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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“Hi there, Tourmaline.” Sunset Shimmer pulled the black foal close and hugged her. “How have you been? Did you have a nice vacation?”

“I need a vacation from my vacation,” Tourmaline replied, squeezing Sunset Shimmer. “What are they doing up there in the top of the tower?”

“I suspect they are up to mischief… Master had that look in his eye.” Sunset Shimmer let go of Tourmaline and looked up towards the top of the tower.

“Why do you call him ‘Master’ and why does he call you ‘Minion’ all the time?” Tourmaline asked as she too, looked upwards.

“We just… we just do. It started off as a form of respect… an apprentice and their teacher. Then it became a joke. At some point, I think about the time I got hurt, it was more like saying ‘I love you’ than anything else,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

“He does love you. A whole lot. You are very dear to him.” Tourmaline looked over at Sunset Shimmer and watched as the mare’s mane billowed in the soft breeze.

“Love is a funny thing… but I guess you’d know. I love Trixie and I love Bartleby… and I really love them. Bucky… I love him too… but not in the same way as I love Trixie and Bartleby. It confuses me sometimes and I spend a lot of time thinking about it. I love Twilight in the same way as I do Bucky… but I don’t know how to explain what it is I feel for them.’

“They’re family.” Tourmaline reached up and wrapped her flexible fetlock around Sunset Shimmer’s leg. “Mama is learning the difference between family love and love love. I think she got confuzzled for a while but she’s learning. It scares her.”

“Should you be telling me this?” Sunset asked.

“OOOPS!” Tourmaline whimpered a few times and her ears pinned back against her skull. “I was trying to be helpful and I wasn’t thinking!”

Using her magic, Sunset Shimmer began to adjust Tourmaline’s scarf, smoothing it out and making it look a bit more presentable. “Celestia and I have history too. I suppose she is my family now as well. I know she forgives me, and I suppose she loves me, but I still have a hard time just being me around her. I think about all of the awful things I did… the bad things. How I hurt her. I guess I’m still having some trouble forgiving myself over what happened.”

“Mama has the same problem being around some ponies. She keeps thinking about how she hurt them. She feels so guilty. It hurts me… she feels it so strongly. It is like smacking your fetlock into something when you walk, it hurts, but she keeps smiling and acting like everything is okay.”

Above them, a brilliant beam of light shot from the top of the tower, arced skywards, and then went curving off towards the horizon.

“Oh wow that was some kinda strong magic!” Sunset Shimmer said in a loud voice that was filled with excitement. “Alicorn level deep magic!”

 

 

Sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, Bucky folded his forelegs over his barrel and waited. Semillon was getting an early start on dinner. Broom was peeling potatoes, something Bucky always felt was wasteful, he liked peels on his potatoes. He could hear foals playing in the living room behind him.

Piña came into the kitchen, carrying a small wicker basket in her teeth. Bucky could see bits of straw sticking out. She crossed the kitchen, almost bouncing, her brilliant blue eyes flashing. She climbed up into a chair, Bucky heard the clink of glass, and then she set the basket upon the table.

Whistling, Piña reached with a hoof and pulled out a drinking glass. She set it upon the table. She looked at her father, smiled, showing small square teeth, and waved with her other hoof. Still whistling, Piña gestured at the glass, and then with a swift movement, struck it with her hoof.

The glass rang out like a bell and there was a brilliant flash of blue, the same colour as Piña’s eyes. Piña made a dramatic warbling whistle and waved both front hooves at the glass.

She was putting on quite a show, and Bucky felt entertained. Piña was in one of Trixie’s drama classes. Bucky made a mental note to review Trixie’s salary at some point.

“I have to tap them to activate them,” Piña said. “I can’t seem to make the enchantment permanent. It fades after about an hour or so and I don’t know why.”

Raising an eyebrow, Bucky watched and waited, saying nothing.

“I know it doesn’t look like much. Daddy, would you mind filling it with water? Or maybe grape juice? Grape juice is nice and purple.” Piña flashed her father a winning smile and her ears splayed out sideways.

Still silent, Bucky opened the fridge and levitated out a pitcher filled with cranberry juice, or bogberries, as the Shetlanders called them. He was fond of them.

“Oooh that works.” Piña pulled out a second glass, set it down on the table, and struck it with her hoof. There was another flash of blue and a brilliant ringing sound.

Piña sat back in her chair. “Pour please?” She tapped a hoof upon the table. “I’m scared and nervous and kinda shaky and if I pour I’ll make a mess.”

Tight lipped, Bucky poured cranberry juice into both glasses. Afterwards, he set down the pitcher and focused his stare upon Piña.

Piña moved the glasses around, sliding them back and forth, careful not to slosh or spill any liquid. She pointed to the glass with one hoof as she moved it with the other. She then took it in both hooves and lifted it up off of the table. Smiling, she set it down once more.

“Daddy, reach out and try to knock the glass over.” One ear began to twitch and Piña pulled both of her forelegs to her barrel. Her eyes were wide with fearful concern.

Reaching out his talons, he extended one talon finger and poked the glass. It slid over just a little, but not much. Bucky leaned forward. With a bit more force, he poked the glass again. This time, the glass did not budge… and even more curious, did not tip over. He gave it a light push and the glass slid over the table. He gave it a hard shove, hard enough for his metal talon finger to clink against the glass.

The glass did not budge.

