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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Standing on top of the gatehouse, Celestia looked out over the snow covered village, glad to feel the cold upon her fevered skin. She was warm, too warm, she had been drinking, dancing, and having a good time. She was covered in a fine lather of sweat and now it was time to cool off. She watched the steam from her nostrils go rising off into the freezing black night.

“He doesn’t even know. I take it that you or your sister have never bothered to tell him?”

Feeling a chill that wasn’t from the subzero air, Celestia’s body went rigid.

“Umbral sanguisuge. Vampirism. You let him continue to exist. Why?”

For one very black moment, Celestia wondered if it would be worth it to simply erase Oya from existence. It could be done. And Luna would be glad to help. After experiencing that black moment of dread, Celestia realised that she loved Bucky.

But not in the way that she loved Sombra.

No… she loved Bucky in very much the same way she loved Tourmaline, Erebus, or even Twilight. Her confusing feelings of love became clear. Too clear. She whirled around to look at the zebra behind her.

“Ah, motherly love. Now that’s something I can understand. Tell me, after this historic moment of peace and togetherness, did you think about vapourising me?” Oya asked.

Holding back her murderous fury, Celestia had nothing to say for herself.

“I’ve roamed this world for quite a long time. Not as long as you, I’m distressingly mortal, but I’ve had myself a good long life. As a bocor, I made a name for myself walking through the Sea of Grass and the old world pony nations, ridding them of vampires everywhere I went. Bucky, your dear Bucky isn’t like the other vampires I’ve met. He’s strong… so strong… and completely ignorant of his condition. Fascinating, really.”

“Bucky can be saved… somehow.” Celestia held her anger in check. Her words sounded cool, calm, collected. But her wings and her body posture betrayed her and she knew it. “The disease is held in check.”

“Is it now? Do you empty out your prisons to feed him?” Oya asked.

Flames flickered to life along Celestia’s wing feathers. “No.”

“I shall endeavour to be less antagonistic. My apologies.” Oya bowed her head.

“He subsists upon the warmth of his wives. He draws living essence from their milk. The disease is held in check and he is watched very carefully to make sure that it stays held in check.” Celestia drew in a deep breath, filling her lungs with cooling air.

“This is fascinating. So he does not crave blood and it doesn’t appear that he is feeding subconsciously in his sleep because his wives and his foals are still very much living. I must confess, I did not expect this.” Oya took a step back but did not take her eyes off of Celestia.

“How did you figure this out?” Celestia asked.

Oya smiled. “I had a hunch after he and I met for the first time. I did a little investigating. Visited a few seers, those who see spirits. I learned all that I could about him. I know that the spirit of Sombra attempted to possess him… and that is probably how he got this disease. Sombra, the first of the vampires… took me a long time spent in study to figure that out. He created the disease. A magical malady. He infected others and the disease is still around, even now, even though there is a dedicated effort to wipe it out. But all signs point to Sombra… it would be nice if some helpful immortal would confirm my suspicions, but I can live without that if I have to.”

The two mares stared at one another, locked into a now silent contest of wills.

It was Oya who blinked first and looked away, her eyes looking out upon the village below them. The zebra took a deep breath. “I am willing to live and let live. You don’t need to worry. Bucky being a blood sucker is the least of our worries… I mean, if he became the Alicorn of War… it would be all over anyway, so why worry, right?”

“He will never allow that to happen. There is much you still do not know, but I assure you, he will hold the worst parts of himself back. Look at him… look at the silver and the white in his mane. He is aging. How many vampires have you seen age?” Celestia looked away from the zebra and also looked out upon the village.

“None. You make an excellent and compelling point. If he was leaching enough life force away, it would reverse the aging. Keep him young. Maybe even heal his body, making him perfect and handsome again. He instead stays ugly, broken, and aging. I’ve been thinking about that all day, ever since I saw one very ugly owl.” Oya lifted up her left foreleg and rubbed it against her right foreleg, trying to warm her legs. “If we are going to be friends, if we are going to make this work, we need to stop keeping certain secrets from one another. Just something to think about. I’m going inside now. It is cold out here and I don’t like the cold. Reminds me too much of my sworn enemies and the monsters that I hunted.”

Having said her piece, the zebra turned and left.

“It was Sombra… he was the first. He told me that he did not know how he had contracted the disease. It was distressing, but it made him powerful on the battlefield. We needed his might so I turned a blind eye. Near the end, I discovered much about him that I did not like… and I found out that he had lied to me. I was forced to obliterate him… but a part of him survived. So in a sense, his quest for immortality worked. He gave Bucky the disease in a dream when Sombra tried to possess him and return as the Alicorn of War. Bucky has something that Sombra did not have though.”

Oya stopped. “And what is that?”

“Bucky loves… at some point, Sombra lost that ability… he… when we battled, when Luna and I went to take him out, to purge the world of his evil, Sombra attempted to feed on me. Had he loved me as he claimed, he would have never have tried to do that… but Bucky loves and I trust in that. I will not lose Bucky to darkness as I lost Sombra.”

Oya resumed walking. “I see. It was nice of you to choose friendship. Thank you for satisfying my curiousity. Perhaps our nations can be friends… can be equals. Perhaps something good can come from all of this. We shall see.”

