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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As Bucky entered the kitchen, Semillon smiled at him. He smiled back, as much as his half awake and half aware state would allow. The kitchen smelled of something spicy. Green peppers, onions, garlic, and celery had been cooking. With a gentleness that seemed to defy his half awake and half aware state, Bucky put Harper into her highchair and then sat down at the table beside her.

A cup of coffee was already waiting for him.

“I made Harper some special cookies… I added granola and lots of little bits of minced dried fruit. They turned out dense. Heavy even. Used a bit of molasses and some of that yeast extract stuff that the doctor recommended for Harper’s stomach,” Semillon said. The older mare shook her head. “I still don’t understand how giving a foal that has problems with gas something that will cause more gas to help them.”

“Digestive gut flora,” Bucky replied as he slumped over the table. “It is why she is supposed to eat yogurt and stuff with helpful bacteria. For whatever reason, she does not maintain her own colonies of helpful gut flora like you and I do.”

Semillon pressed her lips together in a straight line as she looked at Harper. The cook was silent for a moment as she stood blinking, her nostrils flared and then her look of intense concerned relaxed into one of gentle affection. “Poor dear… you’re going to spend the rest of your life tooting your own horn, just like a pegasus. Little colts will either be impressed, jealous, or disgusted…”

Hearing a pained cry, Semillon turned, feeling alarmed, and looked at Bucky. He was clutching his muzzle and groaning. A feeling of worry overtook her. Bucky looked miserable and she had no idea why.

“Hot coffee almost came out my nose!” Bucky moaned, a wordless sound, and then rubbed his snoot with his talons. As he recovered, he watched as Semillon gave Harper a few cookies and a bowl of yogurt.

Lifting his head, Bucky heard little hooves tap tap tapping upon the wooden floorboards. Some little pony was up and out of bed at this dark hour before dawn. Sentinel stumbled into the kitchen, blinking and looking bleary eyed. Bucky watched as Sentinel stumbled to the kitchen table and took a seat.

“And what can I get you?” Semillon asked.

“Coffee… black,” Sentinel replied.

Bucky became aware that Semillon was looking at him, her eyebrow was raised. A questioning look was on her face. Saying nothing, Bucky gave a nod to let her know it was okay.

“Father?” Sentinel asked.

“Yes Sentinel?” Bucky replied. He saw Sentinel slump down into his chair, his eyes were only just visible over the edge of the table. The colts ears were pinned back against his head. For whatever reason, Sentinel was trying to make himself look as submissive as possible.

“I came down to check on Cadance last night. I was very very quiet so I wouldn’t disturb her… I was worried.” Sentinel fell silent and ducked down in his chair a little more, no longer looking at Bucky, but at the salt and pepper shakers instead. “I… uh, I heard you and Thistle… it worries me… should you… uh… be doing things to her in her condition?”

There was a loud snort from Semillon and Sentinel almost jumped out of his skin.

Pondering his reply options, Bucky figured that honesty was the best policy. This was Sentinel after all. The colt expected the truth and it was always great fun to embarrass him. Clearing his throat, Bucky swallowed a gulp of coffee and then held his cup before his muzzle in his talons so he could breathe in the steam.

There was a clunk as Semillon set a cup of coffee down in front of Sentinel.

“Sentinel, son, a mare in Thistle’s condition experiences a lot of pain and discomfort. There isn’t a whole lot you can do for them to make everything better, but there is one thing you can do for them, and this is something I think that you should know,” Bucky said.

“And that is?” Sentinel asked.

The colt’s apprehension was as clear as day. Sentinel knew this was a dangerous game. Asking his father questions was always an adventure. His father was good at giving answers. Just not always the answers that Sentinel wanted.

Sometimes, his father was too good at giving answers.

“The doctor suggested regular orgasms to help her cope with pain and to help her mood. Now, because of the pressure placed upon her uterus and the way everything is getting stretched out from the inside, there is a strict ‘no penetration’ rule in place, but everything else is fair game.”

At that moment, Sentinel wished that the floor would open, swallow him up, and that he would never be seen again, lost to the darkness. He closed his eyes and rested his head down on the edge of the table. Focusing on breathing, Sentinel realised that he had brought this upon himself.

“One day Sentinel, you are going to be a husband… and a father… and it will be of vital importance for you to understand the art of mare maintenance,” Bucky said.

From over by the stove, Semillon tittered.

“They come with a reset button… it has to be pressed regularly otherwise there might be technical issues…”

Squeezing his eyes shut as tight as possible, Sentinel gritted his teeth. Semillon’s laughter burned his ears. He could hear it in his father’s voice that he was just getting warmed up.

“There is nothing worse than a malfunctioning mare… speaking of malfunctioning mares… good morning Bonnie.”

Sentinel became aware that somepony was breathing on him. He opened his eyes and saw Bon Bon’s blue eyes staring at him. He glanced at the coffee cup and then wondered how much Bon Bon had heard of the conversation he was having with his father. Knowing that his life might now be measured in seconds, Sentinel offered his mother a sheepish smile.

“Why is my colt drinking coffee?” Bon Bon asked.

Bucky took note of the monotone voice that Bon Bon was using. He wasn’t in trouble… yet. One ear was twitching and Bon Bon’s tail was swishing off to her left. He also took note of the language used. When something good happened, Sentinel was referred to as ‘our colt’ but when something bad happened, or when Bucky had done something to lead Sentinel astray, Sentinel became ‘my colt’ in Bon Bon’s mind. The implication of possession was important to note.

Knowing the distinction betwixt the two could be life saving.

“Sentinel drank a cup of coffee yesterday and as far as I know, he did not become a hyperactive spaz-beast,” Bucky said in a voice that would make any diplomat green with envy. “Bon Bon, it concerns me that you would be worried about the coffee because when you came in, we were clearly talking about sex.”

