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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“Hoo boy, Rainbow sure got her comeuppance,” Applejack drawled. The earth pony mare belched horrendously, pulling her lips back from her teeth and letting go in a manner that any well bred pegasus parent would approve of.

“Poor Dashie… she was asking for it, but I think it was a bit much,” Pinkie Pie mused as she nursed her rum and hard cider, shaking the glass gently to make the drink and the ice cubes swirl around, causing the ice to clink in the glass. “Poor Twilight… so oblivious.”

“I know, right? Something wrong with that girl. But Rainbow has made us both Pinkie Pie swear not to tell her,” Applejack fussed. She took a long swallow of her drink and grimaced. The farmer prefered old fashioneds with extra citrus.

Sighing, Pinkie Pie nodded and wrapped a foreleg around Applejack’s withers. “Losing a friend's trust is the fastest way to lose a friend… forever,” Pinkie Pie said halfheartedly. The pink earth pony fidgeted and fretted. “Why is Twilight so oblivious?”

“Cause she gots her head filled up with more important stuff, like keeping us all safe, keeping us all fed, keeping a bunch of us from freezing to death come winter, and she is Twilight Sparkle, Princess Oblivious,” Applejack replied. “She’s like Celestia and Luna now. The weight of responsibility on her shoulders keeps her occupied. It’s like an applebuckin’ season that never ends.”

“What’s his excuse?” Pinkie asked, pointing at Bucky who was laying in the grass some distance away, surrounded by foals and one dragon. “I mean, he’s just as bad as Twilight but for different reasons. Plus, he’s scary.”

“I don’t think he’s bad. Neither does Silver… naw, he ain’t bad, he’s just come to the understanding that the world ain’t so black and white. He’s done found himself a shade of grey he fancies and now he is trying to figure out how to live in a world that defines everything in black and white,” Applejack said, a faint slur in her voice. “Ever notice that Celestia is all pure and white and lovely… and when Luna turned into Nightmare Moon, she became all black and dark and hideous?”

“Yeah… she did,” Pinkie Pie responded, nodding sadly.

“See, it comes down to black and white. You’re either black or you're white. Or you are honest or you are a liar. Ponies like knowing they are one thing or the other… I was talking about something deep… what was it?” Applejack asked. She belched again and then killed her drink in a single swallow.

“Celestia is white and Luna is black,” Pinkie Pie answered, her own words slightly slurred and her head bobbing slightly. The pink mare looked a little sleepy, and her eyes were only half open. “Celestia is good, and Luna is eeeeevil.”

“Yeah… that’s it… that’s it exactly. And Buckminster over there, he chose Luna,” Applejack finished philosophically. “Something about grey. I don’t remember. I need another drink.”

 

 

Twilight gingerly held the ice pack to Flash Sentry’s jaw and tried to keep her wings still. Something felt off, but she didn’t know what it was. Something about this whole situation bothered her a great deal. She had trouble putting it into words.

“Your friend’s behaviour was totally uncalled for,” Flash grumbled.

“Yeah it was,” Twilight admitted.

“She has the worst manners I’ve ever seen,” Flash mumbled as he leaned his head into the ice pack. “If she ever had foals and taught them to act that way they’d be kicked out of any flock they tried to fit in with. Seriously, the only reason the flock here tolerates her is because she is your friend. I saw how they were earlier today before we came here to this party. She struts her stuff and uses you to avoid any consequences. About time somepony called her on her behaviour.”

Hot prickly anger stabbed into the back of Twilight’s neck and she felt herself becoming heated. Suddenly, she wasn’t so sure that she liked Flash so much.

“She acts as though she owns you. She has no claim on you. Any of your subjects get near you and she fluffs out her feathers and flares her nostrils and does that little possessive plumage display that she does and she treats you like you are her possession,” Flash said, letting it all out.

“What?!” Twilight snapped in confusion.

“Rainbow Dash struts around acting like she owns you,” Flash replied.

“No she does not!” Twilight retorted angrily.

“She most certainly does! She makes it clear to any pegasus that gets near you that you are off limits and then the threats begin. She’s an insufferable little-”

“SHUT UP!” Twilight cried. “Not another word. I don’t believe you! You’re just trying to turn me against my friend! You… you… you’re jealous!”

Baring her teeth, Twilight growled ferociously, raised one hoof, and then slapped Flash Sentry as hard as she dared with her inherent earth pony strength.

Flash went sprawling, rolling over backwards in the grass. He recovered quickly, looked up at Twilight with hurt and betrayal in his eyes, and his ears pinned back against his skull as he defiantly looked the princess right in the eye.

“You behave just like she does,” Flash snarled. “Same piss poor attitude and responses she makes!”

“You… you! I’ll deal with you later when I’m cooled off!” Twilight said, stumbling away, finding that she suddenly desired as much strong whiskey as possible. She held back the tears as she retreated, not wanting to let anypony see her cry.

