After flying in the quad chopper, the group was being flown to the ZIA office north of Predaton. Parker stayed quiet for most of the ride, gazing out of the window seemingly in despair. Nick took his father’s paw and clasped it tight. Parker gave a quiet huff and looked down at it, before glancing to Nick.
“Jack wasn’t wrong, you know. It’s been a long summer. You put on a real tough show out there.”
“As did you.” Parker complimented, turning to Aiden. “Aiden.” He called, snaring his attention. “Excited?”
“Tired. But I will be excited. Jack says Eve is in Zootopia, staying with her aunt in Tundratown.”
“That’s good.” Parker smiled “Eager to see your girl and cubs again Nick?”
“Oh yeah. I’m sure I’m in for one hell of a lecture first but. I can’t wait to squeeze her tight and hold my little kits again.”
“Judy’s got a lot to be proud of.” Jack complimented. “You know, I’m not gonna lie. This was a big gamble on my part. I wasn’t sure if I could trust you guys.” He confessed.
“I woulda turned ya over.” Bryan chuckled. “If the price was right.”
“Hmph.” Jack huffed. “Well, as far as my trust in foxes goes. It’s safe to say you’ve concreted it. When we land, we’ll be brought in to speak with director Moira Pride. She’ll give you your certificates and of course, all of you. Patrick, Finnick, Bryan, Aiden, Parker, Nick, I’ll ensure your records are clean.”
“You got them all, yes?” Parker spoke up.
“Gabriel radioed in that Carvelle is still loose. Predaton police forces are combing the streets hunting her down. She won’t get far, we’re seizing all of Barone’s assets as we speak.”
“Hmmm.” Parker hummed, concerned about this new information. “What if you can’t find her?”
“Well, perhaps you wouldn’t mind lending us your hacking skills in tracking her.” Jack suggested with a smile.
“My hacking days are done, rabbit.” Parker sighed. “All I can say is don’t look for the obvious. Carvelle has safe places that only she knows.”
“Agent Savage, we’re green for landing on helipad two. Everyone buckle in for descent.” The coms announced.
“Roger that, Swiftclaw.” Jack replied.
The crew marched down the hall, lead by Jack Savage and Gabriel Mckinnon until they at last arrived at the door of Moira Pride. Pushing open the door, they stepped inside to see Moira at her desk, arms folded and a smile on her face. Several other agents were in the room as well, an array of mammals ranging from wolves, deer, moose, oscelots, lions and hippos.
“Welcome, all of you.” She announced. From left to right, they lined up. Nick, Parker, Aiden, Jason, Patrick, Finnick and Bryan. Jack and Gabriel stood side by side in front of them. “Agent Savage, care to make it official?” He quickly saluted and spoke up.
“Yes ma’am. I’m pleased to report we have Raphael Barone in custody with sufficient evidence to put him away for good.”
“WOOO!!!” The room erupted in cheers of delight, the oscelots even firing off a few streamers in the process. Moira shook her head and let a slight laugh escape before composing herself.
“Excellent work Agents Savage and Mckinnon. For your dedication and hard work, you’ll be promoted to Deputy Opps from here on. I assume you wish to continue working together?”
“Yes ma’am.” Jack replied.
“Yes ma’am.” Gabriel answered to.
“Very well. Once again, congratulations on a successful campaign. Now. To the rest of you.” Moira cleared her throat as Jack and Gabriel stepped aside, joining the other agents in the room. Moira circled her desk and stood before Parker and the others. “It’s practically unheard of for a group of civilians and former officers to be involved in our affairs. Often times trust and competence become concerning issues. However, the seven of you have played a significant role in apprehending Barone. While I have no doubt these last few months have been trying for you. I understand it has been particularly hard on you, Jason Fangmeyer.” She proclaimed, gesturing for him to step forward.
“Ma’am.” He saluted.
“You were involved now for years, such amazing dedication to the cause and endless hours committed. You have sacrificed so much to assist in bringing down what could have been a threat to millions. For this, I can think of no greater reward.” She stated, taking a small glass case off her desk. “There are few greater honors than this that can be bestowed. This medal of courage baring the insignia that represents all of Animalia is yours, to signify your heroism and dedication to protecting our nation. On behalf of all of us and all you have helped save. Thank you for your service.” She bowed. Fangmeyer bowed as well, accepting the token of gratitude.
