A long time ago, I collected some prompts. One of them was “the ‘Nick and Judy love each other but don’t know how the other feels’ trope, except instead of feeling like they have to hide it to protect their friendship, they are both super blatant about it but think the other is only giving mixed signals because of species differences in body language or courtship rituals or whatever.”
So I wrote some slow burn with Nick and Judy navigating communication and miscommunication. Their behaviors even have their basis in IRL courtship behaviors sometimes seen in foxes and rabbits, because why not.
Judy won because he let her, and he let her because he was pretty sure she was straight-up faster than he was. There wasn’t much point in embarrassing himself.
She’d started to pull away about halfway through the loop around the medical campus, when they’d been running for long enough that Nick’s cadence had gotten sloppy. He’d chased her for a while, down the long side of the park. It was quiet enough out here this evening that there weren’t many spectators, and Nick was glad for that. He was privately enjoying the way her… ears bobbed when she was moving fast.
Judy relented, as they made the final big turn onto the sandy path at the center of the park. She slowed enough to let him draw even - and then she darted off again as soon as he did. Nick stared at the gravel and weighed the exertion it would take. Nope. Not worth it. She would just take off again.