A/N:

This is part one of a two-shot (I think). I started it as a remedy for my writer's block and it got out of hand very quickly. It is not going to be a pure WildeHopps story. As with many of my stories, there's a little more to it, so be warned.

Now we've gotten that out of the way...

My thanks to Eclipsis, Damlone, Blueberry, OnceNever and KT for their help. Seriously, I can't do this alone. I owe you guys so much for making my writing happen.

If you want to support my writing, there's a link to my Ko-fi site in my FF profile. Check it out.

And here... We... Go!


Judy never really had considered dating outside her species. It wasn't a thought that ever crossed her mind. She wasn't against it, but it just didn't appeal to her. She liked bucks, perhaps the occasional doe just for fun, and that was about as adventurous as she'd ever felt the need to be when it came to exploring her sexuality. All that changed when she discovered that one of her partner's ex-girlfriends was also an officer of the ZPD.

Emily Tufts was not what she had thought Nick would have been interested in at all. She was stocky for a lynx. Very muscular and kind of aggressive. Not in a bad way, mind you. More like excessively assertive, as Judy discovered at the ZPD holiday party, and completely without shame.

"What do you mean he's 'addictive'?" Judy sputtered around a mouthful of punch.

"Exactly that, rabbit. That fox… once you get a taste, you want nothing else."

"Uhhuh…"

"Don't play dumb. You've pulled the dumb bunny act a few times, but I know you've had a taste."

"I haven't, actually."

"You serious?"

"Yep!"

"Oh, you are missing out."

"I'll take your word for it," Judy chortled into her drink. "To be honest, I'm surprised you're as positive as you are about him. Aren't exes supposed to be bitter and nasty to each other?"

"We were never that formal about whatever we were. It was a couple months of amazing sex and we went our separate ways."

"That's all it was?"

"Jude, we rarely went on actual dates and whenever we saw each other I had my lips wrapped around him within half an hour, tops."

Judy choked on her drink. "You what?"

"When I said 'a taste' I meant it. I never liked giving head until him. Now, I love it." The taller feline shivered a little and hummed appreciatively as the subject of their discussion wandered past, chatting with another officer. "Speaking of a taste, is he seeing anyone?"

"Not that I know of."

Judy knew Nick wasn't dating. They'd discussed it several times. With their jobs they didn't have a lot of time for romance and his views on relationships were fairly misanthropic. She empathized, considering her last break up. That brought her mood down. As she stood contemplating her cup she realized she was no longer in the company of Officer Tufts. That realization brought to light that she was feeling quite warm and had lost track of time completely. Her empty punch cup arced into the trash bin and she wondered how much homemade honey liquor Grizzoli had managed to slip into the punch bowl this year.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by her conversation with Emily and the alcohol, Judy decided to take a stroll. She needed a few minutes away from the ambient rumble of conversation and the blinking lights of Clawhauser's extreme sense of holiday décor to find her equipoise.

Wandering the halls of the upper floors was something she liked to do when she needed to think. The only features of the top floor of the precinct were a pawful of conference rooms, a really ugly bust of an unimpressive warthog, and the chief's office. Under normal circumstances, mammals avoided the floor for exactly that reason. No one wanted to be near the chief's office, especially when he was in a bad mood. Thus, it was perfect for the ZPD's smallest officer to use as an escape when it was needed.

Or, it should have been.

Judy's hearing was sometimes a curse, she felt. She knew far more about her coworkers' personal lives than she was comfortable with courtesy of her largest cranial feature, especially the ones with carrying voices. She wasn't surprised when she heard her partner's voice coming from a darkened conference room with Emily's husky soprano mixed in. A bit concerned, yes, but not surprised.

She knew a few of her colleagues had trysted at the office. It was pretty obvious with the stupid grins and pheromone clouds that followed them around afterwards. No one was unaware, but everyone let it slide as long as it was kept relatively discreet. Be it stress relief, emotional support, or a new love blooming, they were cops and sometimes you needed it. No one would gainsay a coworker who found a little love when they needed it.

She never expected her partner to be one of the mammals she overheard. She never expected her curiosity to get the better of her. And she never, absolutely never expected to like what she saw, let alone so much.

Judy followed the sounds of Nick's voice down to the end of the hall and the closed conference room door. What she heard left no doubt in her mind what was happening, right from the start.

"Nicky…" Tufts' voice was a breathy whine. "Come on!"

"Pom-pom, I don't know what's gotten into you, but I'm not complaining."

"You'll be getting into me if you'd get your pants off."

"You always were impatient."

"For this? Absolutely." Rustling cloth and the clinking of a belt buckle heralded a change in tone in the lynx's voice from gleeful to smoldering. "Hello, handsome…"

Judy wanted to leave as moans replaced words, but something stopped her. She remembered Emily's comment about Nick being addictive and had to wonder. She wasn't a fan of oral sex herself, but to hear that Emily wasn't until after Nick was a touch jarring. Her sisters used to joke about acquiring a taste for it, but that was the first time she'd heard anyone grow to love it. It made her curious. If Emily enjoyed it to the point of addiction and Nick was the start of that, Judy wanted to see some kind of proof. That proof was right on the other side of a cheap wood-substitute door, waiting for her.

There was plenty of evidence for Nick's enjoyment. Moans, grunts and gasping in his warm, carefree tenor drifted to Judy's ears, but that was no surprise. She'd yet to meet a male that didn't enjoy receiving such attentions. The proof would be in Emily's reaction. Purring, light giggles and small moans were encouraging, but that didn't necessarily mean enjoyment. She wouldn't be the first female to put on a show like that.

