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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“Sir, did you have a nice visit with Diamond Tiara last night?” Violet asked as Bucky settled into his chair, in his office within the school. Violet set down a steaming, fragrant cup of chai in front of Bucky, the cup and spoon both clattering on the saucer as she set it upon his desk.

The small office was pleasant, filled with comfortable chairs, jars of candy, cookies, and other things that brought comfort to little foals and parents. Today was going to be a trying day for both Bucky, a fair number of foals, and more than a few parents as well.

“Yes I did,” Bucky replied, his nostrils flaring as he sniffed at his spiced chai, “had a long talk with her and then spent some time with Hondo and Cookie. They’re looking after Diamond while Rarity is in Canterlot.” Bucky’s eyebrow raised and he looked at his secretary. “What’s on the schedule for today? How bad is it?”

“Well, most parents were content to deal with an admissions counselor, but there are a few that insist on dealing with the headmaster, probably because they want assurance, are worried, want special treatment for their precious, gifted, talented, perfect little foal, or just want a chance to meet you. Sir, the list is long.”

“Bugger.” Bucky frowned, lifted up his cup of chai, took a sip, set his cup down, and then sighed in contentment. It was strong and coconutty, a blend made in the Sea of Grass. Being patient, he sat still while Violet tried to do something with his long, disheveled mane and his full, bushy sideburns. “Lyra just brushed me this morning.”

“Sir, did you get your morning kiss from little Harper?” Violet asked in a knowing manner.

Now grinning, Bucky nodded. Harper had a continuous static discharge and a whole lot of love to give. There was a clunk as Violet set down a coffee carafe on a small table in the corner, next to a stack of disposable insulated coffee cups.

“Who’s first?” Bucky asked.

“Miss Wainwright. She is enrolling her colt in kindergarten. I’m not sure why she wanted to see you, but she doesn’t appear to be snobby. She probably just wants assurance. She seems nervous.” Violet cleared her throat, put on her most professional expression, and headed for the door. “I shall send her in if you are ready.”

“Of course…”

 

 

“Hello, your Lordship—”

“Just Bucky, if you don’t mind, Miss Wainwright.”

“Right.” The mare nodded.

“Have a seat,” Bucky said, pointing to a chair. “Where is your colt?”

“Oh, I wanted to spare him the boredom. I left him in the waiting area with the other foals so he could play.” The mare cleared her throat, looking nervous, and she bowed her head. “Sir, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I wanted to thank you… I don’t know if you remember me, but I was your server at the Ponyville Tea Room. You told me to enroll my colt.”

“Yes, I remember you… you had a colt that wanted to grow up and be a knight,” Bucky said in a pleasant voice as he leaned forward over his desk.

“I’m flattered that you remembered.” The mare smiled and her ears stood up straight. “Little Gelb no longer wants to be a knight… at the moment, he wants be a police pony.”

“There isn’t much difference, really,” Bucky replied, feeling amused by the mare’s words. “Gelb… that is a fascinating name.”

“My family came from Germaney. Gelb means yellow… he’s the colour of sunshine,” Miss Wainwright explained to Bucky. “Look, I am sure you are a very busy pony… I will not keep you from your duties. I just wanted to thank you face to face.”

“You are most welcome, Miss Wainwright.” Bucky watched as the mare stood up and got ready to go.

“He’s been a real hoofful… he’s a prankster… his magic has been a little out of control lately. I’m hoping that he can be sorted out. It would make my life a whole lot easier.” Bowing her head, the mare smiled at Bucky, backed up towards the door, and then stepped out.

Easing back in his chair, Bucky wondered who he would be dealing with next.

 

 

Much to Bucky’s surprise, it was Scorch who came through the door next, with a very curious looking something right behind him. Bucky’s eyes narrowed. He had never committed to allowing Dee into school, in fact, Scorch had never brought it up ever again and Bucky had come to the belief that Scorch had changed his mind, which made Bucky very, very surprised to see Scorch standing in his office.

Scorch, in pony form, gave Bucky a shrewd smile.