“It was my honor, ma’am.”
“I believe you have a wife and cubs waiting for you in Zootopia?”
“You’ll be happy to know you’ll also be well compensated for your efforts. Now, as for the rest of you. Nicholas Wilde. Step forward.” Nick casually stepped forward and dusted off his shirt. She smiled handing him a golden certificate with Moira’s seal at the bottom. “Thank you, on behalf of our nation. You have demonstrated true valor over the course of this mission. The ZIA is grateful to you.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Nick bowed politely.
“I hope Judy finds you well on your return to Zootopia, and pray you return to your duties with the ZPD. Aiden Valor?” Aiden took his turn to step forward. Again she produced a gold certificate. “Mr. Valor. I met your parents before the tragedy that claimed their lives. Good mammals of the city and respectable owners of a fine cruise line. I know they would be proud of the mammal you have become today. Thank you on behalf of our nation for your dedicated service to us these two months. You’ve demonstrated true valor.” She winked. “Over the course of this mission. The ZIA thanks you.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Aiden bowed.
“I wish you all the best for you and your lovely mate. Patrick Frost.” She announced. Patrick stepped forward with a smile on his face. “Mr. Frost. I understand you took this mission for the simple compensation, but understand we have done a bit more than that.”
“Oh?” Patrick threw up his brow.
“Your mother, to whom the debt of your father’s store was passed has had her financial troubles dealt with. She owes nothing for the closure of the store you ran with your father. I’m so very sorry you lost him to cancer.”
“Thank you.” Patrick breathed, awestruck by the news.
“Since Predaton was to be the first city afflicted by bloodlust, I’m sure you held concern for the safety of its people as well, though I can only assume you’ll never admit it.” She smiled. Patrick just shrugged and let a quick laugh escape. “Thank you, for your service to our nation. You served with valor over these last two months. We’re grateful you chose to assist us.”
“Thank you.” He bowed, taking the certificate.
“Finnick Fennec.” She announced. Moira had to kneel down to hand him his certificate. “Finnick, like your friend you took this job for the compensation. But I understand you’ve done far more than this in the past. Your heroism in rescuing Judy, Bogo and Ryan in Zootopia. Your refusal to join with Alexander Kasi and commitment to your friends, these are honorable traits that few possess. Though you may try to hide it, you’re an honorable and loyal friend that this party is blessed to have. Thank you for your service to our nation and your dedication to your friends. We owe you a great debt of gratitude, along with your reward.” She smiled.
“Was no sweat.” He shrugged off. “I mean uh, thank you ma’am.” Moira chuckled and turned to Bryan.
“Bryan Baxter.” She announced. Bryan stepped forward to receive his award. “Bryan, I’m glad to see you turn a new leaf. I understand life has been full of challenges for you, including the loss of your dear friend, Jordan Avanna. But you leant us your skills and helped get this team set up to for just about everything. Your contributions were invaluable in stopping Barone and his organization. Thank you, for your service to our nation.”
“Can I make, one small request?” He asked nervously.
“Look. I know Shea was a real scumbag. He’s going down with Barone no matter what eh. But you know, so am I. So are all of us. But Shea, he was the only one to make ya laugh when things got rough you know? Even if I was about to give, he cheered me up and kept me going. I’m beggin ya, go easy on em. He’s an old guy, but a real softy in the end when you get to know him.”
“I’ll agree to that.” Parker spoke up.
“Same with Niko.” Jason joined in. “Look, they shouldn’t get off the hook or anything but. They were just following orders, they had no clue how dark Barone had really gotten.”
“Hmm.” Moira hummed it over for a moment. “I’ll see about accommodations for them in some form but, we must ensure security of our prisoners is top priority first.”
“I can live with that.” Bryan nodded.
“It’s fascinating.” Moira cleared her throat. “Scratch the surface on even the most stoic of mammals, you’ll find a warm heart within.” She smiled to Bryan. “Which leads me to you, last but not least. Parker Mathias Wilde.”
