Chapter 1: Tail Petting Service
Chapters in this story are intentionally kept short between 400 to 800 words.
"Are you sure this isn't a mistake?" Nick asked. He couldn't believe that they chose him after all the restrictions he listed.
"Absolutely, you're wanted three doors to your left." Lex was a relative of Yax. "This is what you wanted, isn't it?"
"Well yes." Nick rationalized his doubts away when he first signed up for the service. Mammals paid for massages all the time. Someone was just paying to pet his tail.
"Go on then."
Nick walked three doors to the left. He found a room with a bed and a television in it. The client wanted to watch a movie while petting his tail. That mammal was willing to pay and he didn't even need to take his clothes off. The only downside was that he had to be here an hour in advance.
An hour passed quickly as he watched some of the more exotic films they had. Someone was finally going to arrive. A rabbit walked through the door.
"What are you doing here?" They both shouted at each other. He couldn't believe his eyes that Judy was the one to walk through the door and she was naked.
Judy immediately covered herself as best she can with her paws.
"Well?" Nick smirked.
Nick felt that Judy was going to leave if he didn't explain himself. "Well, I found out about this place over the internet. It seemed too good to be true, but I signed up anyway. Your turn."
Judy moved closer to him. His heart pounded as she advanced. She grabbed his ear then whispered, "I'm working on an undercover assignment." He could feel the warmth of her breath on his ear.
The explanation felt so ridiculous that he had to restrain himself from laughing too much. "Oh really? I'll ask the Chief myself. You're a really bad liar, you know that?" Nick snickered.
Judy clenched her teeth. "Damn it, Nick."
"Alright, why don't we just watch a movie?" Nick said. It was unlikely that Judy could pretend he was someone else. Although this made him imagine how it would've gone if he wasn't here.
"Really, Nick?" Judy said incredulously.
"Well, do you have a better idea? Didn't you come here to relax?"
"Karma, what have I done to deserve this?"
"Well, maybe you shouldn't worship a fox as your goddess. This place does have like every movie available."
"Fine." Judy set the room temperature below zero.
"Hey! That's cold!" Nick complained as he felt the rapid temperature drop.
"Well, there are blankets." Judy browsed the selections on the screen. "Wait, someone made a movie about us?"
"That's the sixth one just last year. Why are you surprised?"
Judy selected Zootopia.
"Out of all the movies you could watch, you're going to watch Zootopia? Come on, Carrots."
"I am paying for this, so shut it." Judy joined him underneath the mountain of blankets. She took possession of his tail.
Nick had no interest in watching the movie so he did his best to fall asleep while Judy stroked his tail in a calming manner.
Chapter 2: Divining Motive
Judy couldn't believe how unlucky she was. Literally, anyone would've been better than Nick. She had tons of questions to ask about foxes with her eventual hopes of winning his affections. Even though she did research, it wasn't as reliable as asking another fox. There was no way she could ask Nick directly without jeopardizing what they already have. What was worse was that he saw her naked. She debated on running away or staying.
"What are you doing here?" she asked at the same time as him.
She covered herself as best as she could with her paws. Her clothes were all the way in the changing room. If any other fox saw her naked it would've been fine, but not him!
"Well?" He smirked at her actions.
"Well, I found out about this place over the internet. It seemed too good to be true, but I signed up anyway. Your turn."
Judy didn't believe his answer, but she wasn't brave enough to call it a lie. Her heart told her that it was one. The most convincing lie she could think of was selling her reason for being here as an undercover assignment. That fox dared to laugh which made her feel ashamed. Since she paid for this service, she might as well use it. He was her friend and it would've been a normal day for them if they weren't inside here.
As she started the movie, he lost interest. It dawned on her that he was likely having money issues, why else would he be here degrading himself? Meanwhile, she played with his tail to gauge his reaction. Within mere moments, Nick fell asleep right in front of her. He was snoring.
At least, it was better that it was her instead of someone else. If someone else was in her place, they would've taken advantage of him. She couldn't even ask Nick if he was in debt since he would lie to her face even if he was. His pride wouldn't allow him to tell her the truth and she couldn't see through his lies.
The babbling of the screen caught her attention. Chills went down her spine as they featured her entering a deal with the mafia.
There was no way they could know that.
The rabbit was doing a poor job of acting as her.
