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 Scorned Mare moved swiftly under Bucky’s guidance, heading towards an archipelago that Tannis had pointed out on the map. The ship moved silently, and Bucky steered into the clouds to feed the cloud scoop.

Beside him, Lyra watched, learning the manual controls as she observed Bucky’s deft movements, her face growing more and more thoughtful.

“Bucky, love, how did you learn how to operate an airship?” Lyra asked, saying the question that had popped into her mind. She scratched her head with one front hoof and prodded Bucky with the other. “How?”

“Luna taught me how to do it in dreams,” Bucky grunted in reply.

“Oh, that makes sense. Can you teach me through communing?” Lyra inquired.

“I can teach some of what I know, you know how it is. Communing can teach the basics, but not the subtle nuances,” Bucky replied, enjoying Lyra’s lingering touch.

“I know… I really want to learn… I like airships. I can feel the storm inside of the gasbag. I can hear it singing to me Bucky… so much storm magic,” Lyra stated, looking over at Bucky’s withered face. She trailed her hoof along Bucky’s neck, causing him to shiver.

Pressing her advantage, Lyra threw both forelegs around Bucky’s neck and embraced him, hugging him tightly. “I can’t sleep right if you aren’t in the bed,” she whispered, her voice nervous. “I’m scared Bucky… something feels wrong here.”

Snaking his surviving foreleg around Lyra’s body, Bucky pulled her close, pressing his muzzle into the soft fuzzy place just behind her ear, breathing in her scent. He felt her shudder, her body trembling from his touch, and he held her tightly, treasuring her warm body against his, glad for the hug. Lyra smelled like storms and springtime, she had a strong scent of hyacinths from her perfume or her soap, and it clung to his nostrils. He trailed his stump along the base of her ribs, and took a brief moment of perverse pleasure from hearing her breathing stutter slightly, little needy gasps escaping her lips.

“Bucky, be honest with me, I want to know, do you ever want to feel me from the inside?” Lyra whispered, her lips brushing against Bucky’s throat as she spoke.

“Of course I do Lyra, but I am content with this,” Bucky breathed, his words causing Lyra’s ear to flicker. “I enjoy our closeness like this… these moments where you feel safe enough to hold me close and not panic. I treasure these moments, and they are far more important than feeling you from the inside.”

“Thank you Bucky.”

 

 

“You are an amazing knitter… Goshawk, am I correct with your name?” Fluttershy said, her voice a little raspy but improving in the fresh air.

“My name is Goshawk, and thank you,” Goshawk replied, taking her eyes off of Agnetha for a moment to look at Fluttershy. “She looks like a different creature.”

“Oh, I agree. I think the shower did her good, and the brushing will make her pelt shiny,” Fluttershy said in a low sweet voice that radiated calm. “She’s safe with my friends. And Tannis is off talking with Lugus, so you can relax a little.”

“I am always on duty,” Goshawk said in a raspy reply.

“I can see why,” Fluttershy answered, her needles clicking as she worked, the salty breeze ruffling her now pink again mane.

“What do you mean?” Goshawk asked, swiveling her head around to look at Fluttershy. “I do not follow the meaning of your words.”

“Oh… um, well, I’m sorry -cough- well… it is pretty obvious that you love her a great deal, even if you don’t show it in the usual way,” Fluttershy stammered nervously.

“Is it that obvious?” Goshawk questioned, her hard voice softening.

“Well, probably not to most, but to me it sure is,” Fluttershy replied, offering up a gentle smile to the griffoness.

Sighing, her feathers ruffling, Goshawk somehow looked incredibly sad, even though she did not have lips to frown with. “I have a secret,” Goshawk admitted.

“You do?” Fluttershy squeaked in surprise.

“I hope to live long enough to see her marry. Tannis is good for her. I have high hopes. I want to see her have cubs. I’m her mother,” Goshawk confessed.

“But she doesn’t know?” Fluttershy asked, her question a pained whimper.

“She can’t know. It is part of the deal I made… Fleshrender, before he became king, he developed a fancy for me. I knew better than to refuse him, because he would just take me anyway, there would have been no stopping him, I convinced him to give me a cub and I told him that he could do anything and everything he wanted to do with me and I would willingly submit to his desires… that I wouldn’t try clawing his eyes out… and he agreed. He allowed me to raise her as her nanny, and eventually I became her chaperone. But she is not to know I am her mother,” Goshawk answered, hesitating a few times as she spoke.

“But why?” Fluttershy inquired and then cleared her throat.

“For her own safety and happiness. If something happens, and I have to protect her, it is only her nanny or her chaperone that dies… not her mother. She will run away or flee and have a chance to keep living while I buy her time. If she knows that I’m her mother, the foolish young thing will stay to fight, to protect me, and will only die by my side needlessly,” Goshawk explained in a pained voice. “Fleshrender has been a lousy father, but in this issue we agree… she must be protected. I hope that he loves her in his own way, but that is a mother’s foolish hope.”

“I understand,” Fluttershy whispered, shaking her head. “A mother has to protect her young no matter what,” she said, reaching down and rubbing her stomach. “I want to be a mother,” the buttery yellow pegasus confessed. “I want to rub my tummy and know there is something in there.”

“I want to see her marry. I have somehow kept her alive all of this time, and there have been close calls. Fleshrender has rivals. I approve of Tannis… even if it seems like I don’t,” Goshawk said, her feathers fluffing out in the breeze.

“You’re a good mama,” Fluttershy praised, the sort of sincere honest compliment that only a creature as innocent as Fluttershy could say.

