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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“I’m so glad that we could reach an understanding,” Moonbow said in a soft voice, looking at Diamond Tiara as she spoke. Moonbow, smiling, looked pleased with everything that had been said, every word discussed, and her sharp toothed smile was evidence of her happiness. Her eyes darted to Sentinel for a moment and then back to Diamond Tiara.

“I’m not sure this is an understanding,” Diamond Tiara answered in a nervous voice, shaking her head. “I’m so young. I make so many mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes. I’m not saying this is a mistake, but this seems like such a responsibility to take on when you are my age.”

“Yet you have,” Moonbow said as she shifted her weight, causing her iron collar to clank. “You chose to get involved knowing full well of the eventual outcome.”

“You’ve changed Moonbow,” Sentinel remarked, looking at Moonbow, his eyes curious as he squinted in the afternoon sunlight.

“Of course I have,” Moonbow agreed. “Mistress has shaped me. Before, I was like formless clay. Now, I have shape. A purpose. I am being built for my task.”

“This seems overwhelming, deciding my whole future while I’m so young,” Diamond Tiara whimpered, feeling slightly panicked. She looked at Sentinel and silently begged for some kind of support and then she looked back at Moonbow.

“You are always free to say no and walk away,” Sentinel stated as he reached out with his wing and touched Diamond Tiara, rubbing his central knuckle along her ribs. “What you have to understand I think, is that Moonbow and I cannot say no and walk away. We have duties. Our lives are already given to a cause. We do not live for ourselves.”

“I do understand that,” Diamond Tiara said, looking at Sentinel and blinking.

“See, Sentinel, we do have an understanding,” Moonbow said in a calm voice. She turned to look at Diamond Tiara. “If you want to be with Sentinel, you have to take everything that comes with him, for good or for ill. At this point in his life, he must find future life mates to assist us with our work. You need to either accept this and join us or reject this and step aside, so Sentinel has a good chance of finding others.”

“I don’t want to step aside,” Diamond Tiara snapped, a scowl puckering her face into a sour expression. “I’m just a little scared about dedicating my whole life to something at this age,” she confessed.

“We have,” Sentinel stated, looking down at the grass. His lips moved for a moment but no words came out. Tongue tied, the colt gave up and remained silent. His eyes turned to Moonbow, who gave him a knowing nod.

“I chose this. I chose these irons. I surrendered my entire existence to become a Myrmidon. Sentinel wears his own irons, but they are not the sort that can be seen. In service, there is purpose,” Moonbow said in a smooth voice that radiated serenity.

“I want purpose,” Diamond Tiara admitted. “I’m a spoiled brat and a bully. I’ve ruined my whole life and most ponies I know don’t trust me. When we talk about careers and jobs in school, I think about having to face every single pony that hates me doing some sort of job and it feels so overwhelming. I’ve actually thought about killing myself on-”

Diamond Tiara’s words were cut off by a sharp blow to the side of her cheek, which sent her sprawling over backwards in the grass. The pink filly cried out and covered her face, trying to nurse her stinging cheek. Looming over her was a large dark shadow that blocked out the sun.

“I never want to hear you talk of suicide again,” Moonbow commanded in an angry voice, a faint soft growl coming from deep within her barrel.

“It’s so overwhelming,” Diamond Tiara repeated in a whine as she tried to squirm away from Moonbow, still rubbing her cheek.

“Of course it is overwhelming,” Moonbow grunted, her eyes narrowing into glaring slits. “You’re being a stupid, mindless, ignorant little filly. You think about facing this future of yours alone, do you not?”

“Yes,” Diamond Tiara answered as she began to tear up and sniffle a bit.

“Then embrace purpose or continue to face this future of yours alone,” Moonbow said in a chilling monotone. “Perhaps that little wing slap knocked some sense into you. We shall see. Maybe a week spent here in irons might do you good… to experience the contrast of being free versus the feeling of truly being overwhelmed by the weight of your future. You know nothing of being overwhelmed and being fearful of the future. All you have to worry about is the painful sting of humiliation and facing the pain of your past.”

“Moonbow, that’s not fair,” Sentinel protested.

“Silence male,” Moonbow demanded.

“Make me,” Sentinel growled, his hackles rising as he rose up on all fours, his lips curling back from his teeth as he snarled out a challenge.

“I’m pleased, you’ve grown fierce,” Moonbow responded, her face softening into a smile. “And I find you attractive in this state.”

“She isn’t like us. She’s soft, but she has her own strength,” Sentinel said, his expression softening. The colt also liked the idea that Moonbow liked his defiance. He looked at one filly, then the other, and realised that he was going to have very different roles to fill for each of them.

“I give in,” Diamond Tiara cried, still laying on her side in the grass.

“What?” Sentinel asked, looking at the pink earth pony.

“I can’t face my future on my own. I know what I’ve done to my life. I keep thinking about killing myself or running away from my problems,” Diamond Tiara admitted, flinching as she spoke and waiting for another painful slap for mentioning suicide. She waited for a full minute and when no slap came, she opened her eyes slowly and saw Moonbow looking down at her, the much larger lunar pegasus filly’s expression blank.

“With pain comes honesty, or so Mistress says,” Moonbow stated in a matter of fact voice. “It is time to let go of your sense of self little one. Surrender yourself to purpose. Give yourself to the service of others and I promise you, these fears of yours will melt away.”

“I want them gone,” Diamond Tiara breathed.

“Then we have reached an understanding,” Moonbow said once again as she gently touched Diamond Tiara with her wing. “You belong to us now, we look after our own. That is our way. The future is still uncertain, but at least you will not be facing it alone.”

“It’s funny, but I feel better,” Diamond Tiara admitted as she sniffled.

