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


60. 60

A very nervous unicorn took a deep breath, and then opened the door. Inside, a pegasus instantly took notice of three ponies standing in the doorway and raised her head, her ears perked as her body went through the process of threat assessment.

A plum coloured earth pony blocked the retreat of a pale blue pony and herded her into the room, very much against her will, and the grey pegasus mare protested, shrill winnies and nickers filled the room.

The unicorn shut the door the behind him and magically secured it, looking very grim as he did so. This was perhaps, extreme measures, but this whole situation was nothing but extreme measures, and these were extreme measures of his choosing.

“Hello,” Sparkler greeted, nodding her head slightly to Thistle.

“Hello again,” Rising Star added, joining Sparkler in greeting.

“Bucky, unlock the door,” Derpy demanded.

“No,” Bucky retorted.

Derpy glared angrily at her mate, first one, and then the other.

“Hello,” Thistle said nervously, her hooves clattering skittishly on the stones.

“Thistle, this is Sparkler, that is Rising Star, Dinky, Piña Colada, Derpy, and you know Berry and I. He’s hard to see, but Sentinel is over there,” Bucky said, pointing as he spoke each name.

Dinky wormed free of her mother, slid off of the mattress, and slowly crossed the floor to meet the kelpie. Dinky stood before Thistle, looking up, while Thistle looked down. The two ponies regarded one another.

“You’re cute as a button,” Thistle said, leaning down and briefly touching noses.

Bucky watched, his lips pressed together in a flat line as Derpy visibly relaxed just a tiny bit from watching the display. He said nothing, but shot a glance at Berry Punch, who gave him a faint nod and an ear twitch in recognition.

“You have fangs. Like Sentinel,” Dinky observed.

“We both eat fish,” Thistle said, plopping her plot down upon the stone floor and continuing to look at Dinky.

Piña broke free from Derpy, bounded off of the bed, and joined Dinky.

“You have plants growing off of you,” Piña stated, her eyes wide as she studied Thistle up close.

“I am part plant,” Thistle said. “My presence cleans the water and makes it fit for life. Just like how pegasi manage the weather and earth ponies manage the land.”

“So where did all of your kind all go?” Dinky asked, her brow furrowed with curiousity.

“I don’t know,” Thistle replied. “My mother told me stories that at one time, there were many of us. And then, something changed. The waters which had always been our home began to kill us, and none of us knew why. Eventually, we became what we are now. Few in number.”

“That is very sad,” Piña said. “The lake in Ponyville became polluted when a bunch of junk and trash was thrown into it. It had to be cleaned up and now it is clean water again.”

Thistle looked very thoughtful at the foal’s words. “Clean water is a precious gift.”

Bucky, feeling a bit more at ease, went over to a sofa and settled in, flopping out and getting comfortable on his side, his head resting on the arm of the sofa. The fabric was weird and somewhat scratchy. He still felt pleased with his efforts.

Berry climbed onto the sofa with Bucky, reclining over his back half and making herself comfortable. She sighed. This was turning out much better than she had hoped. Bucky’s idea had seemed solid. Derpy was attracted to those who were good with her foals, and Thistle, unaware of what had been planned, had been performing nicely.

The pegasus mare seemed a little more relaxed now, watching the kelpie and her foals. She shifted her weight, Sentinel’s head was still under one of her wings, and the lunar pegasus was sound asleep.

“I bet pollution had something to do with why all the kelpies vanished,” Sparkler said. “Most ponies have no idea how much influence they have on the environment. Or how easy it is to contaminate the water. I’ve been studying natural water filtration in some of my geology university prep classes.”

There was a click from the door as Bucky released his magic from it. Thistle eyed the door, eyed Derpy, and did not move.

“Please stay,” Derpy invited. “Just for a little while.”

“Do stay,” Piña begged.

“Please?” Dinky asked.

“You’re fascinating,” Rising Star observed. “You are part pony, part plant, and a shapeshifter that lives on both land and water. A holdover from the old days when ponies adapted to deal with the land, the weather, and even the water, trying to bring harmony back to the world when it was full of chaos.”

Sparkler looked at Rising Star who was sitting on the sofa beside her, raising her eyebrow. “You keep surprising me,” she muttered.

Rising Star blushed and fell silent.

