A/N — Hello my dear readers. Nope, not dead yet. Still working when I can, and more for my main stories is in the works. I promise you that. In the mean time, have another Dark End.

I do not own Zootopia or it's characters.

Dark Ends - 3

The pit, Museum of Natural History, Zootopia

A rabbit screams its final sounds. The growls of a fox driven mad, savage, by a drug wielded by an insane ewe bent on genocide of all predators, replaces that scream along with the crunching of bone and the scent of blood.

Or so things were supposed to go according to the mad ewe's plans. Instead, at the taste of her blood, the first part of an ancient prophecy was fulfilled, a prophecy older than mammals having minds, written down by the power that granted them those minds, and a power was awoken within both mammals in the pit. The shock-waves from that awakening a power hidden within many mammals, mostly foxes and rabbits.

Instantly releasing her and wielding the power just awoken without understanding it, acting on the instincts still ruling his mind, the fox heals the rabbit and completes the second part of the prophecy. It promises one of apocalyptic proportions. The end of the world come at the behest of predator and prey merging.

Sadly, it was this very prophecy that drove the mad ewe to seek the end of all predators, for if there were no predators, there could be no merging of ancient enemies, and therefore no way for the end of the world to come about. Something the mad ewe screamed about as she was dragged away.

"No! You need to kill them. Kill them both! They will bring about the end! The world will end and you will be at fault! They must not be allowed to breed!"

Rolling his eyes, Bogo waved her away. "Take her in for observation. I want the docs doing a full work up on her, mentally and physically, she is clearly not well, for a number of reasons." Looking down into the pit to see a rabbit and fox holding each other and trembling as the adrenaline clearly wore off. Bogo shook his head. They had found the missing mammals with no help, and if anything, with him and the rest of the ZPD standing in their way. Now they discovered and revealed Bellwether's madness and plot, again without assistance. There was clearly something powerful about these two small mammals he had so easily written off.

Shaking his head again as a ladder was lowered down, the fox carrying the clearly injured rabbit out of the pit. He'd have worried that the fox was likely to hurt the rabbit, were it not for the way she clung to him for almost dear life. He supposed after what they had been through, they might also actually end up together. He'd seen mammals get together for lesser reasons, smiling to himself as he watched the wolf and tiger pair who tried so desperately to keep it a secret that it was a secret to no one.

Watching the Fox and Rabbit he sighed. He also knew the very prophecy that Bellwether was ranting about. There were however, as with many such prophecies and such, a lot of caveats and ambiguity when it comes to such things. There was also a lot more to that prophecy. Sure, they two of them fit the bill, but so too did the wolf and tiger, and a few other pairing, and that was just within Precinct One. As the world grows up and becomes more accepting, such pairings that match the prophecy would become more common.

Also, what one mammal considers the end of the world really probably isn't. In the case of this prophecy, they way he read it, reading the whole thing, and not just focusing on the worst parts of it. There were several possible outcomes laid out in it. Several of those were not the apocalyptic end of the world Dawn was so focused on. No, they were simply that the world would move past the hate that had infected it like a cancer for most of its existence. To Bogo, that didn't seem like a bad thing, given that even he and his mates could be construed as fitting the bill for that prophecy.

Only time would tell what path things took, and with the way the two of them held onto each other, at least as far as their part of the prophecy is concerned, he saw only the hopefully and best possible outcomes. The determining factor will be those like Dawn and those that followed her. Could they overcome their fear and hate, or would they seek to continue as they had, basically ensuring the worse case scenarios. All of which assumed that the prophecy was even true. Sure, the mammal that wrote them seemed to truly have that gift, as their prophecies were far more specific, and included accurate details that they should not have had save if they had a true gift, or as one mammal that had studied them, was a time traveler.

In any case, He knew of the prophecy in its entirety due to his position. It wasn't something that was widely broadcast, because there were far too many mammals willing to latch onto the worst case and ignore the rest. It literally contained warnings to that very effect. He knew he would have to watch the pair, just like he did the rest. If they started to manifest abilities like described, well, he would just have to do what he had to in order to protect them and help make the world that better place and bring about those best case scenarios.

Four years later and Bogo watched as the rabbit and fox manifested abilities that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were the prophesied mammals. They had also proved beyond question that they were the best case scenario as laid out in the prophecy. Sadly, the mammals that would stand against them and turn a possibility within the prophecy into a certainty because they couldn't see past that worst case. Because they refused to work towards ensuring that the better options that were laid, like Bogo himself worked to help bring about, did.

