-The Painted Princess-
"Oh gosh….Trisha why can't you just be normal," Peggy groaned as she put a paw to her head and chuckled.
"Oh I think it's kinda cute," Came a friendly voice next to the embarrassed doe. "I mean she is obviously enjoying the harvest.
Peggy looked over at Mr. Hopps who gave her a weak smile.
"You did say she really liked pumpkins after all," Bonnie joined in as she stood next to Peggy, placing a friendly paw on her friend's shoulder.
The three older rabbits continued to watch from the Hopp's front porch across a large open field currently filled with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
At the very edge of the field was a series of hay bales that had been stacked up in the shape of a pyramid. Standing on top of the said pyramid was a brown bunny in her staple blue hoodie and baggy khaki pants.
Trisha was laughing like some kind of mad scientist who had just brought a monster to life. The bunny had her arms in the air and threw her head back as she continued to fill the air with her evil sounding laughter.
"We shall bring all the cities to their knees!" The small doe shouted from atop her pyramid.
"No more late night sci-fi movies," Peggy grumbled which caused Bonnie to snort.
"Oh look! Sarah finally reached the top," Stu pointed out.
The three of them watched as a small multi-colored doe a few inches shorter than Trisha finally made it to the top of the hay structure. She paused for a moment and looked at her friend, then out at the sea of pumpkins, then back to Trisha.
There was a moment or two where it was obvious Sarah was slightly confused but then something even more amusing happened.
Sarah began to mimic Trisha and tossed her head back, laughing in her own way.
"Oh don't you corrupt that sweet Sarah," Peggy shouted, having had enough of her daughter's odd display. She made a move to step off the porch but Bonnie stopped her. Peggy turned to see a wheezing Bonnie, a broad smile on her face.
"Let me get my camera that is just the cutest thing!"
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the pyramid, several small bunnies stared up at the odd sight. Judy was at the base of the structure smiling up at her sister and their odd friend.
"I thought you said this Trisha girl was cool," Came a comment from one of Judy's siblings.
"She seems weird…"
"And she hangs out with Sarah? She knows Sarah is a quad right?"
The last comment stung Judy who felt her ears lower. Even though some of their siblings had begun to accept the multi-colored cutie there were still some holdouts. Judy would occasionally have to defend her little sister from such bigotry.
Before Judy could berate her brother about the last comment a small object flew through the air and smacked him right between the eyes, causing the young buck to fall to the ground.
"What the?!" Someone shouted.
All the bunnies hurried to inspect their sibling, huddling around him and looking down at the dazed doe.
"Is that a pog?" A dark gray doe asked.
"Where did it come from?"
Judy looked up at the laughing duo currently towering over them, she couldn't help but notice the smug smirk on Trisha's lips, a wink to Judy giving it all away.
Trisha and Peggy had been invited by the Hopps family to come and visit the farm for the fall harvest festival. Sadly Peggy had already made plans back in Manta Bay.
After several phone calls though Bonnie had managed to convince Peggy to bring Trisha round to at least see the farm. The older doe having heard about Trisha's fascination with pumpkins.
As it turned out Stu liked to enter the local pumpkin competition and would fill one of their fields with the large orange gourds every year. The kits of the family would be allowed to carve whichever ones weren't to be entered into the competition.
The offer for picking a pumpkin had even been extended to Trisha and Peggy. Stu insisting that since they were company that they would have the first pick. After they had picked out the best pumpkin to take back to Manta Bay they would actually be taking Sarah and Judy with them for the weekend.
Halloween happened to fall on a Sunday this year but through a series of fortunate events, it was going to be a teacher workday on the following Monday which meant it would be a 3 day weekend. It was a young kit's dream come true.
No school, late night trick or treating, how could it get any better?
"Alright hurry up ya goof and pick out a pumpkin!" Peggy shouted from the porch.
"Remember kits, Trisha gets first pick."
That is how it could get better. For Trisha at least.
Trisha grabbed Sarah by the paw and began to hop down the different levels of the hay pyramid. Both does giggling with excitement.
