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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Two fillies relaxed in a bathtub, one purple-pink and the other charcoal grey. They each reclined, facing one another, one looking exhausted, the other looking pensive. The purple-pink filly had her eyes closed, the charcoal grey filly had her eyes open, and she looked at her bathtime companion with interest.

“Am I pretty?” Ripple asked, her voice wavering with worry.

“Yes,” Sparkler replied, one eye peeping open to look at Ripple. “Why do you ask?”

“Because I’m not like you. I’m dark and dull looking. All of the other fillies and mares always seem so bright and colourful. I feel so plain. Plus, I am always covered in bumps, bruises, lumps, and cuts. My sister has the same pelt colour as me, but at least she doesn’t look like she has been chewed on and spit out,” Ripple answered in a weak sounding voice.

“Loch Skimmer is hawt,” Sparkler admitted. “She does it without even trying. You’re hawt for different reasons,” she continued, opening both eyes to look at her tub mate.

Ripple squirmed under Sparkler’s gaze, feeling self conscious about her appearance. The bathwater was strong with the smell of mint and jasmine, it tickled her nose and appealed to her inner feminine nature. “I mean, I want to be girly, okay, maybe I don’t like dresses that much or even clothing because it just feels wrong, but I like having my mane and my pelt brushed. I like looking pretty. I like feeling girly and doing girly things when I am not crushing something into paste. I liked it a lot when Dinky tied ribbons into my mane and dolled me up a bit. But having a black eye that was half swollen shut kind of ruined the effect.”

“I came home with white salty sweat crusted all over my hide after running my cadets through the woods over fallen logs and leaping over streams and running up and down hills along the gorge just north of here. I stunk to high heaven. I smelled so bad that my own mother didn’t want to hug me or touch me until I got clean. We clean up fine,” Sparkler said, trying to reassure Ripple, not sure of what to say or how to say it.

“But I stay covered in bruises,” Ripple whined, her voice finally breaking from her emotions. “I feel hideous.”

“And you are bothered by this now of all times?” Sparkler asked.

Ripple sank down in the water, feeling her hip slide up against Sparkler’s. Her leg, pressed against Sparkler’s ribs, could feel Sparkler’s muscles quivering as her body endured its many twitches and spasms because of her condition. Ripple’s ears drooped and her light blue mane darkened where the water soaked into it. “I didn’t mean to,” she murmured.

“You didn’t mean to what?” Sparkler inquired, her ears splaying out sideways in confusion. Beneath the water, her front hoof moved over Ripple’s belly and rubbed reassuringly, stroking the soft skin, making gentle little circles that made Ripple wiggle under her touch.

“Sparky, I think I have a crush on some… some one and it isn’t you. I didn’t mean for it to happen, I just suddenly realised I had some of the same feelings for them that I do for you and I am so sorry and I wasn’t trying to cheat and-”

“Shush!” Sparkler commanded, cutting Ripple off. When she spoke, Ripple fell silent, her guilt visible on her features. “Very calmly, tell me what happened.”

“Earlier today I was with Bittersweet. I was up on the roof watching her as she watched over Harper and Peekaboo. I have these weird urges to keep them all safe you see… anyway, when Harper and Peekaboo were taken indoors for a nap, Bittersweet and I started talking and we kept leaning in closer and closer and I was watching her lips move and trying to understand the ear language she uses and then I’m not sure how, but our snoots bumped together and we both started blushing and I am not even sure how I know, but I know for a fact that she is like me and my heart started racing and we just kinda sat there for a few minutes staring into each others eyes I swear nothing else happened and when I thought about it later I realised I’ve been having these feelings for a while now, and they’re like the feelings I have for you because you really are something nice to look at, I think it is a pegasus thing, I like to look at things and it makes me feel good in certain places and-”

“Ripple,” Sparkler interrupted, butting in gently.

“...and I never want to be unfaithful to you or Rising Star ever but I can’t help how I feel and-”

“Ripple!” Sparkler shouted.

“What?” Ripple said and then fell silent, looking at Sparkler, trying to show how sorry she was by looking as submissive as possible.

“Ripple, honey, I am not angry. I want you happy. If you fall in love with somepony, or somedonkey in this case, then we will work out a way. I know your heart already belongs to me, and if I can share Loch Skimmer with Rising Star, then I can share you. If this becomes serious enough, I will speak with Rising Star and we will discuss our options. Now hush. I’m tired and everything hurts. We’ll talk more when we’re not trying to relax in the tub,” Sparkler said, looking Ripple directly in the eye and keeping eye contact.

“Okay Sparky,” Ripple agreed, nodding her head slowly.

 

 

All of the adults were in a tizzy. Peekaboo quite liked the panic, the adults searching frantically for her, crying out her name, saying “Peekaboo!” repeatedly to get her to appear. She stayed very still and did not move, her eyes closed, and she tried to hold her breath for good measure. Even the pony with the big spiky horn was looking for her. Daddy was prowling the house calling for her, and her mama had walked right past several times, Peekaboo could tell by the sound of her voice and the clatter of her hooves as Yew Wood trotted right past the chair where Peekaboo remained hidden, her eyes closed, trying not to giggle. She knew the sounds her mama made all too well. All of them. She had a lot of mamas now to make up for the mama she had lost in the water and had trouble remembering. Some days she remembered more; other days, it seemed more like a dream.

“Peekaboo! Be a good foal and show yourself!” Derpy cried.

“How does a pegasus foal just vanish?” Bon Bon asked, her face crinkled with worry, her brows furrowed.

“Sentinel!” Bucky bellowed. “Sentinel, front and center!”

