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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“...and that is everything that happened. Some gory details included.” Bucky shuddered for a moment, felt queasy once more, and then closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and hoped that the strong feelings of being sick that he had suffered earlier did not return.

“Oh my.” Derpy made a nervous popping sound with her lips and then began to look around, not certain how to respond, how to feel, or even what to say. The grey mare turned her head, closed her bad eye, and squinted at Luna with her good eye.

“Bucky did the right thing. He did not kill our prisoner. But Bucky, I am wondering, what was that spell you used to knock him out?” Luna asked.

“I don’t have a name for it. I call it a ‘boomf’ and it is something I was working on for non lethal pacification,” Bucky replied as he opened his eyes. He blinked a few times and felt what threatened to be a headache in a while. “I create a telekinetic sphere that is airtight and then begin super compressing air inside of it. I release the telekinetic sphere and there is a ‘boomf’ sound as the air compressed inside of the sphere is released. I thought it might be useful in riot situations.”

“Ingenious.” One of Luna’s ears twitched. “I desire and require ginger snaps.”

“Does little Luna want a cookie?” Derpy asked.

“Do not patronise me!” Luna’s eyes narrowed.

“Cranky fillies do not get cookies.” Derpy frowned and looked at Bucky.

“I detest this body. It has strange wants, needs, and desires.” Luna dropped her head and sulked. She heaved a pouty sigh and her wings fluttered at her sides.  “Might I please have a cookie?”

 

 

Derpy had reached one conclusion; alicorns were weird. The immortal ones even more so. Her experiences with Twilight Sparkle, her time spent around Luna, Cadance returning as an infant, and now, Luna in a regenerated body. Alicorns were strange creatures.

Wincing, almost limping, Derpy made her way down the hall. Bucky was sleeping, he had complained of a headache. Barley had snatched up both Luna and Erebus and then had gone upstairs. Luna had cried upon seeing Barley, and Barley had broken into tears not long after seeing Luna weeping.

Feeling a sharp, stabbing pain near her groin, Derpy rounded the corner and crossed into the kitchen. She saw Semillon near the stove. Derpy hobbled to the table and sat down in a hard wooden chair. She grunted as her weight settled down upon her backside and then leaned against the table.

“Semillon, I hate to ask you for anything, but I need to ask you for something,” Derpy said.

“You employ me, you are supposed to ask me for things,” Semillon replied as she turned to face Derpy. The middle aged cook smiled.

Derpy nodded, leaned forward a onto the table a little more, propping herself up with her front legs and finding a somewhat comfortable position. “I need some ginger snaps.”

“Are the twins feeling peckish for ginger snaps?” Semillon asked, raising a fine thin eyebrow as her ears perked forwards.

“Not for me, but for Luna. To make her feel better. I think she likes them. Knowing Luna, she probably likes them extra snappy.” Derpy closed her eyes for a moment and inhaled, feeling a little out of breath. “I love my foals, really I do, and I treasure every moment I have with them, but I want these foals out of me. They need to go.”

The unicorn cook chuckled as she returned to her task. “I’ll have cookies made soonish. Tonight’s dinner promises to be one of your favourites. Cheese curds and peppery gravy served over fried potato wedges. There’ll be biscuits too. For the meat eaters, there will be mealworm meatballs and a thick fish bisque.”

“That’ll all be good for Berry, but what are the rest of us supposed to eat?” Derpy asked.

Semillon closed her eyes and let out a hearty laugh. After a few moments, she opened her eyes and then tried to catch her breath. “Do you think I should fix more food? I can… I had an idea for a corn soufflé with a creamy onion and mushroom sauce.”

“That sounds good,” Derpy replied.

“If you wait just one moment, I can get you a hot cup of tea… you sound like you are suffering, dear.” Semillon turned away from the large stockpot over the stove and looked at the grey pegasus at the table. “You look miserable too.”

 

 

Glad that school was over, Dinky, dragging her hooves, entered her room, stepped inside, and then dropped her bookbag on the floor by the door where she always dropped it. Dinky froze. Something was wrong with her room. Something was wrong with her room and there were too many beds.

Dinky saw that her and Piña’s beds were now stacked on top of one another, forming bunk beds, and there was a narrow wooden step ladder leading up to the top bunk. Where Piña’s bed used to be, there was now another set of bunk beds. There was a tiny wooden stepstool leading up to the bottom bunk and in the middle of the bed there was one of Harper’s stuffies.

Dinky began to suspect that she and Piña had a new roommate.

“Move out of the way, Dinky doofus,” Piña said as she shoved Dinky aside. The pink earth pony paused and her eyes narrowed as she looked around. “Something is wrong with our room.”

“Yep.” Dinky nodded and she heard the clunk of Piña’s bookbag hitting the floor.

Sticking her head in the room, Thistle said, “Sorry girls. The decision was made to move Harper and Sukari out of the nursery. Please, be good fillies and help us. We need your help. Try to look after Harper and please, try to make Sukari feel safe. You know how she can be when she feels spooked.”

“But we’re growing up… we need our privacy.” Dinky turned and looked up at Thistle.

Beside Dinky, Piña did the same, her ears pinning back against her skull as she did so. “We talk about grown up stuff in here. This is a bad idea.”

“Grown up fillies have responsibilities. If you are grown up enough to talk about stuff you’d be ashamed of other ponies hearing, you’re grown up enough to look after your younger sisters.” Thistle offered both Dinky and Piña a gentle smile to make them feel better.

