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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Glancing over at the bottle of gin, Berry Punch saw that it was down by about a third, which wasn’t what she expected to see. Her eyes, narrowed, darted over to her husband, who was curled up on the bed. He had talked a bit, in fact, he had been quite open, but he hadn’t said much. He had come out and stated his feelings, talked of his feelings of failure, and his regret that he hadn’t done things a different way.

And now, he was going to sleep. Relieved, but still somehow unsatisfied, she reached up and rubbed the side of her neck with her hoof, which was now soft and velvety from having just come out of the tub. She tickled her own frogs with the fuzzy hairs of her pelt.

Turning about, Berry stepped out of the bedroom and into the nursery where Magpie and Belisama were fawning over Bandua. The little griffoness was glad to be home and with her cub again. Berry smiled at them and stepped around the pile of foals on the floor. She wasn’t ready to look after them just yet, but she knew the time was coming.

She slipped out of the nursery and down the hall, past the dining room, and then the entryways into the living room and the kitchen. She opened the front door, stepped out onto the porch, and then lept down the front steps. She trotted through the grass, glanced up, and saw little pegasi and griffons overhead, learning how to fly from the undisputed master.

A group of unicorn foals were learning magic from Sunset Shimmer, and Dinky was among their number. Berry watched them as she passed, and she smiled when she saw all of the happy little faces.

She made her way to the carriage house, slipped inside, and went to the stairs. She heard music and knew the party was still going full swing. She paused, took a deep breath, and then mounted the stairs, taking them two or three at a time. She had an idea on how to make things better, and she needed to talk to Sparkler, because she had the means to maybe make her father feel better.

At the top of the stairs, Berry pushed open the door to the apartment without knocking, and let herself inside, knowing that she was always welcome. Plus, there was a party going on. She had an obligation to stir things up a little bit.

 

 

Peering around the doorway, Sukari looked into the big room, wondering if she would find—oh, there he was. Baba. She peeked about, her ears perked, and her bright blue eyes glittered with inner happiness. Something almost like a smile spread over her scarred face.

She stepped into the room, walking sideways, and she kept an eye on the nursery door. She wanted Baba to herself, which was difficult to do. She crept over to the bed, glanced all around her, and then she placed her front hooves on the edge of the bed and stood on her hind legs. Keeping her head low, on level with the bed, she peered over, and then, she saw him. Seeing him made her ears wiggle. She tried to climb up into the bed, but fell down and landed on her bottom with a thump.

That was unpleasant. Getting up, she gave her backside a shake, stuck out her tongue, and then pronked up onto the bed. Baba was sleeping with his head under a pillow, or he appeared to be. Baba was tricky and did sneaky things.

As she drew near, her eyes watered and her nose burned. Baba smelled funny, like he sometimes did. Pausing, Sukari rubbed her eyes with her foreleg and then made a funny face, her muzzle scrunching up in disgust. She dropped down to the bed, flopping onto her belly, and then crawled closer. When she was near enough, she reached out with one of her front hooves and poked Baba on his hind hoof.

His leg twitched, he grunted, but there was no other reaction. Disappointed, she poked him again. This time, his tail swished around, his hind leg quivered, and there was another grunt from beneath the pillow where his head was hiding.

Frustrated, Sukari sucked in a deep breath, puckered up her lips, her cheeks bulging, and she blew on Baba’s frog. She watched his whole body twitch and he pulled his hind legs up close to his belly. A low moan came out from beneath the pillow.

She crept a little closer, slithering like a snake on her belly, not quite sure what to do to get her Baba’s attention. She let out a frustrated sigh, her tail swished from side to side as if swatting at invisible bugs, and she rolled over onto her side with a grunt.

There was a snort from beneath the pillow.

The pillow was the problem. Sukari contemplated her course of action, trying to plan. If Cadance was here, she would know what to do, and Sukari pondered going off to find Cadance, but then, if the pink foal was here, that would mean sharing. And Sukari wasn’t in the mood to share.

Not at all. She was tired of sharing everything. She wanted Baba to herself. She rolled over onto her back, kicked her four legs up into the air, and wiggled them around as she scratched her backside just above her tail against the blanket. It felt good. She needed brushing. A lot of old hairs were falling out and new hairs were growing in and she was itchy, itchy, itchy! As she rolled about on the bed, she left behind a lot of little white hairs.

As she scratched, she was seized with an idea. After scratching her own itch, she rolled over, back onto her belly, wiggled over to the pillow, grabbed the corner in her teeth, and pulled it away, revealing Baba’s head. There was a loud snort, followed by a super-duper gross burp that smelled real bad. The smell made her eyes water and she wondered why Baba smelled so funny.

She lifted her head and slid on her belly, closer, closer, until she was close enough to get Baba’s attention. She sucked in a deep breath, filling her lungs, and then, pursing her lips again, she blew in Baba’s ear.

His whole body shook and he wiggled. His face scrunched up, his lips flapped as he huffed, but he did not wake up. Now almost pouting, Sukari was forced to try it again. She took another deep breath, puckered up, and blew once more into her Baba’s ear.

There was a scary growl from deep inside of Baba’s throat and he was trying to scare her. She had learned long ago that Baba wasn’t scary. Reaching out with her front hoof, she booped him on the snoot. That’d learn him not to growl at her.