Judy's paw drifted forward towards the doorknob and gently, ever so gently, twisted it until the latch slipped silently free. She opened the door just enough to peek through and eased the knob back just as quietly. From there, it was all downhill. Later, she would tell herself it was the punch that made her do it, but that was a white lie at best and a pointless distraction regardless. What she saw was far more than she bargained for.

If she wanted proof that Officer Tufts was enthusiastic, the cloud of feline pheromones was all the evidence she needed, but that was just the start. With the sound-deadening wood out of the way, Judy got the unadulterated soundtrack along with the front row seat.

Nick was leaning back, against the conference table with his trousers discarded. It was obvious he was enjoying the feline's attentions quite thoroughly and wouldn't last much longer. The reason for that was Emily's reciprocal enthusiasm. If Judy had any doubts about Tufts' enjoyment, they were blown away. When she wasn't sucking on him like a greedy kit, she was bathing him with her tongue. The expression on her face was pure enjoyment and each time she took him back into her mouth her eyes rolled up into her head as she moaned and shuddered.

Judy stared, slack-jawed. The heat that radiated from her face and ears was ignored and the bloom of heat in her belly earned nothing but a mental footnote. Her thermostat rose the longer she watched. Nick's hips started moving in rhythm with Emily's ministrations. His speed building alongside hers until his paws snapped out, latching onto her head. His climax was accompanied by a guttural snarl and a deep, pleased groan from Emily.

A long moment later Nick's grip slacked and his playmate slid him from her mouth muttering, "That was fun, Nicky."

Nick huffed a laugh in reply, but it was short-lived. Judy's stomach dropped as her eyes met her partners' across the sex-saturated atmosphere. He didn't react, or give her away. He smirked at her and fired off his trademark wink before replying to the lynx who was still on her knees.

"You were always fun at a party, Pom-pom." He raked his fingers through her head-fur, earning a pleased hum in return. "I'm glad to see that some things don't change."

Judy didn't stay for the rest. She scampered back down to the atrium and filled another glass with punch before finding another little group of officers to chat with. A few minutes later, Nick and Emily returned as well, but from opposite ends of the building.

For the rest of the evening, Judy appeared to laugh at her coworkers' jokes and enjoy the camaraderie. It was a pleasant evening, but she barely registered that it was happening. Her mind was elsewhere. She spared just enough of her attention to her surroundings so she wouldn't raise suspicions, but that was all. The rest of her mind was fixated on a mystery and there was nothing Judy hated more than an unsolved mystery. She had to know what about Nick made Emily enjoy what she'd done so much. Unfortunately, there was probably only one way to find out.

Judy knew she had a mildly obsessive streak in her personality. She never, ever went less than one hundred percent when it came to pursuing the things she wanted. It made her a tenacious officer and a devoted fan. As to friendship, she was second to none once it was earned. She always took her relationships seriously, even the ones she knew wouldn't be very long. The longest-running of her obsessions was mysteries.

She had to know.

Every time.

Every. Time.

It was coming back to bite her right on the ass. Her curiosity was getting the better of her and it was causing all manner of internal conflict. She kept telling herself it wasn't that important, but she kept thinking about it. She wrestled with her curiosity daily for three weeks-all though the winter holidays and new year. She barely remembered her Yule weekend in Bunnyburrow and had to remind herself that her new scarf and holster for her tranq gun were gifts from her parents, not a behest from a fairy godparent. It was embarrassing.

They were back at work when she finally admitted she had to know for her self and that meant committing a sex act-one she wasn't enthusiastic about in the first place-with her partner. Judy groaned as another massive can of worms opened in her head.

"You ok there, Fluff?"

Judy jumped slightly as she came back to herself. "Sorry. Little distracted, today."

"I know. You get a certain look in your eyes when something's bugging you."

"I do?"

"Gods, yes. When Officer Hopps gets her teeth into a puzzle it is absolutely clear. You do it every time you get a challenging case."

"You're joking."

"The guys take bets on how long it'll take you to snap out of it."

"They do not!"

"Do too."

"Do not!"

"They do and I've got proof of you want to see it."

"Your winnings?" Judy inquired sassily.

"I'm not allowed to bet."

That confused her. "Why?"

"I won too many times."

"You're that accurate."

"Six times in a row."

"Oh, please."

"To the second."

"Are you serious?"

"Ask Grizzoli. He'll happily bend your ear about it."

Judy chuckled and held up her paws in defeat. That was good enough for her. Their grizzly bear colleague was notoriously poor at wagering. He lost constantly, but never stopped trying to catch a break. Unfortunately, as the humor faded there was a new worry ready to take its place.

"Nick..."

"Yeah, Carrots?"

"How did you know that accurately?"

"About your timing?"

"Yeah."

"Easy. You're my partner. I know you better than anyone."

Judy tried very hard not to overthink, but despite her best efforts she still blushed a little.

"There's that adorable bunny blush I was going for."

"You're being awfully forward," Judy chided, but there were no teeth in her comment.

"Geez, rabbit, one would think you'd have caught on by now."

"What? That you love me?"

"Well, duh, but also the time of year."

"Huh?"

"Wow, Carrots. We've been partners for four years and you haven't caught the pattern."

"Do please enlighten me, then, oh wise fox."

"Every year around Halloween I get affectionate. Around Yule I get forward. At this time last year I took leave for two weeks and didn't talk to you at all, but made it up to you the week after Valentine's Day with that nice dinner. Remember?"

