This fic starts out just before the ice cream shop scene of the movie. It's going to be AU and because the big change in Nick's life he might seem a little OC.
But I hope you enjoy the story along with all the twists and turns that are to come!-
A Friendly Face:
"Boom! Two hundred tickets before noon!" Judy explained to herself excitedly as she hit her paw against her ticket printer. But only a moment before another meter timed out next to her sounding its chirping beep sound, that sound caused her to wince as she turned to see her the parking duty car at the expired meter. With a sigh and a roll of her purple eyes she typed up another ticket and put it under the ZPD vehicle's windshield wiper "Two-o-one." she corrected herself optimistically as she did so.
In that same moment the screeching of tires and the loud honk of a truck horn across the street startled her and caught her attention. "Hey watch where you're goin' fox." the sheep driving the delivery truck sneered at the red fox who darted out of the way of the mentioned truck.
Said fox was wearing a yellow button up shirt with a blue and red striped tie, and he was facing the offending driver with his paws out to his sides with a glare on his face as he looked at the sheep. When the driver pulled away the fox turned around walking out of sight of Judy for a moment before reappearing towards the front end of the car parked between them. He looked up and down the sidewalk briefly, a look that was shifty to the new ZPD officer; a shift look for a shifty mammal.
Judy leaned against the front of her car watching the fox trying to see what he was up to, but just as an elephant passed in front of the predatory mammal his eyes caught hers and remained there for a moment after the large trucked mammal walked by and then followed him into the ice cream shop using him to open the enormous door as he slipped inside. With a furrowed brow the grey rabbit jogged across the street and lifted herself up onto the window ledge to peak inside and see what that fox was up to. But instead she saw no red furred predator in the store at all, "Where'd he go?" she asked herself quietly before getting off the seal and making her way to the door pushing it open just enough to slip inside.
The ice cream join was covered in pick, the decorative tile patterns consisted of two types of pink tiles both vastly different in shade and size, along with that the walls, door, and baseboards were all shades of soft pink. There was a small line of large prey family mammals at the register and behind it was two more elephants; on fixing a dessert for the customer, and the owner much less happy taking the orders.
"Listen. I don't know what you're doin' sculking around during daylight hours, but I don't want any trouble in here. So hit the road." the elephant in a black bow tie said threateningly as he hit his trunk against the counter. Seeing the owner of the store getting angry with the unwanted fox Judy unclasped the fox spray getting ready to make a grab for it and spray the predator if anything happened as she approached slowly from behind.
However she would soon be thrown into guilt and shame for the prejudice she thought she was above when she heard the red fox speak up defending himself. "I'm not looking for any trouble either sir." he said in a innocent and gentle voice. "I simply want to buy a jumbo pop, for my little boy." he said proudly as a young fox with large ears waddled up next to the grown predator. The small fox in a onesie of sorts turned his head to Judy and his wide eyes caught sight of her as he sucked on his binky. "Do you want the red or the blue pale?" the father asked lovingly as he put his paws to his knees talking to the little fox with a wide smile across his muzzle.
The large eared fox waddled up to the display case putting both paws against the frosty glass as he looked between the red and blue popsicles ignoring the yellow all together, without a moment's hesitation he pointed at the red one eagerly with large begging eyes. At seeing his face Judy's worry melted away and was replaced with guilt and shame and she clasped the strap back over the dangerous spray she carried, "Oh, I'm such a…" she carried off quietly to herself as she fixed her orange vest and headed for the door.
"Oh come on kid back up." Jerry ushered the small fox away from glass with his trunk. "Listen buddy. What there aren't any fox ice cream joints in your part of town?" he asked to Nick accusingly as he lowered himself to the counter. That prejudice comment stopped Judy in her tracks causing her ears to spring up and turn around as if to question if she heard right.
"Oh no no, there are, there are." the red fox explained as he had to defend himself and his decisions again putting his paws together in front of him as he did so. "It's just, my boy, this goofy little stinker" he said as he rubbed the top of the head of the small fox now standing next to him, "He loves all things elephant, wants to be one when he grows up." the proud dad explained as his son pulled the hood of the elephant onesie over his ears and tooted his trunk innocently. "Isn't that adorable?" Nick said fondly.
