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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20. 20 (with zesty sauciness)

“How do I know that he actually likes me, I mean, he’s different, how can I tell that he really likes me?” Derpy asked, staring at Berry Punch who reclined at the other end of the tub, her eyes almost closed, her head resting on the tub’s edge.

This was not the first bath they had taken together, but this was the first bath they had taken together after one very sultry kiss that left them both a little steamy.

“Derpy… you know what, fine. Since you seem so insecure, I’ll help you rather than tease you. If you want to see if somepony really likes you, if they are really attracted to you, do something that makes them laugh or do something that might be embarrassing to yourself. If they maintain eye contact, then they like you. And are attracted to you. If you are ever in a crowd of ponies, make them laugh and carefully watch who keeps eye contact if you ever want to find out who likes you,” Berry explained. “In the event of embarrassment, ponies that look away will feel mutual embarrassment, those who keep eye contact will do so out of deep concern for your well-being, ignoring the socially awkward moment out of a desire to know you are okay.’

“How do you know this stuff?” Derpy asked.

“It is an earth pony thing,” Berry said, explaining nothing.

“But I know lots of earth ponies, and not all of them know stuff like you do,” Derpy protested, wiggling a bit as she felt Berry’s hoof teasing her thigh. Berry never broke eye contact as Derpy squirmed.

“Oh, they know it, even if they can’t express it. I can express it because I went to university and took classes in psychology while I was learning about brewing and distilling. I have the vocabulary to give words to what I already know,” Berry said, enjoying Derpy’s squirming as she teased Derpy’s thigh and gently moved her hoof up just a smidge higher.  

“You’re smart,” Derpy said, feeling the hoof traveling up her thigh slowly, curious about its destination.

“I’m a philosopher. Or at least I sometimes try to drink like one,” Berry giggled. “And Derpy, you are no mental slouch. Consider this a pre-emptive strike against your coming self-depreciation.” Berry wiggled her hoof slightly.

“D’aw,” Derpy sighed, blushing, feeling a wiggle along her inner thigh, a very sensitive place that hadn’t been played with in a long while.

“So what do we do about Bucky?” Berry asked, retracting her hoof, having gone far enough. For now.

“So we have reached the stage of the relationship where we plot against him?” Derpy replied, rubbing her belly with a hoof, working the soapy water into her pelt, which was made to repel water.

“Well, we did just pin him down and violate his sensibilities quite thoroughly. He’s going to be brooding over that for days. We’ve taken away his fine unicorn sense of control and now he is probably feeling a bit of a complex because he likes it, and he is going to feel bad about liking it, so we are going to have to plot against him and keep doing little things because he likes it but would never admit to it and never wants to engage us to satisfy his own desires, because admission that he likes it and he wants us to keep doing it would be painfully uncomfortable for him. So we have no choice to plot against him,” Berry patiently explained, rubbing a soapy hoof against her neck. “You know, when I offered to show him my plot vibrating trick, he never broke eye contact with me. He was interested. Curious. He was shocked and embarrassed, but he wanted to know more.”

Derpy giggled girlishly, making a few snorts as she did so.

“Come here, turn around, I’ll scrub your back if you scrub mine. Having a friend means never having to scrub your own back,” Berry said, pulling herself up and sitting upright.

Derpy rose, wiggling and turning around in the enormous claw footed tub. She leaned back into Berry, feeling the warm wet mare against her. “I wish we had done this sooner. Moving past just being friends I mean,” Derpy said quietly.

“Wasn’t the right time,” Berry replied, wrapping her forelegs around Derpy, squeezing her tightly, and kissing the top of Derpy’s head. “I remember Amethyst Star, Sparkler’s mother, tossing us in the tub together and scrubbing us. We used to be embarrassed about it.”

“Yeah,” Derpy admitted, leaning even more into Berry.

“We’ve had some very intimate moments together as friends,” Berry said. “Stuff that regular friends don’t usually do.”

“I know,” the grey mare said, rubbing her fetlock on Berry’s foreleg.

