Reviews: Quid-Pro-Quo

An awesome look at the impact Judy made on Nick\'s life.

A great story that deals with the "Time Skip" between the scene at the museum and Nick fully embracing and reiterating his decision to enroll in the police academy and become Judy's partner. It beautifully handles the impact his helping Judy had on his hustling lifestyle that would lead him to joining the ZPD, from becoming publicly known, to having to register as a police informant to prevent his involvement from being used by Bellwether's lawyers, to resolving old debts with Mr. Big, to showing how a sly fox lived on the streets for 20 years. All was handled thoughtfully and realistically.

But even more than that, this tale took the "best friends" relationship between Nick and Judy and developed it so well. As Judy recovers from her leg injury in Bunnyburrow and Nick undergoes the process of dismantling his hustling lifestyle, their nightly phone calls quickly became my favorite part of the story depicting two mammals deepening their friendship not through great emotional revelations on the phone, but just checking in and asking about their respective days, truly enjoying the sense of connection afforded to them across the phone line, even taking satisfaction in just hearing the other breathe in their moments of silence. It portrayed Nick as a mammal who had been lost in the desert, not even aware he was dying of thirst, then suddenly coming across an oasis and finding a need being meet he didn't even know he had.

A beautiful story that shows the impact Judy had on Nick's life and their deepening relationship as best friends. I highly recommend it.

NOTE: In light of BURGINABC's comments, I modified my review in agreement that Platonic Life Partners was not accurate. I do take issue with his assessment that Nick's internal dialogue was indicative of mental instability. The tale introduces an OC of Nick's uncle, a very bitter fox with a "me against the world" mentality who raises Nick after his mother dies (the author didn't know that Ms. Wilde is still alive). As Nick is first starting to dismantle all traces of his old life, he does have conversations with himself between "old Nick", "new Nick", and the voice of his uncle quoting harsh "truths" about the world but this fades over the course of the story as Nick proceeds down his new life path with growing confidence. The author was trying to show Nick at a crossroads and I didn't find this to be evidence of an aberrant mental state, however, this is the author's first published fan-fic and he admits that dialogue was something he needs to work on so any appearance of mental instability should be weighed against an author working to improve their writing skills. That said, I feel he gains his footing rather well over the course of the tale especially during Nick and Judy's nightly phone calls (which it seems BURGINABC never got to read since he stopped halfway through).

Quid Pro Quo

DISCLAIMER: This review was written after reading only the first half of the (very long) story. While I think this is enough to have gotten a feel for the writing, I obviously cannot properly judge the whole arc of the plot.

While rva98014's review characterized their relationship in this fic as Platonic Life Partners, I'm not sure I agree with that. Even if they don't get together in the fic, they seem to have way too much UST for it to really feel like a fully platonic portrayal, and the writing style of the prose often made me feel like I was reading a romance novel during the scenes with Nick and Judy together.

Although it's hard to tell to what extent this is intentional, since the style of the prose is somewhat strange overall, replete with Said Bookism abuse and lots of odd word choices all over. This being the case, what I'm perceiving as UST may well actually be more of a Relationship Writing Fumble.

Another thing that doesn't sit well with me about the fic is that its portrayal of Nick is massively over-the-top extreme in terms of how messed up he is inside. Yes, his experiences had made him rather bitter and cynical, and until he met Judy he had resigned himself to being nothing but a two-bit hustler. But this portrayal comes across as mentally unstable and barely holding it together, with his internal monologue being more of a dialogue with multiple distinct voices constantly arguing, and the extent to which his personality is generally warped, and the lengths he goes to put up a facade and hide his true self, just seem too extreme to feel authentic to canon.

And there were several other things that didn't mesh well with canon. An example of this is that Nick is said to maintain dozens of fake identities and almost never uses his real name. That this contradicts the fact that he was never shown doing this in the movie and used his real name with Judy from the moment he met her is Lampshaded and Hand Waved, but never really satisfactorily explained.

Despite its faults, this fic is not without redeeming qualities. Despite the questionable prose, the author is clearly a decent storyteller, and this crazy version of Nick manages to be interesting even if he doesn't really authentically feel like the same character from the movie.

Interesting enough that the fic kept me reading long after I had identified its severe faults, although I did finally lose interest around the halfway mark.