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


21. 21

There was something very different about the two mares that came down the stairs. They moved together, or at least that is how it appeared to Bucky and Sparkler both, both of whom observed the changes in the two mares.

And, they were beautiful.

Derpy’s mane had been carefully combed, and it spilled all around her ears, framing her face beautifully. Berry Punch’s mane seemed to have some extra bounce, and her eyes peeked out from carefully combed bangs.

Every feather on Derpy’s wings stood out in high detail.

“Go mom!” Sparkler said. She turned towards Bucky. “You realise you don’t have a chance, right? I mean, you have to know by now. My mom is hawt. I mean she is hawt.”  

Bucky nodded, unable to respond verbally.

Derpy stumbled slightly on the last stair, landing roughly on her hooves. She had her good eye on Bucky as she did so, and with a great deal of personal satisfaction, she noticed that he never took his eyes off of her as she stumbled and nearly suffered a pratfall. The stumble was intentional.

“Hello handsome,” Berry said, looking at the slack jawed unicorn sitting on the couch, batting her eyelashes.

“See something you like?” Derpy asked, her voice a low growl that only a pegasus could make.

“So have you two been making out?” Sparkler asked, tilting to her head to the side and staring at the two maternal forces in her life. “Because I really hope so. Otherwise, dinner is going to be awkward after what I heard mom saying in her sleep last night.”

“Sparkler!” Derpy cried, her eyes going wide. Berry Punch giggled and winked at Sparkler, then walked through the room and planted a kiss on the head of Piña, her younger sister.

“Eew, something is going on…” Dinky stated, looking disgusted.

“Yeah, gross!” Piña Colada agreed, having just been kissed. “My sister’s lips are waxy and oily just like Derpy’s.”

“Ooooh, you had to help mom preen her wings… she had to swap some spit with you so you could do the job right,” Sparkler said, her eyes wide glittering with mirth. She bounced up on her hooves and began to dance around excitedly.

“GROSS!” Dinky cried.

“Gross!” Piña echoed.

Bucky smacked his lips, they were still oddly flavoured and somewhat waxy.

“Sparkler, do you mind washing those two?” Derpy asked.

“Can do mom,” Sparkler agreed.

“And Bucky, if you want a shower, you can take one here or go home for a quick refresher. I think we’ll be alright. Just hurry back, I’m hungry,” Berry Punch said, watching Sparkler dance in place.

Dinky raced Piña up the stairs, glad to be away from the icky adults and all of the random exchanges of cooties that seemed to be rampant today.

“I’ll be back soonish,” Bucky said, nodding his head and stepping out the front door.

Berry and Derpy stood alone in the living room of Derpy Doo Hooves.



Twilight Sparkle sat looking at the plaster casts of former students on a shelf in Celestia’s quarters. She remembered making her own cast as she gazed upon it, filling a pie pan with a little bit of plaster, stomping a hoof down inside of the plaster, waiting a moment for the plaster to set just a tiny bit, and then pulling a hoof free leaving the plaster to harden. A note secured to the casting read the words “Smarty Pants Incident” in bold letters. Twilight blushed at the memory. She was such a late bloomer that even her mischievous stage had lingered until much later in life, manifesting, coming and going, constantly coming back after a long absence.

The wall was full of Celestia’s personal hoof picked students and the students she considered ‘special’ in some way. Sunset Shimmer was there, Trixie Lulamoon, Raven, Lyra Heartstrings, and off to one side, in the corner, Buckminster Bitters. A note stuck to the bottom of his plaster hoof print said “Water Clock” and nothing else.

“Celestia, what does “Water Clock” mean?” asked Twilight, a bit confused.

“Buckminster broke my water clock. The clock that was created by Star Swirl. Now, no matter which way it is orientated, it drips forever upwards, the water completely ignores gravity,” Celestia explained, smiling faintly.

“That’s awful! Star Swirl made that for you!” Twilight protested.

“The grouchy old bearded weirdo would truly appreciate the work of art the clock has become. It keeps perfect time and will always let you know which way is up,” Celestia responded, laughing warmly.

“Up is just a vector without force,” Twilight said, looking very confused, clearly not understanding what was so funny. “You wanted to talk to me?”

