Every Shape and Colour
"Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action.
They must be woven together. "
― Anaïs Nin
Happy Town Zootopia isn't known for being welcoming, friendly, or quiet. It is, however, well known for being a sort of fallback plan for many of the cities predators who are trying to find affordable housing.
Wolves, badgers, lions, all kinds of predator species could be found here in some manner. Though there were few prey mammals that lived there, many sought refuge amongst their own kind. And while the community wasn't exactly terrible in some speckled spots, the reputation was bad enough to cause many to turn away.
Then there were also mammals who had long since lived there, and due to circumstances had to find a better residence soon. Mammals such as John Wilde who had to come to terms with that inevitability recently.
The Wilde's had lived in the same, rundown apartment on the edge of Happy Town for nearly a decade, and they lived in the sub-district for far longer.
One bedroom, one bathroom, creaky flooring, barred windows and vintage furnishings. While it was always clean from their tidy ways, it was becoming a bit more cramped with the addition of a crib in the small space.
Being a first-time parent is no menial, easy task to scoff at. There's a lot of planning that goes into keeping a house safe for a kit, and new things would always pop up that you would have never known. This was something that John Wilde had learned the hard way.
He was more of an... after the fact kind of new parent. After he couldn't find diapers, after Nick ate part of that napkin, after the bottled milk was a little too hot, after Nick fell off the couch (he had never been so thankful for carpeting)... all afters Marian would never, ever find out.
And while he was a good parent - caring for his kit and trying his absolute best to keep up with both work and family - it was vastly different from his job as a tailor; something that he had told his wife was more meticulous than raising a child.
If only he could have sewn his big muzzle shut when he had the chance.
It had nearly been two weeks since the day Nicholas was born, and John was more exhausted than he could have ever imagined. From home to work and back to take care of Nick while Marian was still on maternity leave was absolutely tiring. He was just thankful that she was on leave and it gave them both a welcome reprieve for a little while.
They had been looking for new housing throughout the city, something affordable and easy to reach. And now that they had a kit to take care of, they had to put his safety and education on the forefront.
So as soon as John had returned - working late night at the tailoring shop to finish some designs before morning - Marian had to go do some early morning shopping as they would have guests over later on that day to discuss several housing options.
"Alright, hun. I just fed and changed him. I'll be back in a few." The vixen looked down to their child. Dressed in a blue onesie and slumbering peacefully, the kit had still not yet opened his eyes; a little detail that was still worrying her to no end.
And though she was assured by her doctors that it was common, should Nick not open his eyes soon, she would no doubt be returning to the hospital with within the next day or so. Because it was something that every parent was both thrilled to see and worried about constantly: being there the moment they opened their eyes.
"Alright, dear," With a nod and a yawn, John kissed his wife and took young Nicholas into his arms.
With purse in paws and kissing him goodbye, Marian paused at the threshold of the door as John held it open. She turned back with a smile.
"Oh, and John," Seeing her husband perk up was priceless for what she had to say. She narrowed her eyes. "Don't let him fall off the couch again..."
As the todd's jaw dropped and he stifled a cough, Marian knew full well that he knew he was in trouble. At least he fell on the carpet.
No sooner had her tail disappeared from view, John finally blinked and looked down at Nick starting to stir. "I have no idea of how she knew that," he whispered, silently praying that Marian was out of hearing range.
He shook himself out of his stupor when Nick groaned from his sleep, squirming and on the verge of crying. Pushing the door and cradling his son, John walked over to the couch to sit down. He had a long day and would have put the kit in his cradle, but still he had some energy left and wanted to show that he was a caring father despite his mishaps.
Little paws grasped his vest and he felt the kit huffing just under his chin; he was enthralled beyond words even then. When he sat down, placing Nick on his lap and curling his tail around them, he couldn't help but smile. This was his greatest achievement yet, still blind or not.
The little kit sat, gurgling and huffing as if he were left alone. His senses still developing, he could smell his father but not his mother. Wanting both of them around, he started to get their attention the best way he knew how.
Upon the first squeak of a cry, John lightly bounced the kit on his knees. "Now, now, Nicholas. Daddy's here," he assured in a soft, comforting tone.