Celestia, feeling the cold, waited until she could no longer hear the zebra’s hoofsteps. When at last the night was silent, Celestia looked up at the moon overhead, and, with the escape of a few sniffles, she began to weep.

 

 

“It seems we are out of beer,” Bucky said when nothing came out of the small wooden cask. “This is untenable. There must be beer.”

“We shall fetch more,” one little griffon replied, tugging on another sitting beside him.

“No… stop!” Bucky held it his talons. He watched as the two griffons froze. “Hold on… beer is coming.” Reaching out with his mind, he focused on the stores of The Scorned Mare. He focused his conjuration spell with careful precision. His mind touched upon just the right barrel, an experimental batch of honey and hot pepper ale.

There was a deafening crackle of magic when the wooden cask appeared.

“Huzzah! More beer!”

One griffon, already deep in his cups, made a move towards the wooden cask, stumbled, went down, and did not get back up. He lay on the floor, passed out and purring.

“Griffon down,” Broom said, swaying back and forth in her seat. “Poor dear.”

“Bring our fallen comrade to me!” Bucky commanded.

The griffons, those still sober enough to function, scrambled to do Bucky’s bidding. They hoisted the griffon up and carried him to Bucky.

Bucky reached out and touched the downed griffon. “We shall commemorate our fallen friend… with a mustache!” There was a flash of light from Bucky’s horn and a long reddish-orange mustache appeared, sprouting from the griffon’s beak.

The griffons paused, looking first at the passed out griffon’s mustache, and then at one another as it dawned upon them what their fate was if they drank too much and passed out. Filled with the sort of courage that only comes from strong drink, they all turned at once to look at Bucky and their eyes narrowed.

“Who else will wear the mustache of shame?” one asked as he looked at the others.

“Conjuring beer has left me a little sober… that took a lot out of me,” Bucky said, grumbling to himself. He tapped the cask and poured himself another mug. He took a long pull, felt the burn, and remembered that this was honey and hot pepper ale.

The little griffons gathered around the cask and began to help themselves, each one of them looking at their fallen friend as they filled their mugs.

Bucky lifted his head up high and tried to look regal upon his throne, an overstuffed chair that was quite beaten and battered. He hoisted his mug. “Sing for me!”

The little griffons froze. They looked at one another with what almost appeared to be terror. Little beaks clicked together.

“Sing for me you adorable little fuzzballs… I brought you beer… you sing for me… fair exchange!” Bucky placed his mug to his lips and took a long drink.

Fair exchange. A concept that still flummoxed the little griffons. A king did not give something in exchange for something else, a king took. But their king had given them beer. They looked at one another and little peeps could be heard.

“Lugnut, our song,” Spanner said.

That song?” Lugnut asked.

“Yes, that song.” Spanner looked at his mate. “The song we sang in the navy.”

“Okay, we sing. Maybe we still have heads in the morning. Talons-y!”

 

 

“Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

The captain of the lugger

Was known as a filthy bugger,

Declared unfit to shovel shit

From one pile to another.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

The first mate was a minotaur named Morgan,

By the stars, he was a gorgon.

Ten times a day he'd stop to play

Upon his captain's organ.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

The second mate was Barrel Hooper,

By the stars, he was a trooper.

He jerked and jerked until he worked

Himself into a stupour.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

The bosun's name was Ribald Randy,

By the stars, he had a dandy.

We crushed his cock upon a rock

For cumming in our brandy.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

There was a diamond dog named Rover,

We turned the poor thing over,

And ground and ground that ugly hound

From Liverypool to Stover

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

While sailing above the ocean,

We often have the notion,

In cold and heat, to beat our meat

With a peculiar motion.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

Sailing above the cloudy mass-o

To make the boredom pass-o,

We launched a spree of buggery

Upon each other's ass-o.

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

Friggin' in the riggin'

There's feck-all else to do.

And when we reached our station

Through skillful navigation,

Our ship was sunk in a wave of spunk

From too much masturbation.”

 

“Oh my… that is one I haven’t heard.”

Looking up, Bucky almost dropped his beer. “Oh hi… auntie!” Bucky belched. “Want some beer?”

As Celestia entered the room, the little griffons scattered around her, scrambling to get out of her way. Inebriated, even in the panic of the moment, not a drop of beer was spilt.

“No Bucky… I just came to tell you good night… and that I love you.”

Slumping in his chair, Bucky looked up at Celestia. “Oh… I love you too… sure you don’t want some beer?”

Leaning her head down, Celestia kissed Bucky on the cheek. She lingered for a moment, thinking of everything that had been said between her and Oya. She thought about her feelings for Bucky. “You mean the world to me… I’m glad I realised that. I think that when we get home, I shall snatch up Twilight and go on vacation.”

Bucky watched as Celestia turned to leave. He cradled in beer mug in his forelegs, feeling very sad without knowing why. “My auntie loves me.” Reaching up with his right leg, he wiped his eyes with his fetlock, while clutching his mug with his left leg.

“Good night Buckminster.”

“I love you auntie… stay with us… sing… drink beer!”

“Bucky, I have some thinking to do. I shall be in my cabin if you need me for anything.”

Crying without knowing why, Bucky watched as his auntie left. “G’night auntie Celery.”

 

 

 

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