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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With a low groan, Bucky’s eyelid fluttered open. The first thing he saw in his vision was a soft pale shade of blue, something green, and little spots of pink. Sniffing, he smelled flowers. The bed creaked, then squeaked, and then Bucky saw a green eye looking at him.

Straining to lift her head, Thistle gently kissed Bucky on his nasal bridge, which caused the stallion to shiver slightly as he came to full wakefulness. She watched him yawn, his orange tongue visible for a moment, his whole body tensing and flexing, and she watched the new mechanical talons clenching reflexively in a very lifelike fashion. She felt a cold shiver run down her spine as she watched, Bucky was a little too good at what he did.

“I’ve been watching you sleep,” Thistle whispered, looking at her husband.

Yawning again, Bucky wiggled closer to Thistle and pressed up against her, feeling her large belly against his side. He pressed his nose into her neck and inhaled her scent, breathing in the fragrant scent of flowers and greenery.

Feeling his hot breath on her neck, Thistle giggled and squirmed, but didn’t try to get away from Bucky. She lay there, feeling him against her, and she closed her eyes. “Bucky, I have a question.”

“You and everypony else,” Bucky replied in a low scratchy voice that was not fully awake just yet. As he spoke, he rubbed his snoot over Thistle’s pelt, feeling the soft silky fine hairs of her coat against the soft sensitive skin above his lip.

For equines, this was the equivalent of running your fingertip along something to get a feel for it, and it caused Bucky no end of pleasure in his half awake state. Bucky slipped into a nearly drugged state of being as Thistle’s various scents and pheromones flooded his nostrils.

“I keep having this fear Bucky… will you still love my foal when it comes even though it isn’t yours?” Thistle questioned in a barely audible whisper.

Running his snoot along her corded and muscled neck, Bucky found the hollow just behind her ear, inhaled deeply, causing Thistle to shake and shudder, and then he kissed her softly in this hidden place that he knew so well. “You keep having this fear,” he whispered.

“I can’t help it,” Thistle whimpered, her whole body tensing and it wasn’t from Bucky’s affections. “I keep having terrible nightmares Bucky. I’m fat and I’m ugly and I’m getting stretch marks and thin places on my pelt and I can’t stop farting or eating and I keep having nightmares that you become sick of looking at me and how disgusting I am so you banish me to the lake and tell me not to cast my shadow upon your door and it all hurts so much.”

“You’re really having a tough go at this, aren’t you?” Bucky asked, pressing himself against Thistle and trying to comfort her.

“I’m miserable and I’m in pain constantly. Even in the water now. There is nowhere I can go and nothing I can do to find relief. This foal is too big and I’m too little,” Thistle whined, her body hitching as she tried to hold back tears. “When this is over, I don’t want to become pregnant again. Not for a while. I’ve decided that… while it is very important for me to have foals and make more kelpies… I don’t think I can do this again anytime soon. Does that make me a bad kelpie?”

“No Thistle, it just means you are a pony, with hurts and fears and hopes and all those things that make us what we are,” Bucky responded reassuringly.

“Am I still pretty?” the kelpie questioned.

“Of course you are,” Bucky sighed. Using his lips, he gave a little nibble to Thistle’s ear, causing the rotund filly to let out a squeal. He gave her ear a gentle tug and then a tickle with his tongue, turning her squeal into a loud squeak.

A moment later, the door flew open and Derpy rushed into the room. The grey mare looked around, her bad eye squeezed shut, her ears perked forward. “I heard a noise,” she announced, her voice filled with concern.

“Thistle was having a moment,” Bucky explained, lifting his head and looking at Derpy, who was in a highly agitated state.

“Is she feeling fat and unattractive again?” Derpy asked as she trotted to bed and flopped down beside Bucky and Thistle. The pegasus planted a wet smooch on Thistle’s cheek and squished her against Bucky.

“I’m fat and ugly,” Thistle grumbled.

