This my debut story in fanfiction and I really hope you'll enjoy it.
Language note: English is not my native language but I tried to clear as many errors as possible. If anything remained, I apologize in advance.
"What are you going to do, kill me?"
Bellweather laughed shortly, shaking her head.
"No, of course not." With an evil grin she aimed the serum-gun at them. "He is!" The lamb pulled the trigger.
Nick remained calm, seeing the gun firing, as everything went according to their plan. The blue projectile cut through the air and hit the side of his neck, throwing him to the ground.
"No!" Judy cried out and leapt to his side with a fake, but very well played concern. "Oh Nick…"
He fought the desire to grin back at her and went on with his role. But… something was wrong. He was starting to feel weird. His head hurt and heartbeat accelerated rapidly. He also noticed that the blue substance splashed on his fur didn't smell anything like blueberries.
*Oh crap!*, he thought, *This has to be the serum!*
Right at that moment he felt like his blood began to boil. Pangs of pain shot through his paws as if they were aflame. Overcome with fear and pain, Nick arched his back and growled through gritted teeth. Bellweather was saying something but he couldn't make out the words.
He felt a small paw on his back.
"No… Nick, don't do this. Fight it." In an act Judy tried to calm him down, unaware that he really was turning savage.
*Fight it? I… can't… even… think…* He was panting heavily now, for real trying to suppress the effects of the drug. His paws were trembling. An involuntary growl escaped his throat and driven more by instinct, then by his consciousness, he turned his head to the prey.
*No! Not prey! Carrots is not a prey!* He tried to stop his actions, that were perfectly normal for his ancestors. His eyes shot wide open at the sight of frightened bunny. He could see her faked terror… or was it real?
Judy crawled backwards and forced herself on her feet. She hopped away from him on her healthy leg. The sight of a scared bunny running away triggered something primal in his brain and forced his body to launch forward. Instantly closing the distance between them, the fox jumped forward, ready to sink his claws into rabbit fur. Judy grabbed a stuffed doe and swirled around, throwing the dummy at Nick. They collided in mid-air. Fox fell on top of the fake doe and clawed at the material.
Fire surged through Nick's mind, depriving him of rational thought. All he could see was the prey before him. Unaware that Judy dashed towards the tall grass, the fox ripped the stuffed doe with claws and sunk its teeth in the throat.
Somewhere around the edges of what was left of his consciousness, Nick could hear the lamb's laughter. Thrashing his head around he torn apart what was left of the dummy. With nothing else in his way he glared at the grass in which Judy hid herself. He strode forward on all fours, closing on the wounded bunny.
The grass leaves parted before his muzzle as he approached the delicious smell of meat.
Tiny fragments of his mind tried to wake him up.
*M… meat? I… don't… meat…*, Nick tried to reason with himself, despite all of his senses screaming otherwise.
Through the veil of red mist, he could see the nearing face of his friend.
"Oh Nick…", she breathed out backing into the wall, "no…"
The fox's fangs were now just inches away from Judy's face. The smell of blood from her leg was even stronger now, it was intoxicating. Just one bite. One bite and all will be finished. Fangs around the fragile bunny neck, crushing it. Judy's breath was fast and shallow, her wide opened eyes staring straight into Nick's emerald gaze. For a moment something flickered in the depths of her pupils. It was barely a moment but he noticed it. A genuine, true fear. Suppressed and well hidden, but it was there.
"Bye, bye bunny." Said a nasty voice from above.
In the depths of his soul, Nick raised his head as the sudden realization hit him like a rhino. Judy was about to vanish from his life. As he fumbled with the thought it sent a shiver down his spine. Flooded with images of the events of recent days he could see the cheerful rabbit everywhere. In such a small amount of time she was capable of flipping his life upside down and fill it completely with herself. And he was about to make her disappear from his world.
Nick's muscles flexed, sending his teeth around the girl's neck.
*NO!* his mind screamed at the same moment. The jaw locked in place, a fraction of an inch from her fur. He fought his instincts with every fibre of his being, denying his genes.
Judy let out a scream. Nick's blood froze hearing it. He almost let the muscles to think again for him but he didn't let up.
"Bleegh. Blood, blood, blood!" Judy started gesticulating, imitating a fountain of blood gushing from her chest. "And death.", she finished falling comically on the ground, not aware she was a hair's breadth from one.
Nick withdrew his jaw, heart beating like crazy. He forced his trademark grin on his face. Years of being a conman and expert in hiding his feelings really came in handy right now.
