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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She was so close… she was right beside him. It was difficult to breathe. Unable to help himself, Sentinel drew in a deep breath through his nose, smelling her. He could feel her ribs against his own ribs, and he had one wing wrapped over her back. He could feel her hips pressed up against his own. Cutie marks were touching. She was warm against him. A part of him wanted to roll over onto her and mark her with his scent glands. Sentinel carefully held this part of him in check.

“Come on Sentinel, don’t be stubborn, let me help you with your problem.”

Shaking his head, Sentinel offered silent protest to the filly laying on the carpet beside him. He had his pride. The fact that he even had this problem was a major source of awkwardness and embarrassment.

“Sentinel, come on, let me help you. I understand that these problems require a soft touch. All you have to do is let me help you. As your filly friend, that is what I am here for. Helping you with your troubles when the need arises.”

Again, another shake of his head. Sentinel clung to his pride, foolish as it might be. “Diamond Tiara… I’ll take care of this problem on my own. I can’t expect you to help me with these problems every time this issue pops up. I have my problem firmly in hoof and I can take care of it.”

Sentinel heard a snort in reply. “Sure you will Sentinel. Just look at the fine job you’ve done so far. You’ve been working on that problem for the past half an hour and so far, all you’ve done is make a mess out of it. Now let me help you finish it off,” he heard Diamond Tiara say, her mouth right next to his ear. He could feel her warm breath on his cheek. He could turn his head and his lips would touch her cheek… that was tempting, instead, he took a deep breath to say…

“But I—”

“But nothing… if you don’t let me help you work this out, you’re going to be all cranky and in a bad mood. It’s okay if a colt can’t finish the job by himself,” Diamond Tiara said.

Clearing his throat, Sentinel tried to make sure there was no trace of a whine in his words as he said, “It’s just so long… and there is so much repetition… I didn’t know what I was getting into. I feel worn out after struggling with it for so long. I think I’m getting a cramp too, and that’s making it even harder to deal with.”

“Yes Sentinel… it is certainly very long. You were very brave to try and tackle this problem all by yourself. Now please, just try to relax and let me help you finish this off…”

Sentinel sighed. Diamond Tiara’s words were so pleading… she was so eager to help him when he had a big problem that left him frustrated. She really wanted to help him with his problems. He sighed again as he decided to allow her to help him finish. She was good at this sort of thing, she could bang it out quickly and then help him clean up the big mess he made afterwards.

“Okay fine… Diamond Tiara, would you please help me with this long division problem… I can’t do this without you and we have to show our work… my work is all over the paper and once again I have made a mess of things…”

 

 

Sprawled in his chair, laying in a sphinx-like position with Harper nestled in his forelegs, Bucky yawned. He had barely been awake for an hour before the problems of the world had once again intruded upon him. Harper was fussy and would not be consoled by anypony else. Violet Velvet had arrived with a dispatch from Canterlot.

He blinked, still feeling a little out of sorts, and enjoyed the feeling of Harper held close to him, even if she was a little snotty at the moment. Bucky didn’t mind.

“Princess Celestia felt it was prudent so she took the liberty of securing a psychiatrist for the school. With Diamond Tiara and Little Slip, as well as many other students who might need the help, I feel this is a good idea, sir.”

For a moment, Bucky thought about Violet’s words. She was in good form today. He was not in good form. He was just not awake yet. “I concur.”

“Very good sir… her name is Mawu. She is from the Sea of Grass and she arrived with the zebra students. She is a bocor and a psychiatrist, so one might say she is an actual witch—”

Bucky raised his remaining eyebrow…

“—doctor. She is the most unusual zebra, her tribal mark is associated with the moon, she possesses a minor form of dream magic, practices hypnosis, and specialises in behavioural modification. She was invited to join the Council of Bocors by Bocor Oya herself, but turned them down because she didn’t feel they were progressive enough to her liking.”

As Harper gave him one very snotty kiss on the snoot, Bucky felt both impressed by what he was hearing, and ever so slightly disgusted by Harper’s affectionate snot slick smooch.

With a faint pop, Bucky conjured up a towel and began to wipe off Harper’s face. As the foal wiggled in his grasp, protesting having her face scrubbed, Bucky said, “Good. I’ll be glad to meet with her. Send an official note of thanks to Celestia. Also, make sure to thank her for the popcorn, the students enjoyed it a great deal.”

Looking up from Harper, Bucky could see that Violet was hesitating about something. “Out with it,” he commanded.

“Sir, the, uh, companionship establishment has been approved by Princess Twilight Sparkle, much to my surprise. The town council is in favour. All that is left is for you to sign it the papers offering your agreement and Ponyville will have a place where, uh, ponies can procure a means to ward off loneliness. What little crime that Ponyville currently has left is expected to drop down to near nothingness when this goes into effect,” Violet said.

Bucky, who was enjoying watching Violet squirm, nodded his head. “After a very long talk with Sparkler, whom I trust, I find myself in full support of this venture.”

 

 

“—so Dinky, does that help you understand everything that just happened?” Loch Skimmer asked as she carefully studied Dinky, looking for signs that the foal might still be upset or confused.

Dinky was thoughtful, quiet, Loch Skimmer hadn’t heard Dinky say much. She turned her head and looked over at Derpy, the grey pegasus mare looked relieved, calmer, Derpy had been almost frantic when she had first come to Loch Skimmer, and Loch Skimmer, for reasons she could not explain, became panicked when Derpy became panicked. Loch Skimmer supposed it was flock behaviour.

