A/N: Welcome to the latest version of my very first Zootopia fanfiction! Many of you have been patiently waiting for an update and for that I want to apologize as RL and other stories got in the way. Plus, I was growing increasingly unhappy with how the story was playing out that I felt it deserved (and those who have been following the story) a rewrite. This is the third version of an original story inspired by an arc written by uzrfrndly and a comic by Sprinkah/Emberlaurelle. However, except for the hospital scene, that is where the similarity ends. Sprinkah is taking his comic down another route while I definitely have plans to ship my favourite couple.

There is an M rating to this story, unfortunately, as I will be discussing topics that some readers may find offensive. There will be fluff mixed with in with a generous dash of lemon. I was hoping to lower it from its original rating but my muse demands that I keep to the original as much as possible. I will certainly make sure to finish it this time but as the later chapters come about, it may take more time.

A big shout out to my crew of friendly, neighbourhood beta readers: Stubat007, DancingLunarWolves and, NightWolf0179 who have helped me iron out plots and grammatical errors.

Thank you all for your patience and now, on with the story!

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by ©Disney except for original characters created by me. Any resemblance to actual persons or mammals, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Chapter One

In The Beginning...

Furonto General Hospital, Canidae, present day…

The winter storm slammed against the windows with near-gale force winds. The wet snow blew sideways as the roof creaked under the massive buildup. The bull elk EMT looked outside and was glad his shift had just ended. He checked his reflection in the window and thoughtfully scratched one of the two rounded stumps on his head. Shrugging his shoulders, he grinned and fingergunned the brawny mammal in the window and set off down the hallway, merrily whistling. Slinging his backpack over his shoulder, he made his way to the front door where he spotted his petite girlfriend intently poring over a clipboard, oblivious to the rest of the world. Slyly smiling, he put the bag down and silently crept up behind her.

"Hey there, Patricia!" he murmured as he bent down and wrapped his arms around the slim waist of the lovely young female cheetah nurse. "Ready for our date tonight?"

"Frank!" she happily squealed with a slight Afurican accent. "C'mere, mpenzi," she cooed as she turned and drew him in for a kiss. "Mmm… have I got a hankering for venison, tonight," the feline purred as she ran a paw over his broad chest.

Blushing, the buck grinned and quipped, "Well, you must admit, I am an acquired taste. Plus," he teased, waggling his eyebrows, "you know I can't resist when it comes to eating–"

"Don't!" Patricia playfully warned, clamping his muzzle shut, "Don't even think of going there if you expect to warm my bed tonight."

With a playful gleam in his eye, he struck back. He began poking his hooves against her ticklish sides, forcing her to release her hold on his proboscis as she squeaked with laughter. "You know you can't resist my charms, pussycat. I'm your catnip of love, your ball of yarn, your cod liver of desire." Frank smugly quipped.

"Gaaah! Where do you find your pickup lines? At the magazine rack of the supermarket counter?" the she-cheetah groaned in mock agony. "Seriously though," she worriedly asked as she eyed the winter mess outside the building. She slightly shifted her head so that it rested on the muscular chest of her boyfriend as she pressed herself up against him. "Can we even make it out tonight? I heard on the radio that they're telling everyone to stay home if they don't have to be anywhere else to be. It's going to take forever for the city snowplows to clear all that snow away."

"We'll be fine, sugar," Frank gently assured her as he turned her face up to his so he could press a quick peck to her lips. "The underground walkway beneath the hospital connects to the subway. We can stay at your place since it's nearer. And if it will make you feel any better, we can just chill in the apartment and catch up on the shows on Furflix."

"I know," she sighed, amber eyes staring lovingly into liquid pools of coffee that made her literally weak at the knees. "But I really wanted tonight to be really special since it's our first year anniversary as a couple. And you've been working overtime just so you can take me to that fancy new interspecies bar."

