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


80. 80

Bucky remained silent and in shock. Cadance’s revelations had left him disturbed and unsettled. She and Shining Armor were already gone, offering a tearful farewell before departing. The sun would be setting soon. He sat on a couch, reclining against the arm, watching his family plunder the trunk and pulling out various goods.

It was Derpy who noticed that he was not with them, and, seeing him alone on the sofa by his lonesome, had come to join him. She eased herself onto the sofa beside him, carefully wrapped her forelegs around him, and pulled him close.

Bucky allowed her to squeeze him. It hurt a bit, but he was far too distracted by everything else to notice. He moved swiftly and suddenly, locking his own forelegs around her to return her embrace, holding her as close as possible, his breath catching in his throat.

“I’m scared,” he whispered to the grey mare holding him.

“I know,” she answered, also in a whisper.

Berry turned to watch the pair, and then her thoughts turned to the foal in her belly. More than anything, she wanted to be away from this horrible place and to be home. She became distracted by happy squeals from Sparkler.

“Cookies!” Piña cried happily.

“I’ve never had a cookie,” Ripple admitted. “But I have heard ponies that have been to the mainland talk about them.”

“You must have a cookie then,” Piña suggested. “These are fudge dipped shortbread. And those are ginger snaps! I love ginger snaps!”

“There is all kinds of junk food in here,” Rising Star announced. “Loch, you are going to love some of this stuff,” he quipped.

“More books,” Dinky mentioned as she peered over the edge. She leaned too far over and fell in. “Nopony saw anything,” she grumbled from inside the trunk.

“I saw everything Bumblebutt,” Piña teased.

“Oh shut it,” Dinky retorted and she blew a raspberry at Piña after getting herself upright once again.

From on the sofa, Derpy watched her brood rummaging through the trunk and continued to comfort Bucky. “You are going to be daddy… well, you have a few foals already but you know what I mean,” Derpy whispered.

“I know,” Bucky breathed in return. “I am actually very happy, I am just having a hard time taking everything in. I am worried about what I must do and what will happen if I fail. Failure scares me now more than ever,” he confessed.

“I get to be a mommy again. Dinky has grown up so much. I miss when she was so small and so needy of me. I want that again,” Derpy whispered into Bucky’s ear. She planted a kiss just behind the dead spot on the left side of his face, just below his ear.

Bucky shivered from her touch and felt an electric tingling in his dock. His mind thought of earlier and the idea that he had a pregnancy fetish. He felt the first hot flash of arousal and suddenly he wanted to do a whole lot more than just hold Derpy.

“Chocolate covered cherries!” Bon Bon cried.

Bucky turned to look at his grey mare and he struggled to raise his eyebrow. “The trunk certainly has raised spirits,” he quipped.

“Sure has,” she replied.

“It almost feels like Hearth’s Warming Eve,” Bucky commented.

“Yeah, sorta,” Derpy agreed.

“Too bad I already came down your chimney and left you a gift,” Bucky whispered suggestively.

Derpy tittered loudly and several eyes turned to look at her and Bucky.

“You two sure look cozy,” Sparkler announced. “And mom is blushing.” The filly paid little mind to the two adults and went back to pillaging the trunk.

“You don’t say dirty stuff often enough,” Derpy murmured softly into Bucky’s ear. “I like it when you get flirty,” she admitted.

“Neonatal vitamins!” Berry crowed. “Somepony really was thinking about us!”

“There are some letters here,” Dinky said from inside the trunk. “In envelopes. All tied together with a ribbon.” She lifted them out using her magic and set them carefully on top of a pile of books.

“Dehydrated fruit… whole compressed bricks of the stuff. And pineapple too!” Piña Colada cried in a shrill overly excited voice.

“Soap!” Berry announced.

“SOAP!” Derpy shouted in reply, startling poor Bucky when she did so in his ear. He tried to squirm free of her grasp but she held him and refused to let go. “Sorry about that,” she whispered. “But soap is big deal for me. I like to be clean… soap soap soap,” she muttered, mostly to herself.

