For his crimes, Preston Keyes was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The trial was televised. All of Zootopia and the towns beyond watched. Everyone in Bunny Burrow cheered with joy when the Judge pronounced the sentence. The People vs. Preston Keyes became one of the most famous trials in history.
Terra Firma Incorporated was seized. It turned out that the chemists, accountants and several employees had been working under threat by Keyes. Many had family members being watched by Keyes's thugs. All the accomplices of the President of Terra Firma Incorporated were found and tried for their crimes.
Terra Firma Incorporated was dissolved, their assets liquidated. All title deeds for lands they had acquired were pronounced null and void and returned to their previous owners. The farmers were overjoyed to have their lands back. All the farmers were given instructions on how to repair the damage caused by the pan-dimonium acetate. The Environmental Protection Corps helped the farmers restore the fertility to their precious lands. Everyone worked hard to return their lives to normal.
Justice was served. The corrupt were imprisoned. All was well once more.
Judy and Nick walked into the visiting room of the penitentiary with Mrs Jenkins and the two daughters. The booths at the far end of the room were mostly occupied. Mrs Jenkins and the girls sat at one of the booths, their faces a mixture of relief and grief. Then, they saw him.
George Jenkins sat down on the other side of the glass, looking happily at his family and at the police officers who had helped him.
"Martha," said Jenkins, looking at his wife. "Heather, Jeanette. We made it."
"Oh, George," said Mrs Jenkins. "I wish…if only..."
"It's alright, Martha," said Jenkins. "This is a valuable lesson for the girls. When one commits a crime, even under threat like I was, one should take responsibility."
George Jenkins was given a twenty-year sentence, with parole after the tenth year. It took a lot of work and persuasion from all the people who had known him, including Judy and Nick and Garth and Amber and even Sheriff Donovan Shepard and his deputies. Not all were happy with the decision, but the Judge pronounced the sentence and it was done.
"You will be able to visit me," said Jenkins. "I'll still be able to go to Heather and Jeanette's graduations, in ten years. All that matters is that you are safe, Keyes is locked away for good, and all is well again. Count your blessings, my dear family. Daddy is alive, and you'll be able to have him back in time."
As the Jenkinses left, Judy and Nick sat down at the booth and Jenkins smiled happily.
"Officers Hopps and Wilde," said Jenkins. "I cannot thank you enough for what you've done for me. You saved my family, you saved me, and you saved everyone that horrible Keyes had under threat. You have my eternal gratitude."
"It was our pleasure, Mr Jenkins," said Judy.
"We're just glad Keyes can no longer harm anyone, and that all his corruption has been exposed and Terra Firma is now nothing but a memory," said Nick. "Still…I am sorry you had to end up in here."
"Aw, it's not that bad, Officer," said Jenkins. "I get plenty of exercise, which I must admit I've needed for a while. Martha will find me quite attractive in ten years."
Judy and Nick couldn't help smiling a little.
"And also, I made a new friend," said Jenkins, turning his head to the booth beside his. "Alright, Singcor?"
Judy and Nick looked at the booth beside theirs. A koala lady was sitting on their side. It was Sheila, the owner of Sheila's Café, the small and quaint café that overlooked the Old Outback Bridge. And on the other side was…
The infamous platypus, leader of the Outbackers For Equality movement, was sitting on the other side. In his webbed paws he held a small pastry box with a cute cupcake, previously inspected by the prison staff to make sure it didn't hide anything compromising within it.
"Well, I'll be off now," said Jenkins, making a sign with his paw for the warden to return him to his cell.
As Jenkins left, Judy and Nick said hello to Sheila and Singcor.
"How are you being treated, Mr Swim?" asked Judy.
"Can't complain, Officer," said Singcor Swim. "I do miss the water, though, ain't gonna lie. I almost feel like I'll forget what swimming is by the time I leave this joint. But at least I don't have to smell that awful cheese anymore."
Judy and Nick chuckled a bit, remembering the events that had led them to the capture of Mr Swim.