“Yes ma’am.” He said, stepping forward.
“You, with the most notorious of reputations. Murder, assault, illegal weapons development, breaking just about every computer law in existence and yet. You were forged out of the corruption that once existed in the ZPD. A distrust for police and yet not once, but twice your actions have saved their lives. Selflessly you risked your life to save your son, his mate and his friends. Now you delve into the heart of the organization you once called family, turning them over to us. Betraying them from within. My concerns for you were most dire. I thought you were to betray us for certain. But few mammals have proven me wrong more than you.”
“You were almost right, but my sons kept me on track. Kept my head straight when it was ready to rattle off.” Parker confessed, lowering his muzzle. Moira picked it up and leaned in close.
“Anyone in your situation would feel the same. You loved Raphael, didn’t you?”
“But a choice had to be made.” She rose back up. “You chose your son, you chose integrity over passion. You asked that they be brought in alive, to face the consequences of their actions. None have faced more harrowing danger or internal turmoil than you. Parker, first of all. My deepest apologies for the actions taken by both the ZPD and CPS of Zootopia. It breaks my heart to know you were deprived your wife and kit because of heinous actions of a buffoon for a chief. While illegal, even a fool could see why you were forced into such desperate measures in dealing with your father, Daryl. On behalf of this nation, not only do I thank you but. I beg your forgiveness for these wrong doings.”
“Thank you.” Parker sniffled, letting the tears flow.
“You’ll be happy to know you’ll be well compensated, and of course, all of you will have clean records. Tania O’malley will issue your cheques and of course, I’ll be in contact with the authorities to notify them of this. All of you, thank you once again.” She concluded with a salute. They all returned one in turn. “Jason Fangmeyer, Aiden Valor, Nicholas Wilde, Patrick Frost, Finnick Fennic, Bryan Baxter and Parker Wilde. You are dismissed. Agent Savage, see these good mammals back to the quad copter. They’ve had a long day and could use some rest at home.”
“Yes ma’am.” Jack saluted.
Finnick gave his cheque a big fat kiss, cackling as he celebrated down the hall.
“I can’t believe it! 20 million bucks!”
“The cheque is kind of ceremonial you know.” Gabriel chuckled, patting his back. “The money is already in a personal account, established just for you.”
“Excellent.” Patrick tented his fingers. “Now, how many hookers can I pick up with 20 million.”
“Enough that the gene pool of Zootopia will be forever altered.” Nick quipped. “Take it easy buddy. Should get yourself all settled in back in town.”
“Settled. Psh! Sounding like some family fox. This my good mammal, this is going to build one fucking perfect bachelor pad.” Patrick all but squealed with delight.
“How bout you, Bryan?” Nick glanced back. “What are you gonna do with your cut?”
“Easy. Get a garage going and tune up some nice wheels. Spend my time doing what I love.” He smiled warmly.
“Awesome, good to know I have a new mechanic friend.” Nick greeted with his usual little smile.
“Nick.” Jack spoke up, rushing to his side. “Parker, both of you, come with me please.”
“Uh.” Nick pondered as Jack nudged him down another hall.
“We’re a team. Where they go, we go.” Jason spoke up.
“Very well, come.” Jack submitted. Heading down the hallway littered with personal offices they veered left and down a small stairwell with a ramp along the side. At the bottom was a sealed steel door with a keypad lock. Jack typed in the code and opened it. Inside was a very small room with yet another door, and beyond seemed a massive lab. The walls pure white, glass seemed to divide several little research facilities where mammals in white coats and some in hazard suits were working. Jack pressed his way passed the final plastic curtain at the end and entered into a moderately large room. Inside were four massive chambers that seemed to be fed from the ceiling down and placed in the middle was an E.R table. “I figured, you might want to check on him.” Jack stated, walking over to the far right chamber, Nick cautiously approached, the others staggering behind him. Peering inside the small window, he could see him. Jake was afloat inside, a mask over his mouth as he bobbed unconscious in the strange fluid within.
“Jake.” Nick whispered. “Can he?”