There were many things that the todd had gotten wrong - cross stitching, taxes, angering a shrew - but this wasn't one of them as the kit's worry turned to cooing and undefinable gurgling. It wasn't really that he could understand baby speech like Marian, but John knew in his heart that Nick would be alright.
He raised him up just at eye level, still curious and worried that he'd have to take him to the hospital to assist in his eyesight. Still, it didn't deter him from smiling at what he had up his sleeve.
"Wanna know something, Slick? I'm working on a special little gift, just for you." he said with a chuckle, causing Nick to giggle at the same time. Since the day after he was born, his little 'Nick' name became something of an endearing term. Marian wasn't amused. "Your own suit when you grow up."
Nick didn't understand a word John was saying, but he went through all the general motions you'd come to expect from a newborn: laughing at the most ridiculous things, swishing his tail, attempting to clap, and putting his paw in his mouth.
John shook his head and yawned once more; his eyelids were heavy and the couch was too comfortable. "I've been working on it all night..." His words began to trip over one another and by the time he blinked, he was out like a light.
The room fell silent save for the light snores of a fox too tired to move and the inaudible muffles of a fox kit too young to understand exhaustion.
There was much that Nick didn't know or understand, being just shy of two weeks of age. He understood 'mommy' and 'daddy' loosely enough and whenever they were around - which was always - he was a lot calmer. Yet in the peaceful bliss of their abode, his rapidly developing senses picked up on something more: an unfamiliar smell, something not like the city he knew.
He had been outside plenty to feel the warmth on his fur and hear droves of talking folks. The scents of his parents always near him made things a little more bearable when all he saw was the back of his eyelids. Still, it was a miracle that he was still functioning as he did; the fall he took the other day coupled with not being able to see was terrifying. Luckily dad was there to pick him up.
And while he had smelled plenty of strange things before, whatever his nose was picking up now was... well he didn't know many words, but he wanted to check it out like any curious member of the canid family.
So with a simple shuffle, Nick did exactly what most any (unsupervised) kit would do: put one paw forward, and fall off the couch.
Thankfully, however, with the way his father was seated, he landed somewhat gracefully on top of his feet. Without a sound, he was grateful that his father was there for his safety.
Being a kit meant a lot of things: fun and excitement, constant feeding and being small in a big world. For Nicholas Piberius Wilde, the world was a still yet unexplored place full of mystery and wonder. All the more reason for the two-week old kit to simply crawl towards whatever it was that drew his attention.
And with the added incentive of the smell of... whatever it was that captivated him, the kit happily followed his instincts and put one paw pad in front of the other. Blind or not, his curiosity would be settled in moments.
For John Wilde, Nicholas' father, helped him once more by forgetting to close the door.
The Hopps family was well known throughout the community of Bunny Burrow. Caring, helpful, and thoughtful wherever they went, they were practically the epitome of what it meant to be a bunny family.
Even now as Stu and Bonnie Hopps nervously waited in the hallway of a rundown apartment complex on the edge of Happy Town, they held each others paws and looked at the squirming kit in an orange onesie being held by her mother.
They had just passed by a vixen - taller than them and seemingly in a hurry on her way out - and held tighter to one another.
"I told ya' Bon, 'The city is no place to raise a bunny'." said Stu, taking a moment to knock on the door again when he heard someone on the other side. "And this place is the worst!"
Bonnie couldn't agree more and only held Judy closer to her. Neither of them had been to Zootopia in years, and they never expected this many predators in close proximity.
Sure the burrows had predators, but none of them seemed as... unruly or as uncivilized as what they found in this little haven in the city.
"You were right in saying they should stay with us." the buck went on to say as they passed a few more doors.
During his rant, Stu remembered the moment Bonnie had suggested getting his friend to stay with them. How James' tone had often seemed stressed from the city life whenever they spoke, even on the day his son Jackson (Jack as he called him) was born.
And the call after that was one of both joy and sorrow. For only James and Jack would be staying with them.
With all of the news happening and wanting to make things easier on his friend, Stu volunteered to take a day to bring him back, but bonnie insisted that she come as well.
So when they decided on it all being today - almost two weeks after Judy was born - they had fully planned on it being just the two of them in their little rescue mission. But even as well organized as they were, the absolute fuss that their daughter made was unbearable for them to not take her.
When they had packed, they heard her practically scream, kick and flail. When they had handed her over to the family members tending to the nursery, she writhed and clamored after them. When they set foot out the door, they received a call that she had almost fallen out of her crib.
