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Carrots and Blueberries

    A suitcase had never looked so ominous, at least in the eyes of her parents; her brothers and sisters; her aunts and uncles; her neighbors and friends. Just a single suitcase that held everything she would need until she established herself in the city, from clothing to her most needed office supplies and beauty products. It was an unwieldy old thing. Square, metal trim, a lining that had fallen out years ago, a hard outer shell that was meant to protect things that really weren’t that fragile anyway. Bulky, unattractive, lime green with a white carrot print on either side, with the customary snaps that locked with an actual full sized key. It had gone out of style decades ago, but it was the only one she had. Her parents had never expected one of their kits to leave the Burrow.

    The same parents that were using the suit case to stop her from leaving the house. Again. Stu Hopps’ paw gripped the handle, which was thankfully durable, to pull her back towards him. She allowed him to pull her to a stop, though she didn’t budge from the threshold of the door. Of course, they would see her walking out as a sign that she was really going through with it, as if the front door had ever been a barrier to hold her in. But the truth was more complicated. To her, she was already in Zootopia. Her mind, her work, her heart and her future were in the city.

    Her body was simply running late.

    “Dad, please stop,” she said softly, dropping her ears when she put the suitcase down for the tenth time that morning. She was tired of arguing, tired of seeing the fear and sorrow in her mother’s eyes and the panic in her father’s. Her mother, at least, had stopped crying. She didn’t dare think that the pretty, plump faced older bunny had simply run out of tears before closing herself off in the kitchen. “I have to do this. I want to do this. I’ve been working for months just to get permission to take over the Otterton defense, not to mention the hell I went through finding a guide.”

    “Guide,” her father frowned, pulling the suitcase close and setting it at his feet as if holding into it would let him hold onto her. “You mean body guard. Even you know it’s not safe, and you’re still going on without a thought for what it will do to your poor mother. You’ll have us all worried sick, Jude. And it’s selfish. Just… Just selfish.”

    She heard the wobble in his voice, and saw the tears in his eyes. Again. And it hurt. Oh, it hurt so deep and it wanted to move her to embrace him; squeeze in close and let him wrap his arms around her like he had done for her entire life when she had needed comfort. She wanted to give him peace of mind, assure him that she was going to be fine and that she would always be his little carrot-cake.

    “We’ve had this conversation before,” she found herself saying, keeping her voice as professionally cool as it would have been when she spoke to one of her clients. “I’ve seen those tears before, from you and from mom. Now I need to go, because the train to Zootopia only comes once a day and I’ve already lost enough time.”

    Watching him close his eyes and lower his head hurt her again. Another tiny needle to her heart, another little sliver of doubt that she couldn’t accept. So she walked over to him, placed a light kiss on his cheek before she whispered, “I love you both, so much. Please, please don’t hate me.”

    Then she took her suitcase in, and blinking back her own tears, walked out the door.

     
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

     “I can protect you.”

    Sitting in the taxi, watching the familiar landscape of Bunnyburrow pass by at a relatively tame speed, she remembered the words and the voice which had spoken them. The surprise, the instant flash of disbelief. That momentary thought that it had been a crank caller, someone from the Burrow, even. Trying to scare her into giving up what many of them saw as a foolhardy trip into the Foxes Den. Those feelings were quick to fade when there was no follow up to her silence.

    “Who is this? How can you protect me?”

    “The last name on your list is Finnick. Have you called him?”

    She watched the burrow entrances roll by as she ran the conversation through her head, not even noticing the high ears and stares from her neighbors as the taxi went past. Trying to find some clue, some hint of who the voice had belonged to.

    “How did you know that?”

    “Because you’re smart enough to know who Finnick is. And you’re smart enough to know his price for protection.”

    The voice had been cool, even when confirming what she already knew: the bat eared fox would have want her body, not her money. It made her sick to her stomach every time the thought of it rose, but the voice had been distantly uninterested, unimpressed. As if talking about a lawyer spreading her legs for the protection of a pimp was an everyday thing in Zootopia.

