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


689. 689

“I brought you your schoolwork,” Diamond Tiara said as she set Sentinel’s assignments upon his desk in a neat pile. “How are you feeling? I’ve been worried. Do you need anything?”

“I’m dying of boredom… they won’t let me out of bed.” Sentinel scowled and shook his head. “I’m fine and I know I’m fine but they’re worried if I get out of bed I’ll fall down or something.”

“Just because you look okay on the outside doesn’t mean everything is healed on the inside. You got gooped by something that makes your body not want to move.” Reaching up with her hoof, Diamond Tiara adjusted her glasses. “I need you well in time for the dance we have coming up. Sentinel, there is something I want to ask you.”

“You sound like you’re talking business again…” Sentinel rolled over on his side and looked at the pink earth pony filly.

“Life is business, or so Violet Velvet says.” Diamond Tiara flashed her well practiced professional smile at Sentinel. “And in the business of life, there are two types of ponies. Those who are organised, and the clutter that needs to be cleaned up or go into the rubbish bin.”

Huffing, his cheeks puffing out, Sentinel snorted and then began to chortle.

Heaving a sigh, Diamond Tiara allowed herself a little giggle. “I was so nervous there. I was worried that how I was, how I used to be would make the joke not funny or out of context or make me sound like a snob or make it sound worse than it was really intended…” The filly’s lips pressed into a prim, straight line and her eyes narrowed. She inhaled. “Sentinel, there is something I want from you.”

The colt struggled to sit up. He did so, wobbled a bit, and then scooted himself against the headboard of his bed to steady himself.

“Sentinel, Boadicea has no one to escort her to the dance. There are no male griffons her age. And uh… well,” Diamond Tiara said, her voice becoming squeaky. “Sentinel, I need to confess, I might have just a little friendly crush on her.”

“So I’ve noticed.” Sentinel crossed his forelegs over his barrel.

“You’ve noticed?” Diamond Tiara climbed up into the chair by Sentinel’s desk.

“I’ve been a little jealous but I haven’t said anything because it would reflect poorly upon me given the nature of our relationship and my betrothal to Moonbow. So… I’ve just been dealing with it.” Sentinel’s barrel rose and fell as the colt inhaled, held it for a moment, and then let out in slow exhale.

“It doesn’t change how I feel about you,” Diamond Tiara said. “I have a crush on her… I’m madly in love with you. I was talking with Cookie and Hondo when they were at Rarity’s place the other night… they were foalhood sweethearts. Neither one of them had even hit their decade mark when they started to fall in love. They grew up together, just knowing, going through all of their awkward phases together, enduring all of those horrible adolescent traumas together, holding on to one another, knowing the whole time that they were meant to be together… it’s so romantic.” Diamond Tiara’s gaze became vacant, distant, and she fluttered her eyelashes.

“Would it make you happy if I asked Boadicea to come to the dance with us?” Sentinel asked.

“Yes… yes it would. I will do anything I can for you to make it worth your while,” Diamond Tiara replied. “How is it that ponies just know? I mean, we get names that reflect our natures. We get cutie marks that guide our purpose. And you can meet a colt one day and just know that they’re the one… I sometimes wonder if we have any say in our lives at all.”

“Sure we do.” Sentinel’s muzzle became wrinkled as his lips pressed together for a second in concentration. “My cutie mark is a fish. While I am a good fisher, I am free to do other things. I can be a good fisher and a good writer. I can be a good fisher, a good writer, and maybe someday, I’ll be a good soldier, but I am a little down in the dumps about that right now.”

“Sentinel, you had a bad run. Your father has had bad runs. Things go wrong sometimes. Don’t make me come over there and cheer you up the hard way.” Diamond Tiara’s blue eyes became aggressive pinpricks. For an earth pony, she showed a remarkable lack of fear of the predatory creature that Sentinel was.

“Father says that love is a choice.” Sentinel settled against the headboard of his bed. “He told me it starts out as an attraction, a spark, and there is a tiny little flame and that tiny little flame is a fire that you have to nurture. You have to give it fuel, you have to shelter it, and with care, it becomes a roaring blaze.” Sentinel’s eyes focused upon Diamond Tiara. “But like any fire, it can go out. So you have to keep adding fuel to keep it burning. It becomes a choice to keep the fire going or let it go out.”

Listening to Sentinel’s words, Diamond Tiara wondered if she had just been distracted from lecturing Sentinel about his failure in the sewers. She wanted to be distracted. She wanted Sentinel to keep going with beautiful, meaningful words.

“If I have to ask one of your friends to come to the dance as our guest, I am grown up enough to do that.” Sentinel’s lips formed a half smile. “Just my way of adding a few logs to the fire that will burn for a while.”



Feeling worried, Bucky glanced over at Luna. She was sitting on a pile of cushions with Tourmaline on one side of her and Erebus on the other side of her. She seemed better, but Bucky knew that looks could be deceiving.

The nursery was quiet. Bell Heather was crawling around on the floor, exploring the room, and she was quiet for the moment after having her gums numbed. Bucky’s introverted nature treasured these quiet moments.

“You have sad sickness,” Tourmaline said in a low whisper as she pressed her cheek against Luna’s neck.

His ears perking forward, Bucky strained to listen.

“Tourmaline, if you ever give your word about something, if you ever make a promise, you must never break it,” Luna said to the changeling foal resting beside her.

