And so begins a hopefully fun journey! This will not take priority over Family Ties; instead, this will be where I turn to get rid of Writer's Block or if I just want to write something funny and fluffy. I hope you all enjoy the merciless amount of happiness and fluff that this collection will bring!
Also, a huge thanks to Birchly for letting me use their art for the cover! Go check out more on their DeviantArt and/or Tumblr!
Thanks to the weather machines installed at the edges of each district, the weather anywhere was as perfect as it could be on a good day. Today was one such day; the sky was a cool blue, birds merrily chirped as they flew on the breeze, and mammals were milling about in the streets as they went about their work day.
Unfortunately, one special kit wasn't able to enjoy the outdoors as he currently had one annoying cold. Fortunately, this meant that he got to spend the entire day with one of his parents, both of which were right now discussing who was going to stay. The kit didn't care about who was chosen; both of his parents were the coolest in the city – in his "humble" opinion, that is.
Stanford "Stan" Wilde lay in his bed, gazing out the slightly ajar door at his parents. The young kit smiled as he tried to guess who would stay. Would it be his mother, a brave bunny that always showed Stan how much he meant to her? Or would it be his father, a silly but smart fox who could always make Stan laugh? Part of the kit wanted both parents to stay, but that was rare given that they were both police officers. However, that fact made the days that both Nick and Judy had off all the more fun!
As it seemed that a decision had been reached, Stan could hardly suppress a giggle as he decided to hide under his blanket before his parents entered the room. The young kit covered his mouth with his paws to keep himself quiet as he heard his bedroom door open and his parents step inside.
"Hmm, where'd he go?" implored his mother, sounding very close to his bed. Stan nearly revealed his location with a laugh, but managed to stifle it just in time.
"I don't know, Carrots," his father responded, sounding like he was searching the room. "I know he was here just a second ago!"
"Could he have disappeared?" Judy asked with a tone of over-the-top thoughtfulness. "He has been pretending to be a ninja a lot nowadays; he could have finally become a pro ninja!"
Again, Stan had to stifle a bout of laughter. This act became harder as he heard his father come close. "I think he has," Nick agreed as he discreetly began reaching for the covers. "But lucky for us, I was trained to find ninjas!"
Nick suddenly pulled back the sheets, revealing the giggling kit on the bed. Giggles turned to laughter as Stan was mercilessly tickled by both of his parents. "Stop, stop!" Stan begged between bouts of laughter, though his beaming smile betrayed him.
As the giggling kit calmed down, Nick and Judy couldn't help but stare at how wonderfully unique Stan was. His fur was gray like Judy's, but the tips of his ears and tail had the same, dark red colors as Nick's ears and tail. His muzzle was a touch too short for a fox, and his tail was twice as fluffy. Stan's emerald eyes shone with the bright energy of his youth as he smiled up at his parents.
"Who's gonna take care of me today?" Stan asked as he pulled the covers back over his pajama-clad body.
"Who said anything about taking care of you?" Nick asked, glancing to Judy for support. "I didn't. Did you?"
Judy crossed her arms as she pretended to be deep in thought. "No, I don't think so. I remember saying that since it was someone's fifth birthday this week, Stan gets to learn how to take care of the house himself. That means doing all the cleaning, all the cooking, and all the shopping."
"No!" Stan burst into laughter, and he tried to hide under his covers. Nick and Judy chuckled before they coaxed Stan back out of hiding. "Who's really going to take care of me?" the kit asked, trying to shoot a serious glare at his parents; he ended up looking cuter than ever, which almost made it impossible for the two parents to take Stan seriously.
"It will be just you and me today, Squirt," Nick said, taking a seat on the edge of the bed. "Momma's got an important case to solve, right Carrots?"
Judy discreetly rolled her eyes before turning to Stan. "Your father's right. I need to figure out who keeps putting all these reports on my desk and making me do them! Hey, maybe that will make a great news report, huh?"
Stan nodded vigorously. While the kit was fascinated with his parents' line of work, he enjoyed writing reports on them and putting on a pretend news show for his parents. As Stan got older, Nick and Judy realized that the young mammal really had a knack for this line of work.
A glance at the clock on the bedside table told Judy that it was time for her to leave. "Alright Stan, tell Momma goodbye," Nick said as Judy leaned over and kissed Stan's forehead.
"Bye Momma," Stan chirped as he hugged his mother goodbye.
