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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Berry Punch held the snuffling Diamond Tiara while Derpy quietly made her way to the bathroom after complaining that the twins were sitting on her bladder. Berry Punch felt an odd emotion, one she could not name, one she had not felt before, one that was completely unknown to her.

Not knowing what to do, she began to hum just as Derpy had done, and she gently rocked Diamond Tiara back and forth. She felt the foal shudder, then hiccup, and then Diamond Tiara went limp again, her body going still.

Yew Wood climbed up onto the couch and sat down beside Berry Punch, looking rather sad as she did so. Leaning over, she rested against Berry Punch and patted the inconsolable foal on her back, not knowing what else to do. “You know, if you need to talk, Berry Punch is a good pony to talk to. I find that I can talk to her about anything.”

“Anything?” Diamond Tiara breathed, her voice barely audible.

“Berry and I have talked about everything. Our husbands, our loves, very private mare stuff, and even about the really painful stuff that I have a hard time telling anypony else about. I lost my husband, my foal, and my sister all in one terrible night,” Yew whispered in a soft silken utterance. “I can talk to Berry about it, about all of that pain, and there aren’t too many other ponies I can spill my guts to.”

“I’m sorry you lost everypony,” Diamond Tiara whimpered, letting out a soft sniffle as she spoke, her voice raspy and scratchy.

“It’s funny, I wasn’t all that much older than you are right now when I was first married… seems so long ago even though it wasn’t,” Yew said, her eyes going misty.

“You were married at my age?” Diamond Tiara asked, lured out of her sorrowful state by curiousity. She lifted her head away from Berry to look at Yew, noting the hideous scar running down Yew’s face and her missing eye.

“I was a little older, but not by much. But we shouldn’t talk about that. You mainlanders get all bent out of shape about it,” Yew said as she wiped her eye with her wing.

“I can’t even figure out my own life but there are ponies that get married at my age,” Diamond Tiara muttered, shaking her head.

“You know, I don’t know that getting married so young is a good thing. I guess it was a necessity, but you shouldn’t rush into things like that,” Yew said, noting the confused look at Diamond Tiara’s face.

“I don’t know where else to find purpose,” Diamond Tiara whispered. “Life feels so empty and meaningless. Sentinel and Moonbow know what they want… I want what they have,” she admitted.

“Woah, slow down there,” Berry Punch stated, looking down at the foal she was holding in her forelegs. “Are you really thinking about committing yourself to them?”

“I don’t know… they have purpose. I just feel so empty,” Diamond Tiara murmured.

“Sentinel and Moonbow… they’re not like other ponies. They’re… exceptional. Don’t be in such a rush to end your foalhood. Purpose will come in time,” Berry promised, offering Diamond Tiara a hopeful smile.

“I can’t take feeling any empty anymore,” Diamond Tiara confessed. “When I think about both of them and what they want, how willing they are to sacrifice everything to get it, I feel something inside of me. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. I feel… hopeful.”

“I think I might understand just a little,” Berry sighed, shaking her head.

“I just want to give in and allow stuff to happen. I don’t want to have to worry about my purpose or my future anymore. I don’t have a future. Everypony hates me. I will never be accepted or fit in. I’m sick of worrying about it,” Diamond Tiara admitted as she rested her head against Berry Punch. “If I let go and give of myself, a future will be provided for me.”

“Diamond, love, that’s a heavy thing for a filly to think about,” Berry Punch responded, scarcely able to believe what it was she was hearing.

 

 

The bottle of gin was half empty and Filthy Rich was slumped over the table, his ears limp and dangling downwards. Bucky was scarcely even buzzed, but he was feeling rather relaxed. He watched Semillon cooking for a while, and then would turn to look at Filthy Rich, his gaze shifting between the two ponies.

“I made the foolish suggestion of a herd,” Filthy Rich muttered, his voice slightly slurred. “I think… I think they’re done with me. They were okay with sorting everything out and coming to an arrangement I think. But then I said something about a herd. Gala Appleby even admitted to stringing me along, she had been on the fence you see, not sure if she wanted a full blown relationship. But then Ivory Scroll and I had each other for lunch and I made things complicated.”

