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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Laying in the grass with her husband, Derpy tried to comfort Bucky after the Great Alicorn Slapfest, which had left him sore and rather battered. She kissed him softly and made soft cooing sounds into his ear, while wrapping her wings around him gently and stroking him with her forelegs.

“She must really love you,” Derpy whispered.

“How can you tell?” Bucky replied in a mildly sarcastic voice.

“Because she wing slapped you,” Derpy answered.

“Love stings,” Bucky groused.

“Bucky, a pegasus’ wings are so sensitive. Just think about what happens to me when you gently stroke my wings or blow on them or just try to get me wound up… each blow, each slap, they are full of ouchy. A wing slap hurts a pegasus just as much as the pony they are slapping. It is shared pain. We share the pain with those we love and bear their punishments. If we wanted to hurt them, we’d just kick them,” Derpy explained.

“Wait, so each time she slapped me she was hurting herself?” Bucky asked.

“Yes, you dimwit,” Derpy responded.

“I don’t know what to say,” Bucky murmured.

“She loves you,” Derpy whispered.

 

 

“You stink like  rotten eggs,” Ripple said, backing away from Rising Star and fanning her nose with her wing, her eyes narrowing as she retreated.

“I do?” Rising Star replied, sniffing as he did so.

“You do,” Loch Skimmer answered. “You’re kinda stinky.”

“I hate to admit it Rising, because I hate to sound shallow, but you are a bit sexier right now, even with the eggy smell… there is something about you…” Sparkler confessed.

“What about the Stable of Representatives?” Rising Star whispered. “Only a moron would trust me now. I’m a fey creature.”

“Bon Bon will keep you honest,” Sparkler said reassuringly.

 

 

Looking at Twilight, Rising Star tried to understand the long winded and overly wordy explanation he had just been given about everything that just happened after he had explained to her in brief what had taken place in the woods.

Twilight, noticing his vacant expression, rubbed her muzzle and grunted in frustration, not sure why other ponies had such a problem communicating over such simple concepts. She gave such detailed and careful explanations. The whole world was obtuse.

“Okay, let me try this again. I’ll use simple words this time. Really simple words. Try to keep up,” Twilight grumbled in annoyance. “Celestia draws her fire from the sun. I, like most pyromancers, draw my fire from the aether. You used to draw your fire from the aether. I strongly suspect that now, you draw your fire directly from Tartarus itself, which means you have demon-fire, or quite literally the infernal blazes. I would also strongly suspect that if we measured you, you would no longer be a type three, but a type four unicorn, at least as far as raw power goes in relation to fire. You seem to have suffered a few minor physiological changes. Horn growth, longer legs, cloven hooves, your tail has been altered, you’ve grown fangs…” Twilight summarised. She yawned and covered her mouth with her wing. “Look, I need to go get a few hours sleep. We will talk later. At least try not to be a tricky lawyerly fey creature or I will geas you into submission.”

“I’ll be good,” Rising Star said in a strangled voice. “I’m just glad to be home… with my wives… my family…” He watched as Twilight spread her wings, took flight and departed.

“You okay Rising?” Bucky asked in a concerned voice.

“Yeah, I feel mostly okay. Thanks for rescuing me,” Rising Star said graciously in reply.

“Think nothing of it. You are my son. I wouldn’t want to explain to your other parents why you were stuck in Tartarus,” Bucky responded. He looked at his armor pieces scattered over the lawn. “Tartarus wasn’t such a bad place. Scorch seemed nice enough for a fey demon lord fire elemental. Looks like you have a friend you can probably call on in times of trouble.”

“He is part of a bridge club with Celestia. And they play chess together. When she was a little filly, Scorch used to foalsit her and keep her from burning down the entire countryside,” Rising Star said, smiling as he spoke.

“Oh… well that is interesting,” Bucky said in stunned disbelief.

“And I got to tell him about my wives and we talked about all kinds of things… you know, you’re right. I think he’s my friend now. He was honestly worried about me and my well being now that I look back on everything. And he was so afraid of losing his friend… to think that friendship means so much to a fey demon lord…” Rising Star said thoughtfully.

“Or a draconequus,” Bucky mentioned. “Or a lonely unicorn who had given up on the world. Never underestimate the power of friendship.”

“I’m tired. I’m going to try going back to bed while I am feeling sort of sleepy,” Bucky muttered as he teetered off to the house, lifting his armor pieces in his telekinesis to place them back into their case before he went to bed.

 

 

The first grey light of dawn broke over the trees as Bucky took a sip of coffee and tried to make everything stop shaking. He wasn’t sure what was wrong. Fear? Lack of enough sleep? A bad case of nerves from visiting Tartarus? He had no idea. He took a sip of the hot liquid and felt it trickle down his throat, burning as it went down.

There was several hundred pounds of coffee stored in the pantry, and Bucky was quite happy about this fact. Barley had seen which way the wind was blowing early on, and had stockpiled coffee back when it was plentiful. There were also tins of compressed loose leaf tea and a number of other dried goods staples that made life bearable.

He heard a cry from the nursery and set his cup down upon the kitchen table. He rose from his chair, made his way down the hall, into the nursery, and saw Harper in her crib. She glared at him, indignant that the sun was rising and nopony has freed her from her prison. Everypony else in the house was sound asleep. Dawn was supposed to bring freedom, and the adults had failed in their responsibility.

