definitely! I think…the last time I saw you…was when Chief Bogo gave you your badge back a month ago." Clawhauser replied between chews. "Is your leg better now?"
"I'd say it's pretty much healed." Judy glanced down, stretching her leg a little. "But it still hurts if I knock it against a table or something. What about you, Ben? How are you doing down here? I remember last time I was here, you said you weren't doing so good…"
"Oh no, it's a lot better now, Judy! I mean, I looked at the positives! I have a much bigger space to work in, and the computer here is much bigger than the one I have at the front desk. Like, three screens! I don't even know what to use two of them for. And I still have my snacks that I can eat whenever I want!" He said, conspicuously placing a file in front of a piece of paper hanging on the wall that read: 'No food on case file table!'.
Judy raised an eyebrow, giving him a look.
"And I don't have to deal with people anymore!" Clawhauser continued. "No one comes down here much. I just have to handle new cases and updated ones and key it into the system. It's no biggie at all. See? That's all the cases I have left to sort!" He gestured to the messy pile of files and papers next to him.
"When do you need to sort them by?" Judy asked.
"Oh, um…last Friday."
"It's okay, Judy, really! I know it's not as bright down here as the front desk, and it's harder to get food, and it can get pretty lonely down here, but…" he found himself trailing off.
"…It's still not good, huh?" Judy said quietly.
"No…I guess it's not." Clawhauser sighed, before flopping down in the roller chair. It groaned under his weight. "I guess I'm just not cut out for this kind of job. The whole records system is really complex. I still don't really know how everything is sorted around here. And also my fingers kinda get cramped easily when I use the keyboard…" he stared at his chubby digits sadly.
"I'm sure it's just learning pains. You'll get used to it after a while longer," Judy said, trying to sound encouraging.
"I don't know…it's already been a few months. Not only that, I've also heard some things about Kang. They're saying that he's a lot faster at dispatching units and helping to coordinate everyone out in the field. He must be doing great up there…"
Well, about that…
"I don't think he has your charm, Ben. And he doesn't look too happy to be up there, from what I could see."
"Nah, that's just his default face. He's probably a better permanent front desk guy than I could ever be. Maybe the rest of the ZPD's already forgotten about me…Anyway, what brings you down here, Judy?"
Judy felt like someone had dropped a load on her shoulders. Seeing the normally bubbly Clawhauser like this was hard to swallow.
"I…just wanted to see you, Ben. I wanted to see how you were doing down here."
"Aww, that's so thoughtful of you, Judy." His eyes seemed to grow twice as large. "Thank you!"
"Ben, when I left, what happened to Precinct One exactly? I know they moved you to records, and they put Kang at the front desk, but what about the others? There's a whole bunch of predators here, like Snarlov, and Wolfard. Did they get shifted too?"
"Well, yeah. Almost every predator got pulled out of active duty in the field. Some of them went on paid leave, some others got put on internal jobs, mostly at a desk or something. It was an order from the bigwigs."
"But that was what Bellwether wanted! To isolate the predators and make the rest of Zootopia turn against them. It's already been a month since she was arrested. Now that she's going to be behind bars, you can go back to the front desk, right?"
Clawhauser smiled, but only for a moment. "They haven't pulled back the order yet though. You know how it is with these sorts of things. What do they call it? Red velvet? Mmm…red velvet cake…" he sighed wistfully.
"I think you mean red tape." Judy said gently, before shaking her head. "I can't let you stay down here, Ben. I need to tell Chief Bogo to give you your post back."
"Judy, you can't do that!"
"Well, it's not like Chief Bogo has any say in the matter. I think he's really stressed about it too. I saw him carrying in a whole box full of those mind relaxing pills."
Oh yeah, I saw that. That definitely doesn't sound healthy. "Well, there has to be something I can do…"
"Aw shucks, you shouldn't worry yourself about it, Judy! You being here is the best thing that happened to me all week! Let the bigwigs figure something out. Right now I'm just happy to talk with you."
"Well…I guess I could do that. So what do you want to talk about? Gazelle? Gossip? I know you love both of these things," Judy said trying to smile for his sake.
"Still do." Clawhauser seemed pretty proud of it. "But I want to know about other things. Like how you solved the Nighthowler incident! C'mon, Judy! Gimme all the details. Juicy ones. I've been waiting to hear all about it!" He bounced in his chair, looking like a kid eagerly waiting to open a birthday present.
"Ben, the news has been covering that for weeks now. Didn't Chief Bogo give everyone a formal debrief on what happened after Bellwether's arrest?" Judy replied.
