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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Belisama walked down a long hallway and Bucky loped along beside her. It was hard to describe how Bucky walked. He still trotted, sort of, but his movement was distinct and there was something about it that reminded Belisama of a wolf. His limp was gone, at least for the moment, Belisama could not remember the name of the spell, but Bucky used magic to make up for his physical shortcomings.

The griffoness had no idea what awaited her. She felt nervous, twitchy; she had been sworn to secrecy and was out exploring the castle late at night. It had been a long day and Belisama was tired. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and snuggle close to somepony, it didn’t matter who.

Ahead of them, Luna opened a door, stepped aside, and then nodded at Bucky. Belisama watched as Luna then turned to leave, leaving her and Bucky alone together at this strange room. It was a small library and sitting room. A fire roared in the fireplace.

The fire made no sense. Belisama’s keen sense of space told her they were deep inside of the the castle and that there were no chimneys anywhere to be found above them. Yet, the fire burned and the smoke was going somewhere. The whole of this castle was wrong, it was far too large for what it was on the outside and enormous rooms that should have been no larger than a closet where the space should have been impossible.

Belisama entered the room and Bucky closed the door behind them. They were alone. There was a tray left upon the table and tea had been prepared. Belisama looked around the room, glancing at Bucky while he prepared himself some tea, and she began to wonder what secret she had to keep about the library.

“Want some tea?” Bucky asked.

The thought of being up all night and having to go to the bathroom did not appeal to Belisama. “No thank you.”

“Suit yourself… more for me… delightful!”

There was something odd about the room. Belisama could not shake the feeling that something was watching her. Her tail twitched and she felt the hair along her spine rising. This castle felt haunted at times, like now, when Belisama was certain that something was staring at her. She looked around the room, her eyes blinking only when they had to, looking for some clue that would give away the identity of her watcher.

“Oh come on Platinum, you’re scaring her and that’s not nice. That is not what we agreed to,” Bucky said as he settled into a large high backed chair. “Really though… no scaring my wives. I’ll take it personal and we all know what happens when I take things personal.”

Belisama felt her blood freeze when she saw the portrait over the fireplace move. The pony in the painting shifted, her head moving, and her eyes blinked. The portrait had been staring at her, and now it was looking at Bucky. The griffoness considered her options; running seemed like a good idea.

“Do not threaten me you perverse ruffian!” the painting said. The mare in the painting narrowed her eyes. “I was not trying to scare her on purpose. I apologise.”

Still frozen in place, Belisama took a deep breath, not knowing what to do and not have having any idea what was going on. Bucky was laughing now and the mare in the painting looked more than a little cross. Her forelegs were folded over her barrel and her crown was askew upon her head.

“Belisama, this is Princess Platinum,” Bucky said, making an introduction. “Platinum, this is my wife, whom I love dearly, Belisama.”

A new option presented itself. Belisama lept, her legs acting as powerful springs. She launched herself through the air and then landed in Bucky’s chair with him. There was a grunt as he tried to keep his tea from spilling and Belisama, still terrified, pressed herself up against him.

“I have been watching you for quite some time… I must say, you are not what I expected,” Platinum said from her portrait. “Truth be told, I am not sure what I expected.”

His teacup secured, Bucky shifted his bulk to one side of the chair to give Belisama a bit of room. “Well I hope you’re proud of yourself Platinum, you’ve scared her so bad that she’s gone silent.”

The painting of the princess blinked and gave Bucky an irritated stare; Belisama did not like it, not at all. This castle was full of unnatural things it seemed, including spooky paintings.

“You did a good thing today… looking after what little remains of my dear Bucky’s dignity. I wanted to thank you. I never agreed with Sombra being turned into a public mockery, I always found it demeaning and degrading. It was beneath him… I found the whole thing infuriating,” Platinum said.

Belisama felt Bucky stiffen, his body went rigid.

“Sombra enjoyed the first day of winter a great deal… the fact that he grew to hate it was a sign of his sickness. It happened after you died. There was nopony there to share the laughter with him… those snowballs stung after you were gone.” Many memories had come in a flood, some of them pleasant, some of them not so much.

“I… I… I had no idea…”

As Bucky was taking a sip of tea, Belisama pressed herself tighter against him and tried to calm herself. There was nothing to be afraid of here and she was acting like a cub, unnatural magic or no.

“And before you say anything else to Belisama, do not be insulting, haughty, or demeaning. I want to make this clear. I don’t give a tinker pony’s damn about what is said about me, but if you let slip one of your colourful little barbs, even accidently, we’re done here,” Bucky said.

Belisama could hear an icy hardness in his voice.

The painting of Princess Platinum bowed her head. “Understood.”

“You were one of the founders of Equestria,” Belisama said, finding her voice.

“Yes dear, I was.” Princess Platinum smiled and looked down from her painting. “Although I must say, the credit should go to Clover. Mostly, I followed along and complained about every dreadful thing that happened along the way.”

 

 

Beside him, Belisama was calming down. Bucky smiled at Platinum’s confession. Clover told a very different story, Platinum had done so much more than complain. There was also whining, crying, sobbing, pleading, begging, and one very long ponyback ride across an icefloe that Clover insisted was the cause of all of the grey that had appeared in her mane.

To say that Platinum had complained was an understatement, if ever there was one.

“I wanted to meet you… to speak with you… you are very good with foals,” Platinum said.

Belisama’s feathers fluffed out and Bucky had to hold back a chuckle.

“Thank you.”