"They got me all wrong!" She shut the movie off in frustration as well as not desiring to see it anymore since it was too close to the truth. The movie did give her an idea of asking Mr. Big for help. He was certain to have money if she needed it. Hopefully, his price wouldn't be too high.
Nick remained asleep. Her quest to confirm what she knew about foxes failed. It also didn't help that Nick wasn't interested in her at all since he was sleeping through this. Even though he didn't find her attractive enough, she wanted to help him as a friend.
There was much for her to do. She extricated herself from the sleeping fox. The fox remained asleep as she headed towards the changing room. Once she put on her clothes, she walked to the counter and booked Nick for the rest of his shift. He wouldn't be servicing anyone against his will. Not that she planned to be there, but it was to keep him safe.
On the way out of the establishment, she thought of mammals she could call upon for help. She didn't know how much he owed, but given his history, it could be a lot. The only one that could possibly free Nick from whatever troubles he was in, was Mr. Big. She hadn't planned on visiting the shrew since she was better off not knowing what was going on. It gave her plausible deniability, but this was an emergency. As unwise as it was, she headed towards Tundratown. There were polar bears standing guard just outside when she arrived.
"I need to talk to him," she said. Her heart pounded, wondering if he'll reject her request.
The bear remained silent but motioned for her to follow him inside. She noted that the décor changed since her last visit. There were numerous portraits detailing Mr. Big's philanthropic accomplishments as if he was showing them off.
"I need your help," she said.
"What troubles you, my child?" Mr. Big said.
"Nick is selling his body to make ends meet. I think he's in debt with someone. I don't know how much he needs. Help me, please." She realized she was crying by the end of her plea.
"Say no more."
Chapter 3: Award
"We-we are gathered here today to celebrate the heroic efforts of Officer Nicholas Piberius Wilde Hopps without his efforts, those trees would not be standing. Without his timely intervention, we would've lost our home," the woodchuck stuttered his way awkwardly throughout the entire speech.
Nick felt extremely awkward and he debated on if he should mention that the speaker made a mistake. They were awarding him for something that happened a month ago. It was also one of those days that Judy was off duty which made it more upsetting that the speaker got his name wrong. Only Judy sitting in the crowd seemed to notice that gaffe, thankfully.
"Please give it up for Officer Nicholas Piberius Wilde Hopps," the speaker continued.
That was his cue to walk on stage even though the speaker got his name wrong again. The woodchuck presented a gold medal to him as well as a large ceremonial check worth ten thousand dollars. Unfortunately, his name was wrong on that too. "Thank you so much for this great honor," Nick said. "It is my goal to continue serving Zootopia well." There were multiple flashes of light as the press took pictures. They got multiple shots of the misspelled novelty check.
It was the time for questions and the press immediately jumped on the gaffe so he declined to take any. He walked backstage to confront the woodchuck. "Not to sound ungrateful, but you did get my name wrong during your speech."
"I'm so sorry, it was my first time speaking in public. The speaker was sick so I volunteered since you're my hero. My life is over!"
"Don't worry about it," Nick said.
"You don't understand…" The woodchuck kept rambling on.
Nick felt a pang of sympathy for the woodchuck but he didn't have time to comfort him. "I'm not mad." He still had a shift in the afternoon. It wasn't easy to walk around with a giant ceremonial check. He knew the award was coming but the money was a surprise. Not that he needed it since he had plenty from his hustling activities in the past.
He was on his way out when Judy came to greet him. "Need some help with that?"
"Yes." Nick could carry it alone, but it was rather big for his size. It was also hard not to bump into other mammals.
A reporter ran into them. "Excuse me, what relationship do you have with Ms. Hopps?"
At first, he ignored the reporter and kept walking, but the reporter was persistent. "Friends."
"How did you feel when they got your name wrong?"
"Do you have plans to pursue a relationship with Ms. Hopps?"
"That's none of your business!" Judy said. "Leave us alone. We're going to the bank."
Nick followed Judy into the car. She drove while Nick sat in the back with the giant novelty check by his side.
"So, they got my name wrong on the check too."
"Just surprised that Clawhauser didn't do it first."
Chapter 4: Unintended Message
"And Nick gently caressed her horns…"
Judy couldn't resist opening something that Clawhauser mistakenly sent to her. That turned out to be a big mistake since it was quite inappropriate. What made it worse was that the entire message was for Chief Bogo. She tried to put it out of her mind but even when she arrived at the precinct. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw another vivid scene.