“Thank you… I have spent my whole life wondering and doubting myself,” Goshawk muttered, her beak clicking together as she spoke.

 

 

The Scorned Mare sat in the water, bobbing in the waves, her anchor dropped into the water to secure her. She floated a ways out, off of a long sandbar, a perfect place to set up a temporary camp to spend part of the day on.

Driftwood was gathered to start a fire. The day was windy and there was an unmistakable chill in the air, the hint that the seasons were changing. Rarity was busy setting out a couple of blankets where a pony or a griffon might sprawl out and get comfortable.

There was a vast tidal pool sunk into the rocky shore at the end of the sandbar, and it was filled with fish that got trapped when the tide went out. Sentinel was already hard at work pulling fish out of the pool, subduing them and ripping their heads off.

 

 

“I am so glad they set up their own campfire to cook fish over,” Rarity said in a low voice, her eyes darting around to look at her friends.

“It is their way… it doesn’t make them bad Rarity,” Twilight said, looking at Rarity.

“I know that, but it smells awful. I actually wasn’t trying to complain, I was being grateful. I suppose I complain too much,” Rarity answered, looking rather dejected.

“Sorry Rarity,” Twilight offered.

“Think nothing of it,” Rarity returned.

“What is Pinkie Pie doing?” Applejack asked, watching the pink pony digging in the sand with Ripple.

“Hunting for seashells I think,” Rainbow Dash said, the wind whipping her prismatic mane around her face.

“Funny, but the smell of cooking fish doesn’t seem to be bothering Bon Bon or Lyra. They’re both over there with Bucky and the griffons and having a nice time,” Twilight observed, watching the other group with keen interest.

“I think I’ll join them,” Fluttershy stated, rising up on her hooves and then departing, carefully stepping through the loose sand, the wind ruffling her feathers and musing her mane as she walked.

“What do you think it is like?” Rarity asked.

Looking at her friend, Twilight felt puzzled. Rarity was staring off at the other group, her eyes narrowed, her face thoughtful with her brows furrowed. The wind had completely destroyed Rarity’s carefully coiffed mane.

“What is what like?” Twilight inquired, seeking clarification.

“For Bon Bon and Lyra. His wives. What do you think it is like, kissing him? To feel those bladed fangs… during more… intimatemoments, do you think he nibbles on their necks like the stallions are said to do in those tawdry romance novels? What do you think it feels like? To have teeth like that so close to such soft fleshy places? How they must trust him… to be so close to such an animal, what do you think it feels like?” Rarity questioned, shivering several times as she spoke, her eyes never leaving Bucky.

“Rarity, have you lost your mind?” Rainbow Dash whispered in a low voice, staring at Rarity while she stared off at Bucky.

“Are you infatty-ated or whatever the word is with him?” Applejack asked, prodding Rarity with a hoof.

“For a time, I was worried that I was,” Rarity replied with total honesty, trusting in her friends during a moment of vulnerability. “But then I realised that I was curious. He is so unlike us now. He and Sentinel. They’re ponies, but not ponies.”

“I think I understand,” Applejack responded slowly, looking over at Bucky. “You were so caught up in curiousity that it probably felt like a crush.”

“I like thrill seeking, but I don’t want to feel sharp teeth nibbling at my neck or against my lips. That’s creepy,” Rainbow Dash muttered, shaking her head as she spoke. “I watched Gilda eat a rat once. It made me sick to my stomach. I could never watch her eat ever again.”

“I’ve been around a couple of Luna’s guards… they’re not bad ponies, but I can’t stand to watch them eat. They have their own mess hall for a good reason. It makes me queasy to even watch Bucky, Sentinel, and Lugus eating sardines out of a can,” Flash Sentry remarked, his eyes darting around to look at different ponies as he spoke.

“I know Spike sometimes eats meat. Fluttershy gives it to him. Mostly fish I think. I hope. I really don’t want to think about it, and it makes me feel nauseous to smell Spike’s breath after he’s been over at Fluttershy’s house,” Twilight Sparkle said, her voice low, her mane whipping in the wind. She scooted a little closer to Flash Sentry, and her gaze settled into the blazing fire she and her friends were gathered around.

“Fluttershy told me that she’s tried fish,” Rarity said in a soft voice full of confusion. “She told me one day at the spa. She told me that she wouldn’t feed her animal friends anything she wouldn’t eat herself. I asked her what she meant… she said that she sometimes tries their food, to make sure that it tastes good and is pleasant for them… she told me she’s eaten fish, and I can only assume anything else she feeds her animals. It was such a shock to me. Sweet innocent Fluttershy… the last pony I thought would try flesh.”

“Sort of makes sense though,” Rainbow Dash stated, her gaze on Fluttershy, who was now sitting at the other campfire, snuggled close to Yew Wood. “I mean, Fluttershy. Nature’s Wonder.”

“She’s so sweet and innocent… so demure… so graceful, and yet she seems so happy with them over there. She seems out of place somehow… yet she belongs. Yew has one eye, she isn’t a predator, but she certainly belongs over there. She’s a killer. The griffons, Sentinel, Buckminster… all predatory. Sharp beaks and pointy fangs. They all belong together. And somehow, Fluttershy seems to fit in with them just fine. I don’t understand,” Rarity mused.

“Fluttershy is what she is. I done gave up trying to understand her a long time ago. She’s tamed Discord and I’m alright with that. She’s made my orchard better with bats, and I’m okay with that, but it took a while. Flutters just prefers the company of animals. And I ain’t saying that in a bad way, so don’t start with me y’all,” Applejack interjected.

“I’m glad that Fluttershy is the way she is,” Twilight stated.

 

 

 

 

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