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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Ponyville seemed to be in an uproar and Twilight Sparkle sensed this the moment she stepped off of the train with Violet Velvet. She moved swiftly, feeling a deep sense of worry and concern, hurrying off towards what seemed to be the disturbance, Violet Velvet hot on her heels.

The disturbance seemed to be in the central shopping district and focused around Bon Bon’s sweet shop. A crowd had gathered. There were griffons just outside the door and Twilight Sparkle saw Sunset Shimmer standing with the griffons. Blinking with confusion, it took Twilight Sparkle a moment to realise that Ripple was in school and not here to lead her Raptors.

Looking around, she could see a few ponies inside of the shop, standing about, keeping a respectful distance from a figure in a black cloak. After taking all of this in, Twilight Sparkle heaved a sigh of relief. She felt a little better when she saw Sunset Shimmer waving at her.

 

 

“...well then, now that you two are introduced, I’m going to go talk to Bon Bon while the both of you get acquainted,” Twilight Sparkle said to Bucky and Violet. “Oh hi Harper… yes I see you… yes I do…”

For a moment, Bucky watched as Twilight Sparkle made silly faces at his foal and then he resumed studying Violet Velvet. “I do need the help,” he muttered, speaking mostly to himself. He watched as Violet lifted up Peekaboo and placed the foal up on the table in front of her.

“You’re adorable!” Violet said to Peekaboo, completely ignoring Bucky. The frigid mare smiled broadly and booped Peekaboo on the nose, which made the foal begin giggling.

“I need somepony that can manage my day to day affairs,” Bucky stated, smiling a bit as he watched Violet play with Peekaboo. “Mister Rich, my friend, he had a vast social network that aided him in getting things done. I have a bit of a worry that you will be working in my stead at a disadvantage,” he said, giving voice to his concern. Bucky’s gaze fell upon Cadance, who was sprawled out in a small portable bassinet.

“All of which can be overcome with hard work,” Velvet responded, staring cross eyed at Peekaboo while puffing out her cheeks and waggling her ears.

“I will have to think upon it,” Bucky said as he turned to look at Lyra, who was dealing with a customer.

While Bucky was distracted, Violet rolled up a newspaper with her magic and then smacked Bucky in he back of the head several times in rapid succession.

THWAP! THWAP! THWAP!

“Oooow… what the… why?” Bucky demanded, rubbing the back of his skull and turning to glare at Violet. “Do you know who I am?”

“Yes… you are a unicorn making a bad decision. That is who you are,” Violet responded, not caring that every eye in the shop was looking at her right now. “Every day that you dawdle making a decision is a day that nothing is getting done. It is a day that I am not networking and making things happen for you. It is a day when nothing gets accomplished.”

Raising his hoof, Bucky made a gesture to dismiss Lyra, whose horn was glowing while arcing sparks spewed from the tip. “Will you display this same fearlessness when dealing with bureaucrats?” Bucky asked, now very serious and focused.

“I was gentle with you because I like you. I do not like bureaucrats,” Violet replied in an icy monotone.

“You hit me in the head with a newspaper,” Bucky stated.

“You were being an idiot,” Violet retorted. “Idiots get punished with the sincere hope that they will stop being an idiot. It hardly ever works but it never stops me from hoping… or trying. I am the eternal optimist.” Violet resumed smiling at Peekaboo. “Who’s a cute little foal… you are!”

“The town hall is full of idiots. Mayor Mare does a pretty good job but some of the town council… they… test my patience. Mister Rich had to deal with them for me because I just couldn’t,” Bucky said, aware that there were several customers hanging on his every word.

“Send me in your stead,” Violet commanded as she lifted Peekaboo from the table and hugged the foal to her barrel. After giving her a squeeze, she set Peekaboo down upon the floor and then watched as the little pegasus went scurrying off.

“My father said that the town hall was full of idiots, morons, and cretins because they were too stupid to get jobs somewhere else,” Diamond Tiara said in a low voice. “That seems mean… I shouldn’t have repeated that. But he believed that it was true.”

Violet threw her head back and guffawed at Diamond Tiara’s words.

Harper, completely unconcerned that her father was trying to hold an interview, came wobbling up to Violet and sat down near her chair. Violet, still chuckling, looked down and saw the poofy orange ball of fluff that was Harper. Using her magic, Violet lifted the foal up and set her down on the table, right in the same spot where Peekaboo had sat.

“Oh my… you’re cute as a button!” Violent announced.

“Yes,” Harper agreed, looking at Violet and blinking a few times.

“And your pelt is such a pretty indigo colour,” Violet said to the foal.

“Whinny go?” Harper asked.

“Purple blue,” Violet said in a gentle voice.

“Mama mama,” Harper said as she squirmed and pointed at Bucky.

“Don’t correct her!” Bucky warned, his eye opening wide as he looked at Violet in alarm. The mare already had her mouth open. “I’m mama mama… just leave it at that.”

“Watch out, she zaps,” Diamond Tiara warned.

“What a wonderful foal,” Violet said, smiling a warm smile.

“Consider yourself hired. I could use the help. We will sort out the details when I am at home. I like how you are with foals. I have a list of things I want accomplished before Hearth’s Warming. You and I will discuss them,” Bucky said to Violet.

 

 

Looking a little disappointed, Twilight Sparkle looked at Violet Velvet and then at Bucky. Her ears splaying out sideways, she turned back to Violet and she grinned sheepishly. “Well, uh, about that apartment I was hoping to talk to Bon Bon about… she is open to allowing you to stay here, but uh, well, there is already one pony living up there. Her name is Helia and she is a pegasus. Helia is fine with having a roommate though.”

“I don’t mind having a roommate,” Violet replied, offering Twilight a grateful nod.

