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 floated peacefully in the valley between two vast icy mountains over the ruined remains of the griffon outpost base. The little griffons, led by Lugus and Lyra, looted various stores and tried to make the newcomers comfortable. The other little griffons, those with clipped wings, made themselves comfortable upon the deck of The Scorned Mare as the night grew colder, huddling together with the former slaves who had been rescued.

Belowdecks, Bucky returned to his cabin to take off his armor, and upon entering his cabin, he saw Bon Bon and Fluttershy together upon the bed, both side by side, both in the ‘pony-loaf’ position that ponies tended to favour when wanting to be comfortable while talking to one another. Saying nothing, Bucky quietly began to remove his armor and place it in the trunk, securing his rifle and various odds and ends inside of the cavernous fold space.

 

 

His armor secured, Bucky flopped down on the bed, collapsing upon his side, not caring who else was in the bed currently. He had barely even bounced upon the mattress when he was immediately grabbed by Bon Bon, who hooked a foreleg over him, pulled him close, and began rubbing his withers.

“I’m sorry,” Fluttershy offered in a small voice, giving a nervous apology.

“For what?” Bucky asked in a tired and defeated sounding voice.

“For hurting you… for almost killing you,” Fluttershy squeaked softly. “I was so panicked… holding you made me feel safe. I couldn’t get close enough to you no matter what I did.”

“Think nothing of it,” Bucky said as he melted under Bon Bon’s ministrations.

“I was so scared,” Fluttershy said. “And when my body finally worked again, I had no control over it,” she explained as the first few tears began to fall.

“You had a moment as a pegasus where you needed an extra squeezy hug to feel safe,” Bucky said, nodding his head faintly in understanding. He grunted as Bon Bon coaxed a loud crackle from his spine and then went limp.

“I came here to get away from my friends because they keep wanting to talk about it… it being the part where something almost happened. And I don’t want to talk about that. It didn’t happen… you saved me,” Fluttershy whispered, turning her gaze away from Bucky and Bon Bon.

“How is Pinkie Pie?” Bucky asked, changing the subject and giving Fluttershy a means out of the current conversation, which he sensed she wanted.

“Oh… Pinkie Pie isn’t well. She hasn’t talked or done anything. She just lays there in her bunk with her eyes open. Unless she is asleep. If you put food in her mouth she swallows it. Nopony can seem to reach her,” Fluttershy answered.

“That’s not good,” Bucky grumbled.

“Do you know if Twilight Sparkle has tried to contact Celestia through Spike?” Bucky questioned, asking about anything that came to mind.

“She got a message from Princess Celestia a while back, and then she cast a spell so no more messages would come,” Fluttershy responded, now looking at Bucky again, her face serious with concentration. “I don’t know what the message was, or why she doesn’t want to talk to Princess Celestia.”

“Fluttershy… he’s gone,” Bon Bon whispered. “Poor thing can never sleep right.”

Looking over the now sleeping unicorn, Fluttershy breathed a low sigh of relief, feeling better having said what little she had said. She lowered her head down to Bucky’s side, her chin resting on the soft expanse of shaggy pelt just behind his ribs, and listened to the sounds of Bon Bon’s steady breathing. Finally feeling safe, Fluttershy closed her own eyes, the painful memories of what had happened no longer haunting her mind.

It wasn’t long until Bon Bon realised that she had two sleeping ponies in her care.

 

 

Flash Sentry watched as Twilight Sparkle distributed food to the gathered survivors of the military outpost. He sat silently, still unable to speak, not that he had much to say. Beside him was Rainbow Dash, who leaned on him wearily, moaning occasionally from pain.

“That was crazy what you did Flash,” Rainbow Dash whispered in a raspy voice.

Unable to say anything in reply, Flash Sentry grunted hoarsely.

“They came into the room so quickly. There was that dust bomb. One poured that stuff over Twilight’s horn as she was waking up. She started screaming and I didn’t know what to do,” Rainbow Dash said in a quavering whisper. “But you were there.”

