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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110. 110

The morning sun was warm and bright, and it held the promise of a day with heat. Even in the far northern climes there were hot summer days on occasion. This was a day pregnant with promise, and would be filled with the promise of pregnancies. Now, in the height of summer, Celestia worked her magic into the sun and granted a boon to mares everywhere.

For most mares in more civilised places, this was not too much of an issue. Plans were made to deal with sudden biological need. There were medications to alleviate the symptoms. Unicorns had spells to nullify the effects.

The isles had no such luxury.

Come next spring, there would be a flood of foals to many grateful parents.

 

 

Bucky followed after Thistle who walked slowly. On his back was Sentinel, who clung to his neck. Bucky could feel the colt’s stomach growling, and Bucky’s stomach was growling back in reply.

Feeling mischievous, Bucky leaned forward and goosed Thistle in a delicate place. She squealed in alarm and flicked her tail in a reflexive response. He smiled when he saw her look back at him over her shoulder. Bucky could find no fault in a bit of goosing and the blush on Thistle’s cheeks made his heart thud crazily.

She picked up her pace a bit, her walk more of a waddle. She had grown larger since Bucky had first met her, and he now worried constantly about her development. She was having some trouble getting around now due to her mass.

“Sentinel, when we get to the lake, try to take a dip in the water. Just be careful. The cold water will feel really good on your skin, trust me, I know from experience,” Bucky said. He felt Sentinel’s legs around his neck squeeze him in reply.

“I saw my grandparents last night Sentinel,” Bucky said in a low voice. “My ancient ancestors. We talked a great deal. And we did some talking about you,” he explained briefly. “Do you know who Princess Platinum is Sentinel?”

“Yes sir,” Sentinel said in a weak voice. “Sparkler and Rising Star have been teaching us about the Founders so that when we go back to the mainland, we can do well in school. It is very important to know our history,” he continued.

“She is my grandmare,” Bucky stated. “There are probably a few greats that need to be tossed in there, but you get the idea,” he added.

“Yes sir, I understand,” Sentinel said as the trio continued onwards to the lake.

“They are proud of you for what you did and say that you are worthy to be their heir. For what you have done, when we get home, I am going to make sure that you are legally recognised as my first born son, with all of the peerage that comes with it. I know that Celestia will do as I ask,” Bucky said, his voice full of pride.

“What did I do?” Sentinel asked groggily.

Bucky paused mentally and struggled to put his thoughts into words. “Sentinel, you have no idea what you have done or the evil that you have stopped,” Bucky began. “When you came to me in the dream, I was going to kill myself,” Bucky continued.

“I know sir,” Sentinel replied.

“If I would have done that, I would have lost myself to the fell shadow. He would have claimed my body. And he would have killed everypony around him when he woke up in my body. And that would have only been the start of a whole lot of killing. You saved an uncountable number of lives,” Bucky explained.

Sentinel did not reply. The colt was silent.

“Sentinel, you alright?” Bucky inquired. Ahead of him, Thistle slowed down and was watching the two of them with concern, her eyes wide.

“Sir, I must make a request,” Sentinel whispered.

“Anything Sentinel,” Bucky replied.

“I ask that we keep this between us,” Sentinel requested.

“What? Why? You did something good Sentinel!” Bucky exclaimed in utter confusion.

“I did what what was necessary, it does not need to be known or celebrated. I am content to be your foal,” Sentinel answered.

Bucky felt crestfallen and a low sigh slipped from his lips.

“It pleases me a great deal that I am seen as worthy heir. It removes some worry from my mind. That is enough for me,” Sentinel explained.

“Sentinel, sometimes, I am not sure I understand you,” Bucky said in bluntly.

“I am not sure I understand myself,” Sentinel offered in reply.

“I will need to tell Celestia when I plead your case,” Bucky said. “There has to be reasons, something that proves you worthy of peerage.”

“Then tell her,” Sentinel said. “But that was far too dark a time for me to ever celebrate it,” he stated in a morose voice. “I do not wish to be reminded of it when somepony recounts the deeds that I have done.”