“Sometimes we can’t help what happens. It isn’t our fault.” Tourmaline blinked, looking owlish in her glasses, and then turned her head to look at Luna. “Sometimes, the only thing we can do is make up for it afterwards.”

“You sound like Celestia,” Luna said as she pressed her muzzle against Tourmaline.

A sigh slipped out from Tourmaline and her pink mane tumbled down over her face, spilling over her glasses and flowing around her horn. “Mama loves you so much… she is always worried about you. She still has bad dreams too.”

“I know she does.” Luna closed her eyes. “When I was trapped inside of Nightmare Moon and we were imprisoned in the moon together, I could feel my sister touching the moon to keep it in motion. It was the only thing I had of her. Nightmare Moon hated that touch more than anything… for me, it was the only comfort I had for those thousand years. I could do nothing, but Nightmare Moon spent those thousand years torturing my sister and hurting her, and Celestia had no choice but to keep the connection so that the moon would keep moving. One thousand years of agony… and there was nothing I could do. She had to endure the direct connection to Nightmare Moon and I got to feel her torture my sister. It was one of the many ways Nightmare Moon hurt me.”

Closing his eyes, Bucky had trouble trying to imagine what it must have been like.

“Celestia is the strongest pony I know. She would, and could, endure anything for those she loves. I wish I was as strong as she was… but I am not. I am weak, I am selfish, I am petty, I can be arrogant, I am possessive… I am jealous… and I am not the pony that my sister is.” Luna’s head fell and came to rest upon the cushion she was laying upon. “All Celestia had to do to make the torture stop was to stop loving me and to sever her bonds of affection with me. That was all Nightmare Moon wanted. With no love to protect me, the last part of what I was would have been consumed by her and I would have ceased to exist. Celestia never let go, never gave up, never stopped believing that I could be redeemed, and she never stopped loving me. She endured everything that Nightmare Moon did to her. The bad dreams, the pain, the knowledge that I was being tortured… Celestia bore it all.”

“And you feel guilty? Why?” Tourmaline asked.

“Because… I do not deserve that sort of love after what I did,” Luna replied.



“Oh this is awful,” Boadicea huffed as she lept over a yard high barrier made of snow.

“I like the way this sucks,” Scootaloo said to her companion as she too, lept over the barrier.

“You sound like Loki.” Boadicea opened her beak wide and let cool air hit her throat as she ran. Her wings flared outwards to allow cool air upon her sides and under her wings.

“I hear talking, I don’t think you’re running fast enough! Get moving!” Rainbow Dash shouted down as she flew overhead. “In fact, since you have the energy to flap your lips, I think another five laps is in order!”

Rolling over and then leveling out, Loki laughed. Rainbow Dash was good at this.

The sheet of ice was coming up again. Scootaloo braced herself. Boadicea had claws and could get a grip on the ice, Scootaloo had nothing but her hooves and her stubby wings; she had to have control. She needed to hit the ice just right and slide across, and not try to run this time so she wouldn’t slip and fall on her plot again.

Boadicea had other plans though. She fell back behind Scootaloo as the ice drew near, lept, spread her wings, snatched Scootaloo in her talons, making certain that her claws did no harm to Scootaloo’s flesh, and the griffoness soared over the ice patch. She still couldn’t fly, but Boadicea was an amazing leaper, and with her wings spread, she could extend her range with a bit of gliding.

She dropped Scootaloo in the snow, tossing her off to one side, and then landed. Boadicea’s hind legs dug into the snow, her claws got traction, and she shoved off, resuming her running gait.

“Loki… did you see that?” Rainbow Dash asked as she pointed down at the pair with her hoof. “Did you see that? That was amazing!”

“That was impressive.” Loki swooped down and flew beside Boadicea. “That was good. You thought of your teammate’s weakness and you compensated,” he said as he kept pace with Boadicea.

Banking away, Loki got himself a bit of altitude. “Why do we do what we do?”

“I do what I do out of a sense of love and obligation!” Scootaloo barked in reply.

“I wish to restore my honour!” Boadicea shouted as she ran.

“And what is this obligation?” Loki demanded.

Panting, Scootaloo knew that if she slowed down, she’d be in for it. “What I love is valuable and I must fight to protect it! I am obligated to keep what I love safe!”

“And what do you love?” Rainbow Dash asked as she swooped down by Scootaloo.

“My family… my friends… and my country!” Scootaloo panted. She was starting to feel the laps she had run already.

“I guess… I have… those I love and… obligations too,” Boadicea said in between heaving breaths. The griffoness looked as though she was steam powered. Her great, heaving breaths came out as visible puffs of steam in the cold.

“Are they worth this pain you feel right now?” Loki asked as he swooped down and got a talonful of snow.

“Yes!” Scootaloo cried in return.

Taking careful aim, Loki nailed Scootaloo with a snowball, hitting her in the back of the head, and almost knocking her off balance as she bounded through the snow. “What about now, Table Scraps?”

“Is that… all you got… cat brain?” Scootaloo replied as she fought to keep running and not fall over. “You throw like a filly… and I bet you squat down… to pee!”

“Oh my gosh! My filly is getting hard boiled!” Rainbow Dash pressed her front hooves into her cheeks, squishing her face, and tried to contain the massive rush of love she felt at this moment. “When I tell Flash about this he is going to laugh!”



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