“I must confess, I had a lot of fears.” Platinum went silent for a moment and was careful about what she said next. “I lived during a time where we had very bad relations with the griffons. Things happened… bad things. I… I allowed those things that happened to influence my opinion of you. You are none of the things I imagined you to be.”

A log in the fireplace popped.

“I know how bad the griffons can be… I lost my—”

“Belisama, I’ve already told Platinum about Bandua. She knows.” Bucky wrapped his left foreleg around Belisama and watched her crest rise, then fall, and then rise halfway up once more. “There is no need to go into detail, either one of you. It is enough to say that bad things happened.” There was a soft peep from Belisama, Bucky was still learning to understand the various peeps griffons made, but this one was sad sounding. Platinum’s eyes were narrowed. Was she sad? She looked that way. It was hard to tell.

“Why all of the secrecy?” Belisama asked. “I don’t understand.”

Glad that Belisama changed the subject, Bucky took another sip of tea. It was soothing, hot, fragrant, and strong. He said nothing, already knowing the reason, but hoped that Platinum would provide an answer.

Platinum’s lips pursed and the mare’s expression became pensive. Her ears perked forward. “I am something of a strategic asset. I’m not happy about all of this secrecy. I’d like to meet my grandfoals. There has been a great deal of arguing about the issue actually.”

“That’s terrible,” Belisama replied. The griffoness shook her head. “Bucky, isn’t there something we can do? Can’t you break a rule or go rogue or something?”

Bucky’s teacup hovered near his lips, unmoving. “I’ve thought about it. But Platinum keeps lecturing me about my constant rule breaking.”

“I do not!”

“You do so… the last time I was in Canterlot when I was here taking care of business you chewed my ear off about going too far and how you worry for me making the same mistakes as Sombra,” Bucky said, offering up a snappy retort.

“Only because I love you, you incorrigible lout!”

Belisama’s crest fell flat and she cocked her head to one side. “He is an incorrigible lout at times, isn’t he?”

The portrait glowered. “Oh is he ever! He never listens! He is stubborn! Foolhardy! He does nothing to care for himself—”

“Oh no, they found something to bond over,” Bucky said and then heaved a sigh.

“—and he is so very much like Sombra that it scares me!”

“He is also a very good husband and a devoted father.” Belisama’s words were soft, little more than a whisper, and spoken while she had her head twisted around to look at Bucky. “I would forgive him all of his faults because of this.”

“Yes dear… a good husband is hard to find. Believe me, I know. This is why I remain at Sombra’s side, even in death. What a dreadful place to be though.” Platinum’s voice rose in pitch, becoming a whine. “I want to see my grandfoals. I want to see what Bucky has worked so hard to protect.”

“Maybe the little ones… just after they’re born… they can’t let slip secrets… and what of Sentinel? Sentinel can be trusted, I’ve heard Luna say so. I know that Sentinel has access to secrets,” Belisama said. The griffoness reached out her talons and stole Bucky’s tea. Ignoring his protests, she tilted her head back, opened her beak, and poured it down her throat.

Bucky found he had nothing to say after having his tea stolen. He took back his empty teacup from Belisama and poured himself more tea. He then went through the work of preparing it just so, wondering the entire time if somebirdy was going to steal it again.

“There are going to be so many foals soon… Thistle is due by Hearth’s Warming, Derpy and Berry in the spring...” Belisama paused, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. She wished she had something stronger than tea. She rubbed her belly and rested her head against Bucky. “Mine will be born not long after Thistle’s.”

The teacup fell to the floor and shattered.

“What?”

“I was waiting for just the right time to tell you… it just sort of slipped out. It felt like it needed to come out… I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I meant to tell you and make the moment special and I wanted everything to be just right and I just really messed up and ruined everything—”

“What?”

“—and I feel really bad right now… this was supposed to be special—”

“How?”

“How? How do you think Bucky, how else do cubs get made? While you and I were going at it I felt a really bad cramp in my side and it kinda hurt… okay it really hurt but I just ignored it because everything else felt so good and the doctor told me and Derpy and Berry Punch that the cramp I felt was just me ovulating from sexual stimulation—”

“Oh my goodness there is going to be a hippogriff?” Platinum asked.

“Derpy and Berry knew?” Bucky asked.

“We all knew… but we wanted it to be special… all of us… we were going to surprise you and we were sort of hoping to catch you in one of your down moments to make you feel better—”

“There is going to be a hippogriff,” Platinum said, shaking her head and looking shocked.

Bucky reached up and rubbed his head with his talons. “It seems my wives have been keeping a number of secrets from me.”

Platinum bounced up and down inside of her picture frame. “I feel strangely happy about this! I was so afraid of this happening but now I just feel relieved… oh this is wonderful news.”

Ignoring the tea on the floor, Bucky lifted Belisama in his magic, holding her in front of him and looking her in the eye. “Are you well? Are you going to be able to carry your cub to term? What about the size difference? You’re so little and fragile… I’m afraid to even touch you sometimes.”

“Griffonesses carry their their cubs for about one hundred or so days. We have very short pregnancies. Our young comes out very small, very tiny, and helpless. Also, I should warn you, newborn griffons are the ugliest thing you have ever seen. No feathers. After a few days, they get spines that will eventually turn to feathers. They look hideous.” Belisama said.

“I’m very happy for the both of you.”

“Thank you Platinum… Belisama, how could you keep this a secret from me?”

“I wanted to tell you… I just wanted it to be the right moment,” Belisama replied.

“I don’t know what to say,” Bucky said.

“I wanted to call her Bandua…”

 

 

 

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