    “And you? What will you want, Mr…?”

    “The amount will be discussed once you are settled in the city.”

    “That’s not how this…”

    “And there will be a condition. One condition that cannot be negotiated. I will be with you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. In court, on the streets, in your office, while you eat, when you sleep. There can never be more than one open door between us.”

     She remembered the fear that had skittered down her spine, and the anger that had rushed up to swallow it. She didn’t know his name, his price, or his skill, and he was demanding total access to her life.

    Her eyes turned towards the front of the cab, where she saw a swarm of reporters that were barely being held back from entering the train station. Sensitive ears picked up the repeated click and whirr or cameras catching photos of her last moments in Bunnyburrow. She was sure that most of them believed that these were the last moments of her life.

    “That is insane. This conversation is ov…”

    “They will get to you, carrot farmer. No one can stop that. They will slip in at night, or charge straight at you in broad daylight. They’ll poison your food, bump into on the sidewalk and leave you with a knife between your ribs, drive a car up the courthouse steps. You can hide behind closed doors, watch over your shoulder, and hope that they are just a little slower than you are. But it won’t be enough.”

    “….”

    “That’s why everyone is refusing to help you; the job is hopeless. Protecting you by conventional means is a fool’s errand. But if you agree to my protection, no matter how close they get, I’ll stop them before they can hurt you.”

    “…Why?”

    “Do you accept?”

    She had.

    The taxi rolled to a stop just outside of the train station, and she could already see the blockade the local police had set up to prevent the reporters from surging forward. That didn’t stop the uproar or the shouted questions when she popped open the door to drag herself, and her suitcase out of the back seat. She saw the train pulling into the station, and the swarm of bunnies on the platform. It made her smile a little, seeing so many of her brothers and sister there mingled with her friends and neighbors. The mass of them made it impossible to pick out more than a few faces at a time, but they all looked worried, some a little excited, and others just sad. She just wished…

    A familiar sound caused her ears to perk and swivel, the low rumble of an overused and under-tuned pickup truck. She turned as the honking started, honking that was un-necessary but exuberant as her families primary means of transporting crops barreled down the road towards her. When the truck screeched to a halt behind the taxi, the plume of dust and exhaust the spilled over the gathered reporters was a little satisfying, if she felt like being vindictive about their behavior. And she did.

    When both of her parents spilled out, she steeled herself for another attempt to get her to stay, to change her mind. Instead, the two of them didn’t even both to close their doors before they ran to her and crushed her between them as arms wrapped around her and held on tight.

    “Judy,” her mother said, her voice trembling as she planned multiple kisses on her cheek before hugging her a little tighter. “We could never hate you. Don’t ever think that, my baby.”

    “Your ma and I love you, we’re just worried,” Stu began, then sniffled as he nuzzled her cheek. “And we can’t let you go angry.”

    “I’ll be fine, you guys,” she assured them both. Judy thought it was the best hug she had ever gotten, and burrowed herself between her parents as she returned their hug and savored the warmth of her parents for what she knew would be the last time for a long while. “I have my fox Taser, after all. And my Fox Repellant.”

    “That’s my girl,” Stu said, paw running under his eyes to wipe away the dampness.

    Some of which had been left on her own cheek, but she didn’t mind. At least he was letting her go, and she was able to say goodbye to her parents properly this time. “I’ll call you whenever I can. I promise. I love you guys.”

    All three became aware of something very suddenly, and their ears and heads turned at the same moment towards the station. Everyone was quiet. The reporters, the police, even the bunnies gathered to bid her farewell were quiet. All of them were looking in the direction of the parked train, though from the fact that she could still see cargo being unloaded with the daily deliveries she knew nothing was wrong with the train itself. Disengaging herself from her parents, she picked up her suitcase and headed onto the platform.

