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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“Thistle, keep pushing… Bucky, tell me what you see.”

“A little face… a head. Two little ears—”

Violet shook her head. “Is the foal making any progress coming out?”

“No… still just a head,” Bucky replied.

“That’s what I thought.” Violet, feeling concerned, made no outward expression other than the corners of her mouth turning downward a bit more than usual.

“Am I... in trouble?” Thistle asked.

Thistle’s voice was raspy, hoarse, and came out as little more than a ragged whisper. The state of Thistle’s voice worried Bucky more than any of the blood that kept flowing out.

“No trouble yet, but you’re going to have to work for it… Thistle, you did a good job with this foal. She’s fat… most likely. And you’re still little. I bet her little shoulders are wedged in there. This is going to hurt… but you’re a tough mare… you can do this—”

“I’m no… mare… I’m a filly… I can’t do… this.”

“If we can get those shoulders out you’re done… this will be over.” Violet leaned down and kissed Thistle on her brow. “Now push damn you!”

Bucky, observing the other end, watched as the foal squirmed inside of her mother. “Shouldn’t there be like a birthing sac or something?”

“It probably slipped off… don’t worry, it’ll come out with the afterbirth,” Violet replied.

Thistle screamed, it was her worst one yet, and for a moment, Bucky feared that he would go mad with worry. And then, Bucky almost did go mad with worry. Thistle went silent and stopped moving. Her tail was almost still in the water.

“She’s fainted… Bucky, now is not the time to panic. Take those talons of yours, grab the foal by the head and neck, and very carefully give her a wiggle. Let’s see if you can pull her out.”

Violet’s words made Bucky feel queasy. “Are you sure this is wise?”

“Bucky, I trust your ability to create near perfect machines. Do you trust yourself?”

Looking down at his talons, Bucky stared at the rubber caps over the talon tips. He flexed them once, then twice, and then a third time. He wanted to trust in his own creations. He had made his talons for delicate tasks. This was a delicate task.

“Don’t tug too much. Don’t yank and no hard pulling. Just a little wiggle. Maybe we can break the suction a bit and make things easier.”

“Okay Violet.” Reaching out, Bucky grasped Bell Heather in his talons. There was a moment of panic and then Bucky realised there was just too much at stake to allow himself to panic. He lifted the foal’s head upwards, then off to one side just a little, and then off to the other. There was a wet sucking sound and a few bubbles rose up to the surface of the water. Fresh red blood trickled out with the bubbles. Extending his thumb talon, Bucky willed it to slide over in its track, setting it in a more useful location. Closing his eyes, Bucky focused on feeling the area where Bell Heather’s neck met up with the bottom of Thistle’s slit.

At least he didn’t have to worry about the kelpie foal drowning.

Fearing that he would do more harm than good, Bucky pushed his thumb talon along the foal’s neck, and using her neck as a guide, he pushed his thumb talon into Thistle. After this was accomplished, he then wiggled it around. He could feel flesh contracting around him and the foal. He pushed a little deeper, angling his way in, feeling a great deal of resistance. There was a slurping sound followed by a whooshing sound. Startled, Bucky froze for a moment, not sure what was happening. More blood seeped out.

With a gush of bloody meaty chunks, Bell Heather shot free of her mother. Still frozen, Bucky stared down at the foal in the water. She was still for a moment, which terrified Bucky, and then he saw her tail twitch. She had no mane. She was bloody and purple and Bucky had no idea what colour she was.

“Leave the cord for now, we’ll deal with it later,” Violet said in a low voice. She reached up and wiped her face with her foreleg. “That was clever of you, breaking suction like that.”

“It was a hunch… I didn’t know if it would work… I almost shat myself in fear as I did it.” Bucky looked around, blinking, feeling stunned. Derpy was up and moving, she was approaching the tub, and Bucky looked at her. “I delivered another foal.”

“Yes you did,” Derpy replied.

“This time I saved the mother…”

A lump appeared in Derpy’s throat and she thought of Harper. It was an awful feeling and she wondered just how much that moment haunted Bucky. She could hear the pain in his voice now. She looked into Bucky’s eyes, not knowing what to say, but wishing she had some meaningful words, some means to make the hurt go away.

Berry Punch stepped forward to stand beside Derpy. “Yes Bucky, you did. You saved Thistle in every way that matters.”

“We have a new foal,” Derpy said as she looked down into the water. “Is she swimming?”

“Looks that way,” Berry Punch replied as she watched the tiny kelpie foal in the water.

Sentinel approached the tub, stood up on his hind legs, braced his front hooves on the edge, and peered in. “Look… milk is leaking into the water… and the foal is moving along Thistle’s tail… that’s amazing.”

“She seems to know where to go to feed herself.” Derpy turned to look at everypony. “Okay… all of you out. We need to get Thistle cleaned up. There is still a lot to do. Thistle is going to need quiet. So all of you foals need to go. I’m sorry. In the morning, if Thistle is up for it, you can come see her and the foal then.”

 

 

Bucky was acting peculiar and Berry Punch wondered if he would revert to a feral state as he had done with Harper. He was pacing. sniffing, stalking about the bathroom in an agitated state. She glanced at Violet, worried for Violet’s safety, not knowing how Bucky might behave if he slipped into whatever weird state that he had slipped into with Harper.

