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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“Oh this just isn’t fair.” Turning away from Berry, Thistle lifted her head high and snorted. “Other than a sore back, Belisama doesn’t seem bothered by this at all.”

Berry narrowed her eyes at Thistle. “Do you really want Belisama to start screaming like you did? Do you want her to suffer?”

“No!” Thistle, feeling hurt, was unable to stop her lower lip from protruding in a pout. “She’s laughing… laughing… this just feels so unfair but I don’t want her to suffer.” Feeling ashamed, Thistle grabbed Bell Heather and pressed her face into her foal’s back, trying to hide.

Around them, the ship rocked, shuddering. Several griffon crests arose. There were worried peeps. Celestia lifted her head, her horn almost bumping the ceiling, and looked down at the worried griffons peering around the doorframe.

“Everything is fine. Just a little turbulence, that is all. Bucky went to make sure everything is okay and I am positive that everything is fine,” Celestia said in a confident soothing voice.

Sitting up, Belisama held her stomach, took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out in a low whistle. “I feel like I ate too much. Hard to breathe.”

“Lay back. Stop bunching up your body. It will be easier to breathe,” Violet said as she reached out a hoof and pushed Belisama over on the bed.

“But I want to sit up and be able to look at everybirdy and everypony.” Laying on her back, Belisama took another deep breath and held it.

Cadance, sitting up and looking solemn, spread her wings outwards, flapped a few times, and then with all of the regal majesty that only an alicorn empress could muster, belched, pulling her lips back from her miniscule teeth and letting go of everything that had been trapped inside.

For a moment, all sound in the room ceased.

“Good girl!” Reaching out a foreleg, Berry Punch patted Cadance on the back. “Who is mama’s good girl… that’s right… you are!” Still patting Cadance, Berry Punch smiled. “She’s learning how to burp… no more having to burp her or Bucky worrying about her exploding.”

“Bucky worries that she will explode?” Celestia asked, raising her eyebrow.

“Bucky worries that all foals will explode. Not just Cadance. He burps them thoroughly. Derpy told him that if he failed to burp a foal properly, they would explode. Now he has nightmares about it,” Berry Punch replied, sounding Berry serious. “Derpy told him that pegasi foals are the most susceptible and if Bucky didn’t burp them in just the right way, he’d come to the crib one day and find nothing but feathers and four little hooves.”

“That explains so much about what Luna was telling me about Bucky’s nightmares and his phobia of exploding foals,” Celestia said, shaking her head. Looking down at her niece, Celestia couldn’t help but feel that Cadance was getting a colourful upbringing.

Bucky, appearing in the door, peered into the room. “We’re fine. We’re flying over a storm. The ship is a little icy, but there are spells to make sure that everything remains okay. We’re just hitting some strong updrafts, that’s all.”

“Good to hear,” Celestia replied. “Buckminster, I have something very important to ask you and I would like an honest answer.”

Standing up straight, Bucky looked Celestia in the eye. “Yes?”

“You would never do something so careless like slack off when it comes to burping a foal, would you?” Celestia asked, exerting the same force of will it took to move the heavens to keep a straight face. “I worry about my niece—”

“I take my duties very seriously,” Bucky said, cutting Celestia off. Around him, he heard snickering, chortles, and sniggering. “When it falls upon my shoulders, I make sure that I work out every gas bubble I can. Especially on Cadance. She’s part pegasus. And if I can’t make the magic happen, I bring them to Derpy.” He glanced around and saw Berry Punch biting her front hoof. One of his eyebrows raised and the other arched downwards.

“Had I the power, I would make you the alicorn of devoted fatherhood,” Celestia said.

Glancing around, Bucky scowled. “Go ahead and laugh. Derpy and I both know the real dangers of what could happen. Nopony takes us seriously.” Crossing the room, he went to Belisama’s side, nosed her once, and then lifted himself up into the bed to lay down beside her.

