A/N: Hello everyone! Here is the sequel to "Primal Instincts"!
First, I'd like to thank all my readers, and those of you who reviewed and favorited my story. You have no idea how happy it made me to know that you enjoyed my story. I really hope this sequel lives up to all the hype.
Without further ado, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
UPDATE 4/17/2017: Uploaded the new cover image for the story. Isn't it awesome?! It's by WastedTimeEE. I'm kinda upset it cut some of the image off, but I guess it's okay since it's showing the important parts. You can see the full image on DeviantARt.
The sudden pounding of paws against his van's back doors startled Finnick out of his daytime nap, eliciting a growl of irritation from the small predator.
'I'd just gotten to sleep, too.' Finnick thought as he grabbed his baseball bat. The last person to knock on his door in this manner had been that bunny cop about a week ago, and he hadn't heard anything from either her or that fox he called a friend. 'Eh, probably too busy getting it on with the bunny cop.' Finnick thought knowingly. When the spunky rabbit had first hustled Nick into helping her with the case, the chemistry between the two had surprised and amused the fennec fox. Of course the red fox would be attracted to a sly rabbit.
Ripping the door open, bat in hand, Finnick yelled, "What?!" Seeing that it was the very fox he was musing about, he smirked. "Well, well, well, look who finally…" He drifted off when he saw the slightly panicked expression on Nick's face. "What happened?"
Tail flicking nervously, the fur around his face sticking up in random places—as if he had pulled it in frustration—Nick P. Wilde was a hot mess. He looked like he hadn't slept in days. Shifty emerald eyes that gave the tiny fox a bad feeling met his. "Can…I come in?"
Wordlessly, Finnick allowed his friend entry by opening the door wider for him. The smaller predator watched as Nick entered the van with more grace than usual, it was almost as if he flowed into the van, before shutting the door. Turning to face the red fox, he was met with the sight of said fox pacing back and forth in the cramped space of the van.
On all fours.
Now, while not having any contact with his friend for the past week, that did not mean that Finnick was ignorant of the recent happenings of Zootopia. He had heard about the savage attacks, he had also heard about the arrest of former Mayor Bellewether, the cure that was made for the effected animals, and the bunny cop's role in it all—including Nick's.
So seeing Nick in this state, on all fours, it was reasonable that the fennec fox assumed the worse. Tightening his grip on the bat the tiny fox cleared his throat. "Nick…what happened?"
Nick stopped his pacing, green eyes widening in surprise before the red fox sat down and rubbed his face with his paws, a frustrated groan escaping him. Kneading the heel of his paw into his eyes, the fox mumbled, "Sorry."
Confused, Finnick lowered the bat. From what he knew, savage animals couldn't talk. They were no longer rational, running only on their basest of instincts; essential becoming savages. A shrewd expression made its way onto the tiny fox's face. "You ain't on drugs, are you Nicky? I thought I told you to stay away from that shit!"
A strained, near hysterical laugh came from the red fox who hadn't moved from his positions. "I wish I was on drugs, Fin. At least the high would have been temporary."
Raising his head slowly, dull green met mud brown in the bad lighting. Normally, this would be of no significance to anyone. Just a meeting of eyes to convey what one was feeling at that moment to another. Nick's expression, the look in his eyes, told Finnick that he was tired and terrified. However, because both were naturally nocturnal mammals, their vision was as good in this lightning as it would be if they had shoved flashlights into each other's faces. So it was easy for the fennec fox to see the quivering pupils of the red fox as they went from being round and sane, to the vertical slits of a savage fox repeated in the span of a few seconds.
Finnick gasped and dropped his bat. "What the hell…?"
With a small whimper, Nick explained how he got this way. Bellewether's arrest, the cure for Nighthowler; all of this things Finnick already knew, but with more detail—details excluded from the various news stations. How after it was all said and done, Nick got infected with the Nighthowler serum. How he somehow kept his awareness thanks to the bunny cop (he didn't remember her name—didn't care to—and was pretty certain that it wasn't "Carrots", as Nick referred to her as). How the only memories he had from that time were the first few hours—everything else was a blur. Nick told him how, when he first woke up in the hospital, he was surprised that he could talk, because based on the information his senses were giving him, he was still savage. The bunny cop's reaction to his question of when he would get the cure administered to him proof enough that he had, indeed, been given the cure already.
