A red van pulls up in front of a suburban house, the afternoon sun shining its rays down on the land in the form of a sweltering heat. On the side of the van is a logo for Gideon Grey's pastry business, one that has become famous throughout the Tri-Burrows as very good.
The driver door opens, and a red fox hops out, his pink-and-white checkered apron poorly concealing the fox's well-fed life style.
He rolls his blue checkered shirts sleeves up to his elbows as he strolls to the back of the van. Cracking his fingers, he grabs the van door handles and swings the doors open.
Inside is a variety of pies, mostly blueberry pies, but also some other types, like chocolate and carrot pies. Humming to himself, he puts on the oven gloves hanging on the right door and picks up a tray of carrot pies, bringing them out and closing the doors with his hip. Smiling, he turns to the house and walks up the steps, strolling to the door and ringing the bell with his elbow.
As he waits for the owner of the home to answer the door, the fox searches his surroundings for anything interesting. However, only fields and trees await his vision. Sighing, he turns back to the door and waits.
After a few seconds, there's a slight shuffle behind the door, then the door itself opens to present a very fluffy bunny in a light blue striped shirt and overalls. He's holding onto the straps of his overalls, presenting a care-free attitude to the fox.
"Why, Gideon Grey!" The bunny says, a warm smile on his face. "What're you doin' here?"
"Oh, I-I'm just bringin' you the week's pies. I reckon you were expectin' me?"
"Aw, shoot, I was so caught up in my restin' that I forgot you were comin'." The bunny steps aside, motioning for the fox to come into the house. "Please, come in."
"Aw, thanks, Mr.Hopps." Gideon bows, then enters the warmly lit entrance hall. As he enters, Mr.Hopps closes the door and walks ahead of Gideon into the kitchen.
As the fox enters the kitchen, Mr.Hopps is trying (and failing) to put on a white apron that says "Home is where the carrots grow!"
"Need help with that, Mr.Hopps?" Gideon asks, setting the tray of pies down on the counter in the middle of the room.
"N-No, I believe I'm fine, Gideon." The bunny tries desperately to reach behind himself to tie the apron straps, yet is unable to.
"Are you sure, Mr.Hopps, sir?" Gideon takes his apron mits off and sets them near the tray tenderly.
"Nn...maybe you COULD help a lil', Gideon." Mr.Hopps turns around to face his back towards Gideon. He holds the straps of the apron up to Gideon limply. Chuckling, Gideon takes the straps from Mr.Hopps paws, feeling the soft fur of his paws before the bunny goes back to holding his overall straps.
Swiftly, Gideon ties the apron, then takes a step back. Mr.Hopps turns around to look at Gideon, a grin on his face.
"Thanks, Gideon. Gettin' the apron on is hard these days." Mr.Hopps walks to Gideon's side and admires the pies. "Usually, I have Mrs.Hopps help me with it, but she's off at the festival with our children. She told me to stay here so you wouldn't come to an empty house."
"A-Aw, shucks, thank her for me when she gets back, Mr.Hopps, sir, that's awfully gracious of her."
"Don't think nothin' of it, Gideon. I would have stayed behind anyway if she hadn't told me to. Now... do I smell carrots?"
Mr.Hopps rubs his paws together as he looks at the pies, his nose twitching with every sniff he makes.
"Yeah, these are the special pies my grandmama taught me to make back when I was young. I-I-I thought it was pointless at the time, but it pays off nowadays to have carrot pies on hand."
"I agree with you there." Mr.Hopps chuckles, opening a drawer and grabbing a fork from inside.
"A-A-Are you sure Mrs.Hopps wants you eatin' one of the pies, Mr.Hopps, sir?" Gideon stutters, rubbing the back of his head. "I'd think she'd want you to wait for her to come home."
"That may be true, Gideon, but," Mr.Hopps lightly punches Gideon's shoulder with his paw. "you're here, so I'm sure she won't mind."
"If you say so, Mr.Hopps."
Mr.Hopps reaches up to a cupboard, opens them, then pulls out two paper plates, setting them down next to the tray and closing the cupboards gently.
Meanwhile, Gideon reaches into the utensils drawer and draws out another fork, closing the drawer with a little slam.
"Hey, Gideon, could you be a good fox and grab that knife over by the paper towels?" Mr.Hopps asks, pointing towards a corner between a toaster and a roll of paper towels containing a knife rack.
"Sure, Mr.Hopps, sir. Uh..." Gideon reaches over to the knives, stopping just as his paw hovers over the top level. "Which one is it, sir?"
"The one with a carrot handle."
Gideon glances at the knife handles and sees that they all have carrot handles.
Gideon turns back to Mr.Hopps, who is patiently waiting with his paws holding his straps again. "They all have carrot handles, Mr.Hopps."
"It's on the bottom shelf, far left, can't miss it."
