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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Trembling, Piña approached her father, her ears drooping and looking as submissive and possible. Her bottom lip trembled. “Daddy… am I still in trouble?”

Bucky did not look at his foal. He stared off in a different direction. “I don’t know. I think I’ll have you run me to town tomorrow—”

-THWACK!-

Rubbing the back of his head, Bucky turned and looked at Berry. Her eyes glittered and her mouth was a tiny tight line. “Was that necessary?” Bucky worried that a lump might be forming just behind his ear.

“Stop being a hardarse!” Berry’s voice was an angry growl.

“Fine.” Bucky looked over at Piña. “Come here.”

Running to her father, Piña let out a sad bleating sound as she looked like she was about to cry. Leaning down, Bucky kissed her between her ears. He looked down at her, winked knowing that Berry could not see, and then kissed her once more.

“All is forgiven. Now go… go think about what you’ve done.” Bucky lifted his talons and pointed at the door.

“Yes daddy,” Piña replied, shuffling off and dragging her hooves.

When she was gone, Bucky looked at Berry. “I think she’s learned her lesson.”

“You broke her little heart!” Berry looked furious.

“According the teacher’s report, she said the f-word seventeen times—”

“Shut up, Derpy.” Berry crossed her forelegs over her barrel and scowled.

“Are you mad at Bucky for getting through to her?” Derpy asked.

“No!” Berry gnashed her teeth together. “I’m mad at Bucky for doing what I couldn’t. I have a hard time being hard on Piña. My mother used to turn a switch across my backside when I was rotten. It made me wild and rebellious. And I don’t ever want to do that to Piña, but she is just like me when I was that age and now I understand why my mama switched me.”

Derpy, offering no warning, shoved Berry over and then brought her hoof down on Berry’s backside in a hard swat. The earth pony hissed from the blow, rolled over, and began to rub her rump.

“That’s for smacking Bucky in the head when he didn’t deserve it,” Derpy said.

“That stings,” Berry said and then sucked on her teeth as she hissed. “Fair is fair.”

“Seventeen times… seventeen times… Piña unloaded on Dinky and she probably learned most of those words from you.” Derpy’s brows settled down over her eyes. “Fecktacular feckstain sounds awfully familiar.”

“Sunset Shimmer says that beyond the mirror, they say ‘fuck.’ What a silly word. Sounds foalish, like something a foal that is learning to talk might babble—”

“Shut up Bucky. This is a serious moment.” Derpy reached out and patted Bucky.

“Shutting up now.” Bucky lifted his injured leg, propped it up on a pillow, and got himself comfortable.

“Is there peace between us?” Berry asked.

“Yes.” Derpy nodded. “We’re all still friends.”

“Good.” Berry leaned over and kissed Derpy on the cheek. Looking guilty, she then leaned over and kissed Bucky on the cheek. “I can’t live with my best friends mad at me.”

 

 

“Are we still sisters?” Piña felt as though she was having trouble breathing as she looked at Dinky.

“Of course, you sillyhead.” Dinky patted the bed beside her.

Piña did not have to be told twice. She lept up, bounced, and wrapped her forelegs around Dinky. She squeezed and took a deep breath.

“We weren’t laughing at you.” Dinky squeezed back. “You’re my sister… we gotta stick together. The world is a scary place, too scary to go at it alone. And Sparkler is all grown up now and moved out.”

“What were you laughing about?” Piña asked.

“Rarity’s cat won’t stop pooping in Rarity’s houseplants,” Dinky replied.

Unable to help herself, Piña giggled.

“See, it’s funny!”

“Sure is…”

Dinky let go and pushed Piña back. Looking Piña in the eye, Dinky asked, “So… Larch… do you want to talk about it?”

“No.” Piña shook her head. “Nope. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Okay.” Dinky smiled. “My lips are sealed.”

“Larch picked up my school bag and hung it around my neck. When he touched me, I felt a weird tingle. My hooves felt all full of lightning and I could feel his magic… you know how Celestia talked about my spirit of knowledge?”

