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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Derpy tried to deal with all of the news and information she was having to take in. It was overwhelming and unsettling. On top of worrying about her husband, there was the fact that Sparkler had something called the Shivers. The entire herd had worms and stomach parasites. There were cavities. Fungal infections. Multiple cases of malnutrition.

And there was the introduction of rich foods to their diets. Miserable gassy ponies reclined on every comfortable surface, occasionally getting up to run to the bathroom, cursed with an explosive case of the trots. Derpy was terrified to even fart anymore and her pucker was horribly chapped from the constant squirts. All of them were waiting for the pills they had taken to help their stomachs to kick in.

All of them had been poked, prodded, stabbed, violated, had stool samples taken, blood drawn, and had exceedingly thorough physical examinations that had violated their senses and their decency.

It had not been a good day.

Thistle was terrified of indoor plumbing as well as all of its implications and was torturing herself, refusing to go until it was absolutely necessary. Loch Skimmer would foalishly play with the light switches if left in a room unwatched and unattended. Ripple tried crawling inside of the fridge to cool off her overheated belly. Moonbow had done a cannonball from the bathroom counter into the tub, the force of the impact actually having washed poor Sentinel right out of the tub after he was hit with a tidal wave of water.

The entire living space was completely trashed and there was nothing that could be done about it. Lyra was passed out on a chaise lounger, a diapered Harper right beside her, little Harper who suffered the most out of all of them, wanting to see Bucky and not understanding why she couldn’t. She wanted her mama…

“Is this what dying feels like?”

Derpy pondered Sentinel’s words and contemplated the effort required in making an answer. She lifted her head weakly and looked at her colt, he was sprawled out over the arm of a very large overstuffed couch, his legs dangling down on either side, and his wings hanging limp. He didn’t look well.

“I don’t wanna fart no more, my pucker hurts.”

Alas, Derpy had trouble generating sympathy for Dinky. Derpy had her own problems. She cursed the cupcakes she had eaten, the ice cream, and the brownies. Well, everything really. The massive plate full of macaroni and cheese she had eaten had turned into lead inside of her stomach.

There was a loud trumpeting blast and an ear piercing squeal from Dinky.

There was still no sympathy from Derpy.

 

 

The room was filled with an uncomfortable silence as Bucky studied Shining Armor. The stallion looked like he hadn’t slept in a long while. His eyes were puffy and bloodshot, and a nervous tic made the corner of his eye twitch.

Discord was gone, having been wheeled outside to spend some time in the sun, to relax and have a pleasant time in the gardens, leaving the room for the two stallions who were now stuck in a drawn out silence.

“How bad was it?” Bucky asked, finally breaking the silence.

“Pardon?” Shining Armor responded.

“The trial. Your sentence. For your family and others,” Bucky said in a weak dry sounding voice. He saw his ginger ale lifted in Shining’s magical aura and he took the straw between his lips gratefully.

“Some of my family were punished quite harshly. Others, like my mother and my father, they were sentenced to a lifetime of community service and shown mercy. They are now forbidden from owning anything or having wealth and must depend entirely upon the kindness of others to survive, have a roof over their heads, and get food. They are not allowed to keep bits. My father, as head of the house, he had to write out a public apology and make a speech in the middle of Canterlot, and then another speech in the middle of Ponyville in front of all of the earth ponies and pegasi, all the refugees. They… they…” Shining Armor stammered and his voice faltered. “They were grateful and they called my father a good pony, an example to others and that his humility was appreciated. The ponies of Ponyville have been very good to my father and mother, and look after their needs. Twily and I are forbidden from doing anything to help them like taking them in with us.”

Swallowing a bit more ginger ale, Bucky struggled to turn his head to look at Shining Armor a bit more directly. He licked his lips and cleared this throat. “That doesn’t seem so bad.”

“We saw which way the wind was blowing and we did the right thing. It saved us a lot of hardship and grief. We were shown mercy while many others were tried to the fullest extent of the law,” Shining Armor replied.

“What will happen to me?” Bucky asked.

“I am unable to comment on your possible punishments, but mercy isn’t possible,” Shining Armor said in a dull deadpan. “They won’t kill you. Celestia has told me that. You’ve done a few things that actually deserve the axe though. Buckminster… how much punishment are you willing to endure?”

Bucky tried to make sense of the strange question. “Huh?”

“Sparkler and Rising Star being what they are… Lyra Heartstrings... they are all going to be placed under the judgment of the inquisition. Lyra has used dark magic and necromancy. Sparkler and Rising Star, it is likely that they will be punished quite harshly for allowing you to change them. And Lyra… I have been told to begin preparing a legal defense for Lyra,” Shining Armor stated in a low pained voice. “How much punishment are you willing to endure?”

“All of it,” Bucky said in a weak wheeze. “How can I have them spared? I will let my head be separated from my neck if need be.”

“I have a plan…” Shining Armor offered.

 

 

Bucky’s mind whirled with everything that Shining Armor had said. He didn’t know what to make of it all or how to accept what he had to do. He was going to have to hurt his family terribly and he hoped that one day, they would forgive him. In time, he hoped they would understand what it was he was about to do. Out of all of them, he hoped that Bon Bon would find it in her heart to forgive him for what he was planning.

He was just able to get his lips around the straw in his drink and suck some liquid through, but it required him straining to lift his head slightly.

“Buckminster?”

