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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It wouldn’t be long until they were home, and then it would be time to face the music for everything. There was a lot to answer for for Bucky. His failure in the griffon empire, his marriage, and he had no doubt, allowing Twilight to get married. Celestia wanted Twilight’s innocence preserved, to keep her a clean approachable public figure.

Now, married into a herd, Twilight had made a powerful political statement, the very same political statement he had made, and Celestia was certain to have something to say about that. Bucky had no idea what might happen when they were finally home.

Sighing heavily, Bucky felt the particular pain one feels when they are ashamed of their own home country. After seeing Tradewinds, Equestria felt almost backwards. Herd marriage was common, so common that nopony cared about it and it wasn’t a big deal. Canterberry had even asked how the Equestrians could screw up something as simple as marriage.

The unicorns of Tradewinds had felt the cosmic decay as well, but they had been dealt with in quite a different fashion, with inquisitorial squads taking out problematic unicorns before they presented any real threat. Magic was highly regulated, very much more so than Equestria, and failure to graduate from the Academy of Sorcery meant death, removing unicorns that could not be safely trusted within society. It had been a grim lesson for Bucky, a lesson he did not know how he felt about just yet. As awful as it was, Tradewinds did not have a unicorn problem. The bad ones either died or fled the city and the Sea of Grass, moving to the Hinterlands or some other lawless place.

It troubled Bucky that he no longer knew the right thing to do about the unicorn problem. Were dangerous unicorns too dangerous to live? He thought of himself first and foremost, unsure of the answer.

He also found his mind creeping to a possible resource. Tradewinds had many type threes and skilled magic hunters. The Black Cloaks were almost non existent now, and Equestria’s new allies had a surplus of powerful wizards. Bucky quietly made a note that his new friends might be useful against the mirror travelers.

“Harper… you’ll be a good unicorn when you grow up, right?” Bucky inquired of his foal who was busy gnawing upon the ear of a big stuffed zebra, a gift from Tradewinds.

Halting mid-bite to look up at her mama, Harper’s eyes narrowed. “No,” she answered innocently, her muzzle shiny with drool.

“Aha! I knew it… you admit it! You’re going to be trouble,” Bucky announced.

“Bucky, have you lost your mind? Again?” Bon Bon asked, lifting her head up from the bed to look at Bucky, who was sprawled on the couch with Harper beside him.

“Why don’t you just come to bed,” Lyra begged, her voice sleepy. She yawned after she spoke, letting out a soft squeak. She reached out with her magic, placed Harper back in her crib with the stuffed zebra, lifted Bucky, and then dumped him unceremoniously into the bed.

“Is he like this every night?” Belisama inquired with her eyes still closed.

“If left to his own devices, yes. He needs Berry and Derpy to wear him out,” Bon Bon muttered, rolling over and pinning Bucky in place under her foreleg.

“I’m so pent up, I do believe I could wear them out,” Bucky grumbled.

“Bucky, you can’t even walk hardly right now,” Lyra argued. “You’re as weak as a kitten… ugh why is it when you can’t sleep, nopony else can either?”

“Somepony aboard this ship is having nookie… and it isn’t me,” Bucky mumbled in frustration. “Do you think Twilight was brave enough to go for the whole take on everypony at once experience?”

“Oh stars Bucky,” Lyra gasped, covering her ears with her forehooves.

“Well, they went into Twilight’s cabin and nopony or nobirdy has seen them since. They haven’t come out for a meal or anything… they’re going to dehydrate,” Bucky said, giving voice to his fear. “What if I kept Twilight safe this whole time and something bad happens because she dehydrates?”

“It is so difficult loving a madpony,” Bon Bon remarked as she gave Bucky a squeeze.

“This is really awkward,” Belisama peeped. “Can we talk about something else if there must be crazy midnight rantings?”

“Belisama dear, trust me, sex is a very different experience when you don’t have to worry about penis barbs or being hurt and you love and trust the one you're with,” Bon Bon said in a reassuring voice.

“Yeah… sex is nice when you love the one you're with and you know they won't hurt you,” Lyra seconded, pressing her face against Bon Bon’s back.

“Sex!” Harper shouted from her crib.

“Oh bother… there will be no getting rid of that,” Bon Bon said in exasperation.

“For some reason I cannot help but feel that somehow, we are responsible,” Bucky announced, pinned under Bon Bon’s affectionate embrace and unable to move.

“Sex?” Harper said again, this time her inflection one of a curious question.

“Derpy is going to kill us… we might have lived for the rest of our failures, but this isn’t going to go over well… this will be the very thing that pushes her right over the edge and makes her go all pegasusy on us,” Lyra groaned in a fearful voice.

“I’ll give my body so the rest of you might run,” Bucky offered in a low worried sibilant whisper.

“So noble Bucky… so noble,” Bon Bon said, giving Bucky another squeeze.

“I survived angry sex with Berry Punch… I’m thinking I might survive a round with Derpy,” Bucky said, recalling a drunken moment in the laboratory after he had given Derpy a glass pegasus and Berry Punch had screwed the self pity out of him.

“Sex,” Harper remarked casually.

Sniggering, Lyra covered her mouth with her hoof and tried not to laugh.

 

 

Once again, the time felt off as Bucky watched the dawn. Traveling around the world had caused his internal clock to fail completely, and sleep was even more difficult to achieve than before. Staring out the porthole window, Bucky saw the first rays of gold and pink as the sun dawned behind them.

“Sun,” Harper announced from her crib. “Harper loves sun.”

“Very good Harper,” Bucky said in a distracted voice, his stomach rumbling loudly.

“Want out,” Harper begged.

“So does mama,” Bucky agreed from where he was still pinned under Bon Bon.

