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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Hearing a cry, Bucky awoke. Pinned under a pregnant pegasus, he twisted and wiggled, trying to free himself. He could feel Derpy waking up. For a moment, Bucky’s found his face pressed into the soft flesh of Derpy’s inner thigh and then he heard another cry.

“COLD!”

Half awake, Bucky thought about the angle, and realised that his horn must have brushed across Derpy’s backside. Everypony in the bed was awake now and Bucky saw golden light around him, light that he knew was coming from Lyra’s horn.

“No need to panic,” Thistle said. “Bell woke up. She wanted food. Now she’s gassy and doesn’t want to burp so she’s fussy.”

“Be quiet… you’ll wake the Empress.” Bon Bon’s ears perked as she listened for sounds coming from the nursery. With a grumpy grunt, Bon Bon flopped back down and rested her head upon Lyra, glad for a warm body to cuddle with. With the way the wind howled outside, it felt cold just from the sound alone.

Derpy sat up, balancing upon her haunches, and took Bell into her forelegs. Rocking Bell back and forth, she bounced the foal up and down with a soft, gentle, well practiced motion as Thistle watched. When nothing happened, Derpy rolled Bell over, leaving the filly’s little legs dangling downwards. “She needs a diaper change.”

Thistle nodded. “I know.”

“I’ll do it. It’s easy for me and I don’t mind,” Lyra said in a half awake mumble from beneath Bon Bon. “I don’t even need to get out of the bed.”

Looking up, Bucky could see Bell looking down at him. The foal looked uncomfortable and he could hear her gurgling. Her eyes closed and Bell squirmed. Bucky heard Belisama peep from somewhere, but he wasn’t sure where. The griffoness was a burrower as of late, and he figured she might be buried under some pillows and maybe a blanket.

“Should we be worried?” Thistle asked.

Derpy changed tactics, now patting Bell on her little rump with a wing. She yawned and ignored Thistle’s question. Closing her eyes, Derpy fell into a rhythm. Rock rock bounce bump. Rock rock bounce bump.

“I can hear her tummy gurgling,” Berry Punch said as she rolled over and then she buried her face under a pillow. “I’ve found a griffoness.” Berry’s voice was muffled from beneath the pillow. “It is also very warm under here.”

Rock rock bounce bump. Rock rock bounce bump.

Without warning, Bell Heather belched, producing a terrifying sound; the sort of sound that might have disturbed the migration patterns of dragons had it been a little a little louder.

“All better,” Derpy said, feeling pleased with herself. Every foal had a rhythm.

“No… everything is not better. Some things are now worse.”

Opening her eyes, Derpy looked down at Bucky, who was covered in spit up. Unable to help herself, she giggled and then gave Bell Heather another gentle pat.

“Kelpie milk smells fishy.” Lyra’s observation was met with a groan from Bucky.

From the nursery, there came a cry.

 

 

Without warning, the room was filled with bright light. Bucky squeezed his eyes shut but could still see and feel the light burning through his eyelids. He let out a cry of pain and heard other cries of pain similar to his own. Blinded, he kept his eyes squeezed shut as he tried to figure out what was going on, his brain going so far to suggest that they were all under attack.

“Good morning!”

Dinky’s voice was chirpy, chipper, and far too loud. Bucky groaned and covered his face with his foreleg, trying to shield his eyes, which felt as though there were white hot pokers jammed into them.

“We made you breakfast in bed for Hearth’s Warming,” Piña said as she bounced into the bed and climbed up onto Berry Punch so she could hug Berry’s neck. “We didn’t burn down the kitchen, Semillon helped us.”

“All of you are so sweet!”

Of course Derpy would think they were all so sweet. Bucky scowled, his eyes still stinging and burning. There was something small and hairy climbing over him and he felt two little lips press against the good side of his face. He heard a voice whisper in his ear, “Good morning daddy.”

“Good morning Dinky,” Bucky replied.

Somepony turned off the overhead light and Bucky heard a click as one of the bedside lamps was turned on. Bucky did not open his eyes as he felt Dinky’s forelegs wrap around his neck and squeeze him.

“You smell like fishy sour milk,” Dinky said as she pulled away, her nose crinkling.

“Where is Sentinel? I don’t hear Sentinel,” Bucky said.

“I’m here!”

There was a cry from the nursery and Bucky cracked open one eye just a little bit, his left one. He heard quite a commotion coming from the nursery. He lifted his head. “What’s going on in there?”

“Everything is fine in here!”

That was Loch Skimmer’s voice. Bucky could hear panic in her voice. He opened both eyes and looked around. Derpy was smooching Dinky on the cheek. Bon Bon was getting a hug from Sentinel.

“How much poop can a little foal make?”

“Loch Skimmer, what is going on in there?” Bucky asked, raising his voice a bit.

“Just stay in bed. We’ve got this… I think. EEEEuuuuugh! She’s still going!”

Closing his eyes, Bucky fell back onto the bed, going limp. He smelled coffee. And other things that he did his best to ignore. He could hear Harper whimpering. Part of him wanted to get up to go and check on Harper. The other part didn’t want to get out of the bed.

“There is poop everywhere… what do we do?” Loch Skimmer asked.

Bucky groaned.

“We give Cadance a bath, that’s what we do,” Sparkler replied.

Beside him, Bucky could hear Derpy giggling and Berry Punch was chuckling.

“This feels wrong… I dunno why but it just feels wrong that I’m the one taking Harper to the bathroom—”

“Shut up Rising… wanna scrub Cadance’s backside?” Sparkler replied.

“Right… taking Harper to the bathroom and getting over my hangups.”

