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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“Bucky, since you seem to be feeling better, Grimglammer wants to see if we can get you up on your hooves. Lyra will be here to catch you if you fall. Loch Skimmer is going to help you walk. You must be careful,” Berry Punch said in a slow careful voice. “It is important to keep the blood flowing to your legs… there could be problems, issues, things like blood clots.”

Bucky nodded slowly. He kicked out a leg and gave it a wiggle. “Why Loch?” he asked in a somewhat drugged slur.

“Because honey, she has experience in walking on three legs,” Berry replied, her voice hitching when she said the word “three.”

Shadowguard stood nearby, looking nervous and apprehensive. “If he suffers any further harm, Mistress will demand that I sever my own head,” she muttered.

Derpy pulled Bucky close, kissing him for a brief moment, and there was a squawk from the phoenix, who was now perched on a small bookshelf. She rolled Bucky onto his side, careful of the gash behind his shoulder, and watched as the golden glow of Lyra’s magic surrounded his body.

“Come on father,” Loch encouraged. She lowered her head and nosed Bucky.

Lyra lifted Bucky, held him aloft for a moment, and then set him down upon his hooves, but did not allow all of his weight to settle. He wobbled in place and his head drooped.

“Try to hold your head up father, it will help you keep balance with one front leg,” Loch Skimmer said, offering up gentle instruction.

“Is walking,” Bucky murmured.

“How much morphine does Grimglammer have in him?” Berry asked.

“Enough, apparently,” Shadowguard replied.

“Now father, pay attention. When you walk now, you have to start to rear up on your hind legs, kick out your good front leg, bring it down, and then make a little hop forward with your hind legs. See, watch me,” Loch said, and then demonstrated, taking a few steps in the small room before reaching the wall.

Bucky watched Loch for a moment, licked his dry lips, and then wobbled in place. He kicked out his front leg, stumbled, and then hung suspended in mid air. He felt his legs being moved back into place by Lyra. “Love Lyra,” Bucky mumbled.

“Yes Bucky, we all love you… but you need to move your legs so you don’t run the risk of losing another one,” Lyra said.

Loch Skimmer demonstrated her walk again, this time crossing the room in the opposite direction, coming towards Bucky. As she passed him, she kissed him softly on the cheek.

The phoenix came down and perched on Bucky’s horn, surrounding Bucky’s body in a blue aura. The shaking and wobbling eased a little bit as the bird flexed its talons, clinging to Bucky’s jagged horn. It whistled at Loch Skimmer.

Loch Skimmer whistled back, and the phoenix began to bob around.

Bucky made the motions of movement, and Lyra eased him along. He just wasn’t strong enough yet to rear up, but he did kick out his legs and move around.

“Hopefully, this will do,” Shadowguard said. “Grimglammer was worried about his lymphatic system not working right and so many other problems. Hopefully, this will reduce some of the swelling in his fetlocks. You there, kick those legs!” she commanded.

“Are you even allowed to give him commands?” Thistle asked.

“I am allowed to do anything within my power to preserve him, keep him alive, and make sure he survives until I deliver him to my Mistress,” Shadowguard replied. “I am to also provide comfort, behave like a fellow family member, have a friendly bedside manner, AND YOU THERE, KICK THOSE LEGS!” Shadowguard bellowed.

Bucky nearly lept out of his skin and wiggled his legs, shuffling around on his hooves.

 

 

Rising Star looked over at Sentinel, who was sitting beside him and yawning. The colt looked troubled and rather sleepy. “Long night?” Rising Star asked. “Get lots of writing done?”

“Only a little,” Sentinel replied.

“Did you spend a little time getting sweet with Moonbow?” Rising Star asked in a teasing tone of voice, giving Sentinel a nudge. Much to his surprise, the colt reacted, his whole body tensing up and his eyes clenching tightly closed. “What’s wrong? Did she hurt you? Did she get too pushy?”

“No, nothing like that,” Sentinel replied.

“What then?” Rising Star inquired.

The lunar pegasus squirmed, his leathery wings fluttering at his sides. “I wish I could talk to father,” Sentinel said. “I really need to talk to him.”

“What’s wrong?” Rising Star questioned, slipping a foreleg around Sentinel.

“It is really embarrassing,” Sentinel said.

“Hey, my whole life is one long embarrassment,” Rising Star said with a soft laugh.

“Moonbow was going to give me flying lessons,” Sentinel began. He looked up at Rising Star, and saw that Rising had his serious face on. “And I climbed up on her back to so we could fly, and then I got really hard and poked her.”

“Oh,” Rising Star said, no trace of a smile or a laugh manifesting. “This upsets you?”

“All I could think about last night is how I sleep with my sisters and having this happen,” Sentinel said. “And then I started to freak out because I thought about having to tell them to stay out of my bed, and sounding cruel, and I started to wonder if I was going to have to tell them why I was kicking them out of my bed, and then I started to feel kinda panicky, and Moonbow, she wasn’t helping me at all, I could smell her and it only made the problem worse, and then-”

“Woah, slow down,” Rising Star said soothingly, cutting Sentinel off. “Deep breath.”

Sentinel took a deep breath, then another, and finally, another.

“Boners happen. Especially around a filly that you really like. And they like to happen while you sleep. They creep up on you and then jump out and surprise you. At this stage of your life, there isn’t much you can do to stop them,” Rising Star carefully explained.

“How do I tell Piña and Dinky that they can’t sleep with me?” Sentinel asked.

“Those girls adore you Sentinel, they love you a great deal. My advice, be honest with them. Just sit down and be totally honest with them. Tell them the truth. I promise you, as difficult as it might be, it will be better for all of you than just shutting them out and telling them nothing,” Rising Star explained in reply. “If you just shut them out, you will break their little hearts.”