“I don’t feel right about this,” Dinky announced, the happiness in her voice gone. “No, this is wrong.”

“Dinks, what is wrong exactly?” Berry asked.

“We have all of this… ponies like Loch and Ripple and Sentinel have never had any of this stuff… cookies and jelly beans and all of these candies. It feels wrong to have all of this knowing that there are foals all around me that don’t have anything. Or have to eat grass to get full,” Dinky answered, a tear beginning to well in the corner of her eye. “I don’t think I want any of it.”

“Dinky, come here,” Derpy said, gesturing at her foal.

Dinky crawled out of the trunk, crossed the room, and climbed onto the sofa with Bucky and Derpy. She curled into her mother’s side and sat silently.

“We’ll share some of this stuff with the foals when he teaches school. It will make them work harder,” Derpy said as she rubbed Dinky with her foreleg. “And you are a very good foal for thinking of others. I am proud of you.”

“And so am I,” Bucky said to the troubled foal who sat sniffling at her mother’s side, a few tears now beginning to fall.

“I don’t want any either,” Piña grumbled as she sat down on the floor, her face pulled into a pout. “Dinky is right. I feel awful,” she admitted.

“We can wait until to tomorrow to have some,” Sparkler suggested. “When we can share it.”

“That seems wise,” Rising Star agreed.

“I concur,” Lyra quipped.

“I’m with Lyra,” Bon Bon announced.

“We’ve gone so long without, I suppose it really doesn’t matter,” Berry stated.

“So when am I going to have a little brother or a little sister?” Dinky asked as she poked her mother’s belly with her forehoof.

“Probably next spring,” Derpy replied, her features breaking into a smile.

“Well, we made them together, here is to hoping we’ll have them together,” said Berry as she crossed the room to join the others on the sofa.

“That would be nice,” Derpy agreed as Berry took a seat beside her.

“Feels strange not having Thistle here,” Bucky announced. “She is alone, off in her lake. We just had this moment of family bonding and she wasn’t here. I understand she isn’t family yet, but let’s face it, she will be. I mean, I just got done mentioning how this felt like Hearth’s Warming Eve. That is a time when family should be together.”

Derpy heaved a sigh but said nothing.

“Bucky is right. She belongs with us,” Berry stated.

“I like Thistle,” Dinky said to Derpy, looking up into her mother’s eyes.

“I like the plants that grow out of her. Makes my earth pony sense tingle,” Piña admitted.

“You have an earth pony sense?” Dinky asked.

“Sure do,” Piña replied.

“Care to explain?” Dinky inquired.

“I dunno how to explain. I just touch certain plants and I get tingly all over,” Piña answered with a shrug.

“Neat,” Dinky quipped.

“Maybe it will prove useful,” Berry said with earnest seriousness to her little sister. “Maybe you have a special gift to develop.”

On the bed, Lyra yawned and lifted her head, watching the commotion as the trunk was fully explored. Bon Bon, beside her, continued to rest her head on Sentinel, using him as a pillow. Sentinel was awake but had his eyes closed. It took him a while to adjust to the light after waking up.

“There is a lot of mail here,” Sparkler announced. “Bucky, you have letters from Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Twilight Sparkle, and Princess Cadance left you a note as well. A lot of important ponies seem to want to communicate with you,” Sparkler quipped. “Berry, mom, there is a letter here from Barley to both of you,” Sparkler continued. “Piña, Dinky, there is a letter here from Diamond Tiara for the two of you, and Lyra, there is a letter here from Princess Celestia for you… I don’t know how she knew you were here,” Sparkler finished.

“I’ll look at it later,” Lyra replied nervously.

“I don’t think I can deal with anything else today,” Bucky said in reply. “I’ll look at the letters tomorrow.”

