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


169. 169

“I want a chance to form a new colony where the females and males do not fight over whose way is right and whose way is wrong,” Moonbow said in a low raspy voice. She turned and looked over her shoulder after she spoke. “I would rather see females and males work together, as equals. Just because we females are larger and smarter, doesn’t always make us right.”

There was a low growl coming from Shadow Glide and Bucky ignited his horn, hoping a threatening gesture would be enough. As he lifted his head and focused his eye on the big mare, there was a blur of something sooty brown in his vision as something shot past.

It was Sentinel, and he had placed himself between Shadow Glide and Moonbow. His head was low to the ground to protect his throat, his backside was high in the air, his wings were out, his barrel expanded, and the colt was growling savagely with his lips curled back to expose his teeth.

Shadow Glide seemed taken aback by Sentinel’s snarling. She threw her head back and her posture shifted to something a bit more neutral. “You are like your father,” she muttered. “Suicidally fearless and no respect for the superiourity of females,” Shadow Glide said with a disdainful sniff.

“Respect isn’t given, it is earned,” Sentinel snarled in reply, his teeth still bared. “Threaten her again and I will make you thrash me.” The colt’s posture stiffened and his tail whip-cracked off to one side.

“Sentinel, enough, to me,” Bucky commanded.

Sentinel turned and looked at his father. He then turned and gave a final snarl to Shadow Glide. “Yes father, I will do what you ask out of respect,” he said pointedly. He relaxed his aggressive posture and backed away, still glaring at Shadow Glide. “Threaten her again and see what I do…” he warned.

Moonbow peered at Sentinel and studied him. As he approached, she reached out and touched him with her central wing knuckle, stroking him softly. “I want a mate who is utterly fearless,” she said in a low voice.

“Squire Sentinel is certainly fearless,” Deadspin said, taking a deep shuddering breath and hoping there would be no violence. He understood a little bit of lunar pegasi and their confusing backwards ways, and he was surprised that it hadn’t came to blows during the tense moment.

“I understand my obligations,” Sentinel began. “My kind must continue. I understand that our numbers are too few. If required, I can be Moonbow’s mate and I will be dutiful to her needs. I can marry for duty so that our kind will have a future. If things do not work out too well between us, I can always marry for love later while still performing my duties for you,” he continued. The colt paused. “Not to say that I would not love you. That came out sounding badly, do forgive me.”

Bucky heaved an internal sigh that showed nothing on the outside.

“I have learned a great deal from my mother Thistle,” Sentinel stated. “We have a lot in common. We are both a species nearing its end. I have always known what would be required from me and I accepted it a long time ago. I can only hope that I am as lucky as she is, and find the love of my life.”

“We are few in numbers because our ways are foolish. Never running from battle… what has that gotten us?” Moonbow demanded, daring to turn around and look at her elders. “And dying gloriously in battle should we be injured rather than limp home and recover to fight another day. And we wonder why we approach our end!”

“My father committed suicide,” Sentinel said, coming to painful realisation.

“I am sorry,” Moonbow replied, not taking her eyes off of her elders.

Bucky, realising what he had almost done in the dream, felt a painful clench around his heart from Sentinel’s words. He wanted to hug his colt, to pull him close and squeeze him dearly, but now might not be the best moment. He resolved to do so later.

“Sentinel, what would be more important, your honour or coming home to me and living to fight another day?” Moonbow asked bluntly.

“While my honour is important, I place my family and especially my smaller siblings above it. You would be among their number. My father charged off into the night and left me alone. He was… STUPID!” Sentinel said, his words working into a shout.

“Speak not of your father that way!” Shadow Glide demanded in a throaty growl.

“Shut up!” Sentinel snapped. “I will speak of him in the manner that he deserves! I wasn’t worth living for! He left me… and to do what? Die uselessly? He died for my mother, but he couldn’t live for me. He was a COWARD!

Shadow Glide bristled with anger and her hackles rose. She started to say something else, but Wave Breaker gently nudged her with his hoof. She swallowed her angry retort and flapped out her wings in annoyance.

“Bucky, my father, my real father, has taught me a better way. Family first before anything else. Nothing is to be put before family,” Sentinel said, glaring up at Shadow Glide.

“I want that,” Moonbow said, whipping her head around owl-like towards Bucky.