“How do you cook the fish when you catch them?” Dinky asked.

“I don’t,” Thistle replied.

“Oh yuck,” Piña gasped.

Thistle threw back her head and laughed. “Yon lunar pegasus loves raw fish. Don’t hurt the poor lad’s feelings,” Thistle responded after she had a good laugh.

“How did you get your name?” Piña asked.

“I earned it not too long before I left to the mainland. I killed one of the shadow wolves,” Thistle replied. “A thistle is a pretty plant but they can hurt you. Keg Smasher named me himself after the fight with the wolf. I heard it creeping into a fisherpony’s cabin near the loch.”

“You could have been killed,” Derpy said in a worried voice. “One less kelpie in the world. Why take so much risk?”

“Foals,” Thistle replied. “All we have of value in this world.”

Derpy nodded slowly. One eye was closed and she studied the kelpie carefully with her one good eye.

“So most foals don’t have names until they are older?” Rising Star asked.

“Much easier to accept the passing or the loss of something with no name,” Thistle replied. “Sweeps, the plague, death, many are taken for whatever reason. Those that survive earn a name eventually.”

“That’s awful,” Derpy murmured sadly.

“That’s life,” Thistle stated, a hard edge present in her voice.

“Come over here. Sit with me,” Derpy said. “Please?”

Thistle did as she bid, nervously approaching the bed. She stood at the edge, not sure what to do, and finally climbed up and settled in a short distance from the grey mare. She seemed surprised by the comfort of the mattress, and bounced slightly upon its surface.

Bucky watched the two carefully, his muscles tensing. Derpy’s moods were surprisingly mercurial lately. If Derpy became a bit too motherly, Thistle might take offense about being treated as a foal. Berry, still sprawled on his side, was rubbing his ribs with her forehooves, trying to make him relax. He could feel her teats pressing against the flesh near his cutie mark. It was a sensation that would have caused him to panic long ago, but now, it was oddly comforting somehow, even if Bucky could not explain why. Just the feeling of being so intimately close with somepony he loved dearly.

There was an almost painful silence in the room as everypony watched the two mares. Rising Star and Sparkler had scooted closer to one another and were watching intently, Dinky and Piña sat on the floor together, Piña’s foreleg thrown over Dinky’s withers, and both foals watched the two mares on the bed with growing interest.

Bucky had a strange distracting thought of needing a bath.

Berry watched the two mares. Both were remarkably similar. Both were fiercely protective of foals, capable defenders, and had powerful maternal instincts that made them both exceedingly dangerous. They were both the prime examples of how ponies had survived in a world full of predators. Both had bodies remarkably well suited for violence, Derpy having hooves, powerful muscles, and flight. Thistle had a mouthful of needles and a wellspring of maternal ferocity that was probably endless.

Berry exchanged a glance with Bucky. If only they could get the two mares to see what they had in common. She felt very aware of the warmth of his body seeping into her soft feminine places as she sprawled atop him and continued to stroke and rub his side. She felt a powerful ache, a need for hearth and home, and it shuddered through her bones.

The silence became almost deafening, the room was flooded with it.

“Come here,” Derpy said, her words firm, the silence finally broken.

Thistle crawled forward on the bed, her ears drooped downwards. She looked very submissive as she wiggled along her belly. She came close to Derpy and then froze, looking expectantly at the grey mare.

“How long?” Derpy asked.

“About five months,” Thistle answered.

Bucky could hear the sounds of Derpy swallowing from across the room.

“Teats sore?”

“Some days.”

“Any cravings?”

“Fish roe.”

“Ugh. Any kicking yet?”


“I don’t hate you or anything. I want you to know that.”


“I bear you no real resentment at all. I just can’t stand the thought of you going through this. I went through this when I had Dinky. I remember how hard it was on me and what it did to my body.”

“What happened?”

The voice was timid and afraid, and it caused the silence to return to the room. Dinky and Piña abandoned their spot on the floor and climbed up onto the sofa with Sparkler and Rising Star, scooching their way in between the colt and the filly.

Berry tensed, and Bucky could feel the soft velvet hairs of her belly move as her stomach clenched. Bucky watched as Berry’s eyes closed for a moment, and her facial expression became one of extreme pain.

