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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Entering into Sentinel’s room, Bucky was careful not to make a sound. On the bed, sleeping, were two foals. Sentinel, laying on his back, shivered somewhat and twitched in his sleep. Laying against his side, one hind leg thrown over his belly and her head resting upon Sentinel’s barrel, was Diamond Tiara.

The blanket had slipped off to one side.

Making no sound, Bucky pulled the blanket over the pair, and grinned a little grin knowing that there would be all kinds of embarrassment upon waking. He stood there for a moment, feeling proud of both of them.

Diamond Tiara had proven herself to many adults in the town hall… she had comforted foals, been a tremendous help, and had even stomped a rat that had come to close to the foals she had been responsible for foalsitting.

She had come a long way from being a spoiled bully, and the other ponies in town were beginning to notice. There was still a long ways to go though. But Diamond Tiara was on the right path.

Bucky backed out of the room and bumped into Hondo Flanks and Cookie Crumbles. Both looked worried. He raised his eyebrow.

“They’re sleeping together… well, innocently. They’re adorable,” Bucky said.

“We were worried. We won’t wake her.” Cookie’s eyes gushed liquid adoration as she stared at the door. She opened it just a crack, looked inside, shut the door, and squealed.

“I remember how she used to torment Sweetie Belle… now… well, the way I hear it, she was one of the most helpful foals in town hall last night. She and Sweetie Belle both.” Hondo looked at his wife and then at Bucky. “We’re going to get silver medals of commendation from the Lunar Court for being model unicorns. So are Galaxy Guide and Shining Star.”

“Congratulations,” Bucky said in a soft whisper.

Still gushing liquid adoration, Cookie nodded her head, an enthusiastic bob. “I gotta say, it felt good giving those rats a good what for. I’ve never really used my magic to make a difference like that before. Hondo and I have been taking magic lessons as a couple to spice up our marriage.”

Exhausted looking, Hondo leaned on his wife, Cookie. “Sweetie Belle is somewhere in this hospital fighting the good fight and helping ponies feel better. It was nice seeing you again. We’re going to go look for our little Sweetie.”

“Be well,” Bucky said, bowing his head. His black hood fell over his face and his features were lost in shadow. He watched the couple go.

“Hondo… he’s so charmingly creepy… I do so adore him…”

 

 

“Private Freyja and Private Callum… just the Raptors I’ve been looking for,” Princess Luna said, holding her head high and looking down upon the pair. “You came to Ponyville with Sentinel. You fought well from what I hear.” Luna eyed their bandages and a faint smile appeared upon her lips.

“Just doing our duty,” Freyja said. Slow and weary, she raised her wing in salute.

“Both of you fought in the orphanage engagement,” Luna said.

Callum nodded.

“From what I have heard, that was a fierce battle… you went in there to help Fancy Pants and Fleur dis Lee. They refused to evacuate until every foal was accounted for… is this true?” Luna asked.

“Is what true? That we fought in the battle or that they refused to leave?” Freyja replied.

“They refused to go until the last foal they were responsible for was found,” Callum said.

“Oh my… I do believe those two may have earned themselves a royal pardon.” Luna paused and lowered her head a little more. “As for you two… I have spoken with Ripple. I believe she wants to speak with you.”

“It is going to have to wait,” Freyja said.

“Sorry.” Callum nodded.

“You will keep Ripple waiting?” Luna asked.

“We are going to go home, get a bath, preen one another, maybe screw one another to celebrate being alive, and then we are going to sleep for three whole days.” Freyja yawned to punctuate her words.

“The papers are going to write about what you did,” Luna said in a low voice as she raised her head. The corner of her mouth twitched.

Callum closed his eyes and leaned on Freyja.

“I wish I had been there to witness it… the eyewitnesses make it sounds so interesting.”

Freyja hung her head. “We just did our duty.”

“You jumped onto the backs of two former Canterlot nobles, rode them into battle, you, Callum, you armed yourself with a flagpole as a spear… and do be a dear… what did Fancy Pants shout as his battle cry?”

Callum sighed. “Merciful stars, I do hope I do not soil myself,” the griffon replied in a dull monotone.

Luna turned to look at Freyja. “And Fleur dis Lee let go of a shout about saving her precious babies. You slapped her on the backside, made her rear up by yanking on her perfectly coiffed mane, and then she bolted forward into the fray… I must say… I am impressed.” Luna, unable to contain herself any longer, began to laugh, a booming chuckle that echoed through the hospital hallways.

A short distance away, Nurse Redheart began to snicker.

 

 

Hondo Flanks found his daughter sitting in a chair, dull eyed, and tired looking. He approached, looked around for Cookie, and saw her off getting some coffee from a comfort station down the hall.

“Hiya Sweetie,” Hondo said in a cheerful but exhausted voice. “You look a little pooped.”

“I’m too pooped to poop,” Sweetie Belle replied. “Too pooped to celebrate.”

“I suppose there is a lot to celebrate… maybe after a little rest, we’ll throw a little party.” Hondo sat down in a chair beside Sweetie and wrapped his foreleg around her shoulders.

“No… daddy… I got my cutie mark… I don’t know when it happened… I just looked back and saw it was there. None of my friends were with me.” Sweetie Belle leaned over in her chair and looked down at her hip.