“Sentinel, come here my son,” Bucky commanded.

Sentinel, grunting and panting with anger, went to his father’s side. He sat down when his father made a gesture to do so, and then he continued to glare angrily at Shadow Glide.

Bucky carefully wiped away the tears that were spilling down Sentinel’s cheeks with his fetlock and silently resolved to be a better father somehow, worthy of Sentinel’s adoration. He added it to his internal to do list, along with being a better husband.

“It is time to find a new way,” Wave Breaker said. “Our way has brought us to this end. I wanted to change our ways, but I think I have failed. Or maybe it was too late. Either way, we are done. Our ways have failed us.”

Shadow Glide snarled at the stallion beside her but did not chastise him. She glared at him for a long heated moment, and then her snarl melted into something almost resembling a look of defeat. She looked at the stallion beside her for a long time, studying him, and then her gaze shifted to Bucky, and she began to study him.

Sentinel took the opportunity to compose himself, while Moonbow kept rotating her head around in what appeared to be a boneless fashion to study all involved.

“Take her with you. Teach her your ways. Teach her the sort of courage your son displays,” Shadow Glide said to Bucky in a strangled voice. “I am begging you tiny male… give her what we could not.”

Bucky felt a pang of irritation at “tiny male” and realised that antagonistic behaviour was probably so deeply ingrained that she probably wasn’t even aware of what she had said, or so he chose to believe to soothe his own frazzled nerves and growing temper.

“When we are older, I will marry you if you will have me,” Sentinel said to Moonbow. “That is, if my father allows this. In the end, I must trust his wisdom and know that he will do what is best for me. In this decision, I also hope he will do what is best for us, and for my kind.”

“I will go with you, learn your ways, and bear your foals,” Moonbow agreed, looking at Sentinel. Her gaze shifted to Bucky. “If you will have me. I am stubborn and headstrong. I am violent and savage. But I am also willing to change.”

“Why does this have to be betrothal?” Bucky asked.

“She is at that age. It would be cruel to string her along and then break off the agreement later, leaving her with nothing to show for what she has given,” Shadow Glide replied.

“I suppose I can understand that,” Bucky sighed. “Moonbow, do you want to be betrothed to Sentinel?” he asked. “I want to hear what you want.”

“I like what I have seen so far. I will not find such a mate here among my colony,” Moonbow said, whipping her head around to look at the other males. “I want to be in a place where my views are listened to and even accepted.”

“Yes, but do you want Sentinel? Do you want to make such a big decision about your life and your future love?” Bucky asked.

“Foals are needed, love is nice if it happens,” Moonbow said as she blinked several times at Bucky. Her ears were perked forwards.

“Oh nuts, I am dealing with Thistle all over again,” Bucky groaned.

“I find Sentinel a worthwhile catch. He defended me,” Moonbow said. She made a series of clicking and popping sounds with her echolocation and moved a little closer to Sentinel. “I could see myself loving him in time.”

“I am still not certain about the betrothal part. Why can’t she just come with us and then find her own love later?” Bucky asked.

“We need assurance our kind will survive now,” a female lunar pegasus said. “We have heard stories about you. We know you are honourable. Do you even understand the level of trust we have given you, tiny male?”

“We are trusting you to continue our kind,” the other female said. “If she goes off and there is no marriage to Sentinel, but to another kind of pony, if she never breeds with Sentinel, and she has foals that are not our kind, we die off just a little more. By giving you her, we are trusting you with our future, tiny male.”

“Okay I get it… you want me to defend you from extinction. Now stop calling me tiny!” Bucky snapped angrily.

“Sentinel’s father came from pure stock, and we know that Moonbow comes from pure stock. They will produce lunar pegasus foals,” Wave Breaker said, offering an explanation to Bucky.

Bucky nodded with newfound understanding. He looked down at Sentinel and Moonbow, now gaining a gleaning of understanding on what must be done and why this was important. “You need pure bloodlines to make sure that future foals are lunar pegasi.”

All of the other lunar pegasi nodded and looked all of them looked at Bucky expectantly.

“Sentinel, I will not make this decision for you,” Bucky said. “This choice is yours alone to make. I know you will do the right thing.”

“Before I accept, I have a few demands,” Sentinel said in a loud clear voice. “Moonbow, you must learn to read and write. It is our way and you will follow it. Also, I have grown envious of my father’s good fortune in finding a mate that will bring him fish.”

