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A Loving Heart

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Jonathan Hopps knew since he was young that he was different, though he preferred to be called special.

He knew it in the way that his parents told him, that when he was born, unlike the rest of his littermates he had hollered. He knew it in the way that his brothers, sisters and fellow rabbits would run from anything scary; noses twitching while he would just stand there and stare it down. He knew it in the way that he couldn't hop as high as his peers but could lift up anything ten times his size- pride of his father. He knew it in his bravery and out spoken ways and desire for being a Zootopia police officer.

He definitely knew it whenever he saw a predator.

Instead of how every other bunny or prey was nervous of predators; he wasn't. In the way that bunny bucks would watch the bunny does; he would watch the predators. It wasn't prejudice or fear it was more of an attraction - he knew it when everyone ran away in fear of Gidget Grey, he thought she was the prettiest girl in all of Bunnyburrow. Even when she rejected to being his date to the county fair in the form of a scratch to the face he couldn't bring himself to hate her so he cut his loses; he was a tryer, yes, but knew better to respect a lady's wishes.

So it came as no surprise to him that he'd fall for the sly vixen known as Nikita Wide at first sight. Even as she lied and berated him he still thought she was beautiful, even to fox standards- as he was told, she was very attractive.

The face she made when he caught her on tax evasion was amusing.

The grin she'd give him sent shivers down his spine.

The story of how she tried to join the Little Kit Scouts enraged him.

The pain he saw in her eyes at what he said at the conference hit him low and full of regret.

And her forgiveness gave him relief.

The feel of her teeth on his throat made him hot.

Her graduating at the top of her class gave him pride.

Her surprising shyness was adorable.

Her smile gave him butterflies.

Her gentle touches were warm.

Her fur.

Her eyes.

Her tail.

Her ears.

Her voice.

He adored her, and then it hit him. It came as no surprise to him that he'd fall for her, it's just that he didn't expect how hard he'd fallen.

Chapter Text

It was late night at the borough, many officers from the morning shift had gone home already while the nocturnal mammals clocked in for hopefully a quit night of low crime. In fact, it was so peaceful tonight that some of the remaining officers had gathered in the bullpen and were currently cheering on Officer Hopps, the rabbit, as he tries to break his record of bench pressing Officer Higgins, the hippo. Fangmire was currently taking bets while the others counted.

"97! ... 98! ... 99!"

Jonah grunted as he struggled to push for that last one, Delgato panicked a bit since he bet that Jonah could reach 101 but quickly calmed himself as he knew how to fix it. Jonah bench pressing mammals multitude times his size was nothing new neither was betting on if he'd make it or not, so Delgato planned ahead in case another event like this was going to come rolling around. He pulled out pictures from his front pocket- everyone knew his weakness.

"Hey Jonah! Make it to 150 and you can have the photos I have of Niki at our last ZPD annual picnic!" he cried out

That seemed to do the trick as Jonah quickly made way with the numbers, causing Higgins to become nauseous. He was playing dirty and everyone knew it, the annual picnic they had that summer was a momentous one, seeing Jonah all giddy about his partner, who normally prefers to cover up, wearing a beautiful white sundress that made her look like an earthly angle in the rabbit’s opinion. He was in the middle of counting when the door opened and said fox had walked in, scanning the room with an exhausted look on her face.

"What's going on?" Jonah's ear immediately turned towards the source of the question, that sweet voice, he recognizes it anywhere "Niki" focusing on it he lost concentration and every one gasped or made some sort of painful noise when Higgins landed on top of him.

"Jonah!" Niki cried out as she rushed to her partner, all form of exhaustion in her face replaced with panic. Higgins hopped off the table revealing a flattened bunny who looked like he had the wind knocked out of him, strong as he may be he was still a bunny. She rushed and picked him up "Carrots, you alright?! speak to me!"

He grinned slightly and stuck a thumb out "151, Love." and every one cheered, but not as loud as Delgato who had won the bet.

She shook her head and smiled "What am I going to do with you?"

"You could carry me?" he asked sheepishly "I kind of overdid myself there" he laughed nervously.

"Then how are you-" she was cut off when Bogo burst in through the door.

"That's enough! I don't care if the streets are silent now, you know it won't be that way for long!" and if to make his point clear Clawhauser could be heard rapidly receiving and giving out calls over the radio "See? Every one to your stations!" he looked at the destructive duo as everyone scrambled out of the room and pointed "You two. Home. Now"

"Don't mind us we were just on our way sir" he saluted the cape buffalo playfully who just huffed in return as he left.

"If you can make jokes then you can walk" the fox stated He whined

"Aw, but Niki I'm serious. It wasn't easy lifting that guy. You remember what happened last time I tried to lift Francine."

She did in fact because it was both hilarious and terrifying to see the rabbit try to bench press the elephant- hilarious because of the faces he was making but terrifying when he made it to five and she crushed him. He was in the hospital for two days with sprained muscles everywhere. Niki sighed and gave in, she could never win anyway. She turned him around and wrapped her arms around his torso, his back to her chest, his favorite spot apparently, as she walked out.

"Honestly, you were supposed to leave a couple hours ago. I had a ton of paperwork piled up and I told you not to wait up for me."

"Aww but I wanted to" he looked up at her "Besides the trains aren't running so I can't get home."

"Liar." he was so lying, he could've asked for a ride from their co-workers or taken the bus but his defiance to leave her was endearing and that's what she loved most about her partner; always putting others before himself "You just wanted an excuse to sleepover and eat all my food."

He laughed as they made it outside "Can you blame me? Your cooking is to die for! If I were to ever live without it, I'd just end it all right now."

"Don't say stuff like that" she mumbled while unlocking her car, and opened the passenger side to place him inside "I'd be lonely without my Carrots." He grinned

"Your Carrots?" Thank goodness he couldn't see the blush on her due to her red fur

"Shut it! You know what I mean!" He laughed heartily.