“Bucky’s devotion deserves notice,” Lugus said in a low voice. “All those nights he stayed up with Harper while she suffered from colic. Bucky was the only relief she had.”

“Poor little Harper. I hope my foals don’t end up with digestive issues,” Thistle said, pulling Bell Heather a little closer.

“Eh, a little yogurt and Harper is fine,” Berry said. “So what if she goes around farting like a pegasus. Ponies keep making a bigger deal about this than it needs to be.”

“I’m worried about my little hippogriff and her digestive system.” Reaching out his talons, Bucky ran one talon finger along the side of Belisama’s head, smoothing out her feathers.

“Bucky, crossbreeds usually take on the best traits of both of their parents. I have known several hippogriffs. Perhaps the most interesting was a vegetarian hippogriff that used his beak to eat seeds, nuts, and fruits.” Celestia stepped closer the bed, dropped her head, and peered down her muzzle at Belisama.

“I am hoping that when I go home that Yew Wood will have good news for me. I must admit, I am envious of my friend,” Lugus said, peering through the doorway with his head cocked off to one side. “Berry Punch provided a most thoughtful gift for the holidays.”

“Zecora’s potions usually work.” Berry watched as the griffon twins, Sprocket and Cog, hugged one another. “Worked out well for Rainbow Dash.”

“Bucky, I’ve told you this before, and I am telling you again, but griffon cubs are hideous little monsters.” Belisama rubbed her stomach as she spoke. “They are the most horrible awful ugly little things you have ever seen… I want you to love your cub… but you have to give her a chance. In time… she will be beautiful.”

The griffons around the door all nodded and murmured, agreeing with Belisama.

“I dunno, they’re not so bad,” Magpie said, shrugging. “The trick is not to look at them.”

Shaking her head, Celestia frowned. “I cannot believe what I am hearing. All babies are beautiful. Talking about this just as Belisama is about to give birth… I am disappointed in all of you.”

“But griffon cubs are horrific,” a small griffoness said from the door.

“They cannot be that bad,” Celestia replied. She nosed Belisama and lifted her head a bit. “How are you feeling?”

“The back spasms and cramps have less time between them,” Belisama replied.

The griffoness wiggled and rolled over on her belly. She hiked up her hips, sticking her posteriour up in the air, and then sighed as her tail swished back and forth. “Ah, that’s better.”

Reaching out his talons, Bucky rubbed his talon tips over the spot just above the base of Belisama’s tail, causing the griffoness to wiggle her backside around. After a moment, Belisama closed her eyes and began to purr.

Violet, taking a change to examine Belisama’s backside, leaned in and had a good look. “I don’t think it will be long now. Bucky, you’re about to be a daddy… again.”

 

 

Clenching her talons, Belisama flexed them around Bucky’s metal talons and squeezed. Panting with exertion, she hiked up her tail and waited for the painful spasm to pass. Still laying on her front with her backside up in the air, Belisama found that she could only get comfortable in this position, as odd as it was.

With a cry, Tourmaline lept from her chair, bounced on her hooves, and lept up into Magpie’s chair. She flung her forelegs around the startled griffoness and squeezed. “I can feel her pain. I’m scared.”

Recovering, Magpie wrapped her foreleg around Tourmaline and pulled the foal close. When the foal closed her eyes, Magpie began to rock Tourmaline back and forth. Aware that Celestia was looking at her, Magpie squeezed a little tighter, hoping to reassure the distraught foal in her embrace.

With a confused expression upon her face, Cadance watched everything with wide eyes. Sitting between Berry Punch and Thistle, the tiny alicorn, determined to watch, wailed if somepony touched her or tried to pull her close.

Thistle, remembering the pain of birth all too well, reached out her foreleg, seeking Berry Punch’s, and then felt Berry Punch reaching out to her. They hooked fetlocks together and then Berry Punch leaned over and kissed Thistle on the cheek, careful not to disturb Cadance.