"Honey, there's always tomorrow. As the responsible one in this relationship," he laughed as she snorted in derision and thumped him with her paw, "I have to make sure we get home safely in this weather. It's not fit for either predator or prey out there. At least the subway is still running and your apartment is just five minutes from our stop."

"Okay, let me get changed and I'll meet you by the front door."

"Uhm, hun?" Frank bashfully asked. "I know we're not supposed to do this in public but it's been a long shift and my shoulders are killing me. Can you do that… thing? You know..?"

"Ooh, you're a glutton for punishment," she cooed as she unsheathed her claws and lightly scritched his neck fur. "We could get into trouble, you know that, right?"

"Look," he said, quickly glancing around as he pulled her into a dimly lit corner behind some medical equipment, "there's no one around. Has your replacement gone on her rounds?" Noting the nod of her head, he quickly pushed on in a pleading tone. "Just a quickie, please? Just to tide me over until we get home? You have that touch that–"

Before he could continue, the she-cat grabbed his ears and dragged his head down so that her sharp teeth were around his wide neck. He froze, unable to breathe as he heard the pounding of his heart in his ears. He felt her jaws slowly tighten, her fangs slightly digging into his skin but not breaking it; slowly cutting off his oxygen supply. He instinctively tried to pull her off but she had wrapped her hind legs around his body, keeping his arms pinned to his side. He was amazed at the things he noticed in that moment: the sharp spike of her personal scent; her whiskers tickling his nose; the softness of her fur; the sub-guttural hiss coming from her; the medical factoid running through his brain that the crushing power of a cheetah's jaw was three times stronger, pound for pound, than a tiger's. Just as he thought he was about to faint, she released his neck and began licking the spot where her fangs had recently been. She rubbed her head against his cheek, purring as her tail wrapped around his right arm.

"Jamani, Frank! That was a rush. Are you okay?" Patricia asked as the buck slightly staggered under the combined weight as he recovered his senses.

"Sweet Gaia, Pat. You get better at this every time." He gasped as he let her down. He straightened his posture and clothing. He gingerly rubbed the spot where her fangs had recently been. He slightly winced but it was nothing compared to the relief he felt. He flexed his wide shoulders and twisted his neck back and forth, no longer feeling the tightness in the muscles. "I feel great! All that stress is gone. Nothing like an almost near-death experience to get rid of the day's mental garbage," he chuckled. He leaned down to passionately capture her lips once more. "I'm so lucky to have you in my life," he whispered into her ear.

"Now, look what you've gone and done," she lovingly rumbled, "you've got my motor running. I expect a full oil change and lubrication check tonight."

"Whatever it takes to please my little minx. Now, off with you, my dear," he smirked, winking as he patted her pert rear with his hoof, "before I decide to take care of my other 'problem' right here."

She seductively smiled as she turned away, exaggeratedly swaying her hips as she walked back to the nurse's station while her tail quivered upright behind her. Frank made sure she saw him ogling her, licking his lips as she walked away. They both liked to tease each other and were not shy when it came to bedroom matters. And, after six months of living together, he felt in his heart that he had found the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The sex was great but it was just icing on the cake.

There once was a time when a union like theirs had been frowned upon. In Zootopia, where mammals were encouraged to try everything, he had seen that it was mere lip service. He had read too many reports of mammals being attacked because they had dared to try something against the societal norm. Canidae, on the other hand, had always been a country that accepted and tolerated new and different ideas. Predator-prey couples found that they were no longer seen as pariahs just like same sex couples. Laws had been passed that not only welcomed mammals from different backgrounds but promoted their diversity as well. He had secretly made the decision to apply for naturalization so that he could make a new life with her in this country. He hoped she felt the same when he popped the question tonight.

"Ready, Frank?"

Shaken from his internal reverie, his breath caught at the sight of the mammal standing before him. She still had on her plain non-descript nurse's uniform with a thick winter jacket on but she could have been wearing a burlap sack for all he cared. She was a godsend and tonight, he prayed she would accept his proposal to become mates.