It was only when they agreed to take her with them that she calmed down and even fell asleep on the train.
Now here they were, in the terrifying, predator-ridden part of Zootopia with their youngest, praying that James - likely the only bunny in the building - would just open the door so they could high-tail it back to the burrows.
The moment they heard the door knob turn, the two sighed a breath of relief.
They were greeted immediately by a tired looking rabbit. He was taller than quite a few rabbits they had known. His grey fur and unusual pattern of black stripes was sleek and practically shimmered despite his demeanor. Above all his abnormalities, it was his rich amber-gold eyes that usually caught one's attention.
"Come on in. I'm just about to finish signing over what's left of this place." James greeted, taking a look at their kit and nodding towards the open bedroom door. "Jack's asleep now. I took him out earlier to meet with a friend and their newborn kit," He paused and chuckled a little "He opened his eyes then too. He looks just like me."
Nodding and stepping in, Stu pushed the door behind them, and alongside Bonnie, they took a look around.
It wasn't much of a place to call home. Torn carpet, barred windows, some straggling pictures, neat piles of paper and odd boxes here and there. Practically barren from any manner of furniture, the place looked like it was market ready in minutes.
Bonnie sighed, "Where's the restroom?"
James pointed to the closed door across from the bedroom.
Nodding, the doe turned to her husband, carefully handing Judy over to him. "I'll be right out Stu," She then turned to James and placed a paw on his arm. "We can leave for the burrows as soon as I get out."
The striped rabbit smiled as Bonnie made her way to the bathroom, hearing her hum a tune when she stopped to peer at the crib just opposite her.
Now with just the two bucks in the room and one newborn bunny, the two friends seemed to relax a little.
"Thank you both for this," James said with a little trepidation as he looked at the bedroom door morosely. "Jack... he'll really appreciate this when he grows up."
Stu pursed his lips to speak, but was interrupted by his daughters flailing. Bonnie had been right, Judy was a fighter tried and true. He thought about how to effectively deal with the feisty kit, but he didn't have to think too deep.
The apartment was carpeted and kit proofed. So, huffing a little sigh of relief, Stu set Judy down.
The moment she felt the ground, Judy crawled around in every manner she could while still being in the watchful eyes of adults. In the orange onesie and looking like a runaway carrot, her paws grabbed at loose carpet fibers. She gurgled any manner of unknown dialogue, she was a kit who longed for adventure.
"Ain't she somtehin'?" said Stu with a deep laugh. "Feistiest in the bunch and the only one with a different birthday."
James looked down at Judy with a smile. She still couldn't see yet, but was more of an anxious and adventurous kit than he had ever seen. A complete contrast to Jack being calm and quiet. "It's kinda funny, though."
Stu raised a brow. "How?"
The other buck stayed quiet for a moment before he scratched the nape of his neck. "She and Jack share a birthday with my friends kit. He's even moving out here from the Burrows."
"Is that so?" The country buck had known that Judy and Jack shared the same birthday, and was more than a little happy with several things; one of which he would assuredly tell her once she returned. "Well best of luck to them... here."
As their conversation drew on, Judy became more restless. Sure she was fed and changed earlier, but now she wanted to roam.
For Judith Laverne Hopps, everything was a fascinating splendour to be around. Whenever she could hear the subtle tones of her parents, she was genuinely calmed. But here she was, not knowing how to explain a foreign sound. Though as a kit she couldn't exactly grasp what sound was entirely.
She had no clue where she was going or what she would find, but she was determined not to let anything stop her. Plus, there was something that sounded... different. Something not like the country she knew.
Either way, like so many other pioneering bunnies before her, she kept her focus forward, listening to the faintest sounds and shuffled off as quickly as her bunny legs could carry her.
For just beyond the door hanging ajar, the muffled sound of... well whatever it was that made her ears ring. And it's not like she would let a little thing like her unopened eyes stop her, she'd investigate this to the end.
In the long stretch of hallway that was Olive Branch Apartment's third floor, Nicholas Wilde was free to explore to his hearts content.
He hadn't been able to do so before due to that menacing door in the way as well as mommy and daddy always picking him up. So with a whole new world of possibilities open to him, this was incredible.
