Chapter 4: To Rescue a Fox
Edited by BeecroftA
AN: Grab onto something because here comes the finale!
"Move out of the way!"
Zig-zagging through traffic was probably not the safest decision Judy had made, but considering the details of the text Nick had sent her, along with what her mother had told her, made every second count.
Having a crazy sister was normal for Judy. Having a crazy sister that was lusting after her husband and lacking any moral decision making ability...that was an issue on a whole different level.
It didn't help that it was rush hour, and that an overturned peanut truck on Oat Road had diverted traffic onto side streets. She was already pushing thirty minutes past when Nick had sent his last text and the past five times she'd called him, he hadn't picked up.
The last call had given her a not-connected message.
Judy jerked the wheel at the sound of her phone going off as she grabbed for it on its holder on the dashboard.
"Nick!" she said in a panic.
"Oh, no. It's Clawhauser, but thanks for the compliment."
Judy sighed, the worry inside her growing. "Ben, have you heard from Nick?"
She felt a kick from one of her kits inside her and placed a paw onto her stomach. Apparently her kits were worried now too.
The worry inside her was replaced by dread. "What...what do you mean?"
"I'm only telling you because you're related to Nick and it is now an active search and..."
Judy clenched the paws tighter on the steering wheel. "What is it, Clawhauser? What's happened to Nick?!" Several seconds of silence followed, only interrupted by Judy's heavy breathing. Forcing herself to calm down, Judy pulled to the side of the road and parked. She knew the location was only now ten blocks away, but with how nervous Clawhauser sounded, she didn't want to be driving for it.
The cheetah finally broke the silence. "Several officers and Wilde found your sister's location and went to investigate. We got a panicked call for backup from Nick about twenty minutes ago and haven't heard from him since. Units are on scene and found Wolford and Snarlov, injured but okay, but no Nick."
It felt like Judy was punched in the gut as that cold dread spread throughout her body.
"Hopps? You okay?"
Slowly...calmly...Judy reached out and turned off the phone. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she laid her head against the steering wheel and wept.
The only light entering the room came between the nailed up boards over the shattered windows. It played with the dust floating in the air, creating little spectrals of light before wisping away again into nothingness. Outside the sound of sirens were dull yet continuous, scattering red and blue flashes across the inside of the room as another police car raced by.
"Why did they have to come so early!"
Jessica slammed her paw against the wall. Everything had been planned so perfectly in making the fox hers and hers alone. She'd been hoping he would have come alone, like those spy films always showing the main character doing, but no...He had to come in with backup.
And then to have called in more? While he was still inside?
The doe grit her teeth in frustration before her attention flashed to the fox tied to the dolly in the corner. It was easy to drop his unconscious form onto it, then wrap him up tightly and wheel him away from the warehouse. The only issue was that he had called more cops to come back him up, and her original idea to make it to her car stashed a few blocks away had gone up in smoke.
So here she was. Barely two hundred yards away from a literal sea of blue uniforms with no way out. All her hard work tagging walls with anti-bunny graffiti, knowing her sister's buffoon of a boss would surely send Nick right into her awaiting arms and lips...all for nothing!
Jessica let out a heavy sigh. She turned towards the unconscious form of Nick strapped to a chair nearby.
"At least I have my love here with me," she cooed as she walked over to Nick's form, his head drooping over his chest. "So that makes up for some of all this." She giggled as she patted his cheek, then placed a kiss where crimson fur met white. Watching for a reaction, she frowned as he gave none.
"This would be a lot more fun if you were awake," Jessica tapped her foot, placing a paw on one hip as she tapped the other against her chin. "Probably should go see what I can find to wake ya up, Foxy."
With a few steps, she was out the door, shutting it behind her.
For several moments, nothing in the room changed. It was only until the sound of bunny steps disappeared completely did Nick's head move. He wiped the cheek Jessica had kissed as best he could on his lapel.
"That doe is nuts! Absolutely nuts," Nick huffed. Scanning the room, he looked for anything he could use to his advantage and tested his restraints. The rope was taut, secure in its lashing though if he could possibly get his claws near it...