Half her mind wanted to confront the cheetah, but he didn't act any differently, and the message was for Chief Bogo. She opted to just proceed into the bullpen.
Chief Bogo was busy doling out assignments while she tried to forget what she just read.
"Hopps, Wilde, look into suspicious activity around the canals."
The images kept reappearing in her mind over and over about Nick and Gazelle. There was no way she could work today with her mind so focused on the lascivious details she just read.
It was shameful, but it would be far worse if she pretended that everything was all right. "I can't work today, sir," Judy said.
Nick dropped his jaw in shock.
Chief Bogo sighed. "Just call next time, Hopps. You're excused."
She walked out of that room dejectedly. These thoughts shouldn't disturb her so much to the point that she couldn't focus.
"What's wrong?" Clawhauser said.
"Nothing," Judy said.
Every single time she closed her eyes, another vivid scene from the story appeared. There was no way she could compete with Gazelle. These thoughts wouldn't leave her even when she returned to her apartment.
She made an even bigger mistake by searching online for anything Clawhauser had written. It was quite a shock that there were so many stories about her already and not all of them were by Clawhauser. Her curiosity got the better of her when she decided to check out a story.
Time flew by as she read one story after another. A few of them made her wish that it could actually happen in reality. Someone knocked on the door, interrupting her reading binge.
"Come in," Judy yelled. She was unwilling to answer the door herself.
"Are you okay?" Nick asked with concern when he walked in.
Quickly, she closed the laptop she was using. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at work?" Judy asked, as if she saw a ghost. If she was a bit slower, Nick would've seen the screen.
"It's not like you to skip out on work, and my shift is done."
"I'm fine," Judy said. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself.
"One of those days again," Nick groaned.
"It's different this time!" Judy said indignantly. In the past, she tried to hide what was wrong with her from Nick and inevitably she ended up in a compromising position. He then took lots of pictures which he showed her later.
"That's what you say every time."
"All right, why don't we grab a bite to eat?"
"You're losing this time."
"This is going to be an interesting night," Nick said with glee. "The paparazzi should have a ton of new material."
Chapter 5: Precautionary Measures
"…Snarlov and Higgins - the Nocturnal District. Wilde and Wilde – Undercover. Fangmeyer and Delgato – Patrol around Little Rodentia. Dismissed."
There were a few problems with Chief Bogo's instructions. One, she had no idea that she was going undercover, and two, he got her name wrong. Nick motioned her to follow him out the door. She wanted to stay and ask for directions.
"Where are we going?" she asked once Chief Bogo was out of earshot.
"Well, we have the day off." Nick smirked.
"We need to go undercover."
"Great, we'll go to Jumbeaux's and start selling pawpsicles."
"He never said what we were doing."
"Come on, let's go to his office."
"Oh, fine…" Nick followed her to Chief Bogo's office.
Judy knocked on the door.
"Come in, Hopps."
"Umm, sir?" Judy asked meekly. "You got my name wrong, and I'm not qualified for undercover work."
"One – It was not a mistake. Two – You are correct on both counts." Chief Bogo reclined in his chair.
"What do you mean, sir?"
"An unknown party promised to pay a substantial amount of money if I refer to you as Wilde. The ZPD may be compromised. If I assign you parking duty tomorrow, you are both going to Bunnyburrow. Wolfard and Fangmeyer will protect you in there."
"Sir, have you considered that Clawhauser might be the one behind this? Isn't this an overreaction?" Nick said.
"The amount involved is fifty-thousand. That excludes Clawhauser and his activities. It may be a joke, but I'm treating it as if they're serious. With that much money involved, there's no telling what they may plan to do next. "
"Are in involved in those activities too, sir? Judy asked.
"What do you think?" Bogo answered in a tone that meant yes.
"Wouldn't it be better to split us up?"
"Do you want that to happen?"
"Yes, I want to take this opportunity to visit my family, and I don't think they're ready for a fox." Judy also didn't want to spend so much time with Nick with others watching.
"Carrots, hello? Visit your family? They're targeting us!" Nick said. "Think a little. Why Bunnyburrow, sir?"
"We suspect that the citizens there are sympathetic to Officer Hopps making any plans of abduction harder to succeed. They may also nab the wrong bunny. Since Bunnyburrow is far enough away from Zootopia, it might also be outside of their range of operations."
"I am not placing my family in danger, sir. We cannot go there."