“Yes I did Twilight. About the Ponyville Project,” Celestia said.

Twilight immediately focused her attention, turning away from the plaster castings and turning to look at Celestia instead. Twilight’s eyes went wide, became focused, and she was ready to report on almost anything Celestia required.

“Before we begin, any reports on the Crusader Project?” Celestia said, settling into her wide bowl shaped chair and getting comfortable, her large body spilling from one side of the bowl shaped chair to the other.

“Not much to report Princess, the Crusaders continue to have a strong friendship, they arrive for ‘Twilight Time’ and perform admirably, and they continue to learn together quite readily. No signs of odd magic or unusual abilities manifesting from them and all of the time they spend together,” Twilight reported, causing Celestia to look disappointed. Twilight slumped slightly from seeing Celestia’s let down appearance.

“I have such high hopes. Luna does as well, she continues to guide them in dreams, keeping them together and pushing them towards greater things,” Celestia confided. “And then there is the matter of Bucky and his own friendship studies. Twilight, tell me, what do you know about the various herds in Ponyville?”

“Well, there are two major pegasi flocks, a whole host of earth pony clans, and…”

“No, Twilight, not the greater herd structures. Herds. Plural marriage. Polyamory,” Celestia interrupted.

Twilight blushed, a conflagration upon her cheeks. “Oh no Princess, I don’t swing that way, and no matter what the rumours are, my friends and I aren’t, well, doing unseemly things to one another,” Twilight assured Celestia, her eyes darting back and forth, her hooves prancing in place, her wings fluttering.

“Twilight, I am not worried about what you might do with your friends. I want to know more about the herd structures in Ponyville. See what you can dig up. I’ve seen things… signs from our mutual interest Buckminster Bitters and his emerging friendships with one Berry Punch and one Derpy Doo Hooves. I saw them on the couch together, and they were very friendly with one another if you understand my meaning. I saw signs that trouble me somewhat,” Celestia admitted. “I personally abolished herds a long time ago because of the disharmony they caused, the fighting, and sometimes I wonder if I have made a mistake. Anyway,” said Celestia distractedly, “I started thinking about the Crusader Project. I cannot help but notice that Buckminster, Derpy Doo, and Berry Punch are a unicorn, a pegasus, and an earth pony. And they are becoming very, very friendly with one another. I think our plans may have changed,” Celestia finished.

“Okay Celestia,” Twilight huffed, feeling very squirmy and uncomfortable.

“I want to talk with Princess Cadance about her feelings about herd structures, and then we are going to follow the Friendship Project through, only as a potentially emerging family structure, as I strongly suspect it will be. Buckminster made the most noble gesture to tutor Dinky Doo after the incident at the Ponyville primary school,” Celestia explained.

“What are you saying?” asked Twilight, her face beet red, beads of sweat pouring from her brow, and the corner of her eye twitching.

“I may consider officially sanctioning herd marriage again in Ponyville depending on how this study turns out. I want them watchedas much as possible, observed in public as much as possible, without interrupting their privacy too much. Enlist as many pegasi as you need, get your friends, and keep a weather eye open for changes or warning signs,” Celestia commanded. “I want public courtship documented. I want behaviours studied. I want details. I want to understand the process. And I want you to study the other herds that I know are in Ponyville as well. Thunderlane and those two sisters, Flitter and Cloudchaser. Now, I know that the two sisters aren’t engaging each other in anything unseemly, Luna keeps an eye on that in dreams, but they are sharing Thunderlane. I want you to use his recent spot of trouble as leverage to get him to spill information, details, specifics, and to enlist his help in watching over Buckminster and his two mares. Is all of this clear?” Celestia asked. “This emerging relationship is a unification of the three tribes. I want to see some kind of results after one thousand years of studying Clover’s notes. You finished up Star Swirl’s work beautifully, just as I had hoped you would. Clover was certain that something would come about if the tribes united and bonded together. There has been hopeful signs, but that isn’t enough to satisfy me.”

Twilight stood agape under the onslaught of Celestia’s words.

“And keep watching the Crusaders. I still have hope for them,” Celestia added.

Twilight nodded, still standing in stunned silence. One ear twitched fitfully.

