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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Dinky had become a bug. This was no mere costume, no, Trixie had completed a useful bit of illusion granting Dinky the actual appearance of a changeling. Dinky looked at herself in the mirror, turning herself about so she could see herself at every angle, unable to believe her good fortune. This was going to be the best Nightmare Night ever.

Beside Dinky, Piña was also checking herself out in the mirror. Dinky had no idea who or what Piña was, but she was dressed up in a dark green cloak and had a fake plastic unicorn horn affixed to her forehead. Unable to bear it any longer, Dinky finally asked, “Piña, what are you dressed up as?”

“Clover the Clever.”

Oh. Dinky pondered Piña’s reply. Clover the Clever? Dinky thought to herself. “What made you want to go as Clover the Clever?”

In the mirror, Dinky saw Piña’s muzzle scrunch up for a moment, wrinkles appeared upon her nasal bridge, and Piña’s eyes narrowed. She saw the reflected Piña’s lips move and heard the real Piña say, “Twilight Sparkle dressed up as Star Swirl the Bearded. I want ponies to remember Clover the Clever.”

“That’s actually a really good reason Piña,” Dinky said as she watched her own lips moving in the mirror.

There was a soft creaking sound from somewhere in the room. Dinky heard it, felt a little bit creeped out by it, and then dismissed it as the wind outside or the house settling. She heard creaks all the time, and just because it was Nightmare Night didn’t mean that creaks had to be scary.

“Sentinel and Diamond Tiara are lucky. They have a theme together,” Piña said.

Heaving a sigh, Dinky felt a tiny twinge of envy. “They had the idea to dress up and be a superhero duo. We should have thought of that Piña… Diamond Tiara gets to be awesome as Princess Punishment and Sentinel gets to dress up as Captain Clobber.”

“Thankfully, Diamond Tiara can now be trusted with a wooden paddle,” Piña said as she reached around with one front hoof and rubbed her tiny backside thoughtfully, thinking of what might have happened with a wooden paddle and the old Diamond Tiara.

-Creak-

“Ever notice how so many superhero names use alliteration?” Piña asked

Listening to her sister’s words, Dinky stopped to consider what Piña had said. She looked at Piña in the mirror, reached out with her magic, and carefully straightened out her sister’s cloak so it didn’t look so rumpled. “You’re right.”

Something in the mirror rippled. The mirror itself was like a pond with a rock dropped in. Dinky could see… something. She felt all of the hairs on her back rise and then she heard Piña ask, “Did you see that?”

Dinky did not reply, but backed away from the mirror. “Something creepy on Nightmare Night… go figure…”

“Yeah… Nightmare Night… something creepy—”

Dinky heard Piña’s words cut off by a roaring whooshing sound. The mirror in front of them exploded, shards of glass went flying around the room, and from out of the mirror stepped Nightmare Moon herself, fangs gleaming, her terrible slitted eyes glittering, and her wings unfurled, casting a terrible black pall over the room.

Dinky, rather than succumbing to fear, did something else as she was overcome by terror. She unloaded her magic in a massive burst, unleashing a telekinetic slap towards Nightmare Moon, an act of purely reflexive magic.

The terrifying black alicorn was sent flying backwards, Piña let out an alarmed cry, and Dinky was already gearing up for another blast, her horn glowing with brilliant purple fire. Nightmare Moon slammed into the wall, cracking the plaster; just as Dinky was getting ready to unload, there was a massive burst of cold as the room filled with ice and snowflakes.

The bedroom erupted into chaos.

 

 

“I’m really sorry!”

Dinky’s voice was squeaky, pained, a voice filled with guilt, and Bucky gave her a little squeeze. It was the voice of a foal that was truly sorry for what they had done. He kissed the top of Dinky’s head. Dinky felt feverish, hot, sweaty, and he could feel her laboured breathing.

“The fault was entirely my own,” Luna said.

“You scared me!” Bucky could hear the faint whine in Dinky’s voice when she spoke and he continued to try to calm her, rubbing her side with his hoof.

“Well, yes, that was the idea. A most impressive display of magic Dinky… I haven’t been hit that hard in a while,” Luna said.

Offering Luna an apologetic glance, Bucky said, “I’m sorry too… I heard my foals screaming… I got scared.” He wondered if Luna was being sincere about being hit so hard or if she was trying to make Dinky feel better. A part of him wanted to believe it was the former, rather than the latter.

“What I did was foolish. Never once did I think that my prank would backfire. I should have known better. Thankfully the walls are now all fixed and no real harm was done,” Luna said.

“What about the mirror?” Dinky asked.

Taking a deep breath, Luna replied, “That was an illusion. The mirror never broke.”

“Some ponies cower in fear… others have learned to fight back. You have to be careful around the ones who have learned to fight back…” Pausing, Bucky allowed his words to settle in on all those who were listening, he knew that many ears had to be perked and were attentive right now. “I’m just glad that nopony was seriously hurt.”

“I now understand the pain that Grimglammer felt… little Piña packs a wallop,” Luna said as she rubbed her left foreleg with her right front fetlock. “One little touch… I’ll be feeling that for days.”

“Something tells me Piña isn’t sorry, given as how she is off sulking. Hopefully, she calms down,” Bucky said. He gave Dinky another squeeze and felt the little filly shudder. Using his talons, he gently stroked Dinky’s mane, brushing it away from her face and then kissed her once more. “Settling down Dinky?”