Chapter Text

A soft, gentle tune floated throughout the room

Jonah slowly opened his eyes, the gentle rays of the sun slipping through the curtains did nothing except illuminate the room. Without moving he lazily scanned the room for the sound that had brought him from his dreams. Spotting a small nightstand with a framed photo of two foxes reminded him that he was in Nikita’s room, he doesn’t remember much of last night other than drifting off to sleep on the ride here.

He hops out the bed gracefully and stretches, it’s not the first time they’ve shared a bed before, many late nights at the office and a desire to collapse into the nearest bed seems to break boundaries for friendship. His ears twitch again at the gentle tune that woke him up and listens closer to find it, it was coming from the kitchen so he began heading that way.

It sounded so sweet and familiar.

He walked down the wall and turned into the kitchen only to stop at the doorway at what he witnessed. Niki was already wearing her uniform that was covered by her signature “Foxy Momma” apron, flipping pancakes and singing a heavenly song with no words or any sort of direction. She was just singing just to sing, to let her voice out.

She was beautiful.

Jonah thought that if he was any more mature he would just lean against the wall and let her finish, enjoying the song and show. However, being the bouncy little ball of energy that he was he jumped up in excitement.

“Nikita! That was amazing! I didn’t know you could sing!” he said joyfully, quickly making his way towards her.

Startled, Nikita yipped and accidentally tossed the pancake too high, causing it to stick to the ceiling. She inwardly cursed herself for being too distracted to notice her little guest. Looking away to hide her blush “Stop it. It’s nothing special.”

“Nothing special? What are you talking about your voice is beautiful!”

Thanking whoever for her red fur, she blushed harder “Y-You’re just saying that to be nice. Really I’m not-”

“No, it’s true!” he insisted “You should sing in public sometime!”

She froze up and panicked “No! Can we just drop it-” just then the rouge pancake fell from the ceiling and landed on Jonah’s head, startling him and causing him to hop and fall back. “Jonah!”

He rolled back into her couch, causing the remote to fall on the floor and cut the TV on and Gazelle appeared.

“Hi Zootopia, it’s me Gazelle and I have a very important announcement! In a couple of weeks, I’ll be hosting a talent show fundraiser for the heroes of Zootopia.” Jonah and Niki shared a glance before turning back to the television.

“The police officers, the fire fighters, doctors and so on. The ones who come rushing in when everyone is running out, those that put their lives on the line to save ours, and those who spend late hours and early mornings to make sure that someone is their when they’re needed. Our beloved heroes of Zootopia. Sadly, due to misfortune and financial struggle our beloved heroes are spread thin and could use our help. Why not become their heroes and support them? The talent show is open to any Hospital, Precinct or Firehouse that wishes to participate- however only one from each location can compete. While all will receive and equal share in funding from the profit of the fundraiser, one winner will receive the grand prize of $100,000 and winning each worker at their location their own week-long paid vacation anywhere! Please sign up by the end of this month to qualify.”

The Gazelle disappeared leaving only a speedy voice rushing through the terms and conditions. Jonah excitedly hopped up, so high energy that he was stomping both feet into the floor quickly. He turned to Nikita with a broad smile on his face. “Niki-”

“No.”

Chapter Text

“No.”

“Aww, come on, Niki. Pretty please?” Jonah whined

“No.” she repeated

“Pretty please with a cherry on top?” Clawhauser whined

“No.” she repeated once more in the same deadpan tone.

Niki internally sighed. She asks herself “How the hell did I get in this mess?”. 15 years. She’s gone 15 years since anyone has heard her sing, correction- since she has sung. Then a sudden burst of whatever-the-fuck causes her to break her silent streak and sing the most random sound to ever come out her face. And of course while we’re at it, since the universe just loves wrecking her shit. Jonah, her wonderful little bunny-crush-of-a-cop-partner just magically fucking appeared at the right moment to hear her sing.

Not magically because she knew he was there, so why again did she decide to sing?!- but he’s a clumsy bunny, she should have heard him. Hell, she hears him all the time, constantly, she never gets tired of hearing him or seeing him or his presence around her or just him over all. But that’s beside the point! He makes noise when he walks, with those big paws all over the place can’t even sneak up on criminals that they’re supposed to be sneaking up on, and the one time he’s stealthy, she really wished he wasn’t.

And joy be to the dumb bunny who finds anything she does to be wonderful, will hold his head up high with pride and tell everyone how amazing she is whether she wants him to or not.

So now she’s looking at said bunny, whose standing behind the desk besides the fluffy cheetah who are now both pulling off their signature sad/cute animal face to get her to sing in that talent show.

Why did I have to fall for a bunny? She sighs internally.

“Pretty please Nikita?” they both whine in unison

“No” she repeats

“I’ll make you blueberry cheesecake” Jonah adds

Tempting “No.”

They both sigh and drop the act, Clawhauser looks at Jonah and pouts before looking back at Niki “I really didn’t want to have to do this Nikita but you gave me no choice.” He presses the button on the radio. “This is Fluffy Kitty, release Mad Bull.”   

Nikita looks at them suspiciously and steps back a little to gauge what’s going on when suddenly the chief’s door bursts open and Bogo steps out.

“Wilde! You’re participating in that talent show!” he bellows

“What?!”

Bogo walks to them “Clawhauser and Hopps have already informed me of your talent and I’ve already signed you up.”

“That’s not fair!” she argues

“Who cares.”

“Don’t my feelings get taken into account?” she pleaded

“No.” he states in a monotone voice. “Hopps you’re in charge. Make sure she’s ready for that competition.”

“Yes sir.” Jonah salutes him

Bogo nods and starts walking away but stops and turn around “Wilde- do it or your fired, oh and try to skip town and Wolford will gladly take the warrant for your arrest.” She gaped at him and he smiled smugly before heading back to his office.