 

 

“Been quite a party,” Berry Punch commented as she leaned against her longtime friend and fellow-wife, enjoying the sensation of Derpy’s pelt intermingling with her own.

“Bucky has been surprisingly well behaved. He hasn’t been drinking as much as I thought,” Derpy replied, giving voice to her observation.

“He’s cutting back. Or trying to. Look at him. Telling some story to Spike and the others. Look at Spike and Sentinel. I think they’re friends,” Berry remarked.

Derpy prodded the grass with one hoof and watched fireflies go by. She sighed contentedly and watched as several ponies around her departed, stumbling away, off to find a bed to sleep in one of the many bedrooms on the third floor. She watched Rarity and Coco in particular, feeling happy for them. No doubts the sheets would definitely need changing come morning. Both mares were giggling as they staggered away.

“Thistle seems to have hit it off with Fluttershy,” Berry observed.

Looking over, Derpy nodded when she saw Thistle sprawled in the grass with Fluttershy’s head pressed against her large rounded belly. The butter yellow pegasus had her ear pressed tightly against Thistle’s stomach and looked as though she was listening intently. “Poor Sparky. She came out for a bit of food and then vanished back into her room.”

“It’s hard for her sometimes,” Berry agreed. “Discord and Rising Star seem to be becoming friends. I don’t know if I should be worried or not. Fey creature and the embodiment of strife? Seems… troubling.”

“I have my wings ready for both of them,” Derpy giggled.

“Do you think Twilight knows that there are two ponies that love her madly?” Berry asked in a conspiratorial whisper to the pony beside her.

“No. She has no clue. Twilight speaks pegasus all wrong. I don’t know why,” Derpy replied in a low voice. “All she seems to be able to express is aggression and anger. Nothing else. I don’t understand it.”

“She lives under very trying circumstances. She has had to present a very hard front to the whole world. I’m sure that’s the reason. She really came into her princesshood during a time of conflict. War even. She’ll mellow out. I hope. Or there will be a lot more war,” Berry Punch stated, sounding Berry worried and giving voice to her concerns. “if she acts like that around griffons, who, from what little I know about griffons, are very much like pegasi, and there will be war. I hope Bucky can level everything out. Or at least kill them all before she gets hurt.”

 

 

Lifting them all carefully, Bucky teetered off on three legs to take his foals to bed. All of them were asleep and it was quite late. Even Sentinel had finally nodded off, it had been a long day with no nap and even the lunar pegasus could stay up no later. He held them in his magic as he climbed the front stairs, and then realised he was going to have to climb the stairs the hard way rather than teleport.

Barfing foals were never fun.

Quietly sighing, he mounted the stairs and hopped up the stairs carefully. He was extra careful not to bump any little heads into the walls as he made his way up. After a climb that felt much longer than it was, he made his way to Dinky and Pina’s room, carefully tucked both of them into the same bed, kissed them both, and then departed.

He pushed open the door to Sentinel’s room and made his way inside. He placed both Sentinel and Spike into the bed, covered them, and after a moment’s pause, kissed them both as well. As he turned to leave, his eye lingered over Sentinel's desk. There was a small photo of Diamond Tiara in a little wooden frame, barely visible in the faint light coming from the hall. He smiled and then let himself out, thinking that Sentinel needed a photograph of Moonbow.

 

 

“Truce,” Flash Sentry stated, shaking his wing and the full bottle of whiskey he held beneath it. “I want to apologise.”

“I do too… I made my best friend angry with me. I think she hates me!” Rainbow Dash whimpered. “I really stepped in it tonight.”

“I think we both did,” Flash Sentry said to the pegasus mare sitting in the grass before him. “So truce?”

“Truce,” Rainbow agreed. “But only if you share that whiskey with me.”

“That’s why I brought it,” Flash said, flipping out his wing, allowing the bottle to drop, and then catching it in his fetlock, pinching the neck of the bottle tightly. It was a well practiced move and he did it without looking.

“That’s pretty slick,” Rainbow complimented.

“Shining Armor and I are drinking buddies. We both know our way around a bottle,” Flash replied, raising his eyebrow at Rainbow Dash. “So…”

“So what?” Rainbow asked.

“So does Twilight know that you love her?” Flash inquired. He stared forward as he spoke, and when he was finished, he uncapped the bottle with his teeth. He extended it to Rainbow Dash, offering her the first drink. “Ladies first.”

Taking the bottle, Rainbow Dash nodded in appreciation. “It is nice of you to call me a lady after the way I acted. You could have gotten your digs in,” Rainbow said, ignoring Flash’s question.

“Truce, remember?” Flash reminded.

“Yeah, but it’s something I know I would do,” Rainbow Dash confessed just before she took a drink and passed the bottle back to Flash. She hissed and shuddered after slugging down some of Barley’s special single malt reserve. “Tastes a bit like peat and iodine.”

Taking a slug, Flash swished it around in his mouth and then nodded. He swallowed, grimaced, and then looked Rainbow in the eye. “So?”