Over by the doorway Judy couldn't help but put a paw to her chest at the cute and innocent sight of the young kit tooting the trunk of his outfit as she awwed in her emotions. "Who the heck am I to crush his little dreams, hu?" the red fox asked innocently looking up to the large prey mammal as his kit leaned his head against the side of Nick's leg.
But despite the cute display the unfriendly elephant was not enjoying the conversation, "Look you probably can't read fox but the sign says, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone!" the angry mammal yelled each word louder than the last. "So beat it!" he gestured to the door with his trunk.
"You are holding up the line." and elderly female elephant said grumpily as she pushed the red fox foward. The tensions and everything else caused the young fox to begin crying, which in turned caused the grown fox to get sad at the sight, and it also had been the last straw for Judy who was watching everything unfold.
Judy having enough of seeing everyone including herself look down at the fox decided to instead stand up for him. "Hello? Excuse me." she said stepping up to the front of the line with the two foxes so she could be seen.
"Her you're going to have to wait you turn like everyone else, meter maid." the store owner grumbled under his breath at the socially frowned upon city work; two things he didn't like, foxes and meter maids, and they were both right in front of him.
At that comment Judy was upset at her uniform as well as the large mammal, "Actually, I'm an officer." she said showing the badge pinned to her body armor as she pulled back the orange vest. The red fox looked at her wide eyed and curious seeing indeed that she was a police officer, the same one he had heard about on the news recently. "I just had a quick question. Are your customers aware that they are getting snot and mucus with her cookies and cream?" she said loudly and directed to the couple sharing a large bowl of said flavor causing one to spray his ice cream over the other.
"What are you talkin' about?" the elephant asked curiously at the accusation.
Stepping up next to the predator she began to explain, "Well I don't mean to cause you any trouble. But I believe that scooping ice cream with an ungloved truck is a class three health code violation." going wide eyed at what it was the rabbit was saying Jerry turned around to his employee who was holding a ball of the frozen soft serve in his bare trunk before dropping it and wiping his trunk on his uniform and walking into the back. "Which is kind of a big deal." Judy finished while grimacing at the obvious repercussions with a off chuckle.
"Of course I could let you off with a warning if you would glove those trunks and...I don't know...finish selling this nice dad and his son a…" she began to bargain with the shop owner on what action she would take by waving her paws slightly as if thinking of what to do. However not remembering what it was the mentioned dad wanted she put her paw on his turning him to the elephant and whispered to him, "What was it?" she asked quietly.
"A jumbo pop, please." he said clearly and respectively in a soft voice as his son bounced happily next to him eyes begging slightly as he did.
Both Judy and the fox had their own paws clasped in front of themselves with smiles on their muzzles. "A jumbo pop." she repeated and finished her sentence from earlier.
With that and not wanting to deal with the trouble anymore Jerry groaned in defeat and rolled his light blue eyes. "Fifteen dollars." he said giving in to the request with a tired look across his large face.
"Thank you so much." the fox in the tie said genuinely to Jerry as he shook his paws together. "Thank you." he also said honestly to the kind officer who helped him while reaching into his pocket for his wallet, but unfortunately he didn't feel it in any of his pockets. "Oh no I don't have my wallet." he exclaimed shocked as he came up empty. A nervous chuckle was about all he could do before speaking. "I'd lose my head if it weren't attached to my neck, that's the truth." he said out loud with a grimace then turning to his young son and holding his paw. "Oh boy, sorry pale. This has got to be about the worst birthday ever. Please don't be mad at me." he said while giving his sad kit a small kiss to the forehead.
Once more Judy felt a pull on the emotional strings of her heart seeing the display in front of her feeling sad herself for the two mammals having a bad day. "Thanks anyway." the green eyed fox said sadly to her as he began walking his son to the door as he pointed back beggingly.
Determined Judy knew that there was still one thing she could do, she hopped up onto the counter putting down more money than necessary for the family to buy them a jumbo pop. "Keep the change." she said to the owner before he rolled his eye and got the ice cream in exchange for the money. "Excuse me sir." she called to the retreating fox struggling to hand over the enormous dessert. "I believe this is for you." she said smiling at how happy the son looked.