Judy scurried over and skipped alongside her sister and Trisha. Sarah reaching out and grabbing her older sisters paw.
"Thank you again for all this," Peggy said as she watched the three does hurry off into the field, scurrying around pumpkins while occasionally stopping to inspect one.
"You are taking the girls for the weekend, it is us who owe you a thank you," Bonnie explained as she took a seat on a chair on the porch, nodding to the one next to her.
Peggy joined her friend and stretched out her legs, making herself comfortable, "To be honest I love having the girls around. Normally Trisha and I are outnumbered so having more girls in the house is nice. Plus Judy and Sarah are so well behaved."
"Even if they are building giant pillow forts?" Stu asked with a chuckle.
Peggy laughed and nodded, "I'm guessing they told you about that."
"Sarah bragged about it to her siblings for a week straight," Bonnie commented. "It was nice to see them including her, some of the older ones are still learning."
"About her fur?" Peggy began.
"Yes," Bonnie said with a sad sigh.
"And how beautiful it is?" Peggy finished which earned a smile from Sarah's parents. "I hope one day everyone realizes how lucky they are to have met that little one of yours. I swear she has to be the most adorable kit I have ever met."
"Next to Trisha?" Stu asked kindly.
Peggy let out a snort, "Adorable? Oh yeah, that's my little troublemaker."
The tone in which Peggy said the last few words made Bonnie smirk.
"We found one!" Came a shout out in the middle of the field.
The three adults looked out and saw Judy and Trisha standing next to a large pumpkin, Sarah was sitting right on top, waving at the adults.
"I'll go help them bring it in," Stu said as he strolled out towards the field.
"Oh gosh that is a big one," Bonnie muttered as she looked at the gourd the girls had chosen. "Are you going to be able to carry it dear?"
"We are actually being picked up at the station by Peach, think she has to pick up Atom at the station so she offered to give us a ride back home, I'm sure she wouldn't mind helping me."
"Peach?" Bonnie asked as she tilted her head, she then remembered painted dogs and how some would occasionally have a silly name.
"Atom's mother, she is a scientist at the local college, really sweet, super smart too. Trisha keeps pestering her about bringing pumpkins to life."
Bonnie simply smiled and looked out at the field as Stu finally reached the girls. The buck put his paws on his hips and praised the girls on picking out one of the best pumpkins. Sarah had apparently found it first and received an ear rub from her father, the small doe closing her eyes and purring at her father's touch.
"So once you are all picked up what is the plan?" Bonnie asked as she looked back at Peggy.
"Well I'm sure Trisha is going to want to get that pumpkin carved right away, then it is going to be lots of junk food and late night horror movies, Judy and Trisha were talking about getting matching tattoos so I may take them out for that," It was at this point Bonnie realized where Trisha got some of her mischievous behavior. "Sarah might want to get her ears pierced too, what do you think? 10 on each side?"
Bonnie swatted at Peggy's arm as the two shared a laugh.
"Seriously though, once the pumpkin carving is done I think the gang wants to get together. Then tomorrow is the big trick or treat event," Peggy had a rather smug grin on her face as she looked off at the girls, "A certain someone from Zootopia will be visiting as well."
"Oh well now," Bonnie said as her ears went up and she looked out across the field. Her eyes falling on Judy who was smiling up at her father as the buck hefted the large pumpkin in his arms. "I can't wait to hear about that."
The rest of the day was a bit of a busy blur. Stu dropped the girls off at the BunnyBurrow train station while Bonnie stayed behind at the family farm to tend to the other Hopp's children.
Stu wrapped his girls up in a hug and reminded them to behave themselves while staying at the Rose's home. He then gave Peggy a friendly hug which she returned while thanking him for the pumpkin.
When it was Trisha's time for a goodbye the small doe surprised Stu by leaping up and wrapping her arms and legs around the buck who let out a surprised laugh.
"Thank you so much for the pumpkin, Uncle Stu!" The bunny exclaimed as she nuzzled into Stu's cheek.