"I see Sheila has brought you one of her scrumptious cupcakes," said Nick. "You're in for a treat. Sheila's cupcakes are deee-lightful!"
"Aww, thank you, Officer Wilde," said Sheila. "I visit as often as I can. He is one of us, after all."
"He is," said Nick, looking at Mr Swim. "Um…I know it probably doesn't mean much, but I truly am sorry I had to be the one to bring you in, Mr Swim."
"Aw, don't sweat it, mate," said Singcor. "Ain't so bad. I get three square meals a day and a new pulp novel every week. Who knows? I might decide to become a librarian when my sentence is over."
"That would be something, Singcor," said Sheila approvingly. "A respectable librarian in Outback Island is just what we need."
Judy and Nick were only too happy to agree.
"IT'S REALLY HOT!"
"WHAT WE GOT!"
"YOU'D BETTER RUN AWAY BEFORE YOU'RE CAUGHT!"
"GROW UP! THE LOT OF YOU!" roared Chief Bogo, slamming his file folders on the podium.
Every officer in the briefing room sat down, chuckling behind their paws, loving their new victory chant. Judy and Nick avoided each other's eyes, knowing they'd laugh if their gazes met.
"Alright, everyone," said Chief Bogo in an extremely annoyed tone. "Assignments. Wolford, Fangmeyer, Tundratown. Suspicious activity reported near Fishtown Market. Details sketchy. OH! And if I catch either of you peeking in through the keyhole of the Forensics Department again, I shall personally sign the transfer and have you two moved over to the Tundratown precinct permanently! Maybe that will cool you yahoos down."
Fangmeyer and Wolford smiled as they got up and took their assignment folder.
"Grizzoli, Rhinowitz, Delgato, safety week pep talk at Cornelius Tuskworth High School. Don't let me catch you hitting on the senior year girls! Show some dignity, for Pete's sake!"
The three took their assignments and exchanged looks.
"Hopps, Wilde! Traffic duty, Meadowlands Highway," said Bogo. "If you catch anyone a mile above the speed limit, you make them regret it."
"You got it, Chief," said Judy as she and Nick walked to the door.
As they got into their squad car and buckled up, Judy looked sideways at Nick. He donned his aviator sunglasses and was ready for duty.
"Looks like it's gonna be a quiet day, slick," said Judy with a smile.
"After all we've been through, Carrots, I can't tell you how happy I am to have one of those," said Nick.
"Amen to that, brother."
They bumped fists and Judy drove the squad car out of the garage.
It was a lovely Saturday afternoon. The air was cold and the first signs of frost could be seen in the leaves of the apple trees, now bare. But inside the Hopps family household, everything was joy and cheer.
The living room was changed. All the chairs and armchairs and the sofa were arranged in a row, and the end of the room was cleared out. A large cardboard stage was set, curtains and all, and Kevin was standing at one side of the stage, with a notebook in his paws.
"The evil bunny Breton Keese held the will in his paws, waving it before the poor damsel," he read out loud.
Garth O' Possum appeared from behind the curtain. He was wearing a classic villain suit, complete with cape and fake moustache.
"Bwahahaa!" laughed Garth. "Soon, the Ranch of Riches shall be mine! And so will the lovely heiress Daisy Mae Beverly!" he said theatrically, swishing his cape around his face.
The Hoppses were all sitting down on the chairs and sofa and armchairs and rug, watching the play that the kids had put together with their uncles and aunts and older siblings. Stu was recording everything with his camcorder.
"But what's that?!" said Beatrice Wilde, with the other part of the script in her paws. "Flying through the air like a hurricane! It's those champions of justice! Mighty Fox and his sidekick Little Ace!"
Nick appeared from the kitchen, pretending to soar around the room. He had Bianca on his shoulder. Both were dressed in hero capes and masks.
"Can our heroes arrive on time to save poor Daisy Mae Beverly from the clutches of the eeevil villain?" Kevin read out dramatically.
The curtains opened and Amber was lying on the carpet behind, tied with string to a cardboard train track.