“You want fish?” Moonbow asked. “Males bring food…” she said hesitantly. She paused, looking confused and then peered around her. Her ears folded back against her skull. “You tricked me into saying something awful,” she accused.

Sentinel allowed himself a ghost of a smile. “If you bring me a fish I will bring you a fish.”

Moonbow nodded in acceptance and her ears lifted slightly away from her skull. She slunk into a submissive posture. “We can trade fish clever male,” she stated.

“We act as a new colony and we make our own ways. Both of us. We make new rules, new traditions, and we will teach them to our foals. The old ways have failed,” Sentinel said.

“In this we agree,” Moonbow said in reply.

“My father’s word is law until we are married,” Sentinel stated. “And I am leaving the decision to him to decide when we are old enough. I trust his wisdom on this issue.”

“That is acceptable,” Moonbow said in return, bowing her head.

“Do you have any demands?” Sentinel inquired.

The lunar pegasus filly looked thoughtful and carefully considered Sentinel’s request. Her wings fluttered slightly and she narrowed her eyes to study Sentinel as she chose her words. “Only one. One very simple request.”

Sentinel shifted on his haunches, moving a little closer to Bucky.

“I want a kiss.”

Sentinel cringed and then shuddered. “Ugh. Blech.”

Suppressing a laugh, Bucky rolled his eye and remained silent. Sentinel had a great deal to learn about the female heart and its demands. He gently prodded Sentinel, trying to encourage the colt to move forward. “Go on son, seal the deal,” Bucky gently whispered into Sentinel’s ear.

Sentinel rose to all fours and strode forward a few steps, and paused as Moonbow also rose up on all fours. She turned towards him and batted her eyes at the colt, which made Sentinel step backwards.

Bucky, trying to be a good parent, gave Sentinel a loving gentle shove forward with his magic, being a good father and encouraging his son to do his best.

The colt and the filly stared at each other and then slowly began to circle one another as they sized each other up. Moonbow’s tail was swishing and her wings fluttered.

“You’re older,” Sentinel said.

The filly nodded but said nothing.

“Have you had a heat?” Sentinel asked.

“I had my very first heat this summer,” Moonbow replied as a blush filled her face, turning her a delightful shade of purple.

“You’re big,” Sentinel said as he continued to circle with Moonbow.

“Thank you. My mother was enormous,” Moonbow answered.

“I never want to establish dominance by combat… I’ve heard our kind does that,” Sentinel said as he struggled to work up his courage.

“We do, but I am sure we can find a new way,” Moonbow offered in reply.

“You have your mark, it is interesting. What does it mean?” Sentinel inquired as he peered around her front shoulders and tried to see her hips. There were wisps of blue flames.

“When I dive into shadow, I turn into a willow wisp. I am a big blue ball of floating blue flames that do not burn or give heat, but provide light. It is an absolutely useless talent, I have no stealth to hunt by,” Moonbow answered.

“I do not think that sounds useless, lighting the way for others who cannot see and keeping them safe is a powerful gift,” Sentinel said, lifting his head and looking Moonbow directly in the eye.

“I never thought of it that way,” Moonbow said, her blush getting darker. Her dark grey pelt made her blush difficult to see, but it was quite visible now, as evidenced by the purple splotch her face had become.

Moonbow, growing tired of the waiting, reached out with both wings and grabbed Sentinel by the neck, hooking her central knuckles together behind his head. She hauled him in and kissed him fiercely, not bothering to go for his cheek. She clumsily smashed her lips into his and then moved them around as though she was chewing on his face, not knowing what else to do.

Sentinel's wings flared out and flapped as he tried to escape the much larger female that was now devouring his face, or so it felt like to him. “MmmmMMMblumphrump!” Sentinel moaned as he tried to escape.

Finally, Moonbow let go of her prey and allowed him to breathe again.

Sentinel backed away, his barrel heaving. He was wide eyed and panicked. As the laughter started, he felt the hot fevered burn of embarrassment creeping up his neck and through his face. He slowly came to the realisation that he may have made a mistake as he looked at the much larger female lunar pegasus grinning at him and licking her lips.

More than anything else at that moment, Sentinel wanted one of his mothers as he heard the raucous laughter all around him.







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