"Of course darling," The buck said as he patted Trisha on the head.
The girls arrived at Manta Bay where an excited pair of painted dogs were waiting to greet them. Atom could barely contain himself as he began to wiggle in place, his tail swishing back and forth rapidly. His mother didn't even attempt to stop Atom as he darted forward towards his friends. Judy and Sarah were scooped up in a warm hug as the painted pup buried his muzzle in between the bunnies heads. Both Judy and Sarah giggled with joy at the tickling sensation as they wrapped their arms around Atom.
Not to be left out Trisha leaped up and hugged Atom from behind. The painted dog covered in small bunnies who all giggled as he let out the occasional excited snort.
Atom's mother, Peach, greeted the girls with a friendly hug and even a quick ear rub for Trisha who leaned against the larger mammals leg.
"Thanks again for picking us up Peach," Peggy began before giving her friend a nervous smile, "Would you mind helping with something?"
The painted female was more than happy to help carry the pumpkin. While large by bunny standards it wasn't exactly too much of a task for Peach to carry.
"So any ideas on how you are going to carve this?" The painted dog asked as she looked down at the girls who trotted alongside.
"I vote old school jack o lantern style," Trisha said as she raised her paw.
"Or maybe a spooky face!" Sarah suggested.
Atom hopped in front of the group who all stood still and watched as he made a series of paw signals. As one the bunnies all turned to look at Peach who rolled her eyes, "Not everything has to be about ice cream sweetie."
Atom actually looked rather offended by the last comment and stared at his mother as if she had just said a bad word.
After being dropped off at the Rose residence the girls took some time to just rest after their train ride. Trisha's father was there to greet the girls. Apparently, her brothers were all out elsewhere, one of their friends was having a slumber party and the boys would most likely be spending the night elsewhere.
"So for once, the girls outnumber the boys!" Trisha exclaimed excitedly.
"That may be true, but I have back up," Trisha's father exclaimed.
The three younger does all stared at Dave who had one paw behind his back. He then tensed up and held his paw over his head, making his finger curl into a hook-like shape.
"The claw!" Dave bellowed and made an evil laugh.
"AH!" Trisha tried to scamper away but her father was too quickly scooping up the small doe and proceeding to tickle her sides.
Unfortunately for Judy and Sarah, the claw did not discriminate and soon they were running around the living room laughing as Dave chased after them, occasionally getting one of the bunnies and giving them a quick tickle before letting them go so he could find another 'victim'.
When the girls were finally exhausted Dave stood up and brushed his paws together, looking over his shoulder and grinned at his wife.
"And you were worried they would have too much energy," The buck said with a wink.
As the day turned to night the girls all got settled in. The pumpkin carving was rather interesting. Trisha especially had fun scooping out all of the pumpkin's innards. At one point putting a great big glob between her ears and claiming she was some kind of pumpkin monster.
After pumpkin carving, it was time for the girls to call it a night. While Peggy cleaned up in the kitchen the three smaller bunnies hurried to Trisha's room. Unlike last time Sarah and Judy didn't bring any sleeping bags, knowing full well where they would be sleeping while at Trisha's house.
Once they were all cleaned up and in their pajamas, Judy hurried into Trisha's bed and began to curl up under the warm sheets. A pair of blue eyes staring right at her, however, told her she wouldn't be getting any sleep anytime soon.
"Soooooo?" Trisha began as she sat cross-legged in front of Judy who tried to squirm away.
"So nothing," Judy blushed as she tried to turn over and stare at the wall.
Judy felt some pressure on her side and realized Trisha was climbing over her. The brown bunny managing to wiggle in between the wall and Judy, her bright blue eyes looking back at Judy.
"You can avoid the subject all you want in your postcards," Trisha pointed out with a playful smirk. "But now you have no place to run."
"No place to run," Sarah echoed as she nuzzled up behind her sister.
"Why are you so interested in….him?" Judy asked, her ears starting to warm with a light blush.
"I'm not," Trisha said with a smile, causing Judy to let out a sigh of relief, "I am interested in you AND him."
