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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“How was your day, Rising Star?” Ripple peered at her husband, blinked once to get him into focus, and then felt her whole face warm as a smile spread over her lips. The pleasant dopey feeling made the corners of her mouth sort of tingle.

Dropping his head, Rising Star kissed Ripple right between her ears, and his snoot lingered for a moment in the soft tangles of her pale blue mane. “Things were good, real good. We got a lot done today, Ripple. There is a new sense of unity now that we have all realised we are working against a common enemy.” Rising Star said nothing of his worries and concerns over that though. “How are you feeling?”

Twisting her head around, Ripple surprised Rising Star with a somewhat slobbery kiss. She pulled away with a wet smacking sound and blinked a few times. “I’m feeling better. They’ve lowered my dose and I don’t feel agitated or angry.”

“You’re all alone… where are the others? Where is Sparkler, Bittersweet, and Loch Skimmer? Why aren’t they here with you?” Rising Star asked.

“Sparky had bad pains inside. She got hit by a train you know… they went with her to the hospital. I told them I needed a nap and everything is okay,” Ripple replied.

“I don’t want to make any further mistakes.” Rising Star lifted his head and made an equine sound of concern, a deep resonant nickering within his barrel. He flopped over into the bed beside Ripple, pulled her close, and pressed his snoot into her ear to give her a tickle as he breathed. When she giggled, he felt his heart warm and some of his worries melted away.

“I had me a bad case of the angries. The doctor said it wasn’t good for me to have the angries. She said I needed something to nurture, something to care for. She said for me to get a cat or a hamster or something… and then I told her about all of my little sisters, my little brother, and everything. She said if I had the angries, then I was doing something wrong. I don’t know what wrong I’m doing, but I need to figure it out because if I get the angries again we are going to have another hole in our floor.” Ripple sighed and enjoyed the feeling of Rising Star pressed up against her. “She also said that I might be gay because I have issues with male and female intimacy and I could be using my attraction to females as a coping mechanism so I don’t have to deal with what I like to call my daddy issues. I told her that I don’t have a problem with my daddy, that Bucky was really good to me… but then she made me talk about my other daddy… and I almost got the angries and for a moment, I thought she was going to give me a shot, but then I calmed down and cried a whole bunch and she patted me and Loch Skimmer cried, and Sparkler started hugging me and then Loch Skimmer threw up everywhere because she was upset and she thought about daddy breaking her leg and she has morning sickness even though it is the afternoon.”

Rising Star pulled Ripple a little closer. “Sounds like you had a hard day.”

“Please look after us Rising Star… I need to develop healthy expectations of males and so I need for you to do whatever it is that you need to do so I’ll have healthy expectations.” Ripple rubbed her head against Rising Star’s cheek.

“I’ll try, Ripple, I’ll try.”

 

 

In his axe beak griffon form, Bucky swooped over Rainbow Dash’s flight class. Rainbow Dash had a bag of chocolate chips and a long line of students. He watched as she dropped a chocolate chip and a pegasus went streaking off after it. The tiny chip dropped through the clouds, vanishing, and Bucky knew that the student would have to reacquire his visual target after busting through the cloud.

It was an unorthodox but brilliant way to hone a little pegasus or a little griffon’s observation skills and how to track a moving target after losing sight of it. Bucky was impressed.

Circling overhead, Bucky watched his students. He was becoming an adept flier himself, many natural fliers had told him so, including Rainbow Dash. Bucky found the griffon form rather clumsy though, and felt that the owl was his favourite as well as most comfortable form. Owls just felt right.

Rolling over, Bucky tucked in his wings and dove, his beak now pointed straight at the clouds below. He had a bit of a spin and he felt the wind rushing through his feathers. He burst through the clouds and saw the ground. Freefall. Glorious freefall. One of Bucky’s favourite sensations. Almost as good as making love. Almost, but not quite.

Just moments before Bucky splattered into the ground, he spread his wings and pulled up, dive bombing Lugus, who let out an indignant squawk and then shook his talons at Bucky.

Laughing, Bucky flew away, gained altitude, and then dove down once more, aiming for the group of griffons that Lugus was instructing in the arts of war.