"I knew you were awake!"
Nick looked up, eyes widened in shock as he saw Jessica leaning up against an open doorframe on the opposite side of the room. She motioned towards the other, still closed door. "Yeah...there's two of those into this room."
Jessica pushed off the post with her shoulder, sashaying her way over to where Nick was bound, making sure her hips were rocking back and forth, all the way up to him. She pressed herself against his chest, tiptoeing her fingers up his chest. "I figured that maybe it was the uniform that did it for you with my sister so...what do you think?"
Jessica took a step back and twirled, making sure to shoot Nick a wink over her shoulder as she flicked her tail.
"How did you get Judy's uniform?" Nick asked coldly. "Where's Judy?!"
Jessica waved her paw. "Oh don't worry, sis is fine." Motioning to the uniform, she continued. "I picked this up at the Precinct. Did you know that most mammals think that Judy are I are the same bunny? Was only too easy to take this spare from her office."
"You stole from the ZPD?" Nick continued, moving his claws behind him as best he could, trying to catch some rope on them. He managed to hide his glee when his paw found his way to his back pocket and found his phone had not been taken.
"Only to catch you, my lovely fox," she whispered as she leaned her back up against him, rubbing her shoulder into his chest. "Is it working?"
"No," Nick spat out. "And I don't know why you're even doing this. You know Judy and I have been married for years."
Jessica's eyes took on a cold tone. "No, you haven't. You just came to visit BunnyBurrow for the first time last week." Her gaze softened slightly. "Didn't you remember the lake? Our… kiss?"
Nick blinked. "That was three years ago."
"Why do you keep saying that? Has it felt like that long with how much you've missed me?" Jessica asked, leaning forward to brush her paw against Nick's cheek. The fox leaned as far away as he could.
Pouting, Jessica withdrew her paw. "Are you seriously stuck up on Judy so much that you'd lie and say you're married to her to try and get me to stop coming after you?"
"I don't need to because we are married," Nick growled out in response.
Jessica licked her lips. "Oh, feisty. I like it when you get like that."
Nick glared down at her. "How about you just release me, I'll take you down to the precinct in cuffs and-"
Jessica placed her paws out in front of her with a grin. "Cuff me officer, I've been a bad bunny."
The tod blinked in amazement. "You are one messed-up bunny."
Grinning like a Cheshire Cat, Jessica moved around Nick until the fox couldn't see her. With an 'omph' from behind him, his world tilted as the dolly fell backwards. It stopped mere inches from the ground, with Nick looking directly into the face of the grey doe.
"You ain't seen nothing yet, Foxy," she cooed, before pressing her lips against his. Nick grimaced and leaned back as his fingers furiously tapped at the phone still concealed from her.
Judy had spent five full minutes sobbing in the car before any critical thinking could take place. As she sat with her head against the steering wheel, her thoughts gradually came back to her. My husband has been kidnapped by my sister, who has amnesia and is back to being completely and utterly focused on Nick. You can get him back. If anyone knows what Jessica would do to Nick, you do.
She grimaced at the thought as her mind went back to how Nick had first met her sister. It had been during their insane bet about kisses when they'd visited BunnyBurrow for a weekend camping trip. With how much Jessica had basically shoved herself upon her, at that point, 'just friends', partner, Judy didn't want to imagine what she was doing now to him.
She managed the rest of the drive to the place in her GPS and wasn't surprised to find a whole host of police cruisers in front of the warehouse. Several officers approached her vehicle, but as they realized who was inside, they raised their tranquilizers.
Judy figured this would happen and slowed to a stop, allowing the officers to walk carefully to her window as she rolled it down. Before they could even get a word in, Judy spoke up.
"Officers Rhinovitch, Boreson, Grazier. My sister is the one who kidnapped my husband in that warehouse. I'm currently on maternity leave and Clawhauser at the front desk can confirm that. Now, would you like to see how pregnant I am or call up my doctor and Chief or are you going to let me in to talk to Bogo, as I'm sure he is on scene."