“Come here Twilight, you look disturbed, climb up into my chair and sit with me until you feel better, like you did when you were little. I still worry that you are in the throes of some kind of alicorn mischievous stage and seeing you like that frightens me so,” Celestia said, her voice full of worry. She patted the chair with her wing.

Saying nothing, Twilight crawled up into the chair with Celestia and snuggled against her side, Celestia wrapping her wing around the smaller alicorn.



“I’ve never had anything quite like this before,” Bucky admitted, looking over the menu. They had arrived early, before the evening rush, and the restaurant was surprisingly empty.

“You like spicy food?” Berry asked, sitting on one side of Bucky.

“Are you brave Mister Bitters?” Derpy teased, sitting on the other side.

“I don’t need bravery, I have fusion. And sometimes I eat some spicy things, but I do not have a lot of experience with them,” Bucky answered.

“What is fusion?” Derpy asked.

“Unicorn bravery,” Berry replied.

Derpy rolled her good eye, her bad eye continued to disobey as it always had.

“I’m brave,” Dinky reassured her mother, her eyes wide and bright.

“I know Dinks,” Derpy replied, looking at Dinky sitting on the other side of the table on one side of Sparkler, Piña sitting on the other side.

“I’m brave too,” Berry said, licking her teeth and smiling broadly, only one hoof visible above the table. The other was exploringbelow the table.

Bucky squirmed, shifting in his seat, Berry Punch’s hoof rubbing a circle just above his knee. He gulped.

“Something wrong Bucky?” Derpy asked, turning towards him and smiling broadly, one eyebrow raised.

“Oh, nothing,” Bucky squeaked, as Berry’s hoof traveled halfway up his leg. “Nothing at all!” he repeated. Bucky floundered, not sure of the proper rules to this social interaction. But he was not about be shown up by a numbskull. First, he cast a spell to dim his horn, a spell he had learned from Luna herself, when Luna had acted as a substitute teacher one day and taught practical subversion magicks. The spell made his horn flash for only a brief second. And then, Bucky focused his will, shoving the distracting thoughts of Berry and her frisky hoof out of his mind. He waited, his telekinesis ready.

Bucky sat quietly, perfectly composed, both hooves folded politely before him on the table, one fetlock resting over another.

Berry, not getting any satisfaction, boldly moved her hoof up to the webbing of his inner thigh, where it connected with his torso. That almost broke his concentration completely. He turned and smiled at Derpy, ignoring the lewd and lascivious equine next to him. “You look lovely tonight Derpy,” he stated, his tone gracious and warm, causing Derpy to melt slightly, her cheeks blushing brightly through her grey pelt.

There was a loud squeak from Berry Punch a moment later as she almost leapt out of her seat, giggling loudly, both hooves now under the table, trying to make the invisible force tickling her navel go away.

“Berry?” Sparkler said in alarm, looking worried.

“Nothing… HRRK! Sparkler honey, I’m okay, I- I, uh, oh OH heh hah HOO!” Berry stammered, squirming, giggling, and sometimes snorting.

Berry wickered as she threw her head back and writhed.

Derpy began to chortle faintly. “Bucky, are you doing something unseemly?”

“No,” Bucky replied innocently. “Do you see my horn glowing?”

Derpy peered up at his horn with her one good eye. “Berry, stop being a spaz,” she said, now laughing.

“Bucky!” Berry begged breathlessly. “Clan Pickled surrenders!”

Bucky ceased his assault, at least for now, struggling not to laugh. It was quite difficult. Sparkler was looking directly at him, her lips pressed together.

“I know you did something somehow,” Sparkler said, “You can’t fool me!”

“You alright Berry?” Piña asked.

“Oh, I was just getting what I deserved,” Berry said breathlessly, her barrel heaving, both hooves now on the table. “And somepony will get what they deserve later I am sure,” she added.

Berry squealed loudly as there was a pinch along the graceful curve of her backside, a squeezing of her cheeks.

“Bucky!” Derpy said, poking him with her hoof. “I want to know what is going on!” she demanded.

Bucky obliged the only way he knew how, thinking about the raspberry assault earlier, a faint smile upon his lips, his hooves never moving. He turned the vibrating assault upon Derpy, moving along her navel.

“Berry! Help me!” Derpy said, her hooves sliding down rapidly to her belly.