Jonah groaned “Sounds harsh that can’t be legal.”

Clawhauser hummed as if giving it some thought but quickly dismissed it and looked to Niki. “Sorry Niki, wish I could say I felt bad but everyone in this precinct agreed that, based on Jonah’s words, that you have the best talent- and we really, really want those vacations.” He smiled innocently

Nikita fumed. How had word managed to travel so fast?! Damn it Jonah! “You’re all jerks!” she yelled out so everyone could hear, ignoring the giggles she heard around them while pointing at Clawhauser. “You, you’re dead to me” then she looked at Jonah “I’m so mad at you.” She growled before storming off to get the keys for their cruiser.

They watched her go and Clawhauser took a sip of his soda “She’ll be fine”    

Chapter Text

She was mad, pissed even- and rightfully so.

He could tell by how she wouldn’t look at him, speak to him or even acknowledge the things he’d say. He deserved it he knew, he neglected to take her feelings into account; ignoring her pleads to just drop it, and not taking no for an answer. She’s so talented, he’d argue with himself but knew better than that. He may be dumb but his mama ain’t raise no idiot, and he’d have to be one to not see what he did.

Looking up at her beautiful disinterested face he thinks; he’s never seen her this mad since the conference after the missing mammals case. Clenching his fists, now thinking back on it was caused by him. Twice now he’s been ignorant and selfish to her- no matter his feelings, he should never had caused her to do something she never wanted to do.

I’m such a fuck up. How could I do this to her AGAIN!

“I’m sorry” he says weakly

She didn’t look at him, her eyes fixed on the street their cruiser was facing, but her ear twitched in his direction, and if he was smart enough he’d take that a sign to continue talking.

Looking down at his lap he took a deep breath and hopefully some courage “I’m sorry. I… I shouldn’t have done that. I was insensitive to your feelings and went against your wishes- no matter how I feel I should never make you do something you’re not comfortable with… y-you… as your partner I should know- should be better than this… you deserve better than this. I’m sorry, Nikita”

Nikita finally turned to look at him, giving him a calculated look and it made him both happy and terrified. She observed him, the misery in his eyes, his droopy ears and even the way he sat in the passenger seat was hunched over unlike his usual perfect upright posture. He’s really sorry, and beating himself up hard over it.

“I’m still mad at you” she scowled and he flinched “However, against better judgement, I forgive you.” He sat up a little higher, his ears starting to rise with a relief look on his face- this pleased her “On one condition.”

He perked up completely, ready to redeem himself “Anything! You name it!”

“Undercover disguise #47” she smirked and the speed at which his ears fell pleased her more

“Please, no.” he begged.

“You said anything.” She laughed while patting his back “You have no one to blame but yourself.”

Burying his face in his paws “Oh sweet cheese and crackers” he whined  

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Jonah grumbled

In the middle of the prescient, on his day off, Jonathan Lafayette Hopps was wearing a pink leotard with matching tutu with a pink bow tied behind his neck and fairy wings on his back. All to appease the anger in his beloved partner’s heart- and seeing as how she is rolling on the floor, laughing her tail off as he stands still while co-workers take his photo. He’d say she’s pretty appeased.

“There, I did what you asked can I please go take these off now?” he sighed

“Wait- wait!” she struggles to get up through her laughter “Do the thing, do the thing.”

“But it’s humiliating!” he groaned

“Do the thing!” she chastised him and he sighed, defeated.

He got on his tip-toes and began twirling “I am a pretty, little, gum-drop bun-bun fairy.” He sang in a droll tone. “I’m a magical little fairy” he began dancing his way towards Clawhauser who was behind his desk squealing with glee.

"I sparkle and I tinkle and I glitter to no end. Just for you” he sighs “my fairy friend” he hugs the over joyed Cheetah “Away, let us fly; just you and just I.”

“O M GOODNESS!!” Clawhauser couldn’t contain his joy anymore hugged Jonah back and spun him around “I’m so sorry but I got to hug ya!”

“Clawhauser!” Jonah cried out

Nikita, followed by several others were losing their lives to laughter on the floor while the rest recorded. Bogo who came out of his office to reprimand his officers for causing a ruckus just stared at the scene dumbfounded before smacking his forehead.

“These are the animals the mammals of Zootopia trust with their lives.” He said with despair “Fantastic.”

Fangmire and Delgato who were walking in from the other side the prescient were arguing over the bets made from the other night. “I’m telling you Del- pay up.” Fangmire growled

“What for?! I won that bet- I bet that Hopps would beat his record by making it to 101 while you said he wouldn’t. So what am I paying you?!” he argued

“Yeah?! Remember that stunt with Trunkaby? You lost that bet by betting in his favor and lost, then there was the won you lost on the footrace- oh! And don’t forget about the arm wrestling contest! You lost both your bet and your pride on that one!” Fangmire smirked

“What?!”

“Your rolling in debt my boy and its time to pay up.”

Delgato growled “Make me!”

“What- Why you!” Fangmire was about to pounce on him till he noticed the laughter, he turned to see what’s up, then smirked “fine be that way, but I’m not the only one dissatisfied with you” he coughed “I’m pretty sure Jonah is still waiting for those photos you owe him Delgato!” he said loud enough to be heard throughout the lobby

Jonah’s ears twitched in the direction of the comment before turning around sharply in Clawhauser’s arms to glare at Delgato. “DEL-GA-TO!” Jonah yelled

“Oh shit!” Delgato jumped before fleeing

Jonah easily released himself from Clawhauser’s hold and began chasing after his co-worker “Don’t run now Del, I see you!”

Everyone stared as the two ran off in silence before bursting out in another fit of laughter, this time even Bogo joined in on the laughter. Because who wouldn’t find a lion running away from an enraged bunny in a tutu hilarious?

