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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Harper, happy to see her mother, Bon Bon, grabbed Bon Bon’s tail and squeezed it between her forelegs, rubbing her cheek against the silken strands. “So fluffy!”

It was impossible not to smile. Bon Bon, who was laying in the bed, nudged Derpy to have a look. Derpy lifted her head, stretched out her neck, and was just able to see the foal clinging to Bon Bon’s tail.

“So soft… so fluffy… so…” Harper paused and stopped rubbing her cheek. Her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared. Her head turned just a little to the side and she sniffed. “Ugh!”

“Harper, what’s wrong?” Bon Bon asked.

“FARTS!” Harper pushed Bon Bon’s tail away. The foal shuddered and stuck her tongue out, making a yuck-face with more skill than any foal had any right to have. “Tail stinky-stanky with poot-poot juice!” Harper’s eyes bulged out.

“Harper!” Bon Bon’s eyebrows huddled together like two angry caterpillars debating politics.

“Bwahahahahahah!” Derpy exploded with laughter and then clutched her stomach with her front legs as her hind legs kicked and scissored in the air. Her wings flapped against the bed as Derpy laughed, her belly jiggling.

“Harper Heartstrings!” Bon Bon snatched her tail away with a swipe of her right front leg.

“Bonnie, help me, I need to pee!” Derpy clutched her stomach and could not stop laughing. “I can’t breathe, fetch a doctor!”

With a gasp, Harper fell over and went limp. “Harpy DEAD!”

“I’m not going to make it to the bathroom!” Derpy cried as she squeezed her hind legs together. “Oh it hurts, I’m dying!”




“Will you two cut it out in there?” Berry Punch looked down at her big belly, her head down and peering between her front legs. She could see that there were things bulging out, things protruding from her stomach. “Hey! Hey! Stop that! Right now!” Berry punch jiggled her stomach around. “I can’t take this anymore!”

Eyes wide, Piña looked up at Berry. “You got things poking out of your sides!”

“I know!” Berry jiggled her stomach again. “Feels so weird!”

“Is that a hoof?” Piña stepped away, worried that Berry Punch could explode at any moment. “That was a hoof… I think that was hoof!”

“Will you little cooter kickers cut it out?” Berry shouted. She shook herself again.

After taking another step backwards, Piña covered her mouth with her hoof.

“OW, hey, that’s my uterus, ooof,” Berry cried as she lifted up her right hind leg and pressed it up against her stomach. “Oh, that hurts, that really, really hurts… somepony help me, I gotta go lay down.”

“I gotta be in school,” Piña said as she backed away even more from Berry. “And I never, ever, ever, want to have to have foals… NEVER EVER!” Piña took off at a run, her pink tail streaming out behind her.

After Piña was gone, Berry Punch laughed. She patted her stomach. “Thanks, you two were great. Here’s to hoping that Piña has foal-free teenage years.”



“Shouldn’t you be in school?”

Cloudstreaker looked at the pony speaking to her. He was wearing a hat. He looked trustworthy enough, for a stranger, anyway. She cleared her throat and replied, “I’m here for school. For my last class, I came here to learn civics and politics. Now I am here to attend a meeting as a junior reporter for the new school newspaper we're starting.”

“Oh. Neat.”

“Why are you here?” Cloudstreaker smiled at the stranger.

“Oh, I was sent here on behalf of the ponies living in the Whitetail Woods. We need to hammer out a new agreement,” the pony replied.

“Oh… hey, could I interview you?” Cloudstreaker’s pencil and notebook appeared, almost like magic. The filly adjusted her glasses and tried to look professional.

“Um, I guess?” The pony tilted back his hat.

Cloudstreaker held her pencil in her primaries. “We should start with your name. My name is Cloudstreaker.”

“My name is Pepperjack.”

“Great! So why did you come to city hall today?” Cloudstreaker asked.

“The ponies of the Whitetail Wood are almost out of food. I don’t think we’re going to make it through the winter and I came to ask for help. To see what we can trade for supplies.”

“Sounds like quite a story. Starving survivors seek sustenance… send supplicant. Hmm.”

“What?” Pepperjack blinked.

“Oh, never mind. Sentinel suggested alliteration to help me find inspiration. So, tell me about your situation, if you don’t mind…”



“Sentinel, would you mind telling me why you are staring out the window rather than paying attention?” Cheerilee tapped her hoof upon the floor to get the colt’s attention.

Startled, Sentinel looked away from the window, and with a guilty expression upon his face, he turned to Cheerilee. “Sorry Cheerilee, I… well, Freezerburn and Philomena are both out of their nest at the same time, preening one another and I haven’t seen them in such—”

“They are?” Cheerilee smiled and trotted to the window. She stretched her whole body, trying to get a better view. “Look at them… so majestic. Two phoenixes… one blue, one orange. Class, Philomena has eggs and I am certain that you know the rule about staying away from their tree.”

“Yeah, Freezerburn is a big meanie!” a filly shouted.

“He’s a proud papa, guarding his young,” Sentinel said in defense of Freezerburn’s aggression. “Princess Luna says that Freezerburn hatched and borrowed some of my father’s characteristics. Which means that Freezerburn just wants to be left alone with his young.”

“Look at them class, see how in love they are. Phoenixes are like us, they are animals with powerful intelligence that equal our own. They cannot speak like we do, but sometimes they do mimic our sounds. There are ways to communicate with them though. If you earn their trust, they make steadfast friends.” Cheerilee watched as the two love birds preened one another, and she thought of Big Mac.

