The ninth chapter in a collection of unrelated short stories and scenes I have written about our
Zootopia friends. Additional chapters can be found on FanFiction.net link (penname: GrandOldPenguin).
The rectangular box was covered with carrot wrapping paper and adorned with a large orange bow. Even if he hadn't just handed it to her, Judy would still know whose gift she was holding.
"Happy birthday, Carrots," Nick said.
"Thank you, Nick," she replied. She turned the box over to find the edge of the paper and started cutting the tape with a claw.
Nick, sitting next to her, watched for a moment and then chuckled. "No need to be so gentle, Fluff. Go savage."
Judy nodded. She put three of her fingers under the edge and tore the paper off in one go. She then turned the cardboard clothing box over and removed the top, finding a navy blue jacket inside. The color was very similar to her uniform pants. "Thanks, Nick."
"You're welcome. I thought you could use a warm jacket as the colder weather approaches."
Judy took the jacket out of the box and held it in front of her.
"It's not new, just so you know," Nick said. "But I think it's your size. Go ahead, try it on."
Judy stood up and put the jacket on. She zipped it up and flexed her arms a few times. "It fits perfectly."
Nick smiled. "I thought it would. You're about the same size now as I was when I was a kit."
"Wait. This was your—"
"I think I was seven when I finally grew out of it. It probably would have been six, but my father was an excellent tailor." The fox stood up and took the right sleeve of the jacket in his paws. "I have a lot of good memories wearing this jacket. Great ones even. They were simpler times. Times before I stopped believing in things. Times when all three of us were together." He moved a paw to her back. "This jacket means a lot to me, Carrots."
Even with her, Nick rarely ever brought up his childhood. Many wounds were still healing, and Judy never wanted to push him. She knew he'd tell her more when he was ready. But she didn't feel right keeping something that had been a part of his life's happiest moments. It had too much sentimental value. "Nick," she said as she took off the jacket, "you should keep this." She held it out in front of him.
Nick took the jacket and immediately started putting it back on the bunny. "No," he said. "This jacket brought me good memories, and this jacket will still
bring me good memories. I just won't be the one wearing it this time."