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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It was good to be home and to feel his foals and family clinging to him, even if it felt overwhelming to be surrounded by so many ponies all at once, all of whom wanted his attention. They were careful, but insistent, and there was no fighting the mob that enveloped him, swallowing him up with soggy tear filled embraces.

Quite unable to speak, Bucky’s emotions got the better of him as he began to weep, and he was content to remain in a pile of other over-emotional equines. The cool fall air made it far more pleasant to hug a fellow equine and hold them, there were no hot, sticky, and sweaty embraces that was part of what made summer so unpleasant.

Finally, after much happy rejoicing, the herd began to pull itself together.

 

 

Belisama found herself in the uncomfortable position of being studied. She had been told that the pride, or the herd as equines called it, was large, but she was unprepared for this. Curious bloodshot eyes watched her, and only one of them approached her, a broad smile upon the pegasus’ face. The pegasus in question was somewhat smaller, still a filly, was a dark charcoal grey, and had a golden straw coloured mane that hung down into her face.

“My name is Loch Skimmer, and I try to be friends with everyone. And everything. I’ve even made friends with a bear, Fluttershy introduced me to him. And I’d like to welcome you to the family,” the pegasus said in a warm gracious voice. “You have a broken leg… I did too when they took me in. See, I turned out okay.”

Something about the filly’s voice was comforting. Soothing. Loch Skimmer radiated a sunny warmth that was impossible not to like, and Belisama felt welcomed, even if she was still hesitant and overwhelmed by everything.

“I suppose introductions are in order, but at this point with so many ponies around, it is probably a bad idea to start laying names on you and making the confusion worse. So how about a better approach of introductions over time because you look a little frightened. My name is Berry Punch, and we have something in common.”

“We do?” Belisama asked, looking up at the smiling pony named Berry Punch.

“Sure we do… we share a husband,” Berry said and then began to laugh. After laughing for a few moments, Berry Punch turned to her husband and prodded him in the ribs with her hoof. “Bucky… we’re going to have to stop you from going on diplomatic visits in the future. This one is okay though, I like her.”

In that moment, Belisama realised she had something in common with everypony present, and the tension in her muscles eased off a bit. Taking in and letting out a deep breath, She felt a little better about everything.

“Berry is right. We have our whole lives ahead of us to get acquainted. There’s no point in overwhelming her now,” Derpy said, looking over at the griffoness sitting in the grass. “Let’s get inside. I’m feeling peckish and having a meal or having tea together will give some of us a chance to talk.”

“Diamond Tiara isn’t here,” Sentinel said dejectedly.

“She’s still at school. Dinky and Piña got a day off to be with their daddy… She’ll be coming by after school,” Berry replied, feeling something tight in her chest when she noticed Sentinel’s heartbroken expression. She watched as Sentinel went sulking off, no doubt to his hidey hole under the stairs.

“Where is Discord?” Bucky inquired, looking around.

“He left not long before you arrived. Fluttershy came to collect him. They left together by guard drawn chariot,” Thistle replied, still rubbing her face against Bucky’s neck. “Somepony help me back inside the house,” the kelpie requested.

“I got this,” Rising Star said, lifting Thistle in his telekinesis and carrying her inside.

“Thistle can’t hardly walk anymore. She’s under doctor’s orders to stay in bed or stay in the water… she’s fine Bucky, get that worried look off of your face, she’s healthy as a horse, she’s just having a very big foal,” Berry Punch explained and then kissed Bucky on the cheek.

 

 

The kitchen was cozy and quite unlike anything Belisama had seen. There were windows, big glorious windows, several windows, including a big window that extended out of the room that had a bench that could be sat on, something that she had been told was a ‘bay window’ when somepony had noticed her fascination.

The kitchen was warm and pleasant. Warm air blew out of vents in the walls near the floor. There was the scent of fresh baked bread and the sweet smell of fruit preserves. Sitting on the bench in front of the window, Belisama couldn’t help but feel that this was the home she had always wanted, but she wasn’t even aware that a place like this existed.

To be this safe, to be so secure that there were windows had a profound impact upon Belisama. She allowed herself to relax and soak up the sun that shone through the glass, warming her calico hide as the others gathered around the small kitchen table.

