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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Almost dozing, Bucky was enjoying being lazy. No golems to create, no long trips, there was nothing to but lay in bed, rest, and be a parent when the situation demanded. Beside him, Derpy was sprawled out and between them, Harper was napping. Bucky was oblivious to the festivities going on in the other parts of the house, he was unaware that Lugus was juggling, or that Belisama was trying to learn how to juggle from watching Lugus.

Bucky was aware of the fact that his bed was soft, something he was grateful for. The room was warm, almost too warm, which made him even more drowsy, and Bucky was aware that the wind was howling around the eaves of the house, which did not bother him.

Then the hinges creaked, Bucky became aware that the door was opening. He heard the clatter of little hooves. Too light to be Sentinel’s. The bed moved as somepony lept up onto the bed. Bucky heard a squeak from Harper as she awoke.

“Dinky!” Harper cried.

A moment later, Bucky felt a small body crawl up onto his back. Two small legs wrapped around his neck. A small head pressed into his mane. He could feel Dinky breathing.

“Daddy?”

Bucky’s eye opened, a mere slit, and Taint mist began seeping out. “Yes Dinky?” He heard Harper burbling, making flatulent noises with her lips. Dinky was trembling.

“I’ve made a mistake… I dunno how to talk about it.”

“Just start talking. Hopefully, it will just come out,” Bucky said, offering advice to Dinky.

“I feel so ashamed.”

Dinky’s trembling increased. Bucky felt bad for her. Summoning his patience, he waited for Dinky to say something. Beside him, he felt Derpy move, repositioning her body. He heard a soft whimper and a loud pop which made him wince.

“Mama?” Dinky asked.

“I’m fine Dinky… you just say what you need to say,” Derpy replied.

Bucky could hear the strain in her voice, the pain that Derpy was holding back.

“Are you sure you’re okay mama?” Dinky asked.

“I’m fine Dinks… I just laid down in the same position for too long. I should have moved around a bit but I was being lazy,” Derpy replied.

“Oh.” Dinky tightened her grip around Bucky’s neck and took a deep breath. “Piña called me a stupid shite for brains—”

“She what?”

Derpy’s voice was furious, Bucky could hear it, for a moment, his blood ran cold. He hadn’t heard Derpy this angry in quite some time and he worried that a wing slapping might happen in the very near future.

“This isn’t about Piña! Let me talk!” Dinky’s voice was a squeaky shriek. “I deserved it. I did something bad… I made a mess and I hurt daddy.”

Bucky listened to Dinky and tried to tune out Derpy’s grumbling. He heard the sheets rustle as Derpy grabbed Harper and gave the tiny foal a squeeze.

“Last night I said some stuff I shouldn’t have. I can’t stop thinking about Thistle giving birth. It’s messing with my head. It really scared me. I can’t get it out of my head and I can’t seem to focus on anything else and I…” Dinky’s words became panting breaths as she breathed in and out in rapid succession. “I don’t know how to finish… I don’t know how to say what I want to say… I said some stuff that I really feel bad for saying and I wish I could take it back because I know I was wrong and Piña told me that I really hurt you and I was so wrapped up in my own pain that I wasn’t thinking about how all of this might be hurting you and I’m so sorry!”

Bucky felt something hot and wet trickling down the back of his neck and he could feel Dinky heaving on his spine. For a moment, he wondered if Derpy was going to grab Dinky to comfort her.

Derpy did nothing and Bucky was somewhat surprised.

“Dinky?” Bucky used his softest voice, the voice that only his foals or his wives ever got to hear. “Dinky, I know you’re crying, but can you hear me?”

“What?”

When Dinky spoke, Bucky felt her shudder. He now felt like crying himself. It was difficult to talk. “Dinky, you are forgiven… I’m not angry with you. It’s okay to be hurt. It is okay to be scared. You did the right thing, coming to us, to me, to have a talk.”

Dinky’s sobs worsened. Bucky closed his eyes, not sure what to say, but the sound of Dinky wailing was heartbreaking. Beside him, he heard Harper start crying, the little foal had no idea what was going on.

