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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Twilight Sparkle settled in between Flash Sentry and Rainbow Dash. Around her were the foals and the one baby dragon, all of them very dear to her. Off to her right was Bucky and his herd, which took up a tremendous amount of room. Over to her left was Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Tourmaline, and Erebus. Beyond Princess Celestia was Tannis and Agnetha.

Bucky’s family was still trying to get organised and situated so all of them would fit in the picture. Twilight felt somewhat relieved that her family was rather small. She looked over at Spike because he would not stop squirming, and she sighed when she saw him.

“Bucky, why did you give Spike a mustache?” Twilight Sparkle asked while Spike was smoothing out his magnificent handlebar mustache.

Feeling somewhat annoyed, Bucky replied, “What makes you think I gave him the mustache? Why is it when something happens I am always the one to blame?”

“Bucky, I’ve been with you and helped you go on a spree of vandalism—”

“Ah HAH! I knew it!”

Twilight Sparkle cringed at the sound of Celestia’s voice. She gritted her teeth and waited for the lecture, all too aware that she had just messed up. She could feel every eye in the room looking at her while she kept her own eyes squeezed shut. Somewhere in the back of her mind she marveled that Celestia’s composure and reserved behaviour had been completely abandoned.

“Twilight Sparkle how could you?” Celestia asked.

Opening one eye, Twilight dared to glance over at her former mentor. “Me? What about Bucky?” It was impossible to tell if Celestia was angry or having fun and Twilight felt a twinge of panic.

“That sort of behaviour is expected from Bucky… he is a foal all things considered—”

Bucky cleared his throat in protest and then turned to look at Celestia as she was speaking. “Hey!”

Celestia shook her head. “Bucky, my dear little pony, you must face the facts. Shall we ask your wives?”

Scowling, Bucky slumped down and turned away from Celestia. “I didn’t give Spike the mustache. I’m not to blame for everything.” His eyes glanced over at Luna but he said nothing. Luna would be getting her due soon enough.

“Bucky didn’t give me the mustache,” Spike said.

Using her most stern expression, Twilight looked down at Spike. “Who did Spike?”

Spike folded his front legs over his chest and shook his head in defiance.

“Spike, who did it?” Twilight asked.

“Don’t tell her Spike, make her work for it,” Bucky said.

Both eyes now open, Twilight Sparkle looked over at Bucky, her ears pinning back against her skull. “Bucky! How could you?” Twilight felt the corner of her eye twitch as she heard snickering from all around her, including Rainbow Dash. Reaching out, Twilight prodded the giggling pegasus with her left front hoof. Luna’s tittering was getting louder.

“Spike, always be loyal to your companions. Never betray them,” Luna said as she tried to hold back her smile. Luna’s nostrils flared as a snicker escaped and her eyes flashed with unrestrained glee.

There was a loud snort from the photographer.

With a flash of her horn, Twilight dispelled Spike’s mustache. When she did so, there was another flash of light followed by giggling from all around her. Twilight blinked and looked down her muzzle at the mustache now growing from her own lip.

Spike still had a mustache of his own.

Gritting her teeth, Twilight let go of a frustrated snort and narrowed her eyes at Bucky, who was now leaning on Bon Bon, almost doubled over with mirth as he howled with laughter. Celestia’s laughter rang in her ears. Twilight took a deep breath, closed her eyes for a moment, tried to calm herself, and then opened her eyes.

Once more, Twilight attempted to dispel both her mustache as well as Spike’s. There was a bright flash of magenta coloured light, a loud crackle, and a whiff of ozone.

Twilight stopped her hoof and shook her head. The mustaches were multiplying. She let out a growl to ease her growing frustration. Flash Sentry was smiling as he stroked his big bushy blue mustache.

Worst of all was Celestia, who was staring crosseyed down her muzzle at her new pastel rainbow coloured mustache.

“Oh my,” Celestia said. She prodded Luna and tried to silence her sister’s giggles. “Some little pony has become quite gifted with magic. I wonder who—”

Twilight Sparkle flapped her wings in frustration. “UGH! This was supposed to be a beautiful holiday photo!” She froze, fell silent, and slowly turned to look at Celestia, whom she had just interrupted. Celestia had a serene smile that peeked out from beneath her mustache. “Sorry.”

“Let me see if I can banish these mustaches,” Celestia said. She took a deep breath and her horn flared with golden light. There was a crackle followed by a loud popping sound, almost like popcorn in a kettle.

“I have a goatee!” Luna cried.

Most ponies present now had mustaches.

“I’m innocent,” Bucky said as he stared at Bon Bon’s mustache. “I would however like to say that if the pony responsible for this is one of mine, I am immensely proud of them right now.”

“You are?” Dinky asked.

The foal froze, blinked, and looked around, realising she had given herself away. Dinky let slip a sheepish grin, all too aware that everypony and everybirdy was looking at her. She let out a cry when she felt herself lifted into the air, the warm tingly sensation of magic enveloping her body.

Dinky felt herself pulled into her father’s warm protective embrace.

“How did you manage this?” Bucky asked.

“Oh it was easy. Piña and I figured it out. The only way to get rid of them is to cast the mustache spell on on the mustache a second time. If you try to banish it, it will keep multiplying,” Dinky replied.

Bucky gave his foal a squeeze and smiled over at Twilight. “That is clever. Wouldn’t you agree Twilight?”

Feeling a sense of reluctant agreement, Twilight nodded. “That is pretty clever.”

Dinky, lost in her father’s embrace, closed her eyes.  For reasons she could not explain, she began to remember the Shetlands and everything that had taken place. She flung her forelegs around her father’s neck and squeezed as hard as she dared, burying her face into the crook of Bucky’s neck. Dinky, as young as she was, realised that most fathers would be angry, but Bucky was not like most fathers. She had her father’s unconditional affection and love and Dinky was only beginning to have the maturity to understand that.