    When she saw him, a shiver of panic slammed through her that almost had her taking a step back. The fox stood in front of the door meant for mammals her size, his hands shoved casually into the pockets of the black suit pants. Aside from his causal stance, there was nothing casual about the fox himself. The suit was black and crisply pressed, with a spotless white shirt and neat black tie leading up into the thicker fur around his neck. His muzzle was long and narrow with striking orange and cream fur, peaked by a nose that was no doubt very adept at picking up the scent of each individual bunny within his reach. Perched on it and hooked behind high triangular ears tipped with black sat a pair of aviator sunglasses. The mirrored lenses reflected her own image back at her rather than letting her get a full look at his expression and the predatory eyes that she knew were behind them.

    Her own reflection.

    She steeled herself, realizing that he was watching her now. And even though his position hadn’t changed, she knew he was there for her. Someone from the city? Sent to intimidate her, most likely. One of the council members who didn’t want her there, or simply a hired gun sent to scare her off.

    We’ll just see about that.

     Setting her suitcase down, she squared her shoulders and straightened her ears; she even forced her nose to stop twitching (as much) before she walked towards the fox with her head high.

    “I don’t which one of them sent you, or if you came on your own,” she began, standing in front of him with her best haughty lawyer stance and tone in place. Inside, she trembled at the way the corners of his muzzle started to curl in what could have been a snarl. “But you’re not stopping me from getting on that train. I have permission to enter Zootopia from the…”

    She was cut off when his lips curled fully, his mouth twisting into a snarl as a growl escaped him that made her blood run cold. He moved away from the train and towards her, the already blood red of his paws curved towards her with claws extended as if ready to spill real blood. Instinct told her to run, get as far away as she could. But reflex was faster, and her first reflex was to reach under her suit coat and grab the Taser from its holster on her hip. She whipped it around, sparks flying as she closed her eyes and jammed it into his chest with all her strength.

    And found her wrist caught in the larger paw of the predator, who watched her calmly now as she opened her eyes. The arch of electricity was only inches from his chest, but he held it there as he looked down at her with an expressionless face.

    “So you are ready to fight,” he commented, and her ears dropped as she instantly knew that silkily cool voice. “That’s good to know. You’ll need that to survive in the Foxes Den.”

    As surprised by the fact that he openly called Zootopia the Foxes Den – a term that rabbits only spoke in secret and with distain – as she was by the fact that this… Fox was her guardian, she stood there in silence, her finger still pressing firmly into the trigger of the Taser. She was too stunned to stop until he reached down, and with a gentleness that seemed impossible for those large claw tipped fingers, extracted the device from her paw. He looked down at it for a moment in silence before he offered it to her, the dangerous end still pointed at his chest.

    “The charge is set too high,” he said calmly, once she had taken it and lowered it to her side. “It would take half of that to knock a fox on their ass at a touch. And I assume that you know they are illegal in Zootopia now, so keep that under your shirt unless there is no other choice.”

    “Why?”

    She hadn’t even intended to ask the question, but whatever she had intended to say had been blocked by the consuming need to know the answer that he hadn’t given her on the phone. One she needed to know now more than ever, because he was a fox. A Red Fox. He would have been treated like royalty in the city, but he was going to protect her and she needed to know why.

    “Stay away from my sister!”

    The cry came from a bunny about half her size. Her brother, Allan, rushing forward with a small basket of blueberries in hand. A hand full of which he drew back and flung at the fox. The gasps from the crowd were understandable, and Judy’s fingers tensed on the Taser again as the fox was pelted by a good ten blueberries. He didn’t react at first, simply looked down at his suit and plucked one piece of purple fruit from his lapel where it managed to lodge.

    “Who throws blueberries?” he questioned, his voice low, almost to himself before he popped the fruit into his muzzle casually. “Tomatoes, or at least a carrot. But blueberries?”

    Then he seemed to pause as he chewed, and she was almost certain that she saw a hint of a smile at the corners of his muzzle before he was moving towards the little brown bunny with the oddly pointed ears. The little brown bunny who looked ready to bolt, but was too afraid to move as the fox lowered himself into a crouch in front of him. Judy and her parents were both moving forward, but paused when he simply reached into his pocket and pulled out a simple crimson handkerchief.