"How do we know you're Officer Hopps?" the musk ox, Boreson, asked.
Judy sighed. "Because, Tanner, I was at your son's birthday party two months ago. I brought the lichen salad with the vinaigrette topping that your wife Claudine asked for a recipe of."
Judy turned to the kudu, eyes narrowing. "And Officer Grazier, you're the one that seven months ago I had the pleasure of sparring with after you slammed my husband's tail in the door to the Bullpen."
The kudu nervously holstered his weapon. "She's good. That's Hopps."
The three officers holstered their weapons and followed Judy towards the warehouse, her pace slowed as it felt like her kits had decided to play a soccer match inside her. Within minutes they were at a SWAT van, with Bogo looking over city plans on its hood.
"Chief, Officer Hopps here to see you," Rhinovitch stated.
Bogo looked to his left to see his small rabbit officer staring up at him, fire in her eyes. His mouth formed a scowl and he was about to berate the officers for bringing Hopps to him when the rabbit beat him to the punch.
"Sir, I have some information about my sister that you're going to need to hear."
Bogo's ear flicked as he let out a sigh. He knew arguing with the doe would be pointless. Like hammering a cement wall with a toothpick. So he grunted and gave her a nod.
"Sir," Judy began, "A few weeks ago my sister suffered from a concussive event which gave her amnesia. She's completely forgotten the past three years of her life."
"So?" Bogo grunted, folding his arms. "What's that have to deal with the current situation and your missing partner?"
Judy held back the worry racing through her mind as thoughts of whatever could be happening to Nick. "She's forgotten that Nick and I are married. Remember her from Nick and my wedding?"
A hint of realization flickered across Bogo's eyes. "That isn't good."
"It gets worse," Judy continued, ignoring Bogo's raised eyebrow. "When she hit her head, it messed with a part of her brain that controls her decision making abilities. She no longer realizes what is right or wrong, just what she wants and how to get it."
"So you're saying..." Bogo began, "that your sister has gone crazy and believes that anything she does to get Nick is acceptable?"
Judy nodded, before hesitatingly remarking, "Yes...that's correct, sir."
The area around the two officers was silent, the only sounds of the city around them drifting by as the news had struck a nerve with each police-mammal on the scene.
'What does the fox say!'
Judy jumped in shock as her phone rang once, the ringtone only assigned to one mammal. "It's Nick!"
She opened the text without waiting, her eyes showing confusion. "He's asking me to call him?"
"Do it," Bogo commanded as he waved over several officers from the mobile tactical center van that had pulled up several minutes before the rabbit had arrived. "Get me a trace on that phone when she calls!"
The hippo nodded and jogged off towards the van as Judy dialed.
Nick was thankful Judy's sister pulled away after only a few seconds. Even more grateful he kept his lips shut when her tongue had traipsed its way across them. The fox spat on the ground, trying to get the taste from his mouth before rubbing his lips against the shoulder patch on his shirt.
"Aww, you no like?" Jessica cooed, patting his cheek. "We can try again if you'd like? I know I'm game, lover-fox."
A dull buzz came from his pocket, which Nick stifled with a touch of a button while bringing the phone into his paw.
"The only game I want to play is to know where we're at!" Nick shouted. He jerked his head side to side. I know by the creaking of the floorboards we must be on an upper level. Where are we?"
Jessica pouted, curling out her lower lip while her ears partially flopped down in front of her. "Why would you care about what is around you when you have me to look at?"
Nick grimaced. His lips straightened as an idea hit him. "Well, I am trying to find out where I am..." Nick stressed the words as loudly as possible, hoping his wife would understand, "As I wouldn't want our first time to be in some ramshackle, dilapidated warehouse."
Jessica's eyes lit up as she stood upon the balls of her feet. "You really want to choose me over my stupid sister?"
Nick did his best to hide his grimace behind the falsest smile he could. "I would love that..." Meanwhile he began pressing the buttons of his phone in a repeating pattern frantically as Jessica sashayed towards him, clicking off one of the shoulders of Judy's vest she was wearing. The other clicked off and the armor fell to the floor with a clatter. "I'll let you know where we are as soon we get out of these things..." she cooed into his ear.
