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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Bucky stared up at the ceiling as the measuring tape trailed over sensitive areas and he tried not to giggle. Giggling would be a breach of social contract… one did not giggle as they were being measured, even if delicate places were brushed up against and tickled.

“I wish I had these measurements.” Coco scowled and shook her head.

“Coco, dear, you are beautiful. If you had these measurements, you’d be scrawny, like I am. You are perfection in the form of an earth pony. A fertile patch of earth is prized for its expansiveness… wide valleys with gentle curves make for the best places to plant seed... being a small stony patch of earth like I am holds nothing of value.” Still staring up at the ceiling, Bucky did not see that Coco had turned a bright shade of puce and was suffering from a full body blush.

“I must say… there is something appealing about earth ponies.” Rarity repositioned the measuring tape, wrapping it around Bucky’s narrowest portion, just ahead of his hips and just behind his ribs. She cinched to tighten it up.

Feeling something tickling his sheath, Bucky bit his lip and failed to hold back a giggle.

“Bucky, do behave. Your sides heaving like this will affect the measurements.” Rarity frowned. “I don’t know what has gotten into you. You were doing so well. Some ponies just get… squirrelly when they are being measured.”

“I need a drink of water,” Coco said, excusing herself. She trotted away in a hurry.

“Buckminster, somehow, you have the measurements of a teenage filly… any mare would kill to have such a delicate frame… I wonder if you know how lucky you are.”

Sentinel whimpered.

“Yes… because every stallion wants the small thin frame of a teenage filly.” Bucky flashed Rarity a fang filled smile.

Tittering, Rarity continued her work.

 

 

Wrapping her forelegs around Sukari, Piña gave the zebra foal a gentle hug. Laying in a pile with Bittersweet, Piña remained quiet, saying nothing, understanding that sometimes quiet and slow was the way to go.

Standing in the doorway, Bon Bon looked over at Lyra, and the pair said nothing to one another, not wanting to spook Sukari now that she seemed calm. Of course, Bon Bon wanted to rush over and cuddle the foal, but that was a bad idea and would lead to trouble. Bon Bon felt Lyra lean against her side, the reassuring weight of Lyra’s ribs pressing in on her own.

 

 

“I did not expect to see you here.” Bucky blinked and looked up.

“Nor did I expect to see you here.” Celestia looked down and narrowed her eyes. “I slapped Berry Punch. She took it very well. I was gentle.”

Sentinel, recovering from his shock, saluted. He then looked puzzled. “We are at war, are we not?”

“We can be civil. Think of it as a cease fire.” Celestia reached down and patted Sentinel with her wing. “Sentinel, do me a favour… take Tourmaline and be her escort.”

“Okay…” Sentinel backed away and looked at Tourmaline. “Do you like comic books?”

Tourmaline shrugged and then trotted off with Sentinel following after her.

“I’ve had it with Luna,” Bucky whispered.

“So have I.” Celestia nodded.

“She filled my office with popcorn and then I flooded your office with water because I thought you did it. She forged your magical signature. I do apologise once again for that.” Bucky bowed his head.

“How very civil of you… I wish all wars were this civil.” Celestia beamed and batted her eyelashes as somepony snapped a photo.

“I have a plan… but I can’t do it on my own. I need your help,” Bucky said in a low voice.

“We are at war.” Celestia shook her head.

“But we can be treacherous. Think of this as both of working to demoralise a mutual enemy. It is time that Luna learns a lesson. It is time for Luna to learn that she is not untouchable.” Bucky’s voice was flinty, hard, and full of malice.

“What is your plan?” Celestia asked.

“Once Sentinel and Tourmaline are done having a look around, I think we’ll get a bite to eat. After that, come with me back to my tower. I want to introduce you to a very special golem that I have created for just such an occasion.”

“You mean… you planned ahead for an occasion like this?” Celestia asked, raising her eyebrow.

“I plan ahead for everything…”

“Nephew… you scare me sometimes.”

“Hey… Princess Celestia… what are you doing in the comic book shop?”

“Why, hello Twilight… we were going to have lunch once we are done here. Would you care to join us?”

 

 

“Cheerilee?”

The earth pony mare paused and looked up from the papers she was grading. She looked at Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. There was a faint prickle of fear.

“What is it Apple Bloom?”

“I need some special permissions.” Apple Bloom sat down upon the floor and looked up.

“We need some special permissions.” Sweetie scratched her side and fidgeted.

“The big science show and tell is coming up… I’ve worked very hard to get where I am now and have a chance to enter it. But there are some things I can’t do… that we can’t do, and we need some help if we are going to make this project work.” Apple Bloom’s ears pinned back and she gave Cheerilee a pleading look.

“I see.” Cheerilee rubbed her front hooves together. She smiled, trying to put Apple Bloom at ease. “What do you need?”

“We need access to clouds, but none of us can fly. But we need clouds. We also need a cloud containment field to hold clouds in place. I have a really brilliant idea that is going to change the world but I can’t do it with the resources I have.”

“I’m sure that you do have a brilliant idea Apple Bloom. Do you have a list of everything you need?” Cheerilee replied.

