Just Another Night in the Band

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Fandom Fanatics

Chapter 30 (v.1) - Chapter 30

Submitted: March 07, 2017

Reads: 90

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Submitted: March 07, 2017

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"Hey, Mom?"

"Hmm?" she looked down at me. She'd just put Fin down for his nap, and now I was helping her make dinner. Dad was out of town again, and Tony was camping with his troop.

"Why'd you adopt me and Fin?"

She hummed again, cutting up the potato I'd peeled and dropping the pieces in a big pot on the stove.

"Your father and I always wanted children," she said. "But it turned out to not be easy for us, it happens that way sometimes. Your brother was a miracle, and after he was born, we decided we'd do whatever we could to help children who've lost their parents."

"Like me?" I didn't know a lot about my other mom and dad, just that a lot of stuff had happened that made it impossible for them to keep me. She nodded, putting a hoof on my cheek.

"You were the first kit we saw in your orphanage, Nicky, and from that moment, we knew you were going to be our son," she smiled, then nuzzled my head. I groaned, running my paws over my fur.

"Mom!"

She chuckled, then went back to the pot. I picked up a carrot and started peeling it, watching the pieces fall on my little cutting board.

"What about Fin?"

She stopped smiling, staying quiet for a long time.

"It was a little more complicated with Finnick, I'm afraid," she swallowed, and I started wishing I'd hadn't asked in the first place. I didn't like seeing her sad. "He was left at the school where I work, with a note that said his mother wanted me to look after him."

The peeler slipped from my paw. I stared up at her.

"His mom just…left him there?"

She nodded.

"Not every mother is ready when she has her first baby," she explained. "Sometimes she's too young, or something terrible happened, and she needs someone else to look after her baby. Sometimes it's just for a while, and sometimes it's forever; in the end it's up to her to decide what's best, and unfortunately, sometimes that can mean giving them up."

She turned to me, putting her hooves on my shoulders.

"But that doesn't mean she doesn't love them, I want you to understand that, Nicolas."

I gasped; she and Dad almost never used my full name. She looked at me, her smile gone again.

"Do you understand?"

I looked back at her, then nodded.

"Yeah, I understand," I reached up and hugged her. "Thanks for picking us, Mom."

************

We didn't see Carrots much until the press conference. Bogo had her and about half the force looking in to all the known drug houses in the city, trying to find something about those pills. Paul and I had gotten the same idea, except we'd gone to places where the cops had never thought to look. Eventually, we found out the street name for them: Baby Blues.

And that's about it. A lot of mammals had recognized them, but not even the few who sold them knew where they actually came from. One of them had even claimed the bags had just showed up at his place, with some kind of note saying they'd be the next big thing. Of course, he didn't have it on him, but I had managed to convince him to get it for us. It had been typed, printed on paper you could pick up anywhere, so basically a dead end.

There hadn't been any hits on Mercy's end, either. She'd been keeping an eye on Furbook, looking for any preds who liked our band to see if that old code showed up on their page. The closest she'd gotten was an old Navy vet using the code we'd based it on.

And now the four of us were sitting in the precinct, barely listening to the recap Bogo was giving of the case and filling in the press on the state of the mammals we'd found. Most of the reporters shouting questions were prey, but there were a few preds hanging out at the back of the crowd. They'd swarmed us when we'd first come in, asking if Trevor was the only reason we'd decided to help, or if the rumors that I was the perp's main target were true. They'd gone back to the crowd when the chief walked up, even if they didn't do much talking.

"Oh, I am so nervous…"

Carrots got up and bounced on her feet, pacing around as she waited for the chief to call her up. According to her, the labs had run every test they could think of on those pills, and all they had been able to prove was they were the reason preds were going savage, but nothing about how they actually worked; it wasn't a drug any of them had seen before. I still had that weird feeling biting at me, like I was supposed to know more about what was going on, but I just couldn't figure out why.

I grabbed her arm when she walked past me for the tenth time, flashing a smile.

"Calm down, Fluff. You've seen our interviews, just do what I do."

She looked at me.

"You mean that 'answer a question with a question' thing? Are you sure?"

I nodded.

"Trust me, it works."

She glanced past me. Paul shrugged.

"I've done it a few times, it puts you more in control of the conversation, so it should help you keep your cool."

She sighed, turning back to me.

"You guys should be up there with me, we did this together."

"Oh, no," Mercy laughed. "This is your moment, Judy, go show them how awesome the ZPD's first bunny is."

Carrots nodded, crossing her fingers before walking to the stage. Bogo talked for another minute before motioning for her to take his place at the podium; the questions were flying before she even reached the microphones.

"Officer Hopps, Officer Hopps! What can you tell us about the animals going savage?"

She floundered a second, glancing at us before taking a breath to steady herself.

"A-Are the victims in question all different species?" she looked back to the crowd. "Y-Yes, yes they are."

"Is it true that no prey animals have gone savage?"

She nodded.

"As of right now, that is accurate, yes."

"Why?" one of the smaller reporters jumped up. "Why is this happening?"

She wrung her paws for a second, then cleared her throat.

"We still don't know exactly why this is happening, or why it's only been predators so far," she ran a paw over her head. "But I can assure you, we here at the ZPD will not stop until we have found a cure for those inflicted and the mammals responsible for this are in custody."

She turned back to us, flashing a big smile.

"Of course, I never would have gotten this far without Nick, Paul and Mercy," she held out a paw to us. "Their assistance has been invaluable, and I am proud to call them all my friends."

I had to stop my tail from wagging; play it cool, Wilde, play it cool. I glanced outside, my fur standing on end when something gleamed on a roof across the street. I turned back to the crowd, but Paul beat me to it.

"Everybody get down!"

Everything went in slow motion. I heard glass shatter, Carrots' gasp when she toppled, her head cracking against the stage. Next thing I knew, I was next to her, dropped on my knees and cradling her.

"Judy…"

I ran my paws over her, heaving a sigh when I didn't find anything, it looked like the shot had completely missed her. Bogo was shouting orders, the reporters shaking on one side of the stage as officers ran past the other. It felt like way too long before Carrots moved, groaning as she curled into me.

"N-Nick…"

She grabbed my shirt, shaking a bit. I looked back up at the chief, who was standing over us with a worried scowl on his face.

"She's fine, sir," I hugged her closer to me. "She's just dazed."

Relief flashed through his eyes before he turned back to his team, shouting to find whoever had fired at her. I turned to the wall, seeing the hole in one of the ZPD banners; if it had been any closer, it would have torn right through her head.

I shuddered at the thought, burying my nose in her neck and not caring who saw me. I took in her scent, willing my heart to slow down before it tore out of my chest. She was still alive, and I was going to do whatever I had to to keep it that way.


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