    “Keep defending your family, kid,” he said, as he reached down into the basket and scooped out a handful of fruit. He tucked it into the handkerchief, folded it neatly, and then slipped it back into his pocket as though this were the most normal thing in the world. “In the end, that’s all that really matters.”

    He reached out and ruffled the fur between the kit’s ears, the kit who looked up at him in a little more awe than fear now as he turned to face Judy. Judy, who had watched the strange exchange with a little wonder, only to see his face freeze into a block of ice again when he looked at her. As the last call for boarding rang through the station, he walked towards her and then past as he headed toward the train. She looked at her brother, who was staring down at the crisp twenty buck bill in the basket, before she heard the fox calling out to her.

    “Last call, Carrots. You have a court date to keep.”

    She tried to think of something to say, frowning at the fact that he had called her ‘Carrots.’

See the comic by TheWyvernsWeaver HERE
Chapter 2, coming soon...

Sunderance: Chapter 2
Katabasis
 
    It should not have surprised her that the train was abandoned for her trip into the city, but it certainly did nothing to calm her nerves. It had been easier to arrange to have herself delivered into a city that was hostile for a cause, with the conviction of her belief and goals strong in her heart, than it was to follow the darkly dressed fox. Her convictions had solid ground, certainty, and her years of study to support her and make her feel stable. This fox, this Red Fox, that she walked a few steps behind as he made his way towards the observation deck was an unknown.
    I can protect you.
    There was no mistaking the voice. There was no mistaking the professional, masculine tone which had assured her even in a single phone call that the speaker fully believed that he could protect her. She certainly had not expected her protector to be another bunny, but she had expecte
---------> Next Chapter
Prologue: A Key to The City
    “Miss Hopps! Miss Hopps!” came the sound of yet another annoying reporter, and as it was with many things in the real world, the one with the loudest voice was the one that got the most attention. And tiny white and gray finger pointed at the bear, a fluffy bunny face with high set ears nodded in his direction, and the question came. “Do you really intend to take this battle to Zootopia?”
    “I do,” came a much more agreeably feminine, if naïve, voice. Such a stern tone. So sure of her righteousness and dedicated to the ‘cause.’ Seeing her on TV, the way the camera zoomed in on her face to make her look larger than she actually was, some poor fools might even believe her. “I have received permission from the Administration to bring my case before higher courts within the city. I have even been given office space, so I can move through with any legal battles that are to follow.”
 
 <-----  Prologue Found Here. 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmeganhulan:
meganhulan Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
LOVING these extended chapter explanations! The comic itself is insane enough but this is just extra gratuitous and THANK YOU.
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:iconfurstdraftworstdraft:
FurstDraftWorstDraft Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Currently drunk and in no condition to leave long-winded feedback. I'll settle for a list:

"Her body was simply late" was a fantastic line,
Judy as a lawyer works so well it's ridiculous,
The flashbacks to her phone conversation layered with the taxi ride to the train platform is the RIGHT way to do exposition,
It's "disdain," not "distain,"
So many questions, excited to read the answers.
Reply
:iconun-sus-tain-a-ble:
un-sus-tain-a-ble Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2017  Student Writer
I hope someday someone loves me as much as Nick loves blueberries! And what's that red foxes royalty thing? Intriguing!
Reply
:iconwodahseht:
Wodahseht Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Link to Chapter 2 never got added here.

Out of curiosity, is the comic being created based on this? Or is this filling in around the comic? Or is it a collab thing where both are happening at same time?
Reply
:iconkulkum:
Kulkum Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016  Professional Writer
Thanks for pointing that out!

And the Sunderance Comic is based on these stories. I write them, TheWyvernsWeaver turns them into the comic, and then we post them. :)
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:iconnightslayer716:
nightslayer716 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Student Writer
I love how 2 great artist collaborate to increase the viewers experience forward, thus trapping them in the world of fan fiction while at the same time drawing in more fans from the comic that is posted on YouTube by zootopia based channels or other websites about the story from the worded form....I cant escape your grasp kulk.(F2U) Steve Harvey - WTF CURSE YOU! Sweating a little... Meow :3 
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:iconkulkum:
Kulkum Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Professional Writer
We do our best! And you don't need to escape my grasp.