“I haven’t told her. I can’t tell her. I just can’t. I love her so much. It drives me crazy. But I don’t think she swings that way and if I tell her… if I tell her it might ruin our friendship and that makes me want to kill myself when I think about it happening. I really screwed up. She’s so angry with me. I think we might be through as friends,” Rainbow whimpered.

“So we have something in common,” Flash stated, handing the bottle back to Rainbow Dash and offering a grim smile.

“We do?” Rainbow asked.

“We both love the same mare,” Flash said.

“I guess so… so you really do love her? It isn’t just because she’s a princess? Because I knew her before she was a princess… and oh my gosh I just did it again didn’t I?” Rainbow muttered as she accepted the bottle. She took a long drink and then belched.

Shrugging, Flash eyed Rainbow Dash, trying to study her. “I love her. At some point during her letters, I fell in love with the creator of such beautiful words,” Flash confessed. “You swing both ways.”

“I like leaving myself open to the possibility of a good time,” Rainbow admitted. “It all feels good… but I haven’t been… I haven’t done… I… ever since I understood what it was I felt about her, I haven’t been having a good time,” the pegasus admitted as she hoofed the bottle back to Flash.

Accepting the bottle, Flash took a long drink. He belched once, then again, and then for a third time, each louder than the previous. He eyed Rainbow Dash, trying to read her.

“Look, I want Twi happy… I’ll be civil… as much as I can be. If I step out of line, let me know… look, I want you to promise me something… you’re a big tough soldier... please? Pretty please?” Rainbow wheedled.

“What?” Flash inquired, passing the bottle back to Rainbow.

“If we get into trouble… if the griffons act like jerks, and I know they will, you do that fancy combat slam on them and kick the horse apples outta them. Please, please keep my best friend safe. I’ll… you… if you promise me that you will keep her safe I’ll… well… I’ll step out of the way and let you love on her a bit unchallenged. And then once I finally tell her how I feel, I get out of the way completely and let you two be happy,” Rainbow answered and then took a drink.

“You really do love her,” Flash said as he watched Rainbow kill almost a quarter of what was left in the bottle. “How about this… we let her pick between us, but we don’t sabotage each other’s efforts. Fair?”

Pulling the bottle away from her lips, Rainbow nodded. “Fair. So can we be friends?”

“I think so. It will make Twilight happy,” Flash responded, accepting the bottle as Rainbow passed it back. He took a long guzzle to match Rainbow’s well practiced chugging.

“You’re not a bad guy… I like you… it’s chilly out here,” Rainbow said, scooting closer to Flash and pressing up alongside him. She shot him a disarming look when he glared at her. “Hey, it’s cold and I’m just being friendly… I thought we had something in common… don’t be so serious.”

Relaxing slightly, Flash passed the bottle back to Dash. It was now nearly empty.

“So… do you think you can teach me to fight like that? Not now obviously, it would look like we were fighting and if Twilight came out she’d totally freak out and lose her marbles. But I am willing to learn if you are willing to teach,” Rainbow Dash said.

“I’m willing to teach,” Flash said in a voice made raspy by whiskey. “It is cold out here,” he added. He allowed himself to lean on Rainbow Dash a little and looked up at the stars, wobbling somewhat unsteadily as he did so.

“I love her so much… I think I hurt her… I feel so bad… I can’t seem to help how possessive I am…” Rainbow Dash confessed, wrapping her wing around Flash and collapsing completely against his side. She hiccuped as she pressed the side of her face against Flash’s neck. “You’re very warm.”

Nodding, Flash did not reply, but continued to stargaze.

“And you have to be the nicest stallion ever to listen to me and my drunken lovesick ramblings after what I did to you… Twilight deserves the very best… and you… you’re like the very best. If you weren’t the very best for her, I’d still be kicking your plot all over the yard right now,” Rainbow said, her words becoming even more slurred. “Or trying to. You hit like a runaway wagon.”

Snorting, Flash turned his head to look down at the pegasus draped against his side. He smiled and watched her for several minutes, saying nothing. He watched her eyes grow heavy and he felt his own doing the same. She was soft and warm, and it was chilly outside. Flash decided that Rainbow Dash wasn’t so bad.

“You haven’t made one pass at me and I’ve really been trying… I’m feeling kinda frustrated right now,” Rainbow Dash admitted. “You really do love her. I feel warm and fuzzy all over.”

“I know what you are up to,” Flash stated.

“So awesome…” Rainbow Dash murmured. “So, since you are a perfect gentlestallion, do you think you could hold back my mane when I puke in a few minutes and maybe help me clean up? I can’t feel my legs no more. Or my tail. Or my plot. I really hope I am not shooting out of both ends when it happens… I don’t want to die of embarrassment just yet. So can you help me even though I was a jerk?”

“It would be my privilege,” Flash replied.

“I’ll try not to spew or spurt on you,” Rainbow promised. “Here it comes…”

 

 

 

 

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