“It was very hard on me. I had a very rough pregnancy. I was bedridden near the end of it, and Berry Punch and Amethyst Star had to nurse me along. I was completely unable to care for myself.”

“That sounds bad.”

“It was. And it got worse. When I finally gave birth to Dinky, I couldn’t get her out. She was small, but my pelvis just wouldn’t allow it. There was nothing to kill the pain. They had to smash my pelvis and break it so I could give birth to Dinky. What was that called again Berry?”

“Symphysiotomy. There wasn’t time to do it the usual way either, they had to smash and go. Usually, they cut through a lump of cartilage and spread the pelvis that way. With Dinky so close to dying and Derpy as well, they had to take something blunt and crack her open to allow Dinky to slide out.”

Dinky curled against her sister and began to cry softly, burying her face into Sparkler’s side as she did so.

“I wanted to die. You could hear Derpy screaming all over the hospital. It sounded like they were butchering her,” Berry said in a low pain filled voice as she shuddered from the memories. “You could hear every blow as they tried to crack her open and it took several.”

Derpy flinched, her ears splaying out sideways as Berry spoke, the memory clearly too much to bear.

“Mares die in childbirth all the time here,” Thistle announced in a hushed whisper, fear thick in her utterance. “Many die from a lodged foal. I don’t want to die. I need to live,” she whimpered.

“We need to get you away from here and to a place that has a good hospital,” Derpy said solemnly.

“I can’t pay for something like that,” Thistle stated.

“We can pay for something like that,” Derpy said. “Somehow.”

“But you don’t want me joining you,” Thistle returned.

“I am willing to look after you, but I cannot allow you to join us, not in that way,” Derpy retorted.

“I am not willing to be looked after! I’ve already done been diddled, you can’t undo that. And I’ll not go with you so you can just treat me as a foal. I’d rather take my chances here on the Isle than to be looked at as some kind of pitiful orphan!” Thistle shouted.

Sentinel awoke with a snort and pulled his head out from under Derpy’s wing. He looked around, blinking, trying to make sense of what was going on.

“You are still a foal! You are just a little filly! Just like I was! You need somepony to look after you just like I did, you have no idea what you are in for!” Derpy shouted, her temper finally breaking.

“I’ve watched so called fillies even younger than I am bear foals and raise families! So called foals still in their single digit ages! You’re an outsider, you have no idea what life is like here! The moment you have your first heat you are just another mouth to feed and it becomes time to marry you off!” Thistle snapped.

Derpy jerked her head back, her eyes wide with horror and shock.

“My heat came later than most. Do you know how worried I was, when I reached the age I did and no heat came like the other so called foals as you call them? Little mares all around me, my own age, starting families and mine came late! The panic I felt! It was horrible! I cried every night thinking I was broken!” Thistle exclaimed.

Thistle thrashed on the bed and began to make her escape. Derpy lunged, tackling her, catching the filly in her forelegs, mindful of Thistle’s swollen belly.

“NO!” Derpy commanded, pinning Thistle down. Thistle kicked and screamed, struggling against the much larger mare, but Derpy was much stronger. She let the filly kick and scream against her, until finally her rage was spent and the filly submitted to being held. She bawled while holding still, and Derpy wrapped he wings around her.

“Leave us,” Derpy said.

Nopony moved, still in shock at the whole scene.

“GET OUT!” Derpy bellowed. “RIGHT NOW!”

Sparkler was the first on her hooves and pulled Dinky with her, Rising Star tugged gently on Piña, and then the four of them shuffled for the door.

Sentinel sprinted after Sparkler and her group.

Berry slid off of Bucky and made for the door, and Bucky followed after her as a moment later, casting a final glance at Derpy.

“Derpy, please, love, be gentle,” Bucky said.

“We need to reach an understanding as mares,” Derpy grunted. “NOW GET OUT!”

Bucky left, the last one to leave the room. He closed the door behind him.


Author's Note:

I didn't enjoy writing this chapter. And I really, really didn't enjoy doing the extended research I had to do to write a certain part of this chapter. Reading some of the accounts was pure nightmare fuel. They still practice Symphysiotomies in many parts of the world, and I don't mean the surgical kind either. I mean grab a rock and began hammering away until something snaps kind of procedure. Usually done on young girls to allow them to give birth.

Reading about it was horrifying.

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