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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With a gentleness that stood out in sharp contrast to his seemingly monstrous appearance, Bucky laid Derpy down in the bed, easing her down, placing her withers first, allowing her to sink into the soft mattress, and then with careful ease, he lowered her back half down just a little at a time.

“Are you comfortable?” Bucky asked as he refilled the water pitcher beside the bed.

“More or less,” Derpy replied. She reached out and touched Bucky’s neck with her right front hoof. Derpy’s face became a little sad and she heaved a sigh. “Bucky?”

“Yes?” Bucky pulled a knitted throw over Derpy’s lower half.

“Goldflake died while you were away.” Derpy shook her head and then closed her bad eye so she could look Bucky in the eye. “I don’t know if anypony told you.”

“I heard.” Bucky heaved a sigh. “Truth be told, I almost forgot about it after something was said to me. I really haven’t had the time to sit down and think about it.”

“I was with him when he passed,” Derpy said to Bucky in a soft voice. Grunting, Derpy rolled over onto her side, heaved a sigh, and then kicked her hind legs around as she tried to get comfortable. Her efforts left the knitted throw all bunched up around and between her hind legs.

“That was good of you, I suppose.” Bucky’s ears drooped down, hanging limp against the sides of his face. Closing his eyes, Bucky flopped over onto his side and then let out a long, slow exhale through his nostrils.

“You really don’t want to talk about this, do you?” Derpy peered at her mate, trying to discern what Bucky was feeling. Derpy, who still had some feelings about Goldflake’s passing, wanted to talk about it.

“No. No, I’d rather not.” Bucky gave Derpy an uncertain glance. “Look, Derpy, this is a sore subject for me… I don’t even want Berry Punch using the name Bitters for little Barley when he’s born. I just… I can’t… I mean, I’ve tried talking to her about it, but every single time, the words just fail and I feel terrible that I even brought it up.”

“It is just a name—”

“It was more than just a name… it was an image. It was an institution. It was one of the sub-houses of House Avarice and the one with the most direct connection to Princess Platinum and Sombra. Every time I hear my own name mentioned, it just brings me pain,” Bucky said as he rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling.

“Bucky, have you thought about what it means to Berry?” Derpy asked as she hooked her foreleg around Bucky’s foreleg.

“I dunno… maybe a little,” Bucky replied.

“Berry Punch, a member of Clan Pickled, fell in love with one of the sons of House Avarice. She never held that against you. She could have. You and I both know that she has some real problems. She could have hated you. She could have blamed you for what happened—but she didn’t.” Derpy’s head slid over the pillow to be closer to Bucky. “She loves you. Even with your name, even with your connections, and she is willing to name one of her foals with your name, because it is your name. Not the name of your house, but you. Buckminster Bitters. She wants a little part of you to continue on. Not your house, but you.”

“I guess you’re right.” Bucky turned his head to look at Derpy, his snoot almost touching hers. “Is there anything you need right now?”

“Just you…”

 

 

The knitting needles made a pleasant, calming clicking sound. Berry Punch, her bulk spread out in a chair, allowed her hooves to do their work so her mind could focus. She was looking forward to natural foal birth, but still had some moments of fear and hesitation.

Inside of her, the twins were being well behaved. Berry liked to imagine that they were napping, perhaps even hugging one another, even though she knew that this was not the case. She wondered what they would be like. Would they be extraverted and sociable like her? Shy and introverted like their father? Would they be smart? Serious? Funny? One little colt and one little filly. More than anything, she hoped that the little colt looked like Bucky.

She thought of Bucky how he was; a little short, somewhat slight, thin in body, but still solid enough. The graceful angle of his muzzle. He was different now of course, but Berry still loved him. He was still her companion in mischief. And once the foals were born, he would be her drinking companion once more. She hoped to go on an epic bender, perhaps something so legendary that the griffons would write some song about it.

“You look happy, dear.”

Smiling, Berry Punch looked up, her eyes meeting Broom’s. The unicorn mare was crocheting. “I am happy… I don’t know what’s come over me, but I just feel really good about everything.”

“Motherhood agrees with you, dearie,” Broom said to Berry Punch. “You have that look about you…”

 

 

“It looks so cool to look up and see Canterlot now… you can see the fleet floating around the city. Some of those ships are huge!” Rumble looked over at his friends and saw Spike picking at his lunch. “How is Twilight?”

“She’s happy to be home,” Spike replied.

“You look disappointed.” Rumble leaned over. “What’s wrong?”

“I wanted more time with her. But she’s so busy. And I have to go to school. I dunno, I’m being selfish I guess.” Spike prodded at his fries with his claw. “Twilight has been acting funny.”

“Twilight is acting funny?” Piña leaned over and prodded Spike with her hoof. “Spill the beans. Is the Princess of Friendship going loopy?”

Spike gave Piña a halfhearted smile. “No, nothing like that, Coconut Butt.”

Her mouth dropping open in mock-shock, Piña let out a gasp. After a moment, she smiled. “So, what’s wrong with Twilight?”

“She’s been spending more time in the bed. She keeps trying to get us into the bed with her and then she wants to lay on us. She got ahold of Scootaloo last night and almost suffocated her. Rainbow Dash too. Glass Slipper doesn’t mind, but for Scootaloo and I, it’s embarrassing.” Spike stared down at his half eaten lunch and poked the remains of his sandwich.

