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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Bucky awoke to the sounds of his belly growling, a loud squelching gurgle that jarred him from sleep. He was alone in the bed, and as cold terror flooded through his body, he came to wakefulness covered in sweat and shuddering.

He sat in the darkness of his cabin, shivering violently, his teeth chattering together painfully. Bucky feared biting his own tongue. He let out a nervous giggle that borderlined dangerously upon a cackle. Today had almost been more than he could bear at certain points. He wasn’t too bothered by killing the adult griffons, but slaughtering the loyal fledglings had nearly been his undoing. He thought about Fleshrender’s frantic admissions of the breeding programs to produce the cruelest griffons possible, and how it was necessary to eat the weak so they wouldn’t pollute future bloodlines, but instead give more strength to the already strong. Everything in the city, everything about their society, it was all part of a massive machine that produced madness.

Something about his soul now felt thin, like a spot of fabric that had been worn down and made flimsy, and Bucky was painfully aware of its existence. He let out a wordless cry of guilt and pain as he felt the walls of the room closing in around him. He hadn’t asked for this to end this way. Not like this. He had felt so much hate today, and even though he was not an alicorn, it gave him power. His enemy hated him, and it had made him strong.

Bucky came to the stunning revelation that there was now a lot less hate in the world. In his dream, where he had seen a glimpse of the future, he had grown powerful off of the hate that lay festering in Griffonholm. In his dream, the griffons were his most devoted minions, his most loyal servants. The hatred of the griffons had given him deific levels of power, and now, that reserve was broken, burned off of the map.

Now he had their love, their devotion, and he was their king. He had broken their hatred. He had broken their backs and their savage hold upon the world. Bucky took a deep breath and sighed, realising that love was the only way to stop him. He thought of Belisama and wondered if she could love him, if he could love her, and if Lugus’ advice was what was perhaps the best thing for the entire world. Could he love his enemy? Would it weaken his horrible inner nature? He didn’t know.

After the cleansing of Griffonholm, Bucky realised that he should be theoretically weaker now that the world had been freed from terror and hatred. Bucky wanted to be weaker. But was he weaker or was he fooling himself with false hope? He rubbed his throat with his stump, lying there in the dark, pondering his own divine nature and wondering if he had taken one step back or one step forward with the terrible events of this day.

Could he make the griffons love him? Could he make the griffons love, period?

Hearing a vivid crunching sound, Bucky recalled all to well how he had crushed Twilight Sparkle’s skull in that fateful dream, ending her life after her refusal to be his broodmare. He shook his head, wishing for the nightmarish sound to go away. Things moved in the shadows, and those things were a part of Bucky. He was the boogeypony and he had come to Griffonholm.

“This wasn’t how things were supposed to end… I was supposed to keep Twilight innocent… I was supposed to end this peacefully… if I had more skill at magic our attackers would have never broke into our room… my wards would have kept them away.”

No, a voice inside of his head said to him. No, you should hate Twilight Sparkle for what has happened. She could have cast those wards. She could have saved everypony. This was her failure.

“No!” Bucky grunted, flopping around on the bed, his sheets soaked with sweat. “No, not her fault, I refuse to hate her for my failure… I refuse to hate… I REFUSE TO HATE!”

The bed froze over, the soaked sheets now as stiff as iron. The walls of the room were now covered in a thick layer of ice. The room crackled with hoarfrost and steam puffed from Bucky’s nostrils.

“I choose to love,” Bucky reminded himself. “If the griffons want a king I will be their slave instead. As for Twilight, I will keep my loathing turned inwards, where it belongs,” he uttered in a wavering whisper. He panted in the dark, the cold air filling his lungs and invigourating him.

He sat in the dark, collecting his thoughts, trying to calm himself, trying to take deep steady breaths to make his heart slow down. There was still the issue of Huginn and Muninn, and what to do with them. The land was ruined. It was going to need to be healed. There were still griffon camps in the Hinterlands that would need to be found and rooted out.

He panicked when the door opened, and then he saw Bon Bon standing in the entrace, looking around the room at all of the ice, and he saw her staring at him, her face full of concern. He could see her white teeth for a moment as light from the hall flooded into the cabin.

“Bucky,” Bon Bon whispered, crossing into room, the door shutting behind her.

In a moment, she was in the bed with him, and Bucky could feel her shiver as she laid down on the icy sheets. He felt a strong foreleg hook over his body and pull him close. Suddenly, he was warm, secure in her embrace, the world forgotten about for a moment. He pressed his snoot into the tender flesh of her throat, nuzzling along the graceful curve of her neck, finding that secret hollow just under her broad jaw. The fine hairs of her pelt tickled his nostrils, causing him to have electric tingles all up and down his back. He kissed her, little kisses that trailed lightly over her throat, and then up the side of her jaw, and he felt her body tense as she held him. He sniffed and snuffled, taking in her scent, and he pressed his whole body against hers.

“I know what you need,” Bon Bon whispered. “And it is yours if you require it,” she offered in a breathless gasp. “If you take me right now, I won’t stop you. Lyra already knows, we’ve talked.”