Hondo’s eyes dropped. On Sweetie’s hip there was a soft pastel pink heart with a tear going down the middle. Over the tear was a band-aid. Hondo took a deep breath for a moment, reached up, rubbed his eyes, and then looked down again. “That looks pretty important. There are a lot of ponies with broken hearts right now and you must have made somepony feel better.”

“I guess I did.” Sweetie Belle looked up at her father and yawned. “I can’t do this anymore. I want to keep helping,  but I’m so sleepy.” She leaned over, rested her head against her father, and in moments, Sweetie Belle was fast asleep.

“Hey Cookie,” Hondo said as his wife drew near. His mustache quivered. “Our little filly has a cutie mark.”

Cookie dropped two cups of coffee she was holding in her telekinesis and her mouth dropped open. Her mouth moved, but no words came out.

 

 

“Apple Bloom is running a high fever and I don’t feel so good myself, but we’re going to be okay,” Cheerilee said as she looked at Sparkler. “If you hadn’t of showed up when you did…” Cheerilee reached up into her mane with her hoof, prodded a few curls, and then extended her hoof out to Sparkler. “Could you see that Loki gets these? Tell him I don’t need them any more.”

Sparkler looked down at the glass vials and knew right away what was in them. She felt a withering sense of horror as she realised what the Apples must have been planning. She looked up and looked into Cheerilee’s eyes. Cheerilee had been her teacher once. Sparkler tried to speak, but all that came out was a pained grunt.

“I don’t know what we would have done without Loki… Big Mac couldn’t have done this alone… I heard that Granpappy Danver died during the attack and Touchon died just an hour ago.” Cheerilee’s eyes glazed over. “She was a foal… one of my best students. She had just got her cutie mark.. a carrot wrapped in a pink ribbon.”

Stumbling forward, Cheerilee collapsed onto Sparkler and began sobbing.

“I’ve lost some of my students!”

 

 

“Think more will come tonight?” Ripple asked, looking up at her husband.

Both of them were red eyed and exhausted.

“Luna has sent word that it is unlikely.” Rising Star shook his head. “Something like this takes a lot of power. We’ll likely see another attack of some sort, but not tonight. I hope.”

“I’m about to drop,” Ripple said, admitting weakness.

“Me too. I don’t even know how you are standing.” Rising Star leaned down his head and kissed Ripple on the cheek. He brushed his body up alongside the smaller filly beside him and rubbed his cheek against hers. She smelled of sweat, of steel, and of blood.

Rising Star thought she smelled perfect. He stuck his snoot into Ripple’s ear and inhaled. His heart skipped a beat when he heard Ripple giggle. “Say… how about you and I go take a bath together, get cleaned up, and get a few hours of sleep. We’ll wake up and make sure the night is safe. I’ll scrub your back… right between your wings.”

“I’d like that,” Ripple replied.

 

 

“Thistle.”

“Bucky.” The kelpie leaned forward and smooched Bucky, giving him a wet smack.

“I heard you did good for yourself last night.” Bucky pressed himself up against Thistle and they stood chest to chest, neck to neck.

“I did a little stomping. Didn’t get bit.” Thistle leaned into Bucky and rested her neck against his. “I got some good news from the doctor.”

“You did?” Bucky asked.

“The doctor said she would like it if I waited another week or two, but she said that everything looked good down there and I’d probably be fine if I wanted to do things… just so long as I did them slow and easy,” Thistle replied.

“That is good news.” Bucky could feel something thumping inside of Thistle.

“Berry got bit… it was just a tiny bite, but I’m so scared.” Thistle’s voice was low, soft, and sleepy.

“Berry is fine. I’ve checked on her. She’s running a bit of a fever, but she is in no danger at all. She’s an earth pony… and Shetland stock. Bon Bon will be fine as well, I’ve already checked up on her too.”

“Bon Bon don’t take no guff… when she saw the rats, she let out a string of cuss words that turned the air around her blue. Bucky, I swear, the candies on the counter singed, I am not making this up. My ears actually burned and there were little wisps of smoke coming off of the candies and everything.”

“What happened to the rats?” Bucky asked.

“They dropped dead from Bon Bon’s swearies,” Thistle replied.

“Would Bon Bon smack you right now if she heard you saying this?” Bucky stepped back and looked Thistle in the eye.

Reaching up with her hoof, Thistle tapped on her chest and then crossed her heart. “Ask Berry if you don’t believe me. She’s an earth pony and she wouldn’t lie to you.”

“Bon Bon killed rats by swearing at them?”

“Bucky, I swear, I am not making it up! Lyra saw it, Berry Punch saw it, an entire store full of customers saw it, Bon Bon has a horrible potty mouth. The things she said actually hurt my ears and made me want to cry.”

“If that is true, that is a new type of magic, one I’ve never heard of before. I wonder if it is some kind of specialised earth pony magic… and if it is, I am terrified that Piña will end up with it,” Bucky said in a worried voice.

“I want to go home.” Thistle leaned up against Bucky once more.

“Soon.”

“Is Sentinel going to be okay?”

“He lost a lot of blood and he’s infected. He’ll be fine. Anything that doesn’t kill a lunar pegasus only makes them stronger. Luna says he'll be darn near immune to septicemia later, so I guess it is good that he is getting it over with now.”

“Think we’ll be safe tonight? I want to sleep in our bed in a big pile with all of our foals in the bed with us.”

“I hope we’ll be safe… I’d like to sleep in a big pile too.”

“I just hope that nothing causes Bon Bon to swear like that ever again.”

 

 

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