"Well yeah, but nobody still really knows everything. Like that fox that was investigating the Nighthowler case with you! He was with you in Chief Bogo's office when you got your badge back, right?"
"Nick? What about him?"
"I want to know what happened between you and him, of course! First he was a witness, then he was investigating with you, and then after that press conference he was suddenly gone. Then you quit the force all of a sudden, disappeared for a few months, and then suddenly reappeared with him and solved the entire Nighthowler incident!" Clawhauser exclaimed, taking a moment to catch his breath. "What happened after you left, Judy?"
"That's…" Judy found herself hesitating. "…A really long story. Me and Nick had a falling out. I went back to Bunnyburrow after everything that happened because I felt like I didn't deserve to be a police officer. But when I figured out what was causing the predators to go savage, I came back to find him and make things right."
Leaning against the table, Judy recounted as much as she could remember, telling Clawhauser about their split at the press conference, their reunion—minus the part where she bawled her eyes out—the runaway tram carriage, and the trap they'd set for Bellwether in the Natural History Museum. All the while, the cheetah listened intently, with little gasps and nods at different parts.
"And so after that you asked him to join you and be a cop?"
"Yeah, pretty much." Judy nodded. "He did a lot for me. This was the least I could do to return the favour. I still owe him a lot."
"How long has he been in the academy?" Clawhauser asked.
"Do you keep in touch?"
"Yup. He messaged me last night, although its mostly to complain about the training, accommodation…everything, really." Judy rolled her eyes. "He'll be coming out next Friday. He told me about how he can't wait for the confinement period to be over."
"Oh yeah, I remember that! I'm sure he'll be happy to be out. I hated being stuck in the academy for so long. The food is awful there." Clawhauser wrinkled his nose at the thought.
"He complains about that too. I'm thinking that once I go pick him up, he'll probably drag me to eat a bug burger or something before going back to my place for a nap." Judy chuckled, shaking her head.
"He's staying at your place too?" Clawhauser's eyes widened.
"Mm-hm. He got kicked out of his place, so I'm letting him sleep in mine for a while, until he can find a new place to stay…are you okay, Ben?"
The cheetah suddenly had a strange expression on his face. Judy couldn't quite place what it was. It looked like a cross between a coy smile and a giggle. Upon hearing the question, he shook his head, coughing into his hand.
"Oh no, no, it's nothing. I just thought of something funny. It's nothing at all…anyway, you said something about repaying the favour to Nick?"
Judy cocked her head. The sudden change of subject was definitely odd, but she decided to just let it be. Maybe the stress was getting to him.
"Well, yes. I was actually hoping to get your help with it, Ben."
That seemed to snap the cheetah out of his trance. "You want my help? Of course I'll help! What do you need?"
"I need help finding someone's records. I tried searching the last time I was here, but I couldn't seem to find her. Are you sure you're free to help?"
"Oh don't worry! It's nothing that can't wait a while. Now let's see, I'll pull up the database…" he leaned forward, sweeping aside the papers and files that were lying on the keyboard. As he did so, Judy noticed a desk phone came into view. It had been completely hidden underneath the mess of files beforehand. She couldn't hear it until just then, but there was a faint beeping sound coming from it. The phone's handset was off its hook.
"Hey Ben? Are you on the line with someone?"
"Huh?" He leaned forward, looking at the glowing red light, and then the display. "Oh, no wonder it's been so quiet all day! I must have knocked it over or something."
"How long has it been?" Judy asked.
"Oh, I'm sure it can't be that long! Besides, I'm sure nobody missed me." Clawhauser dismissed it nonchalantly, putting the phone back on its hook. The phone beeped loudly once, before displaying two sentences on its screen. Judy leaned forward to see what was on the display.
68 MISSED CALLS
23 NEW VOICEMAILS
"Oh." Was the only thing Clawhauser could say when he saw it himself. He looked like he was physically deflating in his chair.
And as if it were scripted, the phone blared to life with a sharp ring. The two of them exchanged glances, before he hesitantly pushed a button next to the display.
"…No, I still can't get him! You'd think he'd be back after so…wait. Hello?!"
"Umm…hi, records department, Clawhauser here—"
"Clawhauser! Where have you been!? I've been trying to contact you for hours!" The voice yelled. Judy didn't recognise who it belonged to.
"Well, I was kind of busy with—"
"It doesn't matter! Where's that updated record on Enga that I asked you to help me find yesterday? Chief Bogo is breathing down my neck!"
"Ah, y-yes, of course! I'm doing it right now!" he stammered.
