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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“Our little foals are growing up.” Derpy, laying on her side, rolled over onto her back and sprawled out, kicking her hind legs open wide. She heaved a relieved sigh when something in her backside popped. “Ah… that got the pressure out… kinda hurt though.”

“It sorta hurt how Piña turned on me.” Bucky, holding Cadance, let her go.

Now freed, Cadance sat for a moment, looking around, and then went after a free meal, seeing as how one was available. She crawled over Derpy, settled against Derpy’s belly, rested her head upon her mother’s thigh, and began to suckle.

“I keep thinking about the Shetlands. Up there, Piña would be approaching the age of marriage.” Derpy’s face contorted into an angry scowl and one ear began to twitch. “I wonder what it was like… a long time ago… when so many ponies died in their twenties and the decade mark was halfway through their life.”

“We equines approach a state of physical maturity quite rapidly,” Bucky said as he watched Cadance suckling. “Celestia said that foals as young as six months can survive with no parents at all. Hard to believe, but I suppose she would know. Sukari is about a year and something tells me that if we turned her loose she’d find a way to survive.”

Beside Bucky, the grey mare let out a sad sounding wicker.

“There is no way I am turning her loose though.” Bucky glanced over at the nursery door.

“Thistle took on a tough job. I’m proud of her.” Derpy shifted her body, trying to get comfortable, and adjusted her head upon her pillow. She saw Bucky nod.

In the nursery, there was a squawk from Magpie. Bucky lifted his head and looked at the door again, but did not leave the bed to investigate. There was another squawk followed by what sounded like an irritated caw.

“Corvids.” Bucky turned his eyes back to Cadance. “I bet Harper is giving poor Magpie a hard time.”

There was a soft knock upon the bedroom door and then a voice said, “Sir?”

“Yes, what is it? Is everything okay, Door?” Bucky replied.

“Everything is fine, sir. Doctor Gotland has arrived early.”

“Door?”

“Yes sir?”

“Are you happy here? Please, be honest…”

There was a long moment of silence from the other side of the door.

“Door?”

“Sir, I am still trying to adjust to all of this freedom.”

“Let the doctor know I’m on my way,” Bucky said as he looked Derpy in the eye for a moment. Reaching out, Bucky stroked Derpy’s barrel and then he rose from the bed.

 

 

“Doctor Gotland… pleasure to meet you… thank you for making a housecall,” Bucky said. He looked at the unicorn doctor and smiled a warm smile.

“Knight Commandant.” Doctor Gotland raised his head high and brought his front hoof up, offering a rakish salute. “I’m an old navy sawbones, I must say, this is a pleasure, sir.”

“I am honoured, thank you.” Bucky bowed his head. “Shall we get down to business?”

The doctor nodded.

 

 

Bell Heather, having just been stuck in the backside, looked up at her father with wide betrayed eyes that began to water. Her lip trembled. She sucked in a lungful of air, opened her mouth, and wailed.

“She was so trusting… she just looked at me with such love in her eyes and I betrayed her,” Bucky said, guilt settling into his gut like a stone.

“One kelpie… vaccinated. There will be a few more shots in a few months.” Doctor Gotland lifted up his ledger, scribbled something down, and then he patted Bell Heather on the head.

Thistle, standing nearby, let out a low whimper of concern, her ears perked forward.

Bucky, feeling wretched, looked over at the crib where Sukari was hiding, secure within her pillow fortress. This was going to be unpleasant. He looked at Thistle and saw her nod.

With a flash of Bucky’s horn, the doors snapped shut, sealing off the nursery.

“Sukari… baby, I need you to come out,” Bucky said, kneeling down on the floor by the crib. “This is gonna be awful but it has to be done. I’m sorry.” He peered into the shadowy blackness beneath the crib.

Hating himself for resorting to this, Bucky used his magic to drag the zebra foal out from beneath the crib. She kicked, she squealed, she panicked, and she of course let go of her bowels as well as her bladder.

Ignoring all of that, Bucky pulled her into his forelegs and sat up. He twisted her body around, trying to comfort her, but also getting her into position. He heard a squawk from Magpie, a worried sound.

Doctor Gotland, looking disturbed, levitated two syringes, one long, the other short.

“Just do it, get it over with,” Bucky said, squeezing Sukari against him.

The doctor gave a grim nod. He jammed one syringe into one little plot cheek and the second syringe went into the other. He depressed the plungers as Sukari shrieked.

Sukari’s head snapped back and then she lunged, mouth open. She clamped down onto Bucky’s fetlock, her teeth slicing through flesh until they reached bone.

Bucky’s eyes went wide as the zebra foal began to gnaw upon him, chewing on his flesh. He resisted the urge to toss the foal away from him and instead held on. He gave her a squeeze, an affectionate pat, and bent his head down and kissed her upon one silken ear.

“That’s daddy’s filly,” he said in a strained voice as Sukari’s teeth sank in even deeper. “Daddy is so proud… you’ve still got fight left in you… it wasn’t whipped out.”

Kissing her once more upon the other ear, Bucky set her down upon the floor. When her hooves hit the wooden floorboards, she let go, screamed a blood curdling cry, and then dove beneath the crib, blood dribbling from her muzzle.