Chapter Text

Jonah sighed grumpily, him and Nikita were stationed outside of a hotel, guarding it while an investigation was going on. Normally he would stand there proudly without a single word of complaint, especially when standing next to the object of his affections, but today… it was raining, intensely. As if someone had picked up the entire ocean, dragged it to the sky and released it upon the earth with all the subtly of an overaged elephant.

It’s safe to say that he was more than a little grouchy and being soaked to the bone will do that to you.

He looked up at his partner, her face was stone cold to the point that it gave “resting bitch face” a run for its money because that’s true emotion. During their time together Jonah has learned that there a few things that Nikita hates; celery, animals that litter, prejudice, the color maroon, kits scouts, animals that say rubbage when they mean trash, apparently singing in public which is a new one and rain.   

She hates rain with a passion.

He finds it ironic that she loves showers but hate rain.

Given the week she’s had from being forced to perform in a talent show, to accidentally having celery placed in her favorite sandwich, to even running into a guy who says rubbage- in a douche accent who then had the gall to try and hook up with her. Even he got upset at that one. He felt bad for her it’s been a real shitty week, and he was put in charge of getting her ready for the show. How exactly is he supposed to do that, he was pretty sure she didn’t even want to hear anything remotely involving the talent show.

Probably only wants to hurry home and take a warm bath or hit up her favorite diner or a stroll through savannah central park- then he suddenly got an idea of what to do and grinned.

He coughed into his fist to grab her attention “Hey Officer Wilde, how do you feel about going on a ‘date’ with me tomorrow?”

And for the first time that day Nikita’s ‘bitch’ face faltered with her jaw dropped and eyes wide “Wh-wh-wh-w, a what?!”

He smiled up at her “A date” glad that his ears were down to hide how red they were. She was reduced to a stuttering mess as she tried to piece together the rest of her mind and he chuckled at how cute she looked.

“Wh-w-Why?!”

“Well” he starched the back of his head as he worked his excuse “You’ve been having it pretty hard lately and deserved to be pampered. So I’m gonna take you out for a night on the town.”

“A d-d-d-da-date.”

“Yeah, since it’ll just be me and you… alone and my treat. So why not call it what it is?” now he was getting bashful.

She twiddled her fingers, grateful that her now dampened red fur was hiding her blush “You don’t really need to, your tutu dance was more than enough.”

He groaned “Don’t remind me” he turned to face her “Look, I want to do this for you. I still feel responsible for getting you into all of this and I wanna show my appreciation for you forgiving me.”

She looked at him “So you’re doing this for you?”

“Niki” he whined and she giggled at her little revenge for making her gush

“Hey! You two focus!” a higher ranking officer yelled at them and they both straightened up.

“Sorry sir!” Jonah replied and Niki giggled. When the coast was clear he peaked up at her “So what do ya say?” he asked nervously, chastising himself for his nervousness. You’re doing this for her not for ulterior motives, you’re asking for too much, don’t be selfish.

She was silent for a moment before looking down with a faint smile “Yeah.”

Jonah beamed and did a little hop while throwing his fist in the air “Yes!”

“Hopps!”

Jonah quickly straightened “Sorry sir! I apologize for my mistakes!”

Niki giggled as she watched him, she sighs softly, smiling and looking to the cloudy sky- she may come to like the rain. Maybe  

Chapter Text

Jonah was getting ready to knock on her door, before doing a 47th check to make sure that everything was in order. This was going to be their first "official/unofficial sort of but not really" date together and he wanted it to be perfect.

Blue tulips & Red flower lilies, her favorite - Check

Coconut dipped beetles, because we're not reliving that chocolate incident - Check

Ironed white button, ironed slacks with coordinating suspenders; like you have some sense - Check

Make sure this is her building, because you're nervous as hell. He walks to a window in the hallway to look at the street sign - Check

Make sure this is her door, no need to embarrass yourself, her or their neighbors. He looks at the apartment number - Check

Breath, because hygiene. He sniffs his breath, minty freshness - Check

Watch on your wrist, because you wanna be classy and mature and it's a pretty sexy watch - Check

Now to not keep a lady waiting and actually knock on the door, because your mama raised you right. He finally knocks on her door - Check

"In a minute!" Nikita yelled through the door and Jonah's heart began hammering in his chest

Honestly she's been ready for an hour, their "official/unofficial sort of but not really" date was supposed to start an hour ago. Jonah had come on time, because she could always tell when he was there; it gave her a warm feeling. However he had yet to knock on the door, doing the same routine of standing there, walking to the window, walking back, taking a deep breath before repeating.

The first time he'd walked away she was stunned and heartbroken that he changed his mind to their "official/unofficial sort of but not really" date, but now at number 47 it was becoming frustratingly cute in an annoying way. She was tempted to one the door herself and send his little bunny heart into cardiac arrest but she guesses he's trying to work up the courage to knock. Knowing him, he'll take this as seriously as his job, and that strangely left her happy.

So she waited and now he knocked, like actually knocked, and she answered him back - holy shit now she's the one whose freaking out now. Where did all her random calmness go?! Now that it's her turn to actually answer the door. Was she ready?! She spent all that time focusing on him she hadn't even checked if she was actually ready.

Brushed fur, gotta look my best - Check

Trimmed claws, don't want to accidentally hurt him somehow for some reason - Check

Clothing. She looked down at her dress, making sure no stain was on her little floral print mini dress - Check

Purse, because I'm a lady - Check

Purse with badge, pepper spray, mini stun-gun and small hammer, cuz I'm a hot lady with enemies - Check

Breath, because hygiene - Check

Keys - Check

Marching jewelry, because why not - Check

Self motivation. She looks in her mirror "You are going on an "official/unofficial sort of but not really" date with the bunny of your dreams. You got this" she nodded to herself - Check

Nikita opened the door to greet her date and she just had to stop and stare at him for a moment; with his flowers, candies and suspenders. He was beyond cute, beyond handsome, beyond cute, beyond adorable, he was .., he was her date. She swallowed, collected herself and greeted him "Hey..."

