Ch. 10:

Nick and Judy decided to cut through the Natural History Museum to reach the ZPD, not stopping until they saw the front entrance ahead of him.

And they wouldn't have stopped unless a sudden voice hadn't spoken up: "Nick!"

They came to a halt and turned around, to Nick's surprise he saw Mayor Bellwether hurrying over, flanked by two ram officers.

"Bellwether," he exclaimed, running toward her with case in paw, "I know I gave you my badge but I found out what's causing the predators to go savage. They've been darted with a special serum."
"Oh, thank you so much Nick," Bellwether smiled up at him with a small applause, "You did a super job."

Nick nodded and moved to give her the case but then suddenly pulled back. Something was wrong…the look in the sheep's eyes-it was familiar. Where had he seen it?

His ears suddenly burned, Ready for initiation?

Bellwether opened her arms out to receive the case but Nick kept it close to his chest, his heart spiking in speed and his tail bristling. He felt like Bellwether was about to speak: Even though you're a fox?

"How did you know where to find us?" he breathed suspiciously.

She stepped forward, "I'll go ahead and I'll take that case now."

Nick took several steps back, Judy staying by his side, her nose twitching. "Actually, Judy and I can take it, it's no problem."

They turned around only to see a ram blocking the doors, cracking his neck and looking menacing.
"Run?" the fox and bunny asked in unison. "Run."
They darted to the left, Bellwether's henchmen going after them. Nick and Judy ended up in a room of crates and unpacked displays. Nick made the mistake of looking over his shoulder and a second later he ran into a mammoth's tusk, slicing his leg and sending him to the cold floor with a bark of pain.

"Fuzz!" Judy called in alarm, running back to him and helping him to his feet. They quickly scampered behind a column, hiding while Judy examined his wounded leg.

"Everything's going to be okay," she assured him, pulling out his old handkerchief and sending blueberries rolling across the floor.

She managed to grab one and offered it to Nick who excepted while she bandaged his leg, he wished he had the time to appreciate the irony of bandaging his leg wit the one thing he kept from his ranger scout uniform.

"Oh, Nick," Bellwether's voice called out as she entered the room, her rams spreading out to search for them.

Nick grabbed the case and tried to push it into Judy's paws, "Take this and get it to Bogo, now."

"I'm not leaving you, no," she whispered back, pushing the case away.

"I can't walk, Fluff," he pointed out in an almost frantic breath.

"We'll think of something," she promised him.

"It really didn't have to be this way," Bellwether called out as she calmly walked through the room. "I gave you an out when I took your badge, but you just had to try and be a hero. Try to stop progress. And I am sorry for that poor rabbit that's been following you around; she could've enjoyed my triumph. I told you, prey are 90% of the population and in a battle against predators, of course we'll win, we'll be unstoppable."

With the help of a mummified jackalope the two managed to distract the sheep enough to get a few feet away, Nick's arm slung over Judy as the rabbit held his weight and the case. She really was stronger than she looked and Nick had to wonder how much hard labor she went through back in Bunnyburrow.

But supporting him cost her speed and it wasn't long before one of the rams caught up to them, slamming into them and pushing them down into a sunken diorama, the case having fallen out of Judy's paw landing at Bellwether's feet.

"It is too bad," the sheep said smugly, walking to stand at the rim of the diorama, holding the case in one hand, the other holding the gun. "I did like you; you were just too smart for your own good. I mean, imagine my surprise when you suddenly told all those reporters at the press conference my exact plan."

"So what are you going to do?" Nick snarled at the bottom of the diorama, having recovered from the fall and Judy sitting by his side. "Kill me?"

"No, of course not," she laughed evilly before raising her gun arm, "I'm going to shoot you."

She pulled the trigger and Nick felt a sting in his neck, the impact sending him to the floor as he shuddered and grunted on the ground, blue staining his neck.

"Nick, no!" Judy gasped in fear, her paws on his back.

"Yes police," Bellwether moaned into her phone, "Officer Wilde has gone savage, a poor bunny's in danger. Please hurry!"

"Nick, fight it!" Judy begged.

"Wasting your time," Bellwether smirked at the rabbit. "In fact if I were you I'd be trying to climb out."

Nick suddenly let out a feral growl, his dilated pupils turning on Judy who jumped back, scurrying back on her paws and feet for a second before turning to run into the thick grass of the diorama, tossing a fake deer as she did so. Nick grabbed it midair and started to tear at it.

"I could've thrown up over how he thought he'd actually change the city's opinion of foxes like him," Bellwether gloated from above. "And now look, he's going to help me further my plans. No prey will trust a fox when they see what he does to you."

"So that's it then?" Judy asked from above, her back pressed against the wall of the diorama, "Prey fears predator and you stay in power, huh?"

"Pretty much," Bellwether replied smugly.

"You're crazy if you think this is going to work!" Judy shouted up at her.

"It already has," Bellwether replied, "But let me tell you that fear always works, and if I have to I'll dart every predator in Zootopia to keep it that way."

