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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The morning was a little warmer than the previous mornings, there was a bit of warmth to the air, it was nearly perfect weather for the soon to be Running of the Leaves. Loch Skimmer felt that she had orchestrated a nearly perfect dawn, she had carefully added in her own flourishes and touches, and she expected everypony to wake up and be extra affectionate today.

For whatever reason, Fluttershy had been unable to assist today, leaving Loch Skimmer and the others to make the dawn happen. Loch Skimmer felt she had managed the event well enough. Swooping from cloud to cloud, she was making her way home, feeling the need to smooch somepony herself, and there was still plenty of time before school started. She banked and rolled, working on her more complex flight tricks, and then she somersaulted through the air several times, allowing herself to become rather dizzy.

Loch Skimmer liked to feel dizzy.

 

 

The double doors opened and Celestia entered through a moment later. Behind her, a jet black filly with a pink mane followed, looking sleek and well groomed. Both walked with high steps, Celestia was clearly teaching the foal how to be regal, but the lesson disintegrated the moment the foal saw Buckminster and she came running.

Using his magic, Bucky lifted her up into his chair with him and held her close, glad to see her again. Subconsciously, an action he gave no thought to, he ran his right fetlock over her back and her body, looking for injuries.

“Hi,” Tourmaline chipped. Unable to hold back, she began kissing Bucky all over his face, her legs around his neck as she clung to him. So great was her excitement that her disguise fell away, which earned her a soft snort of disapproval from Celestia and Luna.

As he was being pecked, Bucky marvelled at the changeling. She had hard chitinous plates, but they became quite soft and flexible when the situation demanded it. Her lips were every bit as soft and dexterous as any other pony.

“She is very affectionate,” Tannis said as he watched Bucky and the changeling.

“She can turn into a griffon,” Agnetha commented as she set down her fork.

“Luna, how could you not like this?” Bucky asked as he gave Tourmaline a soft squeeze and she quietly settled in against him, resting her head against the crook of his neck.

Saying nothing, Luna ate a few bites of cottage cheese and pineapple, glaring at Buckminster, her teal eyes flashing with irritation as she held her tongue.

“You know Luna, I still have room at home for one more,” Bucky stated.

Looking at Bucky, Luna glared. “Watch thine tongue, churl,” Luna warned.

“Auntie Moon Drops loves me, I can feel it,” Tourmaline whispered to Bucky.

Rolling her eyes, Luna turned away in disgust as her sister began to laugh. Chortling himself, Bucky began to realise that Tourmaline was just what Celestia and Luna needed.

“It must be nice to have Tourmaline here with you… and Tannis and Agnetha,” Bucky stated as he gently let the now squirming Tourmaline down so she could go have breakfast.

“It feels like family,” Celestia replied, demurely tucking into a cup of yogurt filled with fruit. “I missed having Twilight Sparkle here with me.”

“I wanna see Twilight,” Tourmaline begged as she settled into her chair. “And Slippy. I miss Slippy.” The changeling waited all of one minute looking at her plate and then began to gobble down food in a way that only foals can as Celestia looked on with mild disapproval.

“At some point, I need to be going. There are things to be done at home,” Bucky announced in a weary voice.

“You need rest… you look about half dead,” Agnetha replied, her crest rising as she spoke and the feathers on her neck fluffing outward.

“I’ll manage,” Bucky mumbled.

 

 

“Sentinel?”

“Yes Diamond?” Sentinel replied, looking up from the homework he was checking over one last time.

“Thank you,” Diamond Tiara whispered in embarrassment.

“For what?” Sentinel asked, his ears swiveling forward.

“For not kicking me out of your bed when I came to you last night. I know it was awkward and you were worried about, uh, things popping up, but I was hurting and being close to you made me feel better, and you were a perfect gentlecolt,” Diamond Tiara said, unable to look at Sentinel, turning away and blushing.

“Think nothing of it,” Sentinel replied in a raspy nervous voice that rose an octave and then cracked with an awkward squeak.

“I said some awful things to my father… do you think he still loves me?” Diamond Tiara questioned, looking pensive and frightened.

“I’m certain that he does,” Sentinel responded, closing his schoolbook completely.