“I suppose you are right,” Sentinel said.

“There was a morning a long time ago, when we first came to the isles, and it was freezing cold, and Bucky threatened to plant me in my grave because I was belly to belly with Sparkler in bed. I had a raging stiffy. Sparkler was actually trying to help me hide it, because she loved me that much. We suffered through that moment of embarrassment together,” Rising Star said.

“Why are you telling me this?” Sentinel asked in a low whisper.

“So we have something in common. You told me something that probably makes you feel embarrassed and humiliated, it is only fair that I expose myself and tell you something equally as bad. To give you perspective. If we have something in common, something we’ll share, we’ll be closer. As brothers should be,” Rising Star replied.

“Moonbow kept wanting to see it,” Sentinel said. “I am not sure I understand why.”

“It excites her. She’s a little older than you Sentinel. Did you show her?” Rising Star inquired.

“Yeah… I did. She finally talked me into it. It lasted a long time, and it just wouldn’t go away. She said she would show me hers if I showed her mine,” Sentinel answered.

“The standard exchange,” Rising Star stated.

“When I saw her, I had really strange feelings,” Sentinel admitted in raspy nervous voice.

“Did she lift her tail?” Rising Star asked.

“No…” Sentinel said, nearly choking. “She rolled over onto her back and she showed me everything… and she talked me into sniffing her.”

“Did she sniff you?” Rising Star questioned.

“Yeah, a few times at that point. When I told her yes she caught me by surprise, knocked me over, had a good long look, and then she just stuck her head down there and starting sniffing me and I felt shivery all over,” Sentinel answered.

“Yeah, Moonbow strikes me as the take charge type,” Rising Star said. “So what happened?”

“We spent some time on the deck together. She just held me, she had me pulled up close to her barrel and her belly, and she had her legs around me, and I could feel all of her against my back, and we just laid there for a long time looking at stars and the moon together,” Sentinel replied.

“See, it turned out okay. I think she likes you Sentinel,” Rising Star said.

“Thanks,” Sentinel said. “I don’t think I need to talk to father anymore. I feel a lot better.”

 

 

“By the stars, look at them all!” Rising Star said.

A swarm flew overhead, circling around, some of them already beginning to land. A big male lunar pegasus landed on the deck of The Scorned Mare and looked around. He wasn’t wearing heavy plate, but the light partial plate of the common guard.

“I am Captain Furious,” the lunar pegasus said, introducing himself. “Who are you?”

“I am Rising Star,” Rising Star answered.

Ripple kicked the colt next to her, making Rising Star cry out. “Lord Rising Star, you doofus.”

The guard immediately snapped to attention and his wing went out in salute. There was a faint smile on his lips, the white tips of his white fangs visible.

“I have no idea how this works,” Rising Star said awkwardly. “I was deemed too dangerous to be in the common rank and file. I’m a living bomb. Are we supposed to use titles, or ranks, or ranks and titles? Why can't I just be me?”

“Dragoon Ripple, at your service sir,” Ripple said after she kicked Rising one more time before stepping forward. She snapped a wing out in a swift smooth motion and saluted.

“Dragoon? A filly? At your age? I bet that’s quite a story,” Captain Furious said. He snapped off a respectful salute to Ripple. “What is the situation? How is Prince Bitters?”

“Knight Captain Bitters is recovering. Myrmidons Grimglammer and Shadowguard have done their jobs. He is secure, safe, and alive. Everything has gone as planned, sir,” Ripple reported.

Rising Star squirmed uncomfortably and looked at his wife, not knowing what to think. To say that Ripple had changed was an understatement.

Grimglammer arrived on the deck, she wasn’t wearing armor. Her body was one giant mass of scars and missing patches of pelt. She looked half awake, irritated, and pleased all at the same time.

Captain Furious quickly stood at attention upon seeing her.

“Greetings Captain. Nice of you to finally arrive,” Grimglammer barked.

“There was a headwind most of the way,” Captain Furious reported.

“Then you should have used it to better yourselves… AND ARRIVED EARLY!” Grimglammer snapped.

“Yes ma’am, of course ma’am, I missed an opportunity,” Captain Furious said.

“I missed you Furious. I saw a foal. It made me have funny feelings,” Grimglammer said.

Captain Furious froze, unblinking and unmoving.

“Oh stand down you bucket-headed moron,” Grimglammer commanded.

The lunar pegasus stallion relaxed his stance a little bit but still stood at attention, more or less. He stared straight ahead, looking somewhat scared.

“You know, my husband here makes the same look when Sparkler or my sister torment him,” Ripple observed, speaking to Grimglammer.

“Dragoon Ripple, you have a husband? The living bomb?” Captain Furious asked.

“Sir, yes sir,” Ripple replied.

“Okay, that’s enough of the rank and file meadow muffins,” Grimglammer said.

There was a clank as Furious took a deep breath, held it, and let it out slowly.

“So what is it like being married, Grimglammer?” Ripple inquired as the deck began to fill with more pegasi.

“Furious is a devoted and dutiful mate. He gave me quite a chase though. He’s fast, he outran and outflew me. I had to build my endurance before I could run him down,” Grimglammer said with a wry smile. “He proved himself worthy prey.”

“Wow, that is a lot of lunar pegasi!”

Ripple turned to look at Sparkler who had just appeared on deck.

“Arse stabber,” Sparkler said to Grimglammer as she approached.

“Stuck Sergeant,” Grimglammer replied.

“Stab somepony in the arse today?” Sparkler asked.

“Day is still young, Stuck Sergeant,” Grimglammer answered.

Furious cleared his throat and stretched his wings, and then cracked his neck to relieve the tension. “I could use some rack time so I can be ready when we depart tomorrow.”

 

 

 

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