Peekaboo heard a clatter of hooves and the rustle of wings. She squeezed into her hiding place, scrunched her eyes shut even tighter, and swallowed her need to giggle. This was too much fun.

“Sir, reporting for duty, sir!” Sentinel replied, snapping up a wing in salute.

“Sentinel, sniff out Peekaboo. I want her found,” Bucky commanded.

“Aye aye, sir,” Sentinel answered and then dropped his nose to the ground. He sniffed the hardwood floors, moved slowly, approached Yew Wood, sniffed her, snuffled up her front leg, pulled away, sniffed along the ground until he reached Lugus, whom he sniffed for several long moments, and then Sentinel took off down the hall and into the kitchen, where he proceeded to sniff around.

“Very interesting, that little colt,” Lugus said in a low worried voice.

“I strongly suspect that Sentinel’s sense of smell is magical in nature,” Bucky said in a low voice to Lugus. “We keep interesting squires.”

“We do,” Lugus agreed.

“Nothing in here,” Sentinel reported. “Except there is the corner in the pantry where mother Lyra keeps going to fart.”

“I was trying to be well mannered,” Lyra cried, protesting her exposure. She blushed and her ears drooped down to the sides of her face. Her eyes darted to Bucky, then to Lugus, and then to everypony else standing around.

Sentinel came tearing through the archway of the kitchen and then into the living room. He stopped, sniffed, and then dropped his head to the floor. He snuffled for a bit and then looked at Lugus. “She’s in here.”

“We’ve looked everywhere in there,” Lugus said.

“She’s in here,” Sentinel insisted. He sprang forward, crossed the room, and then froze near Barley’s chair. He sniffed around, peered under the chair, sniffed, and then froze. “Hey, she wasn’t there when I just looked a second ago,” he said.

“She’s under the chair?” Bucky asked.

There was a giggle from under the chair and there was no mistaking Peekaboo’s distinctive giggle. Yew Wood dashed through the room, kneeled down, yanked Peekaboo out from under the chair, held her in her forelegs as Yew sat back on her haunches, and began to squeeze her foal, torn between a mother’s anger and a mother’s relief.

“She wasn’t there when I first looked, honest,” Sentinel said, looking his father in the eye, his face filled with concern.

“I believe you,” Bucky said, turning his eye upon Peekaboo. For a moment, he thought he saw something on her hip, but then it was gone. When he turned to look at Sentinel again, he saw something in the corner of his vision, and his eye darted back to Peekaboo. Again, when he looked, he saw nothing. “There is something peculiar going on here,” he announced. “I keep seeing something out of the corner of my eye on Peekaboo but it vanishes when I look at it directly.”

“I see it,” Lugus reported, his sharp eyes darting back and forth.

“Some kind of mark, but I can’t see what it is exactly,” Sentinel said, cocking his head off to one side and trying to peer at Peekaboo’s backside.

“So Peekaboo just got her cutie mark for hiding? We’re doomed,” Yew said in a defeated voice. She squeezed her foal and kissed the top of Peekaboo’s head, a few tears now slipping down her cheeks.

“I strongly suspect that we are in for a lot of trouble,” Bucky announced.

 

 

“So you smooched my brother,” Dinky said, looking at Diamond Tiara and raising an eyebrow at her friend. The filly leaned forward on her bed and pushed her book aside, a Daring Do novel brought from her old bedroom.

Nodding, Diamond Tiara did not reply.

“That’s kinda gross,” Piña whispered. “Do you know what he eats?”

Once again, Diamond Tiara nodded, but said nothing. She knew what Sentinel ate. Dinky and Piña had both told her in detail. She tried not to think about it too hard. She swallowed, feeling slightly queasy and had the sudden urge to brush her teeth.

Leaning forward, her face now inches from Diamond Tiara’s, Dinky squinted and tried to look as intimidating as possible. “Are you going to be a good filly?”

With a shrill squeak, Diamond Tiara nodded for the third time, still silent, and she could feel Dinky breathing on her snoot. She let out a wordless cry when she felt two legs wrap around her neck, and then relaxed when she felt a hug. She allowed herself to fall into Dinky’s embrace.

“I’d be happy if I could call you sister someday,” Dinky whispered.

“I’ve heard my sister talk about love,” Piña said. “She tried to explain what it was like when she looked into Bucky’s eyes and just knew for certain that he was the one, he was the pony that she had been waiting for her whole life for. She knew that she loved him more than anything else, more than any other pony she had met, and she wanted him to be the father of her foals.” Piña fell silent and looked thoughtful, prodding at the pillows with her hooves, and then looking at Diamond Tiara. “I wonder if there is some kind of magic that lets us know when we meet our special somepony.”

Dinky, letting go of Diamond Tiara, sat back on her haunches and looked at Piña. “Sparky told me that she felt that way about Rising Star. She knew before we left for the isles that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.”

“I don’t know what I feel,” Diamond Tiara admitted, finally saying something, her brows furrowed. “I do know one thing.”

“What’s that?” Dinky asked.

“When I finally let go and started bawling my eyes out, when he was holding me… when I turned to him and cried, I didn’t feel ashamed about it,” Diamond Tiara replied. She heaved a sigh and then her gaze moved to Piña. “I wish I had a mare to talk to. There is Gala Appleby, a mare my father is kinda seeing, but I can’t talk to her about this kind of stuff.”

“I could call Berry up here. I’m sure she’d be willing to talk to you about girly stuff and love. She’s good at that stuff,” Piña offered.

“I dunno if that is a good idea,” Dinky said, her voice hesitant. “We’ve all seen what Berry did to Loch Skimmer…”

 

 

 

 

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