Blood began to pour from Bucky’s fetlock in rhythmic spurts. He looked down at the flap of skin hanging from his joint and then at the doctor. “I feel lightheaded,” Bucky said as the puddle of blood grew with frightening intensity.

 

 

“Hold him still,” Doctor Gotland commanded as Bucky slumped over the kitchen table.

Blood was everywhere, pooling over the table and trickling down onto the kitchen floor. Barley took Bucky into his magic and steadied him. Scowling, the old stallion’s nostrils flared.

“Get more pressure on it!” Barley snapped.

A thick white towel was wrapped around Bucky’s leg, held in Doctor Gotland’s magic.

“So proud…” Bucky looked up at Barley.

“Aye lad, she done nicked an artery. Now shut yer hole.” Barley looked up at the doctor. “Criminy, he’s bleeding out like some suicide that sliced his fetlock open!”

“Is Sukari okay?” Bucky asked.

“I’m sure she’s fine… hold still and let us help you,” Barley replied.

The towel was now pink and crimson. Blood dribbled from the table down to the floor in a steady series of droplets, spattering the chairs and the table legs. Standing in the archway, Derpy looked on with growing concern and fear in her eyes.

“Lass, go sit down. This is painin’ ya. I know yer worried, but go sit down,” Barley said, looking at Derpy and watching as she shuffled around on her hooves.

“Too much blood.” Derpy’s wings fluttered at her sides.

“The little nipper just chomped through flesh and a bit of gristle, right down to the bone… there’s bound to be a little blood. Now… go sit down.” Barley’s voice was now stern.

Berry, coming around the corner from the hall, bumped up against Derpy and began herding her away.

Several tense minutes passed in the kitchen. The doctor, still holding the towel around Bucky’s fetlock, paced back and forth. Barley held Bucky still.

Bucky kept mumbling about being proud.

The doctor tied a strap around Bucky’s right foreleg and cinched it tight.

Doctor Gotland peeled open the towel to have a look. A flap of skin hung off from the wound at an odd angle. Pink bone was visible. Blood oozed from the wound, dark rich purple blood. Pulling his bag to him, Doctor Gotland opened it up and began pulling out a number of things he would be needing.

“This should be mostly okay if we stitch it up. He also appears to have had his frog impaled at some point this morning… multiple times… ouch.”

Humming to himself, the doctor peeled back the flap of skin, sprinkled in a bright orange powder, watched as Bucky’s whole body tensed, and then the doctor began to irrigate the wound with an iodine solution.

There was a long whimper from Bucky, who began to laugh… almost a cackle.

“Doesn’t look like anything too important was severed,” Doctor Gotland said as he examined the wound, using the light from his horn to get a good look. “I can see a tendon, I think it got nicked, but it isn’t cut. There is a ligament, and I think I see another tendon. That one got cut a bit, looks like a graze. It didn’t slice through though.”

The doctor lifted up his head and frowned. “I can fix this. I’ve seen worse. Usually a bite like this comes from something far more dangerous than a half feral zebra filly.”

The doctor flooded the wound with iodine once more and bent down his head to have another look. He lifted up a fine surgical needle and threaded it. Hunched over, he went to work, sewing up the hole in the artery that was deep within Bucky’s fetlock.

“Hold him steady,” the doctor said.

“Aye, I can do that, but shouldn’t he be put under for this sort of thing?” Barley asked.

“He’s managing.” Doctor Gotland continued to make fine, tiny stitches, closing the gash in the artery.

“This is not the worst thing that has happened to me,” Bucky said, a disturbing cackle lurking in his voice. He looked down and watched as he was being stitched. Unable to help himself, a disturbing laugh escaped his lips.

“Lad, yer wife is in the living room, going out of her mind… the last thing she needs is to hear you losin’ yer bleedin’ marbles one by one.” Barley patted Bucky on the side. “Hold it together, ye gobshite.”

“These sutures will dissolve. I’m going to make a few internal sutures on a couple of spots just to make sure that everything heals up well. Deep breath…”

“Crivens, I dinnae wanna look at that.” Barley turned his head away, unable to bear looking any longer. “A stallion’s internal workings should remain a mystery… ach… crivens.”

“We are machines made of meat—”

“Bucky, shut yer hole, don’t make me tell ye again.” Barley narrowed his eyes as Bucky let out a disturbing giggle.

“We are machines made of meat and screams—”

“Bucky! So help me, I’ll crack yer damn head open and let those screams out!”

Bucky, gnawing on his lip and chortling, said nothing else.

The doctor kept stitching, peered through a squinted eye, making sure that everything was just so. He closed the flap of skin, made certain it was positioned in just the right spot, and began to stitch everything shut.

“He’s going to need to be cleaned up. See that when he gets a bath, he keeps this leg out of the water. Everything should be fine, but this will take a while to heal. I don’t think any permanent damage was done. It might itch on the inside, which is always annoying.” Doctor Gotland pulled the thread tight as he made tiny sutures.

“I guess we’ll send word to ye if there are any complications,” Barley said, looking everywhere but where the doctor was working.

“When I am done here, there is one last thing to do… a bite like this can get infected, so there is still one more injection to give.” The doctor gave a tug upon the needle as he made a tiny knot.

“Sukari never got a lollipop…” Bucky let out a demented giggling whimper.

“Doc, anything in yer bag that can cure crazy?” Barley asked.

 

 

 

 

 

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