“Oh you hush,” Derpy commanded. “Every mare goes through this phase. I went through it with Dinky and went on crying jags that lasted for days,” the grey mare confessed as she shook her head. “I was impossible to live with.”

“But you are so beautiful,” Thistle argued in a sulky voice.

“Not then I wasn’t,” Derpy chuckled as she rubbed Thistle’s side. “Near the end, I was helpless and I was so fat with foal that I couldn’t keep my bladder in check. There was a constant slow dribble of urine. It left me raw and chaffed. Berry and Sparkler’s mother had to keep me cleaned up and powdered like an infant foal. There was nothing I could do about it. I was stinky and my filly bits were covered in blisters and sores.”

“Oh that’s awful, I hope it doesn’t happen to me,” Thistle whimpered in panic.

“I also had hemorrhoids during the last part of my pregnancy and my entire arse end was covered in acne that grew so bad that I had to get a special medicated cream because the zits kept popping from the pressure and getting infected,” Derpy continued.

“Oh stars that’s hideous… what if that happens to me?” Thistle whined, her voice rising into a reedy keening wail.

“So Bucky, when I turn into a horrendous creature made of boner killing nightmares, will you still love me?” Derpy questioned as she snuggled up against Thistle.

“Look, I’d just like to point out to both of you, just for the sake of observation, that I have been chewed upon by wolves and I am in fact, stomach churning in my appearance. I had half of my face torn off,” Bucky stated in a matter of fact tone of voice. “I am not in a position to criticise anypony for being ugly, having zits, or any of those things.”

“But we’re mares,” Thistle argued, shaking her head slightly. “We’re under a lot of pressure to be pretty, be desirable, and be attractive.”

“Try as I might, I fail to understand the female condition,” Bucky grumbled.

 

 

His spoon clinking against the sides of his coffee cup, Bucky raised his eye from his plate of food up towards Luna, who was sitting at the kitchen table and looking at him. She was silent, but clearly had a lot she wanted to say. Beside her was Barley. The old stallion looked tired, worn down, and seeing him look the way he did caused Bucky to feel a sense of concern. There was a lot of last minute preparations to be done before winter, and Barley was clearly overextending himself to make sure they were getting done.

Staring back down at his food, Bucky inhaled, savouring the scent of his meal. There was an enormous bowl of fish chowder, a wedge of cornbread that had cheese and little green chili peppers in it, several hard boiled eggs, which Bucky loved, and some kind of salad made out of minced pickled vegetables and pasta.

“Even Barley gave me an earful,” Luna said in a low pained voice, looking away from Bucky as she spoke. The night blue alicorn looked at Barley for a moment and then stared out the window.

“Aye, I did, doesn’t change the fact I love ya,” Barley grumbled as he lifted his own cup of coffee to his lips. Falling silent, he drank deeply, taking in a large swallow of the dark black liquid, his eyes closing as he took comfort in the soothing heat of the hot drink.

“When I was in the shower, I gave some thought as to how this might have happened,” Bucky said as he lifted a hard boiled egg in his magic. He stuffed the egg into his mouth, chewed for a moment, and then swallowed. “I can’t summon this energy through my horn, at least, I don’t think I can, so I started giving a lot of thought about how this energy might be channeled.”

Her attention now on Bucky, Luna looked at the him with great interest, her eyes glittering with curiousity. She looked down at the mechanical talons resting upon the table and felt a feeling of dreadful apprehension.

“There is fulgurite in its construction, which is how it is fused into my bone structure, but I don’t think that is the catalyst. At least not by itself. I’ve infused the metal with demon blood to make it self healing and repairing… I’ve also dumped a lot of raw shadow essence into its creation, so I don’t know what it might be capable of to be honest. I was… reckless in my experimentations,” Bucky explained as he lifted up another egg. Once he was done speaking, he stuffed an egg into his mouth.

“The demon blood infused metal is probably the culprit,” Luna said, nodding her head slowly as she stared thoughtfully at Bucky’s terrifying prosthesis.

