Written by Lucario & Cimar
Edited by BeecroftA & Eng050599
Artwork by Alamarus
The air was filled with the aroma of oats, grains, cookies, cake, and other baked goods. It was enough to make any mammal salivate with hunger. And salivate did one specific cheetah do as he couldn't wait for the ZPD's fourth annual bake sale to start. The entire lobby was filled with off duty cops, their spouses, friends, family and news reporters. It was just twenty minutes away from the start when a famous bunny walked in with her partner-in-justice right behind her. Judy was carrying a tray of random flavored cookies, from cherries topping on them to a bit of coconut infused.
"I can't wait to have everyone taste my cookies!" exclaimed Judy as her ears bounced right along with her light skip.
Nick chuckled at his excited little bun, watching her cute fluffy tail flicking as well. "I can't wait to sell some of these pies!" He was carefully carrying four pies; blueberry, chocolate, pumpkin and apple. He had spent nearly all day cooking these and was pretty confident he would sell more than Judy. A former hustler selling homemade food? He had no fears he was gonna win this.
"Say, Carrots," started the fox as he rushed to catch up with her.
"What's up Slick?" asked Judy as she turned to look at him, taking care not to spill the three baskets of wrapped cookies.
"Wanna make a bet? The first to one hundred dollars wins," he suggested as he finally passed her and made it to their designated table first. Placing the pies down, Nick turned back around to face her.
"What's the prize?" demanded the bunny, as she knew very well what happened last time she made a bet like this with him.
"Nothing serious, just the winner gets to do something for the loser. How about it, Fluff?" he asked, as Judy placed the baskets on the table.
It sounded enough like a simple bet, and one that didn't seem to involve any sort of prank. "You're on! Now let's go get the rest of our food. There should be another three baskets of cookies and another three pies, right?" asked the bunny rhetorically as she already knew the answer. Nick nodded as he followed her back outside to the car.
"Ahh yes, the bunmobile: red, compact and most importantly, what you wanted," chuckled Nick as his eyes fell upon the car that was big enough for both of them and a few small sized friends to sit in as well.
"I got it cause it was affordable, better than that sports car you wanted," Judy argued back as she pushed his shoulder playfully. Nick fell dramatically and claimed officer abuse, causing Judy to give him a playful, yet slightly annoyed look.
Sensing he may have overdone the joke, he got up and helped unload the final baked goods from the car. Looking down at his pies, he remembered earlier all the fun he and Judy had baking them earlier that day. With a content look on his face, his mind drifted back to the memories of early morning…
"We got till two in the afternoon to get all this done. We should be finished by noon and be on our way to the ZPD by one. Giving us plenty of time to set up and chat with other mammals. I'm so excited! This charity is going to be a good one!"
Judy went on and on as Nick stared at the wall, barely listening and sipping his coffee. He literally had been woken up at four in the morning and his heavy, drooping eyelids showed much of his exhaustion. He took a loud slurp of his coffee, startling Judy who frowned at his behavior. She was about to say something, when he held up a paw.
"Just let me drink my coffee in silence for a couple more minutes please? It's even earlier than our usual wake up time..." Nick said with a gravelly voice that was low and not ready for the day. His fur was ruffled with a tangle or two as he rubbed the side of his head in a way that suggests he might have a headache.
Judy couldn't help but smile and roll her eyes as she watched the sleepy fox attempt to wake himself up for the day. To be honest with herself, she hadn't been feeling quite up to snuff as well but managed to hide it better than the tod. Judy knew the reasons for it, and quelled the bubbling excitement building within her at when she'd be able to spring their surprise on Nick.
The bunny quickly and quietly made her way over to the kitchen, mulling over when she could tell him the news today as she pulled out the cooking sheets and pie pans. She laid them out on the counter before pouring herself a cup of coffee. A minute later, Judy was sitting next to her fox, with a content sigh and smile. She brought the cup to her lips and took a sip as she leaned against him.
The bitterness hit her taste buds quickly, as well as the soothing aroma of ground beans. The quiet sounds of the room were broken by a slight shllp of coffee being sipped carefully. It was slow and peaceful. To Judy's surprise, she didn't want it to end too quickly. Sitting in silence, she looked over to see Nick sipping at his coffee carefully. Only after several minutes did they break the peaceful quiet between them.
"Alright, let's bake the cookies first since we need to wrap those up once they are done. We can prep the pies while the cookies are baking and then after they are finished, we can bake the pies," suggested Nick as he stood up.
Judy nodded in agreement and followed Nick into the kitchen where they both helped themselves to a second cup of coffee before starting to bake. Nick grabbed several ingredients from the cupboards and placed them next to the cookie sheets.
"I'll work on the batch with the cherry toppings, and you can work on the blueberry filled ones. You do remember how to make them right?" Judy asked as she pulled two clear plastic box packages from the fridge, one full of cherries and the other blueberries. She quickly set to work on making the fresh dough by paw.
