I.

Nick looked at himself prophetically in the hall mirror of his new apartment.

"They're gonna hate me," he lamented.

"They're gonna love you," An unseen voice said, two grey paws reached up to adjust his tie.

"They're gonna laugh at me," Nick looked down as a lithe, silver rabbit buttoned his blazer.

"They're gonna laugh with you," She corrected mildly, but a smile twitched beneath her teeth.

Nick tweaked his nose.

"There!" Judy jumped up and clasped her paws together, hopping back a little as she did. "What'd you think? I'm asking you cause your the one who has to wear it." she giggled a bit.

Nick smiled back crookedly and pretended to give himself a real look-over, pausing to twitter and cluck his tongue whenever the slick, black suit seemed to cause him disapproval but also giving an interested, "Mmm" whenever he was pleased. Judy whacked him lightly over the head with her carrot phone.

"C'mon," She came closer and tugged down at his lapels, he seemed to enjoy this but kept his eyes on her paws. "I sent away for this weeks ago, just so ya know." He twittered again.

"Now," Judy didn't look at him either, smiling as his silver tie reflected her face.

"Now what?" His shamrock eyes stayed riveted on her peppery paw.

"What does the fox say?" The uncertainty in her voice made him look down.

Her violet eyes examined his face in quick ticks, trying to read his reaction...

Scared.

Nick took her small face between his claws and lowered his head to press it against hers.

"I love you," the fox whispered.

II.

Stu Hopps and Nick Wilde sat across the table from one another.

It was a set-up as old as time as mother and daughter fretted around in the kitchen.

"So!" Nick laid his paws on the table, jostling it a bit, "First fox to dinner, huh?"

The rabbit chuckled. "Not true, we have Gideon Gray and his wife over from time to time."

"Ohh," He sounded disinterested as he picked up a fork and played with it. "Imagine that."

"Dinn-errrr!" Bonnie sang as she and Judy entered the kitchen. "You get is? Cause we live in a den... house. Denhouse. Eh... okay," she sat down a steaming carrot in front of everyone.

Nick was a little perplexed. "I was just kidding about the whole 'Carrots' thing." he started to whisper when a knock came at the door. Bonnie jumped up to answer it excitedly. "Really, Judy," he kept insisting quietly. "Too many carrots will turn your fur orange. You've got to-,"

"You tellin' my daughter what to do?"

"What? No!"

"Come on in!"

"It's just-,"

"Just cause she's a rabbit, you think you know what's-,"

"Oh, those berries are lovely, Tanya. Please, please, come in."

"Best for her? No. But rabbits can't just live off carrots alone."

"Gideon, your children are adorable. You'll have to bring them by sometime."

"Have you noticed cerulean goes perfect with her fur?" Nick sampled a few blueberries.

"I knew it. I KNEW IT. You're running her life. I knew it!"

Judy started to crack up and Nick swerved his head to look at her.

"Judith?"

"No... no. He only tells me what I can and can't wear on assignments."

Nick chuckled.

Stu fumed.

"Well, you know Gideon, Judy." Bonnie mentioned.

Her daughter nodded.

"Nicholas?"

"Oh, no, I didn't-," His paw froze. Nick slid his eyes over and up the length of a pair of huge, orange legs. The next thing he saw were the angered eyes of Gideon Gray in his face. There was suddenly something firm but delicate on his chest. Nick looked down in horror to see a pair of impatient violet eyes staring up at him; Judy had braced herself in between the two.

Nick noticed Stu buttering a piece of carrot, watching him like a hawk.

He expelled his breath and tapped his girlfriend on her shoulder in surrender. Judy beamed and sat down next to him. No one stared directly as a spotted-and-striped cat sat down in a fitted, pink dress. Judy smiled at her and told Nick they should get a detachable ceiling too.

Several minutes into dinner...

"So Tanya," Judy started as Nick and Stu ate in adverse silence, Bonnie and Gideon would occasionally share confused looks. "How did you and Gideon meet? Online dating site or...?"

"She means, 'what are you?' " Nick spoke up.

Stu hammered his fork down on the table.