"Bye Stan," Judy said as she returned the hug. "I'll see you at dinner, okay?" The bunny then turned towards her husband, who wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in for a kiss.
"I love you, Carrots," Nick murmured before releasing the bunny.
"I love you too, Nick," Judy replied. As she exited the room, she called over her shoulder, "You two be good! I don't wanna come home to a messy house, okay?"
"Okay!" Nick and Stan called back in unison. They heard the front door open and shut, and the two mammals were left in silence.
A gentle cough from Stan broke said silence, earning a chuckle from Nick. "Let's try to get that cold taken care of," he stated before lifting himself off of the bed. "You stay here; I'll be right back."
Nick returned moments later with some kit's cough medicine. "Alright, Squirt, after you take some of this, we'll go get some breakfast. Got it?"
"Got it!" Stan exclaimed, his tail excitedly wagging behind him. With steady paws, Nick filled a small spoon with the grape-flavored liquid and carefully maneuvered the utensil into Stan's open muzzle. Stan didn't really hate the cough medicine, but he never liked the way it seemed to burn at his throat no matter what flavor it was.
"Good job, Squirt!" Nick congratulated as he affectionately ruffled the giggling kit's ears. "We'll give that a few minutes to start working, and then guess what?"
"What?" Stan asked, cocking his head to the side in curiosity.
"Because you have to stay in bed, you get to eat in bed, too!" Nick excitedly announced, a wide grin spreading across his muzzle.
"Really!?" Stan gasped as his tail once again began to wag excitedly.
Nick nodded. "Remember, you have to be careful to not get any crumbs on the bed, or Momma won't let you do this anymore, got it?"
"Mm-hmm!" Stan answered as he nodded his head.
"Good. Now, what do you want for breakfast, Squirt?" Nick asked.
The kit's brows furrowed as he thought hard about this decision. "Well, if I don't want crumbs, then I should eat something that isn't messy," Stan stated matter-of-factly.
The older fox chuckled. "Sounds like a smart choice," he said.
"How about cereal?" Stan asked as his gaze returned to his father. Nick couldn't help but smile as he saw not only himself but Judy in those emerald eyes.
"Perfect choice, Squirt," Nick congratulated. "What kind?"
"Lucky Chomps!" Stan exclaimed happily, throwing his paws in the air.
"I was just thinking that," Nick declared with a snap of his fingers. "You really need to stop reading minds; it's spooky."
"Da-a-addy!" Stan's whine was broken up by laughter. "I can't read minds!"
"That's what you want me to think," Nick quickly retorted as he ruffled the kit's ears. "That way, when I let my guard down, you'll be able to guess what your mom and I got you for your birthday!"
"Daddy, I wouldn't do that!" Stan tried to say as he was overcome by a fit of giggles when his father began to tickle him.
"I can't take any chances, Squirt," Nick said, though the kit couldn't hear him over his own laughter. After a moment, Nick stopped tickling and got off the bed. "Alright, I'm gonna go get your breakfast; I'll be right back."
Stan could only nod as he tried to catch his breath, a broad smile still plastered on his muzzle.
His father returned moments later, carrying a tray in his paws. Stan couldn't hold his excitement back as the tray was placed in front of him, holding a large bowl of Lucky Chomps cereal, a tall glass of milk, and a few slices of oranges.
At Stan's request, Nick poured a little of the milk into the bowl before leaning against the bedside table, his own bowl of cereal in his paws. "Dig in, Squirt!"
Stan didn't need to be told twice, though he did try to be polite like his parents were teaching him. He would take a bite, set his spoon down as he chewed, swallow, and then repeat the process. Occasionally, he paused to take a sip of milk or nibble on an orange slice.
Nick's amused smile kept growing as the fox watched his son practice his table manners. It was quite impressive, really, how fast the little kit had picked up on the subject. Nick couldn't help but be proud of the kind mammal his son was growing up to be; though, Stan still had quite a lot of growing up to do.
When breakfast was finished, and everything was cleaned up, Stan decided that he wanted to hear some stories about Nick and Judy's job, to which Nick was all too happy to comply.
"Which one do you want to hear today, Squirt?" Nick asked.
Stan thought long and hard on this; there were too many great stories to pick from! "Ooh! I know!" the young kit blurted excitedly, his tail wagging behind him. "What about the time you pretended to be all scary and chase Momma to stop the mean sheep!"