“Sex doesn’t worry me… that is one area where I know that you will not lead Sentinel, or any of our foals for that matter, astray. They will get good sound advice from their father, provided that you don’t go into a neurotic meltdown from the discussion. You must have been in some kind of mood this morning,” Bon Bon replied. Her brows furrowed. “Don’t you dare try to turn this around on me… being clever will not help you.”

“Yesterday I wasn’t so nervous. It was easier to think. I was able to concentrate and because of that I performed my duties better. Even Twilight Sparkle noticed and she said something to me about it,” Sentinel blurted out, hoping against all hope to save his father from Bon Bon.

“Is that so?”

Sentinel’s ears perked. Bon Bon’s voice was filled with concern. He had already given all that he had, there was nothing left to give, no other reassuring words to offer. Sentinel nodded.

“There are times when stimulants seem to calm Lyra down. I always figured it was a quirk or perhaps a placebo effect. Maybe there is something to it,” Bon Bon said as she looked at Sentinel and then at Bucky. She sat down in a chair beside Harper and smiled at the filly in her highchair.

“Cookie,” Harper said, joining the conversation.

“I see that,” Bon Bon replied. Looking down upon the tray, Bon Bon studied the cookies. She sniffed one, looked at Semillon, and then at Bucky. “Smells yeasty sorta. These cookies were a good idea.”

“Semillon’s idea… I was just content to feed Harper cookies because she’ll eat them without fussing.” Bucky looked at Bon Bon and then at Harper, who was sitting in between the two of them. “Yesterday, I gave Sentinel coffee and I fed Harper cookies for breakfast.”

Bucky heaved an internal sigh of relief when Bon Bon said nothing in reply, but focused her attention upon Harper. Using his magic, he poured Bon Bon a cup of coffee and placed it down upon the table beside her as the earth pony mare tried to brush away cookie crumbs from Harper’s face.

“Cadance slept through most of the night, you did a good thing Sentinel,” Bon Bon said as she lifted up a glass of milk for Harper to sip. “She only woke up from hunger.”

“How much does a little alicorn foal eat, anyway?” Sentinel asked.

“She can drain Berry and Derpy dry and then take most of what I have as well,” Bon Bon replied. Shaking her head, Bon Bon chuckled. “Poor little dear… she can’t figure out why Belisama has no milk to give. She’s always so disappointed.”

“Sama-mama,” Harper said in a sing-song voice, spewing cookie crumbs everywhere.

There was a creak on the stairs that caused several pony ears in the kitchen to twitch. A moment later, Yew Wood appeared in the kitchen entrance. A second later, Peekaboo came into view.

“Peeky!” Harper bounced up and down in her highchair, glad to see her playmate.

“Harpy!” Peekaboo replied as she struggled to climb up into a chair. Grunting with effort, she got a boost from her mother. “Cookie?”

“It’s funny, being a parent messes up how you see everything,” Yew said as she slipped into a chair beside Peekaboo.

“How so?” Bucky asked.

The pegasus yawned, stretched her wings, and then blinked her remaining eye a few times. Yew rested her forelegs upon the table and hunched forwards. “Last night, Peekaboo got up to use the bathroom all by herself. She didn’t wake up either Lugus or I to help her. Of course, Lugus and I woke up anyway, because she started belting out the potty song at the top of her lungs… we were so proud of her. We considered it a major victory. We’re warriors… fighters… and this was a major victory.”

“Harper won’t go without help,” Bon Bon said and then yawned. “At least she tries to hold it in until help arrives.”

“This is weird.” Sentinel peered over his cup at his tablemates, glancing around and meeting their gaze as they looked at him.

“Okay Sentinel, I’ll bite… what’s so weird now?” Yew asked.

“This table has been witness to all manner of discussions. Cultists. Necromancers. The recent evidence that there is a lich down south building an army. Discussions about the properties of mare milk. Foreign policy. And this morning, it is foals going potty,” Sentinel replied.

Lifting a cookie in his magic, Bucky waved it around as he said, “Well, at least it is almost always interesting.” When he was done speaking, he stuffed the whole cookie into his maw and began chewing.

“Don’t start gobbling cookies, I’m making quiche for breakfast,” Semillon said.

“Is that what smells so good? I could smell it all the way upstairs.” Yew rubbed her cheek with one wing, yawned again, and then stared down into her coffee cup.

“What?” Harper asked.

“Quiche. It is a type of pie,” Semillon replied.

“Pie!” Peekaboo flapped her wings, unable to contain her excitement. “Pie for breaky!”

“Harper, settle down and eat your yogurt.” Arming herself with a spoon, Bon Bon made herself ready to do battle if Harper decided a struggle was in order.

“Something smells wonderful!”

Almost dropping his coffee cup, Bucky looked at Luna, who stood in the archway entrance, surprised to see her. The alicorn was chipper, in a good mood, smiling, and seemed to be very happy.

“Luna, I was not aware that you were still with us,” Bucky said as Luna joined them at the table. “I thought you left last night.”

“Barley was suffering… he needed a warm body in the bed with him. I stayed to keep Barley warm,” Luna replied.

“Where is Erebus?” Bucky asked.

Luna sniffed and looked over at the stove. “I left Erebus in the bed with Barley. Erebus got fed and then wanted to go back to sleep. Barley is content to be a lazybones and lounge about in the bed all morning.”

“Well, you seem to be in a good mood,” Bucky said.

Sentinel, feeling nervous, decided to make yet another attempt at humour. The end result was a total disaster most of the time, but Sentinel was undeterred. “Barley must have been up all night performing mare maintenance so Luna would not have technical issues…”

 

 

 

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