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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The house was full of ponies, but somehow, it did not feel crowded. They were packed into the living room, in the kitchen, in the dining room, and in the library. A few were sitting on the back porch, looking over the lake. This was a house rebuilt with a herd in mind, and it was meant to be full of ponies.

A party was taking place, a farewell party, as some of these ponies were heading off to lands far away, off on the adventure of a lifetime, and the gathering was intended to introduce everypony to one another so that they might all be friends and get along together.

Not everypony at this party was a pony.

 

 

“And this is my pen pal, Flash Sentry.”

Princess Twilight Sparkle stood in one spot, twitching slightly, and kicking the ground with her hoof. She offered a sheepish grin, which quickly turned into a frightened embarrassed grin, and finally, after a few moments of social awkwardness, her head dropped low and her ears splayed out sideways.

“This is not going as I had planned,” Twilight muttered, her ears drooping even lower.

“Hello,” Flash Sentry said, his eyes darting around to take in all of the new faces around him. He extended one wing and waved. Reaching out his left front leg, he gently touched Twilight, which caused the nervous mare to nearly jump out of her skin. She lept away with a frightened cry, and a distinctly red flush appeared upon Flash’s cheeks. He stood there silently, radiating the heat of awkward shame.

“I wonder if there is punch,” Twilight grumbled, and then took off to the house at top speed, trying to leave the painful situation behind her, her mane and tail streaming out behind her as she galloped.

“You’ve have to excuse Twilight. She gets like this around Flash for some reason,” Spike the dragon said apologetically. “Oh, and thanks for taking me in while Twilight and the others are gone. I’m gonna love it here!”

“We’re glad to have both of you as guests, and you are always welcome to stay here Spike,” Bon Bon said in reply. “My colt Sentinel is about your age. I think. Both of you probably have a few things in common.”

 

 

“The new body looks good Discord.”

Discord sighed and looked at Bucky. “This form feels so diminutive.”

“Probably much easier to move around in,” Bucky responded, looking upon his friend with concern as they sat looking out over the lake together. He glanced at the dark grey pony beside him with three tornadoes as a cutie mark and smiled.

“It is very kind of your family to take me in while all of you are gone. If I may, might I ask you for a favour Buckminster?” Discord inquired, his tone unflappably polite.

“Anything for a friend,” Bucky answered, his ears perking forward as he spoke.

“Please, bring my beloved Fluttershy back home… I… I have come to an understanding about love and I have no desire to come to an understanding about loss,” Discord said, his face creased with worry as he squirmed in his chair. “Death... Buckminster… it haunts my every waking moment. I have such… morbid thoughts. The idea of me dying or Fluttershy dying fills me with horrible dread. I’ve only just started living… that must sound strange coming from a being as old as I am.”

“I will do everything within my power to do as you ask,” Bucky replied, his voice low and solemn. “I have a bad feeling about this though. I do not agree with Celestia on this course of action.”

“Neither do I! Which is why I want you to keep her safe if you can… we both know what griffons are capable of… I know that you know because of your friend, Lugus, that giant warrior caste griffon… I know you can’t make promises, not over something like this, things can happen, but I just want your reassurance,” Discord said, his voice taking on a frantic edge as he spoke.

“Mind if I join you?”

Both Discord and Bucky craned their head to look at Silver Shill, who stood nearby, looking a bit out of place and out of sorts. Bucky waved him over and pointed at an empty chair, offering up a half smile as he did so.

“I needed fresh air. Applejack got me flustered,” Silver Shill explained as he sat down in the chair and got comfortable. He settled in and allowed his gaze to fall upon the lake.

“Had to cool off eh?” Bucky asked.

“Yeah… Applejack snuck up on me and planted tulips when I wasn’t expecting it,” Silver Shill replied. “I couldn’t help but overhear certain things when I came out… I’m sorry… but can you keep an eye on Applejack for me?”

“Of course,” Bucky answered, sighing, feeling a sense of dread and worry at the edges of his mind. He started to wonder what limb or which piece of his anatomy it was going to cost him to keep everypony safe. It was a black thought, and Bucky struggled to push it from his mind.

“I feel bad for you Buckminster,” Discord said, his voice faintly sarcastic, and one eyebrow raised for dramatic effect.

“Being taken away from my family?” Bucky asked.

“No,” Discord chortled. “Being trapped on a ship with Pinkie Pie.”

 

 

Derpy watched the party as it began to take on a life of its own on the front lawn. Twilight and her friends were doing the conga, with Berry Punch bringing up the rear, just behind her friend Fluttershy. As Derpy watched, Loch Skimmer fell into line behind Berry, hooting and hollering, and then Ripple joined in, giggling as she grabbed her sister and joined the dance line.

Derpy noticed that Sparkler was nowhere to be seen and her brow furrowed.

Sighing, Derpy wished that she could enjoy the party. It wasn’t that there were too many ponies around, even though there were too many ponies around, it was that she had a bad feeling about the whole trip and wished that it wasn’t happening.

 

 

“So those burn scars came from Sombra?”

Looking over at Spike, Sentinel nodded. “They didn’t hurt so bad in the dream. I don’t know why. But in the waking world… I wanted to die,” the colt confessed.