"Of course I remember. Kinda hard to forget when you talked all day about how to make them, and the day before that, and the day before that," answered Nick as he too began to make the cookie dough.
"Alright, alright, I guess I have been very excited for this," admitted Judy through the sound of dough being lightly pounded, morphed, and worked into small circles of soon-to-be-tastiness. The couple remained quiet as they did their work, simply enjoying each other's company. Judy sneaked a peek at Nick, only to find him also looking back at her. He wore that signature smirk of his as he gazed at her, his eyes filled with wonder. The look and smirk caused her to blush.
"You're so beautiful when you bake, you know that right?" Nick said as he stopped his work, turned around, and leaned back against the counter.
"Yes, many times, and I'll have you know that we don't have time for distractions," answered Judy, chuckling and smiling from the comment. The blush not quite as strong when she noticed him. Nick didn't say anything as he got behind Judy and hugged her tightly, yet lovingly.
"What's wrong with a hug and just one kiss?" asked Nick before placing a quick peck on the top of her head. He didn't wait for an answer as he let go and went back to work.
"As long as it's a hug and a single kiss, I don't mind. How much do you have made so far?" Judy asked, not stopping her task at paw while Nick had hugged and kissed her. She did admit it was a nice, romantic moment and enjoyed it, but they couldn't get distracted today.
Even the really big distraction lodging itself in her mind about the coming news to spring on Nick needed to wait a little longer.
"Ummm… I got like five cookies done," answered the fox with some hesitation. Knowing his answer may come with some backlash and a comment.
"Only five? I've gotten ten done already! Hurry up Nick or we may not have time for all the pies! We might even have to put off baking the blueberry one," teased the bunny just as she finished one more cookie. Judy couldn't help but smile when she heard Nick shuffling about and working harder and faster.
It took Judy a minute or two before she finally finished her batch and placed them onto the cookie tray. With a triumphant hmmphh she turned around with the tray in paw and gasped, "I forgot to turn the oven on!"
The gasp and sudden shouting caused Nick to jump in surprise, followed by a realization of what happened. After a second or two did he finally burst out in a fit of laughter before feeling a flick on his snout by the small, angry bunny. Wriggling his nose, he took a step back before rubbing it, feigning real pain, "Officer down, officer down!" cried Nick as he slowly slumped to the ground.
"Shush, the neighbors are still sleeping," Judy said with a frown as she set the oven to the correct temperature.
"Fine, fine," said Nick as he got off the floor. He quickly finished with the rest of his cookies and was forced to wait for the oven to heat up. Looking around, he realized they only had two cookie sheets and were stuck with nothing to do. I guess this might take a bit longer than expected...he mused.
His eyes fell upon the music player Judy had on the table where they enjoyed their coffee earlier. A wonderful idea flashed through his mind and soon he set it in motion.
With quickness, he grabbed it and flipped through the songs until he found what he was looking for. Pressing play, Nick plugged in the earbuds and rushed back to Judy, who was just finishing turning on the oven. Placing one earbud in his ear, he slid right behind Judy, causing her to turn to him with a curious look on her face. She opened her mouth to speak but Nick cut her off with a finger on her lips. He looked upon her while he gently placed the other earbud into her ear.
Her eyes went wide from hearing the song and knowing the meaning of it to them both. She mouthed the words, "Hero by Meowria Carey", just as Nick's paw grabbed hers as the other shifted to her hip. Before Judy could do anything else, she was being lead by Nick into a slow dance, swaying and rocking back and forth. Judy was blushing by the sudden romantic attitude glowing from the fox before her, but easily slipped into his grasp, leaning her head against his chest.
They listened to every word, to each others movements, to each other's hearts as they danced and hugged each other. Not a word was spoken as they slowly turned and rotated to the music. They didn't want to stop, but the beeping from the oven and the closing of a second song brought them out of their stupor of love. Nick leaned down and planted a kiss upon the lips of the most wonderful mammal in his life. Judy returned the kiss just as hard before the oven's beeping began to annoy them both.
"That was a wonderful dance Nick, thank you," said the bunny with a content, happy tone flowing over her words. She pulled the earbuds from their ears as Nick turned her music player off. She left to go put it back in the room while Nick offered to put the cookies in the oven.
The rest of the time went quickly as the cookies and pies were completed in haste, but with much love and attention...and a few moments of food fights and tossing cookie dough at one another. Thankfully they had bought enough ingredients to mess around a little bit.
Judy smiled warmly as she munched on a bit of chocolate dough. Deciding to have a little fun with Nick, she placed her paw over her stomach and smiled at him. "I think that was enough cookie dough for both of us."
Nick looked at her paw as his jaw dropped. Did he finally get it? Judy hoped, feeling tears threatening to come.