"Bwahahahaaa!" laughed Garth, twirling his fake moustache. "I have tied the fair lady, heiress to the Ranch of Riches, to the train tracks! And unless she agrees to marry me and sign the will, she shall perish at noon when the train rushes through!"
"Oh me, oh my!" said Amber theatrically. "Will someone save me?!"
"Marry me, oh fair lady, and make me master of your ranch and all your riches, and you shall be spared!"
"No, no, a thousand times no!"
"Then I'm afraid you shall catch a train, my dear, for the last time in your life! Bwaahahaaa!"
"If only someone would save me from this wicked villain!"
"Haahaa! Nobody will save you, my dear!"
"Hark! What do I hear!" said Kevin.
"That poor maiden is in trouble, Little Ace!" said Nick dramatically.
"We must save her, Mighty Fox!" responded Bianca.
"That we shall, Little Ace!"
"Here we come to save the day!"
"Mighty Fox and Little Ace! Flying through the air at a flashing pace!" they chanted
They moved to the scene and Nick and Garth pretended to have a scuffle. Bianca untied Amber and pulled her away from the tracks.
"Fear not, fair lady! For saved you are!" said Bianca.
Garth fell to the floor, defeated, his fake moustache tousled and his cape tangled.
"I have been thwarted by the odious duo, Mighty Fox and Little Ace!" said Garth, frowning for the audience.
"Off to jail you shall go, you villain!" said Nick, posing heroically.
"Oh, Mighty Fox and Little Ace! Thank you! You are my heroes!" said Amber, giving them both kisses on their cheeks.
"All in a day's work, dear Miss Beverly!" said Bianca proudly.
"And so, another day is saved!" said Kevin.
"But evil shall never rest," said Bea. "And where evil plots, it will always be opposed by…"
"Mighty Fox and Little Ace!" exclaimed all of them. And they bowed for the audience.
The Hoppses applauded and cheered. The smaller Hoppses threw little paper flowers that Auntie Bea had helped them make onto the cardboard stage.
Judy applauded from the sofa, looking happily at her family and friends, all together and enjoying themselves on this lovely autumn evening. Nick was right: It was these little things in life that made them proud to serve and protect. And she would continue to proudly serve and protect, doing her very best, beside her dear partner Nicholas Wilde, and her dear friends Garth and Amber and Bea.
All together: Hoppses, Wildes, O' Possum and Latrans…this was the way to be.
Like one big loving family.
The music was joyful and the dancing merry. Everyone was enjoying themselves in the town hall, dancing and laughing and tapping their feet to the music. Paper streamers and balloons made the hall looks cheerful and festive. Sheriff Donovan Shepard sat on the stage and played the fiddle, Old Ben played the banjo and Barkins made some impressive notes with a trumpet. Nana Bernardine played the piano and everyone on the dance floor showed their excellent moves.
Everyone was wearing their best. The party was a total success. Bunny Burrow had accumulated more than enough funds to meet everyone's needs for that winter. Stuart Hopps had donated all the money left over that Nick had given to him, which was a generous amount even after Stu had paid off his loan. Stu had donated it in Nick's name, and the whole town thanked the gallant Officer Wilde and praised him and told him that he and his cousin Bea would always be welcome in Bunny Burrow.
Amber, Garth and Bea had made a campaign to raise awareness in Zootopia of the plights of all the towns affected by Terra Firma's ambitions. Amber was especially persuasive, making use of her excellent skills and charm. The very next day after Amber had implored all the people on national television to please show solidarity towards the farming towns affected by the pan-dimonium acetate, the numbers of donations ascended into the hundreds of thousands. Bunny Burrow was in their debt and they did their best to demonstrate their gratitude to the wonderful city folk who had come to their aid when they needed it most.
Cletus Hareington was ecstatic. As he sat with Stu and the other old boys and Nick in a circle at the party, he couldn't stop praising Nick for all he had done for Bunny Burrow and for saving his life.