“So you do want to talk about this?” Dinky asked.

“No.” Piña waved her hoof. “But I knew stuff about Larch… he has strong magic. It comes up from the ground. He can talk to the dead.”

“Neat.” Dinky leaned forward, almost snoot to snoot with Piña.

“I saw Larch when he was older… he was wearing a black cloak… and so were you and Tourmaline. Glass Slipper was there. We were all grown up. I guess I was too… I don’t know. I can’t see myself when these flashes happen.”

“A black cloak eh?” Dinky’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t know. I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know if I want to wear a black one. Something with colour would be so much more cheerful.”

“Dinky…”

“Yes Piña?”

“When I touched Sentinel the other day…”

“Yes Piña?”

“I saw him. He was wearing an eye patch and his face was a mess. Like daddy’s.”

“Oh no…”

“Princess Celestia said these things might come true… but they might not.”

“That’s scary… Piña, what do we do?”

“Nothing we can do.”

 

 

Peekaboo looked at Harper and then at Cadance. Peekaboo looked down at her wings, looked at Cadance’s wings, and then saw that Harper had no wings at all. Her little brow furrowed as she processed the differences between them.

Harper and Cadance had a horn. Reaching up, Peekaboo rubbed her forehead with a hoof. There was no horn there.

“Auntie Disco?” Harper asked.

“No, sorry Harpy, auntie Disco isn’t here.” Yew, her muzzle in her book, did not see Peekaboo observing the differences between a unicorn, a pegasus, and an alicorn.

Peekaboo spread one wing and began to examine her feathers. She looked at them, eyeing each one, and then looked at Cadance. Cadance’s feathers were a little different. Cadance’s wings were a little different. Peekaboo wasn’t sure what the difference was.

Noticing that her feathers looked a little messy, Peekaboo realised that her mother would preen her soon. Peekaboo giggled and hugged herself. She looked at her hoof and then she looked at Harper’s hoof. After a moment, she looked at Cadance’s hoof.

They all had hooves. Peekaboo studied her own hoof some more and then looked at Cadance. “Cadance.”

Cadance sat up, wobbling, and looked at Peekaboo.

“Cadance has horn and wings.” Peekaboo looked over at her mother.

“Yes she does. Cadance is an alicorn. Can you say alicorn?” Yew replied.

“Alicorn. I say. Why both?” Peekaboo looked over at Cadance and smiled.

“Because she is an alicorn. That’s just how it is. I don’t know why she has both.” Yew Wood closed her book and set it down. She slipped out of her chair and joined the foals on the floor. “Some ponies get horns, some get wings, some have neither, and a few ponies get horns and wings. But all ponies are special.”

“Special.” Peekaboo nodded.

Yew yawned. “I feel so sleepy. I’ve been  tired for the past few days. Who wants to take a nap with me?” She got herself comfortable on the floor, sprawling out on a quilt put down for the foals. In a moment, she had three foals pressed against her sides.

Now feeling like a very contented pegasus, Yew Wood yawned again.

 

 

“What’s the deal with Scoots?”

Ripple, unaware that Rainbow Dash had landed behind her, turned around. “Oh hi…”

“Did she… wait… did Scoots…” Rainbow Dash watched as Scootaloo ran while being pelted with snowballs. She could see that Scootaloo was panting.

Ripple nodded.

“Huh. She talked about it, I didn’t think she’d actually do it.” Rainbow Dash grinned. “Good job Squirt.”

“How is flight school?” Ripple, feeling relieved, turned back around to watch Loki work Boadicea and Scootaloo over.

“Flight school is… awesome!” Rainbow Dash began to strut around. “Today we did deadfalls and everypony did so well. Everybirdy too. And I got to teach them how to figure out which way is up or down when you are lost in a cloud or some fog and disoriented for some reason.”

Ripple grinned. “Spit.”

“That’s right. Spit. Spit always falls downwards.” Rainbow Dash stopped strutting and stood still. “Also works if you are buried in the snow and can’t figure out which way is up or down so you know which way to dig.”