"I remember all of that. What's your point?"

"It's mating season." Nick paused for a moment before adding, "that's a great imitation of a fish out of water."

Judy snapped her jaws shut and felt her ears inflate. "You mean you..."

"Deep breath, sweetheart. It's not what you think. I'm not ears over tail for you, or anything."

"Well, what are you, then?"

"Attracted."

"Wow. And you can just say it? Just like that?"

"Denial is a healthier option?" Nick snorted inelegantly. "Judy, you're hot. I like females and have a pulse. Yeah, I'm attracted."

"But... but what does that mean?"

"It means my closest friend and partner at work is a nice little slice of sexy." He shrugged. "That's all."

"That's... all..." Judy shook her head. "I'll file that under compliments, I guess."

"Take it how you want."

Judy shook her head and cleared her throat.

"Dirty minded rabbit."

"Oh, come on!"

"You were thinking it. It was as obvious as your smile."

"Ok. So, the joke machine is set to 'flirt'. Alright." Judy shifted in her seat to face her partner. "Well, Officer Shameless-because-it's-mating-season, you really want to have this conversation?"

"Which one? The possibilities are endless."

"The one about attraction."

"You and I are probably thinking about different conversations, then."

"What attracts you?"

"To you, or in general?"

"In general. We can get me later."

"Promises, promises."

Judy rolled her eyes and forced herself not to smile. "Out with it, ya shameless flirt."

Nick sighed. "Fine. What attracts me? A lot of things."

"That's maddeningly unhelpful," Judy replied as she cocked her ears away from him in a brief burst of frustration. "Thank you."

"I can't tell you that I'm an ass-man, or whatever. There isn't one trait that does it for me."

"Then what does?" Exasperation colored the rabbits voice.

"I know what I like when I see it."

Judy reached for her tepid coffee. "Is that why you call the Chief 'buffalo-butt'?"

"Yep!"

Judy choked, gagged on her coffee and sprayed it all over the steering wheel. Nick howled with laughter.

"Carrots! Oh, Carrots, that was priceless!"

"Hate you," She grumbled as she yanked a napkin from the center console and scrubbed her face

"If you love me and you know it wipe your face!"

"You're insane."

"Rudely."

"So, to you the Chief is hot?"

"Not exactly." The fox rubbed his chin contemplatively. "He has a nice ass, but the doesn't mean I want to hit it."

"Oh my gods..."

"Shameless!"

"Is that how you see everyone?"

"Sort of. I can appreciate it without it turning me on. That takes a little more."

"How?!"

"I can appreciate art without needing to take it home with me. He has a nice butt, but it can stay on the gallery wall, thank you."

"You're mixing metaphors."

"It's like a soup."

"And species doesn't matter to you?"

"You know the answer to that from the holiday party." And there it was. The crux of the whole thing. "Did you like what you saw, little bunny?"

"I'll answer you if you answer me one more question."

"I've answered several, already, but sure. Ask away!"

"If you're so attracted to me why haven't you asked me out?"

"Are you asking out of curiosity, or jealousy?"

"Curiosity."

"A few reasons. One, you're my bestie and I don't want to mess that up. Two, you're my partner and I don't want to make working with me any more awkward than it already is."

"You are pretty insufferable at times."

"Thank you." With that, Nick opened the cruiser door and asked, "Hibiscus green tea with honey and a splash of lemon?"

"Yes, please. But before you go you need to finish."

"Finish?"

"You had 'one' and 'two', but you always have a 'threesie'. You aren't the only one in this partnership that pays attention."

"Threesie, clever bunny, is that asking you out means inter-species. I'm all for it, but I don't know if you are." Nick rested his elbow on the seat and leaned. "Four years as partners, almost five as friends, and you've dated six bucks. All male, all rabbit. You've never responded to anyone outside the lapidae family of species that I've witnessed or heard about. You're an openminded mammal, but that open? Unclear."

"You could have asked."

"That's a slippery slope proposition. It could lead all sorts of bad places. Besides, I'm not much for risking good things on wild schemes, anymore."

"That's a load of bull and you know it. I was at the holiday party, remember?"

"Fine. I see how it is. Throw away the easy-out I gave you."

"It wasn't necessary."

"Then, you know where this is headed, right? You've backed us both into a corner, here."

"Not... necessarily..."

"Uh-huh. You offered me an answer if I gave you mine. Well?"

"Yes." Judy couldn't meet his eyes after a heartbeat. "I liked what I saw."

Nick's eyebrows rose in surprise. "And that sparked this conversation, weeks later?"

"Yes."

"Okay… Is this where I ask you to dinner, or do you need to finish immolating, first."

Judy swallowed thickly. This was too good an opportunity for her to get the chance she wanted without making it super weird and awkward. It would only be almost super weird and awkward. "What if I didn't want anything that formal?"

If she had looked up, she would have seen Nick Wilde struck dumb for the first time in his life. An infinite moment later, she got a response from the vulpine. "You want to be rut-buddies?"

"Sorta?"

"Judy, you need to start clearing up what you're after, because you're driving me nuts, here. I've got a half-mast at the thought of it and you're confusing the hell out of me."

The sudden rush of blood from Judy's head to below her belt and back to her face left her somewhat lightheaded. "I want… I- Alright, here goes me embarrassing myself into oblivion. I saw you and Emily at the party. I liked it. That's new for me."

"Ok. First time seeing a different species in quite that way. I'm following you."