"All right, now your milking it." No words could have sound so casual without enormous effort. He stood up. To get himself from the ground, as much as to get himself away from Judy. Praying that she didn't notice his struggle against every muscle in his body screaming to jump at her. He offered her a paw to help her up, trying to act normally on the outside.
"Besides I think we got it. I think we got it. We got it up there!", he called up to Bellweather, "Thank you yackety-yak, you laid it all out beautifully."
Bellweather looked dumbfounded and stared at the gun. "Huh?"
"Oh, you're looking for the serum?", he fished the small blue ball out of his shirt's pocket, "Well, here it is." Nick seriously hoped that Hopps won't notice that his hand was trembling slightly.
"What you got there in the weapon are blueberries", Judy added as the lamb opened the ammunition port of the gun, "from my family's farm."
Nick played along, mustering all of his cheekiness. "They are delicious; you should try some."
Bellweather growled. "Hmph! I framed Lionheart, I can frame you too." She adjusted her glasses. "It's my word against yours."
"Actually…" Judy held out her carrot pen and pushed a button.
And I'll dart every predator in Zootopia to keep it that way. It said with Bellweather's voice.
"It's your word against yours."
The lamb's shoulders sagged at hearing the recording.
"It's called a hustle, sweetheart. Boom." Judy said with a mischievous smirk.
Bellweather took a step back, then another one. As she turned around to run, she found herself surrounded by a squad of very big ZPD officers – bears, rhinos and even Chief Bogo himself.
He crossed his arms on his chest.
"What do we have here?", he asked rhetorically, "A wolf in lamb's skin, no doubt."
"C-Chief Bogo… I-I can explain!", the lamb stuttered.
The bull shot her a look. "Take her away.", he said in his grumpy tone. Several huge paws grabbed the mayor and her underlings, cuffed them and dragged them out of the building. Bogo followed them with his gaze and once they were outside, he turned his eyes to the fox and rabbit.
"Pull them out of there.", he ordered to one of the remaining officers with a tiny hint of care in his voice.
Nick and Judy smiled at each other and bumped their fists. It was finally over.
Moments later a rope was lowered to the den to let them climb up. As they approached it Nick had an idea that put a sly smile on his face. His head was still ringing but he couldn't let such a chance slip. When his rabbit friend reached for the rope he scooped her from the ground with one arm.
"Waah! Nick! What gives?!", she yelped in surprise.
He gave her a mischievous grin. Judy's ears drooped as she blushed.
"Just helping a wounded friend.", he said sweetly and giggled inwardly at her reaction. The fox grabbed the rope with his other hand. "Pull us up!"
Two lions tugged at the rope on the other end and pulled them out. Paramedics already arrived at the scene and took over taking care of Judy. Seeing his friend in the hands of professionals Nick relaxed a bit. He could still feel the raging blood in his veins but he had it under control, at least for now. Which was the reason he had to immediately leave the place. Especially when the smell of rabbit's blood was lingering in the air.
He sneaked past several officers of the ZPD to make his way to the exit. It wasn't hard – who would pay attention to a fox? Nick felt a small pang of guilt, when he thought that he would leave Judy to herself. Nick was almost at the front door when a heavy hoof landed on his arm.
„Leaving so soon, fox?", Chief Bogo glared down at him.
Nick felt the urge to jump at his throat.
"Well, my part is done so I'll be on my way. No point in sticking around with this much police swarming the place. You'll do just fine." With those words he tried to leave but the hoof didn't budge.
"I insist you stay a while longer. One of the officers will take down your statement."
Nick stared at him, desperately thinking of a way out. And he found it. His eyes turned to his usual half-lid position and were matched with a sly grin. "Am I under arrest?
Bogo gave him a surprised look. "No, you're not. It's standar-"
"Then I can go right now and give a statement later", Nick cut in, "Tomorrow, for example."
Bogo considered this for a moment and then narrowed his eyes. "Is there a reason you'd like to leave right now?"
Nick's teeth began to itch.
The fox shrugged, keeping his grinning mask on. "I left a cake in the oven."
The water buffalo let out something between a groan and a sigh. "Fine. Go, I won't stop you. But I want you to drag your butt to the station tomorrow, got it?"
"Clear as a day, Mr. Chief", Nick quipped in response. Bogo rolled his eyes and went off to check up on Judy. The fox glanced at the bunny for a moment, police medics surveying her wound. The sight of her small face contorted from suffering when they lifted her and placed on a stretcher made him feel that guilt gripped his heart again.
Nick shook his head. "I'm sorry, Carrots…", he whispered.
With the last obstacle out of the way Nick exited the building uninterrupted. Once outside, he walked into the nearest alley and, when he was sure no one can see him, darted forward as fast as he could.