Cringing, Spike flexed his fingers and clicked his claws together. “Yeah, Sombra gives me the creeps. He’s the boogeypony. I still have bad dreams about him all of the time.”

“I do too,” Sentinel admitted.

“I had to rescue Twilight,” Spike said. “I became the Hero of the Crystal Empire.”

“I rescued my father… and everything else that was at stake,” Sentinel replied.

The little dragon looked thoughtful for a moment, and then his eyes widened. His frills trembled and he began to wring his hands together. His mouth moved for a moment, and then gulped, making a loud sound that could be clearly heard in the room. “Wait… if Sombra’s shadow would have taken over Buckminster’s body, claimed it as his own, and then used it to become the alicorn of war…”

Nodding, Sentinel shuddered at the memory of his father’s near suicide.

“...it might have been the end of everything we know,” Spike whispered. “Celestia said that I ‘prevented the end of everything we know and love’ when I stopped Sombra. Sounds like we both did,” the dragon said in a low frightened voice. “You know, your father and my mother might be the heroes that the world recognises, but we’ve done pretty good for ourselves.”

“I don’t want ponies knowing about it,” Sentinel grumbled sullenly. “I want to forget it ever happened. I saw my father at the lowest point of his life. I can’t bear to think about it. I… love him dearly. I don’t always understand him or even approve of his actions, but I love him in ways I cannot express and will always respect him for the burdens he carries.”

“I know how you feel,” Spike replied. “I love Twilight more than any gems or any of my comic books. She’s like the most wonderful mother anypony… er, anydragon could ask for. But it is a lot of work being her little dragon and Number One Assistant now that she is a princess.”

“Somepony… hmm, somedragon, has to do this job. It falls on us to keep our parents safe, secure, and sane,” Sentinel mused. “My father would be lost without me I think.”

“Sane… heh! Twilight loses her marbles all the time and I’m the one that has to sort everything out and keep her going. Like when I had to send a message to Princess Celestia when Twilight had that little incident involving the ‘want-it-need-it’ spell because she had nothing else for a friendship report,” Spike said, giggling slightly as he spoke.

“My father goes a little mad on a semi-regular basis. I’ve heard a few stories about when he rode the locomotives into Ponyville… Princess Luna wanted me to keep an eye on him for a while… she didn’t go into full detail, but she said he was raving just a little bit… why are we so special? Why are we the ones destined to do what we do? Why are we both adopted? Why are we so alike?” Sentinel said, his words turning into questions.

“I dunno, but it is nice to finally have a friend who understands,” Spike said, smiling and showing his perfect white teeth.

 

 

“Once more with feeling!” Pinkie Pie shouted, pirouetting away on her hind legs and watching as Ripple kept pace with her, matching her balance and grace. The pair moved flawlessly together. “Nopony else can dance with me like this but Princess Cadance!” Pinkie squealed.

Ripple lept, did a flying roundhouse kick, and landed on one hind hoof with perfect balance, her other hind hoof held high. She cartwheeled away and giggled as Pinkie Pie cartwheeled beside her.

“So nice to have another acrobat!” Pinkie chirped.

Loch Skimmer, never one to give up, wobbled around on her hind legs, her front legs held out to her sides for balance, and tried to dance like she had seen the other two doing. Loch squealed in alarm when she felt Pinkie Pie’s forelegs slip around her body and whisk her away, bouncing around with her, and the pair danced together, with Loch leaning on Pinkie Pie to keep her balance.

“Dancing like this is about trust,” Pinkie Pie explained as she whirled Loch Skimmer around. “This is a special dancing between friends when you stand up on your hind legs like this to dance around. You have to move together and trust each other, so nopony falls over and gets hurt. You have to be extra special close friends and you have to anticipate each other’s moves. Especially when a pony does this!” Pinkie warned as she dipped Loch Skimmer over backwards and then whipped her back up as they continued to cavort and caper capriciously, circling continuously counterclockwise.

Licking his lips nervously, Flash Sentry gave a headlong glance to Twilight Sparkle, who was busy talking to Rarity about something. His frogs sweating, he committed himself to a course of action. Before fear and doubt could consume him, he darted to Twilight, snatched her up in his forelegs, and danced her away from Rarity. His movements were clumsy and the pair threatened to fall over together a few times, but Flash persisted, holding Twilight close as she stammered wordlessly in protest, her cheeks ablaze with an inner glow.

“See? Trust!” Pinkie Pie shouted as she whirled Loch Skimmer around. “Say, you’re getting better Loch, I bet you’ll make a marvelous dancer!”

“Is it wrong that I am turned on by this?” Rising Star asked in a low voice to Barley, who was sitting beside him.

“Aye, two mares dancin’ and prancin’ about… that’s good reason to suddenly have a hankerin’,” Barley replied. “I needs me a drink. I come home to get away from crowds of too many ponies…” the old stallion got up, his knees popping, and he trotted off inside of he house to invade the bar.

To be continued in the next chapter of The Chase…

 

 

 

Author's Note:

Finally, Sentinel and Spike meet, and begin to compare notes.

 
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