"I want… Oh, sod it. I want to explore this a little and you're the only male I trust. There. Laugh."

"I don't think I can."

"Why?"

"I don't have enough blood in my body to work my lungs that energetically."

"Nick?"

"Carrots, don't look so scared. I'm in." Judy released a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "You need to make a choice, though."

"I chose to endanger my best friendship for my sexual curiosity. Isn't that enough?"

Nick snorted a laugh. "I'll make it simple for both of us. If you're after a little self-discovery and nothing else, you can just jump me." Judy could only blink at his statement. "I'm dead serious. Sex occupies my mind about fifty-percent of the time normally, but because it's winter I have about seven braincells that aren't completely useless for anything else. Whenever you're interested, grab me, call me, whatever."

"Simplicity achieved."

"However," Nick bulled on, "If you want something more… emotionally involved, I'm going to at least insist on dinner."

"Dinner…"

"I'm not a tawdry slut and neither are you. It's only appropriate."

"How many of those seven braincells are devoted to your jokes?"

"At least five."

"That explains how they're so terrible." Judy took a deep breath to clear her mind. "I'll tell you what. We're going out with Clawhauser and Francine for beers after work on Thursday. Why don't we split the difference?"

"Is that a euphemism?"

"No, dummy. It's a compromise. Instead of dinner for two, let's try something a little more flexible."

"I like where this is going…"

"Oh, gods, you're incorrigible." Judy groaned as she smiled. "How about some snacks and drinks with friends and maybe…"

"You'll drag me off to ravish me. Sounds like a plan to me."

The run-up to their evening out-Judy couldn't bring herself to call it a date-was one long fit of nerves for the intrepid rabbit. She waffled back and forth between guilty excitement and worrying. She'd never had a casual sexual relationship. Unusual for a rabbit, perhaps, but still true. Now, she was about to begin one and with her closest friend who happened to be from another species.

A distressing amount of time was spent researching male foxes and what she intended to do. Her browser history would have horrified her mother. Or possibly given her hope. Judy wasn't sure. It had always been clear to her that she was an oddball in her family. Her parents' worries over her future weren't limited to her unusual job. She'd been a late bloomer and oddly disinterested in most of the traditional rabbit behaviors, casual sex among them. With this sudden change in that direction she was sure her parents would be overjoyed. Perhaps not with her choice of partner, but that was her business, not theirs. Nick was everything she wanted in a friend and quite competent as a lover from what she'd seen. Her nervousness centered more on her own capabilities than his. That and the potential aftermaths.

She comforted herself with a lot of reminders. He'd agreed willingly and happily. They already had a solid friendship. Sex could ruin friendships, but for some reason she didn't think that was a threat with them. Even if it went hideously awry, they'd probably get over their embarrassment in a few weeks and be laughing about it a month later.

There was no pressure and she was in total control over what, if anything, happened. It was very liberating for her to be the one in charge. Males of her own species were more inclined to take control, so having Nick give it up so easily was refreshing. The more she thought about it the more she was looking forward to their evening. The day of the event, Judy was practically bouncing with enthusiasm. She'd get to try a new thing, finally see what Tufts was talking about, and enjoy Nick in a new way! And all with minimal negative consequences if things didn't go well. It was perfect.

Sort of.

There were some things Judy had to admit had changed since their chat in the cruiser. For one thing, there was her newfound awareness of her partner as a male, not just a fox or a mammal generally. She found him suddenly more distracting than she had previously. The knowledge that he was attracted to her amplified that awareness and cast his behavior in a very new light. Add in that she finally caught on to the impact of his mating season on his behavior and, well... She had an attractive, older male interested in her. He was also her closest and most trusted friend. She was in control and there was no expectation of marriage or anything else as part of it. It was exhilarating.

She got through her work day of foot patrols and paperwork with her usual aplomb. Her partner was right there with her every step of the way. Nothing felt different, even remotely. He was acting exactly the same as ever, if slightly more teasing. For a fleeting moment, Judy feared that he'd reconsidered or wasn't actually interested. On a whim, she decided to test the waters. As they headed for the lockers she undid her duty belt.

Flopping it over her shoulder she asked, "Ready for tonight?"

"Beers with the boys and Wolford beating Grizzoli at darts?" Nick chirped. "Absolutely!"

"I wonder what Griz will have to do when he loses this time."

"I'm hoping get his fur permed, again. That was hilarious."

As they strolled along, Judy surreptitiously kicked the snaps on her ankle that held her foot wrappings shut. After a couple steps it was unraveling and, according to ZPD standard safety and ergonomics regulations, a tripping hazard.

Judy stopped and groaned. "Can you believe this?" She griped as she bent at the waist.

"What's wrong, Carro…"

"These stupid wraps. I swear they get flimsier every year. "Judy stayed bent over and rewrapped her foot as she spoke.

"Uhhuh. So I see."

"I'll requisition some new ones tomorrow."

Judy heard Nick shuffle in place, probably looking around. The hallway was fairly empty and as far as she could hear there was nothing headed their way. She fumbled her wrap and let it unwind a bit to buy time.

"The bunny's got butterfingers."

He was looking again—leaning against the wall and flat-out ogling, from the position of his feet.

"Yeah, yeah." Judy flicked her tail in excitement and chirped, "You decided on your first pint?"

"First what?"

"Pint, dummy." Judy shifted her weight onto one leg, cocking her hips t the side. "At the pub?"

"Pint…. Pint! Yeah. I figured I'd decide when I got there."