“Look, I know what you are up to, you fey trickster… you’re trying to make it difficult for me to say no.” Bucky looked at the demon child standing behind Scorch, who looked a little shy and afraid.

As Scorch had said, Dee Zaster was around a yard tall, had three legs, two arms, a head like a goat, three horns, three nostrils, one on one side of his nose, two on the other, and one eye in the middle of his face. The little demonspawn wore glasses. Bucky paused, thoughtful. A monocle? But it had temples, like a pair of eyeglasses. Why did demons always have to make things confusing? He was wearing a suit; a blue pair of trousers made for three legs, a dark green waistcoat, and a dark blue blazer. A polka dotted bowtie, light green with bright orange dots somehow brought the outfit together.

Sure enough, there were tentacles. Tentacles with suckers on them. Dee’s left arm ended in a cluster of tentacles covered in suckers. Bucky’s head made a slow turn so he could stare at Scorch, who had a smug, self satisfied grin. At this moment, Bucky hated Scorch just a little tiny bit.

“Dee, have a seat, and don’t be scared. He’s really very nice, I promise,” Scorch said, pressing his nose into his son’s back and scooting him towards a chair. Scorch waited for Dee to sit down and then he looked at Bucky. “Now, I don’t want any special treatment. I want Dee to get by on his own merits. His mother and I want him to earn his own successes, no special treatment on account that he is my son.”

“Scorch… I—”

“Are you really going to tell me no?” Scorch asked, his pony ears perking forwards.

Reaching up with his talons, Bucky rubbed his face. Scorch had put him on the spot. Scorch had not played fair. The fey fire elemental expected an answer with Dee in the room, and the little demonspawn probably had his hopes up to come to school. Bucky couldn’t even begin to imagine how much trouble this might cause.

But all were welcome at the Founder’s Forge. At least, that was the original plan. Bucky continued to rub his face with his talons. He glanced over at the demonspawn. There was a pocket protector in the pocket of his blazer along with a collection of pens and pencils. His silver eyeglasses glinted and the single lense was polished and clean.

“Hello,” Bucky said, trying to kind.

“Hi,” Dee replied.

Dee had a very nasal voice. He sounded congested and scared. Bucky put his talons down upon the desk and blinked a few times in stunned shock. He didn’t know what he expected as far as demon offspring went. Dee had a soul and he seemed decent enough. There was no way that Bucky could say no.

“Speak with Violet. Dee will need to go through placement testing. I’m guessing he’s smart.” Bucky let out a sigh and tapped his claws upon his desk. “Dee, do you want to come to school here?”

There was a long silence before Dee replied, “Yes.”

“And you want to learn about the secretarial sciences?” Bucky asked.

“Beaurocracy is fascinating,” Dee replied as he adjusted his glasses. “The establishment of proper order all begins with good leadership and good leadership means having a good secretary.”

“Oh, Violet is going to love you.” Bucky lifted up his cup of chai, took a sip, and then gave Dee a nod. “I hope you enjoy your time here. Welcome to the Founder’s Forge.”

“Thank you, Bucky, this means a lot to me,” Scorch said to Bucky, looking very solemn and serious. Still in pony form, he stood beside his son and looked Bucky in the eye. “I am hoping that this is a change for the better. His mother is very excited. If this goes well, she might want to have more spawn.”

“Oh, delightful,” Bucky replied, his eyebrow raising. “Go talk to Violet. She’ll tell you where to go next. And Scorch—”

“Yes?”

“You owe me…”

 

 

After touching the egg with her nose, Derpy pulled her head back. The egg was now bigger, at the least the contents inside of it were bigger. The egg itself was now stretched, the rubbery outside was now thinner. Whatever was inside was moving. The egg bulged and wobbled around. The only thing keeping it in one spot was the makeshift blanket nest around it, otherwise, Derpy was certain it would roll around on the floor like a ball.

Missing Berry, Derpy looked over at Thistle, who was feeding both little Barley and Dizzy. The kelpie looked happy, and she murmured soft words to the two colts suckling at her teats. Bell Heather was wobbling around the nursery, bored, trying to run but always stumbling and almost falling.