“This isn’t fair… Sentinel gets a room all to himself and we’re getting stacked up in here.” Dinky, left with no other recourse, resorted to whining. “Why don’t we get a say in this? Why not move them into the stinky stink hole of a room my older sister had?”

“Because. The decision was made to trust you with some responsibility. I’m sorry girls, but you are just going to have to accept this and get over it,” Thistle said.

“And I suppose they sent you to tell us so you’d get mommy experience.” Piña scowled and turned away. She snorted in contempt.

Thistle, hearing and seeing Piña’s reaction, started to chuckle. She reached out and patted Piña on the back. “Yes. That is probably true. I was asked to come up and tell you the news.”

“We need privacy… this is unfair.” Piña turned and give Thistle the worst scowl she could muster. “I have weird dreams and it is bad enough that Dinky has to hear them… I could just die from embarrassment right now.”

“You know, this could be worse,” Thistle said in a voice filled with laughter.

“How could this be worse?” Piña asked in a voice squeaky with anger.

“We could have moved Princess Luna into your room,” Thistle replied.

 

 

Pulling out her books, Diamond Tiara laid them out on the table. She grabbed a pencil and set that out as well. Across the table, Sentinel was doing the same. Beside Diamond Tiara, Boadicea plopped her bookbag upon the table and then slumped down into her chair.

“Hey, at least Loki isn’t torturing us,” Scootaloo said in a cheerful voice.

“I do not understand this multiplication. I am not stupid and I hate being talked down to,” Boadicea said in a low angry voice.

“Teacher give you a hard time?” Diamond Tiara asked.

Nodding, Boadicea pulled out her homework and let out a frustrated huff from her open beak.

“I am lousy at math. I have trouble with multiplication as well. I lose track of what number goes where.” Sentinel, feeling awkward, placed his front hooves upon the table and the corners of his mouth contorted downwards into a scowl. “I do not see its importance.”

“They say math is important to pilots, so I’ve started paying more attention.” Scootaloo pulled a stack of papers out of her bookbag. “But since when is language composition important to flying well?”

Trotting through the dining room, Semillon placed a platter of fresh gingersnap cookies down upon the table, smiled, and then trotted off back to the kitchen.

Sentinel, watching the cook go, took a moment to say, “Thank you.” Not long after, the others around the table also voiced their appreciation.

“Okay, here is the plan,” Diamond Tiara said as she pulled a cookie off the platter. She waved her cookie around and noticed it was still warm. “I’ll give a little math class but only if Sentinel gives a little language class. I think if we work together, we can get through this.” Diamond Tiara stuffed her cookie into her mouth, took a bite, chewed, swallowed, and blinked. “These are really good… but they got some bite!”

“I’m in,” Scootaloo said as she too, took a cookie. “Rainbow Dash said that she’d take me to a Wonderbolts show if I got good grades and a good performance review from the Raptors.” She crammed the whole cookie into her mouth and chewed.

“I could use help with both.” Boadicea looked around the table. “Well, what are we waiting for? The sooner we start, the sooner we finish.”

 

 

“So Harpy, do you want a cookie-wookie?” Thistle held out a gingersnap for Harper and smiled. She watched as Harper stopped stacking blocks together and turned her head.

Getting up, Harper knocked over her block tower and came to Thistle. She sniffed the outstretched cookie. Rearing back her head, Harper sneezed, which caused her bright orange curls to explode outwards in all directions. Sparks arced from the tip of her horn.

“Sneezy!” Harper shook her head and stepped away from the cookie.

Meanwhile, Thistle tittered and bit her lip to keep from laughing.

“Cookie taste like sneeze.” Harper stared at the cookie with a wary eye.

“Come on, take the cookie… have a bite,” Thistle broke off a smaller piece of the cookie and presented Harper with a bite sized morsel. Thistle found Harper’s confusion between smell and taste an adorable thing to fawn over.

“Um.” Harper’s eyes narrowed and she stepped forward. She nibbled on her own lip, took another apprehensive step forward, and she let out a small squeak of fear. “Cookie make nose tickle.”

“It is a gingersnap.” Thistle waved the small bite of cookie in front of Harper, hoping to hope coax Harper into eating it.

“Gingersneeze? Sneezysnap?” Harper’s eyes followed the cookie as it waved back and forth. “What when cookie makes head inside tickle?”

“Num num… Harper, you love cookies, come on, take it.” Thistle’s eyes glittered with mischievousness and prankish glee that only a mother could have when playing a bit of a joke on her foal.

Her tail twitching up and down, Harper came forward, her lips pulled from her teeth, and she snatched the worrisome cookie away from Thistle. She crunched it up, chewing on the tiny bite, and one eye began to twitch and quiver. She swallowed.

“Num num!” Thistle grinned even wider.

“Cookie bad!” Harper’s eyes watered and one eye continued to twitch. A dull throbbing glow appeared at the base of her horn. “Bad mama gave Harpy cookie badness! Stand in corner cookie!” Harper began to run in circles.

Thistle threw back her head and laughed.

Running in circles, bouncing up and down, Harper allowed her tongue to slip from between her lips as she tried to cool off the stinging sensation in her mouth. The dull glow on her horn grew brighter. Her poofy orange mane expanded outwards to unheard of levels of frizz and the foal let out a panicked -woo woo woo- sound as she gamboled about with her tongue flopping around.

A bolt of energy shot from Harper’s horn, struck the ceiling, and knocked loose a sizeable chunk of plaster, which came down and conked Thistle on the head. The kelpie squeaked in both alarm and pain. White plaster dust fell like snowflakes.

After letting out a squeal, Harper came screeching to a halt and stared up at Thistle.

“More cookie?” she asked.

 

 

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