[AN

Hey guys! Thanks for clicking on this story and giving me a chance. I just have a few things to tell you before you start reading (don't worry it won't take long).

First, I am French. I chose to write in English because I love the language, my favorite fictions are all in English, and I've been training for years. Still, this is quite the exercise for me, and not only as first time writer, so I apologize if my writing feels a bit scholar, or for any mistake I can make (choice of words, proper tense, syntax, etc). Don't hesitate to comment on that! I won't refuse any hints on how to improve myself.

Second, I found out that I am not very inspired when it comes to romance, though I enjoy reading some (ok, a lot of them as a lot of stories here are focused on that and I can't get enough). So I just settled for what I feel more comfortable with: being a jerk with my characters and making them go through hell and back. This story will not be a very fluffy one, more of a thriller or dark cop story.

Last, the first chapter is more of an introduction to set the mood, which explains why it is rather short. The following ones will be longer, though I still don't know how fast I will publish them. This will mainly depends on the comments you will (hopefully) leave :)

That's all folks! Hope you still have a good time, as you are about to discover what lies within my tortured mind! *insert diabolic laughter here*

Denisore

Disclaimer: I do not own Zootopia, this story is purely fan work.

/AN]


Today was October 10th. Autumn was slowly asserting its grip on the city, green leaves turning to hundreds shades of yellow, red and brown, wind carrying them away with gentle breezes. In city center, weather was not controlled the way it was in some districts, and the seasons still brought change to their surroundings every few months. Few of the city mammals roaming the streets could really enjoy the way Mother Nature adorned herself with such bright colors, thoughts focused on the rain the season would without a doubt bring to them, or on the cold that would slowly but relentlessly burn their skin through their fur when winter settles.

Amongst them, one familiar red fox was inhaling deeply while walking, filling his lungs with fresh air, normally clearing his mind as well. He knew he had to enjoy this time of the year, when the temperature outside was still warm enough to enjoy being outside without the sun making him pant under his harsh glare.

This was the first time in many years though, that he didn't feel like parading in the streets, eyes catching every glitter the shy sun would manage to sparkle through the clouds. His mind was busy today, and the world around could disappear he wouldn't notice. A small bouquet of red roses in his paws, he walked with purpose to where she was waiting for him.

Ten minutes later, he was passing the iron gates of the park he now knew by heart. The fox guided himself along a well-kept gravel path throughout the garden, his hind paws leading him blindly to his destination without difficulty, the path so engraved in his mind it had become instinctive. Circling around a small lilac bush, he finally reached his destination and a warm smile crossed his muzzle.

"Hey Judy! Happy birthday!"

"Nick!" The rabbit was kneeling, her back to him, but when she heard him she quickly jumped to her feet and turned, beaming at her friend. Her amethyst eyes widened when she noticed the roses he brought her. "Wow Nick! They're beautiful! Are they for me?" She giggled on the last comment, the smile on the fox's face spreading.

"Of course, beautiful. Who else would deserve these?" He paused for a second before resuming, his smile faltering lightly. "Sorry I am late, got a bit busier at work than I wanted to. This case I'm working on is quite the pain in my ass." He closed the distance, one paw reaching in front of him, as she did the same. Their digits intertwined, the feel making his fur stand on edge.

"Well, do tell! You know I can't resist a good cop story!" Her voice was shaking a bit with excitement.

"Well, two weeks ago, a couple found a body floating on the river in Tundra Town while going home. When we arrived there, we-"

The duo remained there for a dozen minutes, Nick giving her details on how the investigation was going on, with the usual dead-end leads, boring interrogations of grumpy mammals, and so on. When he was finished, he took a moment to compose himself.

"I wish you would still work with me, partner". His mask cracked and his voice quivered on the last word, pain gripping his heart.

"I wish I did too, Nick. You know what this work meant to me. What it meant for me to work with you. To be with you." Her voice mirrored his now, her cheerful tone replaced by a solemn and deeply sad one.

"And yet, here I am. Talking to myself as the only way to maintain my sanity." The fox was starting to shake as emotions ran wild in his chest.

"You know you don't have to come here, Slick."

.

Her voice was filled with sorrow, only a murmur echoing in the evening wind. The todd was crying now, tears flowing uncontrollably on his cheeks, dampening the fur. He fell on his knees, shaking and sobbing for several minutes. When he finally managed to calm down a bit, he put the roses on the soft grey stone. A few words were engraved on it, and his eyes read the words he hated the most.

"Here lies Judith Lavern Hopps, first rabbit officer and pride of the ZPD".

Several other bouquets of white flowers were already covering the tombstone, with small white cards signed by her former fellow officers and co-workers. Smiling shyly to the memory of his dearly departed partner standing in front of him, Nick rose to his feet and started the long way back towards the graveyard's entrance, like he had done every Thursday for the last five months, after her burial.

"See you next week, my love."

[AN

For those wondering about the title, go check the song "Lucy" by the band "Skillet", and just swap the name, it will be self-explanatory.

AN]