"Officer I can't thank you enough, so kind really. Can I pay you back?" he asked the thoughtful officer who was holding paws with his now delighted son.
But all of it was just doing the right thing in Judy's mind. This was for her to help them and didn't want any payment for it. "Oh no. My treat." she said letting go of the kits paw as she used her paws while she talked. "It's just- you know, it just burns me up to see folks with such backwards attitudes towards foxes." she explained as her country accent showed through slightly as her paws came to a stop on her hips. "I just want to say you're a great dad and just a real articulate fella." the officer told him with a smile.
"That is high praise." the green eyed fox said putting a dark brown paw to his chest to show how touched he really was. "It's rare that I find someone so none patronizing." he admitted, "Officer…?" he began to carry off so she would finish.
"Hopps." she introduced with the tip of her hat. "Mr….?"
"Wilde. Nick Wilde." he introduced himself has he held out a padded paw for a paw-shake that both mammals did kindly with smiles on there face.
Now Judy bent down leaning her paws on her knees to talk to the son that this whole day was about, "And you little guy. You wanna be an elephant when you grow up, you be an elephant." she encouraged passionately with a soft smile under her pink nose and her purple eyes bright with joy. "Because this is Zootopia, where anyone can be anything." she spoke mayor Lionheart's campaign slogan as she pinned a 'Junior ZPD Officer' sticker to the chest of his elephant onesie. The bright hopeful look in his orange-brown eyes was more than enough for her, but the little toot he gave with his trunk made it even more heart warming.
Watching the officer treat his son so kindly made Nick himself more than happy to have met her. "Oh boy, I tell him that all the time." he admitted while his kit began to reach for the large treat. "Alright, here you go. Two paws." Nick said with a soft voice as he handed over the ice cream to his more than eager son. While he did so Judy watched with a soft blush above her own small smile seeing the loving dad with his son. "Yeah look at that smile. That's a happy birthday smile. Alright give her a little bye-bye toot-toot." he told his son as they made to leave.
After the toot-toot from the young fox the grey bunny couldn't help but give her own toot-toot, mimicking the pull of a train horn as she made the sound in a deeper voice with a happy chuckle.
"Bye now." Nick waved warmly as they began to turn away.
"Goodbye." Judy sang in a high pitched voice as she bounced around on her toes with a glowing smile on her face and a noticeable skip in her step as she went back to her ZPD vehicle parked across the street.
Judy had just written up another parking ticket for a red car in Sahara Square, and as she pinned the notice under the windshield she wiped the sweat from her forehead; her smile from earlier still present and still showing. But as she did so in the reflection on the glass she saw the familiar figure of a certain young fox; and that only widened her smile. "Hey little toot-toot…?" she exclaimed at first but then her voice faltered and became more questioning as she saw what the kit was doing.
He was holding a glass jar larger than he was under a gutter drain filling it with some sort of red liquid, following the pipe up to the roof Judy saw his dad now wearing shades melting down the jumbo pop that she had bought for them on a makeshift stand before tossing the remaining stick down to the floor. As the wooden plank clattered to the floor the nimble fox slid down the clay shingles and then down the drain pipe, and when he got the the bottom he began loading all 3 jars into the back of a red van as the son brought in the stained stick.
As the van pulled away down the street its muffler shot off twice, and as Judy watched she looked back to the pipe still dripping red and she was utterly perplexed at whatever was going on, with that she didn't need anymore motivation to follow the foxes as they into Tundra Town. She found the same van with the heroic fox paint job parked on the side of the road with a trail leading into an empty snowy park over a few snow pills. As she peered over the nearest mound of the frozen powder she saw the little fox leaving sticks in his pawprints as the dad went through the grid pattern carefully filling each pawprint with some of the red liquid from the jars as he watched his son with a smile.
However she had to hide when she saw Nick heading back to the van but kept an eye on him as he brought out an ice chest with a sign that read 'Pawpsicle' in large red letters and began filling it with snow while the light brown fox stuck the re-frozen treats into the snow. It didn't take the father and son team to have all the popsicles in the ice chest and then load it into the back of the van
Now as they went into Savannah Central she tailed them once again making sure not to lose them in the traffic. She came to a stop when Nick pulled up to the side of the road parking their van and taking the container of snow and sweats down the metal ramp. While she was watching from a bridge up above she could still pick up on what he was doing. "Here you go pale, don't drip any. I'll be right back." he said to his kit as he gave him a Pawpsicle and another small kiss to the forehead. The young fox happily began licking at the special treat.
