Chapter Notes:

For all your waiting, here is the second test for Nick and the rest of her fellow recruits!

Hope you all enjoy the chapter!-

The Second Test:

It's amazing how fast time really does fly, but what's more amazing is how you don't notice it till the end of that time. Two weeks was all the time that the recruits had left before their second big test; only two more weeks to learn every law, regulation, conduct code, and procedure that officers had to follow each and every day. But with that ever decreasing time came the pressure to succeed; however it was all getting easier for a certain red fox.

Throughout his life on the streets Nick had picked up a few very useful skills; one of which was his ability to work exceedingly well under pressure. So after cracking his knuckles all in one go he and his two study partners hit the books chatting lightly about the subjects as the studied. While Nick, Mike, and Morris all studied together during for the most of the time they often studied the subject and sections they needed to work on the most.

Morris was having difficulties with procedural issues because his family's line of work there was no procedures; they did what they needed to do and when they needed to do it, there was no paperwork. Mike on the other opposite of that was having his uncertainties with little to nothing; pretty much everything he was reading was already a force of habit for him thanks to his family, but he wasn't the cocky type and so he put just as much time into reading the books as the rest of the recruits. And then there was Nick who knew more than Mike off the top of his head having to deal with city laws; while Mike was taught the book as a kit, Nick experienced it. He lived on the other side of the line but spent his days tiptoeing the edge, and because of that he knew that line intimately with every gap and turn it had for him.

But the thing that was causing Nick so much trouble was not in the books and it couldn't be taught, it was in himself and had to be overcame; self doubt. His life had taught Nick a very harsh and cold lessons at an early age, and then reinforced it the rest of his life, because of that Nick while being able to handle the material was worried about letting his friends down. However that is what made the red fox strong, he alone was strong, but with the small but close support system of his friends he was stronger, and they are what drove him to push himself further.

Mike was the one to break the silence, "You stuck there Nick? You've been staring at your paper for a while." The grey wolf pointed out to the the rest of group.

"No I was just thinking." He said as he came back to the now and went to take a drink but unfortunately for him that was bad timing.

"Ah, Nick is thinking about pretty fox nurse." Morris said rather loudly in his thick accent, and that blunt statement caused Nick to choke on his water coughing it up onto his shirt, luckily for the three of them not much made it past his paw. "AH! I know it, she is girlfriend!" Morris exclaimed excitedly getting the attention of a few others in the cafeteria.

"What Nick, you holding out on us? Come on tell us who's the vixen." Mike jumped in excited to hear about how Nick met the nurse.

The poor fox was more than confused by everything going on, he didn't know any vixens or nurses, and certainly wasn't dating anyone right now. "Who are you talking about Morris? I don't know any nurses?" he said trying to know where this is all coming from.

But Mike wasn't going to let him get out of it, "Oh no Nick, come on, we never heard about this girl before." He said with an enormous grin across his grey muzzle.

In his always present accent, the polar bear clarified where he got the idea from, "It is fox girl on phone. She text you yesterday."

Hearing this Nick thought back to everyone he got a text from yesterday and when he finally came to the answer he couldn't stop himself from laughing. "Morris…Morris is this the…nurse?" he asked the large mammal pulling his phone out to show both of his friends who were waiting impatiently. To fox in question was standing in the shadows behind a building leaning against the red brick wall, they wore a full nurse's uniform, and in their paw was a newly lit cigaret as they blew a thin line of smoke away from themselves and into the air, the only thing that stood out was the high up camera angel.

"That is her." The white furred mammal confirmed as soon as he saw the picture.

"Way to go Nick, she's smokin." Mike encouraged his choice in women as well as little joke at the addictive habit, "and I don't just mean the cigaret." But after saying that Nick handed over the phone so both larger mammals could get a look while he finally got his drink, and Mike took no time to zoom in the photo for a better look at her features. "W…wait…your girlfriend is a guy?" he said in a voice filled with surprise causing Morris to snatch the phone from him pulling it up to his face to see for himself.

Thankfully this time Nick had already swallowed his water or there might have been another incident, but that didn't stop him from still coughing on what was left. "Wha-Wait- No. I'm not dating him and he isn't a real nurse"

Morris understood now what he had mistaken for a relationship, and the thought of all this misunderstanding made him give a deep hearty chuckle . "Nick likes to play dress up? Is Nick Dr or patient?" he asked, but whether it was out of confusion, curiosity, or simply another part of the misunderstanding, the question threw the red fox for a loop and threw Mike to the floor laughing.