Much to the photographer’s dismay, his camera flashed and took a picture. The older unicorn stomped around and his mane whipped around his face as his glasses slid askew. He grumbled and mumbled as he complained about the photograph that had just been taken.

“I do believe that is a picture worth treasuring,” Celestia said. She looked around and offered a calming smile to the distraught photographer. “Everypony was smiling and there was a touching moment captured on film. Now let us be rid of these mustaches and we shall take another picture.”

 

 

“Sentinel, sit up straight.” Derpy reached out and gave her foal a nudge with one hoof and she hoped that Dinky was behaving this time. She smiled a patient smile and watched as Sentinel rose up from his slouching position. The little pegasus colt, like most of the other foals, was bored. “Bucky, you too… no slouching.”

Grimacing, Bucky sat up straight but his ears splayed out sideways. After one very silly picture full of mustaches and funny faces, one picture that achieved some sort of perfection had to be taken. He realised that he was getting a stern one eyed glare from Derpy and he lifted his ears, perking them upwards. As he did so, Derpy’s patient smile returned.

When Derpy turned to look at Piña, Bucky stuck his tongue out, causing Dinky, Scootaloo, Spike, and Glass Slipper to begin giggling, which got them all an impatient scowl from Twilight Sparkle.

“Why does everything have to be perfect?” Scootaloo asked.

“Because we’re royalty and ponies have unrealistic expectations of us,” Bucky replied. He smiled down at Scootaloo. “We’re handsome and perfect, our dung doesn’t stink, and we live awesome lives with no problems whatsoever—”

Bon Bon, who was rolling her eyes, pointed a hoof at Bucky. “Bucky, shush.”

“You said ‘dung’ and that makes you a bad pony,” Glass Slipper said as she looked up at Bucky with wide eyed shock. “Swearies are bad.”

Bucky’s face lit up with a crooked wry smile. “Slippy, you just said ‘dung’ too—”

“Bucky, shush!” This time Bon Bon grabbed Bucky and wrapped a foreleg around his neck, pulling him close and giving him a squeeze. “Glass Slipper, you are a good pony. Don’t listen to Bucky.”

Snickering, Rainbow Dash gave Glass Slipper an affectionate stroke down her back. “Yeah, don’t listen to Bucky, he’s a dung head.”

“Rainbow Dash!”

The prismatic maned pegasus cringed at the sound of Twilight Sparkle’s stressed out screech and knew she was going to be in for it later. Rainbow Dash glanced at Flash Sentry and saw he was struggling to hold back a smile, the stallion was biting his lip to keep from laughing.

“Potty mouth,” Glass Slipper said in a low gasp.

“Dung tongue,” Bucky said to Rainbow Dash giving as good as he got, and smiling a smug smile when the foals around him began to giggle from his immature and inappropriate outburst.

“Is there a dungeon we could throw Bucky in?” Bon Bon asked as she shook her head and sighed to relieve her growing frustration. “I swear Bucky, these foals are better behaved than you are most of the time.”

“Not the dungeon, I get lonesome,” Bucky said as he tried to make himself look as sad as possible. He leaned over and placed his lips close to Bon Bon’s ear. In a low conspiratorial whisper, he added, “Plus I get all worked up and need a way to relieve my frustrations.”

“It has been a very long and trying day. I’m pregnant. Currently my bladder is being crushed. My back hurts. My plot is sore and I want more than anything else to lay down and have somepony rub my tummy while I gobble down something fattening and smothered in chocolate. And if I don’t get these things, Berry Punch is going to become a Berry cranky pony. Am I understood?”

Bon Bon, who had been about to scold Bucky, was thankful that Berry Punch had said something. Bon Bon watched as Bucky quieted the foals around him, getting them to behave, and he even sat up straight and looked at the camera to provide an example.

“You there, grey mare, move towards your husband a bit more… and you, griffoness, come away from the foals. You look too much like one of the young and not like an adult. Sit with… Lyra is it? Please? Oh yes… good colour contrast,” the photographer said.

Celestia reached out and wrapped one white wing around Tourmaline to pull her closer.

The photographer bounced in place and looked thrilled. “Ooh that is good! The black contrasts nicely with the white…. is good!”

Tourmaline adjusted her glasses and smiled her brightest smile as she leaned closer to Celestia. The boredom was almost over, it wouldn’t be much longer now. She took a deep breath and…

“Oh gosh, what’s that smell?” Rainbow Dash asked as she choked back a gag.

“That would be Harper,” Lyra replied.

“Nopony panic!” Luna commanded in a firm tone of authority. “We almost have this picture. Just grin and bear it. Nopony move and we can just take the picture and then deal with this.” As an example, Luna flashed a well practiced smile.

“Stinky,” Harper said.

Still smiling and acting as though nothing was wrong, Derpy looked at her husband. “I told you not to try and feed her mangos Bucky.”

“But she ate them without any fussing or fighting and she fed herself,” Bucky said in his own defense. “And no, I wasn’t trying to sabotage us.”

Celestia heaved a patient sigh. “We’ll sort out the blame later. Everypony smile and everybirdy, crests up and look attentive!”

“I’m not to blame!”

“Later!”

The camera flashed, once, then twice, then thrice. After the fourth flash, the photographer smiled and nodded his head. “I think these will do.”

“Oh thank goodness this is over!” Rainbow Dash said as she heaved a gasp of exasperation and rolled her eyes.

Twilight, who had picked up Glass Slipper and was hurrying away from Harper replied, “At least until next year.”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “Aw… no!”

 

 

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