No. at this point he saw nothing but the end of the world those mammals feared, brought about through the self fulfilling prophecy of their own making driven by the fear and hate they could not move past. Sadly as he watched them interrogate a mammal, he knew that there were only a few years left, and no matter what he did, the end result would be determined by the two small mammals in that room.

Already, the power they displayed was spreading to other mammals. Those in relationships like theirs had been first. Gaining abilities far beyond that of a normal mammal. It was this fact that drove the fear and hate, because mammals seemed incapable of accepting things outside of their tiny little world views. Bogo himself possessed some of those abilities, as did his mates. The world could be so much better if mammals embraced those abilities, but instead, fear ruled. Terrorists that took after Bellwether attacked almost daily. Murderous mammals killed dozens at a time just to try and get at one mammal with abilities.

It didn't matter that the mammal in question could heal just about anything. That they had saved countless lives, bringing kits back from the brink of death. No, they had abilities and to these mammals, obsessed and consumed with their fear and the worst outcomes laid out in the prophecy, they must therefore die. All those with abilities needed to die. Blind to the fact that the prophecy itself stated that to try that guaranteed the worst possible end as described in the prophecy.

It would all boil down to what the fox and rabbit chose. All outcomes now hinged on them, and no action by any mammal, be it those that supported them such as Bogo, or those that sought to end their existence, could change that.

Ten years after the events in the pit. Down the the day, hour, and minute. Judy and Nick stood in the center of the Precinct One, surrounded by a protective magic barrier of their own creation. Around them, both inside and outside that barrier, hundreds of mammals were either dead or dying. Beyond the building, millions and millions more were the same.

They held each other tightly. "Judy. What do we do? No matter how hard we tried, the worst has happened."

Judy nodded and stood up, holding Nick's paws in hers. "I know. They could not get past the hate, the fear, and brought about the end because we were not going to just stand there and let them murder innocents."

"And yet, they have succeeded in doing just that. Killing everyone, themselves included. It's pure madness. Why do they hate the love we have?"

Judy shook her head. "It's that bloody prophecy, Nick. As Adrian explained to us a few months ago. It is now on us, Nick. One of us has to die in order to save the world. The ultimate sacrifice."

Nick nodded, tears in his eyes. "Then it has to be me. You are carrying our kits, and those kits, per the prophecy, will bring the world back from the brink."

Judy nodded. "Under the best case scenario, yes. That is true. But Nick. We're past that point of no return now. You know that. You have to let the Night Howler that you were exposed to all those years ago finish the job."

"NO!" Nick pulled away, his ears folded flat and tail lashing. "I will not kill you. I'd rather die. I will die, without you. You know that!" Dropping to his knees in front of her. "I can't, Judy." Pulling her to him. "It would be easier to kill myself then you. Even now, even under the influence of the Night Howler, I would still protect you, my mate. You know this. We tested it. There has to be another way. There has to be. Because I simply cannot do what you say I must do."

Judy smiled sadly at Nick. "You are right, Nick. There is another way to solve this. I saw it at the very beginning. When you bit me in the pit, you did succeed in killing me, almost. You also healed me. But in those brief moments between the moment of my death at your teeth and my resurrection I saw that tapestry. I didn't understand it at the time, but I know what else I can do."

Nick shook his head. "No! Judy. I can't lose you!"

Looking at Nick sadly, a paw against his cheek that he held there. "Nick, it is the only other way. In fact, it is already in progress."

Nick's eyes went wide as he felt the shift in the energy around them and in the circle they were at the center of. "Judy. No. You can't. I can't lose you."

"Nick, my love. Time itself is already starting to come undone. Time itself will be unwound. You will never know me. I will become an anachronism. A mammal with no past, no future, no home within the multiverse. Our kits will be the same. I promise, they will know of you, of the wonderful, perfect, mammal that you are and were."

Nick shook his head. "But Judy. Do make that work, you will have to have a piece of me at least."

"I do already, Nick." Holding up the index claw he had lost in a firefight years prior and he had turned into a pendant for her. "I have never taken it off except to shower. I will always carry it with me."

Nick could feel himself fading and used all his will to hold himself there with her. "Why can I not come with you?"

"Because one of us needs to live. If you come with me, then your kit self will have to die as well. It only needs to be one of us. I promise you, Nick. I will ensure the world fulfills the best possible outcome. I will make sure you are happy in the life you lead."