Nick chuckled; that story seemed to be Stan's favorite. Not that Nick minded; he rather enjoyed that story as well. "Alrighty then, Squirt!" he chirped before positioning himself in the middle of the room, giving him enough space to move around as he was bound to begin acting out the story. "Your mom and I had just escaped a huge train wreck, but I managed to save some important evidence for the case. We decided to run through the museum as a shortcut to get to the ZPD, but Bellwether was already there! At first, we thought she was there to help us, but boy were we wrong! Her goons started chasing us, so we ran away."
Stan avidly listened as he watched his father wildly gesture with his paws and exaggerate certain motions with his body as the story continued.
"This is when Momma hurt her leg, so she couldn't run anymore. I knew I couldn't leave her behind, so I went back to help her. Just as the bad guys were about to find us, we came up with a plan. I had some extra blueberries in my pocket, so we switched out the Night Howler with the blueberries! We tried running again, but then a big ram knocked us into one of the museum's displays. That was when Bellwether shot me with a blueberry, thinking it was going to make me go savage!"
The young kit snickered as his father dropped to the ground, standing on all four paws and pretending to stalk imaginary prey as he continued the story.
"I chased your mom around, growling and pretending to be scary. Momma was good at pretending, too; I almost thought that she was really afraid of me! Just as I backed Momma into a corner, Bellwether began telling us her entire plan, so it's a good thing that Momma was secretly recording it."
"With her special pen, right?" Stan blurted, drawing a chuckle from the older fox.
"That's right, Squirt. Anyways, I suddenly pretended to eat Momma, knowing that we now had what we needed to put Bellwether behind bars!" Nick picked himself up from the ground before he continued.
"What about the part where Momma goes, 'Blood! Blood! Death!'?" Stan asked, using as much bravado as Judy and fainting at 'Death!'
Nick wished he had his phone; Judy would have loved that! "She did that after I pretended to eat her. Bellwether was so surprised when she found out that we had this all planned. The police arrived, and the day was saved!"
"Yay!" Stan cheered as he excitedly applauded the performance.
"Thank you, thank you!" Nick boasted, bowing to an imaginary audience. He then made his way back to the kit's bed and took a seat.
"I love that story," Stan chirped, feeling very content at hearing it again.
"I know you do, Squirt," Nick said as he placed a kiss on the kit's forehead. "Now come on, we've got a ton of fun things to do today!"
From the shelf, Nick pulled out the Jr. ZPD Matching Game; one of Stan's favorites. Opening the box, the older fox began to lay out all twelve pieces face-down on the bed; there were three rows and four columns. Once he was finished, Nick placed the box out of the way.
"Alright, Squirt, the first one to find Momma and Daddy in this is the winner, okay?" Nick challenged. Stan nodded in affirmation. "Good. You can go first."
Stan stared at the twelve cards on his bed. Each person he had to find had two cards that matched, which made the first move the hardest.
An amused smile crept over Nick's face as he watched his son put a lot of thought into this game. While it was an enjoyable pastime, Nick still couldn't get over the fact that he and his wife were well-known enough in the ZPD that they'd be in a game about the police force; he still remembered how awkward he felt posing for the pictures.
The young kit finally decided on a piece, going for the one in the top left corner. Upon flipping it over, the card revealed Chief Bogo beaming at the camera. Nick couldn't contain his snicker as he remembered Bogo posing for that picture; the buffalo hadn't been in the best of moods that day, yet Nick had been determined to take advantage of it.
Stan took another few moments to pick another card, trying to guess where the other Chief Bogo was. Finally, the kit decided on a piece in the middle row; it was Clawhauser eating a box of donuts.
"Ah, better luck next time, Squirt," Nick stated as the two cards were flipped over. The older fox glanced over the pieces before turning back to his son. "So, are you excited that you're going to kindergarten soon?" he asked as he turned over a card on the bottom row; it was Clawhauser.
Stan had been about to answer before he noticed what his father had found. The kit's eyes widened in realization, but he kept quiet in case his father remembered where the other Clawhauser was. Nick did, in fact, remember where the other Clawhauser was, but he always let Stan get the first pair.
With a sly grin on his face, Nick purposefully turned over the top left piece, glancing down at Bogo's beaming face. "Oh, looks like I got the wrong one!" Nick exclaimed in mock disappointment; Stan's tail wagged behind him as he tried to keep his excitement to a minimum.
