Story Notes:

So I got this idea after a conversation with a friend regarding funny voicemail greetings and scheduled texts. Like I said it's very short and very sad, read at your own risk of drowning in tears.

Love Messages:

It was the middle of the night when Judy's phone buzzed to life on her dresser startling her from sleep and hurried to stop the phone from going off. She saw the text from Nick as she rubbed the sleep from her eye, confused she looked over at Nick still snoring with an arm draped over her.

'What are you going up so late, Carrots?' the text read. And as she was still reading it another one came in, 'Okay, past your bedtime, come back to bed, Judy.' the second message read. And rather than be confused by it any longer she put her phone back and cuddled back up next to her fox.

GAP

Morning came and this time Nick was the one being woken up but the call of his wife. He grumbled his response and protests until she pulled the covers off of him. "Come on Nick, Clawhauser's party is in an hour and we are going to be late if you don't wake up." She yawned tiredly from an interrupted sleep.

He cracked his eyes open just a little seeing her coming in closer and took this opportunity to reach out and grab her. "See isn't this nice Judy?" he smirked lazily as he held her against his chest. "Besides, why does his birthday have to be so early? I thought he liked sleeping in?" the tired for mumbled.

The grey mammal was struggling half heartedly, while she wanted her husband to get up she had to admit his fur was awfully comfortable. "Nicholas, if you don't get up you won't get any of the pie that I had Gideon bake." She threatened. Before Judy knew it Nick was up and the two of them were loading the boxes of pies into their cruiser. While on the road Judy looked over at Nick seeing him typing away at his phone, "Hey what was with those text last night? I woke up in the middle of the night for it you know." Her amethyst eyes scolded him lightly.

A grin quickly spread across his muzzle, "Oh yeah, sorry Sweetheart I forgot about those. I have this cool messenger thing that schedules different times to send a text, I've been trying it out on Finnick and he still thinks it's me." The fox started chuckling to himself finding it all very amusing.

Judy settled with her answer and started thinking of ways to get back at Nick for interrupting her much needed sleep, that's when an idea popped into her head and she did everything she could to stop from smirking.

GAP

"You want me to do what?" Finnick's gruff voice was clearly confused at what Judy wanted.

"Just help me record my answering machine so I can get back at Nick." She simplified her explanation of her little plan. After about thirty minutes or so they finally had a voice recording set up that sounded convincing enough to Judy.

The more they listened to it the more Finnick was unsure about it. "Are you sure he's gonna buy this?" he asked in doubt.

"Trust me, he'll fall for it. He doesn't think I would do something like this." she responded confidently with a smirk plastered on her face; revenge was certainly sweet.

GAP

"What's taking her so long?" Nick grumbled to himself as he was waiting for her out in the parking lot of the precinct. Clawhauser had to leave a while ago and she was just supposed to be getting the car from the shop for the damaged hood thanks to their suspect throwing at trash can at them to slow them down.

Not wanting to waste too much of their movie night he gave her a call, and luckily enough for him it didn't take long to pick up. "Did you get lost Carrots?" he asked shortly.

"Oh hey Nick, how's it going?" a different voice answered catching him off guard.

"Finnick? What are you doing with Judy's phone?" The younger fox was beyond confused and shocked at this point. Fumbling was heard along with Judy's voice saying something about taking her phone. "Hey Fluff why is Finnick there with you?" he didn't know why but he was feeling slightly possessive at the moment.

It was quiet for a moment before she spoke up, "Oh he isn't here, and neither am I! This is a recording." he heard both his wife and Finnick start laughing.

He was going to say something just because he still had no clue what was going on but Finnick's voice cut him off. "Hey Nick, it's called a hustle, Sweetheart." he said gruffly before the two of the recorded voices started to laugh even harder.

Their laughter was cut off by the sound of the generic answering machine taking over telling him to leave a message, and with whatever just went on all he left was silence before hanging up dumbfounded, "Sly bunny." he mumbled to himself as he smiled getting the humor or her little prank.

It wasn't long before Judy pulled up with a smug look on her face, "Hey Nick, did you miss me?" she smirked at him triumphantly as she rolled her window down.

"Har har fluff, you got me." he admitted to her as he climbed in and closed the door behind him.