“Unspillable juice glass!” Piña covered her muzzle with both front hooves, unable to contain her excitement. “The glass will break before it falls over. Sentinel broke one when he whacked it. Bon Bon got angry, but then she saw how cool these were, and then she stopped being angry, and she started kissing me and telling me that I was the bestest foal ever.” Piña wiggled in her chair. “But I already knew that.”

“This is amazing. With a soft touch, the glass can be moved, but with real force, the glass does not budge. Nothing spills and the glass cannot be tipped.” Bucky poked the glass again and again with his talon finger. “This is what enchantment should be. Simple, practical, useful. I am impressed.”

Piña squealed and bounced in her chair.

“So… how did you do this?” Bucky asked.

“I started off with the ‘sticky sticky stay put now’ charm and I modified it a bit. I was able to read the magic even though it gave me a headache. I found a spell from Starjammer that made it impossible for ponies to slam doors… Starjammer didn’t like ponies slamming doors, he thought it was rude… but the harder you tried to slam a door the less it would move and it would only budge with a soft touch and I was able to put it on the glass so if you shove it the glass won’t move but if you give it a nudge the glass will slide,” Piña replied.

“So you repurposed existing spells,” Bucky said.

Piña nodded, her mane spilling down over her eyes and her ears flopped around.

“Brilliant work… always always always try to repurpose spells.” Bucky lifted up the glass of cranberry juice in his talons and raised it towards Piña in salute. After giving her a smile, he lifted the glass to his lips and drank.

“Nice work, dearie,” Broom said as she continued to peel potatoes.

“Thank you!” Piña replied as she picked up her glass between her front hooves to have a drink. She raised it high for a moment, giggled as she was overcome with jubilant emotion, and then she drank her juice.

 

 

“And now I have you, you cockroach summoning fiend!” Bucky hoisted Dinky up into the air and held her up at eye level. “I hear you had a bit of a surge. You alright?”

Dinky stretched out her neck and kissed Bucky on the nose. “I was trying to play a prank and it went wrong. I’m sorry. I can’t promise I won’t ever do it again though.”

“Kinda impressive actually, you summoned bugs that didn’t vanish or go away.” Bucky made his way to the couch, stepping over Cadance, Harper, and Peekaboo. He lept up, sat down, and dropped Dinky down beside him. “Cheerilee caught my attention today. After she complained about the cockroaches, she told me you’re working on a project with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

“Yes I am.” Dinky beamed up at her father.

“Want to tell me about it?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Top secret. Stinkworks.”

“Skunkworks?”

“Whatever.”

“I have ways of making you talk…”

“I’ll never tell!”

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what it is.”

“Apple Bloom will be talking with you about it actually. She has some questions. This is all her idea and I refuse to take it away from her. This is special.”

Bucky nodded. “I understand.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes Dinky?”

“How do I get another filly to like me?”

“Dinky?”

“Yes daddy?”

“Why are you asking me this?”

“Females like you for some reason.”

“Ouch Dinky…”

“Well, I dunno… you like girls… I like girls… I guess… and I wanted to know how you got girls to like you.”

“Dinky?”

“Yes daddy?”

“Girls never liked me. I never really became interested in fillies when I was younger. I just sort made a big mess of my life. Apparently, Trixie had a huge crush on me in school though. Sunset Shimmer tells me that Trixie still has a big crush on me and now Sunset teases her about it every chance she gets. Anyway… I am the last pony you should ask about how to talk to fillies.”

“But you married mama. And Berry… and Thistle, Bon Bon, Lyra, and then Belisama.”

“I am at a total loss to explain how that happened. You mother chased me. Berry tag teamed me with Derpy. Thistle came along because of circumstances. Bon Bon and Lyra came to us and sought us out, I didn’t chase after them. Belisama and I were brought together for political reasons.”

“But they all like you. You made them like you.”

“Doesn’t mean I know how I did it. I’m a dumdum.”

“Dumdum!” Harper cried.

“See?” Bucky said, gesturing at Harper.

“Daddy, don’t be silly.” Dinky looked serious.

“I find that being good to their foals is a good way to get mares to notice you.”

“Daddy, fillies my own age don’t have foals.”

“I should hope so!”

“Daddy, you’re being silly again.”

“I do that from time to time.”

“Dumdum!”

“Quiet, Harpy!”

“Hey, be nice to your sister!”

“She called you a dumdum…”

“Dumdum?” Cadance asked in a soft voice.

“Cadance, don’t say dumdum… that’s crass… in this house full o’ Shetlanders, we use the word ‘numpty’ when we want somepony to know how blitherin’ stupid they are,” Barley said.

“Numpty?” Cadance asked.

“Oh thanks a lot Barley!” Bucky looked over at the old stallion sitting in the chair by the fire and did his best impression of Derpy’s stinkeye.

“Don’t mention it lad, just being a good an’ proper uncle for my wee niece, the Empress.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes Dinky?”

“What does crass mean?”

“It means a complete lack of refinement, culture, and intellect.”

“So it is a little word that means big words?”

“I suppose so…”

“So ponies who lack intellect might use the word crass instead of something that is more refined?”

Barley snorted. A loud snort. He gave Dinky a withering gaze, which Dinky ignored.

“Yes Dinky.”

“So by its own definition, the word crass is crass… lacking in refinement, culture and intellect, being a little word that is used to replace big words.”

“You might be on to something Dinky…”

“I’m sick of Piña being wordy all the time… I’ve been trying to catch up to her.”

 

 

 

 

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