"You mean your usual Blueberry Cream Ale."

"Uh… Sure! That'll be it."

"You ok there, Nick? You seem distracted."

"I'm fine."

Judy snapped the tail of her wrap into place and grabbed her duty belt again. "Well, come on. Places to go. Beer to drink." As she walked, she rolled her hips a little more than was necessary and was positive Nick didn't hear a word she said.

Judy found that she liked teasing her partner. Part of it she felt was justified revenge for all the teasing he did himself. Part of it was the thrill of feeling so desired. If she was honest, however, the mainstay for why she kept it up the entire evening was simple. It was hilarious to watch his brain short circuit. She wasn't obscene about it, or inappropriate. She just played back against him the way she always did. Mostly.

True, she was leaning against him more and was definitely more tactile, but she was off the clock after a damn good week and after three beers she was feeling warm and limbered up. So much so that she didn't feel her usual sense of dread when the precinct's resident gossip sidled up next to her at the bar.

"Sooooo... you and Nick at last, eh?" As far as opening gambits went, Clawhauser was not known for subtlety.

"We aren't dating, Ben."

"Not yet."

"Oh, gods help me," Judy griped. "You've been on me about this for years. What is your fixation on me dating Nick?"

"You're just so cute together!"

"So were Delgato and Fangmeyer. Look what happened to them." Judy pointed out. "Cute does not a good couple make."

"I concede that point, but you and Nick aren't Charlie and Nadine."

"No. We aren't. And we aren't going to start dating just for the sake of the rumor mill."

"You could try it?" The cheetah wheedled.

"How much do you have riding on this, Ben?"

"Not a cent."

"And how big is the pool you're running?"

"Um..."

"That much, huh?" Judy grinned as the feline blushed and looked away. He was a terrible secret keeper. "And your ten percent would cover Gazelle tickets and back stage passes for you and Bogo, right?"

Ben groaned. "Yes. You know the Chief."

"Any bets he discovers are forfeit to the Widows and Orphans Fund except open pools, which he receives a percentage of for the Fund. You just like having a fellow fan at events, so you use your cut to take him along."

"Fine," Clawhauser whined. "You aren't dating, but you're really throwing around mixed signals, girl."

"What do you mean?"

"Nick is the flirt. It's compulsive with him. You're the sass-machine that keeps him in check and shuts him down. Even if he's flirting with you, you go toe-to-toe and don't give an inch."

"So...?"

"Judy, tonight you're flirting back."

"Maybe a little."

"A little… Uhhuh… And getting a little pawsy?"

"I hug him all the time!"

"You don't usually drag your paws over his chest afterwards. Or lean into him after hip-checking him. Usually." Ben replied flatly. "You're flirting hard. I know you had a good week and all, but you're never this affectionate with him around us. Even if you're like this away from work, the fact that you're doing it around us is telling."

"I'm relaxed and I want to play his game for once. Is that so bad?"

"Not bad, no. Just... keep it on the up and up, please? Don't toy with him."

"Toy with Nick? Mister Nothing-gets-to-me? It's just flirting, Ben. I'm not blue-balling him or leading him on, or anything."

"You may not be leading him on, but he's definitely blue-balled."

Judy stopped her beer an inch from her lips and gaped at her friend. "He's what?"

"Last year he took off because around this time of year."

"I know that. His mating season got the better of him. He needed a break. Happens to a lot of mammals."

"Yeah, but the reason he took leave was you."

"Excuse me?"

"You and he are inseparable most of the time. I know he's attracted to you and that's all it takes for the hormones to go haywire. He may not be in love with you, but his body reacts to your presence more than anyone else."

"How could you possibly know that?"

Ben leaned in and whispered, "The same thing happened to me when Angela Spotsworth manned the desk with me."

Judy stared openly.

Ben nodded. "Three years we were partners on the desk before she transferred to Precinct 102. She was fun and a good friend, but during her last year with me I had to take a leave during her season. I wasn't in love, but she was around all the time, in season and looked damn good. My brain and my heart weren't into her like that. My body, though... made its opinion very clear."

"Oh, wow..."

"Uhhuh. Spotsworth never found out and we're still good friends, but that last year was rough. Just pay attention to what you're doing with him. A little tease goes a long way during the Season and you've been liberal with it tonight."

"Thanks for the warning. I... I'll take care of it."

"You could just take care of him, instead."

"Ben!"

"Incidentally, he's been staring at your tail since you came over here. Just in case you were wondering."

Judy felt her ears flush and looked over her shoulder while pretending to look down the bar. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her partner. He was doing a good job of keeping up with the conversation, but his eyes drifted back to her with clockwork regularity. She flicked her tail without thinking and saw Nick stiffen in his seat. The todd slid his gaze back to Wolford, who was animatedly regaling them with some story from his week, and shifted in his seat to cross his legs. Until then this whole rut-buddies idea was just a whimsical idea. She'd thought about it and thought it through, planned and prepared, but it wasn't until that moment that it struck home for her. He wanted her and she really liked the idea.

The whole thing had started with her spying on Emily, so she'd planned to do the same. The pleasure she'd seen on the lynx's face had been enviable and Judy's curiosity had grown to titanic proportions. There had been bucks in her past and the rabbit gave no less than her all in any aspect of her life, so she was familiar with giving head. She'd just never enjoyed it, exactly. The results it got her, absolutely, but the act itself was never a thrill. She still knew her way around a blowjob and how to make it a good show as well as an experience, despite it being a while since she'd done it. She was going to find out what Emily found so entrancing about getting on her knees for Nick

With this change in her mindset, some of her favorite tricks shook off the dust in her head and started stewing. A plan solidified in her mind and her intent changed from experiment to battle plan. If she was going to do this, learning how Nick was "addictive" would be an incidental. She was going to enjoy herself thoroughly. Her beer was set aside in favor of water and she got one for Nick as well. She wanted him sober for what she had planned.

