Just Another Night in the Band

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

Chapter 57 (v.1) - Chapter 57

Submitted: May 05, 2017

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Submitted: May 05, 2017

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"You're lucky it's just a sprain," Savage finished with the splint. The three of us were sitting on one of the long-ass couches in their living room, Carrots curled up in my lap as he worked on her. "Even if it is a bad one."

He sat back and looked at her.

"With the way you fell, it could've been a lot worse."

Carrots nodded, leaning back against me. She'd grabbed the first phone she saw when we got back to the farm, and it'd been hard to miss the catch in her voice as she'd told Bogo everything Wyatt had done. She'd also put old Buffalo Butt on speaker, letting me, Jack and Eric have our say. The rest of the Hopps clan had either started looking for Wyatt and Andrew, they'd completely vanished after I'd run off, or were doing their best to keep the youngest ones out of the danger zone. The flowers were sealed in one of the evidence bags Carrots always seemed to have on paw, my sweatshirt stuffed in a paper bag she'd stapled shut.

"Thanks for your help, Jack," she smiled, wincing a bit, then looked up at me. "How you doing, Slick?"

I shrugged, something my beat up side did not like. I hadn't noticed I'd slid down the ravine on the same side Wyatt had ground up, my skin scraped raw and purple under my fur.

"Yeah, it hurts, but it's not the worst I've been through," that sure was the truth. I looked at Savage. "So how long will Carrots here be out of commission?"

He glared at her.

"I'd say eight to twelve weeks, but we'll be lucky if she stays down three days."

Carrots huffed, crossing her arms.

"That's because you always make way too big a deal out of these things," she argued. "It's just a little sprain!"

He growled. Apparently they'd had conversations like this a lot.

"It is not 'just a little sprain', Judy," he snapped. "Your ankle was almost completely dislocated!"

She rolled her eyes.

"So what? I'm a fast healer, Jack, you know that. I'll probably only need three weeks at the m-"

I put a paw over her mouth, staring down at her.

"She'll be down for the eight weeks, I'll make sure of it," I smirked when she glowered at me, taking my paw away when she tried biting me.

"You're supposed to be on my side, Nick!"

"I am," I wrapped my arms around her. "I'm going to make sure you don't do anything stupid and end up in a cast, or worse."

I nuzzled between her ears, chuckling when she groaned like an embarrassed kit.

"You're just gonna have to put that stubborn pride of yours down for a while, Fluff," I smirked. "I'm not budging on this."

"Neither am I," Savage crossed his arms. "You need to start taking these things seriously, Judy, you won't always be able to bounce right back from them."

She huffed again.

"You're sounding like Mom again, Jack," she actually sneered. "You sure sports medicine was the best option? They need nurses at preschools, too, you know."

We both gawked at her, that was one of the last things I'd expected.

"Now just hold on a sec, Carrots-"

"Save it, Nick," she shoved away from me, then tried to get up. She gasped sharply, falling back down. "Cheese and crackers…"

"See what I mean?" Savage crossed his arms again, looking smug. "You'll just be causing more damage if you try to walk on it, which means it'll take even longer to heal."

He went serious.

"So unless you want to be stuck with a limp the rest or your life, I suggest you get your head out of your ass and listen to me for once."

She tried staring him down, and when that didn't work, she looked up at me, flashing her 'kicked baby' face.

"Nice try, Fluff," I tapped her nose. "But like I said, I'm not budging on this."

She rolled her eyes, muttering to herself as she turned away and leaned back against me. I chuckled and took her shoulders; it didn't take her long to chill out when I started rubbing them. Savage cleared his throat.

"So, uh, how much longer until the cops get here?"

She barely opened one eye long enough to glance at the carrot-themed clock on the wall.

"I'd say another hour and a half at the least, I'm actually surprised they listened," she squirmed a bit. "Could you go a little lower? I've got an itch right…ah, right there!"

I laughed, letting my claws trail along her back by her tail. He shook his head.

"You guys are too much," he got up, hooking his backpack over his shoulder. "What do you mean you were surprised they listened?"

She rubbed her paws together, staring at her feet.

"Because it wasn't exactly a big success last time we called them out here, and it's only been about a day since then."

"Hey, we still helped take some crooks down," I reminded her. "And now they'll finally have what they need to finish the antidote, they'll be able to-"

"No!" she hit my thigh with the side of her fist. "That's not good enough, Nick! We still have no idea who's really behind this, so there's nothing stopping them from doing it again!"

