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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This house was interesting. The ponies and the griffons living inside of it were even more interesting. The griffons made her nervous, but she couldn’t quite remember why, there was just a stinging pain sometimes when she looked at them. More and more, she was having trouble remembering the other place, the place with pain all of the time.

Losing this memory troubled her, because with it, she was losing baba. The baba that had been like her. He was but a distant fuzzy memory now, and she had to work very hard to remember him. What she remembered most was that he had been eaten; she had watched it happen, and she didn’t want to remember that. It hurt too much.

Now, she even tried to avoid thinking about this memory, the details of her baba grew fainter and fainter, and now, she could not remember his voice. She could not remember his smell. She was losing him, even the memory of him, and she felt troubled.

Feeling pained, feeling real hurt and not knowing what to do, she left her hiding place beneath the stairs, the place she shared with her much larger protector, the pony called Sentinel. Sentinel was kind and he was quiet. She slipped out of the place beneath the stairs, crept down the hall, keeping her hooves silent, and made her way into the back bedroom, where she knew he would be.

Other baba. She peered around once she had stepped through the doorway. She saw him, asleep in the big bed, another safe place. There was nopony else back here. The grey mare was in the front room, roasting by the fire. That room was too hot.

With a bounding leap, she made her way up onto the bed and hurried to other baba’s side. He was sleeping. She considered her actions for a moment, he never got upset if woken up and she needed him. She took his ear between her teeth, her action gentle, she had hurt him with her teeth once; she would never do that again, and she gave a tug on his ear, a few yanks to get his attention.

She was rewarded with a snort.

“Sukari?”

“Baba.”

“You look sad. Stop looking sad. I don’t like it.”

Without warning, Sukari found herself snatched. She felt the panic, the panic and the fear were always there, and she yelped without meaning to do so. She tumbled down and was held in place by baba’s forelegs. She felt the reassuring weight of his chin resting upon her.

She was being used as a pillow. This is not what she had in mind, but baba did odd things like use her as a pillow. This wasn’t so bad. She curled up, sighed, and made herself comfortable.

“My poor sad little zebra. What’s troubling you?” Bucky asked.

The sound of his voice was soothing. She could listen to him talk all day. His voice was kind and it smoothed out the rough, painful places in her mind. Lifting her head, she rubbed her muzzle against the soft side of his face and the feeling of his jaw resting upon her ribs made her feel tingles all over, warm fuzzy feelings that she associated with security and safety.

“Sad dream.” She did not know how to put everything into words to express what she was feeling, the fear she had, what she worried about, the summary of her troubles. It was a dream to her, every day it seemed a little less real. She rubbed her cheek against against baba’s with vigorous affection.

“Now now, we can’t have you having sad dreams.” Baba yawned, his body tensed, and then he yawned once more. “I’m a sleepy pony. Now, you close your eyes, and we’ll have a snooze together, and you’ll have nice dreams. Derpy is right. Foals make for the best pillows.”

Angling her head around, she kissed baba on the cheek. It was something that these weird ponies did to one another often. She couldn’t remember what life was like before, but there had been no kissing. Baba’s head was warm and heavy upon her side. She was laying between his front legs. She yawned, feeling sleepy for some inexplicable reason, and rested her head upon baba’s left front foreleg.

“Keep us safe,” she said as she closed her eyes.

 

 

Feeling nervous, Apple Bloom cleared her throat and looked around the room, meeting each eye. She sat down, scratched her still new cutie mark with a front hoof, and then cleared her throat once more.

“I’ve called together an emergency meeting of The League of Extraordinary Earth Ponies during the weekend because we need to talk about a few issues. I need your help. And Equestria needs your help. And I, uh, well, we need to talk about it,” Apple Bloom said in her most confident voice.

“We have some new earth ponies,” Lance said as he held back a chuckle.

“This goes beyond earth ponies. I’ve brought together the League and a few of my friends. Bucky said I need ponies that I trust. So I’ve brought all of you together. Bucky says that I will need to form, a… uh… um… a Court. I think that’s what he said. I want to get a start on that right now. I’ve got a lifetime of work ahead of me that I can’t do alone.”

“A court needs a knight,” Dinky said.

“Yeah it does.” Archer’s head bobbed in agreement.

“We don’t have a knight.” Apple Bloom frowned. “We’re just getting started.”

“We can get a knight. I happen to know one.” Diamond Tiara grinned. “He’s not a knight yet, but make no mistake, he will be.”

“Sentinel?” Apple Bloom asked, looking thoughtful. She saw Diamond Tiara nod. “Send him an invitation. Make it look important so he understands this isn’t a game.”

“You’re really being serious about this?” Larch folded his front hooves together on the desk in front of him.

Nodding, Apple Bloom looked Larch in the eye. “If you join me now, I promise you I will keep you with me for as long as I live. Bucky and I talked for a long time, and I need ponies I can trust. He warned me about leeches, hangers on, and ponies that will want to take advantage of me because I’m young.”