Just after midnight Judy had her partner pressed against the wall in the alley behind the bar. Nick was staring in disbelief as she attacked his belt buckle.

"Carrots, are you sure about this?"

"Which part?"

"Here? Now?" Her paw slid into his now-undone trousers and he gasped, "Holy hells!"

"Yes and yes." She felt the rock-hard throbbing flesh in her grip and felt her face light up. "Holy hells, indeed."

She'd seen him in all his glory when she'd spied on him at the holiday party, but seeing and touching were very different realities. It was one thing to enjoy the view from a distance and, thrilling though it was, it paled in comparison to having him in her paws. Slipping his boxers down, she added a close up to her personal show.

He was healthy for a fox, she supposed—more than enough for her by any standard being that she was a size class smaller than him—and girthy enough to be somewhat intimidating. She wanted to investigate more, but his breathing was already heavy and it was very distracting.

Her paw slid over him in a purposefully slow caress. "The poor fox is all worked up, huh?"

"Carrots, you have got to be joking."

"I am. It's been fun riling you up."

"Fun and frustrating for me," he panted.

Heat slid under her skin and pooled between her thighs. "Does the foxy want a little help with that frustration?" She was enjoying this a little too much.

Before he could answer, she pressed herself flush against him, continuing her maddeningly slow ministrations. She was gratified at the whine it pulled from his throat. She knew she was acting rashly. They were technically in public. The alley was dark and there was enough debris and junk around to choke a river, so no one could see them, but it was still a risk. Somehow that only added to the excitement.

They were misbehaving and she was loving every second. It was fun, different and such a release. Not for the first time she wondered if the alcohol was responsible for her courage. She had her muzzle buried in the ruff of his chest, feeling every twitch and shiver that she caused along her entire front while he muffled his whines and moans. She stopped caring when his paw landed on her ass, cupped it, and squeezed.

"Getting close, partner?" She cooed into his neck.

His voice was a rasp of restrained lust. "You've had me at the ragged edge for the last five minutes."

"Then, this should do it."

Judy slipped to her knees and slid her tongue down the side of his member. She felt him tense. She slipped back, took him fully into her mouth, and swirled around his head before popping it out of her mouth and bathing the other side of him with her tongue to the knot. She licked and teased the mass of flesh with her lips and paws, massaged the length and explored every bit of him. She turned it into a show for him and he responded. His moaning and muffled gasps spurred her. Everything she tried, he responded to and encouraged her. It crept up on her. She'd started this out of curiosity and was teasing him for a lark, but soon she was truly enjoying herself—grinning as she pulled more and more reactions out of her partner.

Finally, his paw found the back of her head and lightly gripped. It was all the cue she needed. She attacked his knot with a fervor she didn't know she had and he went rigid. A shuddering breath rattled out of him and Judy bit her lip, giggling. As she pulled away, his paw caressed her ears and cheek and she got to enjoy the results of her handiwork. Ropes of cum littered the opposite wall and alley floor. He was a shivering mess and still twitching, bracing himself against the wall.

On the spur of the moment, she licked the remains of his orgasm from the tip and blinked in surprise. "It tastes different. Sweeter?"

Nick wheezed a laugh. "Pineapple juice."

"Seriously?"

"Uhhuh. It makes a male taste less… unpleasant according to some females, so I figured it was worth a shot."

"You figured it was a sure thing?"

"I figured it was worth the precaution." He looked down at her and winked. "Just in case."

Her focus spiked. From her point of view, he looked like a disheveled mess of satisfaction and, strangely, appreciation. For a moment the brick wall was replaced by sheets and gooseflesh spread over her in a wave.

An eyebrow quirked on the fox's face. "You ok, Carrots?"

For whatever reason, Judy didn't want it to end. She didn't understand it. She didn't care. She was on her knees in a filthy alley having the time of her life with him and all she wanted was another taste. She didn't know or care if she was going to sleep with him or end up on her knees again. In that moment, a little more was all she wanted.

"How long before you can do that again?"

"About half an hour?"

"Perfect." With deft paws, Judy slid his softening manhood back into his shorts and buckled him up. "Let's go."

"I'm not complaining, but are you sure?"

Judy grabbed his shirt front and pulled him down to eye-level. "It's twenty minutes to my place from here. That means you'll have ten minutes to return the favor."

Nick swallowed thickly. "It's looking more like fifteen, now."

"Then, we'd better hurry."

Judy hadn't been quite this enthusiastic, well, ever. Or this brash. It was a fleeting acknowledgement as she kicked the door shut behind her. Her new apartment was a notable step up from the shoebox shed started out in. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, family room—everything she could possibly need, with one addition. Soundproofed walls, ceiling and floor. She'd thought it was a nice touch when she'd gotten the place, especially after Bucky and Pronk. However, her appreciation took on a new layer as she clicked the door latch and pulled her blouse over her head.

"Whoa, Carrots! Cutting right to the chase?"

"The chase ended in the alley."

"What has gotten into you, honey bunny?"

"I'll skip the obvious joke," Judy purred as her paws slid under his shirt.

