Hey everyone! This is my first piece of written literature that isn't for a class. I'm having a blast writing it, and hope to update weekly on Wednesday's, however I do work full time so I apologize in advance if that doesn't happen. Huge shout out to Whatabummer and Calidain for editing my gibberish and helping me bounce ideas around. And of course, I do not own anything zootopia related.
"Have you already sent the file on the Braden Lynx case over to Precinct 4?" Detective Nick Wilde asked, glancing up from a stack of papers to look across the desk at his partner.
"Sent it off an hour ago," the rabbit said absentmindedly. "Officer Ryan confirmed he had received it."
Judy Hopps looked up from her computer as she finished typing, watching as the fox signed a few final forms.
Time sure had passed since she'd first met the fox, she noted. His fur, while still vibrant and bright, had begun to take a bit of a silver tint to it - especially around the muzzle, and had thinned just enough for the rabbit to begin to easily see a few of the scars he had received in the line of duty. Along his left cheek she could easily spot a thin ragged line marking where he had been cut: a quick slice from an angry horse, but nothing serious enough to stop the fox from making the arrest.
She herself had her own battle scars from a long career as an officer of the ZPD. It wasn't surprising, as the scars were just as much a part of the job as the tedious paperwork. Recently, however, the signs of aging were obvious on the bodies of the pair of detectives, as well as seen on the walls of Precinct 1. The bright sandstone was as much a rich testament to the city as ever, but the inside had started to fade, the interior walls having grown muted and dim. The desks of the officers, long ago laid out strategically according to size to keep the department safe and operating efficiently, had spots of rust and chipped paint along the sides.
The partner's desks were face to face, tucked into a back corner of the ZPD ground floor. Judy's desk was orderly, with minimal clutter; a metal pen holder sat under her computer monitor, right next to her purple stapler and matching 3 hole punch. On the other side of a computer montier was her desk phone and a black "file in and file out" holder. A simple 3 picture photo frame sat in front of the holder, containing photos of her family and partner. Fond memories that gave Judy solace and comfort
Across from the rabbit's desk was Nick's desk, not exactly unorganized, but definitely covered with a lot more clutter then Judy's. A mug on his desk held the various pens and pencils he used, proclaiming him to be 'The world's okayest Fox'. It had been a graduation gift from Judy after completing his time at the academy, and she was surprised at how much the fox had come to treasure the joke gift. It had stood the test of time, stained slightly with ink, and a chip on the lip of the cup, but still in tact - not unlike the fox himself.
To the left of his mug was a small palette that read 'Hopps family farm' on the side, the wood stained blue from the blueberries that had once been shipped in it. Inside the palette was a neat stack of papers that still needed to be sorted through. Nick's computer moniter itself held a number of sticky notes around its face, reminding him to make phone calls or check on details in specific case files. A photo of Judy and Nick from the fox's graduation day sat on the far left of his desk, right next to a bullet that he had taken in his shoulder from a case a few years back. The final touch of Nick Wilde charm came in the form of two small figures right beside his desk phone: one of agent Fox Mulder, and one of Diana Scully, the fox and bunny duo who Nick refers to as Hollywood versions of himself and Judy.
The fox closed the file that was spread across his desk, stretching out, and cracking his back, nodding as he glanced back at her.
"Officer Ryan…..was he the Bobcat that helped us with Devenshire murder investigation? He had the really funny looking stare, almost like you weren't sure he was retaining anything being said to him."
A ballpoint pen easily found its target in-between the foxes ears, smacking his forehead. Judy had years of practice to perfect her aim.
"Be nice Nick!" the rabbit replied with a grin, her foot tapping in a mixture of anger and amusement.
The fox rubbed the spot on his head where the pen had landed, leaning back in his chair and laughed, "Well … you aren't disagreeing with me."
"Am I disagreeing with you? No. No, I am not."
"See," the fox protested. "You're just as guilty as I am, rabbit."
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I am innocent." Judy stood up, walking over to the printer and grabbing a set of freshly printed pages , stapling them together.
"Innocent my ass," Nick mumbled with a smile.
A comfortable silence settled over the partners, a silence familiar to them in their 14 years of service together. A span of years that had seen them quickly rise through the ranks to become detectives in the Homicide and Robbery Division of Precinct 1.
Judy half listened to Nick, one ear swiveling away as her keen hearing made out the sound of footsteps approached from behind. She turned in her seat and greeted an approaching otter with a nod, "Officer Riley! What are you doing in our neck of the woods?"
The otter offered a pawshake, giving a slight shrug as he replied, "Ah, I was just here to drop off the first responders report for you on the Lynx murder. I know I could have emailed it, but I wanted to also thank you for how you handled my bit of a breakdown at the scene. I went through training but I still wasn't prepared for how brutal it was to see for myself, you know?" the officer looked away, his paws fiddling with his tie.
"There is nothing to be sorry for," Judy replied softly. "You know, you handled it better than I did for my first homicide. I thought the Savage Mammals case was rough, but that first homicide left me out back, upset and sick to my stomach."
Nick laughed as he crumpled a sheet of paper, tossing it into the wastebasket next to his desk. "She's being too nice on herself. Ever see a bunny try to vomit and cry at the same time? It ain't pretty,i can tell you that much!"
"Well it was a better sight than your first homicide, Wilde." Judy shot back.
"Who me? I held myself with grace I'll have you know! I'm the epitome of composure."
She let out a chuckle.