“Whew… I was worried. Helia is pregnant. She really needed a place to stay,” Twilight remarked and then she took a deep breath. “Bon Bon said she doesn’t want rent. She just wants Helia treated well and looked after. This pregnancy has caused a lot of problems.”

“Let me guess… single mare, now pregnant, challenging fringe small town conservative mentality,” Violet deadpanned as she stared at Twilight.

“Something like that,” Twilight acknowledged.

Nodding, Violet heaved a sigh. “I will see that she is looked after.”

 

 

The wind blew through the trees as Sunset Shimmer pulled the wagon home. In the wagon, four foals lay napping in the autumn sun, one large, three small, huddled together on a blanket laid over a cushion. In the wagon with them were several griffons and walking around the wagon were a few more. Walking beside Sunset Shimmer was a black cloaked figure.

“Master, you can ride in the wagon. I do not mind,” Sunset Shimmer said as she turned to look at Bucky.

“I’ve augmented myself. I’m fine. Really. I’ve walked all the way out to the railroad depot and had no trouble,” Bucky responded in a soft voice that came out from beneath his hood.

“So what do you think about what Diamond Tiara said before she became too exhausted to keep her eyes open?” Sunset Shimmer asked as she raised her eyebrow.

“I like the idea. She’ll get the best of both worlds,” Bucky replied, his ears moving inside of his hood as he heard the wind rustling through the trees.

The pair continued on in silence for a while, both of them looking at the autumn foliage as they trotted homewards. Most of the birds were gone now. The air was filled with the scent of dead leaves, the scent of autumn, and wood smoke.

As a single leaf blew by, Branwen the griffoness swiped at it with her claws.

“Master, I want to be a member of your tribe. I’ve been talking to Rising Star… I agree with what you are doing. I’ve seen what you have done in just bringing the griffons and the ponies together. Baltimare is already easing off centuries of interspecies tensions. I believe strongly in your work,” Sunset Shimmer said, breaking the silence.

“I already see you as one of my own,” Bucky replied and then fell silent once more.

“The Founder’s Foals. Children of a new world and a new way of thinking. The old way of thinking didn’t do us much good,” Sunset Shimmer said as a strong wind sent a flurry of leaves flying all around her, the leaves matching the colours of her coat, her mane, and her tail.

“The Founders did not fail. We did. Mistakes were made, sure, Princess Platinum trusted her foals too much with too much power, but I still believe in their vision. Tribal divisions must go. To that end, species divisions must also go. We face an enemy that you can barely begin to comprehend and the whole of the world must come together if we are to survive. If we do not come together and allow the fires of friendship to warm our hearts, we will be destroyed by the metaphorical windigos,” Bucky said to Sunset Shimmer, hoping that his griffons were also listening.

“It’s funny Master… I do not even think of Bartleby as a griffon anymore. He is just… my friend. His voice is comforting. I welcome his touch. I appreciate his attentiveness. But there are moments where the fact that he is a griffon escapes me,” Sunset Shimmer admitted as she pulled the creaking and squeaking wagon along.

On the road ahead, the first signs of the farm came into view. Several tall towers rose above the treeline and part of the school was visible. A lone squirrel crossed the road in front of them. A strong gust of wind sent a whirlwind of leaves aflutter. Ahead of them, rows of houses were still being constructed for teachers to live in.

“I am glad that Bartleby makes you happy,” Bucky responded after several minutes of thoughtful reflection.

 

 

Grateful to be home, Bucky exited the bathroom and then walked down the hall to the nursery where Cadance and Harper were being put to bed, both of them still sleepy. Peekaboo was wide awake and could be heard chattering away to Lugus in the living room, telling her daddy about candy in her squeaky foalish voice.

Moving through the nursery door, Bucky saw Sunset Shimmer and Derpy both standing with their heads over the crib rail, looking down at the two yawning and somewhat fussy foals, both of whom were upset that their nap had been interrupted.

“Bon Bon put a little taste of caramel on Harper’s tongue. Harper went nuts,” Bucky said to Derpy. “She begged for more.”

“I bet that was cute,” Derpy replied as she felt Bucky’s face press up against her side, just ahead of her hips but behind her ribs.

“How about you and I go into the back bedroom and talk about these twins of ours?” Bucky suggested as he rubbed his cheek against Derpy.

Smiling, Sunset Shimmer looked at Derpy, who looked a little flustered.

Letting out a burble, Cadance began to kick around and fuss. Her horn glowed for a moment and a strange perfumed smell filled the nursery. A thin pink beam of energy shot from her horn and struck Bucky dead on, causing him to collapse to the floor in a heap.

“Bucky!” Derpy cried, dropping her head down to look at him.

Laying on the floor, Bucky was limp, unmoving, a big dopey grin on his face. He was drooling, a puddle of slobber was spreading over the hardwood floor. One ear twitched and flickered back and forth. His dock twitched, causing his tail to swish.

“Ish loveshoo,” Bucky mumbled.

“He’s drunk,” Sunset Shimmer said, looking down at Bucky and then at Derpy.

“Ish loveshooshomush,” Bucky moaned, his words slurring together.

Sunset Shimmer began to back away from the crib. “I’m not ready to love anypony just yet,” she said fearfully, shaking her head.

“What did she do to him?” Derpy asked.

“I dunno, but I would say that he is drunk on love,” Sunset replied as she kept backing away from the crib.

“He’s really happy,” Derpy whispered. “Is it wrong that I’m happy to see him like this?”

“Shexshy Shpegashush,” Bucky babbled.

“Has anybody raised a type five magic foal before?” Sunset Shimmer inquired as Bucky began to giggle uncontrollably. “I’m going to go and get Twilight. Stay here and look after him. Make sure he’s okay.”

 

 

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