“Surprise taught me the spit trick.” Ripple looked at Rainbow Dash and noticed that the pegasus was a little fuller around her hips.

“Funny how life works. I got my cutie mark… I was destined for speed… to be fast. To be the fastest pegasus alive… I thought I was going to be a derby flier. A circuit racer. And I still might be…” Rainbow Dash’s wings fluttered at her side. “I came to Ponyville and became a weather pony. I got really miserable there for a while. I was always looking for adventure, some new thrill, and I kept working as a weather pony to pay the bills.”

Not knowing what to say, Ripple nodded.

“I’m happy now… today, when one of those foals dropped one of their teammates and cloud cover was broke, I went streaking off and I snatched that foal right out of the air. Everything felt right in my life. My speed keeps those foals safe. What I am teaching them keeps those foals safe. I’m teaching them to be fast.” Rainbow Dash’s eyes went vacant as she stared off at Scootaloo. “I am the fastest pegasus alive, I am going to be a Wonderbolt, and I finally feel like I found my purpose… I don’t feel miserable anymore.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Ripple asked.

“Because… I want this feeling for Scootaloo. I want her to know this sort of happiness. I really hope she gets it. I want it for her more than anything. I’m scared out of my mind right now because Scootaloo wants to be in the military. I don’t want her to be in the military. It’s dangerous… but if she is going to be a pilot, this is her best chance. This could be where she finds happiness… I don’t want her to be like I was… a weather captain that lived for cheap thrills that wasn’t living up to her potential… following her destiny.” Rainbow Dash turned and looked at Ripple, her eyes wide and pleading.

Once more, Ripple did not know what to say.

“See that she flies. I want to see Scoots go soaring. You be hard on her. If she is going to do this, no going halfway. If something happens, she has to be hard enough to deal with it. So if she slacks off, you kick her in the plot.” Rainbow Dash’s mane and tail billowed in a faint breeze. “I don’t want her to settle… I don’t want Scootaloo feeling stuck. I want what is best for her, even if I am terrified of her having it.”

“I’ll do everything I can,” Ripple said.

“One other thing,” Rainbow Dash said in a low voice.

“What’s that, Rainbow Dash?”

“If you see Twilight, run. She put her hoof down and she specifically said no when Scootaloo asked her about this. Twi is gonna be furious.”

“What about Flash Sentry?” Ripple asked, curious about her chances of survival.

“Oh Flash is in some hot water right now. He wants Scootaloo in the service. He says it would be good for her. He and Twilight had a bit of a kerfuffle and right now, they’re not saying very much to one another. It’s real awkward in the bed because I have to lay between them and both of them are sleeping with their backs to me so they don’t have to look at one another.”

“Sounds rough. I understand. I mean, about the bed thing. Loch Skimmer and Sparkler had a bit of a spat a while back… over checkers. They were being snotty and Rising Star kicked them both out of the bed and refused to let them back in until they settled their differences.”

“What happened?” Rainbow Dash stopped watching Scootaloo doing pushups and looked at Ripple.

“They made up. Right there on the spot. Both of them realised they were being stupid.”

“Tonight, I’m kicking Twi and Flash out of the bed. Wish me luck. I’m living with a princess and a pegasus that is all about the chain of command and what I say don’t get listened to very much.”

“That’s not right.” Ripple shook her head. “Sparkler and I are hard boiled martial types but we leave the chain of command outside our door. There was already an incident. I don’t want to talk about it. But there was some feathers that got ruffled.”

“Well, it is kinda my fault. Most of what I say are jokes and I hardly ever take anything serious, so I think I brought this on myself.” Rainbow Dash let out a nervous chuckle and then took a deep breath. “I’m starving.”

“I think Scoots is about done for. Want to scrape what’s left of her out of the snow and take her home?” Ripple asked.

Rainbow Dash nodded. “Yeah… I think it is time I went home… and maybe put my hoof down. Scoots’ happiness is more important than what any of us want. As her parents, we have to do what is best for her even if we're unhappy about doing it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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