"How do you think your family would feel if something happened to you? Bunnyburrow is also large enough, so you can avoid your family," Chief Bogo said. "This is only a contingency. The mammal might be joking about the money. Make preparations for travel tomorrow. Dismissed."
Nick and Judy walked out of Chief Bogo's office.
Judy laughed. "This is unbelievable. Can you imagine someone paying fifty-thousand to refer to me as Wilde?"
"if it was a hundred, I'm sure we can blame Clawhauser. The chief's explanation makes sense though. That cheetah wants us together. It's also not the first mix-up we've had recently."
"Oh, yea, that award ceremony. Are they connected?"
"At the time, I thought it was an honest mistake."
"…Wilde and Wilde – Parking Duty. Fangmeyer and Delgato – Investigate the Canals. Dismissed."
Chapter 6: Capture
"What do you have to say for yourself?" Bonnie sat on a chair surrounded by a circle of bunnies. "Visiting Bunnyburrow without telling anyone."
"Mom, I'm not exactly visiting. And see those mammals with me?" Judy gestured to the fox, wolf, and tiger accompanying her. "Nick and I are hiding, and the other two are our bodyguards."
"Oh, really? You're shopping in broad daylight."
"I told you that was a bad idea," Ralph Wolfard said.
"Don't blame them. You went along with it!" Nadine Fangmeyer said. "We should've locked them inside a closet."
"That's too large, isn't it?"
"Right, shove those two inside a locker instead."
"My family was on the other side of Bunnyburrow!" Judy retorted. "And, as you can see even my co-workers are dangerous."
"It's to keep you safe."
"Clearly, you're not in any danger since you were shopping at the mall without a care in broad daylight," Bonnie said.
"And I didn't want to come here because there might be. How was I supposed to know that eighty siblings would show up to 'convince' me to come home?" Judy noted that her mother didn't address what her co-workers said even though they were joking.
"That's a poor excuse and you know it. What are you hiding from anyway?"
"So, there's some crazy mammal that wants Nick and I together. They've bribed Chief Bogo with fifty thousand to try to subtly influence the odds. As a precaution, the chIef sent us to Bunnyburrow. There's even an office betting pool around our relationship."
"Your relationship with him is…"
"Friends," Nick and Judy both said at once.
"You mean he's open?" Multiple siblings echoed at once. An even braver one added, "Come, I'll show you a good time."
"Maybe later," Nick said.
"What's the deal with everyone?" Judy expected a much more hostile reception.
"Ever since Kyla managed to score Gideon, they've all been excited for foxes. It's quite the experience or so I've heard," Bonnie said. "Now, is there anyone that catches your eye?"
"Wait, Kyla is with Gideon? And Mom! Not in front of everyone!" Judy definitely wasn't going to admit that she wanted to date Nick in front of everyone. Especially, since Nick was right beside her. It did give her hope since one of her siblings was with Gideon.
"It's okay if you need help finding someone."
"Oh, she needs help. Did she tell you about the time she visited a place that was totally not a brothel?" Nick said. "Brothel-lite for the inexperienced."
"You visited a brothel?" Bonnie shrieked.
"What? No!" Judy shot Nick a look that could kill. She thought it was mutually agreed upon to pretend that, that day never happened, without talking to him. Her siblings had wide grins plastered on their faces, eager for a story.
"Oh, come on, Carrots, you can't be that innocent. Those places tend to get out of control." Nick smirked.
"And you were the one working there because you needed money."
"Wait, you thought I needed money?"
"Yes." She wasn't going to tell him that she asked Mr. Big for help that very day. It wasn't a wise decision, but she felt like she had no other option. "I even paid for all your shifts so others wouldn't take advantage of you."
"So, that's why the rest of the day was so boring. That explains it. You disappeared and they didn't allow me to leave. Thanks for nothing! All I got was two hundred."
"Can we just lock these two together already?" Nadine said. "They've already visited a brothel, and met each other there."
"It wasn't a brothel!" Judy yelled.
"That would be boring, wouldn't it? Especially, since they're right here listening. Why don't we talk this over?" Bonnie motioned for Nadine to follow her out of the room. Ralph tagged along.
"If one thing's clear, it's that I need to get far away from here. We are just friends!" Judy didn't expect them to allow her to leave, but no one stopped her as she walked out.
"He's mine!" one of her siblings shouted in the distance.