He heard a pop as the top button of her uniform came undone.
Nick began pressing the buttons more frantically.
All the members of the SWAT team gathered around Judy, listening in on the call to Nick, were stunned. Even Chief Bogo was silent at the last few sentences Nick had said.
"Did he really just..." a warthog in SWAT gear asked his cheetah partner.
"That fox would do that to his wife?" Another mammal, a jaguar from the nearby Precinct Three asked.
"Shush!" Judy hissed, silencing all of them. "I'm trying to listen and no he would not. Didn't any of you pick up on which words he was stressing?"
A quiet murmur went through the crowd until a series of beeps and pauses echoed from the speaker of the phone.
"What is he doing now?" Bogo shouted, silencing the gathered mammals. The series of beeps continued.
"It's a pattern," an antelope on the SWAT team stated. She listened intently, mouthing the sounds as they came. "Sounds like three short beeps, three longer and then three-"
"It's an SOS." Judy was franticly looking around her. "We got to get to him before whatever Jessica does to my husband."
"What we will be doing, Hopps," Bogo retorted. "Not you, unless you want to put your kits in jeopardy, something I'm assuming neither you nor your husband would wish to happen?"
"But Chief..." Judy began, only to be silenced by a raised hoof.
"No buts," he stated. "I need you to stay on that phone and let us know of any developments while I send out the teams to scour the area." A series of sounds from the phone as well as a pitiful whine came from the phone, causing all to wince and Judy's ears to flop behind her. "He said they were in a warehouse that appeared abandoned. We can start with-"
Everyone looked to the phone at the odd sound that came from it.
Wolford cocked his head to the side. "What was that?" Before anyone could answer, the sound came again.
Judy's ears instinctively went towards the sound. "That's a train whistle." Looking at the phone in her paws, then towards where the sound came from, her eyes widened in realization. She quickly turned on Bogo. "Chief, how long was the pause between the sound on the phone and here?"
Bogo looked perplexed before answering. "Three seconds. What are you getting at-"
"Three seconds, times one thousand eighty seven equals...three thousand two hundred sixty one." Judy looked up from her phone towards the nearby cruiser. Running as fast as she could, she got a running start and leapt onto the hood of the rhino sized cruiser. "Chief, we can figure out where Nick is by the distance between train horns. We're right here..."
She pointed at the map as a group of officers huddled around her. "Nick has to be roughly three thousand feet away from us judging from the speed of sound and the time between we heard the whistle on the phone, and then by ourselves so..."
Wolford chimed in, grinning. "So we then draw a line between where the train tracks are our location and try and find any warehouses that are unoccupied with two stories and-"
"We find our missing officer," Bogo interrupted with a rare grin. "Good work Wolford, Hopps. Keep an ear out on that phone for any more sounds we can use to triangulate his position. Fleetson! Delgato! Jackson! Spottington!"
Beerrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmm! Issued from the phone a second time.
A cheetah, lion, pronghorn antelope and a painted dog appeared by Bogo's side, each armed in SWAT gear as a second horn sounded around them. The Cape buffalo grunted as he pointed at the map where Judy had a pencil tied to a shoelace. The bunny wrapped the other end to her carrot pen and placed that over their location. With a sweeping arc, she pulled the shoelace taut and drew a half circle that intersected the tracks at two points.
Knowing she was garnering a lot of inquisitive stares, Judy rolled her eyes and smiled, feeling for the first time she could find her mate within time. "We bunnies are good at multiplying and math was kind of one of my strengths in college." She jabbed her finger between the two intersecting points, right over a warehouse next to the tracks. "That is where Nick is." She stood back and gave a hard stare at the assembled mammals. "Now go find my husband!"
The four saluted, double-checked the address on the map and sprinted off. Bogo ordered several incoming squad cars to intercept them at that location with their sirens and lights off. Judy sat back on the hood of the car and sighed, hoping that she'd done enough to save Nick.
