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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Life was all about chasing something worth having.

These words summed up her mother’s philosophy and Sparkler reflected upon them, not sure what to chase or what was worth chasing. Sparkler couldn’t make sense of her life right now. Nothing seemed to fit. Nothing seemed to make sense. Sparkler was certain it was mostly because she was a moody teenaged filly, but there were other little niggling thoughts that wormed through her brain.

She thought about her real mother, an earth pony, who had been an older friend of Derpy’s, and who had seen Derpy through tough times. Tough times being Derpy becoming pregnant, a teenaged filly herself at the time, and all of the trouble that goes along with being in that position. Sparkler could remember Dinky being born. She remembered being Dinky’s foalsitter. She remembered Derpy being part of the family.

She remembered her mother trying to come home in time for Hearth’s Warming and she remembered the terrible news of the train derailment. Sparkler remembered Derpy’s struggle to keep the family together, getting a job as a mailmare, and keeping them all together, if only just barely. She remembered everything that made her who she was, and while she knew who she was, she felt like she really didn’t fit with anypony in particular. It was tough being gifted with introspection, it made being young much, much harder than it needed to be, and caused no end of problems for Sparkler’s social life.

It was tough being a unicorn that didn’t get along with other unicorns, she didn’t feel like she fit in with the earth ponies which she had been raised with, and she felt like an outsider with the flock of pegasi that tried to make her feel welcome.

The only real anchor point Sparkler felt she had in her life was being Dinky’s sister and best friend. It defined her.

It was a good day to be walking, and Sparkler thought about all of these things as she walked. She walked alone, her head high, proud in a way that only gawky socially awkward outcasts could be proud, pondering what it meant to chase something, what to chase, all of these things that defined her and how they would fit in to her pursuit of life.

Entirely by accident, Sparkler thought of Rising Star, a unicorn colt about a year younger than herself.

There’s something worth chasing her hormone flooded teenaged brain suggested.

Sparkler swiftly kicked that thought from her mind. No colts. Sparkler remembered all too well what Derpy had gone through. Rising Star, the affable slam poet. Rising Star, who even now, was causing Sparkler’s cheeks to blush, a fact that completely skipped Sparkler’s mind. Rising Star, who had once slipped a poem about pretty purple unicorns into one of her schoolbooks, Rising Star, who had once called Sparkler his muse.

Rising Star, who was currently sitting on a chair, seated at a table, drinking a soda and getting friendly with Apple Cobbler…

Sparkler felt a white hot rage boil up inside of her and she began to grind her teeth. She snorted a few times, pawing at the earth with her hoof, her tail swishing from side to side angrily.

Rising Star, who even now, was looking at her with a dawning sense of horror, worry, and concern. The young colt slowly eased out of his chair, never once breaking eye contact with the snorting filly who stood pawing the earth.

 

 

Rising Star bolted ahead at a full gallop, his hooves pounding the road, his breath hot in his nostrils. Sparkler really was being unreasonable. She had made it rather clear that she wasn’t interested in colts, and, by extension, not interested in him. So he had moved on.

It was a mistake he now regretted.

The snorting screaming filly wasn’t acting anything at all like a unicorn, and his attempts to reason with her had gone terribly wrong. Trying to soothe her with gentle words had only seemed to further infuriate her. Too late, Rising Star learned a valuable lesson that sometimes, fillies and mares said one thing but meant another.

While she had said she wasn’t interested in colts, clearly this wasn’t the case, and held some lingering interest in at least one colt. And Rising Star wished that it wasn’t him.

Oh, she had interested him, she was different. She was mysterious and truly unique, not something easily understood. Her perceptions and perspectives were entirely different and frequently odd… and Rising Star had drawn a great deal of inspiration from her. She had influenced his poetry a great deal. Out of her mouth came wise things, meaningful things, she asked beautiful questions about the nature of life.

Except that right now, what came out of her mouth wasn’t beautiful, but Rising Star was certain some of the things she screamed might have been questions.

Pegasi were swooping down now, harassing and jeering at Rising Star, and he cursed himself for ever taking interest in a unicorn that was part of a flock of pegasi.

“I’d run faster if I was you,” a pegasi said helpfully.

“Yeah, the faster you run, the better the chase is,” said another.

“Nothing else turns you on quite like a good chase does,” added another with a saucy wink, rolling through the air as she did so.

Rising Star panicked. Something was dreadfully wrong with pegasi he concluded. He struggled to pick up the pace, the pegasi all around him laughing and carrying on.

“Second chase today, spring is wonderful!” exclaimed a pegasus swooping lazily through the air.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders came parading out of Sugarcube Corner, muzzles sticky with sweets, and Rising Star swerved to avoid them. Doing so, he lost his footage, slipping and skidding, his hind hooves sliding out from underneath him, causing him to tumble down in a heap.

 

 

The angry purple unicorn known as Sparkler placed her hoof down on Rising Star’s barrel and began to apply pressure, scowling angrily as she did so.

“I don’t understand why you are angry!” shouted Rising Star. “You told me you weren’t interested,” he added.

“I thought I wasn’t,” confessed Sparkler.

“So I moved on and started saying hello to other fillies, I am allowed to do that,” Rising Star said, his breath heavy with panic.

“Not any more you’re not!” Sparkler growled.

“I’m very confused!” shouted Rising Star, the pressure from Sparkler’s hoof becoming somewhat uncomfortable.

“So am I!” replied Sparkler.

“Atta girl Sparky, show him who is in charge!” shouted Raindrops, a pegasus Sparkler knew well. “If you stand on his tail, he will not be able to get away again if he shoves you off!” Raindrops shouted helpfully.