“I do not get to attend enough births,” Celestia said in a soft whisper as she stood guard by the bed. “I have seen so many deaths. In my long life, I have seen far too many lives end. I treasure each new life I get to witness.”

“I have ended too many lives… I would rather make them,” Bucky said as he rubbed Belisama’s back for her. For a moment, he worried that his words might sound trite.

“Buckminster…” Celestia’s voice was thick with emotion as she turned to look at Bucky. “It does my heart good to hear you say that. It is my greatest worry that you will one day grow to love violence and killing.”

“No.” Bucky’s voice was a low whisper. He pressed his snoot against Belisama’s neck, inhaled, breathing through her feathers and nuzzling her to encourage her. “No, this is better.”

Letting out a strained groan, Belisama squeezed down so hard on Bucky’s talons that it made her own talons ache. She gasped, held her breath for a moment, and then began to push once more, feeling a strong need to push and bear down.

“You were my curious little cat bird creature. When you were being curious, crawling all over me, touching my lips, feeling my face, I admired your courage and began to feel something for you in those moments,” Bucky said, whispering into the spot where Belisama’s ear was.

The griffoness gasped and then panted. She took a deep breath and then said, “You were treacherous… you scared me… but you did not hurt me.” Belisama gulped down more air. “I was impressed... by your treachery… I said you were almost a griffon…” There was another gulp. “I am still your… your servant… I would do anything you ask of me… you have given me freedom… and I choose to serve… I am happy with… the Shackle Breaker King.”

Belisama yowled, clutched at Bucky’s metal prosthesis, and dragged her claws down the length of metal. Her yowl became a screech and her tail went stiff. One wing extended and flapped.

“Wow, that’s tiny,” Violet said as she stood there blinking.

“What is tiny?” Celestia asked, moving around to have a look.

“I think I just saw her head.” Violet leaned closer for a better look. “It peeked out for a moment and then was sucked back in.”

“All griffons are born small,” a griffoness said as she peered through the door. “Even Lugus, our protector, he was born teeny tiny.”

“Was not.” Lugus, holding his head high, attempted to look as dignified as possible.

“Oooh this just keeps getting more unfair.” Thistle’s voice was a low whisper and almost a whine. After saying it, she felt bad, guilt settled in; what was unfair was getting set on fire in a dream and living through the sort of things that Bucky had to live though. Falling silent, Thistle resolved to hold her tongue until this was over.

“I see it!” Celestia pranced in place, her hooves thudding on the floor as she acted like an excited filly. “I saw it… it poked out for a moment!”

Violet nodded. “It did.” She looked at Bucky and came to the realisation that he wasn’t going to see much of this birth. He was embracing Belisama, allowing her to hold his talons, and lost in the moment. Turning her head, she looked up at Celestia. “Be ready with one of those soft cloths I have over there.” Violet pointed at the counter where a stack of dark blue cloths were laid out.

“Why are they blue?” Celestia asked, looking at the pile.

Violet lowered her voice. “It hides the blood. It just looks like a darker shade of blue… or purple. Makes it easier on those watching. White is a terrible idea.”

“Raven can’t stand the sight of blood. It makes her nauseous, queasy even. Poor dear.” Celestia looked around the room, missing her assistant. She snatched up a blue cloth and waited.

“Belisama, give me a big push… everything you got.” Violet said as she watched the head peek out and not slip back in. “You may choose to live like a sparrow, but today you are the lioness… now push!”

Thistle, who did not want to look, could not tear her eyes away. She squeezed Berry’s fetlock with her own and then felt Berry squeeze back. Transfixed, she watched as there was a gush of blood and fluid that came dribbling out of Belisama, her swollen slit was puffy and enlarged. There was something dark and purple sticking out, it was too small to make out the details.

Belisama screamed; it was strange throaty warbling cry that wavered in pitch.