Once the two pieces were flipped over again, Stan's paws raced to the two Clawhausers and flipped the cards face-up. "I found them!" Stan chirped as he placed the two pieces in a pile next to him.
Nick snapped his fingers, though the broad smile on his face betrayed him. "Darn! You're getting really good at this game, Squirt!" he groaned as he began his next turn.
"Now, what did you say before, Daddy?" Stan asked, giving his father his attention.
Nick gave in inquisitive hum as he looked up from the card he had flipped over; it was another Bogo. "Oh, I was just wondering if you were excited to be starting kindergarten soon."
Stan nodded vigorously. "Mm-hmm! I'm gonna make lots of new friends! I'll also try to be as smart as you and Momma."
The older fox cracked a smile as he gently tussled the kit's ears. "I don't know; with how good you are at this game, you may already be smarter than me!" Nick then turned over the other Bogo. "Oh look! I got a pair!"
"Yay, Daddy!" Stan cheered as his father set the two cards off to the side. This time, Stan turned over two random cards in quick succession; maybe if he was fast enough, his father wouldn't remember which pieces he picked. One Officer Trunkaby and one Officer Higgins were revealed; still no Nick or Judy.
"Nice try, Squirt," Nick stated as the pieces were turned back over, "but it's my turn again."
Stan noticed that his father used the same strategy, quickly turning over two cards. The other Officer Higgins and one Officer Wilde was revealed. "Oh, lookie what I found!" Nick said, holding up the card with his picture on it.
"Who is that fox?" Stan asked, remembering all the jokes that his parents would play on him.
"It's me, Squirt!" Nick exclaimed, pointing a finger at his face and the card.
The young kit leaned forward, squinting his eyes until they were all but shut. "I don't know," he muttered, placing a paw on his chin like he had seen his parents do before. His ears suddenly perked as his eyes widened. "Oh wait, now I see! It's you, Daddy!"
Nick rolled his eyes as he set the card back down on the bed, but his broad grin betrayed him. "It's your turn, you little goofball."
Stan snickered before turning to the pieces. He knew where both cards with Officer Higgins were, but if he picked those up, it would be easier for his dad to find the other Officer Wilde. However, Stan knew that if he tried to guess where his father's other picture was and missed, then it would be his dad's turn. It was a tough decision, but Stan knew what he wanted to do.
With hesitant paws, the young kit turned over the first Officer Wilde card. Lucky for Stan, he knew where one of the Officer Trunkaby cards and both Officer Higgins cards were, leaving him with four cards to choose from. Stan's eyes flicked from card to card as the kit debated on which one was the right one.
Stan picked his card but closed his eyes as he anxiously turned it over. The room fell silent for a little bit as the kit slowly opened his eyes and turned towards the card. His jaw dropped when he saw that he had picked the other Officer Wilde card.
"Look, Daddy!" the kit exclaimed, barely containing his excitement. "Look what I got!"
"Would you look at that," Nick muttered, scratching his chin in thought. "You found the other me! Are you sure that you're not cheating?"
Stan laughed as he placed the two cards in his pile. "No, Daddy. I'm not cheating!"
"Hmm," Nick hummed as he turned towards the remaining six pieces, though he continued to occasionally glance at his son with pretend suspicion in his eyes.
The next two cards were both Officer Higgins, giving Nick another pair. "Alright, Squirt, it's your turn. Do you think you can find Momma before I do?"
Stan gave his father a determined nod before studying the remaining four cards. He knew that two of those had his mother's picture, and the other two had Officer Trunkaby's picture on there. Lucky for the kit, he knew where one of the Trunkaby pictures were, so that narrowed down his choices to three cards. With one of those cards not being his mother, Stan still didn't like his chances.
Again, Nick watched his son with avid amusement as the young kit tried to make a decision. Stan was so determined to go about this the smartest way. While Judy was very adamant about following the rules, she could be headstrong and impatient at times. Nick, on the other hand, had the mind of a fox – sly, smart, cunning, and quite fast at last-minute decisions; all of those traits came in handy out in the field.
Nick was drawn from his musings when Stan finally flipped over a card; it was Officer Hopps. The kit's eyes widened in excitement, but his ears twitched in nervousness as the non-existent pressure weighed down on Stan.