“I think I’m okay with it. Still having a hard time understanding that ponies want to feel that way. It kinda hurt,” Loch Skimmer heard Dinky say in a soft voice, the sort of voice that a foal uses when they were embarrassed and didn’t want anypony else hearing.

Reaching out, Loch Skimmer placed a hoof under Dinky’s chin. She lifted the foal’s head up so she and Dinky were looking eye to eye. “You probably just had a very strong reaction and it was your first time. I promise you, generally, they don’t hurt, but sometimes they do. Sometimes in a good way. And if you do decide to make another one happen, I’ve shown you what to do to make that possible. It is your body and you can make the choice to explore it. It isn’t dirty, it isn’t wrong, and even your mother has told you this.”

“I still like to rub one out in the tub sometimes… it is very relaxing,” Derpy said.

As Loch Skimmer watched, Dinky shuddered, and Loch Skimmer smiled. Dinky clearly didn’t want to think about her mother experiencing what she had experienced.

“I don’t think I can ever show my face in public again,” Dinky said as she broke eye contact with Loch Skimmer, much to Loch Skimmer’s dismay.

Looking over at Derpy, Loch Skimmer pursed her lips for a moment, made a clucking sound with her tongue as she internally debated about what she was about to suggest, and then steeled her resolve. “Derpy, mama, we need to fetch Piña and bring her in here with us. Has anypony stopped to even ask her how confused or frightened she might be about all of this?”

“Oh gosh! We need to find Piña!” Derpy said.

 

 

Feeling fearful but not knowing why, Piña Colada looked up at Scorch, curious about the fey fire elemental. For whatever reason, he had called her over. Using her curiousity to overcome her fear, Piña sat down and waited for Scorch to say something.

“You are a very special foal, did you know that?” Scorch asked.

Nodding, Piña agreed. “I know I’m special.” She saw Scorch smile, and she hoped it was because of her words. He was currently in earth pony form; this time he was very large, very orange, and he smelled faintly of woodsmoke.

“Your auntie Celestia wanted me to have a talk with you. Celestia was worried about your new magic and how it might manifest. You have strength now, power, enough so that it might even be a danger to yourself,” Scorch said.

Feeling her ears go stiff as they perked forward, Piña now gave Scorch her undivided attention. All of the strange fear she was feeling melted away, replaced by what Piña understood as feeling calm.

“Magic is a funny thing. I can hurl spells without a horn. I don’t need one. I can cast magic in any form I take. You on the other hand, lack projection. You have the means to make magic, powerful magic even, but only from what you can manifest from your hooves. So it seems that you are going to be limited to spells that affect yourself or spells that require a touch.”

Hmm, Piña thought to herself as she licked the back of her front teeth with her tongue. She raised her right front hoof, looked down at it for a moment, studied it, and then looked back up at Scorch.

“You could, should you prove gifted in this area, enchant things by touching them. You may have the potential to shape things. Celestia is very curious if you might be able to speed up the growth of plants, given that you are an earth pony with a working thaumaturgic system and a connection to the earth. You might be able to shape shift. You give off a very powerful magical signature, one very similar to what your kind call a ‘type three’ I think. I am very good at working with intrinsic magic and I do believe that I might be able to help you,” Scorch said.

“Could you give me a horn?” Piña asked. She looked up at Scorch and focused her gaze upon him, knowing full well that few adults could resist her stare. She watched the big orange earth pony shift uncomfortably.

“I could… in fact, give you a horn. But if I did so, it would defeat the purpose of learning how to utilise your special gifts as an earth pony,” Piña heard Scorch reply. His words were slowly spoken, and Piña detected an adult speaking to a foal in a very adult speaking to a foal manner. This annoyed her, but only somewhat, and she realised that Scorch did not realise that Piña was having a go at him.

Dropping her ruse, Piña revealed her feelings. “Don’t worry… I don’t actually want a horn. I want to be an earth pony wizard. Wings might be nice though.”

Scorch smiled and Piña saw him relax. Scorch wasn’t so bad, and Piña couldn’t understand or remember why she had been afraid of him when she had first approached him.

“Celestia warned me that you were a little troublemaker… I like troublemakers.”

“Good, cause I like making trouble.” Piña emphasised her words with a broad bright smile and gave Scorch a wink.

“I’m going to teach you how to make even more trouble.” Piña heard Scorch pause for a moment and then she saw him look down at her. “As far as wings go, if you can figure out how to shapeshift, you can give yourself wings.”

“Really?” Piña asked, suddenly feeling very excited.

“In theory, it should be possible. You have a very powerful thaumaturgic system. I think what you need is just more focus. You’re young, everything is exciting, and that makes it difficult to sit still, concentrate, and pay attention.”

“I can read and study for very long periods of time,” Piña said. She felt her muscles tighten as her brows pulled down over her eyes.

“That’s different, but it is a good start.”

Piña wondered why it was different, but Scorch didn’t seem to have more to say on the subject. After a few moments of waiting, Piña said, “Oh.”

“I see one of your mothers coming… and Loch Skimmer… come and speak with me again Piña. I have much to teach you if you will let me.”

Figuring now was a good time to be adorable, Piña replied, “Okay Scorchy.”

 

 

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