Apple Bloom nodded. “Dinky and Piña might have a few more things I don’t know about, but they’re not here. Babs is in class right now, the history of astronomy. I don’t think she’ll need to add anything.”

Cheerilee leaned forward over her desk. “Just leave your list with me and I will see what can be done. The judges are very reasonable. Exceptional ideas sometimes need a little flexibility with the rules.”

“We Cutie Mark Crusaders are going to change the world… with the help of a few friends.” Scootaloo wrapped a foreleg over Sweetie Belle.

“It is important to never stop believing that you can change the world. I know that you girls will impress me. I wish you all the best of luck.” Cheerilee watched as Apple Bloom pulled a sheet of paper out of her saddlebag.

“Cheerilee?”

“Yes Apple Bloom?”

“I’m asking you this as your niece…”

“Okay Apple Bloom, out with it.”

“But can we have a Cutie Mark Crusaders study buddy party tonight? There is a lot we need to get done.”

“So long as Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle get permission, that will be fine.”

 

 

Ripple paced, a habit she had borrowed from her father. She waited as Violet read through everything on her list. Her wings fluttered at her sides and her leg muscles quivered as she stalked back and forth.

She could feel Lugus’ eyes upon her.

“Ripple… this is not what I expected. Do you think this is possible?” Violet asked.

Ripple, still pacing, nodded. “I hope so. All rules of engagement apply. Rules are rules and they must be followed. They can also be creatively implemented or interpreted.”

“How very Bucky-like.” Violet peered through her glasses and kept reading. “So this is why you needed Semillon and I… what a clever filly.”

“Sentinel and I both hashed this idea out. Mostly his idea though. The Raptors agree to go through with it. They’re a little unhappy, but they’ll get over it.” Ripple looked at Lugus and could not read his expression. She began to feel a bit of panic creeping up on her.

“There is a lot to get done and a very short amount of time to get it done in,” Violet said. She watched as Ripple winced. “Yes, you are going to owe me some hours. You signed the deal.”

“War is all about preparation and execution. Violet, you are our best weapon—”

“Don’t flatter me, filly, that contract is ironclad.” Violet gave Ripple and icy smile.

“No, I mean it. I think we can pull this off, but only because of you.” Ripple looked Violet in the eye. “For smash and go combat, I would turn to Lugus for advice. For what we’re planning… you were the only pony I could think of.”

“Well, I suppose I am a little flattered now. I was just compared to Lugus.” Violet set down the list and looked around the farmhouse library. “Do you think Bucky will go along with this?”

Ripple squirmed, dancing around for a moment, and then let out a panicked squeal. “I dunno! I know how daddy is… how he can be. I don’t know if he will go along with this, but he has promised me and Sentinel that he is trusting us to do what is right and that he is leaving his protection in our hooves… so even if he doesn’t like it or agree with it, I think he’ll go along with it. I hope. I really hope.”

Uncomfortable with seeing his squire in such a flustered state, Lugus cleared his throat. “I know Bucky. He will go along with it and praise it as being clever. It might be demeaning, but right now, he is out being fitted for a formal gown. We do not have to worry about demeaning him further.”

“Wars don’t always turn out how we want them to. Sometimes, the best we can do is hope to manipulate events towards a somewhat favourable outcome. Winning a war can be a very ambiguous term.” Ripple stretched out her wings, flexed them, and then folded them back against her sides.

Lugus nodded.

Violet looked at Ripple with piercing eyes. “Sometimes victory has no clear cut definition.”

 

 

“Twilight.” Applejack looked at Princess Celestia. She ducked her head and took off her hat. “Princess Celestia.” Her eyes fell on Bucky. “Troublemaker.”

Bucky grinned. “You have no idea.”

“Fancy meeting y’all here… now why would y’all be in a feed ‘n’ seed?”

“Applejack, Tourmaline wanted to come inside and look around. She’s never been inside of a farm supply store before,” Twilight replied. “Plus, it’s cold outside.”

“Apple Bloom cried on her first trip to the feed ‘n’ seed. She was so happy to come. She sat in that chair over yonder and played checkers with Big Mac. She felt so grown up, comin’ to town and takin’ care of farm business.” Applejack stared over at the chairs pulled around a barrel.

“I have a question.” Tourmaline gave the adults an expectant look.

“You go right ahead, little one,” Applejack replied.

“Seeds grow food. Seeds are food. Wheat and grain are just seeds and we have to plant them to grow more… what would happen if something happened and we had to eat the seeds? How would we grow anything?”

Applejack frowned. “Well, ya see hun, sometimes, a real tough choice has to be made. Do you survive in the moment or do you plan ahead? Sometimes, you gotta go a little hungry so there will be something to plant come spring. If ya gobbled everything up, and there was nothing to plant, you’d just be hungry again. So sometimes, you gotta get through a little hunger now to avoid being a whole lot hungry later.”

“Hmm.” Tourmaline’s eyes blinked behind her glasses.

“Princess Celestia!” A camera flashed. “And the Bogeypony!” There was another flash.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Nopony ever notices me when I go places.”

“And there’s Applejack, the Element of Honesty.” The camera flashed again.

“I hate my life,” Twilight muttered.

 

 

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