"Good job, Squirt," Nick congratulated. Stan only nodded in response as most of his attention was focused on the last two unknown cards.
Stan picked the card to the right, and to his dismay, it was Officer Trunkaby. Now, all of the pairs had been found; it was just a matter of who got what first.
"Ooh, almost," Nick said as he began his turn. He went straight for the two Trunkaby cards. "Oh no!" he cried in mock defeat. "These weren't what I wanted!" The older fox dramatically fell back onto the bed, much to Stan's amusement.
"I guess that means I win, Daddy," Stan chirped as he retrieved the final pair: two cards with a picture of Officer Hopps painted on each. "You did really good, though!"
Nick's eye peeked out from under the paw that had been placed on his face for effect. "Thanks, Squirt," he muttered before a sly grin began to spread over his muzzle. "You know what you won?"
Stan shook his head in the negative. "You won a special lunch!" Nick exclaimed as he suddenly sat up and wrapped the kit in his arms, hugging him close.
Lunch was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with cooked carrots and chocolate milk – one of Stan's favorites. As with the breakfast, Stan was incredibly careful to not get crumbs all over his bed.
The first few moments of lunch were passed in silence as father and son enjoyed their meal. After a bit, however, Nick broke the silence. "So, your mother and I have decided that because you're turning five, you get to decide where you want your birthday party to be."
"Really?" Stan asked behind a mouthful of sandwich. He quickly paused, finished the bite, and made sure his mouth was empty before continuing, "I get to pick?"
Nick nodded. "Yep, though to make it easy, we have some choices for you. You can either have your birthday party here at the house; in our office at the ZPD Headquarters; or back at Grandma and Granddad's in Bunnyburrow."
"What about Grandma Rachel and Grandpa Victor?" Stan inquired, sounding somewhat sad.
"We can't have it at their place because they're on vacation," Nick answered before tussling the kit's ears. "But don't worry; when they get back, we're all going to go visit the amusement park together. Won't that be fun?"
"Mm-hmm!" Stan excitedly agreed, bouncing underneath the blankets.
Nick chuckled. "I thought so. But first, you have to tell me where you want your birthday party to be."
Stan began to think about the question. The two choices he was torn between were the ZPD and Bunnyburrow. The young kit loved going to Nick and Judy's office; there were so many awesome animals to meet! He loved talking with Clawhauser, all of his parents' friends were really nice, and Bogo was just so cool! However, Bunnyburrow was just as loved by Stan. Granddad Stu would tell funny stories about his life on the farm, and the kit loved Grandma Bonnie's cooking. Plus, all of Judy's family were so much fun to play with! This was probably the toughest decision the four-year-old ever had to make.
"If you can't decide right now, don't worry," Nick admitted after watching Stan try to choose. "You have a few days before your birthday; however, you do need to answer soon than later, okay, Squirt?"
The young kit nodded before taking a bite of his sandwich; he was rather glad that he didn't need to make a choice yet. After a few more moments, the two mammals finished their lunch.
Nick chuckled as Stan let out a tired yawn. "You tired, Squirt?" he inquired with a smile.
Stan sleepily rubbed his eyes. "Mm-hmm," he murmured.
"Alrighty, Squirt. I'll clean up, and then we'll both take a nap. How does that sound?" Nick asked as he gathered what was left of their lunch. The fox quickly went about cleaning up after receiving an affirmative nod from Stan.
The young kit dreamed of his parents, going around and saving the day; all the while, Stan was sharing their story via news reports with everyone around the world. Nick dreamed of his bunny, and if asked, that would be all he had to say on the matter as he turned away, the insides of his ears growing a faint shade of pink.
When the two mammals woke up, it was almost time for Judy to come home.
"Alright, Squirt, how do you feel?" Nick asked as he sat down on Stan's bed.
"I don't feel sick anymore!" Stan exclaimed happily.
Nick quirked an eyebrow as a grin crept over his muzzle. "Oh is that so?" he asked. "Well, there's only one way to really tell: you're not sick if you don't laugh!" Suddenly, Nick lunged forward and tickled the kit, who couldn't hold back his laughter.
"Daddy! Daddy, stop!" Stan giggled as he squirmed on the bed.
"I think you're still sick, Squirt," Nick said after the kit calmed down.
"But I'm not, Daddy!" Stan cried, trying to be serious before some laughter betrayed him.