It took several minutes for Mike to calm down and by the end of his laughing episode he was left with little trails of tears on his fur and sides that would hurt tomorrow, and then on top of that it took several minutes for Nick to explain everything else. He already told them about his hustling before becoming an officer so it wasn't anything new, so he explained what hustle they were doing with the outfit rather than what Morris had thought; and by the looks of it he still was thinking of the idea. However, without a doubt in Nick's mind he could see this topic coming up again for a long while as Mike said another 'Dr./Nurse comment' before laughing again, but the red fox and large bear couldn't help but join him in laughing.

Five thirty hit and Judy's alarm blared to life next to her bed, and not soon after did the eager officer come into the room while brushing her teeth so she could turn it off before heading back to the bathroom to finish her morning routine. It was a strange thing for her, taking things slow and steady, she still couldn't stay asleep past five thirty but while she was up in the morning now that she lived closer to the precinct there was no need to worry about catching the train or being late for work.

Now she could leave at her regular time and finally enjoy the city in the sunrise as she walked to the precinct even having enough time to enjoy a coffee with Clawhauser before getting her assignment in the bullpen; now she really loved the city as she always wanted to. In a few more minutes she made her leave and headed for the precinct, while there was still a train she could catch and get there quicker she loved walking through the orange glow of the sunrise.

As she walked down the sidewalk there wasn't very many other mammals out and about before remembering something very important, she took at her phone to find she was right; it was the fifteenth. It was the day of Nick's second test at the training academy; and without skipping a beat she opened up a new text for her fox friend. Even though she knew he was dead asleep from stay up late studying again she thought of no better way to show her encouragement for him than to give him something to wake up to.

'Good luck on your test Nick! Don't feel too bad if you can't beat my score. :P' she sent her playful jab at her friend; he couldn't beat her score even if he tried, after all she didn't miss a single point. Without a doubt in her mind she had faith her friend would pass with ease, and was pretty certain that he would even be able to tie with her. He might have been living a rough life for a long while but she knew he could do it.

It wasn't too much longer before she found herself stepping up the small stairs to the ZPD office, the stairs were made small so all animals feel welcome at the precinct; here everyone was treated fairly, no matter their size nor speice, gender or beliefs. "Hey Judy!" Clawhauser's voice was just as happy as his demeanor always was."You're here early today, finally going to have a donut with me?" he said as she hopped up onto the stool he kept so they could sit and talk together.

The donut in question was a regular chocolate with sprinkle donut perfect for a mammal his size, but for Judy being a rabbit, and a small one at that, the donut was more like an impossibly large cake. And just as she was about to politely decline his offer again he stopped her. "Wait- before you say no…" he trailed off as her turned around to get something behind him that Judy couldn't see before turning back around quickly. "Tada!" he exclaimed happily as he presented another pink box, it was from the same bakery but a lot smaller.

The small officer took the box placing it on the tabletop and opened it curious as to what was inside the box, "Aww Clawhauser you didn't have to." she said touched by her friends kindness. The box was half a dozen chocolate sprinkled donuts from the same bakery that the kind predator always went to, the only difference was they were perfect for her size. With that together the two of the officers enjoyed the morning before Judy had to report in at the bullpen.

Nick woke up from Mike and Morris calling for his attention, they had planned to go down and eat breakfast together and then study at their table till they had to go report for their test. Without wanting to waste time Nick hopped down from his bunk and quickly got ready before grabbing his phone and heading out the door. While he walked to catch up with his larger friends he saw two messages on his phone; one a little after six and the thirty minutes later.

While he was happy to see both messages he was happier to see Judy's message first, 'Good luck on your test Nick! Don't feel too bad if you can't beat my score. :P' the challenge put a smile on his muzzle, and whether it was possible or not he wasn't going to let her get away that easy.

'Alright Carrots, if I can match you perfect score you are buying drinks when I graduate.' he responded with a grin parting his lips thinking about how easy it was going to be to get free drinks.

Next he opened up the second message which was from Clawhauser, 'Hey Judy said you have your book test today, I barely passed but I know you can do it. Good luck little guy! :D' his message read, and it made him almost as happy as the first message had; but to him all that mattered was the support from his friends.

'Thanks big guy.' he sent back a short response to his spotted friend as he pushed open the doors to the food court and slipped his phone back into his pocket. Looking around the room it was easy to see that there nearly every trainee had the same idea; wake up early to eat and study. And as Nick got his food and came up to their normal table he saw the even had another trainee eating with them.

Sitting across from Morris hidden by the polar bear's large frame till just now was Lea; the lioness that had the fastest time in the academy for running the mile. "So you're the fox that everyone talks about." she said as she looked Nick over, "You don't look like a convict to me." the feline said bluntly as Nick took his seat next to her.

"Nick is not criminal. Mike is criminal." Morris said in his thick accent trying hard to defend his friend, while simultaneously throwing his other friend under the bus.

