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


226. 226

Barley O’Blivion had fallen down into the grass from Berry’s affections. The pair held one another, both of them crying. Bucky felt a little better knowing that Berry had her uncle again. He felt something brush up beside him on his blind side. He turned his head around and saw Bon Bon pressed against his side. He turned back around to face Barley but said nothing, allowing Berry to have her much needed moment.

“What about my house?” Derpy asked Twilight in a shy soft voice.

“Still your house. You can do whatever you want with it. If Rising Star and his herd are not happy here with you, it would make a good home for them,” Twilight replied.

“Oh,” Derpy said in a subdued voice.

“I want us to stay together,” Rising Star said. “I can’t function without the rest of you.”

Piña slipped away from Dinky’s side and went to join Berry and Barley. Barley pulled her in and she found herself squished between them. Piña made little sniffly-snort noises as she reunited with her uncle once again.

The guards began to disperse around the farmhouse and set up a defensive perimeter. Twilight Sparkle paced back and forth. She watched the trio embracing in the grass and her wings fluttered at her sides.

“I am actually really glad we are neighbors. I am still learning about our connection. I only recently found out that I am Star Swirl’s distant relative. We were meant to work together in our prospective functions. Once you get your wings, we could do great things together,” Twilight said in voice thick with barely contained excitement.

Bucky thought about saying something but remained silent. He bowed his head slightly to Twilight and acknowledged her by looking her in the eye. He could see it in her expression. She looked hopeful.

Barley pulled himself free from Berry and Piña, rose up on wobbly knees, and slowly approached Bucky. He peered at Bucky, looking him up and down slowly, and his eyes took in every detail. “Aye lad… ye look like shite,” Barley stated.

Laughter burst from Bucky’s mouth and came forth in a flood. Bucky could not contain himself. Finally, he had to lean on Derpy to keep standing up. To say that he looked poorly was the understatement of a lifetime.

Barley, satisfied with his assessment, moved on. He approached Loch Skimmer and Ripple, one knee popping loudly as he went, and then began to study them, giving them both a good looking over. “Aye… what do we have here? Two prood daughters of Shetland? What a sight to make eyes sore… the blue maned one has a right murderous look about her. I like her. Hello nieces I’ll love to pieces.” Having spoken his piece, he moved on and continued his inspection.

Loch Skimmer exchanged a glance with Ripple, and Ripple shrugged.

The acerbic old stallion stopped and stared at Thistle. One eye narrowed and he leaned in close. “A kelpie. Aye, that settles it, yer my favourite. Oh howdy ye are fat with foal ye pretty lass… If’n you have need of anything, ye have but to ask,” Barley said as he raised one hoof and gently patted Thistle upon the shoulder.  

He ambled along until he came to Bon Bon and Lyra. He peered at Bon Bon, raised his eyebrow, and nodded. “Aye lass. I knew ye’d be running off after Bucky. Ye loved him and his wives. Ye took this sweet little bard off on some great adventure, and now yer back home with a story to tell,” he said as he leaned in close to Bon Bon. His gaze fell upon Harper and the old stallion sucked in his breath sharply. “Aye… a fire hair like meself when I was younger. And she’s poofy… Nopony better make fun of this one or I’ll kick you right where yer already split!” he threatened. He leaned in and gave Harper a kiss, which made the foal giggle.

Barley stood back and studied the whole group with a weathered eye. “Good thing I renovated the farmhouse. There is a lot of ye,” he muttered. “And a griffon too. A big griffon.”

“Well, are you going to show us inside?” Bucky asked.



“That chair, over by the fireplace, that chair is me own,” Barley stated as he lead them through the front door and the living room. “Old stallions and kelpies only. Nopony else!” he grunted grumpily. “And wipe yer hooves you bloody savages, you’d think you’ve been off in some horrible place with no manners or something.”

Thistle tittered as she looked at the chair and then at Barley. She saw him wink at her and immediately she began to like the old unicorn. She looked around the living room. There were a few bookshelves and several couches. There was a log burning in the fireplace.