Belisama’s peaceful reverie was not to last however, overcome with curiousity, two foals climbed up on to her window bench to sit with her. She eyed them nervously, both of them were smiling and she was only somewhat larger than both of them.

“I’m Dinky, and this is Piña,” Dinky said, introducing herself. “Are you a grown up?”

Her crest rising, Belisama stared at Dinky wide eyed.

“You’re kinda small,” Piña stated in a foalishly curious voice.

“I’m an adult,” Belisama said in a nervous voice, her beak clacking together as she spoke.  The griffoness suddenly felt quite small with Dinky and Piña on either side of her.

“You’re very pretty,” Dinky said, her eyes looking over Belisama’s distinct patterns. Dinky was completely unaware that her mother was watching every move she made.

“How old are you?” Piña asked.

“In the spring I will be almost two decades old,” Belisama replied, her tail now twitching with a mind of its own.

“I really like Lugus so I am probably going to like you too,” Dinky said, scooting a little closer to Belisama, and still completely oblivious that she was being watched by the adults at the table.

“It’s rough being little… we little ones have to stick together. It’s going to be nice to have an adult that knows the pressures of being small… adults forget sometimes what it is like to be this little and can become quite patronising,” Piña said, glaring at the ponies around the table.

“The papers said that the little griffons like you were kept as slaves and servants,” Dinky said in a subdued voice. “That isn’t right, picking on somepony because of their size. I wouldn’t want somepony picking on my daddy just ‘cause he’s a runt,” Dinky stated, looking Belisama in the eye as she spoke.

At the table, Bucky snorted.

“Ripple is on the smaller side but nopony in their right mind would pick on her,” Piña said, shaking her head at the though. “Ripple has this move called a ‘piledriver’ that she does… you should totally see it sometime.”

“I’ll admit, I kinda want to hug you… you look like you might be kinda snuggly. I like cats. Rarity has a cat, but it’s cranky and not friendly. Other ponies have cats in Ponyville and I like those a lot. It’s actually very difficult to keep my hooves to myself because you look like you’d be nice to cuddle,” Dinky said to Belisama with foalish honesty.

Reaching out her forelegs, saying nothing, Belisama embraced Dinky, her movements slow and hesitant. She pulled the foal in for a hug, and then a moment later she felt four forelegs circling around her and squeezing her tightly.

“Oh you are very soft and fluffy,” Piña announced with what could only be described as foalish enthusiasm. “So very soft and fluffy!”

 

 

Sitting around the table, Bucky and his wives watched the griffoness and the two foals sitting on the bay window bench as they had tea together. A broader cushioned chair had been brought in for Thistle, the hard wooden kitchen chairs were far too uncomfortable for her.

“Sparkler and Rising Star both have a secondary school tutor now,” Berry reported. “They don’t have a lot of free time any more, but they sit down for four hours a day together and do schoolwork. They haven’t given up. Rising Star got elected and Sparkler is busy keeping Ponyville safe and secure. Crime has actually been a bit of a problem, shockingly enough. Mostly, what Sparkler and her troop do is calm the populace a bit. Seeing them out on patrol makes ponies feel better.”

“So Rising Star got elected,” Bucky said, staring down into his teacup.

“Yeah… we had his parents over for a celebration dinner,” Thistle replied, squirming slightly in her chair. “My whole arse hurts,” she muttered. “Everything back there feels sore and tight.”

“When does he get started with that job?” Bucky asked as he glanced at Thistle in concern. He felt miserable seeing her so uncomfortable.

“Twilight Sparkle still has to perform the geas of office and the papers say it’ll be about two weeks before all ninety representatives meet in Canterlot for the first meeting. That’ll be a moment of history,” Berry answered as she grabbed a fresh scone to gobble down.

One husband and five wives all turned to look at the sixth wife and two foals sitting in the bay window bench together, and a faint conversation could be heard about the troubles of being little. When Bucky heard the word “runt” being used in reference to him, he snorted and turned away, a wry half smile upon his lips.

“Well, at least Sparkler and Rising Star are in school. Sort of,” Bon Bon huffed, none to pleased about the situation.

