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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“I am having some trouble taking in what I saw earlier,” Berry Punch confided to Derpy, who sat beside her on the sofa. She looked over at Bucky, who was asleep on the bed. “I mean, I can’t help but think about how he was. He would cringe just from watching other ponies touch one another. If you touched him he would jump out of his skin. You tried to teach him pegasus manners, and he was disgusted. He was so broken… so hurt… it filled me with such rage that somepony conditioned him to be that way… and then seeing him with that foal just a little while ago,” Berry said in a low strained voice. Berry leaned against the grey mare beside her and rubbed her own belly affectionately.

“Something about that whole display really turned me on,” Derpy confessed. “I don’t know what it is, but I liked it,” she stated.

“You’ve changed too you know,” Berry said.

“I am sure I have,” Derpy agreed with a sigh. She watched Lyra and Bon Bon, who were fawning over the foal, trying to keep her quiet so other ponies could sleep. Seeing her herdmates happy filled her with a contented feeling. “Have I changed for the better?” asked Derpy in a quiet whisper.

“I think so,” Berry said reassuringly. The earth pony gazed lovingly at the foal as Bon Bon nuzzled it. “I’ve been thinking… you know, while I am working, you know how I get Derpy, I can only have a clear head when I am doing something physical,” she stated.

“Whatcha been thinking about?” Derpy asked in a tired voice.

“How are we going to move on once we leave this place?” Berry asked.

Derpy frowned and she rested her head on Berry Punch’s head.

“I am so afraid that we are going to go back to the mainland only to find that we are not welcome. Or worse, go back to the mainland and not be able to fit in even if we are somehow welcomed back. I’m too smart for my own good. We’re a herd, and that’s bad enough in most ponies eyes, but what a collection of horror we will be when we return to civilised society. Ponies are afraid of what they don’t understand. Look at how ponies still treat Zecora. Or how ponies treat you. But little Sentinel… if somepony was to tease him or mistreat them, I would probably kick them into a greasy puddle of chunks. And where does that get me? I have a bad temper Derpy. I love little Sentinel. Or Bucky. I couldn’t bear somepony saying something bad about him,” Berry confessed.

“I heard my name,” Sentinel said as he slid from one sofa and moved across the room. He clambered up on to the sofa with Derpy and Berry Punch. “Both of you should be asleep,” he whispered.

“Sentinel, do you know what came over Bucky earlier?” Berry asked.

“No… and I don’t know what came over me either. It felt like I was dreaming or something,” Sentinel replied as he crawled into Berry’s embrace.

The earth pony held Sentinel carefully, not pressing down on his withers where his charred flesh was. Berry Punch kissed the top of his head and then patted his backside affectionately.

The foal began to squall, causing both Lyra and Bon Bon to try and shush it, before it woke the sleepers. Bon Bon was making cooing noises while Lyra tried making silly faces and waggling her ears.

“She wants to go to sleep,” Derpy said knowingly. “You’ve spent all this time playing with her, talking to her, feeding her, burping her, and you keep passing her back and forth. If you laid her down, she’d be asleep in moments,” she added patiently.

“Oh?” Bon Bon said.

Lyra settled the foal down in the straw and then sat down beside her. She touched the foal with her snoot one last time and then backed away. It didn’t take long before the squalling ceased and the foal fell silent. “She needed sleep,” Lyra whispered.

Derpy smiled and then turned to look at Berry Punch and Sentinel. She kissed them both. “I am going to bed,” she announced as she pulled away and slipped from the sofa.

Berry watched as Derpy settled into the bed. “I guess you’ll be up all night Sentinel. Keep watch over your new sister,” Berry said and then she kissed the foal in her forelegs. She carefully set Sentinel down and then slipped from the couch herself, off to join her mates in the bed.

 

 

Bucky set down yet another glass orb. It would be dawn soon. He had awoken about an hour or two after midnight and had been hard at work since. He had filled several spell jars with minor spells and had made dozens of new glass orbs. He was getting good at working with glass and it made him feel good that it was a practical skill. Beer and booze could go into decorative glass bottles.

The lab was chilly because Lyra was back in their room. Bucky found he didn’t mind the cold so much now. What was bothering him was his pelt. He was shedding heavily, which bothered him. Usually, in the summer, he was a light shedder, occasionally losing a few hairs. He had kept himself well groomed and well brushed, but recently he had let himself go. His mane was now long, and his tail had grown down to his chewed up heels. He scratched furiously at his ribs and even wondered briefly if perhaps he had fleas.

Much to his relief, his eyesight seemed to be back. It was a distressing thought that lingered in the back of his mind. He had not been able to see for any sort of distance, nor could he see much in the way of details when they had set out to purge the undead. But now as he worked in the dim light of a few candles, his new green eyelight, and his own horn, he found that he could easily read his spellbook from across the room.

He scratched yet again at his new sideburns. The growth of thicker mane-like hair was itchy on his cheeks. As he scratched, he cackled to himself with maniacal glee, and turned his head to look at one of his recent creations. In one of the spell jars he had placed a very powerful version of a “want it need it spell” and he longed to throw it at one of the wolves. It swirled inside of the globe, looking purple and violent somehow, and it was a similar corrupted version of the spell that Dinky had once cast that had caused rampant sexual desire. It hadn’t took him long to figure out what had gone wrong and he had easily replicated the spell. He intended to save the orb for when there was a large number of wolves and then unleash it when the time was right.

Above all else that had changed, Bucky had developed a hateful mean streak. Creating a glass jar of magical rape was stooping lowby any stretch of the imagination. Celestia would never approve Bucky had thought to himself upon the completion of the magical ordinance. The unicorn version of the spell was never intended to work on ponies, it was meant to be a distraction cast upon something so a clever unicorn could escape and live to cast another day. Bucky had kept this aspect of the spell unchanged.

