A week went by with no sighn of Nick…

Judy sat in the same spot she'd been sitting at in the bullpen for five and a half years.

The entire office could easily see that she hadn't been her usual self. As she sat with her head on the desk something unexpected happened.

Nick entered the room and sat down beside her…

Her ears were upright and she looked directly at him in amazement.

He glanced down at her and smirked, before directing his full attention on the chief for their morning assignments.

Bogo ignored the tension in the room and handed out the assignments.

"Hopps, Wilde…" He looked up at them when it was their turn. "I'm seperating you two for awhile until you get your affairs under control."

Judy considered offering up some sort of protest, but she was well aware that her duties required her to focus… and she just couldn't do that with Nick around right now.

Reluctantly they went their seperate ways…

In the evening when they arrived back at the station to change and clock out for the day, they bumped into each other.

"Nick, come home with me!" She had marched right up to him and stomped her foot. She'd said it with a stern shout, but failed to realize how it came out.

It was awkwardly silent when she looked around and noticed how many coworkers were staring at her in shock. It only took her a few seconds to realize why…

"Not like that!" She shouted around at all of her fellow officers lauging histerically in response. She hadn't noticed that Nick had siezed the opportunity to beat a hasty retreat.

She chased him down the steps and blocked his path. Nick tried to side step her in vain.

She quickly became annoyed.

"You call yourself a man you little crybaby!?"

Nick was shocked and offended of course, and their one sided conversation briefly became another argument.

"Oh I'm a crybaby huh?" He scoffed. "As I recall, YOU were the only one crying." He turned away and stuck his nose up.

"Nick look at me!" She didn't hit him or pull on him, she just waited. Evetually Nick caved and turned around to look at her. His serious expression got to Judy, and she found herself instinctively looking at her feet.

She slowely extended her hand to him. "…Hold my hand."

Nick was caught completely off gaurd by this, and almost immediately felt his face heating up. "Have you lost it carrots!?" He looked around nervously to see if any of their coworkers were watching them.

He turned back to her with a glare that didn't last long when he noticed that she was red as a beet and still staring at her feet.

"It'll make me feel better… that's all." She glanced up at him to try and reassure him.

Nick was not as smooth as he let on. Honestly, Nick would never admit it but he was more shy and fragile than he looked too…

So after taking a few moments to gather his courage he awkwardly took her hand, and they started walking.

It was really quiet as they walked. Nick kept surveying the streets as they went. They would occasionally get passing glances of surprise, but noone seemed to be particularly upset by them. In fact, as they passed a coffee shop a beany wearing gazelle gave them a rowdy cat call and shouted "Get a room!"

Nick motioned "I'm watching you" at him as they rounded the corner. He figured Judy would be humiliated and want to let go right about now.

He was somehow not surprised to see the opposite. She was beaming with joy and actually started skipping and swinging their arms back and forth.

Nick thought it best to quickly bring her back to reality. "Yo, fluff… we're all grown up now."

She giggled at how silly she looked and instead decided to wrap herself around Nick's arm. Nick briefly protested, but knew that he would never win and gave up quickly.

The rest of their trip was spent in silence. Nick couldn't see Judy's face to read how she was feeling. He instinctively kicked her neighbor's door as they walked by and Judy laughed in approval.

Then they were in front of Judy's apartment, and neither of them said anything for what felt like a long time.
It was Nick who broke the silence.

"I guess I'll see you tomor-"

Judy squeezed his arm to prevent him from leaving and wouldn't allow him to see her face.

"… You want me to come in?" He asked sarcasticly, they both already knew the answer. Her ears bounced as she nodded, and they made their way inside.

Eventually they were infront of Judy's bed but she still hadn't let go of his arm.

"Carrots, how are we supposed to sit down?" She didn't respond or look at him. With a little effort they managed to sit on the bed with Judy still latched onto his arm.

A few minutes went by in silence and nothing seemed to happen. Nick was about to break the silence when he looked down and Judy was finally looking back at him… but she was crying.

"Is this goodbye?"

It felt like a cold knife to the heart. All because of this she was going to cut him out? Forget everything that happened and walk away… like hell she was.

"…No." he said it with a sigh and a smile.

"Nick… I can't-"

He placed a finger on her lips to stop her, then he looked at the cieling for a minute.

Nick had grown even more from these events that started with an argument than he had over the past five years combined. He knew himself more now than he ever had before, and once again it was all because of her.

"Foxes mate for life…"

Judy had trouble figuring out what he meant by that. She figured he knew what she was about to say a minute ago, but why was he smiling?

"My mother used to tell me that "the heart wants what it wants"… and I never really knew what it meant."

She watched him intently, but didn't say anything…

"But I do now… it means that you're it fluff, whether you like it or not I'm never falling out of love with you…"

"But I!-"

He hushed her again before he continued.

"Do you really think I intentionally did this to hurt you? You think I didn't know it was ridiculous too?"

She opened her mouth to speak, but she couldn't find any words…

"I can't make you love me back, but you can bet that fluffy little tail I'm gonna try."

He winked at her and she blushed.

"We've done way too much to say goodbye over something as stupid as a boyish crush carrots, you and me… we're thick as thieves and twice as scrappy. This city needs us.."

He wiped one of her tears and she held his hand to her cheek.

"We're partners…" A twinge of pain crossed his face that didn't go unnoticed. "And best friends…"

He winced and began to cry. He grabbed her face and direcred her attention straight on him.

"Just remember… that I'm dumb… and I'm gonna hurt when you find somebody…"

He was barely able to get the words out while trying to choke back his sobs.

"But I'll do anything to make you happy… best friends is enough for me as long as you stay… just remember that theres always someone close by who loves you… and needs you…"

He broke down crying and Judy held him. Emotionally exhausted, they fell asleep….

….

When Nick woke up Judy was folding her laundry. He groaned as he sat up and stretched.

"Goodmorning."

She swiveled around in her chair to face him…

"Alright slick, if you're gonna be pursuing me romantically it's time to set some ground rules…"

Nick licked his lips.

"Why do I taste v8?"

"You don't… now pay attention."

Nick propped himself up with one arm and rested his head in his palm. Judy took this as a sighn that he was listening…

"There will be NO trying to kiss me in public."

Nick put on his familiar grin, but maybe a little goofier than usual.

"…in public?"

"Nick!"

She went a little red for a moment, but she was determined. She pouted as hard as she could in protest.

"Aw come on carrots it wouldn't be fun if I just nodded like a robot." He groaned.

"And you have to promise me you won't change…"

Nick scoffed in response and rolled over.

"You got a high opinion of yourself if you think you can change "slick Nick Wilde" with your feminine charms."

"Aren't you going to ask me if this means I'm giving you a shot?"

"Nope."

As Judy went back to folding her laundry, Nick dosed off to sleep again…

The end