“He’s still out cold.” Jack peered up to the chamber. “Lost a lot of blood but, the doctors were able to save him. He may have suffered some neurological damage from the oxygen deprivation and blood loss but, these stasis chambers can heal damn near anything.”
“Yep.” Gabriel cut in. “Originally just a concept by doctor Haress, however now they’re out of the beta and into the wild green yonder. Nanites can be used to perform micro-surgery while suspended in the sterile fluid. We have to keep patients in a deep sleep, but thankfully we can avoid the whole comatose overdose you were dealt, Parker.” Gabriel playfully noted.
“Fascinating.” Parker smiled. “Well, that’s promising.”
“Wait.” Bryan peered inside the far left one, turning back to Jack and Gabriel. “Is that who I think it is?”
“Well.” Gabriel nervously scratched his neck.
“Who is it?” Parker strolled over. Peering inside, the old fox threw his ears back and snarled at the two. “What did you do to him!!” He bellowed.
“Dad, take it down a notch!” Nick scolded.
“Parker, what is it?” Aiden rushed over, curious to see what had gotten him so upset. His head slunk as recognized the mammal within. “We made it very clear.” Aiden began to scold.
“Ok ok ok ok... Ok!” Gabriel cut in with a flourish of his paws. “Look, you got every right to be pissed, but. We didn’t shoot him.”
“Who is it?” Patrick threw up his paws.
“It’s Max Barone, with three fresh holes in his body.” Aiden informed them.
“You shot the kid!?” Finnick exclaimed.
“No!” Gabriel outright refuted. “The PPD did it. The S.W.A.T team went in, laid down the usual cover fire but, according to their sources, Max opened fire. The gun we recovered from the scene was traced back to Raphael. A small handgun, likely kept in the nightstand in his room where we found the drawers opened.”
“Oh jeez.” Nick fumed.
“Max.” Parker cried, pressing his muzzle against the chamber. “I’m so sorry.”
“He’ll be ok.” Jack cut in. “This is hard, I’m sure. But Max will survive. He’s an asset and if your testimony regarding him is true, a true innocent in this case. We won’t let him die.”
“But he might as well be to Barone.” Gabriel noted.
“What?” Parker turned back.
“We’re not gonna grant visitation or custody to a mass murderer. Raphael is gonna be lucky to avoid the death penalty here.”
“Look.” Patrick cut in. “Let’s keep things in perspective ok guys? Max got shot, likely while he was shooting at the cops.” He noted, pointing to Parker. “Cops open fire, not exactly in these guys control. But hey, they did bring Max here and rescue him. He’s gonna live. Ok? Maybe not the fairy tale happily-ever-after bullshit with fairy dust but, life’s not perfect. When Max gets up, let’s come over and welcome him back hey? Throw him a little party, cook him some salmon steaks.”
“Salmon steaks?” Jack pondered.
“He loves em, kid goes nuts for em.” Patrick advised.
“Patrick’s right.” Nick smiled, throwing a paw over his shoulder and hoisting up Finnick. “We’ve got a lot to celebrate. Maybe things aren’t perfect but, when are they ever. Let’s head home huh? Have a good time tonight.”
“Hell yeah!” Finnick joined in.
“I could pound back a few shots tonight, fuck yeah!” Bryan cheered.
“Titties, drinks and tight slips on me tonight boys! WOOOO!!” Patrick cheered, leading the way out of the lab.
“This is the crew that brought down Barone.” Jack shook his head. Gabriel pinched Jack’s tail as he passed by.
“With a little help from their friends.” He winked. Jack gave a warm smile and pulled him in for a kiss on the cheek.
“Why do I put up with you?”
“It’s a labour of love, Savage boy.”
Parker was led down into the holding cells by Jack and Gabriel, near the basement level of the building. The group was following closely behind as usual, but as the encroached on the door leading in, Parker waved them back and waited for Jack to give him the go ahead to go inside. Punching in a keycode and swiping his card, the door unlocked with a near deafening slam from the thick steel deadbolts. Opening wide, Parker stepped inside and looked over the cells. The thick glass panels with a few holes intended for bringing in food, combined with the concrete walls was a little eerie for him. The mammals inside, some easily recognizable as members of Barone’s gang snarled and sneered at him. Others just ignored him as he passed by. Tasha and Sasha were in a cell together and banged on the glass.