There was a snort, he wiggled, and his eyelids fluttered, but did not open. Baba had a terrible breath. It burned her eyes. She booped him on the nose again, then again, and then gave up when he did not respond. All she wanted was a little snuggle time, or a cuddle, or some play time. Why did he have to be so difficult?

Reaching out with her hoof, she booped him on the snoot again and was rewarded with a wet, snotty snort. She yanked her hoof away, disgusted, and tried to shake away the wetness that she felt on her frog. Not knowing what else to do, unable to get it off, she wiped it on Baba’s cheek.

Sukari let out a little giggle and as she did so, Baba’s eye opened just enough that she could see a sliver of grey as she was wiping her boogery frog on his cheek. It was at that moment that he grabbed her.

She let out a startled cry, she couldn’t help it, even though she knew that she was safe and he would never hurt her, she still panicked when sudden movements happened, but she kind of enjoyed the scary feeling. She felt his muzzle press against her belly and then the very worst thing happened—he blew a tickly raspberry against her belly. She let out another cry as she tried to squirm away, she wanted snuggles, not tickles, but she was powerless against him, and could do nothing to escape. She felt his forelegs slip around her, and then she was pulled close.

“You little goofball,” he said in a sleepy voice, “Come here to me, and hold still.”

Not having much of a choice in the matter, and getting what she wanted in the first place, Sukari allowed herself to be held. She grew warm against his neck and she could feel his chin on the top of her head. She wrapped her forelegs around his strange birdy leg and allowed a drowsy feeling to overcome her.

A nap might be nice.

“Coming up and bapping me on the nose while I’m trying to sleep… sheesh.”

Baba had very bad breath, but that was okay. Sukari found that she could live with that. She snuggled a little closer, yawned, and closed her eyes. She curled up, wrapping as much of herself as she could around his foreleg, and soon, the siren call of sleep was irresistible.

The world darkened around her and she knew that Baba had pulled a pillow over the top of them. She could feel the light, fluffy, feathery weight of it above her. She twisted and squirmed, trying to get comfortable, and then went still when everything was just right. She had been lying on her own tail, and it tugged the wrong way. That was awful when that happened. Nopony liked to sleep with their tail being tugged.

“Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to lay your sleepy head… hush now, quiet now, little zebras should be in bed… and not smacking Daddy in the head...”

Yawning, Sukari drifted away to the sounds of her Baba’s somewhat slurred singing.

 

 

Returning from the party, having spoken to Sparkler, Berry Punch entered the house. As she stepped into the living room, she was stopped by Lyra, who looked a little frazzled. Berry waited, wondering what Lyra had to say.

“We can’t find Sukari… she seems to have slipped off.” Lyra let out a weary sigh and shook her head. “We think she might have slipped outside. She’s not upstairs and she’s not in Sentinel’s hidey-hole.”

“Huh,” Berry replied, wondering where the little filly went. It wasn’t like her to cause trouble or slip outside. She wasn’t the troublemaking sort, like say, Peekaboo or Harper, who delighted in mischief. Sukari was quiet, reserved, and well behaved, more or less.

The kitchen was noisy, which was distracting. The dining room was occupied, Berry could hear Sentinel, Diamond Tiara, and Boadicea doing some sort of homework project together, or, if not homework, then some project perhaps. Cadance and Harper were in the living room laying the smack down on Peekaboo with a tag team effort. There were thumps and bumps as the foals wrestled on the wooden floor.

Everything was noisy. Berry blinked. The little zebra detested when things were noisy, loud, and crazy. The little filly liked the calm and the quiet. Berry looked Lyra in the eye and smiled.

“I bet if we found a quiet spot, we’d find Sukari,” Berry Punch said to her fellow wife. “Listen to the mayhem in here. This place is all kinds of crazy right now.” As Berry spoke, Cadance let out a howling battlecry, further illustrating Berry’s point. There was a thump as Peekaboo’s head went crashing into the floor.

In the living room, Yew Wood chuckled as the little ones visited acts of savage barbarity upon one another. Little pegasi were so adorable and always good for a laugh.

Humming to herself, Berry Punch took off, heading down the hallway, heading to the back of the house, where the nursery was and the master bedroom. The nursery was alive with sounds, but quiet sounds. It was feeding time, by the sounds of it, and Berry knew that she was needed.

But first, she had to find a little missing zebra filly, and she knew just where to look. Every foal had their quirks, and Berry knew each and every one of them. She slipped through the doorway and into the bedroom, then shut the door behind her to preserve the quiet.

She saw Bucky on the bed, his top half buried under pillows, and his bottom half sprawled out over the blanket spread over the bed. One hind leg, which was unmistakably that of a goat, twitched non stop. She approached the bed, doing so without making a sound, and then, with great care, she slipped onto the bed. Laying on her belly, she crawled over a bit, reached out with her foreleg, stuffed her hoof beneath the corner of a pillow, and lifted.

She found what she was looking for, the missing zebra filly. She was curled up with her back against her father’s neck, and all four of her legs were wrapped around Bucky’s foreleg. Her eyes were closed and she breathed with slow regularity, her little barrel rising and falling. Bucky let out a snort and Berry lowered the pillow back down, returning him to darkness.

Slipping off of the bed, she crept off to the nursery, knowing there were hungry mouths to feed.

 

 

 

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