Judy gasped as out from the tall grass Nick stalked forward, flashing white fangs bared and eyes wide and hungry.

"Nick…" Judy breathed in fear, her chest heaving, "Don't…"

Bellwether smirked.

With a snarl Nick pounced, his mouth going around Judy's throat. The rabbit screamed-a scream that quickly melted into laughter. Bellwether frowned, her eyes widening in shock.

Nick was playfully and gently nibbling at Judy's neck, tickling his ribs with his claws.

"Stop it!" she laughed loudly, "I can't breathe!" She pushed Nick muzzle away and the fox grinned down at her.

The bunny returned the smile, "Do we got it?"

"I think we got it," he agreed, pulling back to sit down, he smirked up at the shocked Bellwether as Judy sat on his knee. "Thank you Yakkity Yak, you laid it all out beautifully."

"What?" she gasped, opening the gun to check the pellets, instead she only found blueberries.

"Oh are you looking for the serum," Judy asked, pulling out a blue pellet. "It's right here. You got blueberries, from my family's farm."

"They're quite delicious actually," Nick replied, "You should try some."

She let out an angry bleat, "I framed Lionheart I can frame you too! It's my word against yours!"

Nick gave a faux cringe, "Actually-"

Judy pulled out his pen and clicked the button, Bellwether's voice spoke up: "And if I have to I'll dart every predator in Zootopia to keep it that way."

Bellwether's jaw dropped, her shoulders falling as she realized the truth.

Nick grinned, "It's called a hustle sweetheart." Then he and Judy spoke in unison: "Boom."

The ewe made to run away but it was too late, the ZPD had arrived, it was over, Bellwether had lost.

.

"There's something I always said but never fully realized: Zootopia is a great place.

Not for it's giant skyscrapers, fancy restaurants, or scenic parks. Not even for its logo that you can find on a bumper sticker. Zootopia is a great place because of the animals that live her and the possibilities they hold and that makes it worth protecting.

Life is messy, complicated, and isn't always fair, but that's when we need to look at the good things. I have seen my fair share of the bad things but let me tell you, when I step back and examine all the good things I am blow away."

Nick took a took breath, standing before the podium, all of the ZPD and more sitting and listening to him with open ears and wide eyes. This time he wouldn't mess up, this time the memory of metal and leather wouldn't take over. "Prey and predators may be different but we do have one thing in common, we're not perfect but we all have it in us do some good, we just gotta try.

I did. I tried and I tried and it led me here, to my dream job, introducing our very first bunny-" he paused in his speech to indicate to Judy who winked at him from where she stood between the much larger officers. Nick returned her warm smile-"Who I'm lucky enough to have as my friend. I've seen, I've been shown, that the struggles we face, and the bad things that happen, we are strong enough to overcome them for the sake of things that are good. They are so much more, and they are worth it. Just like Zootopia, which somehow has the honor of being the home to some of the greatest animals this world will ever know."

.

Bogo quieted the bullpen down, stating that they have some new recruits.

Judy, sharing a chair with Nick, stood up straighter with a proud smile Nick found contagious.

"Who cares," the buffalo grunted, turning to his next page.

"Ah, you're a greeting card writer in the making sir," Judy stated, much to the amusement of Nick and the other animals, and the annoyance of Bogo. Nick and Judy kept their mouths shut as Bogo assigned the officers, their ears pricking up as he called their names.

"Parking duty," he stated flatly, "Dismissed."

"…."

"Just kidding," he smiled, before pulling back his seriousness, "There's been reports of a street racer tearing up Savannah Central find him and shut him down."

Nick could've kissed the very nice, very big squad car they were given. He nearly vibrated in his seat while Judy causally lounged in the passenger seat, eating a pawpsicle she had decided to bring along.

"Tell me, do all foxes act like kits around nice cars," she asked with a cheeky grin, "Or is it just you?"
Nick slammed on the brakes and sent Judy flying forward, getting stopped by his seatbelt but losing her pawpsicle in the process.

"Whoops," Nick droned, glanced over at her, "My bad."

She smirked at him, "Sly fox."

He playfully bared his teeth, "Dumb bunny."

"Oh, come on sweetheart you know you love me."

Nick looked up thoughtfully, "Do I know that?"

Judy rolled her eyes, not expecting an answer. But then Nick leaned forward, nearly bumping their noses together as she gave the rabbit his most charming smile. "Yeah," he replied lowly. "I do."

Judy pushed his muzzle away and tried to laugh off her sudden red ears and awkwardness. But luckily a red car zoomed past, bringing their conversation to a halt. The two shared a determined smile before Judy donned her aviators and clicked the sirens button and then they were off.

When the red car screeched to a halt the two walked out and to the front window, all business. "Buddy you were 115 miles an hour. You better know where that fire is."

The window slowly rolled down to reveal…Nick's jaw dropped.

Meanwhile Judy broke into a grin, "Flash, Flash, Hundred Yard Dash!"

The sloth slowly, oh, oh, so slowly, grinned: "Ju…dy…"