Flash Sentry nodded as he felt Rainbow Dash’s wing wrap around him.

“I never once thought of my own safety Flash… in my whole life, I’ve never done anything so crazy… I saw you charge in and I just sort of followed you,” Rainbow Dash whimpered, her voice full of fear. “I keep having nightmares Flash.”

Flash Sentry slipped free of Rainbow Dash’s wing, extended his own, and then wrapped it around her, giving her a squeeze as he did so.

“I keep seeing Twilight with no legs and no eyes Flash… just a broken Twilight who does whatever they want to make the pain stop,” Rainbow Dash gibbered, the pegasus now trembling from fear. “I don’t even want to think about what they would have done to the rest of us.”

Taking a deep breath, Flash Sentry squeezed the frightened pegasus beside him again, his nostrils sending out puffs of steam into the frigid night air.

“Flash, there is something I want from you,” Rainbow Dash said in a low whisper, her voice husky with emotion. “I won’t interfere Flash… be with her Flash, make her happy. I won’t get in the way. You’ve won me over when you dived into the middle of all those griffons.” Falling silent, Rainbow Dash craned her head upwards, closed her eyes, and then planted a light kiss on Flash Sentry’s cheek.

Wishing he could say something, anything, to be able to utter some meaningful word, Flash Sentry sighed with regret and gave Rainbow Dash another squeeze. He saw Applejack off in the distance, on the other side of the crowd, and suddenly felt very awkward. Worried that Applejack might get the wrong idea, Flash Sentry relaxed his hold on Rainbow Dash and squirmed nervously.

“Applejack is giving us a funny look,” Rainbow Dash grunted in a gritty voice. “I suppose we’re being too friendly. I hope I haven’t screwed anything up. I was cold… uh, well, actually, I suppose I just wanted to feel safe… that sounds really stupid and I don’t know what to say… I’m gonna shut up now,” the blue pegasus mare stammered.

“You two look simply adorable together… blue and orange are marvellously fabulous contrasts with each other,” Rarity said as she sat down near Flash Sentry and Rainbow Dash.

“Rarity, this isn’t what it looks like, I was thanking… uh, well, I was thanking Flash Sentry for saving Twilight and that’s all,” Rainbow Dash mumbled nervously.

“Rainbow Dash… that little peck on the cheek, I have never seen you quite so affectionate,” Rarity murmured as she scooted a little closer to Rainbow Dash, batting her eyes rapidly.

“It isn’t like that Rarity! Tell ‘em Flash!” Rainbow Dash said in a panicked voice.

Grunting, Flash Sentry said nothing.

“Aw nuts, Flash can’t talk… Rarity, I would never betray Twilight… I kissed him because he saved her and he totally deserved it and you… you… you don’t even know what is going on or what I’m doing so don’t make any assumptions!” Rainbow Dash said, her voice rising a few decibels from nervousness and turning into a nervous squeak.

With a snort, Flash Sentry spread his wings and took off, knowing trouble when he saw it. He flew away rapidly, finding another spot on deck to sit and watch Twilight. He cast one final glance at Rainbow Dash and Rarity as he flew away.

Leaning in close to Rainbow Dash, Rarity batted her eyes and looked sideways at her friend. “You are so much fun to tease.”

“Ugh, you are a horrible pony,” Rainbow Dash muttered, rolling her eyes.

“You know, herds are becoming de rigeur,” Rarity suggested in a teasing tone.

“Rarity, cut it out… you and I both know that Twilight is too straight laced,” Rainbow Dash groaned. “She would never go for something like that. Besides. I’ve sent her all kinds of signals. She’s totally not into mares.”

“Love has a funny way of changing ponies,” Rarity said in a low voice.

“Like you and Coco?” Rainbow Dash inquired, looking into Rarity’s blue eyes.

