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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Father has already been away for too long. Everypony in the house is suffering in some way, but I am not sure  if anypony feels it as keenly as Harper. She has become quite miserable and she tries the patience of everypony and everybirdy in the house.

At first, it was kind of cute, Harper laying on the floor with her legs stuck up in the air and announcing that she was dead. These bouts of death have progressed though, becoming full blown tantrums. She lays on the ground, kicking, screaming, shrieking, generally trying to make everyone around her as miserable as she is because she can’t deal with father not being here.

At Bon Bon’s suggestion, Harper is now left alone on the floor and summarily ignored, left to kick and cry until she passes out from exhaustion or falls silent on her own. I am not certain what Bon Bon had hoped to accomplish with this approach, but everyone in the house now suffers for the hours that it takes until Harper wears herself out.

For a time, I was actually angry with Harper, but after having thought about it, the anger is gone and all I feel is pity. I feel bad for Harper. She and I have something in common, and that is we both love our father.

I have tried being the best big brother that I can be, I am ill suited to be father’s replacement, though I have tried. I lack ‘the claw’… something that father does to Harper when he holds her, announcing that ‘the claw’ will get her and then he holds his talons up in the air and Harper begins freaking out as father lowers his talons closer and closer and waggles his talon-fingers as she giggles and lets out adorable little cries for help.

I tried attacking Harper with ‘the hoof’ and all she did was zap me. It wasn’t a little zap either, Harper really let go and the arcing electricity burned a patch of hair off of my leg. It wasn’t Harper’s fault though, she didn’t do it on purpose, she was very upset and having a bit of a temper tantrum at the time and I honestly thought I could cheer her up and restore some order. So the fault is my own. I should have listened to my mother, Berry Punch. She warned me to stay back and I failed to obey her or listen to her wisdom on the issue. As such, I have suffered.

Bell Heather is showing signs of being a chatterbox. Teaching her to talk was easy, she already has a tremendous vocabulary, but now, getting her to shut up is the real trick. The foal is impossibly loquacious.

Cadance continues to progress. She is fully potty trained and no longer has accidents. She has figured out how to sprint without falling over onto her face. She has figured out how to climb stairs, but she hasn’t quite figured out how to get down the stairs. She is starting to fly too. Much like Harper, she misses father. She goes room to room looking for him, asking for him, wondering why he is gone. Shining Armor has taken up visiting more often to try and comfort her.

And then there is Sukari. She goes around asking for baba, her word for father. She alternates her time with different ponies. She likes hiding with me under the stairs. When Harper is behaving herself she likes to spend time with Harper. She likes to play ball with Cadance. She likes to play tag with Peekaboo. But Sukari’s favourite pony has to be Bell Heather. Bell will start chattering and Sukari will sit there and listen to every word coming out of Bell’s mouth while occasionally kissing her sister. Sukari has come a long way from the scared, skittish foal that she was and Doctor Mawu says that Sukari is catching up on her lagging foalhood development.

I feel that it should be noted, for the purposes of family history, that Sukari no longer freaks out when Thistle or Bell Heather change into kelpie form in the big bathtub. Sukari has taken up trying to swim in the big tub when it is full of water and Thistle is having a good soak.

Mother Derpy has grown so large that her belly almost reaches the ground when she stands. This is not an exaggeration upon my part, and there are photographs that corroborate my statements. Berry Punch is almost as large, but not quite. It is hard to believe that there is still a fair bit of time to go until both sets of twins are born, although mother Berry is given to fits of drama where she lays on her back and begs for the birth to begin now.

Something terrible has come over Bon Bon and it is no longer safe for a foal to come anywhere near her. She is clingy and will refuse to let go. She got ahold of Piña the other day and I felt bad for Piña, but I did not feel bad enough to risk coming close and rescuing her.

Princess Luna continues to grow and gain back her magic. She has almost doubled in size already and her magic is becoming more potent. She says she is going to try raising the moon at some point in the near future. Funny, I had planned to write the words ‘raising the moon soon’ but the rhyme just seemed silly somehow and so, I self corrected. I leave this behind as a hoofnote.

On a somewhat more personal note, I think I will be officially courting Boadicea soon.

 

 

 

“It is so good to see all three of you,” Bucky said to Deadspin, Sour Mash, and Bunny. He grinned at the trio. “How are all of you? I’ve missed you so much.”

We’re good,” Deadspin replied. “How are Derpy and Berry?”

“Fit to pop.” Bucky looked at Sour Mash and then at Bunny. Bunny had a bit of a bulge around her middle. He turned his expression back towards Deadspin.

“Yeah, I know. Fatherhood.” Deadspin grinned. “Don’t know how we’re going to function without Bunny though. She’s the best quartermaster in the fleet. She’ll be serving with Princess Celestia, keeping track of supplies.”

“Deadspin and I are co-captains of our own ship now. Our vessel is named The Bollocks on account that it uses two spherical gasbags for buoyancy rather than the usual egg shaped single gasbag,” Sour Mash said.

“We used the two gasbags because that’s all we had… we took them as salvage. The design is so distinctive that we’re keeping it. It has become the pride of the Shetland fleet,” Bunny explained.