"I think you are," Nick challenged. "You see, you have something called Laugh-itis, and it's a terrible disease that kits get whenever they can't stop laughing."
Stan tried to hold his breath to stop the snickers, but to no avail. "See? I told you," Nick stated after his son continued to snicker. "I'm afraid the only cure is blueberries," Stan's ears perked at the mention of the tasty treats. "I think we have some in the fridge. I'll be right back, Squirt. Try not to laugh too hard while I'm gone, okay?"
The young kit nodded as Nick left for the kitchen. The laughter had begun to die down as Nick returned with a small container of blueberries. The older fox chuckled as Stan's tail began to wag excitedly.
"Now remember," Nick said as he sat down on the bed, "Momma's gonna be home any minute, and that means that dinner will be made soon. So we're not going to eat too many of these, okay? Just enough to get rid of the Laugh-itis."
After receiving a nod from Stan, Nick divvied up the blueberries among themselves. Stan loved blueberries as much as his father – the tart taste, the funny way that the juices made his muzzle turn blue; everything about the little berry was wonderful!
Nick had just finished his first pawful of berries when his phone made a noise. Stan watched as his father pulled out the device from his pocket and looked at the screen. His father's smile widened and his eyes filled with a special look that Stan had seen very few times before: it was the look that Daddy got when he had a silly idea that could possibly get the older fox in trouble with Momma.
"Momma's on her way home, Squirt," Nick said as he placed his phone back in his pocket. "Let's get you cleaned up before she gets home. Then, I have a funny trick we can play on her."
The front door opened, revealing a clean apartment. Judy sighed in relief despite the fact that she had full trust in her husband and son's ability to keep the house tidy. The bunny announced her presence with a loud "I'm home!" as she began unloading some of her gear on the small table to the right.
Judy's ears perked at the sound of little paws padding across the floor almost immediately after her announcement. "Momma!" a little voice exclaimed as Judy knelt down to embrace her kit.
"Stan!" she replied, planting kisses in the mammal's fur. Judy then leaned back to get a good look at the bright, emerald eyes that were unique to her two favorite mammals. "Oh look at you! You're all better now, aren'tcha?"
"Mm-hmm!" Stan nodded enthusiastically. "Daddy took great care of me!"
Judy chuckled. "I bet he did," she said as she stood up and scanned the room. "Where is he?" she asked upon not seeing any sign of the fox anywhere.
"Oh, he's in the bedroom," Stan said, desperately trying to hide the grin that persisted on staying put. "I don't think he's feeling well."
The bunny cocked her head in confusion. "He's not feeling well?" she echoed before swiveling her head in the direction of her bedroom. "Let's go see if he's alright then."
"Daddy told me not to go in there, just in case I get sick again," Stan stated, surprised that he'd "survived" for as long as he had. He wished his mother would hurry and see the trick, though; he couldn't keep from laughing much longer.
Judy noticed the light in Stan's eyes, a light that she had grown too well accustomed with to ignore. A sly grin grew over the bunny's muzzle. "Oh I see," she purred, turning back towards the door. "Well, if Daddy says so, then he must be really sick; I don't think I should go in there!" Judy purposefully raised her voice so that Nick could hear her from behind the door; it worked.
"Oh, Carrots! Is that you!?" he called from the bedroom, sounding dramatically tired. "Please, come closer! I need to see my beautiful wife – urk! – before this cold gets me!"
The bunny shook her head in pity and rolled her eyes before turning back to Stan, who was giggling madly. "Alright, Stan. You're gonna tell me what Nick has planned, or neither of you get to eat any more blueberries for a week!" Again, Judy said this loud enough so that Nick could hear her from behind the door.
"Stay strong, Squirt!" Nick called from the bedroom. "Sacrifices must be made!"
Stan couldn't help from laughing as he glanced from the bedroom door to his mother. Gesturing with a paw, the young kit beckoned his mother to lean over so that he could whisper in her ear. "He's just pretending to be sick so that you would give him lots of hugs and kisses," he said, trying to sound very serious.
"Oh he is, is he?" Judy said, a mischievous grin creeping across her muzzle as she turned back towards the door.
"Please don't tell him!" Stan whispered urgently, tugging at the bunny's leg. "I don't want to hurt his feelings."
Judy chuckled softly as she wrapped her arms around the young kit. "Don't worry, Stan, his feelings won't be hurt. In fact, because you told me, I'm gonna give him extra hugs and kisses!"