"What is it about you that makes the sun pale in comparison?" he wondered aloud. "Maybe it's because you're perfect in every way? Or that your beauty surpasses even that of Gazelle, the Angel with Horns?"

Patricia could only blush at his words. She was not used to being admired and praised as much as he did to her. Before she met Frank, she had been a loner, preferring her books to going out. She had come to Canidae in order to gain an education and did not want to fritter away the hard-earned funds of her family by partying. Frank had the reputation of being a party-mammal, only on the lookout for fun. So, she made it a point to avoid him. But when they had started working side-by-side in the emergency room of the hospital, she had discovered his warm and caring side.

"You fill my head with sweet sayings but nothing for my empty belly?" She was not a hopeless romantic like him, choosing to respond snarkily instead. From time to time, she needed to ground him as he tended to lay it on too thick.

Laughing, he reached into his backpack and brought out several strips of turkey jerky. "Will these do? I'd hate to have you chewing on me until we get to the apartment."

"That's reserved for the bedroom," she whispered, involuntarily blushing, as she yanked the preserved treats out of his hoof. "And how did you come to have these on you? Last time I checked, prey avoided having anything to do with meat?"

"Yeah, but my malaika needs to eat–"

Before he could finish his sentence, the emergency doors slid open and a snow-covered mammal, effortlessly carrying a large bundle bridal style in its arms, entered.

"I need help! My mate is in labour!" yelled the male.

Glancing at one another, the elk and cheetah comfortably slipped into their professional mode.

"Over here, sir!" yelled Patricia as she headed to the nurse's station, removing her winter gear. "Frank! Get her over to the ER, stat! I'll alert the doctor on standby."

As soon as Frank brought a wheelchair over, the male carefully placed the large bundle in it. He unwrapped it to reveal a very irate and very pregnant grey bunny with black-tipped ears.

"Nicholas Piberious Wilde! I oughta–"

Before she could finish, the male placed a finger on her muzzle, silencing her. "Shhh, Carrots! You're okay now. Relax!"

"Relax? I'll give you something to relax, you mangy mutt! I'll… aaaaahhhh!" The rabbit screamed, quite obviously in pain as she clutched at her distended abdomen. Afterwards, she pointed an accusing finger at the other mammal. "You did this to me. I'll never forgive you! I hate you!" She burst into tears and started sobbing as Frank wheeled her into one of the ER partitions separated only by a screen. With Nick's help, Frank placed her on the gurney meant for a much larger mammal and left them alone as he brought the wheelchair out.

Nick sighed as he removed his snow jacket. The red fox brushed off most of the white powder, hung it on a nearby hook, and approached the sobbing lapine. "C'mon, Judy," he murmured, "you know I love you, right?" With her seated on the hospital bed, they were eye-level with one another. He lifted her head by the chin and smooched her nose, causing it to wrinkle. "You bunnies; so emotional."

"Stop that," she whispered, grasping his arm as if she were drowning, "I'm trying to be mad at you."

Nick hopped up onto the stretcher so that he sat beside her and drew her closer. "You can be mad at me later. For now, just relax."

Judy snuggled into his side as Nick wrapped his tail around her, letting her clutch it like a security blanket. As he returned, Frank coughed into his hoof in order to catch their attention. "If you need anything, just press that buzzer over there," indicating the device hanging nearby. "In the meantime, I'll get you some ice chips for you to suck on. The doctor will be here soon." He withdrew once more to give them some privacy.

""What I wouldn't do to have some whiskey in that ice," Judy grumpily muttered. Nick laughed but groaned in pain as she elbowed him. "Not funny, Nick!"

"Look, sweetie. I get that you're in pain but drinking alcohol could harm the kits. Do you really want that?"

"No," she resignedly sighed, ears drooping as she forlornly clutched his tail. "It-It's just that I'm a mess! This isn't what I planned on! I had dreams and now look at me!"