Bucky, laughing, felt overjoyed to see three ponies that he loved once more.

The Bollocks is equipped with dozens of steam powered harpoon launchers. We specialise in seizing other ships, crippling them, boarding them, subduing the crew, and gaining a new vessel to add to our fleet. That’s what we did during the griffon conflict.” Deadspin looked at Bucky, pride visible upon his face. “We captured over a dozen vessels. Of course, half of our crew are now griffons. Can’t imagine life without them.”

“It is good to hear you say that,” Bucky said to Deadspin, his laughter now gone. Bucky’s tone was serious and his expression had become one of concern. “If Belisama was here with me, she’d probably be thanking you, but she’s with Twilight, schmoozing with the zebras.”

“We’ve been down to the Sea of Grass… it was a nice place. We liked it there,” Bunny said. “I like life on an airship. Always a new bit of horizon to see, a new land to look at, and new creatures to meet.”

“Travel is nice, but I think I’d be happier as a homebody.” Bucky heaved a sigh and missed those he had left at home. He looked around him, viewing the absurd number of airships flying in formation all around him. He had to keep those at home safe, which was why he was here. “Here comes in an incoming squadron of pegasi. We’d better clear the deck…”

 

 

“This one here is made of pure sugar,” Applejack said to Fluttershy as Fluttershy changed Lunacy’s diaper. Applejack snuggled the tiny foal closer. “Have you thought of a name yet?”

“Nope.” Fluttershy, now finished, lifted Lunacy up and gave the foal a little kiss upon her forehead. She cradled the small blue foal in her forelegs and began to try and rock her to sleep.

“She’s so little… and yeller… and she looks like you,” Applejack said, her emotion causing her drawl to thicken. She lifted the blanketed bundle up and gave the foal a kiss on the cheek.

Yawning, feeling a little sleepy, but also feeling content, Fluttershy began to hum, a soft soothing sound, trying to soothe Lunacy, who was just a little bit fussy, but was not crying. Looking after both foals would have been exhausting, if she hadn’t had so much help.

And Discord. Fluttershy’s face broke into a sleepy smile. Discord had proven himself amazing. He was a good father and a proud papa. He looked after both foals and kept them quiet while she had slept, recovering from the birth. He could calm Lunacy when she was cranky.

Poor Lunacy was always cranky.

“You look tired, Flutters. You should take a nap. I’ll help look after these youngins while you catch yourself forty winks,” Applejack said.

Fluttershy let out another yawn and then turned to look at her friend. “I might. Once I can get Lunacy settled down enough that she stops kicking. She was being so quiet and calm earlier when she was bundled up with the newborn. I don’t know what happened.”

“I has me an idear,” Applejack said, her drawl just as thick as ever. “Give over little Lunacy.”

Fluttershy, curious, drifted over towards Applejack and then placed Lunacy into Applejack’s waiting embrace. She watched as Applejack cradled both foals together and Fluttershy blinked when she saw Lunacy go still.

“Well I’ll be,” Applejack said. “It’s just like I suspected. Lunacy might be a cranky cuss, but this little sweetheart is made of pure tranquility.”

Fluttershy dropped down closer, reached out her paw, and placed it upon the newborn. “I suppose they are sisters. I still don’t trust Lunacy around the newborn, that protective mask is staying on, but it is surprising to see Lunacy so calm.”

“Lunacy isn’t so bad.” Applejack leaned her head down and kissed the dark blue foal. The foal kicked her in the cheek and Applejack shook her head. “Apple Bloom was foul tempered for a time after she was born. She had colic something awful. Ma and Pa did all they could to calm her, but it took Apple Bloom’s big brother to get her to stop crying. Sometimes, ya just need a big brother or a big sister I suppose.”

“Yes, I guess that Lunacy needs a little tranquility,” Fluttershy replied. She peered down at her foal, the tiny little yellow not-quite-a-pegasus wrapped in a blanket. “You bring calm to everypony that holds you and you comfort your sister. I think I might call you Tranquility.”

Applejack’s eyes narrowed and the mare looked as though she had been chewing nettles for a moment as she pondered Fluttershy’s choice of a name. And then, Applejack smiled. “You know, for a little foal that’s part draconequus, that’s a good name.”

The newborn’s tail, which resembled that of a lion, crept out of her blanket, sought out Lunacy, wrapped around the blue foal’s front leg, and the tufted tip came to rest up against Lunacy’s fetlock.

“Aw nuts and gum, looking at that makes me want to squeal like a hog and run around in circles,” Applejack said as she looked down at the two foals. “Looks like Lunacy is plum tuckered out and is starting to go to sleep. You should get some sleep as well. I’ll just sit here all quiet like and hold these two.”

Covering her mouth, Fluttershy yawned once more. She then reached out her wing and touched Applejack. “Thank you so very much. I’m very, very tired. I hate that I’m abandoning them, but I need some sleep and Discord is very busy helping Princess Celestia.”

“Aw shucks, what are friends for? You go on, get you some shut eye…”

 

 

 

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