Judy waited anxiously for the team to come back, her ears perked to the radios held nearby for any news of what was happening with the raid. She'd already forced herself to stop biting at her claw tips as she paced back and forth in front of the tactical center that had been set up as forensics swept the scene in case Judy's guesswork didn't pay off.
She hoped it did. Even knowing that her sister's mind was messed up due to her injury, the grey doe couldn't help but seethe at what her sister could be doing to her mate right now. Nick's phone had disconnected soon after the rescue team had sprinted away, so they'd been left in the dark as to what had been happening.
Rabbit ears perked up at the sound of a vehicle coming to a stop nearby. Her hopeful gaze rose to see a cruiser pulling into the area. But when a chubby hippo stepped out from Precinct Three, the hope in her eyes dimmed once more.
The voice of Chief Bogo boomed into her ears. She stood nearly instantly at attention, something the buffalo coming towards her waved off. "You're on leave, Hopps, not on duty." Judy dropped her paw with nervousness in her eyes.
Bogo grunted. "Come to my vehicle and you'll find out." Judy jumped after him, waiting patiently as he gave a few brief instructions to Higgins before making his way towards his vehicle. He opened the door for Judy just as she was ready to leap up and grab the handle.
"Thank you," she replied softly as she felt the kits inside her bounce around themselves. She patted her belly once. "I think Nick and my kits appreciate it."
Bogo nodded as she jumped in and as soon as he climbed in his side, they were off. "The teams surrounded the building just two minutes ago. Precinct Three's SWAT arrived a minute after that and have confirmed two mammals to be in the building, second floor. Good work today."
"Thank you, Chief," Judy began. "We're going there now, right?"
Another nod and a grunt. "I'm sure if I'd had left you on that curb any longer you'd either pace a hole in the road or commandeer a cruiser to go there yourself."
Judy let out a nervous laugh. With how large Bogo's personal cruiser was, she couldn't even see above the dashboard, let alone where they were going. She kept her eyes peeled for any street signs they were passing, mentally calculating how far they'd driven.
"Chief Bogo, come in."
The Cape buffalo jabbed the radio. "10-4. What's the raid's status?"
"Raid has just commenced. First floor clear, with SWAT coming at the room in two directions."
"Don't let that rabbit escape," Bogo grunted into the radio before it went silent again. "We'll be there soon. Most likely when the raid ends."
As the streets passed by, Judy could only hope.
Their arrival was bliss incarnate for Judy and she was out the door before Bogo had even stopped completely, bolting towards the russet furred mammal sitting on the curb with a blanket around him.
Nick barely had time after hearing the 'pat pat pat pat' of his wife's feet to look up before she collided with him like a furry bullet, crying into his chest as he quickly wrapped his arms around her. No words were spoken as both mammals knew that having their arms wrapped around one another, being able to know they were together again, was good enough for the both of them.
Judy nuzzled Nick, beginning to chirr through her sobs as a few tears of his own wetted the fox's muzzle.
"Glad you got my message," he whispered into her ears. "It took some effort to keep distracting her away from me while waiting for you guys to arrive."
Judy laughed. "Thank the train."
"Train?" Nick asked, confused.
"The train horn we heard over the phone," the doe replied. "I was able to figure out how far away you were when we heard it at our location a few seconds later."
A rumbling sound grew within Nick's chest, a thrumming that built into a real chuckle. "My, my...you really are a sly bunny."
Bunny...Judy thought. Her ears flicked up in alarm, smacking Nick on his muzzle as she looked him in the eyes. "Where is Jessica?"
Nick's eyes widened. "Why would you..."
"Give me two minutes and I can explain it later, but where is she?" Judy repeated. "Trust me, there is a reason she did all this."
Nick only looked at her for a moment with skepticism before hugging her. "I trust you, one hundred percent. Though I think even after whatever explanation you have, that she's still a bit loony." Unwrapping his arms from around her, Nick grabbed her paw and led her to a nearby ambulance, explaining as they walked. "When she heard the door burst down, she yelled out, 'I'll never let them take you away from me!' before charging the rhino at the door." Nick shuddered at the recollection at what happened next. "She tried kicking his riot shield as he was charging. Sent her flying back into a wall and knocked her out cold."