The feel of hardwood under his paws and the exciting smell somewhere nearby, his gurgles of glee echoed everywhere around. And though difficult to pinpoint exactly where it was, his ears turned with the rest of him to hear a squeak unlike his own.
Guided by nothing more than his sense of smell, the kit shuffled on. His tail dragging behind him and his paws feeling around for anything to grab onto. His ears perked up more when the sound drew even closer.
By the time he was halfway to the strange new smell, it was already in front of him. His paws reached out to grab at whatever it was only to be grabbed themselves.
Still not understanding what it was, Nick sat down with the thing still in his grasp. It gurgled and cooed, much like he did, but it sounded far different and smelled like nothing in the city. In fact, it didn't smell like anything he knew at all.
And it even felt different. Softer than any blanket or his mother's cheeks, and it bounced around like what he experienced near his father. Yet... this was vastly more incredible than what he could even attempt to describe from either of them.
His paws reached up to it, taping at it mostly in an attempt to figure it out. And likewise, he felt something resting atop his muzzle.
Nick giggled as he felt the things bristles of fur brush against his eyes, and he heard a squeak of laughter all the same. So much was he entertained that his paws lightly brushed against Judy's own eyes at the same time.
They laughed, cooed and giggled in the hallway. They were having the time of their lives with the still unknown thing that made them happy. Neither of them could have wanted more.
Now, Nick couldn't tell what happened, but a sliver of light slowly flooded his vision. It wasn't long before his eyes fluttered open, her paws still resting on his muzzle. He blinked once... twice and saw what it actually was. A field of grey and orange, colours that he had only just begun to understand.
For Judy, it was much of the same. She felt his paws relax carefully just beside her nose. A sea of red and blue entered what little vision she had. It was something strange, something new and spectacular.
Giggling, he stared at Judy, starting to make the motion of clapping his paws as he always did when something truly excites him. His tail brushed against them and his ears swivelled to hear more of her.
Whatever this thing was, it was... well he didn't know many words at the time, not something that you could expect a two-week old fox kit to know. Still, this thing was the best thing he had ever met!
It was the most interesting thing that he had ever seen in his young life. Not to mention the only thing he had seen so far. But what made it more interesting was that strange colour that shone in its eyes.
And to Judy, the bright colour that shimmered in this... things eyes truly made her happy. She reached out to see more of it when she was abruptly hoisted into the air.
Judy squeaked as she was brought up to hear the familiar sound of the voice of her mother.
The doe huffed a sigh of frustration and drew her daughter close for a hug, nuzzling her cheek in relief. She already felt like Stu knew what was coming his way. She would have made a bee-line for the door to give him a piece of her mind when she looked down at the little fox kit who sat smiling at the two of them.
By no means was she happy that Judy had gotten away, or that a fox of all mammals was near her. She couldn't, however, simply leave a kit out on their own as any good mother would take care of them; especially with fathers who weren't paying attention.
Looking around as the kit looked up to her and more specifically Judy, Bonnie thought of what she could do. All she saw were rows of apartments that were closed, save for one just across from her that was slightly ajar.
While she wondered if he belonged there, Judy looked down at Nick with more of curiosity than before. She practically reached out to grab him as if he was the last Christmas toy on the shelf.
Seeing her do this, Nick crawled closer until he reached Bonnie's leg.
Startled at the fox kit clinging to her, the elder doe lost any sense of what she really could do. She smelled a fox's den, but her sense of smell wasn't as strong to pick up deeper scents.
The moment she looked down at the kit in worry, she heard a gasp from just down the hallway. Her eyes locked onto what looked to be the same vixen that she saw on her way into the apartment.
Taking a chance, she pointed down at the blue and red giddy bundle of joy. "I'm sorry. Is he yours?"
While taking on a front as a parent that wanted to protect her child, she was inwardly terrified. There weren't many foxes in the burrows and the few she had known were not exactly the friendly kind.
The vixen, clad in a floral dress pattern with the same deep purple as Bonnies, ran down the hall, dropping what little bag of groceries she had in order to get to the kit faster.
Bonnie took a step back, mindful that her kit was still attached to her leg, and watched as the mother picked up her child with both haste and care.
She nuzzled him and he returned the gesture, cooing into the ruffled fur of her neck.
