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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There was a thump and a clunk in the nursery, which caused Bucky’s eyes to fly open. It was early morning, before the dawn, and there should not have been a clunk nor a thump in the nursery. Bucky extracted himself from his wives, trying not to disturb them, and was extra careful of Thistle and Bell Heather.

Thoughts of rats crept into Bucky’s mind. He shook his head, trying to be rid of the unwelcome thoughts, not liking the mental images appearing in his mind. Instead, he told himself that Harper had figured out how to escape the crib. It seemed reasonable enough as far as assumptions went, and was a far more pleasant thought than rats.

He slipped through the door, silent, his shadow magic manifesting without him realising it. Bucky flipped the light switch and heard a startled cry. Blinking, Bucky saw three foals standing beside the crib. The light stung his eyes and made it difficult to see, but Bucky could see Sentinel, Dinky, and Piña well enough.

“Whasgoinon?” Bon Bon asked as she staggered into the nursery with her eyes closed, bumping into Bucky and then leaning upon him, not yet fully awake.

“A jailbreak.” Bucky yawned, which turned into a half awake whine, and then cleared his throat. Bucky’s attempt at humour died when he saw the look of terror upon Sentinel’s face, and all thoughts about his witty remark about three future convicts helping the little convicts to escape were forgotten. “I’m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for all of this.”

“Perfectly logical,” Piña said, offering her father a sheepish frightened grin. The little pink foal let out a nervous giggle. “All perfectly logical.”

“Too early for this,” Bon Bon said as she wobbled off for the crib.

“We were going to feed Harper breakfast. Sentinel realised that he couldn’t get Harper out of the crib by himself, so I offered to help. Everything was going great until dumb dumb here…” Dinky paused and shot a look at her sister Piña. “Piña had to trip over a stuffed animal that was on the—”

“It was dark and I couldn’t see!” Piña cried out in protest as she got out of Bon Bon’s way.

Try as he might, Bucky could not stop the smile that he felt tugging at the corners of his mouth. “But why so early? I mean, you foals should still be asleep.”

“Sentinel set his alarm. We know that you’ve been getting up early to feed Harper and we wanted to help out and make things easier. Which means we had to get up before you did so we could get to Harper first,” Piña replied.

“I’m shocked… Cadance woke up dry,” Bon Bon said, mumbling in her half awake state. The earth pony stretched out her neck, picked up Cadance by the nape of her neck using her teeth, and then stumbled off to the bedroom, mumbling something even though her mouth was full of alicorn foal.

“I wonder if that hurts?” Sentinel asked as he watched Bon Bon go.

“If what hurts?” Bucky asked in reply.

Sentinel looked thoughtful for a moment. “Picking her up by the neck like that.”

Sitting down on the floor, Bucky looked at Harper, who was yawning, and then at Sentinel. “It doesn’t seem to. The skin is extra thick back there. Earth ponies and pegasi had to have some way of picking up their foals. Thistle picked up Bell and Bell was just fine… Thistle has all those sharp teeth.”

“Just seems odd.” Sentinel sat down, mimicking his father’s posture. “So… about breakfast—”

“Take Harper to the kitchen. Feed her. Semillon should already be up. I’m going back to bed. Harper probably has to go potty… so… have fun figuring that out. Don’t let her fall into the toilet, she already has a dreadful fear of falling in and I can’t begin to imagine what actually falling in would do to her,” Bucky said.

“Uh… we didn’t think of that… how do we do that?” Dinky asked.

“You’ll figure it out.” Bucky smiled at Dinky and then looked at Harper who was bouncing around in the crib, her fluffy orange curls bobbing with every bounce. “If Harper pinches a loaf you might need to give her a shower. Be mindful of the hot water. If you burn your little sister, I will never let you hear the end of it.” Bucky felt an odd perverse sense of satisfaction when he heard Sentinel gulp.

“Well, you can depend on us. We got this,” Piña said.

Piña’s lack of confidence was obvious to Bucky. The little pink foal was terrified. “I’m going back to bed. It was a long night. Good luck…”

 

 

Crawling back into the warm bed, Bucky piled in next to Lyra, who grumbled as he snuggled in beside her. In the dark, he could hear the sounds of foals suckling. It was a soothing sound and Bucky felt the tension from thinking about rats going out of his muscles.

“She did it again,” Bon Bon said in a low whisper.

Bucky buried his face into Lyra’s mane, knowing full well that his words would give Lyra the shivers. “Did what again?” As predicted, Lyra shivered and let out a little giggle.

“Cadance went right for Belisama… and then was fussy when Belisama had no milk to give. I don’t understand why she keeps doing that,” Bon Bon replied.

“Cadance loves the stuffing out of Belisama. Maybe feeding and love are the same thing in Cadance’s mind… like a hug, or a kiss, you know, just the desire to be close to somepony or somebirdy that you love.” Bucky pondered his own words and then thought about how close he was with Lyra at the moment.

Yawning, Bon Bon squeaked out a word. “Maybe.”

“Thistle, how are you feeling?” Bucky asked.

“Sore. All over. Also, I don’t hurt as much in pony form and I can’t figure out why,” Thistle replied in a low voice. “It is strange seeing Bell Heather as a pony. She’s so helpless in this form. She can’t do anything for herself.”

“Thistle shrunk. She’s half the pony she used to be.” Derpy rolled over and wrapped a foreleg around Thistle. “Soon you’ll heal up and you’ll be running and life will be wonderful again.”