"It's just one file! How long could it possibly take to—forget it, I'm coming down to get it from you myself!"
"Sorry! Sorry!" Clawhauser frantically replied. The line went dead before he could finish blurting out his apology.
Ever so slowly, he turned to face Judy with a sheepish grin.
"Ben…" Judy frowned at him, crossing her arms.
"No, I didn't forget about it, I swear!" he held his arm up innocently. "I just have a lot on my plate, and I had a snack and then I couldn't find one of my doughnuts…" he sighed. "Can I help you later?"
"Of course. Look, I don't have much to do today, so is there anything I can help you with?"
"You really would? Oh thank you so much, Judy! Let's see…there's some files I need to pass to people." He wheeled over to the side of the table and started pulling a few binders out. "This one's for Francine, this one's for Kang…Do you think you could…?"
"Of course." Judy nodded, taking the files from him. "It's the least I could do."
"Thank you thank you thank you!" Clawhauser clasped his hands together with a sad smile. Judy returned the look, before stepping out of the room. The moment the door closed behind her, she jogged through the musty hallway back towards the lobby. It was a little difficult with the bulky files in her hands; they must have been at least a quarter of her weight. But at that point, her heart felt like the much heavier burden. It wasn't just for Clawhauser.
A lot of the ZPD…no, the city, is still in Ben's situation.
She didn't think it would still be this bad after such a long time. She tried to shake off the feeling, telling herself that everything would be back to normal eventually. It definitely would.
The main lobby was quickly coming into view at the speed that she was jogging. It looked like the only one who was there at the moment was her—besides Kang, of course. The icy glare in his eyes that screamed 'Come any closer and I'll arrest you myself' might have had something to do with that.
Judy walked up to the front desk.
"Officer Kang? It's Judy."
The kangaroo seemed to physically cringe at Judy's voice. Ever so slowly, he craned his neck and glanced downwards.
"…Yes, how may I assist you, Officer Hopps?" he said, in a tone that was surprisingly gentle, considering his expression.
"Oh, please call me Judy. I know we haven't spoken much…"
"We've never actually spoken at all. Not at the front desk, at least. Now, what can I help you with, Judy?"
"I just wanted to ask…are you okay? You look really stressed."
"It comes with the job. I'm sure you would know that as well. Nice to see you back, by the way," he said, with all the enthusiasm of a wet towel.
"Chief Bogo didn't give me the details, did you and Clawhauser swap roles directly?"
An awkward silence.
"Well, I was wondering how you find work here. Do you like it here?"
"It's fine, Judy."
More silence. The tone was gentle, but it definitely sounded like he wanted nothing more than to shut the conversation down.
"Right…anyway, I've got a file for you from Clawhauser downstairs. Is this what you wanted?"
Judy held up the heavy file. Now he seemed responsive.
"Ah yes, it is. Thanks for bringing it for me." He reached out past the desk and took it from her with a hand, holding it vertically. The moment it hovered over the table though, Judy saw a substantial amount of multi-coloured bits fall right out of the middle of the file. The bits bounced off the table, with some landing on the floor by her feet. She looked down.
"Are those…" she started.
"Sprinkles!" Kang suddenly yelled, cutting her off. He set the file down and flipped it open. Judy could almost see the blood rush to his face through his fur.
"Clawhauser…!" he hissed. "I told him not to eat food while he was working on the files! Look at this! Sprinkles, ketchup and coffee stains…some of the pages are stuck together!"
Judy tried to tiptoe to see what the damage was, but jumped back when a fist came down on the desk, hard.
"My files! Why?! Why is everything going wrong! Why can't I…nrrrgh!"
Kang slumped onto his chair, holding his head in his hands. Judy's ears drooped.
"Kang? Are you okay?"
The kangaroo was silent, his head still down. Judy bit her lip.
"Look, I'm sorry Clawhauser ate over your files. He's just been having a really hard time trying to do your job. Is there anything I can do to help?"
After about five seconds, Kang finally stirred, lifting his head from the desk. He unclenched his fists.
"No, it's fine. I'm sorry you had to see that. It's just been…difficult on my end as well. This sort of job is outside of my comfort zone. I just need some time alone to rest, then I'll be alright."
"I understand." Judy backed away slowly from the front desk. "If you ever need anything, you can let me know. I'd be happy to help, really."
For a moment, Judy thought she saw the look on his face soften, but it was gone as fast as it appeared.
"I will. Thank you for that, Judy. I appreciate it."