“They’ll be there waiting,” Derpy said soothingly. “You just take your time. You look frazzled,” the mare stated. To help him relax, she began to plant little kisses along Bucky’s neck, which made him shake in her embrace.

Dinky looked up at her mother and her father, watching the affection taking place between them, and then settled once again against her mother’s side, feeling that everything was alright with the world.

“I wonder what Princess Cadance and Keg Smasher talked about,” Rising Star said, his eyes lingering on the wealth of goods contained in the trunk.

“I’d be curious to find out about that myself,” Berry replied. “I wonder if she told Keg Smasher anything about what is going on here,” the mare continued.

“It is becoming more and more obvious that there are forces at work bringing us together… usually Bonnie dismisses my hunches as paranoia, and most of the time Bonnie is right for doing so, but this can’t be mere coincidence, I mean, my talent, my ability, my music being able to hold back the fear magic of the wolves. All of us are meant to be here, all of this is happening for a reason,” Lyra explained.

“I think you are right Lyra,” Bon Bon agreed.

“And Berry was meant to kick the horseapples out of Bucky’s mother,” Derpy murmured as she continued to cuddle with Bucky on the couch.

Berry, sitting next to Derpy, with Dinky squished between them, nodded. “Somepony had to kick the snot out of her,” Berry agreed.

“But that’s over,” Derpy said soothingly. “Our job now is to be good wives and mothers. To raise foals,” the grey mare whispered into Bucky’s ear.

“Oh, I’ll be happy to help you all be good mothers,” Bucky returned. “Just let me know when you need my help,” he offered.

“Thistle is going to make a good mother, and she is going to need a good husband,” Derpy stated. “How do you feel about that Bucky?” Derpy asked.

Bucky heaved a sigh. “I have some mixed feelings,” he answered.

“I know,” Derpy replied to his soft words.

“Are you finally going to tell us about your agreement with Thistle?” Berry asked, sounding Berry hopeful.

“Nope,” Derpy answered.

“Bugger,” Berry swore, causing Dinky’s eyes to go wide and a faint pink blush to appear on the filly’s cheeks.

“I’ve said it before, I am willing to take her in,” Bucky stated. “Now more than ever though. The events of this damnable place are always going to haunt me I fear. I will never be able to get the image out of my mind of Keg Smasher approaching me with that glowing hot iron as I was tied down… as it got closer and closer to my face and I could feel the heat coming off of it and I couldn’t get away. And that is just one of many memories I wish I didn’t have. But once I leave this place, I would like to have the reminders of something good from here. Sentinel of course… I suppose I would endure being burned with hot irons to have Sentinel, and Thistle too I reckon. I’d like to show them a good life. Ripple and Loch Skimmer as well. Sentinel, Ripple, and Loch, I cannot help but feel that they are just as much my foals as Dinky, Piña, and Sparkler. And I can’t forget Rising Star, who has found his way into my heart,” Bucky explained. “And I guess coming here was worth it for the sense of family that has been created. That reason alone makes it all worth it,” the unicorn finished.

“As important as all of that is, I want to hear from you directly how you feel about Thistle,” Derpy insisted. “I don’t want to be distracted by pretty words.”

“Sorry,” Bucky grumbled. “Look, I find myself becoming very fond of Thistle. I could see myself loving her just as much as I love the rest of you. Even if it is a little weird right now, she will grow up. I think it would be better for her to grow up with us, knowing that there is a place for her and her foals in our herd. And here is the weird part, it almost sounds like parenting or something… ugh,” Bucky said with a shudder. “She will grow up knowing exactly what is expected from her and more responsibilities can be given to her as she is ready for them,” Bucky finished.

“Like me,” Ripple stated. She shot her sister a glare that silenced Loch Skimmer before anything could be said. “Look, like it or not, I am married into this herd as well. Thistle and I have a lot in common and we’ve talked,” Ripple admitted. “And I don’t want to reveal Thistle’s secrets so I am going to shut up now,” Ripple added.