Marian huffed. "Thank you, ma'am," she said with a gentle sincerity that Bonnie had not known foxes for at all. She then kissed the top of her son's head and went back to pick up the bag she had abandoned for her kit.
Taking all of this into account, Bonne watched as the vixen put on a stern face and walked into the open apartment that she thought was their home.
When she last saw the fox disappear, she broke into a smile. It wasn't anything against her or her species. But when she heard the name "JOHN!" being yelled at the top of her lungs, Bonnie nodded as she knew a good mother and wife when she saw one.
And now, following the same formula of putting on a stern face, she pushed open the door to the apartment. It was time for her to be a good mother and wife as well.
Bonnie Hopps was a creature of habit in many regards, much to her husband's knowledge. She always made it a point to be tidy, polite, and punctual. And whenever anyone in her family was in danger, she would often be the first there to support them, no matter what.
So, it was, after she was done thoroughly grilling Stuart over his mishap of talking about sports instead of keeping an eye on Judy, Bonnie decided to help James finish packing for their trip to to the burrows.
His paperwork was finished and he was busy trying to get Jack up, and Judy was quietly gumming on her pacifier in her mother's paws.
Stu had to resort to busying himself after he knew how much more of a talking to his wife would give him when they got home. He was no fool bunny, he knew that this was only the calm before the storm.
But even during this storm that he caused, his ears perked up for the second time that day; his smile couldn't be brighter.
He paused from the work he had done with packing a few remaining papers. "Bonnie, Hun, you're doing it again."
Though her scowl was still there, the doe raised a brow. She'd entertain him if only to break the monotony of silence.
"You're humming it again," Stu said, emphasizing the point further and not failing to look her in her beautiful amethyst eyes; the same ones that they just found that their youngest daughter had.
Mulling over his words, Bonnie's eyes widened. "You mean!"
Stu nodded. It was something that she somehow always found herself doing without recognizing it: humming the tune to 'Here Comes the Bride'.
She had often been told by her late mother that she had a knack of vocalizing the song to some degree whenever her own siblings and family met the one they would one day marry. And for whatever reason she couldn't explain, it was always accurate.
"That's the second time today, Bon." The buck walked over to her and hugged them both, hoping to reassure his wife that - though he made mistakes that could have cost them dearly - he was still a good father. "Our little Jude the dude hasn't even met Jack yet and you're already singin' it."
Bonnie looked down at Judy, but all the kit did was stare at the door almost longingly.
Though she wanted to say more the sudden creak of the bedroom door caught her attention. James stood there with Jack cradled in one arm and a suitcase in another.
They'd have time to discuss this later, practically all the time in the world. But for now, Bonnie understood, they just had to leave the city. It was no place for a bunny.
Marian Wilde busied herself for the last few hours tidying up whatever loose ends she had left in the apartment.
After she had scolded John into what looked like a nervously smiling quilt, she had to finish setting up the small dining set they had for a late lunch.
She would have asked her husband to assist her, but she instead felt as though he needed to watch Nick while being watched himself. Responsibility was key when your kit crawls out like that.
And it wasn't that she was banefully upset at him. No. She was terrified that Nick had gone out of his father's care, but was happy that John was still there. Her happiness was for all of them. For they just found that their son's eyes were green much like his fathers.
She watched as John held the giggling kit aloft. "And your cousin Skye will be here any minute."
Marian sighed at the notion, she knew her husband all too well. "John..." she said in a chastising tone. "They aren't related. At all."
The todd shrugged, pulling Nick to his lap. "But we're like family."
As Marian went to rebut the statement, she heard a knock at the door. She'd have to go over this again with him some other time.
So wiping off her dress and putting on a genuine 'my husband is in so much trouble today' smile, she went to welcome their guests.
Though they were very familiar with one another, when Marian opened the door for a family of arctic foxes, it always surprised her at how quickly she was brought into a near bone-crushing hug by the vixen of the pair.
"H-hello... to you too... Serenity." said the red vixen, struggling to pry herself free of the smaller's grasp.
"Heya family!" she shot back with a cheerful voice.
Wearing near matching business clothing, the arctic foxes were often a staple help to the Wilde's. They even managed to help secure a small tailoring shop for John in a safer part of Happy Town.
The todd of the two simply walked in, shaking his head at the two while he held a little red wrapped fox kit in his arms.