For a time that seemed to stretch on forever, Bucky waited for Dinky to quiet down a bit. When her body wracking sobs became a more subdued weeping, Bucky took a deep breath and said, “Dinky, just let it out. And when you feel like you're done, I will take you into the kitchen, I will fix you tea, and we will sit down together.” Bucky felt a wet snuffling against his neck.

“I’d like that,” Dinky said, mumbling into her father’s mane.

“I think I’ll join you.” Derpy gave Harper another squeeze. “But first, I’m going to take Harper to the bathroom.”

“Let me,” Bucky offered.

“No, you have Dinky,” Derpy replied.

“And you can hardly walk. You hold Dinky and I’ll take Harper to the potty. Dinky won’t mind, will you Dinky?” Bucky lifted his head and looked at Derpy.

“Fine.” Derpy’s lip protruded in a pout.

“Please don’t punish Piña… I’m begging you, please don’t!” Dinky said to her mother as she slid off of Bucky’s back. “I feel bad enough as it is and I deserved it.”

Derpy grunted but said nothing as Bucky tumbled out of the bed and then wobbled off to take Harper to the bathroom. She gave Dinky an extra squeezy pegasus hug and then kissed Dinky on top of her head, hoping to make her foal feel better.

 

 

As Bucky was gathering everything need to make tea, he was shooed out of the way by Violet and told to sit down. Bucky sat down next to Dinky, who was sitting in her chair, looking depressed and dejected. Dinky’s eyes were red and her face was stained with tears. Unable to do anything else productive, Bucky retrieved a clean cloth, soaked it under warm water, and then, ignoring Dinky’s whimpered protests, he cleaned her face.

From her highchair, Harper banged on her tray.

“Be patient Harper,” Derpy said.

A moment later, Lyra appeared in the kitchen, and she smiled at Harper. “Harpy!”

“Mama!”

Whistling, Lyra moved around Violet, disappearing into the large walk in pantry. A moment later, Lyra reappeared with a jar. “Guess what I have Harper?”

Harper blew a raspberry at Lyra. “Yellow. Yuck!”

Giggling, Lyra bounced around the kitchen and retrieved a spoon. “I guess I’ll eat these mangos all by myself.”

“Mango?” Harper asked, becoming very confused. “Yellow… yuck.”

“These mangos are yellow.” Lyra waved the jar at Harper.

“Yuck.” Harper shook her head and then shrugged. “Yuck?”

“Why is yellow yucky?” Lyra asked. “You like cheese… sometimes. Cheese is yellow.”

“Yuck.” Once more, Harper stuck out her tongue and blew a raspberry.

“Why does Harper think the colour yellow is yucky?” Dinky asked.

Shrugging, Derpy’s wings flapped at her sides. “We ask ourselves that every day Dinky.”

“Squish.” Harper stared at Bucky, her expression stern and serious.

Taking a seat near Harper, Lyra unscrewed the lid off of the jar. “Squish?”

“Squish. Yellow. Yuck.”

Perplexed, Lyra looked at Bucky. “What did you do to her?”

Bucky went on the defensive. “What makes you think I did something to her?”

“She looked at you when she said ‘squish.’ What did you do?” Lyra set the jar down on the table and lifted a spoon.

“I did nothing… why is it when something goes wrong I am always blamed?” Bucky asked. He watched as Lyra spooned out a mango slice and gave it to Harper, who slurped it off of the spoon.

Harper lifted her hoof and pointed at Bucky. “Squish. Yellow. Yuck.”

“Bucky did something to traumatise her,” Derpy said, shaking her head.

“I did not!” Bucky cried in protest.

“What did mamamama do?” Ripple asked as she stuck her head into the kitchen.

“I did nothing,” Bucky replied.

“Bucky is responsible for traumatising Harper,” Lyra said, arming her spoon with another mango. She watched Harper pucker up her lips in preparation. “We have a mystery.”

“We do not.” Bucky slumped in his chair, sulking. He did not want to be the one responsible for traumatising Harper and making her hate the colour yellow. “It is probably something very silly.”

Violet began setting up the table for tea. Plates, saucers, and cups clinked. A tea stand shaped like a holiday tree was set in the middle of the table.

With a loud slurp, another mango section disappeared down Harper’s gullet.

“What’s going on?” Piña asked, peering into the kitchen from between Ripple’s front legs.

