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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Leaning forward, Bucky stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. The flesh around Odin’s eye had revived a bit, the eyelid almost looked normal. There were eyelashes. The odd purple blue colour stood out in sharp contrast to his other eye, which was crimson and a sick shade of green. His withered cheek was still withered. Half of his face was still ruined and his new eye stood out like a beautiful island in a sea of ugliness. On the other side of his face there were also scars, scars from when he had bashed his own head in while trying to resist a want-it-need-it spell. His scalp was still distorted from being shot in the head. He pulled back his lips, revealing his fangs. They were white, gleaming, perfect. He had broken a tip off of one of them, and just as Luna had promised, it had grown back after a few shadow dives. His ears were tufted. Very little remained of the pony he once was.

Lifting his head high, he saw that the scars on his neck were still visible. Shadow wolves had savaged his throat, tearing it open. The rips were still visible, he was still missing patches of pelt and puckered skin peeked out from bare places in his pelt. He saw his wolf’s head torque and looked at the snowflake that hung on a chain from around his neck. These were things that never left him, things that were always with him.

“Am I more than the sum of my scars?” Bucky asked himself. He looked up at his most unnatural feature, his horn. “Is this what defines me? Would I still be who I am with no magic?”

With a flick of his thoughts, he turned on the faucet and bent his neck to wash his face. He waited for the sink to fill and then plunged his face into the water. He held his breath, keeping his face down in the sink, allowing the water to soak into his thick pelt.

He pulled out of the water with a gasp and as he raised his head, he saw somepony else in the mirror. Two Taint filled eyes stared back at him. Bucky whimpered, scrambled backwards, and lost his balance, his hind legs buckling. He felt to the tile floor, smashing his chin into the sink as he fell down.

Above him, Sombra was coming out the mirror. He could see Sombra’s long neck. The bared fangs. Taint mist trickled from his eyes. Ignoring his own pain, Bucky scrambled backwards, trying to get out of the bathroom.

Sombra poured out the mirror like thick, syrupy smoke.

Bucky heard hooves. Something stepped over him. Rolling over, Bucky looked up.

Another Sombra. This one was different. This one he knew. This one did not have the Taint. This one did not have a horn of glowing red crystal.

There was a hiss. Bucky covered his face with his forelegs as he saw the darkness above him, above Sombra that was crouching above him, the good Sombra. Bucky squeezed his eyes shut.

“He’s gone.”

Bucky opened one eye just a crack and peeked. He lifted his good leg away from his face, knowing his talons were much more protective. The darkness was gone.

“Sombra, you saved me,” Bucky said as he looked up into Sombra’s face.

“This is not Tartarus and I am not Sombra,” Sombra replied.

Confused, Bucky shook his head, his talons flexing. “But I know you… I’ve spoke with you many times… you called me your son.”

“This is a dream. You are sleeping, having a mid morning nap, curled up beside one that you love,” Sombra said, looking down at Bucky who still lay upon the floor.

“I don’t understand.” Bucky uncovered his face and opened both eyes.

“By the stars, you are stupid.” Sombra’s lip curled back in disgust. “You fear becoming Sombra… but Sombra was a pony divided. You fear falling into his shadow… but you know the real Sombra, you have his memories, his knowledge, his life, it is all there inside of your head. If you must become Sombra, become the Sombra of your own choosing. Become what I was before I fell into shadow.”

“I’m confused… I don’t understand… I don’t understand what is going on here… I… you...” Bucky continued to stammer, unable to form words as he stared upwards.

“You cannot prevent what you are becoming. Make a choice. Embrace what you are. I accepted the darkness, but I was wrong to let it rule me… the power that was promised was not worth what was lost,” Sombra said in a soft voice. “NOW WAKE UP!”

 

 

Bucky awoke with a snort, one hind leg making a feeble kick that connected with nothing. He was being shaken. His eyes opened and he looked around, panicked, frightened, and confused.

“You were dreaming… you okay?”

It took a moment for his eyes to focus. He saw Derpy. Rolling over, he pressed his snoot into her neck, burying it in her mane, and inhaled, filling his lungs.

“Bucky?”

“I’m fine… I just dozed off… everything is good,” Bucky replied. He lifted his head and looked around. “Where is Thistle?”

“She got up and left. She’s sick of being in the bed. She’s still hurting, but she’s getting around. She wanted to be with other ponies,” Derpy replied. Reaching around, Derpy scooped up Harper in her foreleg and then dumped the foal on top of Bucky.

“Hi!” Harper tumbled on top of Bucky and scrambled to keep from falling off. She fell, sliding off of Bucky, and landed between him and Derpy where there was very little space.

As Bucky lay there watching, Harper pressed her head against Derpy’s stomach, one ear twitching. Without realising that he was doing so, Bucky smiled.

“She’s figured out that something is up with my tummy,” Derpy said in a low whisper, offering an explanation. The grey mare grimaced for a moment, squeezing her eyes shut. “I swear, they kick me right in the pelvis on purpose.” Blinking, Derpy took a deep breath to deal with the pain.

“What?” Harper asked. She lifted her head and prodded Derpy’s belly.

“Did something kick you?” Derpy asked.

For a moment, Harper looked very confused, and she blinked a few rapid blinks as she tried to process this information. Still staring at Derpy’s bulging belly, Harper nodded. “Kick Harpy. What?”

“There are foals in there,” Derpy replied.