It wasn't the accent or the volume that had thrown everyone for a loop, but simply what he said, "W-wait?! Why am I a criminal?" The canine trainee asked confused, more so than both Nick and Lea were. "What did I do?"

"You don't use blinker in drive test." the large mammal said with confidence in his voice and a confident firm nod of his head. "Article 28-909 Section B.1 'Have the lap and shoulder belt properly adjusted and fastened while the vehicle is in motion.'" Morris recited the section involving the violated law.

Mike, Nick, and Lea all froze as they looked at the polar bear. In a moment Lea began laughing and soon followed Nick, "I can't believe...that he pulled...C.O.C. (code of conduct) ...on you." The lioness said through her laughter, it was funny for all of them that Morris, the most blunt of the group had called Mike out on the rule, when the wolf came from a family of cops. After a few more playful jabs at Mike's expense and a few more laughs from the group of four they began to eat and study as planned.

Judy was already filling out paperwork for an attempted car theif. While on her rounds ticketing overstayed vehicles she saw a pig going from vehicle to vehicle looking inside the cars briefly through the windows and giggling the handles, and that was more than enough for Judy to give chase. While being booked at the precinct among his things several wallets and phones were found in his deep pockets, all different styles and different owners.

After the forms had been filled out she handed them back over to Clawhuaser so he can give them to whichever officer was on paperwork duty that day, but just before she turned to leave he stopped her. "Uh Judy, you uh, you might want to check out the infirmary first." he said wincing as he looked at her slightly swollen cheek.

The rabbit officer put a paw to the cheek that her fellow officer was looking at, and much to her displeasure was reminded by a sharp pain of the blow she took while trying to arrest the car thief. She hissed as she pulled her grey paw away with a bit of red on the tip of her fingers; hooves were known to leave marks. "Owch." she muttered to herself with a slight hiss, "Thanks Clawhauser, I'll head down there right now." Judy said before heading off to the medical department on the precinct to get checked out.

In less than a few minutes the small officer found herself stepping into the infirmary for checkup, and was currently being shown a bed to wait for the nurse to come look. Not too much longer after that the nurse finally came by to take a look at Judy, who was waiting rather impatiently so that way he could get back out in the field. But unfortunately for her, fate had other ideas in mind for her today. As the nurse cleaned up the cut in the rabbit's cheek she went through the mandator checklist, and for the unlucky officer she couldn't give her the all clear.

"Sorry officer Hopps, I can't let you go back out there today." the antelope said to Judy as she finished writing down her notes.

The mentioned officer was not happy to hear the bad news, "What? Why not?" her voice clearly showing her dislike of the current situation she found herself in, and while she didn't know it her eyes swayed slightly not helping her case.

"You have a mild concussion from the hit you took." the nurse explained to her. "But don't worry you should only need tomorrow and maybe the day after to be back at a hundred percent." she elaborated for Judy explaining the recovery period. While the next two days were Judy's normal days off she was still being sent home for half the day. "Now I'm going to-"

A voice behind the curtain next to Judy's bed interrupted the nurse. "Just ruining everyone's day aren't you Linda?" an obviously unhappy officer complained before the mammal behind said curtains pulled them open to be a part of the conversation. The officer was a grey wolf with dark grey fur, he looked like he had both a soft side and a stern side to him. On the left side of his muzzle just behind his nose was a butterfly closure bandage sealing up a small cut over his canine, and on his right cheek bone were two more butterfly closures over a bigger cut.

"Mike, get back in your bed. I haven't cleared you to leave yet either." the nurse told the officer, it was clear from the brief conversation that the wolf officer visits the infirmary quite often. However Linda could only roll her eyes as Mike stepped closer to Judy's bed and took a seat in the nearby chair, refusing to leave back to his own bed. "Mike, don't make me get someone to strap you down in your bed again."

Judy watched as they didn't mind her being right in the middle of their conversation, and while normally she wouldn't have liked not being set on the sides of the conversation in her current state she was still a bit off. "That was only once." the predator grumbled under his breath at the most likely distant event, but based on everything so far Judy wasn't too sure of that. "So what happened to you, Hopps?" he asked Judy finally being done talking to the nurse and deciding to chat with his fellow officer for a while.

Being caught off guard by suddenly being dragged into the conversation Judy was a bit slow to respond to the question, "Oh I got hit arresting a suspicious mammal trying to break into metered cars." she answered as she straightened up. "What happened to you?" the smaller officer returned the question.

"He was born that way." Linda said under her breath as she looked over some paperwork getting a stifled laugh from Judy at the remark.

It also didn't go unheard by Mike, "Hey it makes me look tough. But I got hit while restraining one of the recent house burglars, I thought his partner had ran off but then he came back and gave me a solid kicking when I was restraining the other." the wolf said nonchalantly as if taking any blow was common for him, "I had to end up tazing them both, the smell still burns my nose." he complained about the sharp scent.