"Sure. The grace of a fox with his head stuck in a trash can. It made a very fashionable hat, and it looked like a very uncomfortable pillow once you passed out. Let's not forget that you had to buy Bogo a new set of shoes as well." She said, turning back to the otter. "Point is, no one handles their first one well. We try and prepare for it the best we can, but it still shocks you to your core, and that's a good thing. It means you have compassion and are a good mammal. You never truly get used to it, but you learn to let those feelings callous over. They're still there, every homicide we go to affects us, but we've learned to view the job in a way that we can catch these people and bring justice to those that have passed, and that makes it easier."
The otter nodded, contemplating the older officers' words. "Thanks Detective Hopps. I'll let you guys get back to work."
The pair waved as the otter left, turning back to their work. Nick glanced at his watch, huffing as he picked up a stack of papers, sliding them into his "to do" basket.
"Okay, I think it's time to call it, Carrots. Time of death, 6:35pm." the fox groaned and spread out in his chair, his tongue hanging out, clutching his chest.
Nodding her head in agreement, Judy smiled and started to save her work, exiting out of her computer and shutting it down for the night. She stood and walked around the desk to her partner's side.
"Clear!" the bunny shouted, bring her paws down onto the fox's chest, rocking him in the chair slightly.
"I think we can revive him doctor! Quick, get this fox some food! We can save him!" she giggled.
Nick laughed, sitting up and kissing Judy's cheek.
"Pawflix and pizza tonight? It's been too long of a week to think about cooking ..." the fox said as he stood up, gathering his belongings.
"That sounds perfect. Any suggestions for what to watch?" Judy asked, picking up her coat and walking with Nick towards the exit of the first precinct, her paws typing delivery instructions into her phone.
"Honestly anything that doesn't require much thinking. You can put on some reruns of Friends, that's always good to get a few laughs," he replied, giving a lazy wave to Officer Delgato as they passed his desk. The pair exited the building and continued to make light conversation as they headed home.
The route to their apartment was fairly short, passing by a few of Zootopia's older buildings. The signs of wear and tear of aging were not limited just to the precinct. The city itself had changed since the duo had started so many years ago. The bright, vibrant city now seemed to be washed in a coat of grey, its' alleyways dark, and the sky dim. It certainly didn't help that winter was creeping in, just off the cusp of a crisp October. A sudden cold chill made Judy pull her coat tighter, and the clouds loomed above their heads. Nick quietly pulled her closer to him, his arm wrapped around her as they walked, giving her a gentle smile as they turned down their street.
"I'm not saying that pineapple isn't good, what I am saying is it doesn't belong on a pizza," Nick said, setting the pizza on the coffee table of their apartment, and sinking heavily into his usual seat on the sofa.
Judy and Nick's apartment was modest, but cozy, and most importantly it was located just a few blocks away from the station. It was located on the top floor of a small modern apartment complex, with large windows and a gray exterior.
The interior walls of the apartment were painted a light lavender, a color picked out by the fox because, as he put it, "it reminds me of my Carrots." The living room hosted a comfortable leather couch and a recliner large enough to fit two, both facing a generous sized TV and filled entertainment system. Behind the living room sat a modest sized open kitchen and dining room, outfitted with well used cooking tools and stainless steel appliances. The walls of the kitchen were painted a light brown, decorated with various coffee art pieces and knick knacks the pair had found through the years.
On the far side of the rested a large sliding glass door that lead to a small patio with a gorgeous view of the city center. Sitting on the patio was two lounge chairs on either side of a small wooden table, as well as a grill on the far left side of the patio. Judy's small garden on the right side flourished, with a few bright flowers and, of course, a blueberry bush, placed in colorful pots.
"And I'm not saying you're wrong…Well actually I am saying you're wrong because you're wrong."
Judy flopped onto the couch, and swiveled to put her feet across Nick's lap to lie across the length of the couch. From her relaxed position, she took the last slice from the box, taking the remote to start on another episode of friends.
Nick placed his paws on Judy's feet, rubbing them softly as he rolled his eyes, a paw lifting to point at himself. "I'm wrong? No no no, you see, you're taking sweet pineapple, and putting it on a savory Pizza. You are making an abomination. An abomination! It's a worse abomination than anything else created in history. It's the devil's work!"
"An abomination? You're an abomination. It adds a textural variety to the pizza that you can't find anywhere else. Plus the sweet pineapple mixed with the tangy tomato sauce is just amazing," Judy said as she took a bite, nodding in satisfaction.
"Growing up in the country really messed with your head. I'm sure the on duty shrink at the station can help! I'll make you an app-"
"Ah crap….." The loud buzzing of both phones ringing effectively shut down any further conversation. Judy tossed Nicks phone to him, shrugging with a small smile as they sighed.
"Well, I think we're in for a long weekend," Nick said, before both getting up, heading towards the bedroom to get dressed as they each answered their phones.
"This is Detective Hopps." .
"We'll be there shortly." Nick finished, sliding a white button up shirt on before tossing his phone back on the bed. He fastened the buttons, and shouldered his holster into place. He reached down and frowned, turning towards Judy as he walked out of their bedroom.
"Hey Carrots, have you seen my-"
Judy tossed Nick his badge as she finished sliding her coat on, her own badge clipped on her hip next to her weapon.
"And that's why I love you," the fox chuckled as he clipped his badge in place on his belt, giving it a quick shine with his sleeve.
"That's the reason why? Because I keep track of your stuff?"
"That and you're a good kisser."
Judy smacked his shoulder as she gave an amused chuckle. "Get moving Fox."
Nick walked forward and opened the door, pausing as the two mammals glanced at each other, letting out soft sighs as they took a moment to prepare to head back into the dark night. They were both tired, something neither tried to hide as their eyes met, but they took strength in each other.
"Ready to make the world a better place?" Judy asked, holding a fist up for Nick.
"Always am sweetheart," he responded, bumping her first before stepping out of the apartment, heading towards a darkness that was unknown to them.