Glad for Derpy’s embrace, Thistle closed her eyes and focused on the feeling of the foal suckling upon her teats. “Even though it hurts it’s already easier to walk.”

“Bell has no teeth… did anypony else notice?” Berry asked. She was laying on her back and rubbing her stomach. “Foals are usually born with teeth.”

“It’s a mercy that little kelpies are born with no teeth. Think of all the trouble that Luna has with Erebus when he has a mouth full of fangs,” Bucky replied.

“Yeouch!” Rolling over onto her side, Berry Punch curled up into a protective position and tried not to think about a little kelpie chewing on her flesh. “I wonder how Sentinel, Piña, and Dinky are doing with Harper.”

“So long as they don’t drop her in the toilet, everything will be okay,” Bucky said, fearing the worst but knowing that that the three of them would manage somehow.

 

 

“Nice work back there, you did good Dinky,” Sentinel said as he walked down the hall with Harper on his heels. “You didn’t get soap in her eyes either.”

“I needed a shower anyway. Do you think Thistle is okay?” Dinky followed along after Sentinel and Harper, herding Harper along. “Father needs to re-enchant the dryers on the doorframes… I still feel a little damp.” Beside her, Piña was humming, which Dinky found reassuring for some reason.

Turning into the kitchen, Sentinel saw Semillon at the stove. The cook was looking at him. He could not read the expression on her face. He supposed an explanation was in order. “We’re helping out. We have to feed Harper breakfast.”

“I see.” Semillon kept a straight face but it took effort. Sentinel was far too serious. “Well, sit down at the table. I’ll get breakfast for all of you. I’m fixing eggs. Harper likes eggs, but getting her to remember that she likes eggs usually takes some effort. There will also be biscuits and jam.”

Using her telekinesis, Dinky levitated Harper up into her high chair and then after a moment of struggle, clicked the tray table into place, locking Harper in. Once Harper was secured, Dinky climbed into a chair and sat down at the table. She watched as Piña climbed up beside her.

Sentinel also climbed up into a chair, sitting on the other side of Harper. He looked at Dinky, gave a nod, and then looked at Harper who was sitting in between them. “Watch out… she squirts.” Hearing a clunk, Sentinel saw a cup of coffee being set down in front of him.

“One of my many responsibilities… making sure that the stallion of the house has his morning coffee… this morning, that would be you,” Semillon said as she trotted away, returning to the stove.

Looking over at his three sisters, Sentinel gulped, his mouth feeling as dry as a desert. The enormity of his responsibility settled upon his shoulders. So far, they hadn’t made any mistakes. They had even kept Harper from falling into the toilet, Dinky had been the one to hold her up and keep her steady.

“When mamamama?” Harper asked. “Mama?”

“In bed. Taking a well deserved break,” Dinky replied. She shot Sentinel a nervous glance, wondering what to do if Harper refused to eat. From what Semillon had said, eggs might be challenging, and Harper was already asking for Bucky or her other mothers. Sentinel was drinking coffee. Dinky shook her head. Coffee was gross.

“I feel kinda useless.” Piña heaved a sigh. “I can’t move Harper around with magic and I haven’t been much of a help at all.”

“Don’t worry Piña… I’m sure that before all of this is over, you’ll find something you can do,” Sentinel said after swallowing some of his coffee. Behind him, he heard the fridge open and close.

A moment later, a jug of apple juice was set upon the table, a few glasses, and one small tumbler with a straw for Harper. Sentinel took note. Apple juice was sticky if it got into your pelt. For a moment, Sentinel wondered if the cook was trying to make their lives interesting.

“Thank you,” Piña said to Semillon.

“You’re welcome.”

Knowing she was best suited for the task, Dinky went to work pouring juice into the glasses. This was a simple task now, she could do it with her eyes closed and not spill a drop. But Dinky kept her eyes opened and focused upon her task. This morning was not a good morning to make careless mistakes. She looked at her brother, gave him a knowing nod, and then using her telekinesis, she lifted up the tumbler. Feeling apprehensive, worried, and a little afraid, she set it down upon Harper’s tray.

“Abble juice!”

“Yes Harper, apple juice,” Dinky said. She watched as Harper ducked her head down and took a long drink, sucking up her juice through the straw. When Harper pulled her head up, Dinky winced as she saw apple juice dribbling down Harper’s chin, neck, and barrel.

“She’s already making a mess.” Piña banged her two front hooves together, a nervous gesture. Sniffing, she smelled eggs cooking. “You know, as bad as it looked…”

“Yes Piña?” Sentinel glanced at his sister.

“I think I’d still like to have foals… but later. When I’m grown up and ready for it.” Piña had more to say, but struggled to put her feelings into words. “Maybe it is an earth pony thing, but I’m not that scared by what I saw last night.”

Setting down his coffee cup, Sentinel kept one wary eye on Harper. He wanted to say something to Piña, but no words would come. The sights, the sounds, and the smells of last night were fresh in his memory.

“Here you go… I’ll bring you your plates in a bit. See if you can get Harper to eat,” Semillon said as she set down a plate of eggs on the table, along with a biscuit. “The biscuit has already been buttered and jam was added.”

“Thank you,” Sentinel said.

Dinky armed herself with a spoon, scooped up some eggs, and then smiled at Harper. “Want some breakfast?”

“No! No yellow! Yellow yuck!”

Piña leaned forward on the table. “Here we go… how are we gonna make her eat this?”

 

 

 

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