Harper sat back on her haunches, leaning up against Bucky’s side. Her little brow furrowed, leaving behind deep creases, which made her look old and wizened somehow. A few sparks jumped from her horn, causing her frizzy orange mane to become even frizzier. Reaching out with her hoof, she prodded Derpy’s stomach, once, then twice, and then she pulled her hoof away. “Foals?” Harper tapped her barrel with her left front hoof. “Foal. Harpy. Foal.”

“Yes Harper. There are foals in there. Just like you. Just like little Harper,” Bucky said.

“What?” Harper looked puzzled. Reaching up, she rubbed her chin, and as she did so, she twisted herself around a bit. She poked Bucky’s ribs. She stuffed her hoof into her mouth and began to gnaw on it as she sat there thinking.

“She’s a little thinker.” Reaching out, Bucky lifted Harper’s mane away from her eyes so he could see her face better.

“Foals.” Harper touched Derpy’s belly. Reaching out her slobber covered hoof, she touched Bucky. “No foals.”

“Yes, Bucky has no foals. But I do,” Derpy said.

“What foals…” Harper paused and looked first at Derpy and then at Bucky. She chewed on her lip for a moment. “What…” She bounced up and down, her face becoming a scowl. She took a deep breath, held it, puffed out her cheeks, and stopped breathing.

After a moment, all the air Harper was holding escaped with a wheeze. She took another deep breath, then another, and then poked Derpy’s belly. “What foals…” Harper then shrugged.

“How are they breathing?” Bucky asked. He took a deep breath, held it, and looked at Harper. After a moment, he let his breath out. “How are they getting air?”

“Air.” Harper blinked.

Derpy and Bucky both watched as Harper went through an act of exaggerated breathing and then exchanged a glance with one another. Bucky saw Derpy’s smile and a odd sense of calm overcame him.

“Bucky, how do we answer this?” Derpy said. She watched Bucky shrug. “Harper, they… they don’t need air. My body gives them everything they need… sort of like how it gave you milk when you needed it.”

Harper’s eyes went wide and then narrowed once more. “Foals. Milk. Mama made… made foals… made milk. Mama is foals? Mama is milk?”

“Yes Harper, your mother is made of foals and milk,” Bucky said.

Startled by this revelation, Harper rubbed her front hooves together, her face became pinched. She reached down and rubbed her own tummy, kicked out her hind legs, craned her head, looked down between her hind legs, and then lifted her head to look at Derpy. “What same?”

Unable to stop herself, Derpy giggled. “Yes Harper. We are the same. Female.”

“What female?” Harper asked.

“Female,” Bucky replied. “A female is made from foals and milk. Everything that is good in the world.”

“Bucky!” Derpy, tittering and unable to stop herself, leaned over and kissed Bucky on the cheek, overcome with happiness.

Prodding her stomach, Harper shook her head. “No. No foals.”

“You don’t have any little foals yet. But someday, you might,” Bucky said.

Sitting up straight, Harper tapped herself on her barrel with her hoof. “Female.”

Derpy nodded. “Filly… Harper is a filly… you’ve said this word before Harper.”

“Yeah, but I think this is the first time she really understands it,” Bucky said, studying Harper’s face. “Look at her. She knows that both you and her look the same down there. She’s smart.”

“I don’t remember how old Dinky was when she figured out that we were the same. About Harper’s age I guess… about a half a year.” Derpy’s gaze became distant as she looked back into the past.

“Dinky… filly?” Harper asked.

Bucky felt the muscles in the back of his neck tense as his eyebrow raised. “Yes, Dinky is a filly. Dinky is a female.”

“What?” Harper asked.

“Do you mean why?” Bucky asked in reply.

“Yes… what?” Harper asked.

“Why is Dinky a filly? She just is. That’s just how it turned out. Just like you.” Bucky wasn’t sure how to offer a better answer.

“You? What?” Harper asked, poking Bucky.

“Bucky is a male. He’s your da…” Derpy fell silent, knowing what would happen if she finished speaking. “Bucky is a male. He is the male pony you call your mamamama.”

“Filly.” Harper patted Bucky on the ribs.

“No… Bucky is male. A colt… a stallion,” Derpy said in a patient voice, offering correction to Harper, who now looked very confused.

Harper shook her head, one eye narrowed and the other went wide. “Mama filly… mama foals.” Harper patted Derpy’s stomach. “Milk.” Harper’s muzzle scrunched as she began to concentrate. She looked at Bucky. “Mamamama. No foals. Filly. Like Harpy.”

“I have no idea what she is saying,” Derpy said to Bucky.

“I think…” Bucky began and then paused as he gave thought to Harper’s words. “I think Harper is trying to make the logical argument that I am a filly and I have no foals just like she has no foals.”

“What?” Derpy asked.

“What?” Harper repeated.

“Mamas must be fillies. Females. I am mamamama, ergo, I am female,” Bucky said.

“Bucky, you’re crazy… but I love you.” Reaching out, Derpy pulled Bucky in and gave him a kiss. “Wanna hear something funny?”

“From you? Always,” Bucky replied.

Chuckling, Derpy pulled Harper closer and gave the foal a hug. “One day, Dinky came to me and said ‘toaster dirty’ and I could not figure out what she was talking about. I went and had a look at the toaster and it was fine… I could not even figure out how Dinky would know if the toaster was clean or dirty. I was tired… it had been a long day. And then Dinky said it again… ‘toaster dirty.’ I had no idea what was going on.” Derpy, reminiscing, gave Harper a squeeze. “So… I asked Dinky to show me the dirty toaster.”

“What happened? Bucky asked.

“Dinky turns around, hikes up her tail, and shows me her backside. She then tells me, ‘toaster itchy’ and I almost die laughing. She thought her little bottom was a toaster.”

 

 

 

 

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