Sparkler placed a hind hoof down on Rising Star’s tail and her scowl intensified.

“Aww, young love is so adorable!” shouted Rainbowshine.

Sparkler felt her cheeks begin to burn fiercely. Is that what this was? She felt horrified for a brief moment, not sure about the source of her behaviour.

A crowd had gathered, all of them watching with a great deal of interest. Including Apple Cobbler, who had finally caught up and was now watching the scene unfold.

“Don’t just lay there!” shouted Rainbowshine helpfully. “Shove her off, give her a tumble, wait for her to get up, and then chase her back you dimwit!” she added, making wild gestures with her front hooves.

Confusion settled over Sparkler, pressing down on her shoulders like a physical weight. Poor Rising Star wasn’t faring much better, his eyes were wide with panic and his nostrils flared with fear.

“We’ll talk later when I can see only one of you,” hissed Sparkler, pushing herself away from Rising Star and running away.

Rising Star did not give chase. He lay there, in the road, still trying to catch his breath, feeling very confused, a little afraid, and a renewed sense of attraction for Sparkler. This was poetic. This was something to write about. He had discovered his muse was an Angry Goddess, and she was a Jealous Goddess. His brain flooded with all kinds of poetic inspiration, words, imagery, feelings, things that would turn into art if given enough time to incubate. He vowed silently to create something worthy of his muse.

 

 

The schoolmarm Cheerilee sighed as she began to clean up the schoolhouse, the day finally over. It had been a long trying day. She loved little fillies and colts a great deal, and tried to be a good teacher, but the job was difficult and full of pitfalls. Managing the three tribes all under one roof was a tricky task, which is why so many schools in bigger cities were still segregated, pegasi foals attending one school, earth ponies attending another, and unicorns usually going to some magical academy of some sort. Ponyville was too small for that though. So the three tribes were thrown together. It was wonderful sometimes, seeing the tribes together, working with one another in understanding, and it was a total nightmare at other times. And poor Cheerilee was caught in the middle of all of it. Tribal politics played out here every day, different ponies wanting different concessions made for their foals, because their foals were pegasi, or earth ponies, or unicorns. All of them had special needs and certain behaviours should be overlooked simply because of this reason or that reason. Only Cheerilee refused to overlook bad behaviour or give concessions for tribal identity. In her classroom, a pony was a pony, and nothing else. Nopony got special treatment for any reason.

It hadn’t been easy trying to explain to Derpy that it didn’t matter why Dinky had hit somepony, or how Dinky had hit somepony, what was important was, Dinky had hit somepony. And that just wasn’t allowed. At all. For any reason. It was frustrating trying to get the grey mare to see reason, that hitting in any form was wrong and would not be tolerated in school. Cheerilee understood that different ponies had different ways, but this was her schoolhouse, and ponies were all expected to stick to a single model of behaviour. Her own. Swatting, punching, hitting, slapping, it was all the same and it all carried the same penalty. There was no distinguishing between different types of hitting, all of it was forbidden.

Even more of a concern was Diamond Tiara, who was facing her third school suspension this semester, the third strike meaning that a meeting had to take place with the school board and Diamond Tiara’s parents.

A very stressful meeting that was certain not to go well.

Last year Diamond Tiara had reached five suspensions before being forcibly removed from school, and her parents required to hire a private tutor. Almost all of those suspensions had involved Diamond Tiara teasing other foals, usually the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders had been getting wise though, and had banded together, ignoring Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, which drove the two troublemakers crazy. This year, they had begun picking on the little foals, the youngest and the smallest, those in the lower grades, and it was infuriating.

Cheerilee herself wanted to slap the wretched little monsters, it was something she daydreamed about and had once even received a visit from Princess Luna about, in the form of a very troubling dream that had almost caused her to quit her job as a school teacher.

It was troubling to feel like a hypocrite, trying to explain why hitting in any form was wrong, when what you really wanted more than anything else was to bring back paddling and deliver a good old fashioned front of the classroom paddling for the source of almost all of the misery in your life. Cheerilee was just old enough to remember how things used to be, and felt ashamed that she desired a return to those times, at least for two little fillies that had become her bane, a painful thorn in her frog.

Frustration overwhelmed poor Cheerilee as she sat down at her desk and she began to cry, finally alone, free to vent her feelings.

Tomorrow she would have to face this all over again.

 

 

The kitchen was beginning to fill with delightful aromas when Derpy heard the front door open and then close, indicating that Sparkler was home. Dinky fled the kitchen immediately, squealing with excitement, eager to see her big sister.

“Mother, before you hear any gossip, I want you to know that today I chased a colt and nearly gave him a good thumping,” said Sparkler, sticking her head into the kitchen door, Dinky securely attached to her foreleg as she walked.

“Heh, I had myself a chase today as well,” replied Derpy, laughing.

“I swatted Diamond Tiara in the snotlocker and got in trouble,” quipped Dinky.

“Why would you get in trouble for that?” asked Sparkler, looking down at the foal clinging to her foreleg. “And Dinky, snotlocker, really? I thought we called noses the booger bunker,” Sparkler finished.

Dinky shrugged and began to rub her muzzle against her sister’s shoulder.

“Set the table Sparkler, have a seat, and we’ll all sit down and talk over dinner,” said Derpy, stirring a pot with a spoon held in her wing.

The unicorn filly did as she was bid, Dinky still clinging to her leg like a parasitic growth, an adorable and insufferably cute parasitic growth.

 

 

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