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Judy didn't mention her conversation with Raymond to Nick after he woke up. She told herself that it was a private conversation with a potential suspect, and Nick wasn't supposed to be involved with the case. Also it wasn't like he needed to stress out more about this.

So they spent the weekend in, binging on the latest season of Vulptron, playing video games, and indulging in grooming. Since their relationship had become physical in the past few months, Judy had found it was easy to remove Nick's spine just with a tail brush and some stroking. Foxes might not be pack mammals like bunnies, but they still craved touch. Judy suspected that Nick had been fairly starved for it during his hustling years. He could spend hours curled up with her on the couch, not even doing anything, just enjoying the warmth of her body and her comforting scent.

The matter of the body found in the harbor had remained a taboo subject for conversation, by mutual agreement. Judy was careful not to even turn on the news, or check any of her usual websites. Thankfully any interview requests would have to go through the ZPD's press office, since Nick was a police officer, so they were spared that.

Monday morning, as they both got dressed in their uniforms, she dared to ask, "Are you sure you want to go in, Nick? Given the circumstances, Bogo would probably let you have some personal leave time."

"And just lay around the apartment, thinking?" Nick responded. He smiled his hustler smile at her. " I'd rather keep busy, thanks. I think past history has shown that leaving Officer Wilde to his own devices is a bad idea." His smile grew more genuine. "And I'd rather be busy with you."

Judy smiled back, and they caught the Number Seven bus to Savannah Central. When they entered the lobby of Station One, Clawhouser looked up from his morning donut and gave them a little wave. "Hey guys, how are you doing?" he greeted. His usual cheerful expression grew more serious, "Are you okay, Nick?"

"I'm okay," Nick told him. "Just keeping busy."

"Got it!" Clawhouser said. He gestured towards the doors leading to station's offices. "Chief Bogo wanted you to both report to him as soon as you got in. I'm not sure why."

"Thanks, Clawhouser," Judy said. She and Nick headed over to Bogo's office.

"That you, Hopps?" she heard him call when Judy knocked on his door.

"Me and Officer Wilde, Chief," she called back.

"Hmmph, you'd better both come in then." When she pushed the door open and stepped inside, she found the Chief behind his desk, glaring down at an unfamiliar male rabbit wearing a sharp business suit, with grey fur and peculiar black stripes on his cheeks. "Hopps, Wilde, this is Agent Jack Savage. He's with Federal Mammal Investigations."

"How do you do?" Nick asked the male bunny, grinning. "Is that pronounced 'Savage' or 'Sauvage?'"

"It's pronounced 'Don't get cute with the Federal agent,' Officer Wilde," Savage answered cooly.  

Nick turned to Judy, seemingly unruffled by Savage's response. "Now see, he gets to say 'cute', and you get to say 'cute', but when I do it suddenly I'm the bad guy?"

"Stow it, Wilde," Chief Bogo growled. "Agent Savage is here to investigate the matter of the remains that were found in Zootopia harbor on Friday."

Judy exchanged a quick look of surprise with Nick, and then asked, "Chief, why is the FMI getting involved in a thirty year old Cold Case?"

"That's a question I'd like answered," Bogo replied, glaring down at Agent Savage.

"The FMI is getting involved, because it is considered a Federal matter. More than that I'm not obligated to tell you." Savage turned his attention to Judy. "Especially in the presence of a police officer with family ties to a Zootopia mob boss."

For the first time since they entered the Chief's office, Nick's hackles rose up. "Hey, Stripeface! If you're implying my partner is dirty…" he started to say.

"My name is Agent Savage, and if I thought Officer Hopps was taking Mob money, we would all be having a very different conversation right now, Officer Wilde," the bunny replied, his tone ice cold now.

"Nick, it's okay," Judy said, laying a calming paw on his elbow. Her partner nodded and took a step back away from the FMI agent, blowing out his breath. "Agent Savage," she said, addressing the other bunny, "I'm aware of the… awkwardness… of a ZPD officer having a personal relationship with a major Zootopian crime figure. But Mr. Big has never asked me to do anything illegal on his behalf, and he has occasionally been of assistance during criminal investigations."

"Such aiding in the torture of a suspect during the investigation into the Night Howler terrorism case?" Savage asked. "Which, I might add, is why Duke Weaselton is out on the streets instead of in jail, where he could be assisting us in the prosecution of ex-Mayor Bellwether and her associates. Hardly conduct becoming of a police officer."

"Technically speaking, she was a civilian when that happened," Nick pointed out. At Savage and Chief Bogo's mutual glare, he added sheepishly, "Shutting up now."

"If you two are through attempting to split hairs, I am expecting to receive all due cooperation and no interference from the ZPD," the government bunny said. He stared at Judy. "That cooperation includes prompt reporting of any contacts from known crime figures on matters concerning this case. Is that clear, Officer Hopps?"

"Crystal clear, Agent Savage," Judy replied, even as she wondered if he was talking about her conversation with Raymond. How could he even known about it? Does he have Raymond under surveillance? Does he have me under surveillance? she thought.

"I believe my officers understand the situation," Chief Bogo grumbling. "And I hope you understand that I will be contacting your superiors, to inform them of my opinion of your handling of this case, Agent."

"That's your prerogative, Chief Bogo," Savage replied evenly. He gave the huge Cape Buffalo a nod. "We'll be talking again soon." The FMI agent turned and left the room, not waiting for a reply.

"Well that was fun," Nick said into the silence that followed. "Didja catch that 'split hair/hare' joke? I bet he does have a sense of humor hidden under that Mammals in Black suit of his."

"Wilde," Chief Bogo rumbled, "I'm not happy. Mostly I'm not happy with Agent Savage. Don't make me unhappy with you."

"Yessir," Nick replied, his humor fading.

"That said, I want to know just why the feds are getting involved in a thirty year old murder case as much as you do. No doubt he's going to question you about it. Make sure you get as many answers from him as he gets from you."

Nick nodded, his expression completely serious now. "Yes, Chief. I'll try."

"As for you, Hopps. Has Mr. Big been in contact with you concerning this case yet? If he was involved in the death of the victim, then he won't be happy with a Federal agent looking into it."

"I have not been in contact with Mr. Big since the discovery of the victim's remains, Chief," Judy answered truthfully, if not completely honestly.

"If that changes, talk to me first, and I'll decide how much informing Savage of it would put you at risk."

"Thanks, Chief," Judy replied with a nod.

Bogo turned his gaze back to Nick. "How is your mother holding up, Wilde?"

"Er, okay, I guess," Nick replied, looking surprised at the question. "I mean, this whole situation has stirred up a lot of memories for her, but she's keeping it together."

Bogo nodded. "Before Agent Savage showed up this morning, I was told by Forensics that you and your mother couldn't identify anything else about the victim aside from that tie clip. It looks like we'll have to wait until the DNA test comes back to be sure of a positive ID. I'm sorry that will leave the situation so ambiguous until then."

"That can't be helped, Chief. Um, thank you though," Nick told him.

"Whatever else you may think of me, Wilde, I will always have my officers' backs. That goes for you too, Hopps. Understood?"

"Yes, sir!" they replied.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2018 01:18 pm (UTC)
oooh, the feds getting involved! very interesting.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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