“Kitchen!” Barley barked as he moved through a wide archway. “Over yonder is the dining room. We’ll need a bigger table or some of us can eat in the kitchen at the smaller table,” he explained as he tottered forward with the group behind him. “Library is just through those doors at the end of the dining room.”

He moved through the wide arch in the back of the kitchen and halted by some stairs. “Past the stairs is the nursery. There is also a few bathrooms down this hall. At the end of the hall is the master bedroom. There’s a big bed in there… dinnae worry, it’s fit for shagging,” Barley explained. “Empty headed numpty wanted to put the master bedroom upstairs away from the nursery. Moron!” he grumbled irritably.

He slowly went up the stairs with a whole herd of ponies behind him. He stood in the hallway at the top of the stairs. There was another set of stairs here, doubling back over the first set and going upwards. “Several bedrooms and bathrooms up and down the hallway here. There is also a small comfortable gathering room with a few games and such in it. Up the stairs is a few more bedrooms and another flight of stairs. At the top of those stairs is the attic, which is partially finished. The attic is a large space with hardly any walls. Wasn’t sure what to do with it. Might be a good spot for yon great big bird of prey we have among us. Give him room to spread out and be comfortable.”

Piña trotted over to a pink door and pushed it open. Her eyes went wide. “Is this my room?” she asked, her voice a strained whisper. She saw two beds in the room, a desk, and other stuff.

“Aye my little sweet thing. For you and Dinky,” Barley answered. “I figured you two would want to be together.”

Piña went through the door and Dinky followed after her. A moment later, the door was shut and there were giggles. Barley sighed and moved back down the stairs, the large group following after him. He went down the hall towards the master bedroom and stopped at a wide door.

“This leads outside,” he announced. He pushed open the door and stepped through, revealing a large back porch and the dock. There were chairs and tables. Soft electric lighting lit up the whole area.

Thistle shoved her way through the crowd, made her way to the dock, waddled as fast as her pregnant body would allow, and then dove off of the end of it. She disappeared and did not resurface right away. There were bubbles coming up out of the water.

“Will we e’er see her again?” Barley asked in a worried voice. “I rather liked her,” he added. “Do come back pretty lass!” he called.

“She’s been waiting for the water. We might not see her for a while,” Bucky said.

Barley sighed a sad sigh and looked around. “My legs hurt. I’m gonna go sit down.” He made his way through the crowd, picked up Harper from her sling using his magic, and held her in front of his face as she giggled, made his way indoors, and vanished from view.

“He took Harper!” Lyra whined.

“Probably to spoil her, no doubt,” Bon Bon said, trying to soothe Lyra.

Lyra took off in a hurry, following after Barley, leaving the group a little smaller.

“I wonder if there is a room for us,” Rising Star said as he made his way to the door. Loch Skimmer, Sparkler, and Ripple took off after him.

Bucky eased himself into a chair and took a seat, enjoying the night. He could hear frogs and crickets. He saw ripples in the water. There was an owl someplace, and it hooted forlornly. He had no intention of leaving his chair for a while. The night was peaceful, cool, and calm.

He looked over and saw Sentinel settling into the chair beside him, his small face looking skyward at the moon.

“I’m raiding the kitchen,” Berry Punch said. She departed right away, heading off through the door, and after a moment, Bon Bon and Yew, who was holding Peekaboo on her back, went after her. Only a small group was left on the back porch now.

“The Everfree is a little close… you should keep a watchful eye off in that direction,” Twilight Sparkle warned as she made a gesture with her hoof. “The school is almost finished. Princess Celestia still wants for you to head the school Buckminster, even after everything that has happened. Or maybe because of everything that has happened. We’re still trying to hire and secure teachers. There aren’t enough teachers. Celestia’s own school is having a shortage as well,” she admitted.

“I have my own plans for the school,” Bucky responded.

“We will talk about those at another time. Settle in. Get comfortable. I will return tomorrow. Welcome home Buckminster,” Twilight said. She spread her wings, gave a few flaps, and then took off, shooting off like a streak into the darkness.

