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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The wind was bitterly cold and Ripple shivered in her simple but beautiful gown. The gown was a vibrant sunny shade of yellow, trimmed with sapphire as well as crimson, and was made of some thin silky material that Ripple did not know the name of. It did nothing to stop the wind.

Beside her, Bittersweet was dressed in a gown of identical make, and try as she might, Ripple could not help but be distracted. On her other side was Rising Star, he was tall, handsome, and wearing a custom made crushed velvet jacket with broad lapels, dark purple, almost black, he had a soft pink shirt under his jacket with an old style cravat tied around his collar. The style was almost two hundred years out of date but Rising Star made it look good, or so Ripple believed. She didn’t care what others thought of her or her husband. She only knew that she liked what she saw.

Ripple’s sister Loch Skimmer wore a somewhat frilly dress of emerald green. Against her charcoal grey pelt, along with her straw coloured mane and tail, Loch Skimmer looked truly beautiful, the dress matched her glass green eyes perfectly. Ripple could see her sister strutting around, taking this opportunity to practice the old adage, ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it.’ Loch Skimmer certainly had it.

The most shocking outfit belonged to Sparkler, and Ripple couldn’t help but be entranced. Sparkler wore a jacket almost identical to Rising Star’s, crushed velvet, but in a dazzling electric blue. Beneath it was a green shirt that matched Loch Skimmer’s gown. Instead of a cravat, Sparkler wore a long string tie that had been carefully knotted into a bow.

Seeing Sparkler in something that could have been so masculine, but the way that Sparkler made it look so feminine made Ripple’s heart go pitter-pat.

A flashbulb popped and Ripple nearly jumped out of her skin, almost forgetting that several members of the press were here to respectfully observe. The wedding, intended to be a small intimate affair, had unintentionally become quite an event since several herds had been invited, as well as a host of other guests. Ripple was far too nervous to even keep track of everypony who was here.

The wind gusted again, causing Ripple to shiver. She wasn’t certain if it was just the cold, her anticipation, or her nerves. As a pegasus, Ripple believed she was capable of tolerating the cold, but the chill in the air had bite.

Much to her own embarrassment, Ripple let out a nervous squeak when she felt Rising Star give her a nudge. She could feel him against her now, his body was warm, he was always so warm, and now she appreciated his heated touch more than ever. She felt Rising Star’s lips brushing up against her ear and then she heard him say, “Ripple, it’s time. Go on, don’t be shy.”

Swallowing, Ripple suddenly felt a lump in her throat. It was time. She turned to look at Bittersweet, saw the donkey looking at her, and then turned to look at her father.

Bucky was sitting next to Luna, and Luna had Erebus slung from a thick shawl around her neck. Her father wore his black cloak and nothing else, it did not flap in the breeze, which made Ripple shiver even more when she looked at it. Luna was wearing a thick woollen cloak in a deep rich royal purple. A gown was too impractical when Erebus grew hungry.

Ripple took a step forward and saw Bittersweet move in step with her. Ripple slowly approached her father, glancing at the sea of faces all around her, offering up a shy smile, and then she looked back at her father.

Standing in front of Bucky, she bowed her head slightly, tried to remember her rehearsed lines, and said, “Sire, I have brought you my love in hopes that you will call her daughter. I give her to you for your inspection. Please, make her your own.” The words were old, timeless, it was something that Luna had suggested, Ripple liked old things, old traditions, in her heart Ripple was a romantic and she knew this. Sire in this instance was not a title for royalty, but the old word that had existed long ago for father.

Nervous, sweating now under her wings, her heart thudding madly in her chest, Ripple stepped aside so that Bittersweet could take her place. This was an old ritual, an old practice from a time when herds were commonplace and the grown offspring of the herd still lived with their parents, forming extended herds.

She saw Bucky lift his head, she saw her father blink, and Ripple sucked in her breath and held it without knowing why. She knew her father would never refuse her anything, yet she still felt fear for some unknown reason. Her dock itched, and Ripple wanted nothing more than to sit down and rub her backside along the ground to relieve the itch. She saw Bucky lean forward and plant a kiss just above Bittersweet’s nose and just below her eyes.