“I think I understand Sentinel,” Bucky replied.

“Well, I am proud of what you have done Sentinel,” Thistle said. “Sentinel, when you feel better, you and I have a task ahead of us,” the kelpie said as she attempted to change the subject.

“We do?” Sentinel asked in a groggy by attentive voice.

“We have to teach Bucky here how to fish,” Thistle said to Sentinel. “While I am content to bring him a fish,” she said as she turned to look at Bucky. “I will require that he returns the favour,” she said teasingly.

“Eh, I can use my magic,” Bucky said.

“No!” Sentinel protested.

“That would be wrong,” Thistle said testily.

“I don’t get it, why would it be wrong?” Bucky said. “I don’t understand.”

“If you want to eat them, you should catch them,” Thistle explained.

“But the pegasi, they use nets to pull the fish out,” Bucky protested.

“Doesn’t make it right,” Thistle said grumpily.

“The grass eaters don’t understand,” Sentinel muttered.

“Oh, grass eaters,” Bucky said. “Well, that explains everything. Snobs. Brutes. Numbskulls. Grass eaters."

Thistle gave Bucky a sour look. “You are one of us now,” she said in a low voice. “Show some respect. Do you have any idea how difficult it will be for you to live now among your own kind? The fear they will have of you? The difficulty of eating flesh among those who view it as being somehow wrong… immoral…” the kelpie filly’s words trailed off.

“We have to eat,” Sentinel said. “We have to kill. We have to take life to sustain our own. But we have to do what is right as well. We don’t eat things with a voice. We don’t eat things that can plead or protest. And we show respect for the lives we do take,” he explained.

Bucky felt a stab of guilt. “I am sorry. I was not aware of this,” he said.

“Which is why I am offering to teach you how to fish, and all that goes along with it,” Thistle replied. “This is why I asked the others to stay behind and to give us some private time alone.”

“We fight and struggle for our kills. We kill them as nature intended. I have teeth, and I kill with my teeth,” Sentinel explained.

The full ramifications of just how much his life had changed now settled on Bucky’s shoulders. He was completely ignorant about this aspect of pony culture. The ponies who had to eat flesh had their own societal mores, and he had no understanding of them.

“We do not bite other ponies with our teeth, even in play,” Thistle stated. “We do not nip. We do not press the tips of our teeth against another pony’s flesh,” she added.

“Treat your teeth as you would your magic,” Sentinel suggested.

The lake was in view now, the shore a short walk away. As he approached the water, Bucky wondered how well he would be able to fish on his own.

“When you father my foals, I will expect you to do your part in teaching them how to fish and how to live among the grass eaters peacefully,” Thistle stated. “I would have been the one to teach them this, but now that you have those bladed fangs, I have some expectations of you.”

“That seems fair,” Bucky replied, which earned him a beaming glance from Thistle.

“And Sentinel, being their older sibling, and being the duty bound little colt that you are, I know I need not even ask,” Thistle stated.

“I will do what is needed,” Sentinel replied.

“We exist as herd within a herd,” Thistle said softly. “We are the same, but different. We must never give the others reasons to fear us. I know I have already said it, but we must never use our teeth to harm another pony. No nipping. No love bites. No nibbling on the ear. If you ever draw blood on one of your herdmates Bucky, I will be very disappointed in you. Accidents are a different issue before you even say anything,” she explained.

“Never put myself into a position where I might increase the chance of an accident, I get it,” Bucky answered.

“Some ponies have wings or a horn, and that makes them different. We have sharp teeth. My mother was relentless about making sure I understood how important all of this is,” Thistle said. “I got sick of hearing it, but I am so glad that she loved me enough to tell me.”

The kelpie reached the water and went splashing in. Bucky watched her change. She was a beautiful creature both in and out of the water, but she was especially beautiful in the water.