He laboured in the cold dark room, continuing to make more glass orbs, the effort to create one now a minor task. He was feeling some minor magical fatigue, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. As he worked, he formed a plan for enchanting the gasbag. It was going to take a while. And after the gasbag it would be time to forge armor. He had ideas. New knowledge filled his head now, his mind was flooded with all kinds of useful information from Sombra’s memories. Sombra’s fallen shadow had made a terrible mistake in trying to merge with Bucky’s mind and had left behind a wealth of information after its failure.

Chains would also need to be forged, and a harness for the gasbag, so The Scorned Mare could be hung from it. He would need an anchor as well. He was going to have some exhausting days up ahead of him. he lifted a jug of mead to his lips and guzzled down a considerable amount, relishing the warmth of the sweet frothy liquid. He belched loudly, patted his stomach with his hoof, and then belched again.

After another hour spent making glass globes, Bucky rubbed his head and realised it was time to quit for the night. His mead jug was empty.

 

 

In the moments just before dawn, Derpy was kissed to wakefulness by sweet mead flavoured lips, just as the kiss was getting good, Bucky had pulled away, and Derpy heard the sounds of another kiss on different lips. After another moment, there were more smooching sounds, and when Derpy had opened her eyes, Bucky was kissing Thistle gently.

The pegasus smiled as she blinked a few times and tried to adjust to the waking world. She had been having the most wonderful dream of being surrounded by foals and walking through a pleasant meadow full of grass and butterflies.

Derpy watched as Bucky continued his rounds, pulling in a squealing Bon Bon and kissing her on the cheek, and then Lyra, kissing the unicorn on her nasal bridge. Bucky then lifted the newborn foal in his magic and spent a quiet moment with the foal pressed to his neck. Unable to contain herself, Derpy reached out and grabbed a foal, any foal would do in a moment like this, and the foal she grabbed was pink.

“I was sleepin’,” Piña protested as she was squeezed.

“Don’t care,” Derpy said as she continued to cuddle Piña.

“I care,” Piña muttered as Derpy’s lips pressed into her cheeks. She resigned herself to the pegasus’ affection and closed her eyes. Her mouth opened in a wide yawn as she rested her head against Derpy’s forelegs.

 

 

Dinky took yet another bite of pease porridge. It was disgusting, but it was food, and Dinky knew that she needed food for what she had planned. She chewed thoughtfully. Her long night of suffering had taught her a great deal, and now Dinky had a better idea of what she was capable of. She understood the power of music now, and Lyra had been right. It was a magic all of its own.

“Daddy?” Dinky asked.

“What Dinky?” Bucky replied.

“I think that Piña and I know everything that Sparkler and Rising Star can teach us… I want to study and experiment today,” Dinky requested.

She waited and watched as her daddy considered her request. He seemed to be taking a long time to answer and he had something of a silly looking half smile on his muzzle.

“Piña wants to start reading Gabbenstern’s Grimoire and we’re not trying to get out of school to go and play, honest,” Dinky pleaded.

“I know Dinky, and that bothers me. You’ve been very focused lately,” Bucky said.

“So have you,” Dinky retorted in foalish frustration. She heard a sharp intake of breath from her mother and Dinky flinched, waiting for a stinging wing slap. After a few moments of sitting at the table with her eyes closed, Dinky realised she was in the clear. She opened her eyes cautiously and saw her mother glaring at her, and Dinky shrank down.

“What are your plans Dinky?” Bucky asked.

Dinky tried to ignore her mother’s burning stare and in a far more respectful tone, she answered her father. “I can connect to flies now. I was going to touch minds with different flies around the island and see what I can learn. I also want to test how much distance I can get,” she explained.

“Piña, who was Gabbenstern?” Bucky asked.

Piña chewed her food and swallowed before saying anything. “She was a hippogriff naturalist,” she replied. “I’ve read the introduction already. She studied the habits of pack animals. And herd animals too. The book was included in the trunk with the others.” Piña paused. "She was a prolific writer who created a plethora of works."

“Plethora?” Dinky asked.

“A whole bunch,” Piña explained.

“Oh... why not just say “a whole bunch” and make things easier?” Dinky demanded. She stared at Piña and felt mildly frustrated as Piña rolled her eyes. Dinky shoved her muzzle into her bowl and ate angrily, feeling rather cranky this morning and not knowing why. She was impatient and wanted to use her magic. She didn’t want to use little useless magic like scribbling out her lessons. She wanted to use realmagic. The stuff that scratched the itch. And Dinky had a terrible itch.

“Piña, do you know what a hippogriff is?” Bucky asked.

“Half griffon and half pony. The book I read said that the pegasi might exist from griffons and ponies mixing together and then many years later all the ponies had from that mixing was wings,” Piña answered.

Dinky swallowed and felt even more annoyed. She was a unicorn, and she felt she should be the smart one. Unicorns were supposed to have brains and horns. Piña was stronger than her, and recently, Dinky had come to the conclusion that Piña was smarter than her too. On some days, she felt okay about it, but today, Dinky was in a bad mood. The corner of her eye wouldn’t stop twitching and it had been bothering her all morning since she had woken up. She felt her frustration boil over and Dinky filled with anger.

“I need to cast!” Dinky shouted angrily as she slammed her hoof down on the table. She banged her hoof a few more times and the corner of her mouth began to twitch along with her eye, increasing her feeling of frustration. “I don’t have time for stupid foalish stuff anymore!” Just as Dinky was getting ready to bang on the table again, she felt a rush of cold all around her and she thought for a moment that she was being turned inside out as the dining room seemed to melt away all around her.

 

 

 

 

 

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