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 looked up at the mare looking down at him, looking her right in the eye. Her ears had flopped down over her face as she was looking down at him. For a brief moment, Bucky found this attractive, there was no denying that. Something about a mare’s face over your body, looking down at you, her ears and her mane framing her face…

“You chased me,” accused Bucky.

“You ran,” replied Derpy.

“You tried to crush me!” grunted Bucky.

“I was trying to thank you,” explained Derpy.

“You nearly broke my bones!” Bucky shouted.

“I was trying to show you my appreciation!” Derpy shouted back.

“By breaking my bones?” Bucky replied.

“No, not that,” said Derpy in wounded tones. “A hug is only as good as the pressure applied. I really wanted to say thank you for being kind,” explained Derpy.

Bucky lay there for a few minutes, looking very confused.

“I’m sorry if I hurt you, I’m really strong. I just wanted to say thank you,” said Derpy sadly, her features now downcast.

“You could have just said so,” muttered Bucky.

“But I did say so!” replied Derpy, now looking like she was on the verge of tears.

“A few words would do,” snarked Bucky.

“We pegasi think words are meaningless and we rely on physical action,” explained Derpy, one tear sliding down her muzzle and then landing on Bucky’s muzzle.

As the tear splashed on his muzzle, two things happened. Bucky suffered a painful epiphany, and he suddenly felt like a wagon full of horseapples.

“I didn’t know,” said Bucky softly. “Look, please don’t cry. Usually, when I say thank you, I just use words. We unicorns pride ourselves on our ability to converse. Physicality is shunned in favour of intellectual pursuits. I didn’t know how you communicated or that you used physical expression in place of verbal. I guess we had a moment as a unicorn and a pegasus,” explained Bucky. He reached up gently and wiped Derpy’s face with a fetlock.

And then, Derpy saw it again, the look she had seen earlier in Bucky’s eyes. She sniffled, feeling his fetlock on her muzzle, her eyes still stinging with tears. The long winded unicorn seemed genuinely sorry, and Derpy felt confused and unsettled by all of the words. Words seemed awkward, and she really didn’t understand what was being said.

Bucky suffered a second painful epiphany as he stared up at the grey mare. She was confused, hurt, and suffering, having open her heart up to him, explaining to him exactly how she communicated and how she felt, and Bucky had ignored all of it. Instead, he had gone off on a long winded explanation of his actions, using words, leaving the poor mare even more confused and hurt.

Bucky suddenly had a flash of memory from when he was in Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns and had pulled on a filly’s mane, and Celestia had personally raked him over the coals. He could almost hear her voice lecturing him right now. He winced, embarrassed from the painful memory and his current situation. There was only one thing he could do. He took a deep breath, and tried to prepare himself for what had to happen.

He grappled Derpy around her barrel, pulling in her in for a hug, squeezing as hard as his fatigued legs would allow, and then finding it within himself to squeeze just a little more. He saw Derpy’s eyes close and her muzzle scrunched.

He couldn’t help but notice how soft and warm she was against him. Pegasi pelts were different, thicker, made for insulation at high altitudes and water resistance.

“That’s as hard as I can squeeze, I’m sorry,” said Bucky, apologising.

Bucky’s breath shot out of his body with a whistling wheeze as suddenly he was squeezed back, he could hear his bones creaking and popping.

“I accept,” said Derpy, her eyes still closed, smooshing the unicorn beneath her. After a few moments, she let go and got back up on her hooves.

“How can I make it up to you?” asked Bucky.

“You just did,” replied Derpy.

“A hug makes it better?” asked Bucky.

“Well, yeah,” answered Derpy. “You hugged me and you meant it, right?” she added.

“Yes, but usually there is some kind of required gesture to go along with an apology,” explained Bucky, still laying on his back in the dirt.

“There is?” asked Derpy.

“Yes. Usually, some action is taken, some thoughtful and considerate action, showing that you actually feel bad about what you have done and have a desire to recompense for your actions,” offered Bucky.

“A hug does that without all of the silly words,” Derpy retorted. “Simpler too. Everything you said sounds complicated.”

