The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch

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Bucky struggled to deal with his rising panic as he prodded Piña’s limp body with his hoof. She was not responsive. Bucky forced himself to calm, knowing that a panic attack now would be the worst possible thing that could happen. Berry’s panic was not helping him to concentrate and her emotional shrieking echoed in his ears.

The air around him felt odd, it was magically charged and there was all of the signs of some kind of magical discharge. He cast a simple detection spell, and was very surprised to see Piña’s body glowing in the blue-green aura of his magic.

It puzzled him, but he could not think clearly.

He lifted his head, looked at Berry, feeling bad for her, and then looked at Derpy. Both of them were clinging to one another and trembling. Thistle was holding Dinky. Rising Star and Sparkler held each other. The foal lay in the grass before Derpy and Berry.

He turned his gaze back down to Piña and tried to block out everything. Using his telekinesis, he gently opened one of her eyelids to check her eyes, and what he saw caused him to jerk his head back in alarm. He let go of her eyelid and allowed the eye to close.

Pina’s eyes were a glowing milky white, flooded with magical essence in much the say way a unicorn’s eyes might react during heavy magic or a surge. Bucky shook his head at the impossibility. Earth ponies didn’t have a thaumaturgical system.

He lowered his head and placed his ear against Piña’s barrel. Her heart seemed normal to his ears, but he wasn’t overly experienced in this sort of thing. She was warm to the touch, but not feverish feeling or sweaty.

He took a hoof and held it in his magic, staring at it intently. He ticked the bottom of her hoof along her sensitive frogs with his magic and her leg twitched. It gave him an idea. He gave a soft tickle to her belly, just below her ribs, around her navel.

Piña’s whole body wiggled under his magical touch.

“Piña baby, stop scaring daddy, he’s feeling really panicky,” Bucky whispered. “Piña honey, you can stop scaring daddy any time now, wake up Piña,” he begged.

Bucky was roughly shoved aside by Sparkler, whom Bucky suddenly realised was much stronger than he was physically. He nearly fell over as he was bowled out of the way. As he struggled to regain his footing, he saw Sparkler’s head drop down to Piña’s belly.

A moment later there was a rude flatulent sound as Sparkler blew a loud raspberry against Piña’s tender flesh. The effect was immediate and sudden. Piña’s body jerked and the foal gasped. Her legs kicked. And then, a moment later…

“STOP IT SPARKY!” Piña cried as Sparkler’s raspberry assault continued. The foal opened her eyes and blinked a few times, and then rubbed her head. “Why’d you do that for?” she asked.

“You passed out,” Sparkler said in a worried voice.

Berry tore away from Derpy, charged forward, grabbed Piña, and fell over into the grass with her, holding her close. Dinky came next, piling in, trying to wiggle her way into Berry’s embrace.

Derpy held back and looked at Bucky, nervous and afraid. “What happened?”

“Magic surge,” Bucky said.

“How?” Sparkler asked.

“I have no idea,” Bucky replied.

“Earth ponies have some magic of their own, but how can they have a surge?” Rising Star questioned in a worried voice.

“I don’t know, but her eyes were flooded with mana residue and she gave off an unmistakable magic aura,” Bucky explained. “She had a surge,” he insisted. “Berry, I know this is hard, but while the magic is still present, I want to do some tests,” Bucky said patiently but firmly.

Berry, now sniffling, looked up at Bucky. “Tests?” she asked.

“Yes Berry, tests. Nothing that will hurt her, I promise,” Bucky said reassuringly.

“Okay,” Berry replied as she continued to sniffle. She wiped her nose.

“Piña, love, are you feeling alright?” Bucky asked.

“I feel light headed. What happened?” Piña answered.

“I want to find out,” Bucky said. He gently took Piña in his magic and lifted her up to his face. He cast a simple magical focusing spell, something a bit more informative than a simple detect magic spell. For a moment, Pina’s whole body glowed in a faint blue-green light, and then the glow from most of her faded. The glow intensified around her hooves and shone brightly.

“Curious,” Bucky said. He kissed Piña on the snoot and gently set her down in the grass. “Berry,  I need your hooves,” he stated.

Berry rolled over on her back and stuck her hooves in the air. Bucky cast his spell again on her, watched her whole body glow, and then the glow faded. Berry’s hooves also glowed, but faintly. She looked at her hooves with a confused look on her face, and then looked at Pina’s still brightly glowing hooves.

Bucky snatched Sparkler in his magic and pulled her close. Turnabout was fair play. He cast his spell again on her, waited, and watched. The blue-green glow surrounding her body faded away, leaving behind a harsh glaring orb of luminescence around her horn.

Sparkler squeaked in surprise from being tugged over and then watched crosseyed, staring up at her own horn as the magic coalesced around it.