Judy looked away for a moment before glancing back at Trisha, "You aren't going to drop this are you?"
"I think I have sent you like 15 postcards all asking the same question, you think I am going to drop this now."
"Why is it so important?"
"It just is."
"Just is," Sarah cooed.
"Sarah, do you even know what we are talking about?" Judy asked as she tilted her head and looked back at her younger sister.
"You and Nick sitting in a tree," Sarah began which caused Judy's eyes to go wide in horror.
"K-I-S-S-I-N-G" Trisha joined in.
"Hate you both," Judy grumbled as she tried to pull the covers over her head.
Sadly for Judy though she was outnumbered. While Sarah had never really pestered Judy about Nick, Trisha had been trying to get information nonstop about the two. Now that they were at Trisha's home she had a feeling the brown bunny would most likely recruit Sarah in her information gathering campaign.
"We have talked," Judy finally relented. Keeping her voice in a low whisper as if Nick was right outside the room.
"And one time on the phone," Sarah added which earned her a quick flick of the ear. "Ow!"
"The phone?" Trisha asked with a smug grin.
"It was only for a little bit," Judy lied.
"Was more like 30 minutes, she got in trouble for that one," Sarah pointed out.
"Sarah, hush," Judy tried to be mad at her little sister but how could she? In the end, she wanted to tell Trisha but she felt her normal courage faltering when it came to a certain fox.
The girls spent most of the night gossiping underneath the covers. Trisha trying to get more information about Nick and Judy. On one occasion Judy managed to turn the tables when she mentioned libraries and Delta.
Trisha, however, ignored the comment and continued her interrogation.
They fell asleep still chatting about a certain someone, which led to a certain bunny dreaming about a certain fox as she curled up under the sheets.
Halloween finally came!
The girls spent most of the day watching spooky Halloween cartoons and enjoying various Halloween themed goodies Peggy had prepared.
Jell-o with candy eyeballs in the center, cupcakes with spiders, cookies with chocolate kisses that made them look like witches hats.
"Alright girls," Peggy said as another cartoon came to an end. "Time to get into your costumes, then it's off to Emily's home."
Judy's ears went up at the mention of Nick's cousin, "Emily's home?"
"Yeah! They are throwing a Halloween party, we are invited but we get to go trick or treating too," Trisha exclaimed as she stood up and helped Sarah up, wrapping her arms around the smaller doe and squeezing, causing Sarah to squeal excitedly.
"Oh cool…umm…will.." Judy tried to find the right words but didn't want to give anything away.
She wanted to see if Nick would be there. While the two had been chatting more via postcard and the occasional phone call neither of them had brought up the next time they would see one another. As if the question would give something away.
"Delta be there? Yes, he said Atom and him have amazing costumes this year," Trisha exclaimed.
"Oh cool!" Judy said with a smile, a slight disappointment in her voice.
He is probably back in Zootopia…
The girls each got dressed in their costumes separately. When they were finally dressed they performed a kind of quick fashion show for Peggy and Dave who had dressed up like a pair old-fashioned gangsters. Dave wearing a pin strip suit while Peggy was in a similar outfit except for a skirt instead of slacks.
Trisha was dressed in an orange jumpsuit. A jack-o-lantern smile painted on the front while green fabric was sewn into the cuffs, ankles, and collar. A matching green hat sat on her head with holes for her ears. Apparently, her costume from last year had been eaten by moths. Trisha claiming it was obviously open attack from the moth kingdom and would never be forgiven. The bunny and her mother, however, managed to make a new costume which Trisha thoroughly enjoyed, saying how she could stuff candy into her suit and make herself look like a pumpkin.
Judy as always was dressed as a member of the ZPD. The bunny had made a few additions to her costume. Adding a duty belt she had found at a pawnshop along with a vest which she had to cut to make it her size.
"Uh oh Mugsy," Peggy began with an odd accent, "It's the fuzz!"
Dave held up his paws in the air, "I will gladly tell you where my wife hid all the loot in exchange for freedom officer."
