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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Reflecting upon the rising of The Scorned Mare, a slightly inebriated Bucky felt a flood of emotions. The gasbag had been partially filled and then maneuvered carefully into place by an army of pegasi. Then, more cloudstuff had been continually added. The first lurch of the ship as she gained buoyancy had roused a loud fierce cheer from the spectators. Keg Smasher had stood nearby and bellowed angrily at any pegasus he had felt wasn’t moving fast enough or working hard enough. When The Scorned Mare had gained naught but an inch of clearance, another shout came from the crowd, which had quickly turned into a war-like chant, an angry bellicose cacophony of equine sounds.

A foot off the ground and the crowd had gone a little crazy. Some ponies had begun to celebrate in the only way they knew how. It was at this point that the rampant sexual frenzy had kicked in, the need to celebrate victory triggering the need to make more foals to share in this brave new future. Derpy had covered Dinky and Piña’s eyes with her wings, but had stayed to watch the long awaited moment of triumph. Lyra, awake for the event, had set off a massive display of magical fireworks, which only further incited the gathered crowd.

There had been all kinds of explosions going off during that glorious moment.

Now, the ship was tethered to a tower, floating in place. It had no engines, no means of propulsion, and would have to be pulled by pegasi. It was a floating fortress. A home. A symbol of hope. It was the first of many.

Already, another hulk had been retrieved from the coast and several unicorns that had survived the shipwreck were making plans to get it airborne. The wreck lay berthed in the same spot as The Scorned Mare had sat, carefully set in place upon the same boulders that had held The Scorned Mare up.

It was fitting somehow that the shipwreck survivors were restoring an old wreck.

Bucky took another long drink of bogberry wine and decided that he had been completely wrong. This stuff was fantastic. The shrieks and shouts weren’t so bad now. He could still feel his ears perking, and maybe even a little twinge of panic now and then, but the alcohol had taken the edge off. His lips still soaked with wine, he looked around himself for an unsuspecting victim.

Thistle.

Berry was still holding Dinky, Derpy was holding Berry, and Thistle was away from the the herd, which excited something deep within him. She’s easy pickings something in his mind told him. Something dark and predatory surfaced and Bucky pounced. He caught Thistle in an embrace and then tumbled down to the ground, pulling her down on top of him. Wrapping one foreleg behind her head, Bucky went in for the kill, plunging his muzzle into hers, giving her a sopping bogberry wine kiss. He could feel her tense and cringe, the sour taste coursing through her body as the kiss became quite intimate, but Bucky was determined to not let go. Thistle was stronger than he was as he discovered, so he had to subdue her the only way he knew how.

The kiss intensified.

Thistle whimpered in his grasp now, but her struggling was slowing down, and Bucky felt his prey becoming subdued. Her legs buckled completely and Bucky could feel the full heavy feeling of her weight bearing down upon him. His other forehoof trailed down her spine, starting at her withers and working its way down to her croup. His tongue softly grazed needle-like teeth. There were soft ridges on the roof of her mouth. She was different, she wasn’t like the vegetation eating equines that Bucky also loved. Thistle was now no longer resisting but actively trying to give as good as she was getting, and Bucky could feel her giggling into his mouth.

Finally, before his arousal became uncontrollable, Bucky pulled away and gasped for air. Thistle rolled away, landing on her back, sprawled out in the grass, and she fanned herself with her hoof. There were several new flowers that had grown in her mane of living greenery, and one opened slightly in the aftermath of the searing kiss.

“That was hawt!” Loch Skimmer hooted. The pegasus filly, deciding that Bucky had the right idea, tackled Rising Star and went to work on the colt, deciding to see how far she could go before becoming entirely too flustered.

Derpy sighed. First Bucky, then Loch Skimmer, and now, all around her, ponies were making out. She hoped that it would not be a repeat of the day before, where the making out had turned into something else entirely. She licked her lips and then lunged at Bucky, feeling her own odd instincts. Something about Bucky’s predatory assault upon Thistle had triggered a strong protective need in Derpy and she moved to subdue the predator, her strong pegasus instincts taking over.

Berry cringed, realising that poor Bucky never stood a chance. She carefully covered Dinky’s eyes with her fetlock and then kissed Dinky on the ear.