“The spell shows where magic is most focused,” Bucky explained. “I learned it in school to solve magical puzzles and unravel magical mysteries. Most unicorns think this simple cantrip is worthless, but I find that it has so many uses.”

“So I have magic hooves?” Piña inquired curiously.

“I’m not sure, but you have magic,” Bucky said. “In the book I read about Twilight Sparkle and her friends, Pinkie Pie has a Pinkie Pie Sense. It drove Twilight Sparkle nuts trying to figure out how that worked. Most earth ponies have some kind of minor earth pony sense… but I guess some earth ponies end up with a bit more,” he reasoned.

Piña stared at her own forehoof and blinked a few times. It was still glowing faintly. She continued to stare at her hoof even as Dinky grabbed her and pulled her close.

Bucky, not finished, lifted both Piña and Dinky in his magic. “Stick out your hoof Piña,” he instructed.

Piña, trembling slightly, stuck out her hoof and watched Bucky with wide open eyes. “My hooves feel tingly and vibrate while you are holding me in your magic,” she said.

“Interesting Piña,” Bucky replied. He lowered his head and touched her hoof with the tip of his horn. Piña squeaked and jerked her hoof back from him, which caused several alarmed gasps and cries from all around Bucky. “Didn’t hurt did it?” he asked in concern.

“No, but it felt weird,” Piña answered. She reached out her leg and touched Bucky’s horn again. There was a little fizzle of magic and some sparks. “Weird,” the foal muttered. With a swift and sudden movement, she reached out and touched Dinky’s horn.

“Hey, nothing happened,” Dinky said disappointedly.

“Ignite your horn Dinks,” Bucky instructed.

Dinky, cottoning on quickly, lit her horn and then grabbed Piña’s foreleg in between her hooves. She lifted Piña’s hoof to her horn and brought them together. “Hey, she zapped me!” Dinky shouted as the hoof touched her horn.

“Why?” Piña asked, staring at her hoof as she did so.

“When unicorns touch horns, it creates a magical circuit if they are actively channeling magic. You get a little zap. Or a big zap. Depends on the unicorns really and how much power they are channeling. Piña is channeling magic right now through her hooves,” Bucky explained.

“How?” Dinky questioned.

“Well, a hoof is made from the same sort of organic material as a horn casing really,” Bucky said as he sat down in the grass and made himself comfortable.

“So Piña has magic?” Berry asked.

“Yes,” Bucky answered.

“So like a Pinkie Pie Sense?” Derpy asked.

Bucky shrugged and took a deep breath, his muscles finally relaxing from his state of panic. He gently set Piña and Dinky down in the grass.

“Pinkie Pie knows stuff,” Dinky said. “I miss Pinkie Pie. She was always so nice to me and Piña,” the foal said sadly.

“I know stuff too,” Piña stated.

“And what do you know Piña?” Thistle asked.

“I know that Berry and Derpy are both going to have twins,” Piña replied.

 

 

In the late afternoon hours, Bucky slumbered in the bed, having a bit of a nap so he would be well rested for the night of work that had been planned. Derpy watched him in the bed, sitting on the couch with her foals, Piña still awake and looking alert, while Dinky had dozed off after a long morning of spellcasting.

Derpy stroked Piña and tried to ease her own worries. She looked over at Berry, who was sprawled out in the straw. The pegasus could see the worry on Berry’s face. Piña’s announcement had hit Berry like a ton of bricks. As she sat on the couch, she could not help but think about what Piña had said to them.

Twins.

Piña seemed completely unconcerned about everything as she sat and read her book.

Derpy’s head turned as there was a soft rapping upon the door. She scowled, feeling irritated, knowing that there were sleeping ponies. She slid from the sofa and made her way to the door. She erased her scowl and opened the door slowly. There was a pegasus outside who looked at her blankly.

“Ma’am, while Keg Smasher is awake and lucid, he requests the company of Lord Bitters, Lyra Heartstrings, Bon Bon, and he asks that the foal be brought to him as well,” the pegasus said gently. “Sparkler and Rising Star have already been informed and are on their way to see him now,” he added.

“I will wake them,” Derpy replied, unable to hide the irritation in her voice.

“I do apologise, but Keg Smasher has not been well. He has suffered an entire night of delirium. He is quite anxious to speak to those who have done so much to protect his ponies,” the guard explained.

“I understand,” Derpy said, her tone now softening. She shut the door slowly and turned around to wake the others.

 

 

Standing just outside of Keg Smasher’s door, Bucky yawned. As he was closing his mouth, the door opened and he was ushered in along with Bon Bon, Lyra, and the foal. He saw Rising Star and Sparkler in the room already and heard them speaking in low voices.

“Are you doing okay Keg?” Bucky asked in a voice of warm concern.

“I had a rough night, feeling better now though. These two have told me about all the work that has been done,” Keg Smasher replied.

The Scorned Mare nears completion,” Bucky reported. “So why are we here?” he inquired.