Dinky looked at her mother curiously, the grey mare was acting silly. She turned at looked at Piña. “Adults are weird,” mumbled Dinky.

Berry, seeing her friend in dire trouble, and knowing how ticklish Derpy could be, did the only thing she could do. She took Bucky’s head in her two hooves and planted a wet kiss on his lips, tickling his lips with her tongue.

Bucky’s ability to cast spells died and his horn made an audible fizzle.

Berry Punch pulled away as both Piña and Dinky were making “eew” noises and protesting the display of adult affection.

“Bucky, I am going to destroy you when we get home!” Derpy promised. “Destroy!”

Bucky sat there, trapped between two mares, breathless, and having the time of his life. He smiled at Sparkler, who was smiling at him.

“You did something pervy to my mother,” Sparkler accused. “Good job!”

A unicorn waiter stood near the table, gently clearing his throat and waiting to take an order. He smiled a warm smile, glad to see the group having a good time. His bright blue mane was impeccably styled and he wore glasses perched on his muzzle.

“The sautéed sprout assortment for all, with spicy bean curd. Tens for Derpy, Sparkler and I, and fives for the foals and Bucky here, he’s a foal too,” Berry said to the waiter, smiling a crazy smile. “And I’ll take a bottle of Clan Pickled red, whatever vintage you might have. Fruit punch sodas for everybody as well.”

“We have a few bottles left of a lovely ten year old red that was quite sweet and fragrant,” the waiter offered.

“Yeah, that. Two bottles,” Berry requested, determined to have a good time.

The waiter nodded, and then moved off swiftly to the kitchens.

“I bet I could take a ten,” Dinky pouted.

“The five is fine,” Piña mentioned, looking a little worried already. She looked up at her big sister, her eyes wide.

“Piña, if you have trouble, don’t worry, we’ll take you somewhere and get you full on ice cream so you can cool off,” Berry promised.

Piña heaved a sigh of relief and leaned into Sparkler’s side, and Sparkler, being a good filly, wrapped a leg around Piña and pulled her closer. After a moment, she reached out and grabbed Dinky Doo as well, keeping them both close. She smiled a knowing smile at the adults on the other side of the table.

The waiter returned with drinks, gently floating the glasses to the table. “The wine will be out shortly ma’am,” he promised. He then departed, still smiling.

Derpy, seeing the two foals, followed their example and leaned on Bucky. Bucky couldn’t help but notice that Derpy was very, very warm, and she smelled strongly of perfume.

And something else.

Bucky couldn’t put a hoof on what he was smelling, but it made him feel heady and relaxed. Berry was wearing it too. They must have put it on one another when they were getting ready earlier.

It was almost a little too pleasant. It made him feel kinda sleepy.

Berry leaned in as well, propping up Bucky from the other side. Bucky took another deep breath, taking in the most wonderful smell through his nose.

Pheromones? he thought to himself. No, this was a different smell entirely. Musky. Pleasant. Must be perfume.

“The three of you look really happy,” Sparkler observed.

“I am,” Derpy answered.

“So am I,” Berry said.

Bucky said nothing, he sat there breathing through his nose and smiling.

“I think he’s happy,” Berry guessed.

“He looks drunk,” Sparkler announced.

“He’s probably a little worn out,” Derpy said, wrapping a foreleg around Bucky’s withers and giving a gentle squeeze. “Been some rough days,” she added.

“I hope all three of you stay happy,” Sparkler said, her face suddenly very serious.

“Thank you Sparkler,” Derpy said.

The group of ponies sat together, exchanging glances. The foals were aware something was up, something was happening. Something had changed. Sparkler was aware of things happening as well, and was old enough to understand what they were. She wanted her mother happy, and she wanted Berry happy, and she wanted them both happy together. It was something she had wished for, for a very long time, practically since she had come into Derpy’s care. Berry was almost a mother to her already, the vessel of her real mother’s memories. Berry belonged in this family, however weird it might be. This family was a collection of cast offs, discards, and throw aways, a collection of strays.

The adults of the group also understood on some deep level that something important had happened, causing change. An acknowledgement had been made, and the first few brave steps forward had been taken.

The first date together had been done so as a whole family, an unusual step at best during these troubled and trying times.



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