“There are biscuits with cream gravy, fried potatoes, and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. We planned the menu ourselves,” Piña said, her pride evident in her voice. “Except for Thistle. We brought fish for Thistle.”

“I cut up the onions in the potatoes,” Dinky said with a sniffle. “I couldn’t stop crying.”

“Any funny business Loch and I will stuff you head first into the diaper pail!”

“Oh dear… Ripple means business,” Bon Bon said when she heard Ripple’s threat from the other room. “What is going on in there?” Bon Bon cried out. “Or do I even want to know?”

Hearing a squeak, Bucky saw Sentinel pushing a cart near the bed, using his head. The cart was loaded down with food, coffee, plates, silverware, everything necessary for breakfast. Bittersweet appeared in the door of the nursery for a moment, Bucky saw her smile, and then she was gone. A moment later, there was a thump, a clang, and a giggle from the nursery.

“I really hope that Loch Skimmer did not just go into the diaper pail,” Bon Bon said in a worried voice.

 

 

“This was really a pleasant surprise. Usually on Hearth’s Warming you’re drug out of bed by foals who want to open presents. So this was nice,” Derpy said as she rubbed her belly.

“The mushrooms in the gravy was a nice touch.” Patting her own stomach, Berry Punch punctuated her words with a belch. “The bed is full of little potato bits and crumbs.”

“The bed has been full of far worse things,” Bucky said. He looked Berry Punch in the eye. “Remember when Harper threw up in the bed? Nothing, and I mean nothing in the whole wide world wakes you up quite like the sound of a foal throwing up in the bed with you.”

“Lyra peed in the bed.” Bon Bon was unconcerned by the scowl on Lyra’s face as she spoke. “But that was Bucky’s fault really.”

“He wouldn’t stop tickling me!”

“Come spring, it will have been one year since our herd was started. Derpy had to run Bucky down… and all of us are here now because of that, having this happy moment, together as a family… a group. A few ponies and a fluffy little ball of feathers and fur,” Berry Punch said as she leaned over on Bon Bon and pulled Belisama closer to her. “Been a real rough start. We’ve been through things that would break most marriages. We have endured. We have survived. We are our own tribe now… something the founders would be proud of I think.”

Bucky nodded. “Well said Berry.”

“A unicorn to light my way, a pegasus to watch over me, and an earth pony to shoulder my heavy burdens... I think about those words, the Founder’s Prayer, and I think about how our herd came together. Those words feel inadequate now… the founders never spoke of lunar pegasi, or kelpies, or even griffons for matter. Those words used to be so meaningful for me… But now… I just don’t know,” Berry Punch said as she nuzzled Belisama.

Reaching out, Derpy grabbed Thistle and pulled her close, careful and mindful of Thistle’s delicate state. “I’m so glad that I have you… when I think back on how we met… on everything that happened in those first few days… I can’t imagine not having you here with me… with us right now.” Derpy planted a kiss on Thistle’s cheek, closed her eyes, and rested her head upon Thistle’s neck.

“And that’s what this day is really all about… having friends outside of your own tribe. Whatever that means. A long time ago, a pegasus, a unicorn, and an earth pony came together. Somehow, they survived the windigos… how did this day become associated with gift giving, holiday cards, and rampant commercialism?” Lyra blinked a few times, shook her head, and looked at Bucky. “Funny how things change. Windigos were once our enemy. Now, I have one as a husband.”

“Suddenly, I’m in the mood to tickle myself a mare—”

“Bucky, you wouldn’t dare.” Lyra rolled over and pulled her legs up to her belly. “Bon Bon, help me!”

“Relax Lyra… I think it would take too much effort for Bucky to get up and do anything to you,” Bon Bon replied.

“I can feel… something… moving,” Belisama said.

Berry Punch, who was holding Belisama, wrapped a foreleg around Belisama’s middle. After a moment, Berry Punch’s face lit up and the earth pony mare beamed. She gave Belisama a gentle squeeze and then looked at Bucky. “There is something moving in here.”

“How much longer?” Bucky asked.

“Another month… maybe less… maybe more… the doctor said that crossbreeds can be funny and to expect the unexpected,” Belisama replied. The griffoness yawned and then closed her eyes.

“Something to look forward to,” Bucky said, his eyes lingering on Belisama.

“Bucky?”

Taking his eyes off of Belisama, Bucky looked at Bon Bon. “Yes Bonnie?”

“I want to have a foal around Hearth’s Warming. Lyra isn’t ready yet, but I am. I owe you one foal and truth be told, I want my own little bundle of happiness,” Bon Bon replied.

“How do you want to do this Bonnie?” Bucky felt his heart beating faster in his barrel as he looked at Bon Bon.

“I was thinking that next month we could do the insemination… if everything goes well, I would have my Hearth’s Warming foal.” Bon Bon looked at Lyra for a moment and saw Lyra nod. “Bucky, I’ve given a lot of thought to making the foal the old fashioned way, and I know we go back and forth on this issue, but I just—”

“Insemination is just fine. And you don’t need to explain yourself to me. Just leave it be Bonnie,” Bucky said.

After wiping her eyes with her foreleg, Bon Bon nodded. “I know I’ve offered to let you… spend time… with me… to make you happy and satisfy your needs… because I want to see you happy… but each time I do that… afterwards… I keep having these moments of anxiety where I think about what if… and I don’t know why, but it bothers me… it scares me… but I love you so much and I want to be with you and I want to touch you and I want you to touch me but… but… but—”

“Bon Bon… just leave it be. It’s okay,” Bucky said.

Scrubbing at her eyes once more, Bon Bon gave Bucky a quivering smile. “Thank you Bucky… for everything.”

Derpy smiled. “So… there will be another foal by Hearth’s Warming if we are lucky…”

 

 

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