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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Moving through the crowd, Spike chuckled as he moved away from the stage and away from the gathered mass of ponies along with a few griffons. Nightmare Night was not the same without Pinkie Pie running around. Because of the cold, ponies wanted a place to go and get warm, and Sugarcube Corner was packed wall to wall, with Pinkie Pie manning the counter.

Swallowing massive poof of cotton candy, Spike then licked his fingers as he made his way through the crowd. This was turning out to be a good night.

“DO NOT LITTER!”

The voice belonged to a garbage golem… turning, Spike saw it, it was towering over a zombified Discord. Spike watched the confrontation with eager anticipation. The garbage golems were awesome.

“I SAID DO NOT LITTER! YOU HAVE JUST DROPPED SEVERAL BRICKS!”

“Yes I did! No! Don’t eat that! I’m a zombie, I can’t help that I dribble gooey bits! This is discrimination! I am living impaired! You just consumed and incinerated a part of my tail! This is a hate crime!”

Rubbing his stomach, Spike carefully belched and continued to watch the drama unfold.

“Stop discriminating against undead Equestrians!”

“DO NOT LITTER!”

The golem went stomping off to find other litterers, leaving Discord alone. Spike waddled over to Discord and poked the gooey undead draconequus with his claw.

Taking a deep breath, Spike said, “Um, Discord, I think that you just dropped something…”

“DO NOT LITTER!”

 

 

Allowing herself to shiver, Diamond Tiara moved a little closer to Sentinel and leaned her head in close to his ear. “I’m cold.” She waited for her words to settle in, scooted a little closer, and then allowed her teeth to chatter a bit.

As planned, Diamond Tiara felt Sentinel’s wing wrap around her. She scooted as close as she could get, pressing up against his side, and rubbed her cheek against his.

“We should think about heading home soon,” Sentinel said.

Home sounded good and Diamond Tiara thought about her warm bed in the room that she shared with Dinky and Piña… the room she wouldn’t be sharing much longer. The room in the house that now felt like home with the ponies she now considered her family.

There was suddenly a large lump in Diamond Tiara’s throat. She shivered, not from the cold, and closed her eyes for a moment. “I’ve come to depend on you… not just you, but the others too… you’ve seen me at my very worst and you’ve been my friend.”

“Yes I have,” Sentinel said.

“Why?” Diamond Tiara asked.

She felt Sentinel squirm and then she felt herself being pulled around. Diamond Tiara knew better than to resist. For all of her strength as an earth pony, Sentinel was stronger by far. She found herself chest to chest with him and his wings wrapped around her. His snoot was touching hers and she could see little else but his amber yellow eyes.

When Sentinel’s lips touched her own, Diamond Tiara realised she was being softly kissed. It was little more than an innocent kiss, but it was how she had been kissed.

With her cheeks now on fire, Diamond Tiara felt herself trembling. “You never answered my question…”

Again, the soft touch of lips against her own. Very much against her will, she felt herself melting and her resolve to insist upon an answer slipping. When he pulled away, Diamond Tiara took a deep breath and realised that the night was now far too warm. “You… your father has been giving you advice… this isn’t fair…”

“If you trust me, I could fly you home… no fancy stunts, no high flying, just a simple bit of gliding. You could ride on my back. I’ll keep you safe.”

“I would let you carry me anywhere...”

 

 

“Is everything counted?” Bon Bon asked as Lyra locked the register.

Lyra, who offered Bon Bon an exhausted smile, nodded. “Sure is. We’ve never made this much money in one night… ever.”

Hearing Lyra’s words, Bon Bon finally allowed herself to relax. She took a deep breath, rubbed her head with her front left fetlock, and then gave her head a shake, causing her ears to flop around.

Rising Star, who was cleaning the floor, looked over in the corner booth where Loch Skimmer, Piña, and Dinky were all piled together sleeping. Using his magic, Rising Star made the floor look like new again. “That was some kind of rush just before midnight.”

Slumping into a chair, Bon Bon turned to look at Rising Star. “Most of the adult Nightmare Night parties start at midnight. Last minute shoppers and all that… I can’t believe we ran out of most of the candy. We did so much preparation.”

“Apples are gone. The cocoa mix is nearly depleted, we’ll need to make more. There are no more bon bons. The chocolate covered cherries are gone. There is still a bit of taffy, some caramel corn, and a few odd treats, but our big sellers are completely gone. We have nothing to open the store with tomorrow,” Lyra reported.

Letting out a pained whine, Bon Bon rubbed her head with both front fetlocks. “There is no way I am opening the shop tomorrow. No.”

Sitting down at the same table as Bon Bon, Lyra heaved a weary sigh. “Good thing too. Poor Helia… she was suffering near the end there. She could use a day off. I worry about her.”

Bon Bon allowed her head to fall down to the table with a soft muffled thump. “She’s gonna complain about a day of no work being a day with no pay.”

“I bet the Ponyville Tea Room midnight masquerade is going to be fun,” Lyra said as she slumped down in her chair and closed her eyes. The unicorn yawned, then stretched, and then went limp in her chair.

With the floor now completely cleaned, Rising Star went over and took a seat at the table with Bon Bon and Lyra. “You two going to be up for the trip home?”

“No,” Lyra yawned.

“We’ll manage to get home somehow,” Bon Bon said.

Rising Star reached out and patted Bon Bon. “I can carry you all home.”