Stan laughed as Judy rustled the fur between his ears. "You wait here; Nick and I won't be long, and then I'll get dinner started. And since you were so good today, I think you've earned a special dinner: grilled salmon!"
The young kit figuratively jumped into the ceiling, he was so excited! "Thank you, thank you, thank you, Momma!" he exclaimed, hugging the bunny tighter.
"You're welcome, Stan," Judy chirped as she placed a kiss on the kit's forehead. "Now, time to go make sure your father is well enough to eat," she stood up and made her way to the bedroom door. Before she entered the room, Judy turned back to the young kit. "Do you think he will magically feel better if I tell him what's for dinner?"
Stan thought for a moment before smiling and nodding. "Uh-huh," he replied.
Judy smiled. "I thought so too," she added before disappearing behind the door.
Dinner was delicious. Nick and Stan dug into their cooked fish; while Nick ate his with a hint of predatory ferocity, Stan took a more polite approach, using his plastic fork to cut out pieces of the food. Judy had made herself a carrot salad and ate with an amused smile on her face as she noticed her son's manners.
"You know, Nick," Judy said, glancing at the fox. "You could learn a thing or two about manners from your son."
The fox paused as the remark processed in his brain, and then he turned towards the younger kit who was determinedly cutting his fish with his plastic fork. A grin spread across Nick's muzzle. "Well, would you look at that?" he said, catching the kit's attention; Stan glanced between his parents, wondering if he had done anything wrong or if he had a piece of fish on his face. "Our son's a gentlemammal!"
A bashful Stan dipped his head, hiding a smile. Nick chuckled as he returned to his meal, following his son's example and eating a little more neatly. "So, Squirt, you wanna tell Momma what we did today?"
"Mm-hmm!" Stan hummed before swallowing his food. He turned to his mother. "Daddy told me about the time you guys tricked Bellwever again – "
"It's Bellwether, Stan," Judy softly corrected.
Stan nodded and tried again. "Daddy told me about the time you guys tricked Bell-we-th-er again, and then we played games and napped!"
"Oh really?" Judy asked, sounding impressed. "Sounds like a really fun day!"
"For sure, Carrots," Nick agreed as he finished off his salmon. "In fact, I think the only way to end this is with a family movie night!"
Stan bounced in his seat, his tail excitedly wagging behind him. He looked to his mother with pleading eyes. "Please, Momma? Please?"
"Of course!" Judy said, her own smiling growing on her muzzle. "But only if you go get ready for bed first."
It was as if Stan was never at the table, he was so fast! Nick and Judy blinked as the young kit had suddenly bolted for his room, his small footsteps growing quieter as he left.
"I think he liked that idea, Nick," Judy said, turning to her husband.
Nick nodded as he retrieved the dirty dishes and made his way to the kitchen. "Well, he is our son, and you and I both know that we like our movie nights!"
"That's not something that would be passed on genetically, Nick," Judy stated, rolling her eyes.
"Who knows," Nick said, poking his head out from the kitchen, "interspecies breeding could pass on more than we think!"
"Oh, so you're an expert on the subject, now?" Judy asked, turning towards the fox.
"Absolutely, Carrots," Nick nodded before retreating back into the kitchen. "I'm so glad that you finally see it my way."
Again, Judy rolled her eyes before she stood up from the table and went to get the movie ready.
Stan comfortably sat between his parents with a smile on his face as Robin Hood came to an end. The young kit loved the movie because Robin Hood was the coolest fox ever, aside from his dad. Nick and Judy appreciated the movie because it was one of the few that didn't try to purposefully paint any particular mammal in a bad light, hence the main role being a fox.
As the end credits rolled, Stan let out a long yawn.
"Sounds like someone's ready for bed," Judy said as she hugged the kit. Stan sleepily nodded in response. "Alright, let's go."
Moments later, Stan was being tucked in as his parents told him goodnight.
"You get some rest, Squirt," Nick said after placing a kiss on the kit's forehead. "We don't want you getting sick again, especially so close to your birthday."
"Okay, Daddy," Stan yawned, his eyelids growing heavy.
"We'll see you in the morning, okay?" Judy said before lovingly stroking the kit's fur. "I love you, Stan."
"I love you too, Momma," Stan said before falling to sleep. His dreams were filled with the memories of the best sick-day ever.