Pit. Pat. Pit. Pat. Dusty grey clouds delivered a less than welcome afternoon shower. It had been raining for a week. Moral was low to say the least. Nick and Judy sat in silence in their cruiser. Judy had tried to lighten the mood by chatting away about the latest Gazelle craze. Nick was half-listening. He let his mind wander, while giving the occasional nod to Judy's ramblings when his mind felt it necessary. Judy soon noticed that Nick wasn't paying any attention.
"You're not listening, are you?"
"Sort of, not really."
"You've been acting weird lately. What's up?"
"Nick, you know I don't believe that for a second. I know you better than that. Tell me what's wrong."
"Really, nothing's wrong."
But something was, indeed, wrong with Nick. Being a police officer had taken its toll on the fox. He had often imagined joining the force as being a fun, life changing experience. And it was, to some extent. Not to mention he got to hang out with Judy. Judy was his only friend, well, ever. But being a police officer wasn't all fun and games. It was hard. Police officers got to see the dark side of society, criminals, con mammals like his former self, scoundrels, homeless, the list went on.
The Zootopia police even had a term for this phase. They called it "The Crisis." Officers were advised to report these emotions, but Nick had refrained from doing so, because he knew that would mean a trip to a psychiatrist. He despised psychiatrists.
Judy hadn't really experienced this, simply due to her chipper, optimistic personality, which Nick was rather envious of. She didn't know this, of course. Nick hid most of his emotions behind his sly, uniform smirk. His "don't let them know they got to you" philosophy also went for his emotions. He rarely ever let them show. They finished their shift, and both headed home.
That evening, Nick was walking through the back alleys of Zootopia. He once considered this place to be his second home. He was here all day before he met Judy, doing odd jobs for thugs around the city. Not to mention selling counterfeit pawpsicles to gullible bankers. He liked to come here sometimes, to reflect on how far he had come since he joined the police force. Since he met Judy. It was odd, how he felt about that rabbit. It wasn't exactly affection, but he couldn't describe it in any other way.
His phone rang. Judy's cheerful face greeted him on the caller ID. "Hello?"
"Hey! It's Judy!"
"I can see that."
"Oh, come on. How very Nick of you."
"Thanks, I try."
"Listen, I was wondering if you wanted to come over, or I can come to your place, or, whatever? We can hang out. I'm bored."
"Sure. I'll be back at my place in five."
"You're not there already?"
"OK, your place it is. See you there."
Nick couldn't help but feel, not excited, but anticipatory. He and Judy had so much fun together. And considering that tomorrow was their day off, she was sure to bring alcohol. Lovely. Judy quite literally would jump off the walls if she had too much to drink. Being a rabbit, she was perfectly capable of doing so. His landlord would probably not approve.
The door was unlocked when he got home. Judy had already let herself in. They shared the keys to each other's apartments. It dawned on him that Judy had never actually been to his apartment, and sure enough, she was busy exploring the place when he stepped inside. "I never knew your apartment was so, so big, she said, as Nick hung up his coat. "Welcome to Le Palais de Nick, make yourself at home." "I already have," said Judy with a chuckle. "But hey, I brought champagne!" Wow. He knew they didn't have to report to work, but this was a little extreme. Was she planning on staying the night or something?
Well, what a coincidence. She was. He saw a small suitcase sitting next to his couch. "Are you planning on crashing here?" he said, gesturing to the suitcase. "Oh, I didn't tell you? Yeah, I was gonna stay here, if you don't mind." "No problem" he said, I just would've liked some more advanced notice, that's all." "Oh. Well, I'm here now. What's on TV?" said Judy, jumping onto Nick's couch.
Nick couldn't resist. "You got kicked out, didn't you?"
"Yes you did," taunted Nick in an accusatory voice. "I can tell."
"What makes you think that?"
"Your suitcase is bulging like a Hippo. Either you're a less than efficient packer or you brought everything."
"OK, you got me. Sorry. I'll be out in a week, I promise!"
"Or, we could be roommates. I do have a spare bedroom down the hall."
"REALLY!? cried Judy. Thank you so much!" Her lavender eyes were wide with excitement. She proceeded to envelop him in a form of bear hug, or whatever fraction of a bear hug a bunny could manage. "Oof!" puffed Nick. "A bit too tight there!"
Later that night, Judy and Nick were watching a cheesy soup opera on TV. Neither of them were really paying attention to the show. They were chatting, gossiping, making jokes. Judy's giggles could be heard down the hall. They sat in silence for a few minutes, enjoying each other's company. Then Judy couldn't resist any longer. "Hey, this afternoon, in the cruiser. What happened? You seemed sad. I've never seen you sad before. I don't like it."
"Please, Judy, I really don't want to talk about it."
"Come on" nagged Judy. "Tell me. As my mom used to say, better out that in."
"Ok, fine. I've been feeling, well, sad, lately. Being a cop just isn't what I thought it would be."
"Don't tell me you're thinking of quitting!"
"Oh, no, I'm not gonna quit. Not so long as you're with me." Oh no. Too much alcohol.
Judy was flattered. "That's, that's so sweet Nick."
At that point Judy couldn't hold herself back. She had always been attracted to Nick. She wasn't sure if it was his signature smirk, his soothing voice, his aviators, hell, maybe his shoes. She didn't know. She gave him a short but sweet peck on the cheek.
"Woah, Judy. I, I, I didn't kno – mmmpf" He couldn't get the last words out, because Judy had slammed her lips into his. She pulled away, embarrassed. They didn't say anything to each other for a while after that. They sat, Judy's head on Nick's shoulder, her ears drooped far behind her head. They fell asleep on Nick's couch, together, after the happiest night of their life.