Bucky waded through the shallows and out to the deeper water. Sentinel slid from his back and Bucky heard a series of clicks, pops, and squeals as Sentinel made noises with his echolocation.

“You alright?” Bucky inquired of his colt.

“It feels unbelievably good,” Sentinel said as he floated in the water.

“It felt so good when Thistle ran all of that water over my back and over my burned places,” Bucky stated.

Bucky went out into deeper water and submerged. Sentinel had echolocation to help him find fish, and Bucky reasoned that Thistle had some means of finding fish, but he couldn’t see anything past a certain amount of depth. He resurfaced and floated, keeping an eye on Sentinel. He felt Thistle swim past him.

The stallion plunged again, and this time, he flooded his sunstone eye with mana. A bright green light illuminated the water and Bucky found that he could see quite well. But he still saw no fish.

He broke the surface, now gasping after having been under for a few moments. Bucky realised that he had little experience in holding his breath and this was going to be a problem.

He also saw Thistle heading for the shore with a big fish held in her muzzle. There was a moment of revulsion followed by a feeling of hunger and his mouth watering. As he watched, Thistle coaxed Sentinel out of the water, changed, and then gave the fish to him. She returned to the water, changed again, and came out to the depths beside Bucky.

“Thistle, I am kind of curious, but in this form, can you…” Bucky’s words faded into nothingness as he spoke.

Thistle winked and swam close. She wrapped her long body around Bucky and her tail curled around one of his legs. “I bet you’d like to find out,” she said teasingly.

Bucky nodded and as he did so, Thistle kissed him. He felt himself pulled beneath the water and he struggled, feeling a moment of panic. But Thistle pulled him ever deeper, gripping him tightly with her forelegs. Fear seized Bucky’s body and he worried about breathing.

And then, he realised, he was breathing. Thistle’s kiss was giving him all the air he needed. He felt himself being pulled back up to the surface, and, after his head broke the water, Thistle pulled away from him and swam away, leaving him floating by himself.

Bucky was glad that he was in deep water, and he decided to spend some time floating out there. His fish would have to wait until his arousal subsided. As he floated, he tried to not think of Thistle’s wet, supple, and flexible form, but instead focused on trying to figure out how Thistle had been able to give him air.

The kelpie broke the surface a short distance away and Bucky watched her intently. She was looking at him, her eyes wide, and her mane of living plants flowed out into the water behind her.

“Thistle, can little kelpies swim on their own?” Bucky asked.

Thistle nodded. “They can swim right after birth. They can’t drown, so you don’t need to worry,” she explained.

“How do kelpie mothers feed their young in the water?” Bucky asked.

The kelpie blushed. “I still have teats in this form,” she said in a husky whisper.

“Intriguing,” Bucky replied as his ears splayed out sideways. “It must be difficult to be a kelpie mother and have foals that cannot join you in the water.”

For a moment, Thistle looked incredibly sad and Bucky suddenly remembered all of Thistle’s siblings and her mother. She quickly returned to her usual self, but Bucky had seen the pain.

“Thistle, I am sorry, I was trying to understand your kind, I was careless when I said what I said, please forgive me,” Bucky pleaded.

“It is okay, I know you didn’t mean anything bad,” Thistle said as the sadness crept back into her face. “You were probably just trying to think of the foals I will have,” she added.

Bucky nodded and swam towards Thistle. His arousal was completely forgotten as he took her into his embrace and held her close. He kissed her gently upon the cheek and then again upon her ear. And then he let her go slowly, not wanting to let her go at all.

“I feel so stupid,” Bucky muttered.

“Things happen,” Thistle said gently, her cheeks flushing red.

“And I just did something else that was incredibly stupid, didn’t I?” he asked.

Thistle nodded and her blush intensified.

“I am having one of those sorts of days,” Bucky grumbled. “Look, I am sorry for that too, I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” he apologised. He turned his eyes away and looked at Sentinel, who was eating on the shore.

“Oh, I didn’t mind,” Thistle said with a shrill giggle. “I am going to get us some fish.”

 

 

 

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