"Hi..." he replied back because that's all his brain was capable of. She was beautiful, as she always is but seeing her all dressed up, and for him. His brain just kept on repeating the same words over and over. Recalculating. Recalculating. Recalculating. Recalculating.

When his brain finally caught up with him he nervously handed her the flowers "H-Here. These are for you."

She graciously took them, sniffed them and smiled that little smile that was only for him as she thanked him. Right then his heart did a little flutter and he couldn't help falling in love with her all love again. Yes, this "official/unofficial sort of but not really" date was for her to enjoy herself and get some inspiration for the show but he damned if he wasn't going to enjoy it too.

Hey it's not everyday you get to go on a date with the fox of your dreams.

Official or not

Chapter Text

"One Blueberry Blizzard Blitz and a Carrot Top Swirl. Please." Jonah asks the ice cream man who nods while filling out the orders

Nikita sits on the park bench staring at her little bunny partner, intrigued even though nothing out of the ordinary, still her same 'ol adorable rabbit. Suddenly another rabbit comes up behind Jonah in line, funny; she hadn't known there were any other bunnies in Zootopia- and that's saying something considering she knows everyone. And always the one to look for interesting things to do she compares them.

For a brief moment they stand next to each other, the newcomer placing his order while Jonah waits for theirs. Well obviously Jonah is going to be more muscular, he may be a ball of fluff but there's all muscle underneath all that bunny fuzz. Well he's taller, guess that's nothing to special, thinking on it now when she visited their farm a couple months back; there was a visible height and size difference between him and his parents and most of his family even.

Their ears were obviously different, the new guy's ears were short and compact much like Bonnie's and Stu's, Jonah's were long and large with black tips much unlike Bonnie's and Stu's. She looked to their feet, one was small and cute while Jonah's were almost comically larger, no wonder it looked like he was about to trip any minute. Then she got to thinking; larger ears, larger feet, larger build- she saw them talk to one another- even his teeth are larger. She began to mentally tick off the number of species in Jonah's animal family and came to a startling realization-

"What're you thinking about?" Jonah said when he appeared suddenly in her face and she jumped back with a startled yelp

- That we need to get a bell for this guy, he is TOO damn stealthy for a prey animal!

tapping her heart she glared down at him "You startled me! Nearly gave me a heart attack!"

He laughs before handing her her ice cream "You'll be fine"

"Whatever" she takes it "Thanks"

After that they go to take a pleasant stroll through the park, following the path almost aimlessly but she could tell that he was leading her somewhere. But he obviously thought into it so she'll act oblivious for him. Instead she turned to look at Jonah to continue with her wonders. Licking her ice cream, Niki asked him "Hey, Carrots. Are you really a rabbit?"

Jonah stopped for a second before chuckling "Are you really a fox?" Flushed she began to stumble but he decided to humor her instead "I guess you finally noticed huh."

"Yeah. I guess you can say that." she mumbled

"Well to answer your question I'm a Hybrid- but I prefer the term Chimera, sounds cooler." he licks his ice cream for a moment "I'm half rabbit, half hare."

"Half hare? But both Bonnie and Stu are rabbits." she licks her ice cream

"Yes. But Stu Hopps isn't my biological father. It's a hare named Lafayette Springs, which is also where I get my middle name. He was a close friend to my parents who found out he was dying and with no heir to his family farm, instead of just marrying off to some random doe hare, he decided to ask my parents- his closets friends- if Bonnie Hopps could bare his children." he smiled "And being the kindest animals you ever did meet, they said yes."

"So that would make-"

"Me and six of my other siblings Chimeras- Yes ma'am." he nodded

Curious "So who gets the property?"

"Well it's my eldest brother Jimmy! Well he changed his name to James Hopps Springs upon inheriting the property."

"But isn't it also your's too?" she asked while spotting a little kite in the sky being flown by a small family of beavers

"Yeah but we gave our shares to Jimmy, always felt like it was his anyway, being the first born and all. He always felt like a hare and would call himself as such so might as well" he thinks for a moment before laughing. "Ironically out of the lot of us I look the most like a hare, I'm even the biggest one out of all my siblings- hell I'm even taller than my folks. Yet, I always felt like a rabbit so I identify as one. Even though Lafayette is my father, to me Stu is my Dad- who is a rabbit and so is my mom. So one rabbit plus another rabbit equals a rabbit! Wells rabbits" he said cheerfully "But Jimmy always felt for Lafayette, so we let him have it."

Niki thinks it over then sighs "I can't believe it took me this long to notice."

"Well did you have other rabbit friends before me?" she shook her head and he continued "Then how could you compare me to another rabbit? But I'm not holding it against you, all rabbits and hares look the same on the fundamental level, we're both apart of the same 'Leporidae family' so it's not difficult for others to mistake us for the other if they can't spot the differences or even know what they are. But we all call ourselves 'Bunnies' anyway so the mix-up doesn't really bother us."

"Hm, sounds complicated" she concluded

"Not really, but if you say so. But now that you spotted one hybrid you'll notice way more when you get to Bunnyborrow."

She gaped "There's more?!"

"I told you we look alike!" He laughed and she sighed while shaking her head "... if you're curious, I'm half Jackrabbit."

"Sure you're not going to sprout antlers up there?" she roughly pet his head and he laughed while trying to swat her away with his free paw, causing him to almost drop his ice cream.