"You snitch," Peggy snorted as she gave her husband a playful slap on the air.
Judy had a pair of plastic paw cuffs which she twirled and eyed the two older bunnies dressed as criminals.
Sarah came scurrying out next, her outfit causing Peggy to let out a squeak of excitement. The multi-colored bunny had dressed up as a fairy princess this year. Her light blue dress puffed out around her. A silver tiara sat around her ears.
"Oh my gosh, Sarah! That is adorable," Peggy squealed as she hurried over and helped adjust some of the outfit for the small bunny. "Finally a cute costume."
"Hey, my pumpkin costume is cute!" Trisha shouted from the kitchen.
"A princess, finally a girly costume, every year its pumpkins or zombies or some kind of monster," Peggy gushed. Apparently, the doe had always wanted to see a bunny in a princess outfit. Having a tombun like Trisha though meant the chances of seeing such a costume was slim. "You look beautiful."
Sarah blushed and waved her wand about, "Thanks, Aunt Peggy."
"Alright let's get some pictures and then it's off to cause some trouble at Jean's," Dave said as he grabbed a camera from the kitchen table.
When they had finally gotten enough pictures the gang loaded up into the family van and headed out towards Emily and Jean's home.
The girls all sat in the back, Trisha petting Sarah and saying how she could be a pumpkin princess in her kingdom. Sarah giggled and nuzzled into Trisha, saying how she would like that. Judy watched the pair and smirked, glad that Sarah was having a nice time.
A constant nagging feeling was at the back of the young bunny's mind, however. As she watched the way Trisha gently stroked Sarah's ears she began to think of Nick. How they had fallen asleep together at the Manta Bay Aquarium the last time they met. How she woke up to the young tod stroking her ears. How wonderful it all felt. How they had simply sat there curled up with one another for hours.
"Looks like the party is in full swing," Dave commented which brought Judy back to reality.
Several cars were parked up and down the street in front of Emily's house. Fortunately, a spot became available right up front and Dave managed to snag it. The girls all piled out of the car and took a moment to look at the house before them.
Cobwebs covered the roof, tombstones in the front, and music playing from the inside as a series of strobes flashed told everyone that the foxes living inside were really into the Halloween spirit.
Peggy led the girls up to the front door and rang the doorbell. It took a minute before the door finally opened. Jean was dressed as a flapper girl, her dress covered in a series of tassels that swayed when she walked.
"Oh my gosh look at you lot," Jean gushed as she greeted them all.
Trisha gave the vixen a hug and showed off her modified pumpkin queen outfit.
Jean loved Judy's ZPD uniform, saying how official it looked.
"And you little miss princess, look at how beautiful you are," Jean exclaimed which caused Sarah to blush and look at the floor.
"Thank you, Auntie Jean," Sarah said in a bashful manner.
"Please come in! The gang is out back enjoying some snacks," Jean stepped to the side and let everyone clamber in. She gave Peggy a kiss on the cheek and Dave a friendly hug, whispering something into the buck's ear which caused him the laugh.
Inside the house, several adults milled about in various outfits. Judy noticed Delta's father Larry dressed as a mummy. The painted dog saw the new arrivals and waved, giving Judy a salute which the bunny happily returned.
A few other adults were dancing in the living room to Halloween songs. The mood was lively and playful, several of the mammals carrying around red cups that smelled of various spirits.
Once in the backyard, the bunnies were greeted by Delta, Atom, and Emily who were all in their costumes.
Emily was dressed as a firefighter this year. The fox hurrying over to Judy and complimenting the bunny on her ZPD uniform.
"Are you ZFD?" Judy asked excitedly.
"Oh yeah!" Emily said as she turned around to show the ZFD which had been drawn on the back of her firefighter jacket.
"That's so cool!"
"Robots!" Sarah exclaimed as Atom and Delta waddled over.
The pair of painted dogs had taken a series of boxes, pants, and other metallic objects and made a pair of piecemeal robot costumes which they had spray painted silver.