Sitting on a quilt spread over the floor, Cadance was looking protective, her stubby wings extended, and she watched over both Ditzy and Brandywine. The pink alicorn took an occasional peek at the egg and would frown in a most adorable manner.

Peering out from beneath her frizzy, curly, springy mane, Harper was the one most fascinated by the egg. She sat staring at it, sometimes touching it, and, as Derpy watched, appeared to be about to say something about it. Harper just had that look.

“Egg moving.” Harper pointed her hoof at the egg as the side bulged.

“There is a foal in there,” Derpy said, not thinking of the consequences.

When Harper’s brow’s furrowed and her eyes vanished behind the explosion of curls on top of her head, Derpy thought about the consequences. There was a grunt from Harper, the sound that the filly made when she geared up for intellectual pursuits. Harper scooted closer to the egg, touching it with her hoof, feeling it moving.

“Foals come from egg?” Harper asked, confused, shaking her head, “foals come from belly you say. You trick Harpy?”

“Foals do come from a mare’s belly… but this foal, she is coming from an egg. She’s special.” Derpy licked her lips, feeling somewhat worried, she wanted Harper to trust her. Lyra might play tricks and pranks on Harper, and that was fine for Lyra, but Derpy valued Harper’s trust.

“Where do egg come from?” Harper demanded to know.

“Some females lay eggs. The eggs come from their belly,” Derpy replied.

“So foal still come from belly… okay.” Reaching up with her foreleg, Harper tried to brush back her mane from her eyes and failed. It sprang forwards to reclaim lost ground. “How egg happen? If lay egg, does it hurt?”

Eyes blinking, Derpy squeezed her hind legs together, her cheeks sucking in against her teeth. She eyed the egg, noting the size, the texture, and she felt herself sweating under her wings just thinking about trying to shove that out of her nethers. “Yes, Harper, I would say that laying an egg hurts just as much as giving birth, but egg laying mothers love their eggs and they do it anyway.” The grey pegasus felt a stabbing ache in her loins. She was still healing up a bit down there, but most of the swelling and pain was gone, the source of the inflammation was now laying on the nursery floor. Her ears perked as she heard Thistle giggling.

Sitting down, sucking in her gut, Harper tried to look down between her legs, fell over onto her back, grunted, kicked her legs, rolled over, and then looked at the egg, an annoyed expression on her face. After a moment, she looked at her siblings, both Brandywine and Ditzy.

“How big things come out?” Using her hoof, Harper touched her stomach, patting it a few times, and then looked up at Derpy.

“Oh, it’s very stretchy down there,” Derpy said in reply, wishing that Harper would get bored and ask fifty million questions about something else.

“Harpy will have a foal, right?” Harper asked, her tone one of utter seriousness.

“Yes.” Derpy nodded. As she did so, she reached out with her wing and brushed her own mane out of her eyes. She needed a trim. She was getting a bit shaggier than she liked.

“Why Harpy have a foal and not an egg? What if Harpy wanted egg?” Harper pulled herself closer to the egg, leaned her head down, and rested her cheek on it. “Eggy soft and warm. Harpy like.”

“Harper, that is just how it is. Some females lay eggs, others have live young. Dragons lay eggs. Ponies have live young.” Derpy smiled, stretched out her neck, and nosed Harper. “That’s just the way it is, I don’t know why.”

“But foal in egg, yes?” Harper asked.

Disappointed that she had failed to satisfy Harper’s curiousity, Derpy took a deep breath, held it, reinflated her patience, and then exhaled in a huff. “Maybe. We don’t know what Crisis is. We think she’s a foal… of some sort. Like I said, she’s special.”

“So why can’t Harpy be special too and lay egg?” Harper wrapped her forelegs around the egg and gave it a hug as she continued to exhaust her mother’s patience.

“Harper, things are the way they are. I don’t think you will ever lay eggs. One day though, you’ll be a mommy, hopefully not too soon, and you’ll scare poor Lyra to death and make her really happy, all at the same time.” Derpy heaved another sigh. “I can only hope that when you become a mother, you’ll remember these moments as your own foal asks you questions about how the world works, you little stinker.”

 

 

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