They both continued down that stretch of path until Nikita heard some confetti pop up ahead, she stopped to look and saw a small stage with many other animals laying on blankets in front of it, she saw a sign and smiled "Oh hey would'ja look at that! Sheepspeare in the park- my favorite! What a coincidence!" she said in a tone that suggested she knew more than she let on.

Jonah messed with his collar smiling nervously "Yeah, what a coincidence"

"And look at that, we're right on time! How conveniently placed next to my favorite ice cream stand too. Wonder how that could've happened?" she grinned down at him

"Yeah, what a mystery." he shrugged nervously and grabbed her paw "H-Hey what are we doing here coming up with crazy stories when we could be watching the show!" he said grabbing her paw and heading towards the stage

"Almost as if it was... staged" she said with emphasis for the pun

"Sorry I can't hear you over my need to see the show!" he shouts while ignoring her joke

She laughed, completely so full of mirth or just herself to notice that their paws are actually together or how fast Jonah's pulse is from how hard his heart is beating

Chapter Text

They walked out of the park paw-in-paw laughing at the memory of the show, so engrossed in their mirth that they failed to register their embarrassment or shyness of holding each other's paw. Jonah had to hold his side at Niki's detailed retelling of their favorite part.

"And then" she wheezed "He got the bat- and- Ha-ha! And whacked him on the head!" she wiped a tear away from her eye.

"The look on their... their faces!" he laughed out trying to catch his breath

"I can't even!" she howled out in laughter and he followed suit

It took them a while but once they were calm the prospect that they were on a date hit them both but yet both were so content neither said anything as they kept on walking. Though Nikita's curiosity at what more her bunny date had planned for her that she couldn't help breaking the silence.

"So where to now?"

"Ah! I'm so glad you asked. A lady of your caliber should dine at only the finest establishments." he stops and thrusts his arms in the direction of a building

Nikita read the bright pink neon "The Pig n' Pub" placing her paws on her hips, she whistles "A bar."

"Of course, anyone can go to a fancy-pants restaurant but a bar is classy." he smiled

"I am a classy lady" placing a paw on her chest she strikes an elegant pose.

"Exactly!" he hops towards the door holding it for her "Ladies first."

They strode into the bar and it looked like any normal bar one might find downtown. Dark with mahogany walls and tables, alcohol lined to attention on walls, random assortment of signed collectables decorated the place, and a gathering of bros cheering at the game with their beers held high and splashing all over the place. It was so charming.

Niki and Jonah sat at a booth parallel to the bar, and giggled at the frat boys who were clearly enjoying themselves way too much but it wasn't as obnoxious as it was adorable so they let the insults be. Their waiter, a surprisingly well groomed boar, took their orders before leaving the couple to continue chatting and finish their order.

Now... it must've been something Jonah had said, or the wonderful way that Nikita laughed or the one too many beers said guy had had that prompted him to turn his head around to their booth, look at Nikita and loudly state- in a not so eloquent way mind you- with all the raspy hate in his voice "I can't believe there's a FOX in here!"

You could hear the pin drop.

Even the frat party got quite

Not only had Nikita and Jonah turn to stare at this guy- rhino- with wide eyes in disbelief but apparently it was a popular trend in that bar at the moment. Did that actually come out his face?

“I remember when this establishment used to keep out scum like you.” He gruffed out “Why don’t you go back to hole FOX there’s no place for you here.”

Oh. Hell. No

Nikita was about to give a witty comment about the assholes dimwittedness about foxes and their dens and his vast amount of ignorance when a small grey ball of fluff bounded past her to stand on headboard. Putting himself between her and the rhino prick.

“What the hell’s your damage?!” he yelled angrily at the rhino, him standing on the headboard got him at eye-level with said creature.

“What’s my damage? What’s yours?! You do realize that you’re a rabbit that’s defending a FOX.” He tried to explain to Jonah as if the other’s actions were completely unorthodox

“Look here Asshat- It shouldn’t matter if she’s a fox or not” he argued “What’s pissing me off is that you think you have the audacity to come sideways out your stupid face and insult my date!” his ears were back and he glared daggers at the rhino

Out the side of her eye Nikita noticed the bartender calling the police and knew she had to get Jonah to stop. She knew it would not look good on either of their records to get in a bar fight. “Jonah stop-”

“Date?! Wait you’re an interspecies couple?! Great, not only was my night ruined by sitting next to a FOX but now I’m looking at this trash-heap of an abomination!” he pulled a disgusted face “Disgusting!”

He growled “Shut up! You make me sick!” he slammed his muzzle into the rhino’s horn “If you want us to go then fuckin’ make us and quit bitchin’ Bitch!”

“Don’t touch me you, filthy vermin!” he said before smacking Jonah away into the bar, causing a bunch of bottles to fall and crash behind the counter. Some people rushed to his aid while others began yelling at the rhino. He ignored them.

Nikita panicked “Jonah!” she was getting ready to rush to his side when she was blocked by him

Now the rhino turned his attention to Niki, glaring down at her as if she was the root of all evil. She let out a loud growl at his presence and he just scoffed at her.

“I feel my value as an animal drop just by breathing the same air as you. And since no one is going to clear the air I guess I’ll just have to.” He lifted up his arm to swing

She mentally cursed herself for leaving her purse at the far end of the booth, here’d be no way to reach it in time to get the tazer and stun this guy into oblivion. she looked up at him getting ready to dodge when a familiar flash of grey fur appeared again. This time taking position on the table while blocking the incoming arm with his own- looking mad as all hell.

“You raised a paw against my fox” he growled looking up at the bastard “You shouldn’t’ve done that.” 

 


 

A cop car pulled up to the pub, their lights going off but the siren remained silent and out stepped officers Snarloff and Wolford. Wolford yawned and lazily scratched behind his ear as Snarloff quickly made for the door to the pub.