He was still in a savage state, however.
"They released me from the hospital an hour ago." Nick said in a soft voice. The more he had talked, the calmer he had gotten. "They had kept me a day longer, just for procedures. No one noticed something was off." He whispered that last part.
"Not even the bunny cop?"
"She wasn't there. I made her go home and told her to pick me up at five." Nick said with a chuckle. "Man, is she going to be mad."
Glancing at the clock mounted behind him, Finnick saw that it was twelve in the afternoon. "That's a huge time difference."
"Yeah, well, I needed time to get my shit together and to find someone to talk to." Nick said defensively.
"The Chief asked me if I wanted to join the Academy…"
"What?" Finnick asked loudly. "They asked you? A Fox? To be a cop?" Nick had never seen his eyes so wide before.
"Well, yeah." Nick said slowly, but then sighed in defeat. "I can't now, though. I might have been able to do it before this…this crap, and Carrots even put in a good word for me. She believed in me…" He whispered the last bit. "But now?" Nick shook his head vigorously, a snarl on his lips. "I-I can't control it. Sure, I can talk and walk properly, but the littlest things can set me off. On my way here, I nearly bit an otter that bumped into me for Pete's sake!"
Finnick gazed solemnly at Nick, who was too wrapped up in his own misery at the moment to notice. The two had known each other since they were kits, so the fennec fox had known from a young age that Nick was meant for more than just the cards handed to every fox for just being a fox. At such a young age, the young red fox had managed to get other mammals to trust him—a skill that made him such a great con-mammal in later years. It was a shock to everyone when the young kit started hanging with the wrong crowd, playing pranks and swindling others. It had happened so suddenly that it gave everyone who knew the kit an emotional whiplash. He never conned the mammals who trusted him, but he never gave them a reason why as to the sudden change, either. Even now, till this day, Finnick didn't know why his closest friend—his brother—had stopped fighting the system.
Glancing at the clock once more, determination hardened Finnick's face.
"When does the Academy start?" The question asked by the deep voice of the small fox broke through Nick's pity stupor. He sighed.
"It doesn't matter. I—"
"Shut it, and answer the damn question, Wilde." Finnick interrupted, eliciting a growl from the red fox before he could help it.
Withholding a witty comeback, Nick answered. "About a month."
"That gives you a month to learn control."
"Finnick, a savage animal can't be controlled."
"Bullshit!" Finnick, not thinking, rushed towards Nick and grabbed him by the collar. Startled, Nick let out a feral growl that intimidated the small fox, but Finnick held his ground and glared back at the growling fox. "When you lost your mind at the museum, did you attack your bunny?"
Eyes wide and round once more, Nick tried to protest the claim. "Fin, she's not—"
"No, I didn't, but—"
"So it can be controlled." Finnnick said in a calm voice once he'd gotten the answer he wanted.
"That was something else entirely, Fin!" Nick argued. "I could barely think, if she hadn't called my name, I would have lost myself entirely!"
"But you didn't." Before Nick could argue, Finnick continued. "There has never been a fox cop, Nick. Do you understand?"
Nick closed his maw with an audible snap and stared at the tiny fox.
"There has never been a fox painted in such a flattering light since Hood himself, and that was centuries ago." Finnick released his grip on the other's collar. "You have a chance to prove that you, that we, are more than just sly foxes." A sneer made its way onto the fennec fox's snout. "But then again, the old Nick woulda never given up. He'd have just found another way, instead of being a pathetic pussy."
Frowning at the smaller fox, and ignoring that last part, Nick thought with a clear head for the first time in days. The little fox was right, to an extent. When it came to cons and getting the job done, Nick was a perfectionist. He was no stranger to hard work, and it took a lot of hard work to be a con-mammal and make the type of living he did off of it. This though… it was so much more than just a con. He would have to put his everything into gaining control over himself… and he could very well fail.
The image of grey fur and smiling amethyst eyes flitted across his mind, filling him with determination.
It would be worth it.
A weak smile on his snout preceded a weak laugh from the red fox as he rubbed his tired eyes. "Right. Sorry, I lost it there for a bit." A snort was the other fox's response. "But…you're right." The fact that Finnick believed that he could achieve this in the first place was too mindboggling at the moment, so Nick put it on the backburner of his mind to deal with later. Much later.