 

 

Princess Twilight Sparkle could scarcely believe her eyes. The Element of Laughter was gone, the necklace and the gemstone had vanished in a flash, and now Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich were holding one another in the hospital bed. Neither one of them had a clear memory of what had happened, just that they had been bound together and something about a ball of twine, which upon mentioning, had caused Pinkie Pie to go off on a tangent about banana pudding.

“So neither of you really remembers what happened?” Twilight asked.

“No… I kinda remember... a rock farm? Maybe?” Cheese Sandwich replied.

“You know, I’m thinking that Mister Grumpy needs lesson in laughter,” Pinkie Pie announced. “There is appropriate laughter and inappropriate laughter.”

“Pinkie Pie, don’t do anything stupid,” Twilight warned.

“Dare to be stupid,” Cheese Sandwich muttered.

“Can I go home?” Pinkie Pie said. “I wonder how the Cake twins are. I’m worried.”

“The doctors are discussing your release now,” Twilight responded.

“I feel so very happy… I remember there was some kind of party. And Cheesy and I got married or something but when I think about it, all I see are balloons,” Pinkie Pie said, gazing into Cheese’s eyes as she lay in the bed.

“Balloons,” Cheese murmured in agreement.

“Getting any information out of you two is a hopeless endeavour,” Twilight grumbled, shaking her head. “I give up.”

 

 

“I can’t believe that Bucky did that with his stump,” Derpy said in a low voice as she sat at the kitchen table. In front of her was a stack of waffles, steaming, covered in butter and mixed fruit preserves.

“It scratches a deep itch,” Berry replied, closing her eyes as she spoke. “I didn’t even know I had that itch. Did you have a nice time?” she questioned as she lifted up her teacup and inhaled the fragrant steam.

“Oh yes,” Derpy agreed, nodding as she stabbed her fork into her waffles.

“What’s this about a stump?” Bon Bon asked as she came around the corner.

Giggling, Derpy stuffed a bite of waffles into her mouth to avoid having to answer the question. She chewed enthusiastically, smacking her lips and getting red mixed fruit preserves all over her muzzle.

“Bucky found a creative use for his stump,” Berry said in a calm collected voice, her serenity unphased. She took a sip of tea and looked at Bon Bon with lucid relaxed eyes.

Bon Bon looked puzzled, then confused, and finally, she looked horrified, her eyes going wide and her mouth falling open. “He didn’t!”

Swallowing a gulp of tea, Berry nodded. “He did.”

“He did what?” Barley asked, stumbling into the kitchen and making his way to a chair. The old stallion was stiff and having a hard time moving. The cold nights and somewhat warm days were plaguing his joints and making him stiff.

“Barley, you don’t want to know,” Bon Bon cried out and then fled the kitchen, her purpose for coming there now forgotten.

Easing himself into a chair, Barley looked at Berry. “You look like you’ve just been properly shagged,” he announced as he began to pour himself some tea. “Care to tell your old uncle what’s going on?”

“Well, if only I could find the words, but I’m stumped,” Berry tittered, setting down her teacup before she spilled anything.

“Daft headed filly,” Barley grumbled, shaking his head.

“Bucky found a use for his stump,” Derpy mumbled around a mouthful of food.

“Ach… crivens,” Barley gasped, his eyes going wide. “He dinnae.”

“Oh yes, he did,” Berry giggled, unable to look at her uncle. “And it was wonderful.”

“Ah, well then, good for you, ye shag happy pervert,” Barley said as he stirred sugar into his tea. “You know, all of you know the virtue of a good shagging, but I’m worried about wee Belisama,” the old stallion muttered.

“How so?” Berry questioned.

“She’s so timid and afraid. It’s breaks me bleeding heart to see her the way she is,” Barley replied as he set his spoon down upon the saucer beneath his teacup.

“She’ll come around,” Berry said confidently. “Look at Loch Skimmer.”

“Who has another job by the way,” Derpy said proudly.

“Really?” Barley inquired, looking at the grey mare and then took a sip of tea.

“She doesn’t get paid for it, but she spends time in the hospital working with mares and fillies who have been abused. Some kind of counselling group. Survivors of physical and sexual abuse,” Derpy answered and then stuffed her mouth full of waffles.

“That filly is made out of sunshine,” Barley stated, the old stallion looking incredibly proud for a moment. “I love her to pieces. Almost as much as I love Berry here.”

“Aw, you’re so sweet, you old fart,” Berry responded, the barest hint of a blush appearing upon her cheeks. “Loch Skimmer… all she can do is think about helping others.”

“Remember how she was?” Derpy asked after she swallowed her mouthful of waffles.

“Ach, damnit, I’m getting old, I feel like crying I’m so o’ercome with emotion,” Barley groused. “Oh sod it all.”

“I remember all too well,” Berry replied, a her expression going vacant for a moment. “Bucky brought her back to us as a broken terrified filly. I can’t believe her father broke her leg. For a long time, I must confess, I had unhealthy revenge fantasies of beating the stuffing out of that stallion.”

“All that is behind us now, and Bucky punished him,” Derpy said in a sad voice.

“That broke Bucky,” Berry grumbled, looking distressed. “When is Sentinel supposed to be back?”

“He’ll be back when he’s back,” Derpy said just before cramming another bite of waffles in her maw.

“I’ve been feeling so motherly lately. I don’t like having my foals where I can’t see them or know exactly where they are,” Berry confessed, looking troubled.

“Aye, and you're a damn sight better than my sister,” Barley said bitterly, shaking his head in disgust. “I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, forgive me.”

“Mom was less than perfect,” Berry admitted. “But at least she gave me Piña.”

 

 

 

 

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