Judy thought back and recalled when Nick had helped her take the truck home, the smell of burnt fur was bad enough for her and her nose was nowhere near as good as a wolf's; but that memory had more bad emotions than just the smell. After about ten more minutes both officers were released from the infirmary but were giving papers saying they weren't cleared for work.

"Hopps, you want to go for a bite to eat? I can take you home after if you would like?" Mike offered as they walked out of the precinct building. With not much else going on in her day anymore Judy agreed to the friendly lunch, and in a short ride in officer Wolfred's cruiser they found a popular food truck to order from.

Deciding to go with a simple salad sandwich Judy found a bench nearby while she waited for her fellow officer to join her with his insect burger. "So you have any family in the city Judy?" Mike asked before he took his first bite of his burger. "Mmm, these food trucks always make great burgers." he mumbled with satisfaction as he enjoyed the rich flavor.

"Nope, I'm the first Hopps to move to the city. All my siblings still live in the burrows on my family's farm. What about you?" she answered and returned the question in between bites of her salad. While it wasn't as good as the salad from Sally's, it wasn't bad either.

"My wife and I have a little house out on Flower Hill, it's a little drive but it's nice and quiet. Our son's in the academy right now but he'll be back home in a few more months." he said in between bites of fries. "Your friend Nick is there right? Him and my son seem to have hit it off great." Mike said before pulling out his phone and passing it over to Judy.

The screen was on a picture of Nick along with a grey wolf with brown strands of fur that must have been Mike, along with a large polar bear who they had both been told was a great funny guy named Morris. "Yeah Nick talks about Mike and Morris all the time." Judy said before handing the phone back, a happy feeling knowing that Nick really was making friends. "How do you think they are going to do on the test?"

"They are going to do fine." the larger officer assured her.

Upon arriving at the lecture room where the exam was being given the group of four walked in to find a few other trainees already sitting throughout the room. "Seats are assigned alphabetically, find your chair and stay quiet." one of the other sergeants instructed sternly as the group walked in together, and like that the group was separated and seated across the room at their own seats. Little by little the room filled up and when chief Anders walked in it was eight on the dot and he closed the door behind him.

The room was already quiet before, but now it was tense; that feeling came with the large panda's presence anytime he was around. "Alright before we begin there are a few rules for all the trainees." the mammal in charge stated firmly, "First off, anyone not present in the room has just failed the exam." Everyone in the room looked around to find there was about five empty chairs, while it was only a handful it was a sudden change in the room's atmosphere. "Number two, you will have two and a half hours to complete your exam after everyone has been handed a test booklet. Finally, anyone caught cheating will be removed from the program immediately." the intimidating mammal explained, but as he looked across the room of recruits he paused to look at Nick.

It wasn't long after when all the test booklets had been handed out and they were giving the go to start, and with that the sound of the seals being torn open filled the room as the test truly began. The satisfying sound of pencil to paper came from all around the room as everyone got to the first question; a short response question. Question six came up for Nick as he flipped the first page over, and while he wasn't the first there were far more mammals flipping after him rather than before him.

As the test went on the sergeants and several staff walked the room up and down each aisle waiting to catch someone for breaking the rules. But each time one of them walked by a certain red fox he could feel the cold and harsh looks they were giving him; he knew what they were thinking, and he was going to prove them all wrong. He had to someone out there waiting for him to graduate and he wasn't going to do anything to get in the way of showing her that he could make it.

Tick by tick the time wore away counting down until the exam was over, and tick by tick Nick and the rest of his friends answered each and every question as best as they could; getting stuck on a question or two the best choice was to skip it and come back to it later after all the other questions were answered. It was hard to tell who was really winning but Nick and his two friends were all on the same page for the majority of the test, Morris falling behind slightly towards the end of the booklet; but even then once they had all finished they looked back at their answers one last time before raising their paws and turning in their tests.

Being the first one done out of the trio Mike waited at the end of the hall for a few minutes when Nick finally came out to meet him, and together the two of them only had to wait a few more minutes for their polar bear friend to emerge from the room. "How did you guys do?" the wolf asked once the last member had come out.

"Morris did fine, piece of cake." the largest of the three said confidently and triumphantly in his thick accent as he joined his friends. "Nick, how was test?" he questioned his smallest companion.

"Me? That test was nothing." Nick said smirking as the three friends headed off together laughing and playing around with one another. This day was theirs and they were going to enjoy the rest of it without anything to go wrong; Mike's dad was right, they all did just fine.

Author's Notes:

So what did you guess think? I was writing the first half of this chapter while still recovering from surgery and what not, so this chapter might have been a bit out of sorts. But still let me know. Thanks again for your patience and for reading and supporting!

See you all soon!-