“Alright, let’s see what going on in here-” however before she could step in the body of a large rhino came storming out the pub’s large glass window and into the squad car causing Wolford to yelp in surprise.

Jonah hoped out the window in a little blazing fury and calmly walked towards him. Snarloff and Wolford just stared at their bunny co-worker with a mixture of fear and confusion. Once next to him, he looked him dead in the eyes with cold malice.

“Now I don’t want to have this conversation again” he said coldly and smirked in satisfaction as the rhino nodded while trembling

There was only one word going through Snarloff’s and Wolford’s head at the sight. Damn

Chapter Text

After speaking with Snarloff and Wolford about what happened in the pub, it was so satisfying for Jonah to see that jerk hauled in the back of their squad car and he was more than willing to press assault charges against him too. Well assaulting a police officer is a felony, a happy little tidbit he really shouldn't be happy about. Yet, when you're on the victim end of a hate crime, you tend to feel that way. He dusted his paws before waving them off as they drove away.

He turned around with his paws on his hips to face Niki, content with continuing with the rest of their date. Hoping she was just as eager to put this little moment behind them and not ruin their night.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. Nikita looked everything but pleased, by the way, that she held herself. She was slouched, with her back to him, and holding herself close.

"Nikita?" Jonah asked worriedly.

He was expecting her to answer him back but was surprised when she began walking away. Jonah's ears drooped, maybe she didn't want to continue the date after all... maybe she regrets it. He didn't know what to do with himself feeling miserable but once he noticed she wasn't heading in the direction of her house he decided to wordlessly follow her.

In silence, they walked together, more like she lead him to a sitting area over a cliff overlooking Savanah Central. It's a good sightseeing spot, however, Jonah can't seem to notice that. Too focused on the sad, beautiful fox before him.

Nikita walks to one of the benches, not even acknowledging Jonah's presence as if it didn't matter whether he followed her or not. She sits on the bench and buries her face in her paws, heaving a long suffering sigh.

"Nikita, what's wrong?" he finally asks

"I knew this wouldn't work." she sighs, sitting down on the bench

"Nikita?" Jonah slowly walks up, placing a paw on the arm of the bench

A dry laugh "Of course it wouldn't. I'm a fox! Who was I kidding?" solemnly, she shakes her head

"Nikita- no don't say that!" he places a paw on her's and flinches when she snatches it away

"Why, not? It's true!"

"It's not true!"

"It is! Look at what happened!" she yells, gesturing angrily at the night sky.

Jonah huffed and prepared to speak up but then she growled viciously at him, effectively shutting him up. Noticing his hurt look, she blinked toned downed her snarl but kept her scowl.

"Don't insult me- I'm not stupid! I know you just took me out to help inspire me for the talent show!" she brought her legs up and hugged them, turning away from him "I had hoped it was more than that. that you felt the same way, but I was wrong! Who could ever love a disgusting fox like me!"

He couldn't take it anymore.

"I do!" he shouted at her before hopping on the bench and wrapping his arms around her neck "I love you, Nikita... I'm not going to stand here and say that this date wasn't supposed to help you with the competition, but I'd be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy every second of it with you"

"Jonah." she whispered once he pulled back to look at her

"I was happy. Even though it wasn't under the premise that we wanted, I was still happy because I got to spend time with you." he let go to hold her paws, squeezing them in his own and kissing them "To see you dressed so beautifully, having fun, smiling, and just being able to hold your paw and witness that today made me the happiest rabbit in the world because I love you, Nikita, fangs and all."

"Jonah" she teared up "Jonah. Jonah." unable to contain herself anymore she kisses him. Jonah is surprised, but happily so. REALLY happy. Regardless of how short it was, it was still very sweet

"I love you, too." she hiccuped out before bringing him in close for a hug

"Aye," he chuckled, happily petting the back of her head "Hey, how about I make it up to you? Movie night at my place? I'll order us a carrot cake."

She giggles "That'd be perfect."

Chapter Text

“I got them!” Jonah yelled as he ran through the doors of the studio

Nikita and Clawhauser looked up from where they were seated at the piano. After officially stating that she would try her hand at the talent show of her own free will regardless of what any water buffalo had to say. Clawhauser squealed with glee and offered to assist her and Jonah in her training, explaining that he too had musical talent with the piano. However, after two days of no inspiration, no nothing- Jonah had a crazy idea.

After making a few calls and favor promising, Jonah high-tailed out of Zootopia to get their so called “savior” – without a word of who they are. And that was three days ago.

“Got who, Carrots?” Nikita walked over to him placing her paws on her hips “Last I checked, you skipped town for three days without a single word of where you’d be going or what you’d be doing; leaving me here to suffer alone!”

“Hey! I’m here too ya know.” Clawhauser pouted

“Not now Benny,” she said not looking at him and ignoring his humph.

Jonah giggled

“Don’t you giggle”

“Weeeellllll. We were having a bit of trouble preparing a song or even coming up with an idea for what to even sing about” he chuckled “Which is weird. Cuz why would we even need a song with lyrics? Your voice is so lovely that you could just go up there and sing a couple of notes and win the prize anyway cuz you’re so awesome-”

“Get to the point, Rabbit.”

“So, I guessed that the only reason we could be having trouble since you want an ‘actual’ song, is because we aren’t musical geniuses. So, I went out to get us some musical geniuses to help!” Jonah stated merrily

“Say what now?”

“I went to Bunnyburrow to get my sister LuAnn because she’s a singer and just recently came back home from tour-”

“Wait your sister is LuAnn? The LuAnn?!”

“Clawhauser in a sec! So I went to go see her and she said that she’ll help and called her called her manager & producer to tell them that she’ll be busy with us. And while she was on the phone with them her friends Gizzy Tee and Trum-Bone were in their office and offered to help as well-”

Clawhauser gasped “Gizzy Tee and Trum-Bone?!! The rap duo?!!”