"Good to see you two." said Glen, reaching out a paw for John to shake.
With the four adult foxes finally settling down after a moment's greeting, they looked to each other's kits.
John had set Nicholas down next to the arctic fox kit in hopes to formally introduce the two. They were kits after all, and family now. And Glen had pretty much had the same set of hope.
It, however, did not go as planned.
For the second the blue eyed kit was sat down calmly, she shuffled over to Nick as quickly as she could. The todd could have never expected this to be different from the thing he was playing with earlier, but he learned very quickly that this wasn't that.
Because when Skye reached Nick, the first thing she did was start nibbling on the (then cheerful) todd's arms causing him to shriek in terror. Her teeth on the verge of forming, it was a pain unlike what the dreaded couch gave him.
He was only thankful that mom was there the instant it happened, taking him away from this terrible... well, Nick didn't know what a 'Cousin Skye' was, but he was sure it wasn't anything good to be around.
"Oh, Marian, I'm so sorry!" The other vixen, Serenity raced towards them to pick up her child who was on the express-lane to play with Nick again. "Little Skye's just started this in the last half hour or so. She opened her eyes and went for the first thing she saw."
Not surprised at the vixen's statement, Marian's eyes became half lidded. "Oh? And what was that?"
Skye didn't stop reaching out to Nick who only distanced himself. Serenity bounced her daughter in dim hopes to calm her. "Who, actually."
Marian raised a brow; she had known Serenity for years, and now she had a daughter that was just like her, trouble and all.
"Co-workers kit. And a bunny at that," said the arctic fox, "They were born at the same time and he wanted to meet up before he headed out. It's funny, but Skye was a bit more calm around him. She opened her eyes and even managed to stop biting things for a sec."
Both John and Marian's jaws dropped. Not just from the fact that Skye - the crazy fox's daughter - was calm at all, but around a bunny no less.
In fact, the only bunnies that they had really known were their odd neighbours. They had never really met, but what little interaction they had left them wondering what kind of business they owned and what was with all the briefcases.
John had often joked that they were being watched whenever the bunnies were in. But it didn't matter now, they were planning to move soon.
Before either could get another word in, Glen huffed and shook his head. "Poor guy, though. His wife went missing and he's trying to find out why."
A silence swept past all of them, save for Skye's constant gurgling and reaching for her terrified plaything.
And silence is something that John Wilde never truly liked in the midst of company. So with dramatic flair, he stood and bowed.
"Well I hope you two have a better time here," Knowing full well that they had been to the city before, he refused to not give them a proper greeting when they would be finally staying and close by at that. He gave a childish grin that made Marian roll her eyes. "Welcome, to Zootopia."
Never let a door hinder you on its hinges while you try to make your dreams come true.
Heya there, DLW here and welcome to the end notes. If you were wondering where the story's going... well, this is a glimpse of it XD
If you catch any easter eggs, please leave them in the comment/review basket if you have the time.
I was trying to have this out earlier, but I'm staying up way later to finish it.
Also, a bit of trivia. I don't know how many people were wondering what Saint Namela's Hospital is (also used in CHU!) but it's a cryptic pun. Reverse Namela and you get Aleman which translates to 'German' in Spanish. And as Saint is a shepherd... You know what! German Shepherd pun! Mind Blown!
And I'm trying to make the title for each chapter something that you can begin or end by saying 'In Our Dreams'.
[FF Review Responses]
Koraru-San: Thank you soooo much for this *hugs* And I hear that bunny burrito's are in XD
TheAssassin2: It absolutely is, and it's a really good plot element for later.
AeonFeral: *nods* absolutely curious. I wonder where this will all go X3
BubblySilverSolare05: Up-2-d-d8d! Is this what you were looking for?
Alright, I've posted this before, but if you're looking to find updates on everything I'm doing, and I mean EVERYTHING, please check out my Deviant Art page.
I've been doing a series called 'Snippets' where I'll be posting story excerpts on what I'm working on and will give constant feedback almost daily.
And I hope you get a chance to read this and the other stories at your leisure. All can be found here as well:
If you liked this story and have time please post a review, and if you would like to keep up with the story please fav or follow. Questions, comments, concerns, feel free to message me about anything. If you'd like updates, please check the profile page and or message me.
Till Next Time