“I held you and comforted you when you gave birth to Dinky,” Berry recalled, her voice now raspy with emotion. “I helped Star clean you up. Star had to show me how to massage you to help get your milk started, those were rough times. You were so young then.”

Derpy did not reply, she merely hugged Berry’s foreleg to her barrel.

“And I suppose at some point in the future, we are going to have another very intimate moment together,” Berry said in a hushed whisper.

“What do you mean?” Derpy asked, her voice low and soft, her breathing somewhat heavy, her emotions flooding through her body.

“At some point, you and I are going to have to figure out how we share Bucky, if we go at it apart, or together, what our boundaries are with each other,” Berry replied, her lips brushing up against Derpy’s ear, causing it to wiggle, making Derpy squirm a bit in Berry’s embrace.

“Oh… yeah,” Derpy said, feeling Berry breathing on the back of her head and making an ear tickle. “You are talking about a threesome, right?”

“Yes you silly mare,” Berry answered, tittering.

“I haven’t thought about it. Well, I did think about it once, when I was laying in bed, but I thought that maybe we’d just share one another and take turns with each other,” Derpy confessed.

Berry gently pushed Derpy away and began to scrub her back, rubbing slowly in between Derpy’s wings, where the muscles were always sore after a day of delivering the mail. The muscles, as always, were knotted heavily. “While taking turns with each other is fine and good, somepony is always left out when you take turns,” Berry said, voicing her concerns. “Even if it is good fun to watch two ponies canoodling one another.”

Derpy moaned as Berry’s hoof slowly worked out the many knots in between her wing joints, rubbing in a small circular motion. “I’ve only ever been with one pony,” she confessed, her voice embarrassed.

“I know,” said Berry, “Dinky’s father. And then after that, you were hurt, and you climbed up on your cloud and refused to let anypony else share that cloud with you. The hurt caused you so much pain that you flew from anything that might hurt you. And then, without meaning to, you hurt yourself, because you believed that hurting yourself was a wise reminder of what lay in store for you if you ever allowed another pony to share your cloud.” As Berry spoke, she squeezed, prodded, nudged, nosed, and nuzzled, emphasising her words with appropriate punctuation, making sure the pegasus understood what was really being said. As a final gesture, Berry reached around Derpy and gently ran a hoof along Derpy’s jawline, gently drawing upwards towards a grey ear, a powerfully affectionate gesture that Berry knew would reach Derpy’s mind.

“I’m scared,” the mare being prodded by Berry’s hooves confessed.

“I know,” Berry said soothingly. “But you chased Bucky.”

“I know,” Derpy said, slightly panicked. “I saw something so kind in his eyes. He was lonesome just like me. I think I saw that too… or maybe I wanted to see it.”

“And then all of this happened,” Berry finished, referring to the recent events.

“Yeah. All of this. And I really want to love him so much and you too, but I am still thinking about how much it hurt,” Derpy admitted, now starting to cry just a little bit, her waterlogged wings hitching slightly. “I am so tired of being alone and keeping ponies at a distance.”

“Then let us in,” Berry soothed, once again pulling her friend to her and squeezing. “I am strong enough to carry both of you, let me be the earth pony that shoulders your heavy burdens,” Berry offered.

“That is part of what you said when Bucky had his panic attack,” Derpy said, her face scrunching up in memory, her eyes still wet with tears. “Does this mean I get to watch over you?”

“Yes Derpy, if you are willing. Now we just need to figure out how to make Bucky shine. He’s just as hurt as you are I think,” Berry whispered, clinging to her friend.

“Bucky confuses me badly,” Derpy admitted.

“I know. Bucky keeps himself confused so he has an excuse not to deal with the world at large. Easier to hold that much magic in I suppose if things aren’t constantly distracting you and engaging your emotions. Must be hard to hold that much magic back,” Berry said, thinking out loud.

“We pegasi had have to be mindful of our emotions too,” Derpy said. “Otherwise, our moods affect the clouds which causes the weather go all crazy and then it causes all kinds of problems.”