Nick grimly scowled at her. "Are you saying you don't want the kits? 'Coz it's too late to abort them. If you don't want them–"

"Wh-what? No! I do want kits! I want your kits! I...I just don't know if I want these…"

Nick was spared from replying by the arrival of the armadillo doctor, Dr. Dharma. She shooed him out as she prepared to inspect her patient.

"What am I doing here?" Nick silently raged as he paced the corridor outside. "What if I'm not the father of these babies? Should they be my responsibility? If they're Jack's, he should be standing here and..." Nick furiously growled, not wanting to finish the thought.


His hackles rose just at the very thought of that insane hare's paws on her. "Damn that Jack! If I ever find that bastard, I'll skin him alive and use his pelt as a floor rug."

Hearing his name called, Nick made his way back to Judy and the doctor. The aged armadillo obstetrician clarified that although Judy had gone into labour, her cervix had not yet fully dilated so they needed to wait a bit more. She suggested that they walk around the hospital a bit to give Judy's body more time to catch up with the birthing process. She gave them instructions to return as soon her contractions were five minutes apart. Nodding in understanding, the mismatched couple made their way down the hallway.

Nick walked behind Judy who, in turn, waddled to the front of the hospital elevators. He glanced at the expectant doe who was bravely putting up a front and trying her hardest not to cry. She was on the verge of breaking down and yet, despite his anger, his heart felt so heavy seeing her physically tired from the pregnancy. She looked so vulnerable. Broken. Not the Judy he had known who always had a bit of sunshine in her pockets, ready and willing to share it with the world.

"So, heard anything about his whereabouts?" asked Nick, trying to pass the time.

"Who? Jack?" she said with anger in her voice. "No, and I hope that he gets eaten!"

Judy sadly turned back to face the bank of elevators and reflected on what had gone wrong and where it had all started…

Zootopia Bureau of Central Intelligence, six months earlier...

"Welcome to the Zootopia Intelligence Agency, Miss Hopps!"

Judy turned to greet the voice and came face to face with a rather handsome grey rabbit. Except for the fact that he had three black stripes on each side of his face and similar markings at the top of his ears, Jack Savage oozed confidence and sophistication as he strode towards her. His suave steely blue eyes stared directly into her amethyst ones as she felt a slight flush come to her cheeks.

"My name is Jack Savage and I will be your liaison here in the ZIA. You come highly recommended by Chief Bogo of the ZPD."

Judy caught herself staring at him and responded with a bit of embarrassment, "Thank you Mr. Savage though I don't know how a mere computer technician from the ZPD Cybercrime Division could be of help to the ZIA."

"Please, call me Jack." He flashed a very charming smile. "Chief Bogo mentioned that you were his best when it came to tracking down fugitives who went into hiding only to surface from time to time in the Dark Web."

"Well, I've been somewhat successful–" Judy blushed, as she hated to take praise for just doing her job at the ZPD.

"Nonsense!" he gently interrupted her. "Your success rate, which has led to the apprehension and successful conviction of cybercriminals, is phenomenal! In fact, it even surpasses the best minds of ZIA's own Cybercrime Division."

Judy squirmed, unused to such praise, and bowed her head, looking down at her paws. "Thank you again, Mr. Savage," she hoarsely whispered.

She felt his paw gently cup her chin as he slowly lifted her face to look into his eyes. "The praise is well deserved. And Mr. Savage is my father. I would appreciate it very much if you would just call me Jack" he said in a low, sexy, sultry voice that only she could hear.

She felt giddy just looking into his eyes and did not trust herself to be able to speak. Her heart began to pound loudly in her ears. "Sweet cheese and crackers! I hope he doesn't hear that." Swallowing, she could only nod her head.

"Come then," as he wrapped her paw around his arm. "Let me show you to your office and then I'll introduce you to the head of ZIA who will brief you on our mission into Canidae. We'll be leaving tomorrow. Tonight, we can have a nice quiet dinner by ourselves in order to get more acquainted."

Furonto General Hospital, present time...