Bucky saw a flash of pink in his vision and his head fell back onto his pillow.

“Buckminster, I brought you visitors,” Cadance announced. She stepped out of the way of the door to allow the pony behind her access.

Seeing the flash of grey made Bucky’s heart leap up into his throat. As Derpy came into his field of vision, he began to sob with relief and he heard her doing the same. She stood on her hind legs at his bedside and he could feel her strong legs pulling tight around him, careful of his injuries. A moment later, there was a shift in the bed as something small was dropped near his neck, and he knew it was Harper.

Cadance watched the reunion and basked in their love, drawing strength from it. She had carried Harper for Derpy, holding the foal in her magic, and now she thought of the foal in her belly. She drew near the bed, knowing she was welcome, but fearing she was an intruder. She watched Bucky fall prey the affections of his mate and his obvious relief from being able to see her. She heard the happy little grunts that Harper made.

“Everypony is sick Bucky… they say we have worms,” Derpy said in a sour voice.

Bucky nodded. “I have them too.”

“Thistle is terrified of plumbing. I told her she was acting like a foal and she accused me acting like her mother instead of her fellow-wife. I think she’s mad at me,” Derpy said.

“Try to see it from a kelpie perspective,” Bucky wheezed.

“I am trying…”

“I know you are,” Bucky said. “Be strong.”

“We can see out of our window… big parts of Canterlot are missing. They’re just gone!” Derpy said, crawling up into the bed and squeezing in beside her husband. The narrow hospital bed was only meant for one pony, but the couple made it work somehow, Derpy’s tail swishing from side to side as it hung off the side of the bed.

“You smell so good,” Bucky breathed.

“Soap… we have soap. And bathtubs. I don’t smell like stale farts and hot sweaty pony anymore,” Derpy said excitedly. “I had a bubble bath and I swear, it felt like I was getting my cutie mark all over again,” the mare gushed.

“You smell like jasmine… and some kind of berries,” Bucky said, breathing in slowly.

“They’re keeping all of us locked up Bucky,” Derpy said, her happy mood suddenly gone.

“I know,” Bucky whispered.

The grey pegasus’ eyes narrowed. “Sparkler has a condition called the Shivers. It is because she is a type three now.”

A terrible pain tore into Bucky’s chest and it made his breath catch in his throat.

“She is going to be okay though, there are pills to fix it. I… I don’t think I should have brought this up. I am sorry,” Derpy said apologetically. “All of us are going to be getting trims to our manes and tails. There is going to be some big photographic opportunity when the treaty is signed. We have to look good. You know, you could use just a tiny trim… but not too much. I like your mane and your tail to be long and full,” she added, changing the subject.

“I will not be seen at the treaty signing. They are placing me in my armor so I can be mobile,” Bucky said in reply.

“Ooh! That will make a good picture!” Derpy exclaimed. “Try to look extra scary as you loom menacingly over your family!”

Standing silently in the background, Cadance hoped that the treaty signing would go off without a hitch. More than anything, she hoped that Bucky would hold everything together.

 

 

“Loch! Stop flushing the toilet! You’re upsetting Thistle!” Berry shouted.

“What makes the water do that? The whirlpool?” Loch inquired.

“Suction as it goes down the hole,” Berry said.

“Why is it always in the same direction?” Loch asked as she hit the handle again.

“I don’t know,” Berry said. “I said stop flushing the toilet!”

“Sorry… it is like magic though. I hit the little lever and I make a whirlpool happen!” Loch Skimmer said. She watched as the bowl begin to fill with water once again.

Berry Punch, now at the end of her patience, shoved Loch Skimmer out of the bathroom and into the common room, grunting and gritting her teeth as she did so. The flighty pegasus giggled softly as she was evicted. Berry pulled the door shut behind her.

“Ripple! Stop trying to see if the light in the fridge stays on or off!” Berry barked.

Ripple pulled away from the fridge, looking guilty.

“And close the door!”

Her head down low, Ripple closed the door and slunk away from the fridge. She fled the room, slipping through a door, and once out of Berry’s sight, broke into a mischievous grin as she lept up onto the bed and began to bounce around. The mattress was extra springy and jumping on the bed was exactly what Piña and Dinky promised that it would be.

Berry sat down on the couch and thought about crying. Not long after Derpy had left, the entire herd had gone crazy, rising up from their various places of rest and then going nuts. Lyra and Bon Bon had disappeared behind a locked door and there was a mysterious silence that Berry suspected had something to do with a soundproofing spell.

“Blech! Soap! Why is there soap in the chocolate syrup bottle?”

“HAH! That’ll learn you to stop drinking from the chocolate syrup bottle Moonbow!”

Berry fell back into the sofa and wondered if she was cut out to be a parent in a modern sugar filled world, Dinky’s shrill voice echoing in her ears as she sank into the cushions.

“BRAAAAAAAAAAAP!”

“Soap bubbles!”

Closing her eyes, Berry could hear Piña’s sugar fueled manic giggling as Moonbow belched out soap bubbles. In one of the bedrooms, she heard a crash, and she could only assume that Ripple was jumping on the bed once more. She had probably done a super double bouncy and cracked her head into the ceiling again. She already had one goose egg sized lump that had turned her into an honourary alicorn.

Berry put her hooves to her head and tried to hold back her rising frustration as she heard Thistle starting to cry once again as the sound of a flushing toilet could be heard from the bathroom.

“LOCH SKIMMER!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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