GAP

It's terrifying how fast things change, how fast something can just slip away from us. For Nick, it took less than a month. And in that month the only two mammals that were close to his heart.

Finnick was involved in a robbery at a bank; Nick couldn't believe it. His closest friend, practically still a con artist, died saving a little girl who was so afraid she couldn't stop crying. The little fox had never bothered with sticking out for anyone but himself before, but he wasn't going to just stand by and watch that masked mammal do something so cruel.

But no matter how cruel he was, fate was even more so. After shooting his friend the robber made a break for it and slipped away. It was about two weeks later when the precinct got a hit on facial recognition and tracked the robbers down to a warehouse at the docs. And that same monster that took away his best friend then took his wife away from mammal was hospitalized after the other officers finally managed to pull Nick off him; his paws bruised and broken from his anger.

GAP

It was a week after they had Finnick's funeral service that the city gave tribute to Judy for giving her life in the line of duty. She was an icon, the face of the ZPD, and now she was a symbol to stand up for what is right. But ever since her death, Nick had only been a shell of the happy mammal that he used to be; and it seemed that nothing would be able to put a smile on his muzzle ever again.

And sure enough he didn't smile for months after that. Every day he put on a face in public saying he was doing okay and that he was alright, but it was as clear as day that he wasn't; everyone at the precinct could see how broken he was inside.

But in his darkness came a silver lining, with all the memories he had through photos and videos he had of both his friends; and then he remembered that he had one more that they had left for him. Alone in the silence of his now lonely apartment he called Judy's number on his phone.

"Oh hey Nick, how's it going?" Finnick's voice picked up making Nick chuckle as his eyes glossed over with tears. He heard Judy's voice complaining to the small fox for taking her phone. Now that he knew what it all was he couldn't help but notice how staged she sounded.

It was quiet for a moment while a tear made its way down Nick's cheek remaining quiet, "Oh he isn't here, and neither am I! This is a recording." he heard both his wife and Finnick start laughing, which then broke his heart. They would never know how right they are; they were nowhere near here.

He had broken down at that thought and wasn't even trying to hold back the sobs that were bubbling up from his chest. Finnick's voice was barely heard over his cries of sadness, "Hey Nick, it's called a hustle, Sweetheart." he said gruffly before the two of his lost friends started to laugh even harder. Their laughter was cut off by the sound of the generic answering machine taking over telling him to leave a message, and with the tone he was left alone in his sadness drowning in his tears.

GAP

Just as a flowing river erodes away the stone face of the mountain, the flow of time can erode the happiness that Nick was trying desperately to retain his happiness. He had been trying for the past thirty years since his life was washed away in tears.

Things had indeed gotten easier over time as everyone said it would, but that does not mean it hurt any less; it only means he could just hide it more. Every day though he would call them just so he can hear their voices as happy and joyful as they were that first time he had called, hearing their laughter was the only thing now that could bring a smile curling up his muzzle; even if made his walls crumble away every time.

Tonight would be no different, as he used his can to crawl into bed at his old age; for him the years weigh heavy on his old and worn down shoulders. He turned off his bedside lamp and tapped her their call button. He doesn't remember when exactly but years ago he changed it from 'Judy' to 'Judy and Finnick' with a picture of the two of them rather than just her; it made it mean something that much more to him. As the phone rang the retired officer closed his tired green eyes; and then he slowly slipped away.

GAP

"Nick, I've missed you, I've missed you so much." a gentle voice whispered filled with love.

"Hey Nick it's been a long time hasn't it Bud." There was a second voice that was a little gruff but just as gentle and kind as the first.

Author's Notes:

Well I might not have written my essay but I wrote that lol, let me know what you guys thought of the story. (it was a little thing to help me procrastinate my finals in case anyone else is also procrastinating too)

I am still hard at work writing 'Zootopian Concert' and trying to get more ideas for 'Change of Fate' so be expecting more updates to come!

Oh, but I feel I need to point out that 'Tales of Tails' is on the back burner, like way back. I'm sorry to everyone waiting for that to update but it's just something I fell out of when life got busy, I've mentioned that before but some still seem a little angry about that…

At any rate dry your eyes and have a great day! Good luck on finals!~