Berry Punch let out a startled yelp when Bucky headbutted her, rubbing the side of his face along her withers. When he pulled away, Berry Punch could feel something greasy feeling on her pelt. Sometimes, when Sentinel brushed up against her, he left behind the same greasy feeling. Realising she had been marked, Berry Punch took a deep breath and said nothing, understanding that Bucky was acting on strong instincts. Her nostrils crinkled from the strong musky odour now coming from her pelt.

A moment later, Bucky headbutted Derpy, and Berry watched as Derpy rubbed her head along Bucky’s neck, mimicking his gesture.

The tub was filling with clean water after it had been cleaned out and some of the water drained. Lyra had cleaned out as many of the floaty bits as possible. Derpy was afraid to drain the tub until it was empty as nopony was quite sure what would happen if the foal was no longer in water.

Bell Heather was latched onto her mother’s teat and was feeding.

“Thistle is still out… I’m worried.”

Berry Punch looked at Bon Bon, agreeing with her fellow earth pony. Bon Bon was leaning over Thistle’s limp body and nosing her neck, trying to get some sort of response. Berry watched, feeling hopeful.

“Thistle will be fine… the pain got to be too much and she—ugh! Bucky what have you done to me!” Violet backed away from Bucky, her nostrils flaring. “What a stink!”

“You’ve been marked… you’re one of us now. You get used to the smell. Usually it’s Sentinel that does this,” Derpy said. “Bucky?”

Bucky did not reply, but continued to pace.

“I wonder if he is going to go all weird on us like he did with Harper,” Lyra said.

Berry Punch looked at Lyra. “I was just thinking the same thing. Bucky seems to be in a bit more control over himself but he also seems kinda feral. I was worried about what he might do to Violet, but I’m not worried now.”

“I’ve been marked… I suppose I should feel flattered.” Violet lifted Thistle’s head from the edge of the tub and then eased Thistle’s head down into the water. “This feels odd… just dropping her head into the water like this and leaving her.”

Sticking his head in the door, Barley looked into the room. “How is my kelpie?”

“Still passed out I’m afraid. But her breathing is good… or it was when her head was above the water,” Bon Bon replied.

Grunting, Barley pulled his head out of the doorway and disappeared from view.

“The water still looks murky and kinda gross.” Lyra scowled, unsure of what to do. “Should Bell be swimming around in water this gross? Or breathing in water this yucky?”

“I’m sure everything will be okay for now,” Berry Punch said. “Everything else went off without a hitch, I think everything will be fine.”

 

 

Thistle awoke to everything aching. Lifting her head, she broke the surface of the water, gasping as her lungs took in dry air. She had a strange sensation just below her stomach. There was a strange strong musky smell in the air. She felt something moving in the water beside her.

“You are now a mother… you did good Thistle,” Derpy said in a low voice.

Blinking, her eyes stinging as they filled with tears, Thistle twisted her head around to have a look down in the water. She was laying on her side and something kept brushing up against her stomach. That something was a pale shade of purple in the dim light of the bathroom. Her movement caused excruciating pain to shoot through her middle.

Reaching out her foreleg, Thistle touched the small body next to her in the water. When she did so, she felt a tugging on sensitive flesh. She realised that the foal was latched on to a teat. It dawned upon Thistle that this is what had been growing inside of her for all of this time. She had made this. Something brushed up against the side of her face and Thistle was distracted by her thoughts. Lifting her head, Thistle saw Bucky. He was staring at her, saying nothing, his ears were back against his skull.

Trembling, Thistle was overcome with an emotion she could not name. “I made you a foal… I hope you like her…”

“Bell Heather.”

“Oh thank goodness, he’s talking again.” Derpy took a deep breath.

“Bucky hasn’t been himself for a while,” Berry Punch said to Thistle.

“I have a foal… mine.”

Even in her muddled state, Thistle could tell that Bucky was acting a little off. She watched him walk away from the tub and then he began to pace the length of the room.

“You fainted near the end,” Violet said.

“I remember being in a lot of pain… like my insides were being pulled out.” Thistle reached down and rubbed her stomach, wincing as she touched it.

“There was a problem with suction. Pressure differences. I think because the water, but I can’t say for sure. Bucky reached up inside of you and broke the seal. Bell Heather shot right out like a cork out of a bottle of sparkling wine when he did that. Don’t know what happened exactly, but it all worked out for the best,” Violet said as she looked at Thistle.

“Thank you—”

“Don’t mention it. It was my privilege.” Violet looked Thistle in the eye and gave the kelpie a little nod. “Welcome to motherhood.”

Bending her neck, Thistle once more tried to get a good look at her foal. There were tiny little legs. A long tail. Bell Heather was a soft muted shade of purple, but Thistle wasn’t sure if she was purple.

Berry Punch leaned over the edge of the tub. “She swam just moments after birth. Well, moved around in the water. You started leaking milk and she found a teat on her own.”

“I suppose being in the water isn’t too different from being in the womb,” Thistle said.

“So what happens if she’s on dry land? I guess she’ll be a little pony foal and will be helpless?” Berry asked, her brows furrowing. “We’ve all been wondering about it because we wanted to drain the tub completely so we could clean it.”

“I’ve never been around another kelpie foal,” Thistle said, coming to a dreadful realisation about herself, her kind, and her species. “I have no idea what will happen… this is awful.”

“You have us… we’ll get through this. A little common sense, a pinch of motherly instinct from Derpy, and a little patience as we figure out what works. Everything will be fine,” Bon Bon said.

Lyra smiled. “And when the next kelpie comes, we’ll know just what to do.”

 

 

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