They reached the ambulance where two EMT's, a puma and a deer, were waiting.
"Took you long enough short stuff," the puma chuckled.
Nick rubbed his free paw over Judy's ears. "Had to make sure my better half got here." A softer expression took hold over his features. "Thanks for waiting guys. I owe ya."
This time it was the deer who waved him off. "No worries, Wilde. Anything for a friend of the family."
"You know them?" Judy asked, before shaking her head as he grinned at her. "Never mind...you know everyone. Got it."
Nick chuckled as they moved into the ambulance, Judy instantly going to hold her sister's paw that was cuffed to the stretcher she was on.
"We'll leave you three alone for a few minutes until we have to leave." The EMTs moved out of the vehicle, leaving the two bunnies and fox alone.
A minute of silence went past as Judy stroked her sister's fingers, worried about what she'd be like when she awoke. Nick cleared his throat, interrupting her reverie.
"Seeing as how your crazy sister is indisposed at the moment," he began, taking her other paw. "Would you mind telling me all that happened and why she's like...this?" He waved his paw at the unconscious doe.
Judy nodded. "Well, you see..."
Judy was at her sister's side in a heartbeat, her oncoming conversation with Nick forgotten. Nick was just flummoxed, standing up, but looking between the two Hopps sisters. "I wouldn't go near her, Judy."
She ignored him and instead looked at her sister. "How ya doing, Jess. What do you remember?"
"Wha...what happened?" Jessica groaned, moving her paw only to feel it restrained. She looked at it and spotted the pawcuffs. "And why am I cuffed to a stretcher?!"
Jessica started pulling at her restraints, her breathing becoming faster and faster as she struggled. Judy pressed down on her shoulders. "It's okay. It's okay. What do you remember Jessica?"
Jessica's panicked breathing slowed as she let out a groan and closed her eyes. "Why are you guys in BunnyBurrow?" she mumbled.
"We're not," Nick stated in confusion. He pointed at the doe before reaching out towards Judy with one paw, mouthing 'What is going on with her?'
"Then where are we?" Jessica groaned before reopening her eyes. Catching Judy's gaze, Jessica looked from her eyes to her stomach. "And shouldn't you be resting Judy? You're kits are coming in two, three weeks, right?"
"One week," Nick interrupted. "Now Judy, would you please let me know what is going on?"
The three mammals heard a shout from outside. "Heading to the hospital! Strap in please."
As the doors closed and the vehicle rumbled to life, Judy gave both confused mammals a nervous grin. "I think you both should sit back, as this will be one unbelievable tale."
AN: I hope you enjoyed this story, as it is the fourth iteration of what I originally had planned. It kept changing, and changing, and changing, until we have this. Different characters replaced other OC's. I had talked to Fox in the Henhouse about using his OC Jade in this, then moved to Jessica Hopps (who was the original bunny to be used in it). Originally had Jessica wanting to be just as good a criminal as Judy was a cop including some amazingly hilarious Bun-Fu scenes as well as some amazing hustles. That changed to what you read here, with instead Jessica being just as much a victim in all this as Nick.
I moved it from a regular story with no placement, to the "Judy is pregnant" arc of "What if..?" and switched it from being a PIXAR experience to actual life for them. I rewrote the first chapter four times and the second chapter twice. All in all, a story that I had planned on only taking a few weeks to write, ended up taking nearly six months and I don't regret a minute of it! I also hope that you liked this story and how different it is from my usual fluff or action. I've actually considered writing a sequel to this, showing the after affects of Jessica's actions and how it would affect her, as well as her family and friends. If there is enough interest, I could easily do that after "What if...?" ends.
And thus ends the long AN. I hope you didn't get bored with it, and that it explained some things. Another few fun stories are coming down the pipeline, such as Zeldatopia, Private Eye Monologues, Help!, and...
SpiderFox: "Don't forget about me!"
...and *looks at his notes* Oh, and Spiderfox.