Their costumes made odd clanging noises as they hurried over.
"We would give you a hug but these costumes aren't really good at hugs," Delta exclaimed.
That didn't really stop Atom from trying though as he did his best to put his arms around Sarah. In the end, it looked awkward thanks to the boxes currently around the painted pups arms. Sarah giggled and leaned against Atom none the less.
"And who do the robots declare allegiance to?" Trisha asked with a chuckle as she skipped over to Delta.
Trisha scoffed and rolled her eyes, "Wrong answer…"
She then did something that made Judy's jaw fall open. The brown bunny wiggled a paw towards Delta, causing the robot to lean down. The bunny then stood up on her tippy paws and pressed her lips to Delta's cheek, planting a gentle kiss to his fur.
"Yeah they started doing that lately," Emily whispered with a giggle. "Ever since their parents said they weren't in trouble for the library thing they have gotten super gross."
"Have they kissed for real yet?" Judy whispered excitedly.
"No idea," Emily grunted, "So far its just hugs, paw holding, and the occasional kiss on the cheek."
Judy wanted to ask more but was interrupted by the sound of the sliding glass door to the house opening and closing quickly.
She turned expecting to see one of the adults from the party but froze.
"Well hello, there officer Wilde, about time you joined us," Emily teased.
Nick took a few steps forward and rubbed the back of his neck with a paw, "Sorry, had to adjust some of my costume."
Judy took a slight step forward and stared at Nick. This year the tod had gone with a different costume. He was no longer a scout. This year he was a police officer. Not just any officer though. The words ZPD had been patched onto the front of his vest. The young fox wore all black and blue, a pair of police aviators sat on his head.
"Officer Hopps," Nick said with a salute.
Judy was stunned as she tilted her head, a goofy smile on her lips as her ears warmed.
"I um…wanted to surprise you," Nick began, growing somewhat bashful.
There was movement behind Judy but the bunny didn't turn to look. Had she taken a moment she would have seen Trisha and Emily whispering behind her. Delta and Atom distracted Sarah by doing a little robot dance which caused the doe to giggle.
"Nick you look so awesome," Trisha whispered behind Judy, causing the gray bunny to snap out of her dreamlike state.
"Nick you look so awesome, "Judy repeated as she blushed.
"I want to hold your paw and give you a smooch," Trisha whispered into Judy's ears.
"I want to ho-" Judy stopped and turned to look at Trisha who was grinning mischievously.
The group shared a laugh at Judy's expense, the bunny joining in not long after.
The two ZPD dressed mammals spent some time looking over one another's costumes. Nick really liking the new vest and belt Judy had added. The bunny turned to show Nick the back of her vest then had a bit of a mischievous thought. She glanced over at Trisha who was laughing with Emily. She then decided to pull a page from Trisha's book. She gave Nick a playful tail flick. When she glanced over at Nick the tod was looking at the sky, an embarrassed smile on his lips. Judy blushed, she couldn't believe she actually tried that.
Watching Nick's reaction though and how his tail swished back and forth made the doe grin.
Meanwhile, Delta and Atom were talking with Sarah about her costume.
"Fairy princess," Sarah corrected playfully.
Atom made a series of paw signs which made Delta smirk, "Do you grant wishes?"
Sarah sighed as she waved her wand over her head, "I try but they never work."
"Which one did you try?"
"My own wish…"
"I want my fur to be different," Sarah said with a sad sigh. "So I could play with everyone and not be picked on."
Trisha overheard Sarah's comment and felt like her heart was breaking. Before the bunny could intervene however Delta took a knee in front of the bunny.
"But we like your fur," He said as he extended a robot paw and placed it gently on Sarah's shoulder.
"But I am a quad…." Sarah said sadly as she looked at the ground.
"No your not," Delta said firmly. "You are painted."
Sarah glanced up and gave Delta a confused look, "Painted?"
"Yeah, I mean you have all the same colors as Atom and me and no one calls us quad dogs."
Sarah thought about it for a moment and blinked several times at Delta.