She was jolted back to the present when she felt a contraction hit her. That meeting with Jack Savage happened over six months ago and most of what happened in between seemed to be a blur.

She leaned against the wall, stopping to catch her breath. She looked over her shoulder and noticed Nick standing with his paws clasped behind his back, staring at the hallway in front of her with half-lidded eyes, not looking at her. Despite his bored appearance, she could see that his eyes, nose and ears were on high alert, scanning the surrounding area for anything unusual. She also noticed that he was standing on the balls of his hind paws; a wound spring, ready to lash out at potential enemies. Plus, the way he stood behind her, showed he was using his body to shield her from any potential danger.

She was thankful for his presence and the feeling of unease abated. But that was all he allowed her to see. She wanted to know what was going on inside of him. How did he feel about her? Most especially now that she was about to give birth to potentially Jack's offspring. She hated it whenever he put on his mask. "Never let them see that they get to you." She still remembered his old mantra.

Her mind flitted back to the time she had arrived in Canidae with Jack...

The Grand Pangolin Arms Hotel, six months earlier...

Canidae. Land of the Vulpine. Zootopia's nearest neighbor and largest trading partner that shared one of the longest borders in the world between the two countries. She was accompanying Jack to Canidae so that she could help him locate a fugitive who had left Zootopia ten years ago before justice could be served. Relations between Zootopia and Canidae were very friendly. Yet, he preferred to remain undercover until he could actually locate and apprehend the fugitive. So, posing as business partners out on a scouting mission for potential opportunities, they had checked into their separate hotel rooms. Jack had not disclosed the name of the mammal they were looking for but he told her he would debrief her once they arrived in Canidae. He had her meet him at the hotel bar where she found him seated at a table booth with a martini in his hand.

"Have a seat, Judy. What can I order for you?"

"A small glass of red wine will do, Jack. Thank you."

When her drink arrived, Jack pushed a Manila folder over containing the name of their intended target. He did not say anything but merely nodded for her to open it. As she did, she gasped with surprise. She was looking at the familiar face of a red fox. A fox by the name of Nicholas Piberius Wilde, her old high school classmate from Bunnyburrow High who had disappeared from her life almost ten years ago.

"Why are we going after Nick?" she worriedly asked Jack as she looked up from the file. "What did he do?"

"There is an outstanding warrant for his arrest after being involved in a serious altercation that took place over ten years ago. He managed to slip out of Zootopia right after so he was never charged before a court of law. Thus, the statute of limitations has been suspended and will start once he is charged in a Zootopian court."

"What serious altercation? The only thing I remember that happened ten years ago with him was…" she hesitated as her voice slowly trailed off as the memories came flooding back.

"Yes, the incident that occurred between him and your boyfriend at that time, Robby Peterson."

"But that wasn't Nick's fault!" Judy fumed, shooting upright in her seat and grasping the table's edges. "He was only acting in self-defense!"

"Sit down, Judy," Jack coldly commanded. "Don't make a scene. Remember, we're supposed to be incognito." Once she had settled back, he continued. "I don't like it either, Judy," Jack dramatically sighed as he signaled the female anteater who was waiting on them to refresh his drink. "However, Robby's father, who is politically connected due to his many campaign contributions, has been pressuring us lately for his arrest. We caught a break recently regarding his whereabouts. Since the warrant has never been served, it remains outstanding and I've been tasked by my superiors to bring him in."

"That doesn't seem fair considering that Robby started the whole thing!" She snapped, her arms crossed against her chest as her ears continued to vibrate in anger. She wanted to wipe the smug look off Jack's face. "Is this why you chose me to come with you? So that I could be your bait for the trap?"