“Traitor!” Tasha bellowed, dressed in a dark blue prison uniform, along with her sister.
“Fucking fox.” Sasha growled as well, though she remained seated on her bed. Psych didn’t pay them much mind, but at the end of the long hallway were the three cells he intended to visit. The last two on the left holding Shea and Raphael, the last on the right was Nikolai. Resting his back against the wall, Parker stood between the last two cells and glanced between them.
“How are the accommodations?” Parker proposed to Niko.
“I’ve no words for you, Psych. Only what I will do when I am free.” The big grizzly growled.
“Ya betrayed us.” Shea called out, pressed up against the glass. “Ya sold us out ya two timing piece of shite!”
“It was going to happen, no matter what I did.” Parker tried to defend himself.
“There’s not an excuse fer it! I trusted ya, ya sick fucker! Turnin on yer family like this!” Shea carried on.
“You’re quiet so far.” Parker noted to Raphael, who seemed complacent to sit on the bed, his eyes fixed on the floor. “Come on, where’s your shot at me?” He asked softly.
“My son.” Raphael growled. “What happened to my son?”
“You don’t want to know. As far as the ZIA is concerned, he’s not yours anymore.” Parker stated.
“When Vanessa finds you.” Raphael slowly turned to Parker. “She’s going to make you beg for death. My only regret right now, is that I won’t be there to watch her force-feed you the corpses of your son, and grandcubs.”
“Hahahaha.” Parker laughed quietly for a moment before nearly erupting into a full on fit of laughter. “HAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
“What’s so funny ya rotten shite?” Shea growled.
“You, have the nerve.” Parker began to say, wiping his eyes. “To call me a traitor. When everything you’ve done, since Allesandro’s death is forsake everything he ever taught you!”
“Don’t you dare speak of my father.” Raphael bared his teeth.
“Niko, tell us all what happened when he found out that Raphael had taken cubs for interrogation for the first time, huh!? A whole fucking weekend stuffed in the basement, remember!?” Parker gestured to him, but Niko remained silent, hanging his head. “Nothing to say now? Shea how bout you? Did you know your precious boss was popping the heads off cubs in his office? How often you see Allesandro do that?” Parker carried on, pushing off the wall and stomping his way to Shea’s cell.
“Aye, he never would do that.” He conceded.
“You can call me a traitor, a liar, whatever the fuck you want.” He shook his head. “But you let him and that walking twat do all this. How many times did I tell you, all of you? Killing mammals, especially cubs is like setting off a flare to the pigs. Come find me! I got blood on my paws!” He mockingly showcased heading over to Barone’s cell. “I loved you so much, little brother. But you walked yourself down this path to hell and there was nothing I could say or do about it to stop you. They were so desperate to put you down after they caught wind of your little project bloodlust, they slapped me, Aiden and Bryan on the chopping block to force our cooperation.”
“Was it worth it?” Niko asked. Parker turned back to Niko.
“Don’t try to high road me, you know it kills me to see you like this.” He submitted, leaning against the wall once more. “Putting down one or two snitches on the street, no big deal to me.” He shook his head. “Interrogating someone for information they’ve leaked. Sure. No problem. But if Allesandro ever found out what you planned to do. Bombing the city with poison to enslave the survivors. He would have thrown you to the ZIA faster than he tied you up in that fucking basement.” He snapped to Raphael.
“Keep talking, Parker.” Raphael growled. “You don’t have much time left on this earth.”
“A threat, from a mammal without integrity, means nothing to me.” Parker retorted. Raphael seemed caught off guard by the statement and fired his eyes back to the floor. “Even after all this, little brother. I still love you. Always will. But you need to be put in your place. Because of what you’ve done, this is where you belong.” Taking a good long breath, he glanced to both Niko and Shea. “Scout and Bryan made pleas on your behalf. You ever earn visitation, you should thank them for it. Probably the only reason you’ll be alive.”