The never ending evolutionary war between the flesh eaters and the grass eaters continued in the grass, and it appeared that the common prey animal was winning against the apex predator. Berry watched it with keen interest, noting how the pegasus seemed to know each of the unicorn’s weaknesses, and took the unicorn apart piece by piece. It was far more interesting than watching ponies eating pies. Of course, later tonight, Berry hoped to watch ponies nibbling on other ponies.

Derpy sat atop the subdued predator and preened her wings, celebrating her victory. Her kind had survived dragons, wyverns, griffons, giant birds of prey, and all manner of things that found pony flesh delicious. A scrawny unicorn wasn’t much of an accomplishment. Flexing her body around to reach her wings caused her to fart, a loud trumpeting blast, and she could feel Bucky shuddering with somewhat drunken laughter beneath her. She lifted her head and whinnied in triumph, having not only subdued her foe, but also humiliated him. She nickered contentedly and continued to preen her wings, smiling at Thistle after she plucked out a feather that needed to go.

“My family is weird,” Dinky muttered as she pushed Berry’s leg away from her eyes. She pulled Berry’s foreleg down and hugged it to her barrel, thankful for Berry’s continual comfort.

“Dinky, this is the best part of being a member of Clan Pickled. You are going to grow up around earth ponies, pegasi, other unicorns, even a kelpie, and you are going to understand so many things that other ponies will have no clue about,” Berry whispered into the foal’s ear.

“I remember how daddy was. Now he doesn’t act like he used to,” Dinky replied as she watched her mother continue to proudly preen over her father’s subdued body. “Remember how uptight he was about cleaning mama’s face at dinner time?”

Berry squeezed Dinky in a loving reply. “I remember. Now, he just leans over and does what needs to be done without thinking about it. It has become second nature to him,” Berry said to the foal in her embrace. She turned Dinky’s head away and pointed upwards. “Look Dinky, there are birds perching on the railing of The Scorned Mare,” she said as she heard a wet sounding raspberry being blown, followed by a heated giggle coming from Derpy.

“My jellybean!”

Berry sighed. Some ponies. Bucky had started the day off in a snit, had disappeared when Berry had begun to notice troubling symptoms of mental trauma, he had self medicated, and now, Bucky was having a good time. She had hoped that the bogberry wine would have slowed him down a bit, but Bucky was pleasantly soused and actually seemed to be enjoying the incredibly sour stuff. It was even more sour than muscadine wine. She recalled a painful memory… finding black licorice in Bucky’s old apartment. She rolled her eyes at her own stupidity. Of course Bucky would come to enjoy bogberry wine. Bucky loved self torture and all of the flavours of self loathing.

 

 

Ripple let loose with a resonating gurgling belch that would put Sparker to shame. She rubbed her belly and flared out her wings. They felt too tight when folded against her sides. Using her hoof, she pulled another pie towards her. Ripple liked pies. These were simple pies, or so Ripple had been told, they didn’t even have a pie tin, whatever a pie tin was, but Ripple believed that these might just be the greatest thing ever invented. She took down another one in three bites and then slid more pies towards towards herself and Piña.

“Blech! Sour!” Piña cried. “I hate cranberries!”

“Cranberries? We call ‘em bogberries,” Ripple replied before shoving a pie into her mouth.

“Glah!” Piña shouted, sticking out her tongue and letting it flap around. “Thour!”

The pies had progressively become more sour as the challenge had progressed, and very few contestants were left now. Most had quit from being too full to continue, others had halted because of the sourness, and Ripple was in for the long haul. She was determined to win. Plus, she discovered that she loved sour things.

“Final round! Unsweetened bogberry pies! Last filly standing wins!” a voice announced.

Ripple giggled in sadistic glee at the groans and sputtering all around her as she crammed a pie into her mouth. She puckered but still somehow managed to smile a wicked smile. She was probably going to explode at some point, but what a way to go. She looked down at her distended belly as she chewed and discovered that she rather liked her little round pot belly. She was fleshing out and becoming sleek. She had budding teats now, and her sister no longer teased her about having two bug bites. Her ribs no longer jutted out. She crammed in another pie and chewed noisily, smacking her lips and slurping up any stray crumbs that tried to escape.

At some point, Ripple realised she could no longer hear the sounds of pies being gobbled around her. She looked around and saw everypony was staring at her, and a stream of partially chewed bogberries dribbled from the corner of her mouth as she turned her head from side to side.