Streaking over the training grounds, just a few feet away from the snow covered earth, Bucky snatched a pilum off of a rack as he flew over, angled upwards, looped over backwards, and flew at the haybale targets. He hurled his javelin and scored the third rung outside of the bullseye. Cackling, he went streaking off, feeling a sense of wonder at how much talon to eye coordination this body had.

“That was a good shot! Now get out of here!” Lugus bellowed.

Hearing wings, Bucky realised that he had company. Yew Wood pulled up alongside him, a smile on her face. Yew was carrying Peekaboo. The foal was giggling like a squirrel hopped up on rock candy.

“Here, catch!” Yew tossed Peekaboo at Bucky.

Having never played the time honoured pegasus sport of ‘toss the foal’ before, Bucky panicked. He thought of his claws, which were razor sharp. He rolled over sideways, caught Peekaboo in his forelegs, hugged her close as she kept giggling, and then leveled out.

His heart thudding in his chest, Bucky hoped that Derpy never played this game with him.

“You have to throw her back, you big silly!” Yew rolled over and flapped wings to level out as she kept pace beside Bucky. “Just toss her! She’ll be fine! You did good for your first catch!”

Closing his eyes, Bucky tossed Peekaboo. He heard the foal laughing as he launched her. Cracking one eye open, he watched as Yew went streaking off. She snatched Peekaboo in her front legs, hugged Peekaboo close, and then did a loop as Peekaboo flapped her wings.

“This is an important game. We pegasi toss our foals to one another for practice. If we ever have to outfly danger, we can pass our foals around as we take turns confounding whatever is trying to gobble us up,” Yew said as she leveled out. “Turns out, griffons like to play the same game.”

Bucky nodded and watched as Yew rolled away. She darted off to fly above where Lugus and the griffons were training so she could watch. Feeling hungry, Bucky decided it was time to be back in his own body again.

 

 

Inside the house, Bucky saw Thistle as she moved from the kitchen to the living room just as he was coming in through the front door. Sensing opportunity, Bucky dug his nose under Thistle’s tail and lifted, his snoot grazing the secret places to be found under the lush greenery.

Thistle bolted forward away from Bucky and and as she did so, she cried, “Eeek! A pervert!”

“Pervert?”

Cringing, Bucky’s ears drooped. That was not a good sound. That was not a good sound at all. In fact, that was the very last thing he wanted to hear. He heard Thistle giggling as she recovered and the kelpie’s giggles harmonised with the dulcet tones of Harper’s voice.

“Pervert?” Harper repeated, blinking her eyes and looking curious. She looked at Sukari.

“Pervert.” Sukari looked up at Thistle. “Pervert?”

Harper shrugged and also looked up at Thistle. “What who pervert?”

Peeking out from behind the living room archway, Cadance blinked at the ponies in the hall. Her ears perked forward and she looked up at Bucky. “Pervert?”

“Thistle… you’re young and you have your whole life in front of you… I’ll take the blame for this when Derpy finds out. While I distract her, you run.” Bucky gave Thistle a glance and then he looked at his foals.

Nodding, Thistle made eye contact as a means of silent agreement.

 

 

“I’m so tired,” Apple Bloom said as she fell over on Sweetie Belle. Apple Bloom rested her head on Sweetie Belle’s ribs and closed her eyes. “I wish Scootaloo was here.”

In a squeaky voice, Sweetie Belle replied, “I’m getting worn out too. I have to go to the hospital and help out though in just a little while.” The unicorn filly sighed. “Scootaloo has her drills.”

“I’m making headway.” Dinky climbed up onto the couch and sat down beside Apple Bloom. “Piña and I will keep at it. Things at home are going to be a little complicated, but we’ll make it work.”

“Where is Piña?” Apple Bloom asked.

Dinky heaved a sigh and rolled her eyes. “She is with Larch and Babs. They’re off talking to Tuli about egghead stuff.”

“Dinky, we are eggheads,” Sweetie Belle said in a low voice.

“I know.” Dinky nodded and shook her head. She lifted up both front hooves and waved them around as she said, “I’ve become a real dork.”