"They say it takes a great bunny to admit he's wrong! So I must be a great bunny, 'cause I admit I was wrong about you, sonny," said Cletus. "You're a fine gent, Officer Wilde. And just to make it all right, I'd like to welcome you into our community as is proper."
And with that, he produced a brown jug capped with a cork. He pulled the cork and offered it to Nick. The smell of whatever was inside the jug was strong enough to unclog an elephant's sinuses.
"Here you go, Officer!" said Cletus. "It's my new batch. And I want you to take the inaugural swig."
Nick accepted. Before he drank, though, he lifted the jug and looked at all the old boys.
"To Bunny Burrow, to its wonderful residents, and to the many years of friendship ahead of us."
"I second that!"
All the old boys showed their approval.
"Bottoms up now, pardner!" said Old Papa McCotton.
Nick took a swig. At first, he felt nothing. Then suddenly…
The fiery liquid made him cough and he felt like his eyes would pop out of their sockets. Stu Hopps patted him on the back, chuckling paternally.
Finally, when Nick could speak again, he turned to Cletus.
"Whoa," said Nick, his eyes watering and his throat still feeling like he had just swallowed hot coals. "Whatever it is you got in there…Cletus...sure packs a wallop!"
They all roared with laughter and Cletus slapped Nick's back jovially.
"Atta boy!" said Cletus.
And right then, Judy, dressed in lovely purple and with a yellow ribbon around her left ear, came skipping towards them and took Nick's arm.
"Mind if I borrow this handsome buck for a moment?" asked Judy.
"Go right ahead, little lady," said Cletus. "He's all yours."
All the old boys applauded and cheered as Judy whisked away the fox, taking him to the middle of the dancing floor, just as the music began.
Judy and Nick danced gracefully to the lively piece. Everyone clapped to the rhythm and tapped their feet, enjoying the music and the joy among the neighbours and friends of Bunny Burrow.
Judy glanced to her left. She saw Garth and Amber dancing like a pair of lovebirds. Not far from them, Penny Hopps and Charlie McCotton were dancing happily together, blushed and ecstatic.
Judy looked to her right and saw Bea sitting beside Bonnie and the older Hopps girls, clapping happily and laughing.
Then Judy caught sight of Gideon Gray, taking a deep breath and walking shyly up to Bea.
"M…Miss Wilde," stammered Gideon. "Would you concede me…the honour of…this dance?"
Bea's smile could have pulverised diamond.
"I thought you'd never ask!" said Bea delightedly, getting up and taking his paws and tugging him to the dance floor. "Come on, Gid, let's tear it up!"
Judy giggled happily as her eyes turned back to her handsome partner. Nick gazed back at her as they danced.
The music changed. It became a slower, more romantic tune. The couples of Bunny Burrow and Zootopia swayed together, sharing their feelings as they moved to the compass of the lovely notes.
Judy and Nick danced close to each other. Their noses almost touching, their eyes fixed on each other's gazes.
"Well, what do you think, Nick?" whispered Judy after a long while.
"Nice old-fashion fun evening in a quaint, rural town, surrounded by family and friends," said Nick. "What can I say? I could definitely get used to this. Big time."
Judy giggled, putting her paws on his shoulders.
"Don't make me kiss you in front of everyone, Mr Wilde," said Judy.
"Are you threatening me, Miss Hopps?" asked Nick with his mischievous smile.
"No, I'm tempting you," cooed Judy.
"Well, heavens help me, for I have fallen into temptation."
He hugged her and their noses bumped lightly.
"Oh, Nicholas P. Wilde, you are incorrigible," giggled Judy.
Nick leaned closer to her with his trademark grin.
"You know you love me," he crooned.
"Do I know that?" said Judy. "Hmmm..."
And with that, she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulled him closer and kissed his lips. They kissed passionately in the middle of the dancing floor, even after the music had ended. Everyone present watched and applauded, cheering for the lovely young couple.
Judy pulled back slowly from their kiss. She gazed at her beloved fox, ecstatic and warm with pure and absolute bliss.
"Yes," she said finally, looking lovingly into his eyes. "Yes, I do."