"Oh. Well, that's a personally reasonable question and you're not the first ask!" Tanya blotted the blueberry stains from her furry lips and held both of Gideon's claws in her free one. "You see my father was a lion and my mother was a tigress." Nick cocked his head, Judy winced.

"You mean... you're a liger?" The fox gestured with his claws.

"Actually a tigon." Judy corrected him.

"A tigoness," Gideon said peacefully.

"Oh, well I'm sure our rabboxes will be rabboxesses, or," Nick flashed his toothy smile as Judy giggled, covering her mouth with her speckly paws. "Foxit... es...es?" he pretended to bite his tongue as she burst out into laughter. "Th-th-th-th!" Nick tried once more for Judy's benefit. The bunny rolled with hysterics and soon Tanya, Gideon and Bonnie were joining in.

"NO!" Stu slammed his fist down on the table.

Everyone jolted to attention.

"No. No. NO!"

"Daddy!" Judy fired back at him.

"Stuart!" Bonnie was appalled.

"No, no I draw the line here." He stabbed the delicate cedar with his index stub. "Can a fox and rabbit be friends? Yes. Neighbors. You bet. Partners. All day. But having kids together?!"

Judy's ears drew back, her eyes widening. Nick didn't pay any attention to Stu, he was sure nothing else mattered but the tears forming in her eyes. Somewhere the thought seemed to occur to everyone that maybe tigons and foxes were even more strange but before it could be voiced, Judy pushed back from the table and sprinted out the front door. Bonnie hauled Stu's plate away from him and headed back obstinately into the kitchen while Nick stared at Judy's huffing father. Gideon looked at them both, looked at his watch and then at his wife.

"Well! We better make sure the sitter didn't... uh, sit on the young'ns."

As he headed out the front door, Stu rose resolutely from the table and joined his own wife.

...

It was a starry night as Nick picked a few pieces of lent from his rumpled blazer. He flicked them over into a carrot crate beside the barrel he was sitting on. Suddenly, the stomps of a much large animal made him turn around. Nick apologized for no reason at all and stood up.

"Sit down," Tanya gently took his head and returned him to a sitting position. She sat down herself and reclined back on her long, furry arms to look up at the stars musingly. "So, " she said as he opened his mouth. "You're thinking of how to explain to her how it doesn't matter what her parents say, you'll love her anyway." Nick lowered the index claw he had raised. A smile crossed Tanya's brown-marked face. "While at the same time, you're trying to think of a nice, non-biased way to explain your feelings of needing to protect her without leading her to believe that you don't think she can take care of herself. Does that sound about right, Nicholas?"

"Nick." He corrected.

The tigoness nodded wisely.

"That's right," Nick folded his paws together, looking down, "She tries so hard not to let the anti-predator sentiment get in the way. I mean, we laugh and joke about it. But at times... I worry about her. Being around her, I know I would never hurt her. But what if someone else hurts her... " he rubbed at his eyes. "What if... I accidentally hurt her? Without meaning to."

"I understand." Tanya said calmly. The fox looked up at her. "Completely. If you think my parents had it easy just because we're all felines..." she smiled and shook her head. "You're wrong." The tigoness said seriously. "There are places all over the world that hold different views on something as minor as diet restrictions," she smiled at his nervous look. "Take it from someone who knows first paw. If you ever have concerns, no matter if you think they're a big deal or not, talk about them. You'll save a lot of fur flying, trust me."

Tanya folded back her wrist to reveal several scars when Gideon came over and kissed her. He placed his paw over hers and then two left doing more of the same thing. Judy hopped up on the old trunk fence beside Nick. He reached over and took her paw; she squeezed it.

"I'm..."

The fox turned to her patiently.

"Sorry," Judy told him. "I didn't expect this kind of reaction from them."

Arguing could still clearly be heard in the kitchen behind them.

Nick turned with amusement to look at Judy's mother threatening her father with a carrot.

Judy waited until he turned back around, half a smile on her face.

"You know what they say," she shrugged. "Rabbits are fifty shades of orange."

"I guess our own kids will be all the silver," Nick said and then kissed her under the moon.

The end.