“She’s nesting. That’s all. My mother gets that way. Twilight probably doesn’t know how to deal with it. She wasn’t born a pegasus, but being an alicorn, she is part pegasus now. Yew Wood is nesting too… she likes to settle down in the living room, lay a quilt on the floor, and then pile up pillows around her. Then she gets ahold of the little ones, pulls them into the pillow pile with her, and she doesn’t let them go.” Dinky gave Spike a reassuring smile. “If you really want to help Twilight feel better, stand next to her nesting site and guard it.”

“Will that really help?” Spike asked.

“Sure it will,” Diamond Tiara replied. “You know, Sentinel nests—”

“I DO NOT!”

“Sentinel, shut up.” Diamond Tiara pushed her hoof against Sentinel’s muzzle, placing it over his lips. “He has his nest in that closet beneath the stairs. He likes to pull Sukari and the other little ones in there with him. And then he growls if anypony gets too close to the door.”

“No I don’t…” Sentinel’s voice, muffled by the hoof over his lips, was a faint squeak.

“Sukari is the only one who will really spend time in there with him though. Harper likes to be out and playing too much. But Sukari goes in there and naps and Sentinel will guard his nest. It’s adorable.”

“So what if I do… I like Sukari. She’s quiet.” Sentinel his face dark, slumped down in his seat and shoved Diamond Tiara’s hoof away from his muzzle. “She’s my sister and she’s been abused. She needs to feel safe and protected.”

Leaning over, Diamond Tiara kissed Sentinel on the cheek. “And this is why I love you. I’ve seen how you behave with your sisters. You are the most perfect colt I know.” The pink filly lingered close to Sentinel. “One day, I’m going to give you something very valuable of mine to look after and protect.”

“Oh really?” Sentinel blinked. “What?”

“Our foal,” Diamond Tiara whispered. The earth pony filly began to giggle as she watched Sentinel come undone.

Sentinel blushed, his sooty brown pelt becoming almost purple. His tufted ears perked straight up for a moment and then splayed out sideways. A shrill squeal of echolocation could be heard deep in Sentinel’s throat.

“Aw, he’s kinda adorable when he gets all flustered like that.” Apple Bloom leaned over and poked Sweetie Belle. “I wonder how worked up we can get Rumble.”

“Nope. Rumble needs to save his strength. We have training this afternoon.” Scootaloo grinned at Rumble. “Gonna be fun working with Fledgling Kebab.”

“Where is Archer, anyway?” Apple Bloom asked as she watched Rumble devouring his lunch.

“She snuck off with her lunch. I don’t know where she is,” Scootaloo replied. The orange pegasus filly angled her head so she could get a look at Spike, who was several seats down from her at the lunch table. “You okay Spike?”

“Yeah, I’ll be okay. I’m just… I dunno. I don’t know what is wrong with me.” Spike picked up a cookie from his lunch tray and ate it. With his mouth still full, he said, “Twilight is going to have a foal. This is different than just having Glass Slipper around. Glass Slipper is little and she needs to be looked after, but she can do some stuff on her own. When Twilight has her foal, that foal is going to be helpless… and Twilight is going to be so busy. And Rainbow is going to have her foal, and she’s going to be busy… and Flash Sentry… he never stops being busy and I’m just worried about all kinds of stuff.”

“Are you worried that most of the work is going to be passed off on you?” Dinky asked.

“Maybe.” Spike shrugged and swallowed.

“Spike, Sentinel, Piña, and I all look after the little ones. We feed them breakfast. Sukari and Harper sleep in the same room as Piña and I. We’re responsible for them. We get them up in the mornings, get them into the bathroom, get them cleaned up and bathed, and I gotta say, while it can be hard work sometimes… I really don’t mind doing it. I understand now why Sparkler looked after me. It makes me feel good knowing that I am a good big sister.” Dinky gave Spike a smile. “You might have to do some of the work, but not all of it. It’s part of being a family, Spike.”

“It’s not so bad,” Sentinel said. “I learned how to change a diaper. Pee diapers aren’t so bad… you just need a wet wipe to scrub everything down so the pee won’t give them a rash.” Sentinel paused and his face scrunched in disgust. “Poo diapers… poo diapers mean a quick clean up in the sink or in the bath. I have learned that no matter what you do with wet wipes, poo does not come out of a foal’s fuzzy backside.”

“Oh gross!” Scootaloo shook her head, looking horrified.

“Bon Bon was looking at getting a foal sanitation station for the nursery. It’s a little shelf-sink thingy with a little showerhead at the end of a hose that can be used to power scrub a foal’s messy backside. Makes things convenient.” Sentinel looked at his friends, seeing a mix of both fascination and disgust.

“Yuck… yuck yuck! Scootaloo cringed. “Rainbow Dash has already threatened to make me change diapers. I don’t see how I am supposed to do that.”

“It’s not so bad,” Sentinel said, repeating his words from earlier. “I am looking forward to the invasion. Two sets of twins… I’ll get to look after them. Help feed them. I’ll get to help them grow up. However they turn out as ponies, part of it will be because of what I did to help them.”

“I never thought of that.” Spike looked over at Sentinel.

“Spike, come over and stay a while after school. We can talk. Maybe catch up on comic books.” Sentinel looked at his friend with wide, hopeful eyes.

“That might be nice… thank you, Sentinel,” Spike replied.

 

 

 

 

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