“I don’t plan to keep you long,” Keg Smasher said in a raspy voice. “I just want to do what needs to be done,” he added. “First things first, might I see the foal?” he asked.

Lyra moved forward, the foal held in a bubble of magic. She approached the bed and gently laid the foal down before Keg Smasher. She jerked nervously and twitched as she stood there waiting.

“You look nervous lass,” Keg Smasher said as he eyed Lyra.

“I’m sorry… I have some issues… I find myself being very protective and I don’t know how to cope with it yet,” Lyra replied with total honesty. “Plus, I just woke up and everything in my head is jumbled up. I’ve never been a mother before,” she explained.

Keg Smasher nodded and then lowered his head down to look at the foal. He sniffed her and then gently bumped her with his snoot. After examining the foal for several minutes, he closed his eyes. “So precious,” he murmured to himself. He opened his eyes and looked at Bucky. “Something is up with her mane,” Keg Smasher said.

Bucky nervously glanced at Bon Bon and then back at Keg Smasher. “I, uh, I think I know what you mean,” Bucky replied.

“Hush, both of you, hush!” Bon Bon scolded. “She’s perfect.”

“She looks like a little fireball,” Keg Smasher muttered. “An adorable little fireball.”

“Bon Bon, her mane… it just sticks out in all-”

“Shut it Rising Star, you will not say another word if you know what is good for you,” Bon Bon interrupted. She turned and gave Rising Star the stinkeye.

“Aye, this is why I love earth ponies,” Keg Smasher quipped. “I summoned you all for a very important reason. Normally, this would be a bit more formal, but I ain’t in no position to rise and be all courtly about this,” he grumped.

Lyra, unable to contain herself, snatched up the foal and held it close to her neck, surrounded in the golden glow of her magic. One eye twitched frightfully and the muscles along her ribs quivered visibly.

Bon Bon reached out a hoof and began to stroke Lyra, calming the twitchy unicorn.

Keg Smasher watched all of this with a curious expression as he continued. “Rising Star, for your service in the destruction of the undead, I grant you the title of “Sir” and add you to my stable of nobles. Now and forever on these isles you will be known as Lord Rising Star. I thank you for your service,” Keg Smasher said in a wavering voice.

Rising Star, overcome with emotion from Keg Smasher’s words found he could say nothing. Tears came to his eyes and he bowed his head low. He nodded and then swiped at his eyes with his foreleg.

“Sparkler Doo Hooves, for your service I am granting you the title of “Dame” and you are to be added to my stable of nobles. Now and forever on these isles, you will be known as Lady Sparkler Doo Hooves. I thank you for your service,” Keg Smasher announced.

“Thank you sir,” Sparkler said as she bowed her head.

“Lyra Heartstrings, for your service you have earned the title of “Dame” and I am adding you to my stable of nobles. Now and forever on these isles, you shall be known as Lady Lyra Heartstrings. I cannot thank you enough for your service and for being that foal’s mother. To give of your whole life in service to another is a most noble act,” Keg Smasher said in a gruff voice.

Lyra froze, unable to reply, her eyes wide. She finally blinked, but remained unable to move. One ear drooped and fell down to the side of her face.

“She thanks you,” Bon Bon said apologetically as she continued to rub Lyra.

“Bon Bon, for your service I am giving you the title of “Dame” and you are now added to my stable of nobles. From this day forward and for the rest of time, you will be known as Lady Bon Bon on these isles. I thank you for everything you have done,” Keg Smasher said to Bon Bon.

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said graciously.

“I thought I was already a Lady because I was Bucky’s wife,” Lyra whispered, looking very confused.

Keg Smasher chuckled. “And now you are a Lady by your own merits, and not through marriage,” he said to Lyra. “Sparkler,” he said, now looking at the purple-pink filly, “In addition to your title of “Dame” I am granting you the rank of “Buck Sergeant” as well. This is not an honourific. You showed great courage charging forward and your actions saved a life,” he said solemnly.

“I was so scared… I nearly messed myself,” Sparkler confessed. “I don’t deserve that.”

“You were scared, but you did it anyway,” Keg Smasher said. “And yon filly is alive most likely because of your advance.”

“Thank you sir… I will try to be deserving of this honour,” Sparkler replied, trying to think of how Sentinel might talk as she answered.

“And you Buckminster… I am giving you the title and rank of “Knight Captain” for your own part in this. Everypony came home safe and you came back with one pony extra. Quite a feat. Consider this your official commission for command over your airship, the first vessel of the Clan Pickled Navy. She will not be the last,” Keg Smasher said in a dry pained voice.

“That is a title I will gladly accept sir,” Bucky replied, standing up straight and turning his remaining eye upon Keg Smasher.

“Now if you will forgive me, I need to rest. I don’t feel well,” Keg Smasher said in weak voice.

 

 

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