“I think we have a winner,” a mare announced.

“I won?” Ripple mumbled with her mouth full. She swallowed slowly and then licked her muzzle clean.

“You’ve won,” the mare replied.

“Great, more pie please!” Ripple responded.

 

 

“Thistle? You okay? You seem distracted,” Sparkler inquired as she poked the kelpie gently with her hoof.

“I’m fine. Just thinking about tonight,” Thistle replied in a subdued voice.

“Big night for you,” Sparkler whispered. “Scared? I know I kinda was.”

“This isn’t my first time,” Thistle said uncomfortably.

“I know Thistle, I didn’t mean that, sorry…” Sparkler replied, her words trailing off when she didn’t know what else to say.

“I wish it was my first time… I wish I had waited. I’ve found the love of my life and I feel bad for some reason and I can’t say why,” Thistle confessed in a low whisper to Sparkler.

Sparkler pulled the kelpie in for a hug and squeezed her gently.

“I feel so foolish… it was something I could only give away once and I threw it away carelessly because I was so stupidly focused on getting a foal. I wish I had stopped to think about how precious the act itself was. But I didn’t. I didn’t know you were supposed to enjoy it. I feel so stupid,” Thistle admitted as her eyes misted over.

“Aw, Thistle, don’t talk like that,” Sparkler begged as she pulled Thistle even closer. She could feel the kelpie’s barrel hitching as Thistle began to cry softly.

“Sparky, what’s wrong?” Derpy inquired.

“She’s having a rough moment,” Sparkler replied to her mother.

“Thistle?” Derpy said to the sobbing kelpie filly.

There was no reply. Thistle clung to Sparkler and continued to let out quiet sobs of pent up shame and grief.

“Sparky, what did she say? Why is she upset?” Derpy questioned.

“I… don’t know if I should repeat it,” Sparkler responded. “I think if she wants to tell you she will,” the purple-pink filly added.

Derpy went to the two fillies, sat down, and then pulled them both in close. She leaned on them and wrapped her wings around them as well. “You’re supposed to be happy,” Derpy said soothingly.

“I wish Berry was here, Thistle could talk to her,” Sparkler said in a low voice.

“Berry took Dinky to bed. Dinky needed a nap,” Derpy said.

“Think she’ll be up for the wedding?” Sparkler asked.

“I hope so. Dinky was really looking forward to it,” Derpy replied.

“I am glad that Lyra and Bon Bon are joining me for my wedding,” Thistle sniffled.

“Yes Thistle, we decided that this was a good time to bring them in and we didn’t want to wait until we got home. Not with everything that is about to happen,” Derpy said soothingly to Thistle. “So, why are you crying?”

“Because I wasted something precious,” Thistle whispered.

“Well, talk to me about it,” Derpy coaxed.

 

 

“Fifth place,” Bucky said. “Not bad,” he stated as he poked Ripple in her tummy.

“NO!” Ripple begged. She clutched her belly and rolled over onto her side. The effort made the skinny but fat pegasus fart loudly.

“She ate too much pie,” Piña announced.

“I can see that,” Bucky said as he settled his haunches down to the ground.

“Fifth place. I’m never gonna win anything ever,” Piña lamented.

“Aw, cheer up Piña, you’re an earth pony with magic. That’s gotta count for something,” Bucky said as he wobbled slightly. His nostrils crinkled. “What is it with pegasus farts?”

“They’re sensitive to atmospheric pressure changes,” Piña quipped.

“Earth ponies?” Bucky inquired.

“Because it feels good?” Piña offered. “There isn’t a lot written about earth ponies in the books I’ve been reading.”

“Well, that needs to change,” Bucky said defiantly. “When I get home and life settles down, if life settles down, I am going to lay siege to the Royal Academy of Magic and Science, batter down their door, and I will very gently scare the horseapples out of them and make them understand that earth ponies are wonderful creatures!” he growled in an only slightly slurred voice.

“Can I watch?” Piña asked.

“Sure. Afterwards, we’ll have a tea party,” Bucky answered.

“Yay!” Piña cried cheerfully. “Ripple is gonna ‘splode,” she added in concern.

“Ripple, how many pies did you eat?” Bucky asked.

“Ooh ooh ooh one of the mares said that Ripple ate forty two pies,” Piña answered excitedly. “It is being kept as a record to see if anypony can beat it next year. Ripple is famous!”