Nick covered his mouth with one paw. "Judy...are you saying…"
Judy nodded. "Yes, that I'm-
"...that you can have too much cookie dough?" Nick finished. Judy halted her statement, feeling her left eye twitch.
Nick...her mind grumbled as a pout came to her lips. "Sure...that's exactly what I was about to say."
Nick smiled churlishly. "Wonderful. I'm glad we agree on that." He went back to finishing up the last of the cookies while Judy started rolling out the pie dough with a little more vigor than before.
Stupid, ignorant fox with his stupid, sexy, smugness...she grumbled internally. I'll make him realize what is happening if it's the last thing I do.
Nick was only thinking one thing as he placed the last cookie onto the sheet. It's working…
Back at the bake sale, Judy and Nick finished setting up their goods, as well as putting down the pieces of paper and pencils of all sizes for folks to write down their bids for their goods.
"Still thinking that bet was a good idea?" Nick said with a smug smile. He knew exactly what gift he was going to give Judy if he won, and it was something he was looking forward to.
Judy cast a glance at him, biting her lower lip. A question like that must mean he's up to something...she thought. Or maybe he is just asking to throw me off my game. She smiled. "Absolutely. I'm going to win this bet."
Nick chuckled. "Alright, Fluff," He turned his head to see Clawhauser running towards them. "Let the games begin."
The portly cheetah ran up to their table and let out a squeal. "Awww! These all look so delicious! How many can I have!"
"One slice of pie or three cookies," Nick replied warmly. "Though if you buy from me I'll throw in an extra for free."
"Nick!" Judy hissed as the cheetah passed over several bills. "What are you doing?"
"Order up!" Nick shouted as he passed along the treats to the feline before turning to Judy. "Why, winning, my dear Mrs. WildeHopps."
Judy gritted her teeth and glared at her husband...until she noticed Fangmeyer and Wolford walking nearby. "Oh Fangmeyer! Wolford!" she shouted with a wave. The tiger and the wolf looked up and grinned, walking towards Judy and Nick, holding each other's paws.
"Hey Judy, Nick," the tigress greeted. She licked her lips as she saw all the treats piled on the table. "My, you two have been quite busy today."
Wolford sniffed, then his smile grew to a grin. "And even smells like you've got a bun in the oven."
A horrified smile came across Judy's face, one which instantly translated to Fangmeyer's, who smacked the back of Wolford's head. "Ralph, what have I told you about doing that?"
Nick chuckled, and Judy whirled around to look at him. This was not how I wanted to tell him...she thought with wide eyes.
The fox seemed to smile deeply, then let out a sigh. "Sorry Ralph, we didn't bake any cinnamon buns today, maybe next time."
Three shocked mammals looked at the fox with mouths agape. Judy was the first to facepaw herself before Fangmeyer just shook her head, pointed at Nick, and spoke to Judy. "Is he really that dense?"
"Apparently…" Judy mumbled under her breath.
Rubbing the back of his head, Ralph looked over the table. "Hey Hopps, do you think I can have a few of your cookies?"
Judy grinned at Nick. "Sure, though if I take your parking duty next week, would you buy double?"
One of Nick's eyes twitched as Judy raised an eyebrow, challenging him further as an excited wolf cried out "Sold!" and passed along several bills to Judy, who was still watching Nick.
"Order up!" Judy exclaimed.
The cry was constant throughout the sale as both Nick and Judy attempted to outsell each other. Their friendly competition had even started its own betting pool of who would win, with the money being raised put into the donation pool for charity.
Nick and Judy were looking at the last three cookies they both had and counting their money. Nick grinned as he saw he had ninety two dollars, then snickered when he saw Judy had eighty nine. It was then a looming shadow fell over each of them.
"I'll take the last ones, ten dollars to each of you."
Judy's eyes shot up in horror at the hulking form of Chief Bogo, standing with arms crossed and scowl etched into his features. No…no...no, no, no! She thought.
"How about eleven?" Judy pleaded, ears falling onto her back and eyes widening.
Bogo glared. "I have given ten dollars to each officer, why should I show favoritism now?"
Judy's shoulders slumped as she passed along her final three cookies, hearing a jovial, "Order up!" from Nick. As Bogo stomped off, she could positively feel the smug grin coming off of Nick. Even though he would be the one giving her a gift for winning, the combination of her competitive nature of wanting a win, coupled with the news she wanted to give him, made her mood plummet.
Several minutes passed as Judy looked out at the precinct, not wanting to meet her husband's eyes. It wasn't until she felt his paw on her shoulder did she turn towards him.
"Judy, you okay?"
"I'm fine," she huffed, glancing briefly into his eyes. "I just...really had something I wanted to give you as a gift."
"I know," was his soft reply. Her attention perked as her gaze caught his.
