Back at the station, they got Flash and Lance booked in then asked Clawhauser to see if Bogo was available to talk about the street racers for a minute. He was, and Clawhauser told them to go on up.
“Shut the door,” Bogo told them irritably. His desk was stacked high with folders and paperwork.
Nick gestured for Judy to take it. She nodded and launched into a quick explanation of the street racers and their apparent motivation. She explained about Lance's thrill of the hunt theory and his comparison of it to finding the perfect mate. “I know the law is the law,” she finished, “but what if there was some legal way for them to race, without being on the streets? It seems pretty obvious they're not going to stop, and from what Lance told us yesterday, there's more than just these three today.”
Bogo was intrigued by her description of the thrill of the hunt idea. “A lot of patrol officers like to stay on patrol because of the excitement, or miss it when they get promoted,” he mused. “I still miss it myself. The beaver may be on to something,” he agreed. He cocked his head. “So what to do you want from me?”
Judy hadn't really thought that far ahead and started to fumble. Nick came to her rescue. “Hold off on pressing the charges against them for a few days,” he urged. “Their cars are in the impound, so they can't do anything. Give us a chance to see if we can come up with some, alternative way for them to get their thrills.”
Bogo nodded slowly. “I can do that. But,” he added warningly, “don't take too long.”
Nick nodded, then winced as Judy excitedly punched him in the arm. “Good thinking, Nick!”
“I'm happy you're happy,” he grumbled, massaging his shoulder.
Bogo tossed his head at them. “Okay, okay. Enough already! Get out of here and let me get some work done.”
They skipped out of his office. The hall outside his office doubled as a wide balcony overlooking the main reception area below. There was a direct line of sight to Clawhauser's desk. A few feet over though was bench surrounded by huge, potted plants. They provided cover on the back and both ends of it, creating a semi-private area in the midst of the station. Judy pulled Nick over there. “You're the smartest, sliest fox there is! And you deserve a reward for it!” She glanced around quickly, then pulled him in for a passionate kiss.
Time seemed to stop as their tongues intertwined and his breath became hers, then vice-versa. Their hearts beat as one as they pulled each other close. A shiver ran down her spine to her toes then back up again. She felt his whole body shudder against hers.
Aware they were in a public place they reluctantly pulled away from each other before anyone came along and saw them. She was having trouble breathing. She looked at him with stars in her eyes. “Oh, Nick,” she sighed “That was even better than I thought it would be.”
His voice was shaky. “I'd say thank you, but I was thinking the same thing about you.”
Her knees were weak. She leaned her head against his chest for a moment to recover, and give her heart a chance to slow down.
In his office, Bogo hit a button on his computer, turning off the camera that was aimed at the bench. No one was coming so he'd give them a little privacy. If he'd had any doubts about their relationship, watching their kiss removed them. He shook his head sadly; they had a rough road ahead of them. He opened his bottom desk drawer and fished in it until he found a small, black address book. He flipped through it until he found Tyrone's number.
“Hello?” Tyrone's voice was suspicious when he finally answered.
“Ty, it's me, Bogo.”
Tyrone did a one-eighty. “Bogo! You old sourpuss! How the heck are ya?”
“Doing good, doing good,” Bogo answered. “I'm sorry it's been so long since I called, but you know how things are around here, never a dull moment.”
“And you love it,” Tyrone laughed at him.
Bogo laughed along with him. “I loved it more on patrol, but hey, it's all good.” The levity died out of his voice. “Listen, Ty, this isn't a social call. Well, it is, but not the way you normally think.”
Tyrone's voice changed too. “I'm listening.”
There was no easy way to approach it so Bogo just told him flat out, “You two aren't the only ones anymore.”
There was a moment of stunned silence on the line.
“Two of my newest and best officers, a fox and a rabbit. I saw 'em kissing in the hall outside my office just now. It's the real thing, same as you guys.”
“Wow!” Tyrone muttered. “That's amazing. I always thought we'd be the only odd couple in Zootopia for the rest of our liv . . . wait . . . did you say a fox and a rabbit? I've only heard of one rabbit on the ZPD, the one that put Bellwether in jail, and some street hustler fox who helped her.”
Bogo shook his head in appreciation of Tyrone's detective skills. “Still have it, don't you?” he chuckled. “Those are the ones I'm talking about,” he conceded. “And, I had to tell them about you two to get 'em to be more careful. They nearly got caught last night at the Fishtown Market.”
“Yeah, wait. Hang on,” Tyrone said quickly.
Bogo heard voices in the background; Tyrone explaining something to a female, then her asking questions. A moment went by, then Gazelle's famous voice came on the line. “Thank you, Chief Bogo. Thank you for telling us.”
He allowed himself a smile, even though she couldn't see him. “You're welcome. You just take care of my old partner there.”
She laughed daintily, “Count on it.” She gave the phone back to Tyrone.
“What are their names,” Tyrone asked, “in case we meet them?”
“You mean, in case you look them up so you can have someone to talk to that's in the same position you are?” Bogo asked.
“Hmph!” Tyrone snorted, not deigning to answer him.
“Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde,” Bogo told him. “They both live at the Downtown Covington Arms.”
“My first apartment was there,” Tyrone interjected.