Bucky heard Dinky sniffling, her face was still pressed up against him. He saw her nod and felt a little relieved by her acknowledgment. “Don’t worry Dinky. We’ll get Trixie to get you looking like a changeling again and then hopefully you can still have some fun this evening.”

“Dinky, for whatever it is worth, as your godmother, I am very proud of your magical abilities,” Luna said.

Gently setting Dinky down upon the floor, Bucky patted her once upon the back, nudged her on her backside to get to moving, and then watched as Dinky slowly walked out of the living room. When Dinky was gone, he then turned his attention on Luna. “My nerves are frazzled. You must forgive me, but I will not be joining you in Ponyville this night. It is nothing personal, but I fear what I might do if I hear so much as a single yelp of fear or a foal’s startled cry.”

“Completely understood,” Luna said.

“Are you sure you are okay?” Bucky asked.

It took Luna a long time to reply. The alicorn was silent, thoughtful, Bucky watched her brows move, change positions several times, it was easy to see that Luna was busy thinking about something and Bucky began to wonder what.

“I am fine… believe me I have suffered much worse in my time, but I must say, I am surprised by the ferocity that both Dinky and Piña displayed once the shock of my appearance wore off…” Bucky listened intently to Luna’s words as she paused, hearing her words fading out, and knowing that she was about to say something important. “Your time upon the isles did much to change them.”

Not sure what to say, Bucky slipped into an unresponsive moment of reflection.

“As a father… you should feel proud… your foals stood up to Nightmare Moon...”

 

 

When Dinky came in, Piña was was getting her mane brushed by Belisama. It was calming, soothing, and helped Piña to calm down. There as was a quiet moment as Dinky entered; Piña knew why Dinky was there.

“Hello Dinky,” Belisama said.

The brush was moving in slow measured strokes, it started near one of Piña’s ears, ran down the back of her head, and the smooth bristles traveled along her neck, making her whole body want to push upwards into the brush to get more pressure. The back bedroom was quiet, her parent’s bed was large, and Piña found the dim lighting soothing.

“We have candy and treats to go out and get,” Dinky said.

Piña allowed herself to settle against the griffoness brushing her as she looked at Dinky. She gave her sibling a meaningful stare. She wanted to say no… she wanted to say, No, I will not be going out tonight, I will be staying at home to have a good sulk.

“Come on Piña, don’t be a grumplepuss. Auntie loves us. Nightmare Night is all about pranks and scaring, and Luna wanted to make sure she gave us a special scare because we’re family and she loves us. And then things sort of got out of hoof as they usually do in this family. For some reason. Hmm…” Piña watched as Dinky shrugged when her words faded out.

The hairbrush continued its smooth steady strokes, which made Piña want to close her eyes. It wasn’t even dark yet, and the soothing touch of the brush made Piña want to go to sleep. It was good weather for sleeping…

For a moment, Piña imagined crawling into bed. The sheets would be cool, maybe even chilly to the touch. Crawling into a bed and waiting for the sheets to warm always caused the most delightful shivering. You could feel the chill against your skin, pressing through your pelt, and you could rub your body around over the cool fabric, encountering cold spots and then warmed spots, until eventually the sheets warmed and then you had to roll over under the covers to find a new spot with cool sheets. The pillow was no different, it would be delightfully cool against your cheek, warming over time, and then if you wanted it to be cool again, you had to lift your head and flip your pillow over, hoping the other side would be cool.

“Piña?” Dinky asked.

Blinking, Piña snapped back into reality as Belisama gave her ear a gentle tug. “Oh… uh… um… what?”

“Dinky asked you if you still wanted to dress up as Clover the Clever and go outside this evening,” Belisama said.

“I bet Luna feels really bad about what happened… it was just a silly prank that went too far… are you feeling alright Piña?”

Am I feeling alright? Piña paraphrased mentally. “I’m fine Dinky… if I told you, you would laugh… it just felt really good, being brushed, and I felt kinda sleepy. Started thinking about the feeling of cool sheets on a bed and how good it feels to crawl between them.”

“And cool pillows?” Dinky asked.

Feeling rather surprised, Piña nodded. “Yeah. How? I mean, how did you know?”

As the hairbrush continued to stroke away stress, Piña watched Dinky shrugging in response to the question that Piña had asked.

“Sisters often like the same things... Bandua and I certainly did.”

When Belisama’s words paused for a moment mid-sentence, Piña felt the brush pause for a moment as well, freezing in place on the back of her head. Worried for Belisama, Piña said, “Oh no, please don’t be sad.”

“I have no intention on being sad, but there is no harm in remembering those you have lost,” Belisama said.

“Will you come with us Belisama?” Piña asked as she pressed herself against Belisama’s warm body. The griffoness was not much bigger than Piña, really the ideal size to cuddle with, and Piña enjoyed Belisama-mama’s company quite a bit.

“I hadn’t planned on it, but I will come with you since you’ve asked,” Belisama said.

“Come on Piña, let’s go kiss and make up with Luna. She’s probably scared that we’ll never speak to her again and that’s not nice.”

Heaving a sigh, Piña found herself in agreement. “Fine, I’ll go talk to Luna, but I’m making her feel guilty before I let her know everything is fine.”

“That works… I mean, we’re foals. Looking adorable and sad is what we're supposed to do… how else will we keep the adults in line?” Dinky asked.

“I suppose I’ll get ready to go,” Belisama said as she finally stopped brushing.

 

 

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