She turned to look at me, her eyes full of tears.

"It doesn't matter what we found today, Nick, we still failed!" she sniffed. "A-All those mammals counting on us, w-we still let them down!"

She curled up against my chest, burying her face in my shirt. I hugged her tightly, kissing the top of her head.

"We'll get there, Judy, it's just gonna take time," I smoothed a paw down her arm. "Spots told me they're working overtime to hunt down Baby Blues dealers and get them off the streets, and now we've locked up the source. It won't be much longer now."

I knew she didn't believe it, I sure as hell didn't, but it was all I could think to say to calm her down. She sniffled, drying her eyes (and nose) on my shirt before looking up at me again. I sighed.

"Okay, could you use a tissue for that next time?" I played it up. "This thing's dry-clean only!"

She giggled a bit, just what I'd been hoping for. Savage groaned.

"Ugh, you guys are too much," he got up, hooking his pack over his shoulder. "Just make sure she stays down for the next two months, Nick, or at least takes it easy."

I threw up the old salute.

"You got it."

He rolled his eyes, stopping by the door to let their mom through before slipping out. She watched him leave, then turned to us, an unsettled look on her face.

"Mrs. Hopps?" I straightened, as much as I could with Carrots still using me as a body pillow. "Everything okay?"

She messed with her paws, just like Fluff did when she got anxious sometimes.

"Well, yes and no," she kept toying with her paws, then let them drop. "I've been wanting to speak to you two, alone."

I glanced around; besides us, the huge room was still completely empty.

"Well, now's as good a time as any, I guess," I held out a paw to where Savage had sat. "What's going on?"

She hesitated before walking over, taking a seat and getting right to the point.

"I need to know if all the talk I've been hearing is true," she focused on me. "Nicolas, are you in a relationship with my daughter?"

I sighed.

"Was starting to wonder when you'd ask us that," I tightened my hold on Carrots. "The short answer is yes, for a few weeks now."

"And before you bring is up, no, he didn't force me," she pushed herself up and looked at her mom. "I was the one who started it, after we both realized what was happening between us."

Her voice was firm, with just the slightest hitch left over from her crying fit.

"A-And you can do whatever you want: ban me from the farm, disown me, but I'm not leaving him," she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed under my chin. "I love him, Mom."

Mrs. Hopps smiled a bit, then shook her head.

"I know, honey, a blind mammal wouldn't have any trouble seeing that," she smoothed the fur on her cheek, then cleared her throat. "It's just hard for some of us to understand."

"And I get that," I said. "I know this isn't exactly a common thing."

I focused on her.

"But I can promise you, this isn't just some 'try everything' crap on my end, I've never cared about anyone the way I care about Judy," I tilted Carrots' head back and smiled at her. "And I plan on proving that to her for as long as she'll let me."

She sniffled, wiping her eyes with a big grin on her face.

"And I can promise you the same thing, Nick," she took my paw in both of hers. "I'll always be there for you, no matter what."

Mrs. Hopps sighed again, and actually looked a little jealous.

"It's obvious you two have something special," she started. "And I can at least promise my support, but I'm afraid your father isn't so understanding."

Carrots barely reacted, leaning back and keeping my paw in her lap.

"I honestly didn't expect much else from him," she said. "Not after what happened with Jimmy, Carla and Terrence."

Her mother cringed a bit, then went back to that small, nervous smile.

"I'll speak with him as soon as he and the boys are back from their search, but I'm sure he'll still want to talk to you both himself," she cleared her throat. "Speaking of which, Nick, why don't you go out and joint them? I can help keep an eye on Judy while she helps the rest of us girls watch the little ones."

She managed to laugh a little, and even with Carrots' 'kicked baby' look on full blast, it wasn't hard to make my choice.

"That'll work, but she's not supposed to walk for the next few weeks, or really put much weight on her leg at all."

Mrs. Hopps nodded.

"There's plenty of jobs that'll keep her sitting, don't worry about that," she gave Carrots one of those looks only a mom could seem to manage. "And if she tries to make a run for it, I'll just have to leash her to the sink like I did when she was a kit."

Carrots groaned again, loudly, flopping her beet-red ears over her face and holding them there.

"I promise I'll behave," she mumbled. "Just, please, don't bring out the leash!"

Her mom just laughed.


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