Chapter 7: Perfect Timing
Judy was just outside of where Gideon lived with the intent of asking her sister for relationship advice. Since her siblings took an interest in Nick, she was running out of time, but she didn't want to mess it up. She saw them loading pies into the back of his truck.
"Hey, Judy, leaving as soon as I finish loading these pies." Gideon placed another tray of pies into the truck.
Kyla received a call. "Sure, I can arrive within the hour." She turned towards Judy. "Hey, Judy, perfect timing. I need to deliver pies to Deerbrooke. Gideon has to deliver pies to Zootopia. Can you bring Cynthia to the family farm?"
Kyla led her upstairs. A few playing blocks were on the bed.
"Rawr!" The kit jumped down from above the door, landing on Judy's face. She bit Judy on the ear. Her age was four years old.
Judy plucked the kit from her ear. "You have better success if your targets are sleeping."
"Teach me more." The kit had one rabbit ear and one fox ear. She was also wearing toy reindeer antlers.
"This is Aunt Judy. She's going to bring you to the farm where the rest of your aunts and uncle live. After we finish packing."
Judy placed the kit on the floor. "I'll be back in a bit. Stay here for a while."
The kit followed them downstairs. She noticed that Kyla was subtly annoyed.
"You can watch, just stand over here." Kyla pointed to an empty area. "And stay out of the way."
They spent the next few minutes moving pies into both trucks.
"How did you end up with Gideon?" Judy received a tray of pies from Kyla.
"After a few months of subtle hints, I had to ask him directly since he was dense." Kyla saw Cynthia moving about. "Change of plans. Judy, just bring Cynthia to the farm now."
Judy set the pies on the table. The kit got bored, so they had to adjust their plans. There were still twenty pies left to move.
"Come on, let's go!" Cynthia smiled mischievously. She ran out of the door then waited for Judy to catch up.
"Thanks for helping, Judy." Gideon was placing more pies into his truck.
They walked slowly to the family farm; part of the way Judy carried her by having her perch on top of her head.
"They're always so busy," Cynthia complained.
"How is it living as part rabbit and fox?"
"Okay, and deer."
"Sometimes I hear monsters at night."
"Have you ever seen those monsters?"
"The door to the bedroom is locked."
"What do your Mom and Dad say about that?"
"They think I was just imagining it. You believe me, don't you?"
The farm eventually came into view. A few rabbits were sitting in the shade underneath a tree.
Cynthia leaped off her head. "Mom, hurry up!" she shouted. "I want to meet everyone."
Judy hurried after the mischievous kit.
"Wow, Judy. Who's the lucky fox?" Maria said.
"Hurry up, Mom." Cynthia ran further into the farm.
Judy still had to decide if she should play along.
Chapter 8: Change of Plans
Nick and Iris walked into the establishment, intending to have fun with each other. Iris promised to show him a good time. She was a slightly larger version of Judy. The establishment had tons of adult toys and other instruments they could play with. A couple of them were quite exotic and seemed extremely painful to use. Hopefully, Iris wasn't into that.
The receptionist directed them to a room where they could play with each other.
"Are you sure that you want this?" Nick tied rope around one of her paws.
"Yes, if you're uncomfortable, we can do something else."
"I'm just worried about you, that's all."
"Don't be." Iris seemed extremely eager despite his reservations. He wanted to experience coupling with a doe, but he was also afraid that he might hurt her on accident. "It's going to be fun!"
Nick proceeded with tying the naked bunny with rope so that she hung from the ceiling.
Her cell phone rang. She sighed. "Let's see what that's about before we start. Get that for me, will you?"
Nick brought the cell phone to her. She instructed him on where to navigate with the phone since she was in no condition to use the phone herself. Her paws were immobile at the moment. They saw a video with a hybrid kit shouting, "Mom, hurry up." The mother in question was Judy. He knew it was impossible for the kit to be Judy's and wondered why her sister received this video. Before seeing this, he thought a kit between a fox and a bunny was scientifically impossible.
The bound doe suddenly seemed uncomfortable. "I don't want to go through with this, I don't want kits. I didn't know that it was even possible." She seemed afraid of him. There was no way for her to resist if he wanted to proceed.
"It's okay. Are you sure you don't want to try something else?" Nick asked since they went through all the trouble of setting her up. Not all forms of contact had a risk of pregnancy.
"Sure, we can."
The enthusiasm was gone though, and she seemed extremely reluctant. She was afraid of him, and it didn't feel right for him to continue even though he wanted it. He removed the restraints holding the rabbit in the air.