“That’s what I thought too,” Bucky said after he swallowed.

“The implications of this are terrifying,” Luna admitted, looking first at Bucky and then at Barley. “Raw mana can be extracted from unicorns… we do it all the time in arcano-tech manufacturing for things like manipulation shoes and what not… Buckminster, if this process could be refined and re-created, a means to feed raw mana, raw magical energy through a filter of fulgurite, activate it, ignite it, and then focus that energy through a length of demon blood infused metal, this could be turned into a terrible weapon. The first thing that came to my mind was warships armed with thaumakinetic cannons. What you’ve done is an accident, but you have created what is perhaps the most terrifying weapon this world has ever seen since its creation. This is a weapon worthy of the alicorn of war.”

Scowling, Bucky slumped down in his seat, Luna’s words crushing down upon his mind and making him feel heavy. He heaved a defeated sounding sigh, lifted his coffee cup, and then he took a sip, trying to take in everything Luna had said.

“Aye… that sounds rather dire,” Barley agreed as he set his coffee cup down. “The lad has done gone and created a weapon that can threaten gods.”

“Not the first weapon to do so,” Luna said. “Guns have brought down alicorns.” The night blue mare squirmed in her seat, looking uncomfortable and out of sorts. She scowled, her nostrils flaring, and then her ears swiveled forwards as she looked over at Bucky’s claw once again.

“Care to elaborate upon that?” Bucky asked, looking at Luna curiously.

“No,” Luna stated, shaking her head.

Raising his claw, Bucky flexed the talons closed into a fist. “You know, I don’t see how this is so threatening. Theoretically, I could transmute myself into a dragon that is several hundred feet in length, trash a city, and potentially incinerate you with dragonbreath, turning you into a little pile of moon princess ashes.”

Realising that coming from Bucky, those words were no idle threat or speculation, Luna continued to squirm. “Yes, you could, in theory,” Luna admitted, giving a faint nod of her head. She watched Bucky eat an egg and then take a bite of the pickled vegetable and pasta salad. As he was chewing, Luna fidgeted and her wings fluttered at her sides. “Given your knack for transmutation, your raw ability, and your magical prowess, you could probably turn yourself into a cockatrice, potentially turning all of your enemies to stone. Including my sister and I.”

“Ach, what a headache,” Barley grumbled. “He could just ask his dear Sparkler to do it for him,” he muttered as he flexed his right front fetlock, trying to get a crick out.

“The point is, Bucky could do it himself,” Luna stated, looking at Barley. “I chose to see a threat when it manifested in the most obvious form, but the simple truth is, the threat has been here all along. Bucky and Twilight both are incredibly dangerous but they have proven themselves to be most loyal. As the former Element of Loyalty, I have shamed myself. No wonder the element rejected me. I have my flaws Buckminster, for all of the talk of me being an all powerful goddess, I do make mistakes. You have proven your loyalty time and time again, you have selflessly given of yourself repeatedly, and I was in the wrong.”

“Takes a strong pony to admit to making a mistake,” Barley said as he leaned over and kissed Luna on the cheek. “For whatever it is worth, I trust Bucky to do exactly one thing. Look after us. We are his family. He’s as crazy as a sump house rat, no offense lad, he has more power than I can even begin to comprehend, and his Tainted eye is creepy as all get out. But he looks after his own, and I cannae fault a pony for doing that. Luna, my pretty mare of the moon, you’re just as much a part of this family as the rest of us, I think that was proven today, and yer sister too. If you love me, if you trust my judgment at all, if you value my counsel in any sort of meaningful way, then listen to what I am saying. Trust in family. Weren’t you just telling me during our last long talk that Sombra’s big mistake was that he turned away from family and friends and stopped trusting them? Are ye about to make the same mistake?”

“No… I… no… I would not… no…”

Barley leaned in and kissed Luna on the lips, stopping her stammering and stuttering. He pulled away, his expression full of tender concern. “Nae shagging for ye until you make up with yer sister young lady.”

 

 

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