“I don’t think I’m coming to school today Sentinel… I really don’t feel good, my stomach hurts, and I’m sore all over from crying,” Diamond Tiara said in a soft voice, looking at Sentinel with wide adoring eyes. “I feel so tired.”

“Stay here… there are a gaggle of mares that will mother you… maybe you need that right now,” Sentinel suggested, concern and worry visible upon his expressive face.

“I really don’t feel good,” Diamond Tiara admitted. “I haven’t felt good in a while… I keep getting sick when I get stressed out. Doctor Derby said it was attention seeking behaviour but I really do get sick and my stomach keeps hurting.”

“How long has this been happening?” Berry Punch asked from the doorway, gently butting into the private conversation.

“I don’t know… a few months. When I get stressed out I get in a lot of pain and I get sick, like I did last night. I barfed up what looked like gritty mud,” Diamond Tiara said to Berry Punch. “I feel a little better this morning though.”

“And you told this to your doctor?” Berry asked, her brows furrowing.

“Yes… he told me it was a psychosomatic symptom to generate sympathy and attention,” Diamond Tiara murmured, trying to remember all of the big words the doctor had used to describe her condition.

“Your dad is still asleep and I doubt that he will be in any sort of state to deal with this when he wakes up. You’re coming with me when I take the foals to school and you are going the hospital,” Berry Punch said, her voice full of worry. “Don’t you argue with me.”

“Yes ma’am,” Diamond Tiara said meekly. “Thank you.”

“Somepony has to mother you,” Berry grumbled.

 

 

Nurse Redheart shook her head. She had seen a lot of weird stuff during her long career as a nurse. Strange injuries, bizarre magical and physical ailments, and had even heard strange stories. And right now, she was witness to the strangest thing that had ever happened in Ponyville hospital.

Doctor Stable, looking agitated, cleared his throat and looked at Fluttershy, Discord, and Twilight Sparkle. He started to say something, faltered, fell silent, and then he took a deep breath to try again. “We’ve discovered something odd in the blood work we’ve ran. Discord, we’ve detected unusually high levels of eCG… equine Chorionic Gonadotropin. Look, I need to say up front I am hesitant to make a diagnosis, but the results seem fairly straight forward.”

Looking very confused, Twilight Sparkle turned to look at Discord, her eyes narrowing and her nostrils going wide. She sucked in one deep breath and her ears went completely limp against the sides of her face.

“Well? What is it?” Fluttershy said in a very worried voice.

“The doctor is having trouble saying that Discord is pregnant,” Nurse Redheart blurted out, being blunt and direct as any good nurse should be and getting right to the point. “Discord is pregnant but for some reason, you are getting the morning sickness. We have no idea how the leg swap happened. We have next to no knowledge about draconequus medical knowledge.”

“I’m going to have a foal?” Discord whined in panic. He took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then fainted dead away, falling over on the examination table with a thump.

“Nothing surprises me anymore with Discord,” Twilight Sparkle grunted.

“I suspect that Discord might be pregnant,” Doctor Stable said weakly, lifting one front hoof in a confused gesture of uncertainty.

“I’m not pregnant?” Fluttershy inquired in a soft nearly heartbroken voice.

“Not yet, but you could still end up that way,” Doctor Stable responded. “I have no idea how these things work. He’s male, you are female, crossbreeding is possible, but for whatever reason, he is pregnant and however twisted the logic might be, we must assume he is pregnant with your foal.”

“But I wanted to be pregnant. We worked very hard at it… we even drank that brew from Zecora that brings mares into season right away. I had all of the symptoms. I was consumed with fever and there was a whole lot of need… I… we… oh my,” Fluttershy squeaked, turning bright pink as she spoke. She began to fan herself with one wing. “I suddenly feel very hot.”

“Why can’t anything in my life ever be normal?” Twilight demanded, shaking her head, her still damp mane falling around her neck and releasing the scent of lavender shampoo.

“I still want to do more tests if that is alright,” Doctor Stable stated, looking at Fluttershy with curiousity.

“Oh… of course,” Fluttershy murmured.

 

 

“I’m scared,” Diamond Tiara whimpered as she clung to Berry Punch.