"I just want to go home." Iris's voice sounded much more confident this time. He was still stronger than her, but she didn't feel pressured to lie to his face anymore.
The plan was for a casual fling so she could experience everything a fox had to offer. It didn't turn out the way that he hoped. They headed out of the establishment without really using its services. He saw that someone slashed his car's tires. It would be hazardous to drive home.
He felt something prick the back of his neck. As he began to feel drowsy, he said, "Run."
There was no one suspicious in the vicinity when he looked around before his consciousness gave out. Someone seemed to have shot Iris too.
Chapter 9: Voluntary Inaction
Chief Bogo video called her, "Good news, we've apprehended the suspects within Tundratown. You're now safe to return to Zootopia."
"That's a relief. I'll let them know."
"Can I speak to Wilde, Wolfard, and Fangmeyer?"
"They're not nearby at the moment."
"And why would that be?"
"The threat felt non-existent so we split up. My mother's romantic plots ensnared both Wolfard and Fangmeyer and I don't know where Nick is."
Chief Bogo sighed. "I'll overlook this incident. Return to Zootopia within two weeks."
"Yes, sir." She expected a harsher reprimand from Chief Bogo.
A few moments later, before she could rejoin the festivities on the farm, she received another call, "Judy, help! Call Mr. Big–" This was from Nick.
The call ended before she could hear more. He sounded distressed. She wondered what Mr. Big did. They were on friendly terms or so she thought. Without much choice, she called Mr. Big, "Hello, Nick told me to call you, and he says he needs help." She tried to sound as neutral as possible.
"He spurned your affections and went out with one of your sisters. This is unacceptable."
Judy's heart sunk when she learned that Nick went out with one of her sisters, but she tried to keep her voice unchanged. "That didn't happen. What did you do? Don't hurt him."
"If you want to avoid a bloodbath, go to the Dancing Leaf on Wednesday, stay away from it until then. Nick will remain unharmed if you follow my instructions. Should you change your mind, just pretend this never happened."
The call ended before she could ask any questions. She had no idea what the Dancing Leaf even was. It turned out that it was a massage parlor within Bunnyburrow.
As much as it pained her, she had to tell Chief Bogo about what happened to Nick. It wouldn't be right to gamble with his life just because she was reluctant. Even though Mr. Big said there wouldn't be bloodshed, she took precautions just the same.
A team of sixty officers was with her, ready to storm the establishment. She advanced into the complex with a team beside her.
"Nick?" she yelled.
"Judy? What are you doing here?" Nick yelled from a room.
"He said it was going to be my turn tomorrow. I had to watch everyone while they 'worked.' Have you found Iris yet?"
"Not yet, come, let's search for her."
There were young bunnies in some of the rooms which she directed towards the other officers with her. Although, quite a few were extremely hostile that the police officers tranquilized them.
"Iris," Judy yelled as she moved from room to room.
"Judy?" Iris yelled back.
Her sister was in a room with her fur disheveled and unkempt.
"We're here to rescue you," Judy said.
"Why didn't you come sooner?"
"I didn't know. I'm sorry. What happened?"
Iris recounted everything that happened to her, and how her captors forced her to service mammals for money. "I thought that Nick was dead." There were guards so she couldn't leave.
"Come, let's get out of here."
Judy felt guilty on the way home when Iris elaborated on what happened during her captivity. There was no bloodshed just like Mr. Big promised and Nick was unharmed, but she still wished that she could've made a different choice. Her sister suffered because she chose to listen to him.
Chapter 10: Trauma
Every single night Nick had nightmares that he was back in that place. He didn't sleep well at all – but didn't tell anyone – thinking that it would simply pass. At least, he didn't have to work right now, they still had some time left before they had to return to Zootopia. Chief Bogo even sent over two additional officers as a precaution while stressing that it wasn't a vacation. The chief originally sent them to Bunnyburrow for safety reasons. He was surprised that Chief Bogo didn't recall them.
Nick struggled to remain awake after the second night. "I'm having trouble sleeping. Is Iris doing any better?"
"Since I haven't heard anything, I assume so," Judy said. "She took off with my credit card, remember?"
"Aren't you worried? She didn't even come home."
"She can take care of herself. Plus, it's not like we have an easy way of tracking her down."
It was difficult enough to stay awake during breakfast. His body threatened to give in to exhaustion. "I'm terrified of falling asleep."