“I would be proud to have this one as my daughter. Let it be known that I have claimed her as my own. My house is her house, my family is her family, and I will claim all of her foals as my own kith and kin. For those that would do her harm, they risk bringing down the wrath of my entire house upon their head.”

Ripple felt her breath catch her in throat. She tried to swallow, tried to breathe, tried to do something, anything, and found she could do nothing. Finally, after a long painful moment, she sucked in a wheezing gasp of air and stood there with her mouth open. She was supposed to say something, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember what it was right now.

“Guh.”

Oh bugger, Ripple said to herself internally. She had shut down completely and was now standing in one spot looking like an idiot. Something warm brushed up against her side. She felt a gentle shove. For a moment, she didn’t know what was going on, and for one terrifying moment, she wanted to spread her wings and just fly away.

“Mama has you.”

Ripple knew that voice.

Ripple knew that voice.

Blinking, Ripple was given another gentle shove forwards towards Bucky.

“My little Ripple I do believe is taken with the beauty of her bride. Bittersweet is a beautiful creature,” Ripple heard Bon Bon say as another shove brought her a little closer to her father and Bittersweet. Ripple’s legs were too stiff to move, and she felt herself overheating. Cold sweat beaded along her belly, she could feel the breeze painfully cutting through her thin pelt down here, and penetrating into her skin.

She felt a painful tension in her wings and silently begged that they did not explode outward suddenly. Ripple began to concentrate all of efforts on not embarrassing herself at her own wedding.

It took all of her effort, but Ripple managed to painfully croak out a few strained and somewhat raspy words when she said, “Mama, help me.”

A moment later, she felt Bon Bon’s lips press against her cheek in a soft warm kiss. “Where is my fearless warrior?” Ripple heard Bon Bon ask, Bon Bon’s words tickling Ripple’s ear, making it flick and twitch.

Feeling herself shoved up against Bittersweet, Ripple found herself now pinned between Bon Bon’s solid body and Bittersweet, who was smaller, but no less sturdy.

“Ripple, honey, can you do this?” Bucky asked.

Slowly, the tendons in her neck creaking, Ripple nodded.

“Bucky, I can feel her heart racing and her wings are throbbing. We need to get her out of here now. She needs quiet time away from all of this,” Bon Bon warned in a low hushed whisper.

Ripple saw Luna stepping forward, moving to where Bittersweet could see her. Ripple did not register the look of concern upon Luna’s face. Rising Star was suddenly in the corner of her vision, standing next to Bon Bon. She could hear Sparkler’s voice whispering something, but she could not make out what it was. She then heard Loch Skimmer replying, but once more, Ripple could not hear what was being said. Her ears were ringing now. Her wings felt too tight.

It was entirely too cold and too hot at the same time.

“Bittersweet, do you willingly accept Ripple as your lifemate, and with Ripple, her herdmates?” Luna asked, stripping away all sense of formality to hurry this along, and speaking very carefully so Bittersweet could read her lips.

Ripple saw Bittersweet nod once, then a second time. She glanced at Luna and saw Luna’s teal eyes flashing in the last remaining daylight as the sun slowly settled towards the horizon.

“Ripple, do you willingly accept Bittersweet as your lifemate?” Luna asked.

Opening her mouth slowly, Ripple made a gurgling sound in reply and after some effort, managed to say, “Yes.”

“Rising Star, Sparkler, as the Patriarch and the Matriarch of your herd, do you have any objections?” Luna asked.

“I have none,” Ripple heard Rising Star say.

“Neither do I.” That voice was Sparkler’s and Ripple took a deep breath when she heard it. Some of the tightness in her barrel eased off at the sound of Sparkler’s voice.

“Buckminster, you have accepted this one as your own daughter?” Luna asked.

Ripple heard her father’s voice and the sound was such a relief. “I have.”

“And what of you, Derpy, do you claim this one as one of your own?” Luna asked.