Jonah nodded enthusiastically “Yep! Then GT made a call to Queen B to see if she wanted to help cuz GT and QB are cool like that-”

Clawhauser almost fainted “Please tell me you got Queen B to help us too! She is a goddess”

“Unfortunately not. She couldn’t make it due to a busy schedule.” Jonah shrugs “But she did send her costume designer to help make an outfit for you Niki and sends you good luck wishes”

Nikita scoffs “I don’t believe it. You might as well, should have gotten Gazelle involved”

Jonah smirked and winked at her before turning to the door “Come in!”

At his command in walks a gray bunny who looks almost exactly like Jonah, a meerkat riding on a hyena’s shoulder and a chinchilla. Nikita looked at all of them slacked jawed.

“What-”

“Guys let me introduce you to our helpers.” He walks over to the bunny and hugs her “Talented country artist LuAnn”

LuAnn smiles and waves “Hello! What a pleasure to finally meet you.” She giggles

Jonah chuckles and walks over to the meerkat & hyena “Our dynamic rap duo Grizzy Tee and Trum-Bone”

“Sup” the meerkat nods

The hyena laughs “Ya boi, Trum-Bone in the building. How you doin?”

Jonah's fist bumps them before standing by the chinchilla “And this lovely mammal is Chitta Tsk. Queen B’s stylist and costume designer”

Chitta bows “Pleasure.” She looks to Nikita “And to correct your previous statement. Inviting Gazelle to assist a contestant in her own competition would be inappropriate. I would know, I’m also her stylist too. She said it’s ok for us to help you, that’s it’s fine for the competitors to bring in outside sources.”

“Thank you Ms. Tsk” Jonah smiled before stepping forward to Nikita “So, what do you think?”

She looks around to all of them, even to Clawhauser who seems to be barely keeping it together. “You did all this for me?”

“Of course. It wasn’t much but you needed help and-” he was cut off by Nikita bringing him up to a hug

“Oh, thank you, Jonah, thank you!”

“No problem.”

“Yo, dats cute son.” Trum-bone chuckled out

“Yeah, I’m feeling inspired” GT stated, tapping Bone’s shoulder “Itching to write some bars on love, you feeling me?”

“Yea. Dats was sup.” They nod together

Nikita puts him down “Sly bunny. I didn’t know you knew such big people”

He shrugs “Well, I mean I am the godfather to Mr. Big’s grandson so…”

“That and if there’s one thing other than multiplying that we bunnies are good at its networking” LuAnn walked over and gracefully reached out to shake Niki’s paw “Charmed darling. I can see your excitement, but so am I to finally meet the one my brother won’t stop fussing over.”

“Lu no”

“Lu yes” she grinned at him before continuing “He gabs so much dearie that I have received enough inspiration for at least three songs. I believe the latest one was about you two as well” she smiled cheekily

“LuAnn why are you like this?” he groaned in embarrassment, not even Nikita’s delightful chuckles could bring him up. However, what did thou was the door being loudly opened and in walks a very well-groomed mountain-lioness

“I’m not too late to help, am I?” he asks while removing her shades

“Oh Ms. B, glad to know that you’ll be joining us” Chitta walks to her client, “I thought you were too busy.”

“I was but when I heard that it was the bunny and fox cops asking for MY help I couldn’t refuse! It there’s anything I can do to help the duo that solved that night howlers incident. It would be my honor.” She stated happily to them and the rest nodded in agreement

However, the moment was ruined when everyone started to the loud thud of Clawhauser fainting on the floor

Chapter Text

Nikita yawned. Who knew lifting a donut filled with blueberry & beetle goodness would be so exhausting.

And why was she so exhausted, one might ask.

Well, it could be a number of reasons.

She’s a cop. She’s a naturally nocturnal mammal that works mid-morning shifts. She’s beautiful. Her neighbors who appear to be going through the mating season. Her hyperactive bunny boyfriend… that’s a lie she always has the energy for him.

Or it could be the singing rehearsals with Clawhauser and LuAnn, followed my lyrics and staging with Grizzy Tee & Trum-bone, dance practice with Queen B and then later tonight she has an outfit fitting with Chitta.

Did she also mention she’s a cop with a morning shift?

One would think that the Buffalo would give her a break since he’s forcing her to do this “for the good of the precinct” and all. Can’t be helped, we all gotta make a living.

She lifts her donut up again to take a bite but yawns again and blinks lazily, forgetting all about her sugary goodness in her sleep deprived haze. Jonah taking notice of his partner’s inability to finish her favorite snack taps her paw worriedly.

“Hey, Niki. You ok?”

She blinks down at him sleepily and smiles “Now I am”

He chuckles “No you silly goose. How’re ‘feeling’? you look like you’re barely hanging on.”

“Now whatever gave you that idea?”

Smirking “You’ve been trying to eat a donut that’s not even in your paw.”

“Oh.”

“Yep.” He hops out her chair to stand beside her, taking her paw in his “Come on. You’re clocking out early and I’m taking you home”

“What? No, I’m fine, just need a little breather is all.”

“Yeah, no. not gonna happen. You’re going home and getting some sleep young lady.” He insisted, pulling her from her seat without any struggle at all.

“Ha! Who needs sleep! Sleep is for the weak and I am strong” she jokes before falling and immediately deflating “turns out I need sleep, it’s me. Sleep would be lovely yes” she says, voice muffled by the floor

Jonah shook his head before helping her to her feet, dusting her off and gently taking her paw in his and leading her out of the break room. It’s amazing how she’s able to keep working like this even though all her free time is taken up in preparing for the show. Females are amazing.

“I’m sure Bogo won’t mind if our resident rising star gets some rest. You know since he wants us to win so badly.”

“Who?” she mumbled following him closely as she rubbed her eyes

“Nevermind.” He giggles