One Cold Night; 17K, nsfw. They work a case, get snowed in, and share a bed, all in time for Christmas.
“Dean, are you all right?”
“Yeah. I’m just ─” Dean shivers again. His teeth clack together. “Jesus Christ, it’s cold.”
The diner ─ Noemi’s ─ is bigger than a boxcar, but not by much. The counter is crowded up against the bright red booths, and the strip of black and white floor between them is loud enough to make Dean’s eyes cross. Christmas lights and fake pine garland are swooped around the walls. The heater is cranked up so high that the vents are whistling; it feels like a blast furnace after the hour Dean spent staring at a bloody patch of snow.
The guy they want is about halfway down the aisle. He fits the description Dean got from the park rangers ─ a junior college dropout who swings a wrench at the body shop off the highway. He’s wearing a dirty bomber jacket and dark brown coveralls, and beanie is pulled down around his ears. He’s hunched over a hot chocolate topped with what looks like a whole can of whipped cream.
“Excuse me,” Dean says. “You Louis Burgin?”
After a pause, the guy looks up. A handful of lank, dishwater hair falls in his face. His visible eye is bloodshot in a ‘hair of the dog’ kind of way; he rubs it and asks, “Who wants to know?”
“Agent McCafferty.” Dean flashes his badge, then nods at Cas. “Agent Charlton. FBI. We have some questions about the night James Oester died.”
Burgin pauses again. Then he shrugs and pushes his hair out of his face. “Whatever, yeah.”
“I think I was a eight… maybe nine and all I wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, so my mum scraped enough money to buy me a brand new uniform. Because my god I was going to fit in; even if I was the only predator in the troop.”
Holy again!!! Mind = Blown x2! Even beyond Nick’s shirt being reminiscent of his youth, he kept his Junior Ranger Scout scarf. (!!) Even after what happened to him there, he kept it, a memento of what he wants and who he wants to be. A marker of the authentic Nick. A tie to his desired future.
He kept Judy’s pen too. He keeps items from things dear to him, items that call to him…
So lovely. Show’s what heart truly lived/lives underneath the rancorous and sarcastic shell. Well done, Zootopia team. Love it and love Nick tonnes.