“Barley says that Mister Chips comes highly recommended,” Berry said in a Berry serious voice, looking at her fellow earth pony. “Unicorn, type one, worked in a private school in Manehatten, Toffee Chips was a pioneering educator who won several educational awards, including one from Princess Celestia herself. He has a knack for making his students want to learn and pay attention. Barley conned him into working as a tutor, saying it was certain to get him a job at your school Bucky, which Mister Chips desperately wants.”

“Fantastic,” Bucky said just before sipping his tea. It felt good to be home again and decompressing from the pressures of the outside world. He found he rather liked having mundane concerns again.

“Our cook, Semillon Bordeaux is very nice,” Derpy said. “She and Barley are good friends now… and Semillon has a soft spot for Bittersweet. Say what you will about Barley, but he knows his ponies and how to read them. I don’t know how we lived without Semillon for so long.”

“Where is our donkey nanny?” Bucky inquired after Derpy mentioned her by name.

“Last I saw, Ripple was leading her away to have a chat with her, probably about having a hundred and some odd griffons around,” Lyra answered as she dunked a cookie in her glass of milk. “And there might be snogging. I suspect that there might be a bit of snogging. They were real happy to see one another.”

“Getting around to that time of year where I start making snognog,” Bon Bon sighed. “I really need to get back to work. My cutie mark has been itching.”

“What in Tartarus is ‘snognog’ and why am I intrigued?” Bucky questioned, raising his eyebrow curiously at Bon Bon.

“Snognog is the greatest stuff on earth. Bon Bon makes fresh eggnog, blends it with spicy spiced rum, and then adds a healthy dollop of cinnamon liqueur. High test cinnamon liqueur,” Lyra explained, a smile splitting her muzzle as she realised she had Bucky’s undivided attention. “It’s like drinking a really hot and breathtaking kiss.”

“Bon Bon… please, don’t make me beg, but you must get started making me some snognog right away. I will do almost anything within my power for you if you will just make me some snognog,” Bucky pleaded, his nostrils flaring with desire.

“I’m already queen… not really sure what else I could ask for,” Bon Bon mused, her eyes narrowing thoughtfully.

“Oh look, they’re hugging,” Derpy announced, pointing at the bay window bench.

“That’s adorable… now, about this snognog,” Bucky said, undeterred and focused on an issue near and dear to his own heart. He stared over the edge of his levitated teacup at the cream coloured earth pony across the table from him.

“You’re awful,” Derpy grumbled, prodding her husband with her wing.

Aghast, Bucky turned to look at Derpy. “I’ve had a very traumatic experience and that sounds like just the thing I need to make me feel better… well, that and watching you make silly faces while I stuff-”

“That’s enough hot stuff,” Derpy interrupted. “Foals present.” The grey mare turned her gaze towards the bay window bench and watched the griffoness with her foals, noting how gentle Belisama was and how mindful she was of her talons, just like Lugus was. Her heart warmed slightly and she sighed a contented sigh.

“Don’t let her soft cuddly appearance fool you,” Bucky said in a low voice. “She might act servile and soft around us, but make no mistake, she has no qualms about killing. She is every bit as fierce as Lugus but in a much smaller body.”

“Good, I’m counting on it,” Derpy said, her eyes narrowing and pupils widening. She closed her bad eye and focused her stare upon Bucky. “There’s been a lot of trouble lately. As a mother, I need all the help I can get to put my mind as ease.”

“Well, there is also Ripple’s guard and over one hundred griffons who are fanatically loyal to their new master and king,” Bon Bon interjected. “I think we’ve reached the point where if something tried to hurt our young, the response would be something written about in the history books.”

“Something did try to hurt our young… and it will be written down in the history books… when The Scorned Mare came under attack, all I could think about was Harper and Peekaboo… I love those little snots,” Lyra grumbled, her eyes narrowing and her ears folding back against her head.

“So Lyra conjured up a hurricane that was several hundred miles wide and had watermelon sized hail,” Bucky bragged, looking around the table. “I’ve never been more proud of Lyra.”

Blushing, Lyra crammed a whole cookie into her mouth and stared down at her glass of milk. She chewed noisily, smacking her lips, feeling dreadfully self conscious.

“For being so sweet to Lyra, I’m gonna make you some snognog,” Bon Bon offered.

“Note to self… be sweet to Lyra more often,” Bucky remarked.

 

 

 

 

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