“I’ve almost worked out the secret formula. I need to get out and see Zecora, but it is winter, it is a long walk, and the Everfree is dangerous.” Apple Bloom lifted her foreleg and then rested it on Sweetie’s foreleg in an open display of affection.

“You need a way out to Zecora? I think I know a way. How do you feel about flying?” Dinky asked, looking over at Apple Bloom and noticing how her and Sweetie were cuddled with one another. Seeing it made Dinky curious about what it would be like to cuddle with another filly in the same way they were doing it. There was something… different about them, but Dinky couldn’t put her hoof on what it was.

“Who would give me a ride?” Apple Bloom asked as she lifted her head and opened her eyes. She turned to look at Dinky and couldn’t help but notice that Dinky was staring, and Dinky’s expression was wide eyed and curious.

“I know that Lugus would give you a ride if you said please,” Dinky replied.

“Hmm.” Apple Bloom removed her foreleg from Sweetie Belle’s foreleg and then reached up to rub her nose. “If I am going to go, I should do it before it gets any later.”

“Come on, We’ll go find Lugus and I’ll give him the sad eyes,” Dinky said as she hopped down off of the couch.

 

 

“Settling in, Luna?” Bucky asked as he nibbled on a brownie.

“Yes, thank you,” Luna replied, as she too, ate a brownie.

Bucky raised his eyebrow and leaned over the table. “Did you and Barley get everything sorted out?”

After a moment of hesitation, Luna nodded for a moment, paused, and then continued nodding. “Barley had an old pony moment. He insisted that he actually thought of me as a foal for a moment. I have no reason to think he was lying. Bucky… he is old. I do hope his mind is not going. I love him so.”

Bucky stuffed more of his brownie into his mouth and chewed, not knowing what to say or how to reply. He could see the pained expression upon Luna’s face. Barley was old, but not that old. Perhaps Barley had just had an off moment. As he thought about it, Bucky’s stomach gave a lurch. He set his brownie down upon his plate and clutched his stomach.

“Buckminster?” Luna’s ears pitched forwards and wrinkles appeared upon her foalish brow as her eyes narrowed. “Are you alright?”

Another powerful wave of nausea. Bucky could feel the itching beneath his skin, right underneath the worst of his scars. Bucky felt his stomach gurgle and then he tasted something bitter in the back of his throat, almost like acid indigestion. It burned as the taste crept over his tongue.

Without warning, Bucky belched, a small acidic belch that reeked of rotten eggs. Luna recoiled, jerking her head back, and covering her nose with her hoof. Bucky felt his stomach squelching, and the pressure began to build.

“Eww… Buckminster… you have soiled the air,” Luna said in a muffled voice from behind her hoof. “Begone! Leave this room at once, you foul creature from the abyssal depths!”

Bucky’s mouth fell open and he belched once more. The sound was like something that had crawled out of the Stygian Pits, a croaking -urgle-gurgle-blargle-nargle- sound. As the sound increased in volume and force, Luna’s mane blew back from her head as her eyes went wider and wider.

Luna let out a foalish fearful cry and Semillon squeaked in alarm.

Still the belch kept coming, and a sulphurous, ruinous reek befouled the air. Harper was standing in the kitchen archway now, looking wide eyed and afraid. She began to back away.

Just when Bucky thought the burp was reaching its crescendo, the pressure increased even more and Bucky felt a painful pinching sensation in the back of his throat. Blue-purple-pink flames shot out of his mouth and the stench of sulphur grew even stronger.

“Dragon eat princess!” Harper cried as she took off running.

Luna dove from her chair and ducked under the table.

And then, it was over. The pressure was gone and Bucky felt a lot better. The nausea was gone. He felt empty inside. Reaching out, he picked up his brownie and began to eat it.

“Please help, send a knight,” Luna said in a fearful voice from beneath the table.

“Just so long as I get paid every Monday,” Semillon said as she took a step backwards and then resumed making dinner.

“I suppose I owe it to Bon Bon to go see a doctor,” Bucky said around a mouthful of brownie, looking unconcerned about what had just taken place.

 

 

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