“I suppose it does,” conceded Bucky.

Derpy smiled. “You’re a nice pony,” said Derpy.

Bucky slowly got up on his hooves, dusting himself off. Derpy helped him, brushing him with her wing. Her ticklish touch caused him to shiver strangely.

“Will you allow me to still try to make this up to you?” asked Bucky.

“Okay,” agreed Derpy, now smiling. “So what do we do?” she asked.

“I, uh, don’t know,” admitted Bucky, still trying to orient himself. “It occurs to me that a lot of our problems happen because the tribes still don’t know to talk to one another,” said Bucky, thinking out loud.

Derpy looked thoughtful, her muzzle scrunched, chewing on her own lip.

“I thought you were hunting me,” Bucky confessed.

“I was hunting you, but I thought you wanted to be hunted,” replied Derpy. “We pegasi chase one another. You gave all of the signs,” Derpy added.

“I did?” asked Bucky, genuinely puzzled.

“You touched my cheek, gave me a sweet look, and then you ran. You touched me… You touched me and I thought that meant you liked me, I thought it was an invitation, I was a little confused,” Derpy explained. “And you looked me right in the eye, hardly anypony ever looks me in the eye anymore. So when you ran, I wasn’t sure if you were being snobby or if you actually wanted me to chase you, so I chased you,” Derpy finished.

“You lifted me into the air, it scared me, I thought you were going to fly away with me so I couldn’t escape. I am actually curious to understand what you meant by that,” said Bucky.

“Carrying somepony in flight is how we build trust, I wanted to show you that I liked you, that you could trust me. I had you safe and secure and I would have never dropped you or allowed harm to come to you,” explained Derpy.

Bucky slumped. “I, uh, thought it meant something else, I thought that you were… you know what, never mind what I thought, I was flat out wrong. And all of these words just feel stupid now,” grumbled Bucky.

Derpy smiled and snoot-bumped Bucky gently.

“I was probably wrong about a lot of things,” confessed Bucky.

“So when are you two going to do something? All of this talking is boring!” cried Rainbow Dash, sitting on a low hanging cloud and looking impatient. “There should be a chase or something, somepony needs to be chasing somepony else. All of this sappy stuff is painful to look at and listen to!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash.

Derpy gently reached up and touched Bucky’s face, rubbing her fetlock against his cheek. “This is a pegasus invitation,” she explained, and then she turned tail and ran away, her wings folded securely against her body.

Bucky stood there, still fatigued, his muscles sore, watching Derpy sprint away.

“Don’t just stand there stupid, it’s rude to leave her hanging!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash, waving her foreleg excitedly.

Bucky realised that the flock of pegasi were all looking at him expectantly, waiting, some of them wide eyed, many of them confused.

Bucky heaved a sigh and trotted after Derpy, his sides still aching from his long run and being squeezed nearly to death. As he began to run, the pegasi took wing and began to follow, urging him on and giving him firm shoves to get him moving.

“Get moving groundpounder!” urged Rainbow Dash, swatting his backside.

 

 

Bucky was almost certain he was going to die at any moment. He lay on the grass, gasping for air, Derpy standing nearby, she was preening her wings and not the least bit winded. The flock of pegasi were gone, giving them some privacy.

Bucky knew it had to be the oxygen deprivation, but for a moment, Derpy looked exceptionally beautiful, standing in profile, one long primary feather slowly sliding through her lips, her eyes narrowed in concentration. Oxygen deprivation and pheromones. Biology conspired mercilessly against poor Bucky.

“Nopony has chased me in a long time,” Derpy confessed, letting go of her wingfeathers as she spoke. “It feels nice being chased,” she added.

Derpy slowly walked over to Bucky, who was laying on his side, smiling at him shyly.

“I really hope we can chase one another again,” said Derpy in quiet but hopeful voice.

Bucky nodded, unable to speak.

“You’re not in very good shape,” Derpy remarked.

Bucky shook his head no.

“I can help you exercise!” exclaimed Derpy. “We can keep chasing each other!”

The thought pained Bucky to no end, but he said nothing, having already done enough harm to the poor mare.