“Coco makes me very happy. I never once in my life thought I’d fall in love with a mare. But I didn’t fall in love with a mare… I fell in love with Coco, who happens to be in a mare’s body. It’s complicated, but I plan to make it work,” Rarity said to Rainbow Dash as she pressed up against Rainbow Dash’s side.

“Well I plan to let Twilight go so she can be happy… plus, she’s a princess. Her life is complicated enough. Marriage is going to be a big deal for her. There’s no guarantee she’ll even be able to marry Flash Sentry, even if she wants to. Princess Celestia probably has somepony planned out for her or some noble cause for Twilight to follow that will leave her no time for marriage,” Rainbow Dash said in a bitter raspy growl.

Looking over at Applejack, Rarity locked eyes with the orange mare for a moment and then looked at Rainbow Dash, leaning in close, snoots almost touching. “If you had the chance, if you could, if she was willing, would you?”

“Would I what?” Rainbow Dash said thick-headedly.

“Would you form a herd with Twilight and Flash Sentry?” Rarity questioned, her voice a low throaty whisper.

“There is no point in answering that… look, Rarity, I just want to let go and move on. Just leave it be,” Rainbow Dash begged.

“Just answer me… Dashie,” Rarity pleaded breathily.

“I would in a heartbeat,” Rainbow Dash admitted. “But there would be a scandal.”

“Scandals come and go,” Rarity sighed. “I’ve been in a few.”

“Twilight is in enough trouble as it is… Spike got a message from Celestia and Twilight almost lost her marbles. She cast a spell so Spike couldn’t get any more messages from Celestia and she muttered to herself for like a half an hour,” Rainbow Dash whispered. “She burned the letter she was so angry.”

“Oh dear… that sounds dreadful,” Rarity said in genuine alarm.

“I think it is because Twilight used Celestia’s sun to burn away the city,” Rainbow Dash said in a low frightened voice. “Rarity?”

“Yes Rainbow?” Rarity responded.

“Do you think Twilight killed any ponies when she obliterated the city? I mean, slaves or ponies hidden away someplace in some prison?” Rainbow Dash questioned.

“What a horrible thought,” Rarity gasped, the realisation filling her brain with painful confusion and worry. “I never even thought about that.”

“I can’t stop thinking about it… when Bucky goes off and kills, he just sorta slogs through the mess and he comes eye to eye with what he kills… I don’t know that I could do that… again… after what happened… I can still see their faces Rarity… even though they were trying to kill me, I feel sick inside when I think of their faces. Twilight never saw any faces. She just called down fire and blew up the city. It was all so clean and neat Rarity, like everything else that Twilight does. She just burned away a city and all who lived there and she never had to look at all of those faces that died. She might have killed ponies or zebras and she will never know because she just scrubbed the city away with fire,” Rainbow Dash said, stammering at several points when emotion overtook her, her ears splaying out sideways. “Bucky is a monster, but he knows he is a monster. He admits it. He’s made some kind of peace with it and he kills and he laughs about it because he knows that he’s damned some part of himself and it's all become so funny… Twilight told me that she simply erased the city and that it was better to not think of the little details, but there was no way of knowing for certain what actually happened. I don’t know how I feel about what she did.”

“Twilight did what she felt was necessary. I don’t know if she was right. Is the world a safer place? Perhaps. Was the cost worth it? I’m certain that Twilight will, at some point in the near future, create a series of charts, graphs, and diagrams showing that statistically, what she did was justified and in everypony’s best interests, and then she will never speak of it again. She will run some fancy mathematics to offer evidence that the world is now a better place… and she will focus on the end results so the little details, the important details, do not drive her mad. She is going to need us Rainbow,” Rarity replied, shaking her head sadly.

“We live in a different world now… a world where Princess Twilight Sparkle burned away a city using the sun. I think you’re right Rarity, she is going to need us,” Rainbow Dash mused.

 

 

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