“Hmm… so things did not go well,” Bucky remarked.

“I keep screwing things up,” Filthy Rich admitted. “I screwed up everything. My marriage is gone, Diamond Tiara hates me… I’ve messed up.”

“She doesn’t hate you, she's just hurting,” Bucky interjected, shaking his head.

“Buckminty… Buckminty, I have other foals than Diamond Tiara. Several. I’ve messed things up. Trust me. I’ve made mistakes. There are some opportunities that I just couldn’t pass up and I made a mess of things… so I stopped having relationships all together because I screwed everything up so bad. So bad. So, so… so bad. And then I allow myself to start having these relationships again… now everything has exploded in my face. I’m a bad father,” Filthy Rich said in a somewhat slurred voice.

Squirming, Bucky had no idea what to say, and he heard a soft whinny from Semillon, who was standing by the stove. Bucky really hoped that the mare wouldn’t say anything, she had a wicked tongue and Bucky was entirely too prone to laughter.

“I’m old enough to be Gala Appleby’s father… I… wanted to bang my wrinkly old stallion balls against her because she was young and pretty and nothing on a mare that age sags… but… but lemme tell you something… Gala Appleby is somepony’s daughter. She’s somepony’s daughter and I wanted to be her daddy in a very perverted way… I… I… blergh-”

As Bucky watched, Filthy Rich passed out mid-sentence, slipping into inebriated unconsciousness. “Equestrian Navy Strength Gin… one hundred and seventy eight proof. Useful for keeping airship crewmembers warm at high altitudes and cleaning gunk off of the old coal burning engines, or so Barley tells me. Also used to set Equestria’s enemies on fire in dire combat situations, as no sailor worth his salt wants to waste good hooch.”

“You… you are incorrigible,” Semillon murmured, shaking her head in disapproval.

“I know… I consider it one of my best qualities,” Bucky quipped as he poured himself another glass of gin and smiled a fang filled smile. Lifting it to his lips with his magic, he gulped it down and then he set his glass down upon the table. “Mmm, goes down smooth. Barley knows his stuff.” He stared at Filthy Rich, looking entirely pleased with himself, a smug expression upon his face. “I’m going to go stuff him into a guest bed,” Bucky announced, slipping from his chair as he spoke.

 

 

Frowning with worry, Discord paced and panicked, there was something wrong with his dearest Fluttershy. She was throwing up again, he could hear her in the bathroom, puking her guts out in her quiet, demure, and oh so very polite manner. She had been doing this since her return from Griffonholm.

It was a worrisome sign, and Discord didn’t like it. He was currently stuck in his pony form, he had his magic for a while, it was showing signs of returning, but now, it was gone again. So he was stuck walking around on four legs rather than effortlessly floating through the room and ignoring gravity. He chewed on his lip, his frantic nervousness reaching new heights, and he began to think about what it would be like to die, his mind slipping into his current morbid fascination with death.

“Oh… I don’t like it when vomit comes out my nose,” Fluttershy squeaked from inside the bathroom. “This is very unpleasant,” she whined, the pegasus mare was clearly in pain and she was suffering greatly.

Discord, his panic reaching new levels when he heard Fluttershy’s agonised squeak, fell over and fainted, his body falling over with a thump against the floorboards of Fluttershy’s cottage.

 

 

Situating himself upon the couch, Sentinel quietly sat with Diamond Tiara. He had barely even come though the door when she had slammed into him, hugging him tightly and sobbing. Now, the tears had subsided a bit, and she was sitting quietly with him, pressed up against his side.

His jaw ached and Sentinel felt even more quiet than usual. He was content to simply sit with Diamond Tiara, saying nothing, enjoying the feeling of being close to her. He watched as Piña Colada returned to the living room after using the bathroom, Piña looked concerned, worried, and she hopped up on the couch to be with Diamond Tiara. The two pink earth pony foals collapsed into one another, and Diamond Tiara let out a loud shuddering snuffle of relief, glad to be with her friends.