The alcohol had mostly worked its way out of her blood, but there was enough lingering encouragement from their evening out to remove any hesitation from her actions. His shirt slid off his shoulders moments before his trousers followed gravity's pull to the floor. As soon as he was nude Judy wasted no time in pushing him back onto her couch. There, she had a moment of indecision.

He was already bouncing back from their fun behind the pub and she was torn. She wanted to take him for a ride before her courage deserted her, but she also wanted to see if he really tasted better. It might have been a fluke. Before she realized it, her lips were wrapped around him again, nursing him to full strength with her lips and tongue and enjoying every moment of it.

Feeling him swell and grow in her mouth was exciting in a way she wasn't entirely comfortable with, but it was something to worry about later. As soon as he was hard enough, she slid him as deep as she could take. Hearing his appreciative moan had her eyes rolling up into her head as she began to bob up and down his shaft. The want to continue was very strong, especially with the way his paws stroked her shoulders and head, but before long the heat between her thighs was more pressing a need than massaging his knot with her tongue.

Pulling off him was worth the spent willpower just to see his state. He was gripping the back of the couch as though his life depended on it with one paw. The other held her ear, gently caressing it as she leaned back. He was panting, smiling tensely and letting his hungry gaze rake over her.

"I hope you aren't done, Carrots. Or is teasing me to death you new hobby?"

"Always was," she chirped as she pushed a paw against his chest and stood. "New type of teasing."

"I'm all in favor, so long as you finish what you start."

In response, she leaned in and nipped his chest. His gasp was all the encouragement she needed. Standing, she shucked her jeans and panties without further fanfare. His eyes bugged seeing her suddenly in the buff, but in no bad way. If anything, he seemed to get harder.

His voice was rough and distracted as he asked, "What's the play?"

"If you can't guess, you aren't as smart as I thought," so saying she crawled into his lap. "Are you getting a clue, yet?"

"Not a clue, exactly. It's more a wild hope."

"Something like this?" The cheekiness in her voice wavered as she felt his tip brush her lips.

"Oh, gods, Judy," Nick rasped into her ear. "Please."

The last of her self-control went out the window and she did as he asked. She pleased. Their moans mixed as she slid onto him. She was close to taking all of him, but fell short. Her following two attempts were narcotic, but if she was gong to ride him, she wanted all of him.

"Nick. Little help."

His paws landed on her hips and pulled her down with a purpose. Their hips met and Judy grappled onto his chest. The room was spinning. She was full, inches from climaxing. She knew that she'd been turned on after her talk with Ben, but this was a whole different box of frogs. She felt like she was floating. She pulled herself together enough to remind herself that it hadn't been that long since she'd had a male. Then, he thrust their hips together again and she stopped caring. Her instincts lifted her up and Nick helped drive her back down. They had a rhythm going within moments and Judy was content to go along for the ride.

Judy knew they were both close when she'd crawled into his lap, but it was still a mild surprise to hear Nick grunt, "Judy, I hope you're close."

"Can't hold on, Slick?", she panted back.

"You're as tight as a vice and practically sucked my spine out before we started. No. No I can't."

As he spoke, Judy felt his knot beginning to swell. He was fighting it, so it was slow, but there was no stopping it. Before it got too big she ground her hips down hard and slid all the way down to the hilt. Nick's breathing went from heavy to ragged and he gripped her thighs like he was drowning.

"Just hold on tight," Judy rasped into the ruff of his chest.

With him buried in her, Judy began to roll her hips hard and fast, grinding herself against his pelvic bone. It was a favorite of hers and for good reason. She always came fast and hard when she did it this way and with Nick it seemed to be even better—there was plenty of friction in all the right ways, every spot she liked was being hit and for once she felt genuinely, deliciously full. The sensation of fullness grew with his knot and Judy was sure she'd die happy any second when it happened.

Nick swelled to an almost painful size inside her. She felt heat bloom in her belly as he came and a tidal wave of pleasure rolled through her. She barely managed to retain her senses after the first wave, but Nick wasn't done. His paws latched onto her hips and forced her down on his member, as though he was trying to fill her even more. His teeth found one of her ears and he bit down, letting loose a feral growl as he did it. A fresh wave of heat billowed into her and she realized he just came inside her again. Her body lurched forward as another wave of ecstasy pounded through her and everything went white.

She wasn't sure when she came to, but she was alone. The sun was peeking over the horizon and she groggily reached for her phone. It was 5:42am. Still early. Very, considering how late she'd been up. It took her a moment to remember why being in bed didn't make sense and her heart dropped.

Nick was gone. He hadn't even said goodbye. After last night… Last night. The events of the previous evening resurfaced and Judy began to worry. Before she had a chance to get any further her phone alarmed. There was a reminder to check the notes application in her phone set for 5:45am. She didn't remember setting any reminder, s she flicked through to it on autopilot and immediately felt both relief and annoyance. There was a new note on her list entitled "Dumb Bunny".

Good morning, Carrots.

First, stop worrying. We're cool. Last night was amazing in every way, but we're still friends and partners. That hasn't changed. After you passed out (thank you for the compliment, btw) I waited until we untied, cleaned up and put you to bed. There's a bottle of water on your bedside table in case you're hung over. Don't forget. I'm on cross training shifts in the RD this week, so I won't see you until Thursday. I may be walking normally by then. ;-) Try to stay out of trouble?

-Nick

PS. Lunch Thursday is on you. Thanks for offering!