“Huh,” Berry Punch mumbled, learning something new and taking note of it. “So is this why it always rains at funerals?” she asked.

“Maybe,” Derpy confessed, looking thoughtful.

“You know Derpy, this house is a little small. I’m thinking that I need to spend a little bit of the leftover insurance money and fix up the family farmhouse. There is a much bigger bathtub there,” Berry said, her voice wistful. “I’ve let the place get run down. I guess I’m hurt too. After everypony died in some way or another, it has never felt like home. And that’s just wrong for an earth pony. It would be like the Apple family walking away from Sweet Apple Acres. I’ve walked off from the place and rented a house in town. I’m a disgrace. I’m a numbskull.”

“Aw, don’t say that Berry. All of our families are broken up in some way or another,” Derpy admitted. “I never see mine, I don’t think Bucky sees much of his, and yours is mostly gone. What if something happens to me? Who looks after Dinky?”

“Sparkler would. I would,” Berry said. “Now, enough of that sniffling. We have to get pretty for our date tonight.”

 

 

With a simple mental gesture, Bucky cleared away all of the popcorn and macaroni bits, placing them into the trashcan. He cleaned the kitchen and the living room effortlessly, both foals clapping their hooves together as they watched.

He lifted the couch, holding it aloft, checking underneath it for debris, and then he lifted the chair. He completely untangled Berry’s yarn, re-rolling it into a ball, doing everything slowly and deliberately so that Dinky could watch and see the potential for what she was capable of.

“See Dinky, when you learn control, you can help out your mommy and make her life easier. She’ll have more time to play with you if she doesn’t have to clean house. And look how easy it is,” Bucky said, realising that this was an important lesson for little Dinky.

“Sometimes I want magic and sometimes I don’t,” confessed Piña.

“Why is that Piña?” Bucky asked the pale pink little foal.

“Seems like a lot of grown up worries and chores,” she answered, hugging Dinky.

“Yes, there is much responsibility to be taken and much work to be done,” Bucky answered, eyeing Dinky’s response to all of this. The little pale purple-grey foal was being squeezed mercilessly by Piña. Dinky’s eyes were wide.

Bucky gently set the couch with the two foals sitting on it back down on the floor where it belonged. They let go of one another and took deep breaths.

“You made everything in the living room float,” Piña said breathlessly.

“Can I do that?” Dinky asked, blinking, her voice wavering slightly.

Bucky nodded. “With time you will be able to, if you work hard and pay attention. This will be easy for you to do Dinky. Now pay attention, if you ever let your emotions get away from you, you could just as easily lift everything, all of these heavy things, and throw them at somepony that is hurting you or making you angry.”

Dinky’s eyes closed and she buried her face into Piña’s neck, letting out a terrified cry. She trembled for several minutes, and Bucky said nothing, letting the lesson settle in. After a few minutes, Bucky went over to the couch and sat down, where he was immediately mobbed by two foals. He held them both, enjoying their warmth and their affection, feeling two little snoots nuzzling him.

It was oddly calming.

As he was sitting there on the couch with the foals, the door opened and in walked Sparkler, who giggled when she saw the scene on the couch.

“Sparkler!” Dinky cried, letting go of Bucky and running to her sister, Piña also disengaging and moving to mob Sparkler.

The two foals tackled her, and she allowed herself to be taken down, in much the same way Derpy had. They rolled and wrestled on the floor, exchanging hoof noogies and odd gestures of affection that Bucky simply did not understand.

“I think we’re going out to dinner,” Bucky announced to Sparkler.

“Cool,” Sparkler said. “Any idea what?”

“Spicy bean curd,” Bucky said.

“Oh, that place,” Sparkler said, her head being hammered on by Dinky. “Be ready to sit in a bucket of water!”

Bucky gulped, realising there might be trouble later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Note:

And yes, what Berry Punch describes in the beginning of the chapter is a real psychological phenomenon.

 
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