Her ledger open, Diamond Tiara’s automated pen began to write everything down. “Apple Bloom, we’re gonna need a diplomat to the griffons. We have both the Hippogriff Solar Commonwealth Republic and the Hippogriff Lunar Commonwealth Republic.”

“I take it you have an idea already?” Apple Bloom looked at Diamond Tiara and waited for a reply.

“Boadicea. I know from inside information that she is being schooled in diplomatic arts and negotiation. Lugus has high expectations of her, wants her to be the spokesbirdy of the Raptors someday,” Diamond Tiara replied as her automated pen continued to write everything down in smooth, flowing strokes.

“Get on that,” Apple Bloom said in a now more confident voice. “I want to get to the first emergency that we need to deal with. Blood.” Apple Bloom looked around the room. “Blood is needed. Blood and plasma. Something to do with the sickness going around overseas. Everybody has their permission slips signed I hope. We can donate twice a week, and we’re gonna do it. And when we go, we’re going to try and get as many ponies as we can to come with us. If they’re scared of needles, you remind them that y’all are foals and you’re going. Get your sisters, your brothers, your parents, your school mates, just try to get one pony to come along with you.”

“I’ll work on getting fliers printed,” Spike offered, his claws drumming upon his desk.

“Thank you, Spike,” Diamond Tiara said as she gave the dragon a smile.

“Yes, thank you, Spike.” Apple Bloom tapped her hooves together. “Second order of business. I have a coronation coming up. And I ain’t going to Canterlot. Ain’t no how, ain’t no way, and I know that Bucky is already trying to help me. But I need your help too. We need to get ponies interested here in Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle lives here in Ponyville and she was crowned in Canterlot. Bucky also lives in Ponyville, but he was crowned in Canterlot. We, the ponies of Ponyville, we deserve to have a coronation right here where we live and where we work. It’s winter, so we need an indoors place large enough to hold a fair number of ponies. We’ll need access to a kitchen so there is food. And of course, we need ponies.”

“There was something else you wanted to do, Apple Bloom,” Diamond Tiara said in a low voice to Apple Bloom.

“I know… but I don’t know about that. I don’t want ponies to feel left out if they can’t do it,” Apple Bloom replied.

“I guess I never got the memo.” Babs looked over at Diamond Tiara, then at Apple Bloom, and then she grinned. “Sure, leave your cousin and your best friend out in the cold.”

“I never meant to do that Babs… I only told Diamond Tiara because I knew she would be honest with me even if it meant hurting my feelings. I’m still not certain about the idea.” Apple Bloom lifted up her right front hoof and made a circular gesture as she thought about what to say. “I want to charge money for the coronation, but I don’t want to keep the money. I want to collect funds so that we can do community improvement projects. I don’t want to collect a lot of money, or charge a lot of bits to get in… more like a donation, but I’m scared that ponies will get the wrong idea or think that I’ve become greedy now that I’m a princess and I’m so scared because everypony is watching me and the newspapers are writing stories and I’m being judged by ponies I don’t even know and ponies who have never even met me.”

“Yikes… this is why I try to avoid reading newspapers.” Babs’ face looked as though she was chewing on lemons. “Tell you what Bloomy… you let Larch, Piña, and I deal with the fundraising. We’ll make it clear that a donation isn’t required to get in the door, but that it is appreciated and every bit collected will be returned to the community.”

“You’ll do that for me?” Apple Bloom asked.

“For you, cousin, I’ll do anything,” Babs replied in a thick accent.

“I’ll help too,” Dinky said.

“I’ll get my sister and Coco to help.” Sweetie Belle’s voice pealed through the room, an excited squeak that could be contained no longer. “Coco is really good about fundraising. She’s really soft and gentle and something about how she is makes ponies trust her and do everything she says.”

“Better idea… have Rarity organise a fabulous after party for the well to do of Ponyville so she and Coco can shmooze bits out of them. With the wealthier ponies, it will become a competition to see who can give more, especially if they are at a party,” Scootaloo said.

Apple Bloom’s jaw dropped open. “That’s a really good idea, Scoots!”

“Yeah, but you are going to have to go and mingle at the party… I mean, the snooty snoots of Ponyville will want to feel special and have you all to themselves.” Scootaloo scowled and her wings fluttered. “Might send the wrong message to the poor ponies of Ponyville.”

“I know what we can do,” Diamond Tiara said in a breathless voice, her eyes wide with fillyish excitement. “We can combine the school gala that we have coming up with Apple Bloom’s coronation! The big cafeteria and auditorium room is large enough to hold a lot of ponies, the school’s kitchens can be used to feed everypony, and we can have a big bash!”

“That’s… that’s a really good idea.” Apple Bloom rose up on all four hooves and began to prance in place. “That is the most fantastic idea ever!”

“Hey, that is a good idea,” Rumble replied. “It means I only have to get dressed up once!”

 

 

 

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