Bucky, holding Belisama, had his eyes closed and his muzzle was pressed against the griffoness’ neck. He could feel her pulse, her lifeblood, the very rhythm of her life pounding in her neck, in a hidden place just under her skin.

“Is that it?” Celestia asked as Violet scooped something small up in a blue cloth and began to rub it. “That’s too small…”

Ignoring the confused white alicorn, Violet rubbed down the tiny body she was holding, aware of how fragile it was, it was a little thing, a thing that was all too easy to break. She could feel something wiggling inside the cloth.

“I need to see it!” Celestia said, dropping her head. Using her own telekinesis, she peeled back the blue cloth and had a look. She could feel the newborn’s need for warmth, for heat. Celestia, being the living embodiment of the sun, became radiant. The room filled with warmth, the warmth of the shining sun.

“May I?” Celestia asked.

Violet nodded and went to work wiping up Belisama’s backside, cleaning the griffoness up and making sure that everything was okay.

Holding the cub aloft in her own magic, Celestia could not help but stare. It was hideous. One half had hair, a thin layer of fuzz, the other half was bald. There was nothing. Celestia, who believed all life was beautiful, was revolted by what she saw. The griffons had not been lying.

After Violet slipped a clamp upon the cord, Celestia brought the cub to Bucky to show him his hideous mutant chicken-cat-bat offspring. Saying nothing, Celestia set the tiny bundle down by Bucky’s foreleg.

She watched as Bucky stuck his nose into into the bundle, pushing aside the corner of the cloth. She took a step back and waited.

“She… she has Sentinel wings!” Bucky looked up at Celestia. “I can see the membranes… the little fingers… little thumbs… how is this possible?”

Celestia shrugged, but she suspected it was Bucky’s altered nature at work. There would be time to discuss it later and figure everything out.

“Her eyes are closed. She was born with closed eyes? When will they open? I want her to see me.” Bucky was almost stammering as he spoke. He moved his head aside and let Belisama have a look.

The griffoness jerked her head away, her crest raising to an erect position. “Ugh! I did that?” Belisama shook her head.

“She has tiny toes!” Bucky cried. He pressed his nose against the cub, not caring about the slick slime still coating her body.

“Yes Bucky, some babies have tiny adorable little toes,” Celestia said. And some babies are horrifying little mutant chicken-cat-bat creatures with tiny little toes. Celestia shivered.

“Wait… she has toes? She’s a hippogriff!” Bucky, lost in the moment, failed to notice that he was the only one looking at the cub. Everyone else in the immediate area was looking away.

Looking down at Bandua’s little body, angling his head around, he had a closer look. He looked at her talons and then at her other front leg. He did a double take. She had a front hoof. Both left legs were griffonesque in nature, one lion leg and one set of talons. On the right, her legs were equine. One front hoof, extra tiny, and one hind hoof, also extra tiny. Her eyes were closed, sealed shut. Her beak was little more than a rubbery nub. She had a naked exposed dock, which Bucky took to mean that she would have a pony tail.

Lifting his head, Bucky looked at Celestia. “I made this.”

“Yes Bucky, you did.” Celestia smiled and felt just awful that she found Bucky’s cub revolting. Guilt fell over her like a shroud. She tried to take some consolation in the fact that Belisama also seemed disgusted.

“I made this,” Bucky repeated. He reached out his talons and touched Belisama. “I put my seed in there and this came out…”

Nodding, Celestia wished that she could feel Bucky’s foal like sense of wonder. “Yes Bucky, that is how you make offspring. You slip a little something into a female and leave behind a little part of yourself… and then this happens.”

“I made a tiny little foal… cub… I made life… there is a little part of me walking around!”

Reaching out her talons, Belisama grabbed Bucky’s lips and pinched them shut. Weary, sweating, Belisama stretched out her neck and took another look at the cub in the bundle. “Hello Bandua… you’re a lucky little girl… your father thinks you are the most beautiful thing ever.”

 

 

 

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