Nick close the back door leaving his son inside and set up his cart out by a bank, and just as the lunch bell rang on a nearby clock a line of Lemmings began to woddle out and one was enticed by the sound of his call. "Pawpsicle, get your pawpsicle." As the line changed directions headed for his cart he began taking the two dollar payment in exchange for the fruit flavored ice cream. Once the small prey mammals were out of sight Nick went over to the recycle bins pulling them into his van and emptying the used popsicle sticks into a pile before taking the cans back.
For the next few minutes Judy watched angrily and impatiently with a harsh stare of her amethyst eyes tapping her foot against the floor rapidly as the foxes stacked the sticks into piles and tied them together with rubber bands. While it was strange and bizarre to the rabbit there was a lot of things she was confused and angry about with this fox, it was just one more thing to add to the list.
With the back doors closed they drove off and stopped outside Little Rodentia where they got off and pulled out a cart with a large pile of the wooden blocks they made not too long ago, putting yellow on hard hats they made their way with the cart to a construction site in the gated off district where they stacked the sticks up by a building in progress. "Lumber delivery." Nick said loud enough for the whole crew below to hear him.
"What's with the color?" a mouse, presumably the one in charge of the site, asked as he climbed onto the materials he was moving on a forklift.
That question caught the red fox off guard, he hadn't been expecting to be asked any sort of direct question regarding the wood. But he was only caught off guard for a moment, if that. "That's uh, that's red wood." he said with a smile while he thought of the quick excuse of the colored wood. They counted of the bundles of lumber and were paid for each bundle they delivered getting them nearly eighty dollars as they made their way out of the miniature city.
For the past few hours Judy had been following around the red van as she watched them go through their process of melting down, refreezing, and reselling the jumbo pop to make far more than she had paid for it. And now she had enough, as she trailed them a little way into the city where Nick got out to empty the melted snow from his ice chest she stomped across the street popping around the back of the van where he was now sweeping out water and dust from the back of the van.
"Well I stood up for you, and you lied to me." Judy said fuming with her arms crossed in front of her and her foot pounding the floor next to her. "You liar!" she yelled pointing an angry finger down at the floor not being able to show her frustration any other way. "Is it even your son's birthday? If that is even your son?" she began yelling and accusing the red fox.
Nick was shocked to see her and he began to feel guilt building up on his shoulders as she expressed herself well within her right. "Officer Hopps. I-I can explain." he stammered having been completely thrown off his train of thought.
"No I don't want to hear it, you are under arrest." she said standing straight.
That thought of being arrested nearly made Nick panic, but it also snapped him back into his right frame of mind. "Arrested for what?" he asked slightly hurt.
"Gee I don't know. How about selling food without a permit. Transporting undeclared commerce across borough lines. And false advertising." she said listing the three things off on the dull claws of her furry fingers.
"No, I have a permit, and a receipt of declared commerce." Nick said defending himself from the officers accusations.
"Show me." Judy was even less happy than she was before at the new lies she was being told. But when Nick walked past her to the passenger side of the van and reached into the glove box she saw the small fox playing with an elephant figure wearing a cape as he enjoyed a popsicle that they made. Seeing the happy kit made Judy feel slightly bad for having yelled at Nick right in front of him, and then when she was showed the laminated paper work she asked for she felt even worse. "What about you telling the mouse that it was red wood? And what about your 'son'?" she said remembering her third point and asking about the kit in question.
"It is red wood. Wood that is red, there's a space in the middle." he said unsure of his answer while he told her. "And it is his birthday and he is my son." Nick said hurt and angry at the last accusation, the frustration clearly in his voice with each word of the last sentence.
Now Judy was fully in the wrong, it was one thing to call the fox out on his tricks and schemes, but she should have had concrete evidence before bringing his son into this. "I-I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that." She admitted to both herself and Nick as she lowered her stare away from his and turned her head down.