“YOU! Get over here and sit down next to me!” Derpy demanded.

Dinky gulped, flinched, and could not bear to look.

“Did I do something wrong?” Piña asked as she approached the table.

Derpy nodded. “You did. But you’ve been forgiven. Now get over here.”

“Squish.” Harper dribbled some mango syrup down her chin.

“Squish is gross,” Piña said as she climbed up into chair beside Derpy.

“Wait, do you know what squish is? What Harper means?” Lyra asked.

Piña nodded and looked at Harper. “Remember the night that daddy made—”

“Mama,” Harper insisted. “Mamamama. Mama mama.”

“—er… right… remember the night mamamama made Harper eat squash and Harper was so grossed out that she threw up all over the floor?”

“Yellow. Yuck.” Harper shuddered. “Squish.”

Lifting his right front leg, Bucky covered his eyes with his fetlock, folding it over his muzzle, unable to look at  his family. Forcing Harper to eat was one thing. Forcing Harper to eat something she found so disgusting that she threw up was not something Bucky was proud of.

“How could I forget that night?” Lyra replied. “I had the odd experience of having another pony’s vomit go up my nose and into my mouth. Sadly, not the first time it happened, nor the last.”

“So ‘squish’ is squash?” Derpy turned to look at Bucky, sighed, and then turned her gaze back upon Piña. Derpy’s eyes narrowed. “I know that you know what you did.”

Eyes wide, Piña looked back at Derpy. “I said what needed to be said.” Piña’s voice was soft and squeaky with fear.

“Mama please,” Dinky said.

“I’ve said what I wanted to say and I’ll leave the issue alone… for now,” Derpy said to Dinky. “But Berry Punch is going to know about this.”

“No…” Piña pleaded.

“And Bon Bon.” Derpy looked at Piña and watched the small pink earth pony foal cower.

“Oh no…” Piña squirmed in her seat. “Not Bon Bon and Berry both!”

“You’re not in trouble this time,” Derpy said, her good eye locked on Piña. “But next time, you won’t be wiggling out of trouble. Berry and Bon Bon are going to know so there is no escaping.”

Crossing her forelegs over her barrel, Piña slumped down in her chair, resigned to a fate worse than death. “That’s fair.”

“What do we do about Bucky?” Lyra asked. When she was done speaking, she took a bite of mango for herself, ignoring Harper’s whimpering protests.

“We forgive him. Today has been a day of forgiveness,” Derpy replied.

“I smell tea,” Diamond Tiara said, appearing beside Ripple.

“So do I.” Sweetie Belle appeared a moment later. “Tea sounds pleasant.”

“What is so special about tea?” Singsong asked, looking up at Sweetie Belle as she approached.

“It brings ponies together,” Diamond Tiara replied.

Sweetie Belle nodded. “It’s also warm and sweet and it tastes good.”

“Well, don’t just stand there, come into the kitchen,” Bucky said.

“Good thing I made plenty,” Violet said as she began to rummage around in the fridge for food. “Semillon said the ambrosia salad is for when everypony starts to get hungry later. I guess now is a good time.”

“Is there tea?” Coco asked as she stepped into the kitchen.

“Yes… Coco, would you please be a dear and tell everypony that there is tea?” Violet asked as she set out a large serving bowl on the counter.

“I would be glad to help,” Coco replied. She turned around, her tail swished, and then she was gone.

“There are reliable earth ponies and then there are reliable earth ponies,” Violet said in a low voice. “And then there is Coco.”

“What is so special about Coco?” Piña asked. “I mean, she’s a nice pony, but what made you say that?”

“Coco could have stood right where she was and shouted that there was tea. Instead, she’s going off room to room to make a soft quiet announcement. Nopony with frazzled holiday nerves will be disturbed,” Violet replied.

Piña’s face lit up with understanding. “Oh. Yeah, Coco is the quiet sort.”

“Rarity has a massive hangover. If you make a loud noise, she’ll squeal like a pig,” Ripple said as she stood near Harper’s highchair.

“Poor dear… she can’t hold her liquor,” Violet said in a voice that contained no trace of sympathy whatsoever. “Ponies that can’t hold their liquor have no business drinking it.”

 

 

 

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