Derpy’s brows furrowed and a faint noise of indescribable concern resonated in her throat.

“Sometimes a filly or a colt has to grow up before they are ready,” Bucky said trying to sooth Derpy’s ruffled feathers. “I know this for myself. I was about Sparkler’s age when my parents and I were at the therapist’s office that fateful day… and I was told by my parents that they resented me for being born and disrupting their lives. After that, well… I do believe the bonds of family were broken at that point. We drifted apart. I stayed at Celestia’s school. And I had to grow up and take care of myself because, well, I didn’t have anypony else. Or so I thought. I was so hurt and confused. I didn’t realise at the time that Celestia and my teachers were trying to look after me. I pushed them all away. I became a very grown up little colt and I made my way into the world. The world as it once was, ponies like Sparkler and Rising Star are ready to begin a family… like it or not, they are old enough. At least in a sense. As a society, we’ve extended foalhood greatly, trying to protect them from the world as long as possible. Look around you at all of the herds here. Maturity comes early to many, at least here it does. Maturity came to me early. I had no choice but to grow up and take care of myself. Sparkler is more level headed than most adults I know. Sure, she makes mistakes, but Sparkler learns from her mistakes, which is more than I can say for a lot of adults I know who keep making the same mistakes over and over. Thistle is a little naive but she is ready and eager to be a parent and take responsibility for not only her life and her foal, but for the lives of our foals as well. Think about how intimidating that must be for her, to be in her position, to be a mother as young as she is, and to not only embrace the idea of motherhood as much as she has, but to be willing to take on all of the extra work of looking after Dinky and Piña as well,” Bucky said, his many words all coming slowly and carefully. “Now tell me my little storm cloud, when you were her age, as scared as you were back then, would you have been so willing to take on all of this responsibility and hard work or was Dinky enough?” Bucky asked, putting Derpy on the spot.

Derpy squirmed

“Bucky brings up a very good point,” Berry said as she brushed a fetlock against Derpy’s wing and smoothed out her feathers.

“I don’t think I would have taken on the challenge of having a whole family,” Derpy admitted, shame readily apparent in her voice. “I would have ran away. Dinky was all I could deal with. I lost almost all of my friends. Dinky consumed so much of my life. I gave everything I had to look after her. I never thought of it this way,” Derpy confessed. “I need to talk with Thistle tomorrow.”

“When you put it like that, it does give a very different view of Thistle,” Rising Star mumbled, speaking mostly to himself. “Here I’ve been scared of just being married and being responsible for a few wives… I never thought about Thistle’s view of having to be married and deal with what is sure to be a small army of foals,” he continued.

“Makes my own concerns feel kinda trivial,” Sparkler admitted.

“And mine,” Loch Skimmer agreed.

“I was already aware of this because I’ve been talking to Thistle,” Ripple said, looking around the room as she did so. “And while I will not betray her trust, none of you have any idea of what this is doing to her. She might be a ‘filly’ to most of you, and you might not see her as an adult, but she knows exactly what she is getting into and we both talk about these things together when we get the chance.” Ripple paused, her muzzle scrunching in concentration as she wracked her brain for the right words. “Bucky is a very good pony for trying to see Thistle’s point of view. I am glad to have him as my father,” Ripple said with a sniffle, her eyes beginning to mist over. She scrubbed at her eyes with her foreleg and gave a grunt, refusing to allow her emotions to get the best of her.

“I just realised, I used to see the world only through my own point of view. And then, I met the most wonderful pegasus ever, and there was a very comical misunderstanding between the two of us. And then I met an earth pony mare that completely baffled me. Between the two of them, I had to work so very hard to understand what was going on,” Bucky stated.

“You know,” Rising Star interjected. “I really lucked out with Ripple. She’s amazing.”

“Aw, thanks,” Ripple replied shyly.

“I am the one who lucked out,” Bucky stated. “I have all of you.”





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