Nick watched as the officer caved in on herself as her resolve crumbled, and that made his anger fade away at the sight of the sad rabbit. "Hey look, it's fine. I didn't exactly give you any reason to believe me." Nisk said getting her to look back up at him rather than the space in between their feet. "Why don't you let me buy you dinner to make up for it? And it would give me a chance to explain things to you." He asked of her hoping to make things better for the both of them.
The new recruit thought about it for a moment weighing the choices, if she said no that would be the end of it and they would be nothing more than strangers the next time they saw each other, but if she said yes perhaps things could be okay between the two mammals. "Okay, I guess it wouldn't hurt." She said giving in to the hope that it would turn her bad first day into something pleasant in the least.
"Hi Nicky." A high pitched voice called as the mammal and her dad were planning her wedding later that week.
"Hi Fru Fru, hello Mr. Big. It good to see you sir." Nick smiled warmly as he pushed a pink stroller up to the table where Fru Fru and Mr. Big were sitting at their own smaller table on top.
The older arctic shrew looked up at the red fox standing next to the table, "Nicky my boy, you don't need to call me sir. You and your boy are family." He said again, this is something he has told Nick many times over the years, but as time goes on it happens less frequent.
"I know, and I'm glad to be part of your family. I'm grateful for your family taking me in." The predator said in response. "So are you guys planning for the wedding Fru Fru?" he asked changing the topic to something a bit more casual.
At the question the female at the small table looked up from the book she was looking at. "We are trying to find a new florist for the wedding."
"A new florist? Did, um, did the last one have any problems?" the fox asked carefully knowing about some of Mr. Big's 'business' background. While the shrew and his family was generous at times, there were times when Mr. Big became the serious crime lord that he was.
Mr. Big looked at the predator before realizing what was being asked, "No Nicky, he was a great florist, he has worked with our family many times before. No, something else happened and we haven't heard from him sense." He explained vaguely leaving out a few key details that he didn't think Nick needed to know about. "So what brings you by today Nicky? Did something happen, you were just here yesterday." Now it was the small mammal's turn to change to conversation.
While the two males talked Nick let his boy out of the stroller and into a chair so he could stand and see the two small mammals waving at them. "Aww he looks so cute in his onesie Nick." Fru Fru said as she walked over to the young fox to give him a hug on his muzzle. And when she did she saw something shining on his outfit. "Where did you get this sticker big guy?" she asked pointing the it knowing he wouldn't respond.
"Oh that." Nick said with a small smile on his muzzle. "An officer gave it to us after we went to Jerry's, she bought us the jumbo pop today, but then we ran into trouble." He said with a nervous chuckle.
"What kind of trouble?" Mr. Big asked worried that a member of his family was in trouble with the law. He was not below fixing other problems that came up with clients, and certainly not below bribing officials if needed.
Nick knew that voice, and he knew its possible outcomes. "Oh no no no. It's not like that. She's actually really nice, and I'm taking her to dinner so I can explain everything."
"Aww Nicky, going on a date?" Fru Fru chimed in happily to encourage him dating, he hadn't mentioned any new friends or girls in his life sense Shian. "Is she cute?" she asked with her voice higher than it would be normally.
The red fox began to feel his face heating up under his fur. "It's not that type of dinner." He said embarrassed and looking away from the small mammal 'But she has beautiful amethyst eyes.' He thought to himself adding to his blush. After a bit more small talk a polar bear came in with Nick's wallet it was time for them to go for their dinner with the new police officer.
It was now almost ten minutes after Judy had clocked out for the day and she was waiting impatiently in the park for the red fox. She had told him where to meet her, and when to meet her; and yet here she was still standing alone. 'I was stupid to trust him again.' She thought to herself as she continued waiting under the tree she was leaning against, and just as she was about to leave she picked up on someone called her name.
"Officer Hopps." She looked over towards the direction the call came from to see Nick pushing a pink stroller down the sidewalk path with a kind smile on her face. Despite the rough day he had put her through Judy couldn't help but feel the corners of her lips pulling up into a soft smile of her own as she saw his welcoming face. "I'm sorry we are a bit late, someone didn't want to ride in the stroller. But he calmed down quite a bit." He said with a grin as he lifted the sunshade enough so Judy could see the young fox snoring fast asleep.