Ripple waited, inhaling sharply, it was almost over now. “I do,” Ripple heard her mother say, and she exhaled slowly upon hearing the words.

“Then all of you, she is yours. Do what is right for her and keep her always. This contract is customarily sealed with a kiss, which you may do so now,” Luna said.

Turning her head slowly, Ripple looked at Bittersweet, and saw the donkey was smiling. A moment later, all she could see was Bittersweet, the donkey’s face filling her field of vision, and then she felt two lips pressing into her own. Ripple could hear a lot of ponies shouting, cheering, the sound was painful in her ears. It was almost too much to bear…

“Come on Ripple, let’s go inside and get you calmed down,” Ripple heard Rising Star say as she felt Bittersweet pull away from the kiss. Ripple felt herself being herded along now, she felt stupidly happy on top of everything else she was feeling, which was overwhelming.

“Sorry everypony, I think the bride is feeling a little overwhelmed… maybe she’ll join us again later when she’s calmed down. She appears to be a little spooked,” Bon Bon announced.

 

 

The whiskey burned going down, it was liquid fire, but Loch Skimmer enjoyed it a great deal. After setting down her glass, she looked at Ripple, who seemed to be recovering after a glass of whiskey had been poured down her throat. Ripple was still coughing and sputtering, but was much more responsive.

The herd, now five members strong, was gathered around the dining room table together, an open bottle of Barley’s single malt sitting on the middle of the table.

Loch Skimmer watched as Bittersweet, who was holding her glass tumbler between her two front hooves, carefully set her glass down upon the table. The donkey, who looked like she was about to swallow her own lips, was blinking and shaking her head, which caused her long floppy ears to flap around crazily.

“I thought we were about to lose Ripple for a moment there,” Sparkler said.

Nodding, Loch Skimmer watched as Rising Star poured her another glass and she could hear Ripple’s laboured wheezing breathing. She could smell the peaty smoky smell of the whiskey. All of her senses felt overloaded. “I think Ripple was about to pop a wingboner there.”

“I was, I think,” Loch Skimmer heard Ripple admit, which made Loch Skimmer smile.

“What happened Ripple?” Rising Star asked.

Turning to look at her sister and to watch her carefully, Loch Skimmer, under her jubilant sense of happiness, felt a deep sense of concern. She listened carefully as Ripple said, “I don’t know… I just got nervous all of a sudden.”

“Eh, stuff happens,” Sparkler said as she poured herself another drink.

Lifting her glass with her hoof, Loch Skimmer drained it one gulp, grimaced, and then carefully banged her glass against the table to get her herd’s attention. She drew a deep breath, tried to swallow the fiery burn, and shuddered as the whiskey worked its way down. “Remember… no pressuring Ripple or Bittersweet… they’re perfectly content to just keep snogging and have a bit of heavy petting. Or sweaty petting. Don’t ruin it for them, and by extension, us. Ripple wants to go slowly about this and we need to remember to respect that.”

Rising Star lifted his glass and Loch Skimmer heard him say, “Hear hear.”

As Rising Star was filling her glass, Loch Skimmer got an eyeful of Sparkler wrapping her forelegs around Bittersweet’s neck and giving the donkey a loving smooch on the corner of her mouth.

“You know, saying ‘I love you’ actually becomes easier when you don’t have to worry about words,” Sparkler said.

After a moment of consideration, Loch Skimmer found herself in agreement. Leaning over, she planted a smouldering whiskey fueled fiery kiss upon Rising Star’s lips, and as her lip lock intensified, she reached out with both wings to tickle Rising Star’s ears. She felt the stallion pull away abruptly with a wet sounding slurp.

“Hey! No being sneaky!”

Ignoring Rising Star’s protests, Loch Skimmer pulled him in for another kiss. As her lips pressed hotly into Rising Star, Loch Skimmer heard a supersonic crack from across the table, and she knew without looking that Ripple’s wings had finally unfurled.

“Wow, Bittersweet is really working Ripple over,” Sparkler said.

 

 

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