[AN General/boilerplate reminder: These are just snippets of conversation not a full story or scene although there are some sequences/story "lines" (note quotes) running through the chapters. The last one in this chapter extends the Nick Hospital sequence.]

"Bbbbrrraaaa-" [covers mouth] "Excuse me!"

"Nick! What was that?"

"Sorry! This soda is bubbly! At least I said excuse me."

"That's not a burp." [grabs soda] [chugs]



[horrified expression]

"We used to have contests back in the burrow." [echo] "I almost always won!" [grinning]

"I'll...I'll never be able to call you cute again."

"You need to be more careful!"

"What? It worked didn't it."

"You could have been wounded! Or worse!"

"But I wasn't."

"Nick. If something happened to you...I...I don't know what I'd do."



"What do you mean 'what'? I'm supposed to want you to be happy if something happens to me?"

[mouth drop]

"I mean, I know I can be annoying; I thought you cared about me."


"Well, if you care about me then you shouldn't be happy if something did happen. That would be pretty messed up. So it's good that you wouldn't be."


"What?" [innocently]

[AN - I had a real-world exchange similar to this a bit ago with my wife. Almost had to spend the night on the couch. I still think it is quite logical even if it is dark, twisted, and arguably inappropriate. So I'm in the Nick camp on this one.]

[eating chips] [CRUNCH] [CRUNCH] [CRUNCH]

[eye twitch] "Nick."




"Your chips are noisy."

"I know." [CRUNCH] "That's what makes them so good." [CRUNCH]

"You did really well at PT today especially since it was your first session!"


"Oh Nick. What can I get you? What will help?"

"I'm just going to lay here. And groan. Everything hurts."

"Do you need some more pillows? I can get some from your bedroom?" [slightly manic]

"Pillows won't help. I have months of this ahead. It's all bad." [groan]

"What about blankets? You just worked out and are all sweaty. You'll catch a cold! Oh no, you can't catch a cold! [more manic]

"Fluff. It's summer. We don't have AC."

"Whoops. HaHa! Yeah. Dumb bunny! That couch has always been uncomfortable. We should get a new one so you fit better. I'll go search for one." [slightly frantic]


"Do you want to put on a movie? Can see you the TV okay? I can rearrange things so you can see it better!" [frantic]

"Judy. Stop. PT is going to hurt for awhile. We both know it." [stretch/groan] "It'll be okay."

"I just...I just want to help." [tears] "Whatever I can. I have to do something other than just watch you. In...in pain." [frantic/nose twitches]

"There's one thing you could do."

"What? Why didn't you ask for it? What is it?" [foot thumping]

"It's...well...you might think it's a little...strange."

"What can I do? Tell me!" [faster foot thumping]

"Your scent has worn off."

"My scent?"

"In the hospital. When I woke up. You marked me."

"Oh." [soft]

"When you weren't there and the pain was bad I'd close my eyes and just sniff. It helped. My bunny was with me."


"I knew I wasn't alone."

[chin rub/mark] [trembling]

"Your fox. Always. No matter what."

[forehead touch] [tears]