"But I was happy. I was happy with you."

"So was I, Slick. So was I…" Judy cried as Nick faded out of existence, the world around her fading away as its very existence was undone by the magic she had woven. She would have laughed, if her heart was not being torn to shreds having lost her mate. She would only ever be able to view him from afar. She would never again be able to smell him, touch him, or be with him. She would have their kits, and they too could never interact with him. They could never know their father, save through the stories she would tell them.

Hopps burrow, many decades prior. Bonnie Hopps sighed as the last kit for the J litter was born. Stu Hopps looked down at his wife. "You did wonderful, Bon. For a first litter, that seemed easy compared to what my sisters told me."

Bonnie nodded tiredly. "Yeah, but we prepared for it. So we knew what was coming. Most just don't want to think about it until, oh… you're in labor that first time."

Stu nodded. "Five beautiful little buns."

While Stu and Bonnie focused on each other, a silver gray rabbit with black tipped ears, wearing an odd uniform appeared, yet somehow not seen by anyone. Tears in her eyes, she moved over to the bassinet containing the five newborn rabbits, removing the claw on a chain around her neck. She regarded it for a moment, noticing the odd stains on the very tip.

It was Night Howler, and a very concentrated version of it, coating the tip of the claw. Just the simple exposure to it would be enough. For such a small bun, it would be more than enough. "I'm sorry little one. To save the world, one must die, because mammals refuse to let go of the hate and fear. Maybe, just maybe, I can affect things to be better. Maybe, just maybe, I can with one extra death, unnoticed in the grand scheme of things, turn the tide and save billions. My own life, and an eternity alone, in exchange for the life and happiness of the love of our life. We made a promise to each other. In this life and the next. Maybe that will apply for you and your next life will bring you two together again."

With that, she placed the tip of the claw in the little bun's mouth, who eagerly sucked on it only to spit it out with a cry. A moment later, the poison that was the Night Howler had done its work. The gray rabbit fading into the shadows to watch.

The midwife checking on the little buns noticed one was still and picking it up smiled sadly. "Oh no. I'm sorry little one. It seems you weren't able to make it after all. You seemed so strong, too." Looking over, Stu and Bonnie nodded, having heard. They looked over and saw which one she was holding. "Her name was Judith."

Stu wiped a tear. "Judith Laverne."

The midwife, Stu's aunt nodded. "A good, strong name, for a little bun who held so much promise." Checking over the others. "The rest seem fine. We'll watch them carefully. You rest." Bundling up the still form of Judith Laverne Hopps, the midwife stepped away as others took charge of the surviving kits. "Come on little one. Let's get you ready for your next life."

Putting the chain and claw back around her neck, the gray rabbit, tears falling freely, exited the borrow, still unseen by all she passed. She was no longer part of this universe, or any other. Her interactions were limited now. She would guide the world as best she could from the shadows she was now relegated to. Her kits, born in the bushes outside the hospital, and then delivered through the safe surrender drawer for small mammals were of both the shadows their mother now inhabited, and the universe in which the mammal that was, but never would be, their father inhabited.

She would watch over them as they grew, being some of the few beings that could see her. Guiding them as they grew up helping them overcome the stigma their clear mixed heritage brought them. Regaling them of the wonderful mammal their father had been and how he had been willing to sacrifice all, his own life included, for them. The truth mattered little in her telling, as that reality and all that went with it, save herself, and her kits, no longer existed, having been erased from the very tapestries of reality.

She guided a young Dawn Bellwether to look beyond the worst case scenario she was being taught to focus on and to read the whole of the prophecy. She protected a young red fox by guiding the other members of the Ranger Scout troop to look beyond the hate their parents tried to teach them, letting them welcome the fox into their troop.

She guided other mammals, young and old, away from hate. She guided them towards love, acceptance, and any that knew of the prophecy, to look beyond and deeper. To see the hope that it also held, should they be willing to embrace it.

Working through things for all the years from her original birth, to when she triggered the spell that sent her backwards in time, she did all she could to ensure the world would survive. That love, the love she had for her fox, and for her kits, would win out over the fear and hate that had driven her back in time.

Judith Laverne WildeHopps stood again in the center of the Precinct One lobby, mammals going about their business and seeming to ignore the four mammals there, while also going around them. Drawing her kits into a hug. "I only have a few more minutes."