At the cute sight the bunny couldn't help but feel her heart flutter, little kids always looked adorable in their sleep to her. "He is so adorable." She whispered under her breath as she stared at the sleeping mammal.
Nick watched silently as the officer adorned his boy, and he couldn't help but smile a bit more seeing her teeth showing between her lips as they parted in her own smile, and he couldn't help but feel the light feeling in his chest. The comment she made about the sleeping tod being adorable wasn't unheard, but he just didn't know how to respond to it, so he simply let it be what it was. But after realizing he was staring at the rabbit in front of him he came back to his senses, "So, uh, are you ready to go?" he asked still slightly dazed
"Oh yeah, sorry." She responded sheepishly coming back to the now at the sound of his voice calling out. "So where is a good place to eat? I kinda just moved here to the city yesterday." She said shyly as she admitted being new to Zootopia.
"I thought so." The red fox said with a grin as he began pushing the stroller down the sidewalk, out of the corner of his emerald eyes he saw a confused look flash across Judy's face and she opened her mouth to speak. "And before you ask, I'm not sure how I could tell, but I just could." He said grinning more at her stumped expression.
It was a short train ride together before the got off somewhere near the border between Savannah Central and Tundra Town, and a short walk before the trio found themselves outside a homey styled restaurant; 'Villager Den'. As Nick opened the door for them and they stepped into the waiting area the warm atmosphere and aromas were inviting and welcoming compared to the cold wind that nipped at their noses outside.
"Hi welcome to Village Den. Table for three, and a kit's menu?" the antelope behind the entryway podium asked nicely as the door closed behind them.
"Yes please." Nick answered and upon his request they were lead to a booth near the back of the restaurant.
Judy had only ever been on two dates before, and with the atmosphere and the way that Nick was treating this it felt like this was a third; and that made her feel a bit warm under her fur. "Why did you chose this place? It seems kinda out of the way." She questioned trying to get her mind off the thoughts going through her head and back onto why they were there.
"Well it's the only place I know with good predator and prey food. Besides we come here quite a bit. Isn't that right pale?" he asked the small fox sitting in the toddler seat as he colored on his menu. After their waitress came and took their order for drinks Nick decided it was time to start explaining. "So about today, I'm sorry about all that." He said not knowing how to start explaining everything.
Judy felt a little bad that this is what their dinner was about, and now partly wished she would have left it alone. "It's okay. Why don't you just tell me about why you did it? I already saw everything else." She said remembering that she followed them for a good part of the day.
"Usually I pay and elephant or a hippo to buy the jumbo pop, but because it's his birthday I didn't want to wait for someone to do it. I was hopping Jerry would still sell to me, but you know how that went." Nick began but then as their waitress came back he stopped so she could take their order.
Judy ordered a house salad with extra carrots while Nick ordered an insect burger for him and insect bites with fries for his son. "And well the reason why I have to sell melted down popsicles is because I can't find work in the city really. I, uh, I used to hustle for a living but then a nice family took me in and gave me a job." He explained briefly before helping his tod with picking up his crayons.
"What type of work do you do?" Judy asked curious about why he has to still melt down jumbo pops if he has a job.
Nick froze at the question, "Uh, just small stuff with the family. Can I be honest with you? And you won't get upset?" He asked trying to make sure if it was safe to mention. The officer took a moment to think about it, and with her judgement decided it would be fine she gave him a nod.
"Well they pay me cash under the table for helping with their family business, and when I had this little guy the offered me a little more to help. I didn't want to take it at first, but things happened and I needed the extra money so that's why I picked up the popsicle thing." He explained giving her all the information that he thought she needed to know and leaving out as much information as he could.
Being paid under the table was such a silly thing to be worried about, especially when it was for family. Everyone one did it as teens, babysitting money, chores, paper routes, it was all under the table pay. But when talking to an officer about being paid under the table as an adult Judy could see Nick's worry about it, "It's okay, I understand what you mean. It must be hard for you." She said trying to show she meant him no harm with what he told her.
"It's hard for all foxes. I actually have it easy thanks to them." He said eyes downcast as he remembered his past.