 

 

On the deck of The Scorned Mare, Ripple was busy doing her daily wing-ups, pushing herself to the very limits of what she was capable of. Near her, her griffon guards were doing the same, and there was a great deal of grunting, peeping, and growling as the griffons approached various states of exhaustion.

This morning, Ripple was shooting for two hundred, a nice round number. She led by example, and her guard were motivated to keep up with her. From outside of her field of vision, she heard a peep and a thump of a small body hitting the deck planks.

“Is that you Private Grunion?” Ripple asked as she approached the one hundred and twenty mark, barely even breathing hard.

“I’m still going!” Private Grunion cried out in sharp reply, his tone defiant.

“I’m going to make something out of you Private Grunion… even if it kills you,” Ripple announced as she passed the one hundred and twenty mark. “Every single one of you little hairballs… I’m going to turn into something so beautiful that just looking at you will make dicks hard and make coonts go moist. You’re all going to be somebirdy. You came to me as chicks, but I am going to turn you into the little killers that nature intended for you to be. Now who are you?”

“Ripple’s Raptors!” the unit cried out in unison.

“Seems I’m still dealing with chicks… I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that!” Ripple retorted angrily, now approaching one hundred and thirty. “You annoying little dick dribbles better stow your shite and get yourselves presentable for Princess Luna.”

“RIPPLE’S RAPTORS!” the group barked out together.

“That’s still piss poor but I guess I have to live with it,” Ripple grunted as she heard another exhausted body go thudding to the deck. “Once I get your wings warmed up, we’re going to have a live combat exercise, and one of you special little feather brains I’m gonna pummel until you’re black and blue while the rest of you beat the crap out of one another,” she announced as she passed the one hundred and thirty mark.

 

 

Leaning heavily upon the table for support, Bucky looked over at a red eyed Twilight Sparkle, watching as she scooped cottage cheese onto her plate from a serving bowl and then added tinned pineapple, the pineapple coming from the food stores they had raided from the griffon base.

“Well, how was the first night of married life?” Bucky inquired, no trace of amusement in his tone, his voice full of concern.

“Nothing happened,” Twilight Sparkle said blankly. “We held one another in a big pile… and Rainbow and I talked while Flash just sort of grunted or made his feelings known. It… it was really nice actually… it made me feel a lot better.”

“That’s good. Trust is important,” Bucky said in a low voice so he wouldn’t disturb others who were eating. “Don’t rush things Twilight. Everything will happen in time and believe me, when you do finally get around to things, it will be worth it. But there is no need to rush.”

“Thanks Bucky… that actually means a lot,” Twilight murmured as she dumped a portion of tinned beans upon her plate. “Rainbow Dash has carried a torch for me for a long time. Ever since we watched Berry Punch kick your mother in the foal hole.”

“So I take it she was finally honest about everything,” Bucky responded, leaning on his right foreleg and struggling to sit up.

“She was so relieved to finally let it out… she did nothing but cry all night. We all did actually. Not just about mixed signals, but everything that happened. I’ve never been magically helpless before… it bothers me. Magic is what I am… whatever that goop was, it completely nullified me and left me helpless... Flash Sentry nearly died and would have if Sentinel hadn’t done what he did… and poor Rainbow… she’s a fast pegasus, not a strong pegasus… she was no match for that many griffons but that didn’t stop her from trying,” Twilight said in a halting reply.

“So I take it that the healing has begun,” Bucky said, looking at Twilight Sparkle in concern, his swollen ears sticking out at odd angles.

“Yeah Bucky… I think it has actually. Rainbow Dash said she finally felt safe last night and then she really cried… those really big sobs that completely take over your whole body,” Twilight answered, looking down at her food dully. “I hope you know what I mean.”

Bucky nodded weakly, thinking back to how Celestia had wept, how she had held him after the trial, letting the grief and the poison out, and how she had been completely incapacitated by her grief.

“If you wouldn’t have woke up at the moment that you did… I don’t even like to think about it,” Twilight said with a visible shudder that shook her whole body. “Part of me still feels so numb inside.”

“Twilight… please, listen to me carefully… you must reclaim that part of yourself. If it stays numb for too long… a little important part of you dies… trust me,” Bucky warned. “Find some way to make yourself feel again, even if it hurts and you don’t think you can bear it… you have Flash and Rainbow now… they can get you through it.”

“I’ll take that into consideration,” Twilight replied as she stuffed a spoonful of beans into her mouth.

“Look, it might be difficult to talk about, but I know my sisters talked to you. I’m dying to know what was said,” Bucky said in a very low voice as he changed the subject.

“I am aware of certain things now… I still need time to take everything in and figure out what I believe. I was told to ask you… how can we free Celestia? They said that you would know what I meant when I said it,” Twilight Sparkle responded after she swallowed.

His whole body trembling, Bucky tried to take in Twilight’s words and had difficulty.

“They said they want their sisters back… that there is a dark time coming where the world will need the might of five alicorn sisters,” Twilight Sparkle said, looking confused.

“Twilight… you know how you are about your parents? And how you live in fear of your father raising his eyebrow? Well… both you and Celestia have something in common… she is afraid of disappointing the one she calls her parent,” Bucky explained, shocked that the words came out so smoothly. “And I don’t know that we can free her.”

“Bucky… I know what the alicorn of war does now… I mean, I sort of knew before, because we’ve talked a little, but I believe you now… I really hope that five alicorn sisters aren’t needed to stop you… you’re my friend and I owe you so much… it pains me to think that one day, you could potentially end everything there is,” Twilight whispered in a dry raspy voice filled with fear, one ear twitching alarmingly.

“I will never allow that to happen,” Bucky grunted in a surprisingly forceful voice.

 

 

 

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