Surrender to it. Feel the Fluff all around you. Let it guide you. Judy Hopps - Icon 
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:iconnightslayer716:
nightslayer716 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Student Writer
Hey can you make Wolford wear a trench coat in any of the upcoming TSD chapters? I have this weird thing where I like to see wolves in trench coats(guess I think it makes them look more serious or something). If you do happen to make the trio go into mountain retreat/secret base in chapters 10 to what ever other...you have to make Wolford wear a trench coat, it is a MUST!(if you need an excuse for him to wear one just  make the setting cold and snowy...plz dude)Meow :3 Markiplier Jumping Quickly 
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:iconkenalbus:
kenalbus Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I. Am. Hooked.
Reply
:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Nick - the shadowy "walks away from cool explosions without looking" badass - still carrying his rangers kerchief. How much guilt are you carrying? How many loved ones buried. Do they walk with you still, or are you walking towards them?

Well done. Very much looking forward to the next one.
Reply
:iconkingofsomething:
kingofsomething Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Very good, mate. I'm quite interested to see these characters developed. They are a very different Judy and Nick yet also comfortably similar.

Good luck with the next entry!
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:iconwebkilla:
webkilla Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
cool beans. write more - I need to know how this turns out and how those two fall in delicious loves
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:icondef-initely:
Def-Initely Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
Jesus motherfucking christ, I already love the fuck out of this.

My god.
Reply
:iconshak112:
shak112 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
After the comic I come here to read the full version. I like this kind of work. Keep it up, thank you for this wonderful gif.
Reply
:iconservant1999:
servant1999 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Student Writer
This is awesome! In all seriousness, probably the best AU for Zootopia I've ever seen! Great work! You never cease to blow me away!
Reply
:iconargenkaiser:
ArgenKaiser Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
Hell yeah! This just keeps getting better and better! Judy - Icon 
So Nick is gonna be fulltime bodyguard and won't let her take a shit without the door half opened and him at the other side? XD But yeah, I'm sure Nick meant all that so she won't take lightly the council and their methods. Kinda makes me wonder if he thinks poorly of his own species due to those foxes who represent them.

The departure and farewell was heartwarming, even though most people there have such little hope of her success. At least she leaves on good terms with her parents.

Oh, I didn't thought that tasers would be forbidden in Zootopia. Does that applies to any kind of fox repellent? What about guns? Does the police still uses pistol/shotgun tasers or are those banned too?

I'll be looking forward to the next chapter! Officer Nick Wilde - Icon 
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:icondarkmixup:
DarkMixUp Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Student General Artist
I can't help but absolutely love Nick in his new role of bodyguard!
Reply
:iconkoraru-san:
Koraru-san Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Can't wait for more!!!

Lovely Shoujo (Aaaaah Nooo) [V3] 
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:iconstormspike:
Stormspike Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No ETA on the next one? :-\
Lots of interesting promises in this one. Can't wait to see this project finished.
Also interesting to see how different it feels from the comic.
Reply
:iconjohnbenice:
JohnBeNice Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
Wait, there's a comic for this? If there is, can you send me a link, thanks. :)
Reply
:iconstormspike:
Stormspike Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Check the description, mate! ;)
Reply
:iconjohnbenice:
JohnBeNice Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
Ohhhhh, YES! This is gonna be good. I feel a chill running down my spine.
Reply
:iconmonster1317:
monster1317 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
This is so good, keep up the great work!
Reply
:iconkrtr:
KRTR Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016
thorwing blue berries, instantly reminded of Austin powers. "Who throws a shoe, i mean you throw like a girl"
Reply
:iconthisisyourtime:
ThisisYourTIME Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
SERIOSULY BEST STORY EVER! 
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