Judy laughed. Part of it was at her partner's antics. Part was at herself for worrying. Of course, they were fine. They were adults and professionals. Their relationship could handle a night of…whatever that was and not fall apart. She felt ridiculous for even letting the thought happen. She hopped out of bed and immediately commiserated with her partner. Judy was thankful she had the next two days off. Hopefully, she'd be walking normally by Monday. With that amusing thought in her head, she traipsed off to shower grinning like a very satisfied cat.

Her weekend off was dull. With Nick in training and out of touch, she had a lot less than usual to do. Bills, laundry, cleaning and a trip to the market were the mainstay of her activities. She got in her usual morning runs and a trip to the botanical gardens on Saturday for a hike on Sunday afternoon, neatly rounding out her personal time. Monday morning came and Judy was in fine form, despite being short her partner.

The chief assigned her to patrols with Higgins and DelGato for the week, which was no hardship. The hippo was as sweet as could be and the lion tried to act tough, but liked to trade baking recipes with Judy when no one else was around. All in all, Monday was a straight forward day—just the way Judy liked it. And yet, something was bugging her.

By the end of Monday, she felt antsy. Tuesday night saw her pacing and anxious for no reason. She couldn't even focus on her shows. The only relief she felt was finally hearing from her fox. She was out of the shower and across the apartment when she heard her phone ring. She made it to the kitchen where she'd left her phone before the second ring finished.

She had the phone in paw and raced back for a towel as she breathed, "Hey, Slick!"

Nick's chuckle rolled out of the speaker and tension rolled out of her shoulders. "Wow, Carrots. Second ring? You missed me that much?"

"You wish." Judy snorted. "Yes."

"Hah! Has Chief Buffalo-Butt got you back in the meter maid uniform, again?"

"No, no." She got the towel wrapped around herself and stopped dripping everywhere as she replied. "I've been splitting my time between Higgins and Delgato."

"Impressive. You didn't want to go for a threesome?"

Judy blushed. "Pass. One partner at a time is plenty for me."

"Glad to see I measured up."

Judy wanted to respond, but the use of language temporarily deserted her.

"That was a joke, Carrots. Are we good?"

"Yes!" She sputtered. "I'm… failing horribly at not making this awkward, aren't I?"

"A little bit, but I don't mind. It'll take a little getting used to."

"Which part?"

"The part where we fucked in your living room."

"…Sweet cheese and crackers."

"You rut like a demon and curse like a nun… Do you have any idea how cute you are?"

"I see your season is still going strong, Officer Flirt."

"I like that. Think Bogo would spring for new tags for me?"

"I'd like to see you ask," Judy snarked back.

"Listen, Judy, I don't want this to be awkward. We're adults. We're friends… That's more important to me than what happened Friday night. If it never happened, say the word and I'm on board."

For a moment Judy couldn't help but weigh the options. On the one hand, yes, things were a bit stiff between them, but only a little. "I don't think that's necessary. I don't regret it and any weirdness is because we're both anxious about how the other one feels. I'm good with it."

"That's a relief. Same here."

"Besides, if I want a second round, I'd like to keep the option open."

The beat of silence on the other end of the line stretched just long enough to make her heartrate spike.

"If you're interested, I'm game," he replied lightly. "Just not tonight."

"Aww!" She cooed obnoxiously. "Did someone get their tail kicked by their training?"

"It was part mindless boredom, part exhausting overexertion from Sunday morning to Half an hour before I called. I'm beat."

"At least you had Saturday to prep and tomorrow off."

"You mean Saturday to recover."

She bit her lip to stifle the giggle. "Oh, come on. I wasn't that rough with you."

"Tell that to the band-aids I had to pick up. You got a little bitey at the end, there."

"I did not!" She scoffed.

"And scratchy. My ribs and chest needed a little attention after I left."

"Oh, please."

"You can see after our shift Thursday, if you like."

A shiver thrilled through her at the thought. "I might take you up on that—if you behave yourself."

Nick snorted ungracefully. "Bang goes that Idea, then."

They both had a good laugh at that and said good night. With the call ended, Judy went back to toweling off and getting ready for the next day. She felt oddly better and somehow more antsy after talking to him. The unpleasant undercurrent that had been niggling at the base of her mind was gone. In its place was a strange sense of anticipation that kept her from sleeping at all for a good portion of the night and prevented her from sleeping deeply or well at all. On Wednesday she went for a 3k run just to bleed off some of the strange manic energy, but it didn't really work. She needed something, but had no clue what it was.

Thursday morning, she was feeling a bit crabby. Her patience was close to non-existent and she was nothing like her usual bubbly self. She felt muted, deprived. She didn't know what she was deprived of until she got to work and saw her partner chatting with Trunkaby by the males' locker room door. Suddenly, she felt warmer, happier and eager. Emily's comment about Nick being addictive flitted through her mind and it stalled her footsteps, but only for a moment.

They'd had sex. So, what? All she was feeling was attraction to an attractive male, one she'd already been intimate with. True, it was a bit stronger than she'd have expected, but it wasn't concerning. He was her closest friend, her partner and now someone she saw in a new light. It was to be expected. It would also fade before long, so she was fine.

Heat rose in her cheeks, ears and thighs as her eyes met her partner's across the room and she revised her assessment a touch. She was fine if it didn't fade too quickly and if he was "addictive"—she thought mockingly—maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. There was still no solid proof of it, so it still had to be proven or disproven. Either way, she'd enjoy the investigation. And, so long as it didn't disrupt her life, too much it'd be fine.