Nick nodded. "Which is why, the gift I'm giving to you, is for you to tell me the secret that has been eating at you all day." His warm smiled was broken by a conspiratorial whisper. "And all week," he added with a chuckle.
"I'm pregnant," Judy blurted out, quickly placing her paws over her mouth when the suddenness of what she did hit her. She had such a fantastic build up for him, to slowly reveal the fact to him, but…
Judy's brain stopped. "You...you know? But...how?" Her confusion was beginning to have a tinge of anger to it. "How long have you known!" She gave him a glare. "Have you just been toying with me all week, with that...that Sherlock Hounds stuff?"
Nick chuckled. "Well, I technically only knew when Bogo had called me dense, but...decided that I wanted to do something special for you and this announcement."
"Wha...what? What do you mean?" Her anger switched to confusion, and with all her attention focused on Nick, she didn't see many of their colleagues gathering around their table as he took her paw in his, then covered it with his other one.
"Judy, I've always wanted to give you the world. To make sure you had everything you'd ever want and dream of having. I've been watching you, and I know that this pregnancy is making you nervous, and more than afraid for what will happen."
Pausing, he was surprised when Judy released his paws, then wrapped him up in a hug. "You're right…" she whispered. "I've always known what I wanted in life. To be a police officer...to be with you, but...I don't know what to do. I'm the first rabbit to be pregnant from a fox…"
Nick rubbed his paws down her ears. "That is what I'm here for. You see...while you've been worried, I've been meeting with a few folks who are very interested in hearing about your case." Judy could feel Nick moving a paw and leaned back to see a phone in it. He expertly dialed a number, then placed the phone in Judy's paw. Looking up at him, she saw his smile, that radiant image that meant the world to her, then closed her eyes in happiness as she felt him kiss her between her ears.
The phone sounded, breaking the moment.
"Nick, how have you been doing? Is Judy alright?"
Judy brought the phone up. "Um, hello...who is this?" she asked tepidly, in a completely un-Judy like fashion. She bit her lip, looking at Nick while mouthing, 'who is this?'.
"Oh, Judy! Glad to hear from you finally. This is Doctor David Hawthorne at the Honeywell Center. I'm sure you have some questions for me."
Judy heard a chuckle on the other end of the line. The cheerfulness of the doctor buoyed her confidence. "Yes, that is correct," she stated. "Beginning with, what do you do?"
Another chuckle. "Nick didn't tell you, did he?" Judy shook her head, shooting Nick a quick, friendly glare. "We specialize in helping interspecies couples with their pregnancies here, and your husband reached out to us when he found out you might be pregnant?"
"I am," Judy said cautiously.
"Well then…" she heard Dave clear his throat. "Then I guess you'll be happy to learn that your husband has set up an appointment with us tomorrow at noon."
"But…" Judy stammered, knowing that was in the middle of her shift.
"You're husband is a very clever fox, Mrs. WildeHopps," she heard Dave say with a chuckle. "He has told me he already has gotten your leave approved for tomorrow, as well as making sure you will have the leave you need during your pregnancy, which I believe, is the first of its kind...well anywhere."
Tears started forming in the corner of her eyes. Judy wrapped Nick in a massive hug, the phone pressed against his back as she cried at the thoughtfulness of him.
"Dumb, lovable, thoughtful fox…" she whimpered into his chest.
With one paw, he pat her back while the other reached around and grabbed the phone from her. "Hey Dave, I believe she has agreed to the appointment. Gotta go, I owe ya!"
Nick laid the phone down on the table and wiped at his own eyes with the back of his paw. He looked around at the assembled officers. "Well, you heard the bunny," he stated, voice cracking slightly. "We're...we're going to be parents."
Nick hugged his wife tightly as cheers erupted throughout the precinct. That one sentence causing a wellspring of love to blossom within both Nick and Judy's hearts.
They were going to be parents.
AN from Lucario: Hello, my name is Lucario389 and it was an honor to be apart of this collab and with Cimar! I had a blast writing a good portion of this story, from the bunmobile all the way to the wonderful slow dance. For anyone not aware of who I am, I'm not accustomed to writing slice of life or pure fluff things, so this was challenging but I had a blast doing what I did. If you liked my writing and would like to see more, then feel free to check out some of my stories! Preferably A Different Kind of Predator and it's sequel as those are my main and biggest stories, but if you prefer some fluff i have a couple of those as well!
AN: To all those who thought that Nick was being OoC and just too dense in the last chapter...it's called a hustle, sweetheart. ;)
And now I have to wonder how this pregnancy will affect them attending Fitwik's Arcade. I guess only time will tell…
Also, huge shout out to Eng050599 for letting me borrow Dave Hawthorne and the Honeywell Center from his story "Lost Causes and Broken Dreams". Please go check it out, though be sure to keep some tissues nearby for it.