“It’ll be okay,” Berry Punch said as she slipped a foreleg around the small pink earth pony foal. “Look, the place where they drew blood from has stopped bleeding.”

“Still hurts,” Diamond Tiara whined as she pressed herself against Berry.

“I know… they had a hard time tapping the vein. The nurse says you're dehydrated, it always makes it harder to draw blood,” Berry patiently explained.

“I drank some water and some fruit juice at breakfast,” Diamond Tiara said in a low voice. “I feel kinda sick.”

“You don’t look so good,” Berry Punch agreed.

“No… I’m gonna be sick,” Diamond Tiara corrected and then clutched at her stomach.

Lifting Diamond Tiara with her front forelegs, Berry Punch held the foal over the trash can as she spewed, her breakfast coming out in hot partially digested chunks. After a few dry heaves, a dark substance came out, and Diamond Tiara gagged, coughed, and sputtered as she puked.

Berry Punch held the foal and waited patiently, not bothered by ponies puking.

A moment later, the door opened and Nurse Redheart appeared. The mare stood in the doorway, a look of pity upon her face, a look that changed to one of worry as Diamond Tiara wretched out more black tarry goop.

“Not a good sign,” Berry grumbled.

“No it isn’t,” Nurse Redheart agreed. She sighed, it had been a troubling morning.

Finally, when nothing else would come up, Berry Punch set Diamond Tiara down beside her on the examination table while Nurse Redheart grabbed a wash cloth and began to soak it down in hot water. The two mares went to work cleaning the foal up, trying to scrub the sick off of her face, Berry Punch holding, and Nurse Redheart scrubbing.

“You’ve done this before. You know how to stretch the skin tight to make vomit easier to clean,” Nurse Redheart remarked.

Saying nothing in reply, Berry Punch nodded and watched as Nurse Redheart continued to work, carefully scrubbing at Diamond Tiara’s nostrils as the foal kicked, squirmed, and made muffled protests about her treatment.

“It has certainly been one of those mornings,” Doctor Stable announced as he came into the examination room. He watched Diamond Tiara getting scrubbed, looking around, and then looked down into the trash can. He scowled as he peered in, clucked his tongue, and then shook his head. “That confirms it,” he muttered.

“Confirms what?” Diamond Tiara said as Nurse Redheart wiped under her chin.

“You are a very sick little foal,” Doctor Stable said in a warm gentle voice.

“I knew that,” Diamond Tiara said as Nurse Redheart pulled away and tossed the washcloth into the sink.

“You’re anemic… which is a problem, the CBC was not good. I strongly suspected that you might have a peptic ulcer… a bleeding ulcer. Looking into the trash can pretty much confirms it. We need to do a few more tests,” Doctor Stable explained in a patient voice.

“That’s what I thought when I brought her here,” Berry grumbled.

“Well, thank the stars for motherly mares that pay attention. This has been going on for a while I think, based on what you’ve told us Miss Tiara,” Doctor Stable said, looking at Diamond Tiara with wide care-filled eyes.

“Will I get better?” Diamond Tiara asked.

“Yes, with time, you should… but it isn’t going to be that easy. I suspect that stress is the cause here, what you need is some time spent in a very calm environment. Probably not going to school. You need bed rest. And medication wouldn’t hurt either,” Doctor Stable replied.

“But everywhere I go is stressful… how do I get away from stress?” Diamond Tiara whimpered. The foal looked panicked and overwhelmed and tears were forming in her eyes.

“You could stay on the farm with us for a while… it’s quiet enough. We could look after you. Dinky, Piña, and Sentinel would be in school during the day, but they could keep you company when they come home,” Berry Punch suggested. She looked at Doctor Stable. “She told Doctor Derby about this and he did nothing. He dismissed it. He-”

“Ma’am, for the foal’s sake, please calm down. I assure you, right now this matter is being investigated. Doctor Derby is an employee of this hospital. There has already been an official inquiry filed, I did it myself, I signed the papers just before I came in here to speak with you,” Doctor Stable said in a soothing voice.

“I feel kinda queasy,” Diamond Tiara announced.

Sighing, Berry Punch once again lifted the now gagging foal and held her over the trash can as more black tarry goop was forcibly purged from Diamond Tiara’s stomach.

 

 

 

 

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