Soaring through the air on their quad-chopper, they arrived at the top of the ZPD station aimed for the helipad. Chief Delgato and Mayor Bogo were already there, along with a handful of other officers. As the chopper settled in, Jack and Gabriel were the first to step off, asking the others to wait inside for a moment. Covering his head as the rotors slowed, he rushed over to greet the group that had assembled.
“Mayor Bogo. Chief Delgato, pleasure to see you again.” Jack greeted with a paw shake.
“Good to see you as well Agent Savage.” Bogo nodded gruffly.
“Pleasure to see you.” Deglato joined in.
“So where’s this crack team you assembled to bring down Barone?” Bogo spoke up.
“They’re inside. Before I bring them out, I need a promise from you to keep your firearms down, and cuffs stashed. These are formerly wanted mammals, chief.” Jack explained.
“Ok, I’ll bite.” Delgato agreed. “Boys, keep em holstered, got it?”
“Yes sir!” The officers agreed. Jack gave a quick nod to Gabriel who rushed back to the chopper. Leaping up and grabbing the handle, he gave the crew the all clear. Parker led the way, stepping off with Aiden and Bryan behind him. Nick, Finnick, Patrick and Jason followed suit, but Jason threw the hood up on his jacket to keep his face partially covered. Bogo scowled seeing Parker step off while Delgato just folded his arms.
“Son of a bitch.” Diego whispered. Lining up behind Jack and Gabriel, Parker couldn’t help but smile up at Bogo while Nick seemed a bit nervous before Delgato. “So this is where you ran off to, huh?” Diego nodded to Nick.
“Yeah, sorry bout that.” Nick casually dismissed.
“Nick. Judy has been through. Well. I can only describe it as hell. We thought you were dead.” He stated.
“Ahem. Gentlemammals.” Jack cut in, snaring their attention. “I want to be as clear and concise as I can be here. These 7 have had their names cleared, by direct order of the ZIA, recognized as in good standing with all of Animalia. Is that understood?”
“I can hardly believe it.” Bogo huffed to Parker.
“Don’t take it personally fat boy.”
“Dad.” Nick scolded.
“Sorry, sorry.” Parker played it down. “My apologies, civilian life is going to take some getting used to.”
“Are you going home to Judy, Nick?” Diego questioned.
“Of course. But uhhh, I’m not the big story here.” Nick smirked, gesturing over to Jason.
“What? The wolf? Who is he?” Diego asked, planting his paws on his hip.
“Just promise us you won’t spoil the surprise for his wife.” Aiden smiled. Jason took a good long breath and threw the hood off. Diego looked him over for a moment but seemingly together both he and Bogo went completely slack-jawed.
“Gonna catch flies with a mouth that big ol buddy.” Jason quipped.
“Jason.” Diego muttered, falling on his knees. “The!? How!? How is it!?”
“Fangmeyer! I can’t believe it!” Bogo exclaimed.
“Wow, more emotion than I’ve ever seen.” Nick tossed in. Diego rushed over and scooped up Jason for a hug.
“I thought. We lost you for good my wolf. I just, I can’t believe it!” Diego carried on, still holding on to him. Eventually setting him down, Bogo came over with the warmest smile he had ever worn.
“Jason. Welcome back home. Laura and your boys have missed you so terribly.”
“I’ve missed them like crazy too. I’m kinda nervous about going home too you know?” Jason shrugged with a smile.
“It’ll be fine. Poor Laura, she’s been through so much with Caden.” Diego answered.
“Nick told me he’s been acting up.”
“It’s been worse than that my old friend.”
“No.” Jason shook his head. “No don’t tell me he’s hurt or-“
“No no!” Diego refuted. “No he’s ok now. Judy and Matt rescued him.”
“Oh thank goodness.” Jason sighed with relief, pressing on his chest. “Almost gave me a heart attack.” He playfully punched Diego’s arm. “Judy working? Or Matt?”
“Yeah, I kinda wonder that too. Am I gonna get to surprise Carrots at her desk?” Nick joined in.
“Judy’s got couple days off.” Diego informed him. “Should be at home with the kids. Matt had the day off today as well, he worked a double earlier this week.”