He lifted her in his magic, levitated her over, and then sat down in a rocking chair. He pulled her close, cradling her to his barrel, wrapping his diminished leg around her, and began to rock back and forth while holding her.

“Hi Harper,” Bucky whispered. “It was a long night last night. Everypony is worn out. There is no need to be fussy,” he cooed.

“Mama,” Harper said, resting her head in the crook of Bucky’s neck.

“Rising Star had himself an adventure that he’ll be able to tell his own foals about, but I don’t think he told me the whole story,” Bucky whispered as he rocked in the chair with Harper.

“Story,” Harper burbled, drooling into Bucky’s thick shaggy pelt.

“Well, there was a unicorn who had a son that he loved a great deal. And this son found himself in Tartarus, trapped there. The unicorn didn’t know why, but he was worried. And the only way to free his son was to trade the soul of another family member,” Bucky said, telling Harper a story in a soft sonorous voice that made the foal go still.

“So the unicorn, he was clever. He made a plan to free his son from the fey fire elemental named Scorch. This unicorn is brain damaged… he has a very muddled sense of right and wrong now. He’s not sure if there is right or wrong. There is only playing to win, which is all that mattered to him, because he was painfully and horribly selfish. It is his major failing, and it will probably cost him dearly one day. He wanted to keep his son. So, the unicorn was clever and traded the soul of his own mother for the soul of his son. The unicorn got to keep his son, which made him happy. Now, his son is a fey creature, and probably has a very interesting future in politics.”

Bucky could tell from the sounds of her breathing that Harper was asleep. Yawning, he continued rocking while holding Harper, humming softly to his foal, and before too long, he too drifted off into sleep, his cup of coffee growing cold in the kitchen where it was forgotten.

 

 

Loch Skimmer awoke to the stench of rotten eggs and lifted her head. At first she thought that somepony had farted, maybe her, but then she recalled Rising Star’s feculent new funk. She leaned in close and gave him a sniff.

“Yuck,” she muttered.

It really wasn’t that bad, it was like spring water that reeked, redolent of rotten eggs, but it was bad enough to be noticed. Still, there was something incredibly alluring about him now. Some kind of irresistible charm. She shook her head, her ears flapping around crazily as she did so, and then yawned. Something else stunk as well. She sniffed around, smelling Sparky, and then sniffed Ripple. She lifted a wing and sniffed her own wingpit.

“Eeew… gross,” she murmured. “I have underwing stink. That’s not attractive.”

She slipped out of bed with her tongue sticking out, arched her back, stretched her legs, spread her wings, tried not to smell the stench coming from her own wingpits, and then stumbled for the door. Opening the door, she peered into the hall. The house was silent. Barley’s room was at the other end of the hall.

Moving through the door, Loch Skimmer made her way down the hall to the bathroom. The door was open and it was unoccupied. She went inside and closed the door behind her. Inside the bathroom was an old bathtub that was big enough for four ponies.

Showers might be the single greatest invention in the whole wide world, and perhaps the best thing the mainland had to offer. She kicked the levers to get the water running, banged an ornate iron lever that redirected the water to the shower, and then stepped in to hot steamy bliss.

 

 

Five mares had their heads poked into the nursery door, their faces melting from the adorable sight. They were silent, or tried to be, there were a few low moans and whimpers, and all of them were quite taken by what they saw.

Bucky, asleep in the rocking chair, was holding Harper, also asleep. Harper had drooled a great deal, leaving Bucky quite damp. His head was tilted back, his mouth open, and as a testament to his powerful magic, his horn had a dim glow. The rocking chair continued to rock back and forth, even in his sleep. It was a rare unicorn that could keep their magic going in their sleep.

The mares backed away from the door and made their way down the hall, heading off to the kitchen together. Derpy had been the one who discovered the slumbering unicorn, and then had dragged her fellow wives out of bed to come have a look.

Spilling into the kitchen, the five mares began to rummage around for breakfast. The coffee in the coffee urn was still hot, but the cup of coffee on the table was cold.

Barley silently staggered into the kitchen, stared at the herd of mares for a moment, blinked a few times, and then sat down at the kitchen table. He rubbed his eyes and remained silent as the mares moved about the kitchen.

“Bucky traded his own mother’s soul,” Lyra murmured, breaking the silence.

“Good riddance,” Berry grumbled.

“To bad rubbish,” Barley finished.

“Is it wrong that I feel very attracted to him for being such a bad pony?” Derpy asked.

“He’ll keep ye safe,” Barley groused. “He traded one soul worth keeping for one soul that was utterly worthless. If I was a demon I’d feel cheated.”

“We’re never going to have normal family problems,” Bon Bon said.

“Nay, I doubt we’ll ever be normal,” Barley replied.

Moving with a cloud of strawberry scent, Loch Skimmer bounced into the kitchen, moving through the crowd and kissing cheeks, bringing smiles with every peck. The charcoal grey pegasus beamed, her own smile shining like the sun, and she finally sat down at the table next to Barley.

“Rising Star stinks like rotten eggs now,” Loch announced. “Somehow, he’s even more sexy, but I can’t figure out how or why.”

“Bloody fey,” Barley muttered.

 

 

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