"I have an idea, come with me."
He lumbered after Judy while trying not to collapse.
"Who wants to play 'Draw On the Fox'?" she shouted when walking past her siblings.
"Can I play too?" Nadine asked.
"Try to act your age," Judy admonished. "It's for him to relax after all."
There were tons of young rabbits eager to play, and he was too tired to protest. If he wasn't so tired, he would've objected vehemently.
"That's your bright idea?"
"Just relax." Judy motioned for him to lie on the floor. She stroked his tail. He didn't realize how much he missed the sensation. Her paws were simply divine. It reminded him of the last time he used the Tail Petting Service. Slowly, he drifted off to sleep.
The nightmares returned once more but they were different. At least, it was better than thinking of his time in captivity. Since he was too tired to object to Judy's plan, he kept on envisioning how horrible he would look when he woke up. There were lots of young rabbits were eager to decorate.
After some time had passed, he opened his eyes and yawned.
"Ahh!" A young rabbit lost his footing from his head and slid down his face with a black paintbrush, leaving a streak of paint.
"You slept for ten hours and woke up just in time for supper. How do you feel?" Judy said.
"Better." Nick looked at himself. Judy took his shirt off during that time. "Yikes." His fur was different. Some of it turned out to be as bad as he expected while there were small pictures on other parts of his body. There were still lots of young rabbits wanting a turn, but no one was painting his body for the moment.
"Don't wash that off either, the kits want to see you remain like that."
"Are you crazy?"
"You wouldn't want to disappoint them, would you? They'll do this again if you behave."
"At least, I don't have to go anywhere in public." Nick followed Judy to the dining room.
"That looks good on you." Ralph laughed.
'Yea, laugh it up."
Ralph took a few photos with his cell phone.
"Great, future blackmail material," he glared at the wolf.
The reactions from the other officers weren't any better.
Judy received a call from Fru-Fru, "Is Nick with you? I need to talk to both of you."
"He's here. We're just eating lunch. Are you insane calling us while we're at work?"
"I need you two to marry each other."
"Say, what?" Nick said.
"Daddy's going to lose his bet at this rate. You just have to marry each other."
"He was behind EVERYTHING? My sister was raped because of him! I suspected as much, but hearing that from you is another thing entirely." Judy seethed with rage. "Nick still has nightmares and it's been a month. Sometimes when he sees me, he has flashbacks back to his captivity.
Fru-Fru said, "Daddy made a mistake – when you came to him asking for help, he thought you two would be the perfect match. Then he assumed that Nick turned you down and picked one of your sisters instead. He was furious that day."
"Why should we get married?" Nick said.
"One day, daddy gave me that job. I didn't do anything for a month and time is running out. His bet expires in a week."
"And what happens if you fail or succeed?" Judy didn't think Mr. Big would do the unthinkable but she had to ask. "He's not going to ice you, is he?"
"Oh no, but if I succeed, I take over. I get to control everything. Please Nick, Judy, can't you two make this bet so daddy doesn't lose?"
"And why does that matter to us?" Nick asked.
"You know what he does – and I promise to change it all. I'll even give you the winnings from his bet."
"Can't we just break up afterward?" Judy said.
"The organizers thought the stigma and publicity of that would prevent you two from doing so, but you can. Just have a really public wedding – and file for divorce after daddy receives his winnings if you must. I'll even give you half of it. They do expect you to live together for a week."
"Here's the problem: neither of the places where we live is large enough to house us both." Nick didn't think that the arrangement would work for a week.
"New place to live, large enough for both? I'll pay for it. Close enough to your jobs," Fru-Fru offered.
"I think we can make this work, can't we? It's what, only for a week?" Nick said.
"Sounds good to me. We'll have a wedding and work everything out later," Judy said.
"Thank you! I'll send out all the invitations. Try to avoid appearing together in public when you aren't on the job," Fru-Fru ended the call.
"It doesn't feel normal to start dating after marriage," Nick said. "And she wants us to keep it secret until then."
"When have we ever cared about that?" Judy said. "Although, I would like to do something more than just letting Mr. Big off the hook."
"We can plan for that after we receive the money."
Fru-Fru took over the empire which was only possible due to a slight misunderstanding the day Nick and Judy used the Tail Petting Service.
The biggest flaw of this story was my desire to limit the word count. This is also the story I've received the most reviews about people being confused. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't. Feel free to judge.