Jack snickered condescendingly as he nonchalantly swished his drink. "Now, now, Judy. I expected that you would feel this way considering your previous relationship with him. However," he smirked as he leaned back against the seat, "you give me too much credit. It was your chief who suggested that you would be the best candidate to do the job of convincing him to return with us voluntarily. If he chooses not to, then there is the possible complication of having to smuggle him out of Canidae. At present, Zootopia and Canidae are still working out a system of repatriation. However, we cannot wait for the courts to come up with one as it may still take several years. So," spreading his paws out before him, "we now have a window of opportunity and I intend to take advantage of it. Life is messy and is never fair. As an officer of the ZIA, I must uphold Zootopia law, no matter how distasteful it may seem to you. And I expect you, as an officer of the ZPD, to do the same."

She inwardly cringed at his accusatory words but deigned to show any outward emotion, focusing on the file in her paw instead. She knew that he was only speaking the truth and she was letting her emotions affect her judgment. Not wanting to argue further, she began reading Nick's dossier.

Subject: Nicholas Piberius Wilde

Background: Former member of the Canidaen Armed Forces. Served six years and received an Honourable Discharge. Recipient of the Canidaen Medal of Military Valour, several Medals of Bravery and the Peacekeeping Service Medal. After leaving the military, Nicholas Wilde was known to have started a photography business in Canidae and has managed to keep a low profile since then. He has no visible pawprint on the Internet and has remained off the grid except when filing his income taxes electronically, usually from an Internet café or public library. The address on these tax returns indicates that it is a post office box, which has been under surveillance. He has never appeared but someone comes from time to time to pick up the mail. After following said mammal to various locations on several occasions, the mail seems to mysteriously disappear from them and any attempts to backtrack to the time it occurred have proven futile.

Specialty: Marksman

Current whereabouts: unknown

Inside the folder, she found photos of Nick when he was in the military. He looked handsomely stunning in his military uniform. He had a commanding presence around him and those emerald eyes of his brought back many pleasant memories. The military training he underwent had transformed the once scrawny fox she had known back in Bunnyburrow High into a mouth-watering hunk of a mammal. His body looked… buff. "I'd certainly have a much harder time wrapping my arms around that chest!" she mentally giggled.

"So, what is this break you've mentioned?" she frowned as she reluctantly turned her eyes back to Jack.

"It seems that he has recently created an account on Furbook under an alias. We deduced it was him because our cybercrime experts kept seeing him visit only one account. Yours."

Her eyes widened in surprise and outrage. "He's been stalking me? How in the sweet butterballs did you know? Have you also been keeping tabs on me all this time? And whatever happened to the concept of privacy?" At that moment, she wanted nothing more but to reach over and smack Jack across the cheek. She debated doing just that, upending her drink over his head, and walking out of the mission. In the end, her professionalism and her desire to see Nick once more won out over her contempt for the smarmy mammal that sat across from her. She felt dirtier every minute she spent with him but she forcefully swallowed back the bile.

"We're covered by our federal mandate regarding national security. And," shrugging nonchalantly, "if you must know, we had a warrant to do so. Anyway, all that's moot at this point. We're not sure if he has been watching you all this time. But, whenever we have been able to detect him every time he logs in, he appears to be using an anonymous virtual private network that is being bounced over several international servers so it is quite difficult to locate his exact position. We are certain, however, that after his military discharge, he has never left the protection that Canidae gives its citizens and has remained in this country."

"So, where do we go from here?"

"We want you to contact him and to bring him out into the open so that we can either arrest him peacefully…or take him back to Zootopia. By force, if necessary and under heavy sedation."

She didn't like the latter option proposed by her lapine superior, however, she deigned to voice her opinion over it, knowing it was standard operating procedure for the ZIA.

"And how do you know he'd be willing to break his cover for me?" she asked Jack.

"I just know." Jack replied with a hint of a sneer on his lips and didn't say another word.

Judy began to feel some misgivings about the case. She knew she would be happy to be able to reconnect with her best friend again however she didn't like the fact that she would be betraying him just because of a misunderstanding that occurred many years ago. But because of her oath and duty to uphold Zootopia's laws–no matter how unfair they may seem–she felt she had no choice in the matter.

And that was what sickened her to her stomach.