Atom suddenly jumped up into the air and made a series of paw signs to Delta.
"What? But we worked so hard on them," Delta said as he stared at his mute friend.
Atom patted his costume then made more paw signs. Delta looked down at his own costume then at Sarah.
Atom's tail swished back and forth as he looked at Delta and then to Sarah.
Delta let out a sigh and stood up, turning to Emily.
"Emily, we need to borrow some stuff," The painted dog said firmly.
"Uhhh…ok?" Emily said as she looked over at the robot.
With that Delta and Atom led Emily away back into the house, the young vixen looking somewhat confused as Delta whispered into her ears.
It was at this point Trisha hurried over to Sarah, "How about we have some snacks and then go trick or treating?"
"I guess," Sarah mumbled, obviously still a little hurt her wish didn't come true.
Sarah had been dealing with her fur's unique pattern for so long and now it seemed she was fed up with it. The normally bouncy Sarah was now being replaced by a somewhat depressed bunny and it was tearing at everyone's hearts.
"How has she been?" Nick asked nervously.
"Some good days," Judy began. "But mostly bad….I mean her littermates have accepted her finally but we have so many siblings and most are still not very nice to her."
"But she is Sarah…she is so sweet."
After a few minutes of milling about the group looked over at the sliding glass door where an excited looking Emily hurried from. The vixen aimed right for Sarah, standing behind Sarah and moving her into the center of the yard. She put her paws on Sarah's face, covering the doe's bright pink eyes.
"Hey! Emily!" Sarah said with a laugh.
"Shush and wait," Emily instructed.
Sarah giggled and waited patiently, her ears raising as she heard pawsteps in front of her.
"Ok Sarah," Emily said as she leaned down so her head was next to Sarah's.
"Every princess needs," Emily began as she moved her paws away from Sarah's face and revealed the surprise. "Knights!"
Standing before Sarah was Atom and Delta who were no longer dressed as robots. They had torn apart their costumes and reassembled them into makeshift battle armor. The silver had been a good choice in color as it looked like steel armor once worn by knights in olden times. The pair of painted dogs stood at attention and raised two silver staffs that looked like broomsticks covered in duct tape.
"All hail Princess Sarah," Delta barked. "The painted princess!"
Trisha hurried over to Sarah and hugged her from the side.
"Knights! Sarah, you have knights! I don't even have knights, that is so cool!"
Judy was crying for her sister, tears of joy rolled down her cheeks as she watched the scene play out.
"Wow," Nick said with a chuckle. "Now that is cool."
"Yeah…those two really love Sarah," Judy said with a sniffle.
"We all do," Nick added.
Sarah burst into tears of joy and ran over to her painted knights. She didn't even hesitate to jump up and wrap her arms around Delta's neck, planting a kiss on the painted dog's snout.
"Oi! That one is spoken for," Trisha barked which caused everyone to laugh.
Atom was next, when he got his kiss on the cheek from the excited Sarah he let out a gag but nuzzled into the doe none the less.
The rest of the night was a blast. The gang was allowed to trick or treat on their own, they were told to return back to Jean's home at 11. 11! To a young kit that was like staying out the whole night.
"Have fun you lot," Peggy said, her words sounding somewhat slurred as she waved at the gang on their way out. The doe then looked back at the party inside, a mischievous smile on her face as she closed the door behind her.
"Your mom already had a lot of punch," Emily pointed out.
"Sounds about right, dad always says she is a real party mammal, where do you think I get it from?" Trisha said proudly.
The group visited house after house. Their bags filling with candy quickly. Occasionally they would stop to swap candy with one another. Or to just chat and play around.
The real highlight of the night, however, was old mammal Johnson's house. The old wolf having set up another graveyard obstacle course in his front yard. His son had dressed up like a mummy this year and would run around, chasing anyone who tried to go for the cauldron filled with big candy.
This year Judy gave the course a go and managed to get to the cauldron, mainly because the mummy tripped over his own costume. The gray bunny stood triumphantly holding a king-sized candy bar over her head as her friends cheered.