Lifting her head, Bon Bon blinked at Rising Star. “How? How are you like this?”

Shrugging, Rising Star fell back on his old standby. “Fey stamina.”

Letting out a low exhausted moan, Lyra reached up and rubbed her muzzle. “I wonder what Bucky’s secret is.”

Chucking, Rising Star shrugged once more. “Maybe Bucky is really a vampire that drinks booze instead of blood.”

Giving Rising Star a sour glare, Bon Bon let out an equine snort of disapproval. “You shouldn’t say such a thing about your father, even as a joke. Bucky a vampire… that’s preposterous. The fey may have stamina but it seems your humour leaves a lot to be desired.”

“Sorry Bon Bon… I was just being silly. I know Bucky really isn’t a vampire,” Rising Star said with his ears pinned back against his skull, hoping to sound apologetic.

“Really Rising Star, for shame… you have fangs too. How would you feel if people went around saying you were vampire… or poor little Sentinel!” Bon Bon said as she continued to give Rising Star a good scolding.

Hanging his head, Rising Star heaved a sigh. “I’ve messed up. Let me have it. When you’re done, I’ll carry all of you home.”

 

 

Smiling a wry smile, Luna watched as the owl circled overhead, its wings silently flapping, and then she watched as it came in for a landing on the nearby stage, perching upon a now darkened lantern.

“Hello Bucky,” Luna said.

The owl fluffed out, flapped its wings, and hooted indignantly.

Amused by the owl’s antics, Luna chuckled for a moment and then stepped a little closer to the now empty stage. “Bucky, you’re not fooling anypony.”

“Bugger,” the owl said.

Luna’s mouth dropped open from feigned shock. “Oh Mister Owl… in front of a princess no less!” Luna’s ears pinned back against her skull and she took another step closer. “Or should I call you Mister One Eyed Owl?”

The screech owl let out annoyed hoot but did not say anything in reply.

“So what brings you here Bucky?” Luna asked.

The owl settled down, fluffed out his feathers, and then covered his talons to keep his feet warm. “How did your big appearance as Nightmare Moon go?”

Visibly deflating, Luna slumped. “I could not do it. When the time came, all I could think about was what happened earlier. Then I thought about Erebus. After that, I thought about Barley. I thought about all of the ponies that I love… and found that I could not do it.”

The owl tilted his head. “Oh.”

“I finally have some acceptance. Ponies trust me and see me as their guardian. I have finally earned their trust… I never want to damage that,” Luna said as she looked down at Erebus, who was tucked away in her shawl.

Nearby, Barley let out a snort and then continued snoring under a heavy blanket.

“Bucky, you and I, we have a thin and fragile trust with our subjects. I know how ponies feel about you… you scare them. You arethe boogeypony. The whole thing is funny really, my subjects trust that I have enough control over you to keep them safe and to keep you focused upon our enemies,” Luna said.

The owl blinked. “Wait, are you saying that ponies are more afraid of me than they are of you? Am I understanding this correctly?”

Heaving an exasperated sigh, Luna scowled. “I can almost hear the perverse sense of pride in your voice…”

Shaking his head, the owl fluttered its wings. “No, not that. Was just surprised, that’s all. I mean, it is kinda your place to protect your subjects from the boogeypony so this is kind of how it should be… I suppose.”

Pursing her lips together, Luna thought about Bucky’s words. “Hmm.”

“Barley looks worn out,” the owl said.

“We drank. Well, he drank. I drank very little. I do not wish to bring harm to Erebus. We danced. He refused to sit down and rest his aching knees, so I levitated him and we continued to dance… slowly… together… neck to neck and cheek to cheek,” Luna said in a voice now softened with emotion. “He’s going to leave me someday Bucky… it hurts so much.”

The owl flew from the stage, his wings almost silent, and then a moment later landed near where Barley lay sleeping on a pile of straw, covered up in a blanket. “You might have him for a long time still. Look at Granny Smith. She’s around a century mark… Barley is what, in his late sixties if I recall? The old fart might manage to outlive me.”

“Shut up Buckminster! You shut up this moment!” Luna demanded.

Rotating his head around, the owl looked at Luna. “How long do I have Luna? Twenty years? A little more? A little less? What do my stars say Luna? Or do you ignore them in the hopes that ignorance is bliss?”

“Shut up Buckminster, or so help me…”

The owl fell silent.

Taking a few deep breaths, Luna internally counted backwards from ten to try and calm herself. When this was done, she glared daggers at Bucky, hating him just a tiny bit for accepting his mortality. She swallowed, feeling a painful lump trying to rise up from her stomach, and then blinked back tears.

She then felt a tremendous pressure in her horn. With a pop, a scroll appeared in front of Luna’s face. She caught it before it hit the ground, broke the seal, unrolled it, and began to read.

The owl watched with curious interest.

“Buckminster, we must get Barley home. Now. There has been an emergency meeting of the Council of Immortals. It seems they know of my sister’s announcement tomorrow. We must take Barley home, fetch Cadance, and then come and fetch Twilight Sparkle and Spike,” Luna said as she rolled up the scroll.

“Wait, why Twilight and Spike?” Bucky asked. “Twilight is mortal… I don’t understand.”

“Because Twilight is Spike’s adoptive guardian, and Spike is underage…”

 

 

Author's Note:

So... Spike... has anybody been paying attention to the clues... like the fact that Spike's egg was not real? I've been dropping little hints here and there that something is up with Spike.

 
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