It was then that their waitress showed up with their food, "Okay careful the insects are hot." She said to the father and son pair as she put down their plates.
After the server had excused herself Judy spoke up again. "Look I'm sorry. I thought in Zootopia everyone had an equal chance, I never knew." She said now downcast for her ignorance and blindness to how the city really was.
"There was no way you could have known. And besides, you are the first mammal here to stand up for me and my boy in a long time, so I really should say thank you Officer Hopps." He said kindly and warmly in between bites of food.
That statement made the grey rabbit feel a bit better about herself knowing she had made his day better in the beginning, "Please call me Judy." She said with her own smile for him to see. There was a few questions she wanted to ask about his past but felt that they weren't right for her to ask, "What is his name?" she went with instead.
"This little guy right here?" he asked putting a brown paw on the toddlers head as he turned to them smiling widely and innocently as he munched on a insect nugget, "His name is Finnick." Nick said proudly as he looked at his young boy. It was so nice to see him happy and smiling, he raised him the best he could doing his best with each road the came to, and nothing made it more worth it to see his son happy.
The small group enjoyed the rest of their meal with light conversation from one another and as promised Nick paid for the meal. After a short train ride and a ten minute walk the group of mammals found themselves outside Judy's apartment building and it was roughly eight in the evening and the situation was a bit uncomfortable for her. "I appreciate you walking me home Nick, but you really didn't have to come this far." She said embarrassed slightly at him going this far out of his way for her.
"Wait this is the apartment you live in?" he asked as he looked around the street. "Are you sure?"
Judy was perplexed at what he was saying, "Yes I'm sure, I just moved in yesterday morning." She pointed out with a confused look on her face. "Why what's wrong with me living here?"
"It's just a bad neighborhood. A really bad one." He said gesturing to the area across the street. Judy hadn't noticed the boarded up windows of the other building and the tag marks on others.
In the daytime when she saw it yesterday when she came to check in it hadn't looked this bad, the new life charm still casting its glamour over everything. But now in the dim lighting and Nick's words it's fresh new charm was all but wonderful. "And beside…I didn't know I was walking you home, I thought you were walking us home for some reason." He admitted sheepishly scratching the back of his neck.
"Wait, you live here too?" Judy questioned turning to him confusion written across her features.
"Yep, just me and Finnick." He said in mention to the sleeping toddler. "Welcome to the neighborhood Judy." He said with as much confusion as she asked.
As they went inside Nick took him and his sleeping son to the elevator and Judy behind them. "Well I'm going to take the stairs, but it was really nice to meet the two of you today Nick. I'm sorry about snapping like I did. But thank you for dinner, it was really nice." She said fondly of the dinner they had together. It might have been a roller coaster of a day for the rabbit, but it ended out better than she could have hoped.
"It's nothing really maybe we can catch coffee or something together." Nick responded with his own warm smile before the elevator arrived for the two foxes. "Well this is us. Have a nice night Judy." He said pushing the stroller inside and waving his goodbye.
"You too Nick." She said waving back as the doors closed and she made her way up the stairs. In a matter of moments she found herself outside her new apartment. "308, home sweet home." She said lightly opening up the door and locking it shut behind her as she began set her stuff down on her small table. But then her ears perked up to the sound of the neighbors door being unlocked, while she had met her neighbors in 310 she hadn't met her other one yet. Still feeling optimistic from her evening with her first friend in the city she grabbed her phone before she opened the door to greet them.
"Hi I'm…Nick?" she started out saying before her voice cracked under her questioning as she stepped out of her door seeing the familiar face of the red fox standing next to the stroller.
Okay that is chapter one. Let me know what you guys thought about it in reviews or PMs, did you guys like it and if so what did you like? Also what you guys didn't like? It all helps me to write better in the future.
So for the readers of my other fics I'm not abandoning those ones, I just had this idea and didn't want to lose it. I will still be writing for the other stories I have but instead of forcing myself to write them in a certain order I'm going to write what I have motivation for at the time so that way it helps me with making progress.
I didn't want to make this note too long, so if you have comments, questions, or suggestions feel free to PM me. I look forward to hearing from you all!-