“I just need you… just you… like this,” Bucky grunted in reply, holding on to Bon Bon tightly, feeling temptation only for a moment before his willpower took over and he realised that his trust with Bon Bon and Lyra is what made him strong. Love.

The mare’s body shifted against him, her hind leg snaking up over his hip. He felt his sweaty testicles pressed against the searing heat of her teats, where were full and swollen with milk. He inhaled sharply, smelling sweat and the faint scent of arousal coming from Bon Bon as they continued to press tighter together.

“There is one thing I want from you,” Bucky breathed, his breath blowing hot against Bon Bon’s neck and parting the fine hairs of her pelt. “I hunger…”

 

 

“Any sign of Bucky?” Twilight asked Applejack, who looked exhausted.

“He’s done holed up somewhere,” Applejack answered, looking over the rail at the dead darkness below where a city used to be. “Get enough sleep?”

“I don’t know Applejack,” Twilight Sparkle replied, shaking her head from doubt. “I had strange dreams but I can’t remember what they were.”

“Or you don’t wanna remember after what you’ve done,” Applejack responded. The earth pony mare turned and looked at her friend. “You gonna be okay?”

“I just feel numb Applejack. It kinda scares me,” Twilight confessed to her friend. “I know something is wrong, but I can’t feel what’s wrong. How are Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie?”

“Fluttershy woke up for a while, and then went back to sleep on her own. She wanted Bucky or Discord… didn’t want to talk to the rest of us… she just cried, said she kept feeling something poking her between her legs… she was scared… Pinkie Pie is still checked out Twilight… I’m real scared. Pinkie Pie just lays there with her eyes wide open not moving and barely breathing. She closed her eyes for a while and we figured out she was asleep. And I’m worried about Rarity. She’s been without sleep since this whole thing started, she’s still in the infirmary with Agnetha, running herself ragged, looking after every little detail. She sewed up my frog. Hurt like cussfire,” Applejack said, blurting out everything she could think of.

“What about you?” Twilight asked, worried about the mare beside her.

“I’m angry Twi… I’m angry that I didn’t kill more… I’m angry because your face is all blistered and burnt… I’m angry because Rainbow Dash had to throw herself into a whole mess of griffons and got the stuffing beat out of her. Flash Sentry still ain’t got his voice, and I’m right angry ‘bout that too. I’m powerful angry Twi, and it makes my insides hurt,” Applejack confessed.

“I hope Flash Sentry will be okay… I like his voice,” Twilight admitted with a whimpering cry, a faint equine sound of grief.

“Agnetha said his windpipe was near crushed,” Applejack murmured in a low voice. “She also said that most ponies would have died from being strangled. You know what I think?”

“What do you think Applejack?” Twilight responded.

“I think Flash lived ‘cause he loves you and I think that if’n you had the common sense of a garden stone, you’d marry him Twilight. He done threw himself down on you to protect your body,” Applejack answered, turning to look Twilight in the eye.

Wrapping a wing around Applejack and pulling her close, Twilight Sparkle took comfort from the now much smaller earth pony.

“You keep getting bigger, Twi,” Applejack stated.

Grunting, Twilight said nothing but continued to hold on to her friend, feeling the earth pony’s warmth against her body which stood out in sharp contrast compared to the chilly night air.

“You know Twi… I know how you feel about big shindigs and whatnot. I know you don’t like them. And I know that a royal wedding is probably what is scaring you off from having any sort of meaningful relationship, especially after what happened with Cadance and your brother,” Applejack said, removing her hat, holding it against her barrel with one front hoof, and leaning her head against Twilight Sparkle’s neck.

“It scares me something awful Applejack. I can’t face that kind of pressure. Celestia would turn it all into some big public spectacle just like she did for my coronation or Buckminster’s coronation, and I’d let her walk all over me and just play along even though I’d hate every moment of it,” Twilight admitted in a fragile sounding voice. “I hate my life sometimes.”

“You know, sugarcube, Bucky is the commander of this here vessel, and as commander, he could marry you off to Flash if you asked him real sweet like in that way you have when you want something,” Applejack suggested.

“You really think he would?” Twilight asked in reply.

“You’re like his close cousin… or sister I reckon… of course he would. Celestia can’t possibly be any angrier when you two get home than she is already going to be. Might as well go on ahead and live it up a little before you got to go back and face the music. If you are going to get your backside tanned, you might as well do something worthy of the whoopin’ you’re about to receive,” Applejack said, her words honest and blunt.

“I want to be married,” Twilight admitted. “After everything that’s happened, we nearly got killed Applejack. We almost died. Or worse… the worse part scares me Applejack. I’ve never had a stallion on my back before and when I was hauling Flash Sentry through the halls, all I could think about was wishing he was on my back for better circumstances,” she whispered, her cheeks turning bright red.

“It’s a special feeling Twi, trusting somepony like that, to feel them against you, breathing on your neck, nuzzling around in your mane, and being close enough that it isn’t embarrassing or weird… you can just enjoy it and not be all tense about it. I hope you get that with Flash,” Applejack said as she rubbed her cheek against Twilight’s neck. “I think it will do you good.”

“It would make me happy…”

 

 

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