“I was in love with a unicorn once,” Derpy said sadly. “He gave me what I thought were all the right signs. I thought he loved me. He wined me and dined me and said such sweet unicorn words to me. He wrote me poetry that I didn’t understand. But what got me going was that he touched me in all the right ways. He knew how to speak pegasus.”

Bucky felt a sharp stabbing pain in his barrel, he couldn’t tell if it was from running or Derpy’s words.

“He left me high and dry, and all I have of him is Dinky,” Derpy finished, now looking at Bucky, one eye closed so she could study him with one good focused eye. “I saw something in your eyes that made me like you,” she confessed.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” wheezed Bucky.

“I know, that makes this a little easier, knowing you don’t speak pegasus,” answered Derpy, now moving closer to Bucky.

“Do you want to have dinner?” Bucky asked, bluntly.

“My foals will be out of school soon, I need to be home with them,” replied Derpy.

“Another time then? Please let me make this up to you. No strings attached, I just want to do something nice,” Bucky offered.

“It doesn’t bother you that I have foals?” Derpy asked.

“It doesn’t bother you that I am a jerk?” Bucky replied.

“There was a misunderstanding,” said Derpy patiently.

“So then I have a chance to make it up to you?” Bucky asked.

“Maybe, but if you want me, you are going to have to chase me a bit more,” Derpy giggled, spreading her wings, and then flying away.

Bucky waved as she left, and then he lay there upon the ground, feeling thoughtful.

She was giving him a chance to make things up, which was really very surprising in light of the revelation that she had been hurt before. Bucky felt a pang of worry, suddenly even more guilty about hurting her, she seemed so sweet and harmless now that he understood her intentions.

She didn’t seem very brutish at all. In fact, if anything, she seemed fragile.

The thought scared Bucky, filling his mind with worry. Now, he felt like the brute. He had been careless and acted thoughtlessly, seeing the world only through unicorn eyes, forgetting that he was also a pony.

Nothing made sense. This bothered Bucky, things had to make sense or else the world fell apart. Unicorns had an innate need to understand everything.

The wall eyed mare had turned the entire world upside down.

 

 

As Derpy flew home, she felt conflicted, torn between fear and hope. She hated to admit it, but she was lonely. While some of the pegasi were friendly enough towards her, nopony wanted to chase her in some sort of meaningful way. Her eyes made her an undesirable target as a mate. Pegasi needed good eyes. Derpy understood their reservations, but resented their rejection. Things had started out rough with Bucky, but she held on to her observation, what she had seen several times now, flashed in his eyes, and the way he had behaved after some level of understanding had been achieved.

Most of all, he had looked her in the eyes several times, and hadn’t turned away. It made her heart race just thinking about it. Even Dinky’s father had trouble meeting her gaze, but used it as a chance to apologise and say pretty words, trying to soothe her injured feelings.

Derpy felt confused and unsure. What she needed was some extra-squeezy hugs from her foals and some time spent in a bubble bath so she could think about everything she had observed. Maybe even some time in the bubble bath with Dinky and a rubber ducky.

One thing was clear in all of this muddled mess, the invitation to chase had been accepted.

 

Author's Note:

Ah, the hook. When I wrote this, I had no idea what I was in for. I really didn't know what I was doing.

I originally planned to start this story with Bucky as a colt, a young colt being shipped off on a train. But then I just cut to The Chase.

Hi Rage Review readers. How are ya? Can I get you anything? Have a chair. Does it baffle you that people love this fic? Me too. Can we be nice enough to talk about our mutual sense of befuddlement together? No? Probably not? Aw, sorry about that. Anyhoo, glad to see you here. Try to remember to have fun.

As for everybody else, these two chapters were a hook. They were rather clumsily written to be honest, and looking back on them, it is easy to see a few mistakes. These were written to lure people in. I gave it a good effort, still not entirely sure how I actually feel about these two chapters.

I didn't know the characters yet... I mean, I literally didn't know them. I was just getting introduced to them myself. So there was this awkward feeling of being around strangers as I wrote this.

Eventually, I would get to know them and things would get easier.

 

 

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