Judy nodded, deciding to leave it at that. She already knew everything she needed to know, anyway. Now, it was a matter of what she was going to do about it.
She looked up towards Bogo's office. A part of her felt like marching straight into his office to ask him about this. But in the current mood he was in, it didn't seem like a good idea.
As she weighed the thought in her head, she saw the door to his office swing open. The buffalo was on his phone, carrying a thin file under his arm. Judy's eyes followed him as he got into the main lift with a couple of other mammals. Her mind might still have been weighing the pros and cons, but her feet were already jogging her over to the elevator, which was quickly approaching the ground floor.
"Chief Bogo!" Judy called as the doors opened.
The large bull looked down after stepping out of the lift, pausing in his tracks. He sighed, slipping his phone back into his shirt pocket.
"What is it, Hopps? I've got somewhere to be, so make it quick."
"Chief, do you know when Clawhauser and the other predators can have their old jobs back?"
Bogo was stony-faced. He continued walking towards the front door.
"Chief…" Judy followed behind, keeping up about two steps behind him.
"You disappoint me, Hopps. I had expected you to barge into my office and ask me about this more than an hour ago."
Judy paused. "Wait, what?"
Bogo glanced back momentarily. "I know what you're thinking, Hopps. And let me make this clear: I want this just as much as you do. But this isn't under my control. What I do know is that the people responsible for making these decisions are working on it."
Yeah, I thought so. "Isn't there anything I can do to help, though?"
"Of course." Bogo huffed. "I know you can't sit still without trying to do something to help. For the record, I was definitely considering parking duty after your last little stunt with the commissioner. But I came to a realisation, you see."
"What's that, Chief?" Judy asked hesitantly.
"The harder I try to keep you out of trouble, the higher the chance of you diving headfirst into it. Which is why I gave you your current assignment instead. For the sake of my sanity." He replied flatly.
"The school visits and charity events?" Judy tilted her head.
Bogo stepped past the front doors, finally stopping and turning around to face her.
"It's not just to make the ZPD look good. You want to give the predators their jobs back, you need to fix relations in Zootopia. After this whole incident, things are still on thin ice. Prey are still scared and suspicious; predators are still indignant and ticked off. It's a whole big mess, and until that is ironed out, things aren't going to go back to normal anytime soon. That's why I'm asking you to do this—because I believe that you are someone that people look up to, regardless of what you think."
Judy couldn't find anything to say. She swallowed a lump in her throat, mouth hanging open slightly.
"I…thanks, Chief." she finally managed.
Bogo grunted, turning back.
"Now, if that's settled, I have to get going. Hopefully that's enough to stop you from doing anything stupid…" he muttered under his breath. Judy decided it was best to pretend she didn't hear that part.
"Where are you going, Chief?" Judy asked.
"Savannah General Hospital. The doctors have finished reverse-engineering a cure for the Nighthowler infection. I'm attending the press conference there."
"Really? That's great news!" Judy's ears perked up. "Does that mean that all the affected predators are back to normal?"
"Don't know. I'm going to find out, unless you have another good reason to keep me here…"
"Oh, right! Sorry to hold you, Chief. Have a safe trip!"
Bogo muttered something inaudible, before trudging off towards his car. Judy watched as his car disappeared round the corner, before letting her gaze rest on the park right in front of Precinct One. The late morning sun was starting to reach its peak in the sky. Everybody seemed to be going about their day as usual. From where she stood, Zootopia seemed to be fine. But Chief Bogo's words still echoed in her head as a sobering reminder: the Nighthowler incident was over, but there were still aftereffects lingering. Ugly scars.
Her thoughts drifted towards a certain fox's mother. Finding her was definitely within her reach at this point. It was just a matter of time till she found the fox in the system. But with how things were in Zootopia at the moment between predators and prey, she was starting to see a different problem with doing so.
What would Evie Wilde think of me right now?
Even though everything Judy knew about her so far told her that she was probably just being paranoid, she couldn't shake the uneasy feeling inside her. Nick himself was kicked out of his apartment and had to live under a bridge up to now. How badly was his mom affected by the Nighthowler incident? Would the fox even want to speak with her at all? She needed to know more before searching her out. It was yet another worry on top of the growing pile in her mind. And yet…
"A cure…" she whispered to herself. A cure had been made. The afflicted predators could be healed. There was a whole lot of feelings going through her all at once right then. Fear and doubt, mostly. But more than anything else, she felt relief. Relief that perhaps the worst was already over, and that things would start to get better. She knew she had a lot to do if she was going to make things right again in Zootopia.
And she knew just where to start.