“How many pounds of pie is that?” Bucky questioned as he shook his head. “No open flames around Ripple tonight. And Rippy, I’d keep your arse pointed away from the fireplace,” he warned.

The pegasus filly giggle-snorted and then groaned when the giggles shook her belly. She pressed down on her side and farted again.

“Yargh, you’re just as bad as Derpy,” Bucky grumbled.

“One time, my big sister took part in a refried beans and flat bread eating contest,” Piña blurted out. “And then she came home and farted in her twin sister’s ear and Berry Shine went deaf in that ear and it lasted for days.”

“Piña, love, I think you’ve had too much sugar,” Bucky commented.

“And I think you're a bit drunk, wanna make something of it?” Piña replied, sounding entirely too much like Berry Punch.

Bucky threw back his head and roared with laughter.

 

 

Sour Mash exchanged a pleased smile with Deadspin as she looked over her filly cadets. There had been no major victories, but the fillies had done well and the events had given them a chance to bond with their older sisters in arms. One day, they would grow into a fearsome army, but for now, they were worn out fillies who were mostly napping in the grass.

“You’ve given me so many foals already,” Deadspin said affectionately.

“Oh, we’re still looking for more. We’ve taken in orphans and even a number of fillies given to us by parents who couldn’t deal with another mouth to feed,” Sour Mash said grumpily. She felt a rush of satisfaction when she heard a low growl from Deadspin. “I plan to change that sorta thinking,” Sour Mash insisted.

“The long talk that Berry Punch and Loch Skimmer gave the little fillies, I must confess, I found myself touched by it,” Deadspin admitted. “Can you forgive me for being a half a horse?”

“No, I can’t forgive you for being a horse’s arse, not right away,” Sour Mash replied. “But I might someday if you keep nosing around in my root cellar. Can you forgive me for thrashing you?”

“Maybe, if you’ll consider adding Bunny to our herd,” Deadspin said sheepishly.

“I was gonna talk to you about that actually," Sour Mash replied.

 

 

Keg Smasher nervously licked his lips and then looked at the grey pegasus mare that was squinting at him with a worrisome look upon her face. She was hovering and had her forelegs crossed over her barrel, which was never a good sign.

“I’ve never been one for long fancy marriages. I’ve bragged that I’ve done two hundred in a day. So bear with me ‘cause I’ve never done anything quite like this before,” Keg Smasher announced. He punctuated his words with a nervous nickering and looked out over the crowd. He saw the grey mare’s scowl ease of a tiny bit and he relaxed some. She was still hovering with her forelegs crossed over her barrel, a posture that would make most adolescent dragons relax their sphincters violently after their bowels had turned to water.

The crowd seemed joyous. The first ever Sisterhooves Social had been a smash success. The Scorned Mare was tethered overhead. A second airship was awaiting construction already. The guard had integrated, and while there was some ponies upset over the event, the overwhelming opinion seemed to be positive. A new mood, a new way of thinking was taking over Keg Smasher’s ponies.

He looked out into the crowd and saw Thistle. She was wearing a crown of white wildflowers woven together upon her brow. He watched her eyelids as they fluttered nervously, like butterflies caught in a purposeful spring breeze. She was fat with foal, she was beautiful, radiant, and he hoped that she was happy. He shifted his weight, his cracked hind hoof throbbing painfully.

His gaze fell on Lyra and Bon Bon next. He didn’t know them as well as he knew Thistle, and had only recently learned that they were mares only interested in other mares. His respect for Bucky had grown a fair bit upon discovering this knowledge. They looked nervous but beautiful as well. Lyra wore a crown of soft pink wildflowers and Bon Bon’s crown was little delicate periwinkle flowers.

And then, there was Bucky. Who looked a bit drunk. Bucky, who had recently shown the disturbing signs of being a little kill crazy, something Keg Smasher himself suffered from, along with Lord Wrecker and so many others. Poor Bucky, who was going to spend the rest of his life paying for the good deeds he had done with naught but torture as a reward. It made Keg Smasher feel a little sad, but these things happened. He hoped that Thistle would help soothe Bucky’s rough moments.

Keg Smasher pondered springing the words upon them and risking Derpy’s wrath, Surely she wouldn’t thump him for a second time, not in the condition he was in. The sounds of the crowd were already getting to him too, and his pain wasn’t helping.