Gideon grabs the indicated knife, then hands it to Mr.Hopps. Nodding, the bunny gingerly takes hold of it and starts cutting the pie in half, then fourths, then eighths, making sure that each line is evenly sliced. After a minute or so, Mr.Hopps takes a piece out with the knife and his fork, placing the slice of pie on his plate.
"You want me to cut your piece?" Mr.Hopps asks, holding the knife and fork over the rest of the pie.
"Yes, sir, I reckon that'd be very kind of ya."
Mr.Hopps repeats the process for Gideon, this time laying the piece on Gideon's plate.
"Thank you kindly." Gideon hums, picking up his fork and plate.
"You're welcome." Mr.Hopps digs in immediately, shoveling a piece of pie into his mouth with a hasty vigor.
"Mmm!" Mr.Hopps hums, shaking his little tush with joy. "That's some good carrot pie, Gideon!"
"Aw, thanks, Mr.Hopps! I reckon I put a lot of love into this pie, I-I'm glad you're enjoyin' it!"
They eat in silence for a minute more before Mr.Hopps finishes his piece. Hastily, he goes to grab another slice.
"Woah, Mr.Hopps!" Gideon reaches out and takes the bunny's hand.
It's... unbelievably soft. Gideon didn't quite expect holding his hand to be this enjoyable.
"What's wrong, Gideon?" The bunny asks, confusion etched onto his face.
Gideon holds onto his hand for a moment longer, then lets go, hurriedly shoving his hand into his pocket. "A-Aw, I reckon it's nothin', Mr.Hopps, sir, I was just wonderin' whether Mrs.Hopps would want ya to eat more than one piece."
"Of course, of course!" Mr.Hopps scoffs, waving his hand. "She wouldn't mind if I ate an entire pie, so long as I cleaned up afterward!"
"... Whatever ya say, Mr.Hopps," Gideon shrugs, taking another bite out of his piece as Mr.Hopps grabs another slice.
"Aw, shucks, Mr.Hopps, ya went and ate all my pies!"
Gideon has his paws on his hips, staring down at a subdued Mr.Hopps, who is currently sitting on the couch in the living room with carrot pie crumbles on his cheeks and a broken overall strap from the stress Mr.Hopps' stomach was exerting on his overalls.
"Ah, Gideon, I'm sorry 'bout that, really, I am," Mr.Hopps slumps in his seat. "They were just... really good."
"... I reckon I can accept your apology, seein' as how I-I accepted yer daughter's. You're both good bunnies, ya know?"
"Thank you," Mr.Hopps holds a fist to his mouth and burps, sheepishly smiling afterwards and covering his mouth.
"Silly bunny," Gideon laughs, sitting down next to the overgorged bunny and resting his paws behind his head.
"I should be the one callin' you silly, you silly fox," Mr.Hopps chuckles, resting his head against the couch.
"... I-I-Is that comfortable, Mr.Hopps, sir, because if it ain't I'd be more than happy to, uh, well I reckon I could grab ya a pillow, sir."
"Please, please, enough with the Mr.Hopps and the sirs," the bunny yawns, waving his hand towards Gideon. "Just call me Stu, alright?"
"A-Alright, uh, Stu," Gideon scratches the back of his head, then checks the clock hanging above the television.
"Aw, shoot, Stu, I reckon I'mma take my leave now. I got pies to deliver and all that." Gideon makes to leave.
"But, Gideon, son," Mr.Hopps holds his paw out, stopping Gideon in his tracks. "Why don't you stay for a while? I'm sure you're tired from all that drivin' around. Don't you need a rest?"
"... I-I-I reckon I could stay for just a short while." Gideon slowly sits back down, holding his paws behind his head again and crossing his leg.
"That's my boy," Mr.Hopps yawns. "You don't mind if I take a lil' nap, do ya? I'm all darn pluckered out from farmin' all day."
"I-I reckon that's mighty fine, Stu, sir, I might take a lil' nap myself, seein' as how you want me to stay here for a small while."
"That's the spirit," Mr.Hopps stretches, raising his paws in the air, then lays his legs on the arm of the couch. Getting comfortable, Mr.Hopps lays his head down right on Gideon's lap.
"U-U-Uh, Mr.Stu, sir, um--"
"Shh," Mr.Hopps rubs Gideon's arm with a frown on his face. "I'm tryin' to sleep."
"Sorry, Mr.Stu," Gideon gulp, his voice lowered to a whisper.
Gideon watches Mr.Hopps wide-eyed as the bunny lay in his lap. Then, after a few moments, the fox shrugs, laying his head back against the couch with his paws as his pillow.
A few minutes pass, and just as Gideon is about to fall asleep, he hears Mr.Hopps murmur, "I like havin' you over, ya darn fox."
"I-I reckon I like bein' here, Mr.Stu," Gideon whispers, shuffling slightly out of embarrassment. "Thanks for havin' me over."
The bunny, however, doesn't respond, and mere seconds later, the room is filled with his snores. Chuckling to himself, Gideon lays his head back down, and soon drifts off into sleep...