Sadly Nick and Trisha couldn't get past the mummy this year. The wolf even remembered Nick and said he had been practicing for the fox's return. He was still rather friendly with Nick as he carried him across the graveyard.
"Oi Dad, it's the ranger scout from last year," The mummy pointed out as he hefted the annoyed young fox under his arm.
"Oh darn, was hoping he would have gotten it for the second year."
When Trisha was caught the mummy held the small bunny over his head the same way Judy had held her candy, "No pumpkin distractions this year!"
Trisha grumbled and squirmed but laughed when the wolf proceeded to carry her upside down to the edge of the front yard.
"The pumpkin queen shall return next time!"
To everyone's surprise, Sarah stepped up to the plate. The doe standing bravely at the edge of the front yard and staring down the mummy who smiled down at her.
"What ya got there princess?" The wolf teased.
"I got knights!" Sarah shouted.
Delta and Atom suddenly ran right at the mummy and leaped onto the larger canine.
"What the?! Hey, no fair!"
Old mammal Johnson roared with laughter from the front porch as he watched his son tackled to the ground by the two young painted knights. He laughed even harder as Sarah simply strolled through the graveyard and retrieved her prize.
"Oh, I love it!" The old wolf said as he hurried off the porch. "That earns you a bonus sweetie."
"Don't encourage this behavior dad," The mummy grunted as he tried to stand up, Atom, however, had tied some of the mummy's wraps around his legs, causing him to fall over.
"what is your name princess?" Old mammal Johnson.
"I am Princess Sarah Hopps!" Sarah announced proudly as she took a step closer to the larger predator. "The painted princess."
"Well princess," The wolf said as he bowed his head then smirked at Sarah. "For making this old wolf laugh so hard I think you earned a special prize."
"Really?" Sarah asked excitedly.
"Eyeballs?" The old wolf said as he produced some gummy candy from a small bag. "Or brains?"
"Ewwww! Brains please!"
While everyone was distracted by the hijinks in old mammal johnsons front yard something even more spectacular was happening on the other side of the fence.
"That's the Sarah we know and love," Nick chuckled from behind Judy.
The doe leaned back against the tod and sighed, "Yeah, that's my sister."
She felt her heart skip a beat as she felt a pair of paws wrap around her shoulder. She didn't even flinch though as she rested her paws on Nick's arms.
"I'm really glad you made it back to Manta Bay officer Hopps," Nick whispered.
"Me too Officer Wilde."
"I…..I missed you," Nick managed to get the words out.
"Yeah?" Judy asked as her tail flicked, she turned slightly in Nick's arms so she could look up at the fox.
The way his emerald eyes looked at her caused her to blush.
"I missed you too Nick," Judy whispered, her heart racing.
They remained silent for a moment or two, smiling at one another.
"Dogpile!" Trisha shouted in the front yard as she and Emily joined in on the craziness. The gang piling on top of the mummy who let out a yelp.
Judy was hoping everyone would be far too busy torturing old mammal johnson's son to notice what was happening by the fence.
She bit her lower lip as she studied Nick for a moment then decided to just go for it.
She hopped up and pressed her lips to Nick's cheek, holding onto him so her fur could linger against his. When she finally clambered down she watched Nick whose eyes went wide.
He seemed frozen at first but then began to sway back and forth till he fell on his back.
"Delta did the same thing when I did that!" Trisha shouted.
Judy winced and slowly turned around. To her horror, all eyes were now on her and the unconscious Nick before her.
Also happy 1 year in Manta Bay...kinda.
I mean the first Halloween chapter was written a year ago and since it became part of the Manta Bay story I'm gonna chalk this up to a year-long story.
Special thanks to Fox in the hen house for the continued use of his adorably cute OC Sarah Hopps. Fox and I were talking about costume ideas and omg the one for Sarah and how she would wish for her fur to be different were all his idea and it broke my heart. So naturally, I had my painted dogs save the day!
I hope you all enjoyed another fluff filled chapter!
Till next time.
Cya in Manta Bay.