Her daughter, tears in her eyes, held her mother tight. "Are you sure, mom? Surely there is some way?"

Shaking her head. "I'm afraid not. My existence hinged, quite literally, on borrowed time. Borrowed time I used to keep the world from tearing itself apart. That I used to raise you all to be the wonderful mammals you are. When the moment hits, I will cease to be, because I can not move beyond the point in time that I broke time to remake the world into what it is now."

"How can we exist, if you do not?" Asked her eldest son, Nicholas.

"Because your father, the mammal that would have been your father, still lives. So long as he lived beyond this coming moment in time, so too will you. When I cease to be, all the power I held at bay will be released. It will be on your three. My Nicholas. My Auroa. My Demitri. I wish I did not have to leave you. I do not want to leave you any more than I wanted to leave your father. But it now falls to you to see the world into the future. To teach them to embrace and love the differences between them, to welcome the change, not to fear it."

They all cried as the world shook, knocking some mammals off their feet. Chief Bogo looked down into the lobby seeing four mammals appear. Three he recognized, and a lone rabbit he did not. The world shook again, as if the very fabric of reality was being strained. He watched as, with tears in her eyes, the rabbit doe seemed to literally fade away, leaving the three young foxes. His three newest officers.

A few moments later, Bogo stepped up to the three officers, holding each other as they sobbed in pure loss. "Who was that? What just happened?"

Demitri stood and looked up at the chief. "That was our mother. Judith Laverne WildeHopps. One half the prophesied pairing. She found a loophole. A way to get around the end of the world brought about by mammals unable, or unwilling, to let go of the hate and fear the very prophecy they sought to prevent coming true warned of. For her, the worst case scenario of the prophecy had come to pass. She used that and the energy it released to undo it."

Nicholas stood next to his brother. "She broke time itself, giving up her own existence in order to reshape history. This moment just now, was the moment where she broke time. So her existence ends, and the power held at bay is now released."

Bogo frowned. "But she was a rabbit."

Aurora nodded. "Yes, she was. Our father was, is, a red fox. He still lives, and gave up his existence in the future so that she, and we, could survive. We exist because he does. Only one could go back, so the one that did not could survive into the present and beyond."

Bogo started to ask what happened to the original version of the doe he had seen when it dawned on him. The prophecy stated that one of them had to die at the paw of the other, it never specified when or how, only that it happened. Frowning deeply, he nodded. "So be it. Do not expect special treatment. That said, go home. Grieve. Return on Monday, and I expect you to be ready to get to work. If the prophecy has been fulfilled, then the world is about to need good examples."

The three nodded. Nicholas speaking again. "We're ready."

Bogo retired to his office, locking the door. Sitting at his desk, he wept, not in true sadness, but in understanding of the sacrifice a mammal he would never know was willing to undergo. Opening his safe after collecting himself, he took out his copy of the prophecy. Reading through it he nodded. "So that is how they did it. There is no way a red fox did any of what is suggested, willingly. She made a decision he could never do and gave up her existence, erasing everything but herself and her kits to save him in the past and through the future. In order to give their kits a future at all."

Taking out a pen, he wrote the name into the book that was the prophecy. Judith Laverne WildeHopps. It would be the only record of her existence, other than he supposed, a tiny grave marker somewhere in the world for a kit that was sacrificed to save it.

Prophecies are fickle things, and no matter how accurate or detailed they are, they never tell the whole story. Sometimes, they become the only record that a mammal ever existed at all, and act as a testament to the love for their mate, and the world they had, giving up everything they were, or might have been, to save everyone, even mammals that hated them.

Bogo then placed the copy back into his safe, unaware that the very ink that the name was written in unraveled and disappeared from reality, just as his memory of the moment did. A mystery he would ponder over for many years. What happened that he had accessed his safe but had no memory of doing so. Why had he given the three foxes several days off, delaying their first day. He knew he had done it, everyone knew he had done it, but no one could remember why, and the foxes were not telling.

The memory of the existence of one Judith Laverne WildeHopps preserved in the minds of three mammals, as well as who their father might have been. Even that memory lost once their lives came to an end in their due time. Only the legacy of leadership of the foxes named Hopps survived them. Remembered for leading mammals in the acceptance and embracing of all mammals. A note in history as a mystery and one quickly ignored as a conspiracy theory, that when they died, their bodies seemed to fade out of existence, leaving nothing but the memory of them behind.