“Do me a solid, I wanna surprise her. Don’t let anyone tell her I’m coming.” Nick insisted.
“Yeah, same.” Jason agreed. “I don’t want Laura learning second paw that I’m back. I want her to see it herself.”
“Of course. We’ll bring you fella’s down the back way. I’ll call a few cabs, get ya back home.” Diego agreed.
“Nick.” Bogo cut in. “Are you planning on rejoining the force?” He asked. Diego perked up as well, eager to hear his answer.
“I’d love to. But let’s get things all settled in warm and cozy, you know?”
“Of course.” Bogo agreed.
“We’ll discuss it later.” Diego approved as well. “The circumstances of your departure weren’t good, Nick.”
“Again I say, ahem!” Jack cut in. “Let’s be clear, my partner Gabriel drafted Nick into this assignment not a moment after the courtroom appearance for Parker Wilde. His conduct was meant to lead you to believe he desired to leave the force.”
“Exactly!” Gabriel joined in. “Though I was hoping he’d do something more creative with his exit, we worked with what he gave us!” He playfully batted Nick’s shoulder. “Nice acting Mr. Wilde. Real rough and tough cop.”
“I had a good drama teacher in my wife.” Nick complimented.
“Well, let’s get you boys home.” Bogo stated.
With noon just passed, Patrick and Finnick took a cab to Savannah Central to find a rental bike to use in their downtime. Aiden received Eve’s new address in Tundratown and headed straight for the apartment she was staying at along with Parker. Jason was of course heading home and Nick to his as well. He asked to pull over in the same spot Aiden had picked him up when the whole ordeal began. Patting the skunk driver on the shoulder, whose care was decorated in a vast array of air fresheners.
“Yo Holmes, smell you later.”
“Yeah, ha-ha, haven’t heard that one before.” The skunk quipped before driving off. Nick couldn’t resist the pun and strolled down the alley.
“Phew.” Nick shook out his paws, feeling his nerves wring up tight. “I’m in for a big lecture I’m sure.” He carried on, trying to mentally prepare himself for his homecoming. “Poor Judy. She must have been worried sick about me.” After rounding the house about five doors down from his, he could just get a clear view of his own front door. The green car still parked on the driveway and a rather elegant looking black one out front. “Huh, guess Ian must have found a job.” He noted. He took just one step forward before the door swung open. In a panic, he dove in for the bushes and waited. It was Nathan stepping out with Judy hot on his tail. The two were giggling and she playfully shoved him toward the car. He could just make out the conversation.
“Thanks again, for everything. I couldn’t have done all this without you.” Judy praised, clasping her paws together at her waist.
“No sweat. Stu used to have me over to fix just about anything, it was always fun. And hey, what better place to train for free running right?”
“Yeah.” Judy happily agreed. Nathan pulled her in for a hug to which Judy more than accepted, giving him a good squeeze and holding onto his shoulders after. “You were so great with the kids to, I mean. It’s been rough and-“ Judy found herself cut off by an abrupt kiss from Nathan. Nick folded his ears back and did his best to bury the growl welling up in his throat. Every second the two were kissing seemed like an eternity to him. He already had some distrust of Nathan to begin with, but this was too far. Nick could barely contain the fury welling up within. Rather than move away, Judy found herself kissing him a few more times before backing away nervously.
“Sorry.” Nathan dripped his ears back, scratching his head. “I don’t know what got into me.”
“It’s ok.” Judy nervously giggled, stepping backward. “I’ll see you again soon, right?”
“Of course!” Nathan happily exclaimed, bounding into his car. “Bye Judy, see you again!” He called as he drove off and Judy went back inside. Nick rose up from the bushes and headed back down the alley. His ears still folded back, furious over what he had seen. Raking his claws along the wooden fence, he stormed off out of the alley and back into the streets. He produced the phone from his pocket and dialed up his father.
“Dad, are you busy?”
“A little bit at the moment; I’m with Aiden, we’re heading to meet with Eve, why?”
“Where you staying?”
“I booked a room at the Oasis until I can find a place.”
“Meet me there when you can.”
“Sure son. I’ll be there soon.” Parker assured him.