A pony shouting “wooo!” caused Keg Smasher to grimace and bare his teeth for a moment.

Those untouched by fevered frenzy of battle had no understanding of how their sudden outbursts pained those who had been been touched by the madness of brutal combat. Keg Smasher struggled not to hate the revelers, they deserved their joy, but he was going to need to find a calm quiet place as soon as possible. The shout had caused a bit of alarm for others too, Keg Smasher had noticed. Bucky, as somewhat drunken as he was, had leapt a bit at the sound and his jagged bladed horn had flared with a blue-green light. Wrecker’s face had twitched and convulsed painfully. Keg had even seen the aftermath on Rising Star, the colt’s ears splaying out and one cheek tugging painfully as he struggled to contain himself, a brief moment of rage visible for those aware of the price of protecting others.

Keg Smasher hated how observant he was as a pegasus.

“Thistle, do you love this stallion and do you submit to him of your free will?” Keg Smasher asked of the kelpie. “And you two, Lyra Heartstrings and you, Bon Bon, do you submit to him as well and bow your heads to your new matriarch?”

Thistle nodded and made a wordless squeak.

“Yes,” Lyra replied as she nodded.

“Now and forever,” Bon Bon answered as she turned to look at Derpy and Bucky.

“And you Buckminster… do you acknowledge your role as their protector? Would you wage war for their benefit? Would you bear injury upon your own flesh to keep them safe from any and all harm?” Keg Smasher questioned.

Bucky visibly sobered a bit and looked solemn. He looked at Thistle, then at Bon Bon and Lyra, and then he looked at Berry Punch and finally, Derpy. He closed his remaining eye and nodded. “I would… my words feel so meaningless right now, but I hope my actions will speak for themselves,” he answered.

“And what of you Derpy? Will you accept these mares into your herd? Will you claim them as your own? Do you trust them with your foals and with your stallion?” Keg Smasher inquired of the hovering pegasus mare.

“Yes,” Derpy replied with a nod. She moved a little closer to Thistle, who appeared to be having some difficulty.

Keg Smasher did not know what else to say.

“I hope you lot have learned something!” Wrecker bellowed. “I hope all of you aspire to this sort of love and dedication. Our ways must change, let this be an example!”

There was a dull roar from the crowd, and even though Keg Smasher cringed from the sound, he felt hopeful that change was coming. As a father, he was proud of his foals. They were learning, and hopefully he wouldn’t have to thump their heads too much.

“Then as Laird I bind you lot together. Knight Captain Buckminster, I am trusting you with the love and care of something rare and treasured by me, the kelpie known as Thistle. Give her what she wants,” Keg Smasher announced. “I suppose you lot should be doing whatever comes next. Kiss one another and all that,” he added.

Bucky didn’t need to told twice. He reached out and grabbed Thistle and he eagerly kissed her, repeating his performance from earlier.

Satisfied only after leaving Thistle a breathless quivering heap on the ground, he stood up and grinned proudly, only to find himself being kissed from each side by Bon Bon and Lyra, who kissed him on each cheek.

“I made a cake!” Berry announced. “A whiskey cake slathered in butter cream frosting. It should be wheeled out shortly. Hey, I wanna kiss somepony,” she quipped.

The brazen mare fell upon Thistle and went to work, making out with the kelpie right there in the grass, not caring who saw. There were some gasps from the crowd.

Derpy exchanged a few kisses with Lyra and Bon Bon, gentle pecks of affection, until Bon Bon pulled the grey mare in for something bit more substantial to show her affection. Like with Bucky, the kiss had boundaries, but it was clear that both mares enjoyed it a great deal.

Lyra, already feeling pressure from the crowd, was looking for a means of escape, no longer wanting to be the center of attention. She kissed Bucky warmly, gave him an apologetic look, and then she was gone, winked away in the blink of an eye.

A loud cheer went up as a small wagon was pulled up to the group, and in the wagon was an enormous cake. Berry had made a thick heavy cake filled with berries and other fruit chunks, spices, and then she had pickled the whole thing by drenching it with whiskey repeatedly. As a last and final touch, she had slathered it down with a simple sunny yellow frosting made from whipped creamy butter and mead. The cake gave off heady fumes and made the ponies around it feel lightheaded.

It was time to celebrate for just a little bit longer while there was still daylight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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