Bucky watched her go, able to see her faint outline against the stars.



Sparkler looked around the room that was certainly meant for them. It had a large bed. There was a little sofa in the corner, a big bay window that overlooked the lake, shelves, a big mirror upon the wall, a large desk, and the room itself was surprisingly large.

Loch Skimmer flopped on the bed and bounced a few times.

“You know, before you three, uh, begin your inevitable shagging, I’m gonna go bunk with Dinky and Piña. There is a second bed in their room and I know they will both be in the same bed. There is no way I want to be in bed with my sister during or just after you all get done doing what I know it is that you are about to do,” Ripple said. She smiled sheepishly and then vanished out the door.

“We’re going to have to work out a way to keep Ripple happy,” Rising Star said in a worried voice. “Having two sisters in the bed together during certain moments is a bit skeevy I’ll admit.” He jumped onto the bed with Loch Skimmer and nosed the frisky looking pegasus. “We’re gonna need to soundproof this room.”

Sparkler continued to stare out the window, looking down at the lake, watching the moon reflected in the water. The effect was hypnotic, soothing, and she didn’t mind that Loch Skimmer and Rising Star were getting started without her.



Lyra watched Barley playing with Harper and took a deep breath. Harper was cooing and happy, and more importantly, she seemed to love the old stallion who was holding her, rocking her, and bouncing her in his embrace.

“I love me some foals,” Barley groaned, shifting in his chair as he tried to get comfortable. “I dinnae mean to make you upset lass… I got carried away… I’ve been under a lot of strain. Comfort is in short supply when you get to be my age,” he said apologetically.

“I’m not upset,” Lyra responded. “I was more surprised than anything. I’m very protective of her… I love her so much. I never thought I’d love anything so much. Loving Harper has… it has… it has made me feel more love for Bon Bon, Bucky, and the others.”

“I know lass, been a rough road for ye,” Barley said, his accent softening as he calmed down and settled into his chair. He settled Harper against the crook of his neck and patted her back with the soft side of his folded fetlock. “Oh to have foals again… these are the only thing that matters in life.”

“I suppose coming from a group of ponies that had their foals stolen for so long makes them that much more important,” Lyra said as she watched Harper going still and falling quiet.

The log in the fire popped, sending a stream of embers up the chimney. The ticking of a wind-up clock could be heard in the room. The smell of fire was pleasant and brought a feeling of coziness to the room. The couch Lyra was sitting on looked new but the design appeared to be over a hundred years out of date. It had clawed wooden feet that curled around wooden knobs and the legs of the couch looked like griffon legs, and the wood was a dark mahogany.

“I ain’t e’er leaving home again,” Barley said in a soft voice. “No more traveling. I’ve secured a place for those I love to be happy, safe, and comfortable. I’ve got my bed picked out that I plan to die in. I was so worried about all of ye.”

“How much do you know about what has happened?” Lyra asked.

“Luna showed me some of it. I saw it in dreams. I know what took place. She dinnae wanna show me but I demanded to know,” Barley replied. He smiled briefly as Harper burped, ceased patting her back, closed his eyes, and allowed his head to fall back into the chair’s cushion.

Lyra listened to the crackle of the fire and said nothing else, allowing silence to overtake the room. She felt as though she had come home. She heard soft voices in the kitchen, happy voices, and then she heard laughter.

Summoning her lyre, Lyra began to play a little tune. It started off sad, but slowly became happy, and it filled the room with soothing sound. In no time at all, she heard a snore coming from Barley’s chair and she could hear the soft sound of Harper breathing. She lifted a blanket that was folded over back of one of the couches, spread it out, and laid it over Barley. He snorted once, and then settled back into his slumber, Harper sound asleep on his shoulder.

Lyra found that she had room in her heart for one more stallion.


Author's Note:

I've had this chapter partially completed for a long long time. I've been waiting to finish it up and post it. For some reason, I dunno why, I really love the part at the end with Barley and Lyra. I can't explain why I like it or why it moves me, it just does. It is one of those moments that just made me feel good to write.

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