“You, and about a million other cops,” Bogo snorted. He surveyed the pile on his desk. “I've got to go before I get buried under a mountain of paperwork, but I wanted to call and let you know.”
“Okay,” Tyrone agreed. “And hey partner, thanks.”
“Any time, partner, any time.” They hung up.
Unaware of Bogo's efforts on their part, Nick and Judy ate lunch at one of the lunch wagons that filled the area around the watering hole, then hit the streets again. It was a slow afternoon, giving them plenty of time to simply enjoy each others company. Late in the day, they were driving past the prison where Bellwether was, and Nick had a sudden idea. “Liquid nitrogen makes things brittle doesn't it?” he asked, his ears standing up straight.
Judy saw his excitement and heard his heart racing. “Yes, it does. Why?”
“Spray some of it on the chain-link fencing around the prison, maybe some on the walls and bars, and ole Douggie would have a foolproof way of breaking Bellwether out of there,” he said quickly.
Judy gasped, “Nick! You're a genius!”
“Above average,” he smiled self-deprecatingly.
“Nick! You've got to call it in,” she said. “Tell Bogo!”
He picked up the mic and radioed Clawhauser, asking him to put the Chief on the line. A moment later Bogo's exasperated voice came over the air. “Now what?”
Aware that everyone on patrol could hear him, Nick stayed away from any personal remarks and kept it strictly professional. He quickly explained his idea about Ramses's possible use of the liquid nitrogen. As soon as he was done a confused babble broke out over the radio as everyone tried to talk at once. Through the noise, they could hear Snarlof smugly telling someone, “See? I told you they were heavy hitters!”
Nick wanted to laugh at Snarlof's depiction of them, for the second time, as “heavy hitters.” He turned to see what Judy thought of it and found her giving him a smoldering look that made his temperature rise. The air in the car was suddenly laden with a profusion of pheromones pouring out of her. His heart quickened, and he wondered if she could hear it.
She reached out and ran a soft paw over his muzzle. “If you think the kiss today was hot, wait until you see the one I lay on you tonight after work!” His heart skipped a beat in anticipation and she gave him another sultry smile. “I love listening to your heart go crazy like that,” she murmured softly.
Well, that answered that question, he thought disjointedly.
“SHUT IT!!” Bogo roared over the radio, breaking the moment. Silence fell. “That's a good idea, Wilde. I'll post extra patrols around the prison, and alert the warden. Good work.” He signed off abruptly. The moment Bogo was off the air, the rest of them tried to talk all at once again, congratulating him. It went on so long he started to get embarrassed.
“Sheesh!” he muttered. “You'd think they never thought of anything themselves.”
“Maybe they haven't,” she giggled. “Maybe that's why Snarlof thinks we're heavy hitters.”
It was nearly quitting time, so she steered the car back to headquarters. After finishing their paperwork, they jumped in Judy's truck to go do some grocery shopping. Their aborted trip the night before hadn't netted them very much. They still needed to restock their respective kitchens. Going out in uniform helped remind them to maintain their distance from each other in public.
Back at the Covington Arms, Judy grabbed some spices out of Nick's bag as she got off at her floor. “Dinner will be ready in about 45 minutes,” she said. “Bring the wine.” After a quick check to make sure they were alone, she gave him a quick kiss, shivering at the powerful reaction they both had from it. “45 minutes,” she said as the doors closed. “Don't be late.”
Exactly 45 minutes later her doorbell rang. She opened it and her heart skipped a beat. He was wearing a black tuxedo with a crisp bow tie. He handed her the bottle of wine with a flourish. “Bone,” he said with a fake accent, “James Bone, of Her Majesties Royal Secret Service.” During her convalescence, he'd learned about her fondness for James Bone movies.
Judy, wearing a flowing purple dress that matched her eyes, curtsied. “Do you have a license to kill?” she asked as she closed the door.
“Only to protect a damsel in distress,” he answered smoothly, standing dangerously close to her.
“I'm a damsel in distress,” she muttered, swaying toward him. “I'm distressed I haven't been kissed in over 45 minutes.”
“Easily remedied,” he replied, taking her in his arms.
Able to kiss for the first time without checking to make sure no one could see them, they lowered their defenses and sank into each other’s embrace. Their lips opened and tongues met. Time spiraled down to a stop, and there was nothing left but the two of them. Their hearts were like kettle drums in their chests. They kissed until they were gasping for air. Judy felt like her knees were about to give out, and she could tell he wasn't doing much better. She rested her head on his chest while he ran a tender paw over her head and down her ears.
“You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen,” he whispered.
She closed her eyes with a contented smile. “You don't have to say things like that, but I love hearing it anyway.” She snuggled closer. “And I love hearing your heart. So strong and powerful.”
“I can smell certain things about you too,” he remarked lazily. “Yum.”
She wound her arms around his neck and pulled him down for another kiss. “We can't keep many secrets from each other, can we?” she whispered against his mouth.
“Almost none,” he agreed, loving the taste of her lips. “Well, except for one.”
She looked up in surprise. “What?”
“When dinner is going to be ready,” he said smoothly. “You're keeping that a secret.”
“Dinner!” she exclaimed, breaking away to grab the pans off the stove before the food burned. “Whew! Just in time.”