He looked after him. The facts were straight, the line was drawn and the future was now on the horizon. As he shakily stood up on his wet red legs, the fox knew that from now on he would have to be the one to make it by himself – and possibly with someone to take care of. There she was. The one who had given him hope to carry on, and to care again. Without her, he would be nothing right now. The vixen had made him see himself.
"Todd!" Vixie cried out.
His breath came out unevenly as his heart still hammered from the force of the plunge he had endured. Immediately, Vixie ran out to him. Todd watched between damp fur as she treaded the shallow pool hurriedly and braced himself as her head came to rest under his chin. Todd felt some of the pain fade, feeling her warm, dry body pressed under his own.
"Oh, heavens, Todd." She whispered shakily.
"It's all right, Vixie." He assured her. "It's over."
When Todd looked at her again he was surprised to see tears settling in her brown eyes.
"Why – what's wrong?" a grin crossed his muzzle. "We're alive! No… need to cry."
Vixie half-laughed, an abrupt breath of air shooting out of her mouth. "Todd…"
"Vixie." He slyly caught her under the chin with the tip of his nose.
"You've done it, Todd." She smiled widely and placed her head back under his. "This is why we're here, so we won't be hunted down but you did it. You've broken down a big barrier."
The fox stood over her, trying to assess what she meant and he realized after a moment or so what Vixie was saying – and the way she nuzzled him now. It was not out of pity that she was with him, or because he was something to laugh at; it was because Todd in one year's time had done something he doubted anyone else had – he had broken down a wall that had been long established before he had been born; A thick wall that existed between prey and predator for as long as time had. This was truly Todd's hero's embrace.
Spring passed with summer on the horizon. Todd and Vixie spent every moment together and had never been happier. The two went cavorting through the forest, laying out all day in wide, open meadows and living their lives blissfully until one day Todd returned to the burrow they shared to find Vixie waiting patiently for him outside the grass-lined opening.
"Todd." She greeted him softly.
"What… is it Vixie?" He asked unsurely.
"Look." Her tail lifted up to reveal a row of still oddly preserved white daisies.
"Vixie!" Todd exclaimed, his mouth opening in shock.
"And," She stepped over to him and placed something behind his ear.
A spotted, furling wild tiger lily poked from beside it.
"Seven," Vixie told him with an excited grin, "We're having seven!"
Todd laughed and nuzzled his wife happily – the tiger lily stayed perfectly in its place.