“Dinky had to shower and to try and get the sticky off of her,” Piña said in a low voice as she got comfortable with Diamond Tiara. “Princess Klutzy tripped over her own hooves and fell over into her own bowl of caramel sauce.” Piña waited, hoping for a laugh, and then felt disappointed when there was none.

“For a brief moment, Dinky became a caramel ’corn,” Sentinel stated, trying his hoof at humour.

“Bad Sentinel! Puns! Ugh!” Derpy protested from the other sofa, the grey mare grimacing in disgust from the colt’s words. “Why must everypony resort to puns?”

Unable to help herself, Diamond Tiara let out a weak giggle.

 

 

Looking down at the sheet of parchment, Luna reread the words that Shining Armor had written to her, her eyes lingering over the flowing decorative script that the Prince Consort was known for. She sighed a heavy sigh.

These are not subjects of our empire. Please, if you value my advice, allow Buckminster to have free reign with them. The warlock has powerful means of extraction and these two have information. We are at war and we cannot afford to be merciful or gentle in our methods.

Setting down the paper upon a desk, Luna found herself agreeing. The mirror travelers had burst into a home, killed a whole family, and then foalnapped a filly. She couldn’t get into the mirror traveler’s minds with dreams, and the usual means of harmony magic simply didn’t dig deep enough.

Looking out the window at the slowly setting sun, Luna pondered how far she was willing to go. The mirror travelers were certainly not holding back. This was the worst sort of war, dealing with an insidious invisible enemy that they currently knew next to nothing about. The alicorn mare let out a frustrated equine snort of irritation.

“They brought this on themselves,” Luna growled, slamming her steel shod hoof down upon her desk. She felt unsettled for some reason, knowing what she was about to authorise.

“Shadow Agent Asp!” Luna shouted, with no trace of patience in her voice. She sat back and waited, knowing that one of her most feared agents was waiting for her in just the other room. Luna smiled when she saw him come through the door, his almost serpentine body shuffling as he entered.

Asp was a half breed, a rare find by Luna, and one of her prized projects. He was half lunar pegasus and half venomous land drake, which made him look like a lunar pegasus with a long serpentine body that had patchy places covered in scales, large wings, and his most curious feature, a venomous bite.

“You called for me Mistress?” Asp questioned, slinkily bringing himself to attention.

“Yes I did. Do you remember how we talked about the Shadowbolt Initiative?” Luna responded, her tone icy and dull.

“Of course Mistress,” Asp replied, smiling a murderous smile.

“Begin finding suitable candidates. We need assassins and spies. We can no longer afford to fight fair,” Luna instructed in a flat monotone.

“Of course Mistress. Might I recommend we begin looking in the regiments on the Shetlands? They are… dirty fighters. Right now they are savaging what is left of the griffon resistance. We’re having some trouble… with… unpleasantness,” Asp replied.

“What sort of unpleasantness?” Luna snapped, her words brusque.

“Well, the regiment that Buckminster patrons… they have a habit of sticking heads on sharp pointy sticks and making totems of their enemies. There are a few individuals there that are fantastically brutal. Some of the other regiments as well. Our allies in the Sea of Grass are horrified by the Shetlanders' ferocity and barbarity,” Asp explained.

Her lips pressing into a thin flat line, Luna leaned forward, her teal eyes glittering, and stared at Asp, looking thoughtful and rather pleased. Her ears swiveled forward as she locked eyes with her personal assassin.

“I see I have your attention… we have others… there are those with disciplinary records that might prove to be suitable recruits, if we are at war, we shouldn’t squander any valuable resources,” Asp said in a sly grifter’s voice.

“Start recruiting. No more playing nice. Also, send a chariot for Buckminster this evening. I need for him to have a discussion with our esteemed guests,” Luna instructed.

“As you command, Mistress,” Asp replied, looking very pleased with himself.

 

 

 

 

 

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