“Freezerburn is a corrupted phoenix. He was forever altered because of what the crystal lich did to him. His egg was used as a battery and he died countless times, trapped inside of his egg, unable to die, unable to live, until my father rescued him. Freezerburn does not generate heat, but cold. A corrupted phoenix is one of the few creatures that Discord, the Lord of Chaos fears. Freezerburn is mostly friendly though.”

“Thank you, Sentinel, for that little lesson about Freezerburn,” Cheerilee said.



Terrified, Lyra Heartstrings looked at the pegasus in silver armor standing on the front porch. Every horrible nightmare scenario that Lyra could think of began to play out in Lyra’s mind as she looked at the messenger.

“Be at ease,” the pegasus said, seeing Lyra’s distress. “I am here for Derpy Doo Hooves. I have been sent to collect her and bring her to Canterlot.”

“She’s… she is…” Lyra, still unnerved by the pegasus, swallowed and composed herself. “Derpy is very, very pregnant. She’s having trouble getting around.”

“Oh, I’ve taken that into consideration. In the heated sky carriage, I have two skilled unicorns that will be happy to assist her.” The pegasus smiled, trying to make Lyra feel better.

“What is so important, anyway?” Lyra narrowed her eyes and did her best to look authoritative. “Like I said, she’s pregnant and she has some health issues. She needs lots of rest.”

“Goldflake, former head of House Avarice, is dying. He has begged to see the mare that showed him kindness when he deserved none. Emperor Shining Armor of the Crystal Empire, feeling merciful, has chosen to allow this, that is if Derpy is willing to come to Canterlot. The decision is hers to make.”

“Hmmph.” Lyra tossed her head back to flip her mane out of her eyes. She took a step backwards, got out of the doorway, and made an inviting gesture with her hoof. “Come on in. It’s cold out.”



After hearing everything the pegasus messenger had to say, Derpy remained silent. Goldflake had been sorry; of that Derpy had no doubt. His regret had been sincere. The messenger had laid it all out. Goldflake wanted to clear his conscience before he died. He wanted Derpy to be there, along with Berry Punch and Piña Colada, two members of Clan Pickled.

Berry Punch was pacing, if one could call what she was doing pacing. It was more of a waddle, all things considered. The earth pony mare had a troubled look upon her face.

“Berry?” Derpy asked, hoping for input from her oldest friend.

“I don’t know what to do… I don’t want to do this, but if I don’t, I’ll be sending a bad message to Piña Colada, and that’ll make me a shite. I don’t want to be a shite. Piña deserves better. I have worked very hard to make certain that Piña will have a good life,” Berry Punch said as she waddled back and forth.

“Well, I’m going,” Derpy said.

“You are? Why?” Berry asked.

“Because. Goldflake is all alone and dying. He has no family around him. He said he was sorry and he was sincere. I held him and he cried.” Derpy watched as Berry Punch’s face contorted into a hate-filled scowl, and then, after a moment, Berry’s face softened into an expression of disgust. “He did bad things. Awful things. But he also brought about the end of his own house. And now, he is an old stallion that is dying. He has nothing left in his life. I hate what he has done, but I can’t hate him as a pony.”

“Oh feck, if you’re going, I have to go too. I can’t let you go alone,” Berry said as she rolled her eyes. “I can’t let you have the moral high ground all to yourself, you’ll get lonely without me.” Berry snorted and shook her head. “Somepony go and fetch Piña from the school.”

“Berry, you’re acting Berry sour—”

“Puns do not become you!” Berry snapped. “That scrotal varicose vein profited off of Clan Pickled misery.” Berry’s whole face contorted with rage and turned a deep purple. “I’m doing this to be with you and I’m doing this for Piña.

“Thank you, Berry Punch—”

“And don’t thank me either! Not until later, when I’m in a better mood, like thirty years from now after my foals have grown up, I have grandfoals, and I have drank myself into a very forgiving stupour!” Berry Punch’s barrel heaved and each breath came out as a snort.



“Moments like this are why I love you.”



Sulking, Berry Punch tried to get comfortable. The rear seat of the carriage had been ripped out and a makeshift shelf bed had been put in. Derpy was piled in and Berry Punch was beside her. On the rear facing seat sat Piña, Dinky, and Sentinel. Piña had refused to come along unless Dinky was with her, and then Dinky had refused to come along unless she had her big brother.

The three foals were silent. Sentinel sat in the middle, with Piña and Dinky sitting on either side of him. He had his wings wrapped around them. Dinky had one of her forelegs wrapped around Sentinel’s forelegs, her eyes were closed, and her face was buried into Sentinel’s neck.

It was at this moment that Berry Punch realised that Sentinel had grown. He was now a full head taller than both Dinky and Piña when sitting down. Berry Punch’s mind began to make connections; Sentinel was eating a dozen eggs at a time some days, he was always hungry, and his voice had been cracking a lot, going up and down from a deep baritone all the way up to a high pitched coltish squeak.

The sky carriage bounced as it fell prey to turbulence. Piña let out a soft cry and pressed herself a little closer to Sentinel. As Berry watched, Sentinel gave Piña a little squeeze with his wing. When Sentinel had first joined their family, he was no larger than Piña or Dinky and had nearly froze himself to death standing guard. Berry Punch felt a large lump growing in her throat.

Reaching up, Berry Punch wiped her eyes with the back of her fetlock. She sniffled a bit, and  then, sprawling out, she set her head upon Derpy’s hip, her chin coming to rest upon Derpy’s bubbles.

“A mare could ask for no finer son,” said Berry Punch in a soft voice as she continued to watch Sentinel.



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