Running a paw through the fur between his ears, Nick sighed. "I can control it...I just need to find that control. And the time to find it."
"We have five hours to come up with a schedule before your bunny comes looking for you." Finnick said with a smug grin on his face.
Nick felt his face heat up. "She's not my bunny, Fin. And she has a name."
"Which I could care less about, but the chemistry between the two of you does not lie." A teasing look came upon the tiny fox. "I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up mating her."
Silence settled upon them, filled to the brim with shock and awkwardness. It was broken by the sudden and deep, boisterous laughter of Finnick. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
With an embarrassed snarl, Nick pounced on the smaller fox and the two wrestled playfully for a bit before they finally calmed down a bit and worked on a training schedule for Nick, Finnick teasing him the entire time. They made sure it was flexible, because the red fox was certain Judy would have him do some conditioning beforehand, just so he'd be prepared. Admittedly, it would help, since Nick wasn't the most physical guy around. He was strong, but his endurance was crap.
He made sure to not tell the fennec fox this, or even worse teasing would ensue, he was sure.
Five hours and two bug burgers later, the two foxes were interrupted by one very upset and worried bunny cop who wasted no time in letting Nick know that he is to never, under no circumstances, to worry her like that ever again.
Finnick was laughing so hard, he was sure he'd never forget the name Judy Hopps ever again.
Seven Months Later…
Dawn was just barely settling over Zootopia as a certain red fox was finishing the final touches to his uniform before he headed out to the Zootopia Police Academy Graduation Ceremony. Experienced paws expertly tied the knot of his tie, curbing the desire to loosen it a touch. A certain bunny would lecture him on how to be profession if he did so, much to his mutual frustration and amusement.
Just the thought of Judy Hopps made his heart beat faster. She still didn't know how he felt, and Nick felt it was best that way, for now. He was a predator, and she was prey. While interspecies relationships weren't unheard of, they weren't really widely accepted. How much less so would a predator/prey relationship be accepted? That was not something he wanted to put Judy through. He figured it would be best to strengthen the friendship they had now, and then take that plunge when he felt it was the right time.
Finnick merely called him a coward, but in less decent terms. He ignored him.
Overlooking himself in his mirror, Nick was proud of what he saw. Never had he thought he would one day be a mammal of law, so caught up as he was in the stereotype the world painted for foxes. He had even paid off the accumulated unpaid taxes Judy had threatened him with when they had first met, and it was a huge weight off his conscious shoulders. No one could call him on anything anymore; no one could get in the way of him and this new future.
He was finally an honest mammal.
It was all thanks to his two closest friends. One of them obviously being Judy, who he affectionately referred to as "Carrots." The other being Finnick.
It had been a hard seven months, with many setbacks. Judy's conditioning had been brutal to his body, but the results were worth it. He could now run faster and longer than he ever could when he was younger. He was stronger, too, able to lift weights that were usually impossible for animals of his size and build. He had a sneaking suspicion, however, that the increase of his stats had more to do with his savage condition, than anything else.
That training, his savage training, had been intense as well. At one point, in the first month of his secret training with Finnick, he had nearly given up. The tiny fox, being the badass that he was, would not have any of it, and proceeded to verbally beat the doubt out of Nick when needed. The number of lectures had decreased as the months had gone by, much to the relief of both parties. By the end of the month he no longer had any slip-ups, unless he was in a very emotional state.
The Academy had been a whole other brutal can of worms that really tried the extent of his self-control. All the snide comments, the speciesist remarks, the uncalled for beatings that some of the instructors overlooked…it had all been worth it, because in the end he was finally, finally, in control of himself.
Meeting his emerald eyes in the reflection, he watched as his pupils changed from round in shape to that of a vertical slit only to revert back the next second and stay that way. All at his command. He would never lose control and risk hurting anyone, least of all the bunny he loved. He would keep this side of himself locked away, never to see the light of day again.
With a soft sigh, Nick allowed his eyes to fall to half-mast and for a lazy grin to form on his snout. Grabbing the pair of reflective sunglasses Judy had bought him, he settled them onto his face and nodded to himself before leaving his apartment.
After today, he'd be more than just a sly fox.
And that's a wrap!
As always, reviews are appreciated! As well as constructive criticism. Until next time!