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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“Oh my goodness, the father of my foal is adorable,” Coco said as she shook her head and stomped her hoof. “What a handsome little fella!”

Rolling his eyes, Barley, who was now a colt for a while so Rarity could get his coat fitted, glanced over at Larch. “The things we go through for love, right laddy?” Barley’s fiery orange mane, which was iron grey in his ripe old age, spilled down his face as he spoke and Barley did nothing to push it out of the way.

“I must say, Barley, you are quite handsome, if you will allow me to flatter you,” Rarity said to Barley, one eyebrow raised as she studied Barley’s features. “Don’t get me wrong, you are handsome as an older stallion as well, but you have such remarkable features as a colt.”

“Aye, I’m a looker.” Barley rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I have half a mind to go into the bathroom and play with myself. Ah, to be young again and give a tug on my wee willy.”

Hearing Barley’s words, Coco turned an odd shade of eggplant purple, coughed, and tried to look at anything but Barley. Meanwhile, Rarity, who was having troubles of her own, settled upon a warmer, more vibrant shade of red rather than eggplant purple.

Larch of course, said nothing.

“I can’t believe that Granny Smith did what she did.”

Applejack’s voice came out of the kitchen, sounding irritated and a little upset. There was a clatter, a thump, and then the sounds of water running. Hearing all of this, Larch raised an eyebrow as he listened. Larch’s ears drooped.

“Dear, try not to be too upset,” Silver Shill said. “You’re getting macaroni noodles everywhere, my little apple blossom.”

There was even more of a ruckus in the kitchen when Larch made a decision. He took off, moving slow, and he was cautious as he stepped through the door into the kitchen. Applejack was making macaroni salad for Rarity and Coco.

“Applejack, ma’am, Silver Shill, sir, might I please take Babs Seed to the dance?” Larch asked as he stood in the door.

Pausing, Applejack, who was hatless, stopped everything she was doing to look at Larch. She stood there for a moment, still, and then she moved away from the counter, moving towards Larch.

“Larch, I ain’t upset with you for asking, I was upset because I was looking forward to doing the right thing for Babs… she likes you a lot, ya know. She talks about you all the time. Says she has never had friends like you or Piña. Babs is very special to me. I almost lost her… she means an awful lot to me… so make sure she has a real nice time at the dance.”

“Yes ma’am,” Larch replied. He looked over and saw that Silver Shill was smiling.

“I gotta get back to work. I ain’t even got started on cuttin’ them onions yet and already them onions is making my eyes water,” Applejack muttered as she walked away.

 

 

“Mama?” Dinky pushed her way into her parents bedroom and saw her mother upon the bed. The drapes over  the window were open and the late afternoon sun shone into the window. Dinky could see that her mother was sunning herself.

The foal could also see that her mother was ginormous.

“Dinky!” Derpy cried as she struggled to get off of her back and roll over onto herself. She grunted, she strained, and with a great deal of effort, Derpy rolled over onto her side. She panted a bit, looked at her daughter, and then smiled. “Hi Dinky… you look troubled… come here to me.”

Hopping up on the bed, Dinky went to her mother, threw her forelegs around Derpy’s neck, and gave her mother a hug. After a brief squeeze, Dinky collapsed onto the bed beside her mother and just lay there, sprawled out.

Not yet done being affectionate, Derpy began planting little kisses on Dinky’s face.

“Mama, I don’t think I want to go to this dance,” Dinky said, just blurting out what was wrong. “I want to be there for my friend, Apple Bloom, but I don’t want to ask anypony to the dance and nopony is asking me and I don’t want to deal with the pressure and I don’t think I want to be around the crowd and I just really don’t want to be there but I know how important it is.”

“You know Dinks, you don’t have to go,” Derpy replied.

“Piña is going.” Dinky cuddled up against her mother. “I don’t know why, but I am kinda mad at her for going. I wanted to stay home… but if I do that, I’ll be alone. Piña won’t be here to spend time with me. Piña is so… involved with Larch and Babs. They have this great friendship and I think I feel jealous.”

“Oh dear, Dinky.” Derpy spread her wing and placed it over Dinky, so she could pull Dinky closer.

“And she keeps talking about Larch and Babs and I haven’t said anything but I really hate it when she talks about them and I keep thinking about us and I remember how it was on the Shetlands when it was just Piña and I against the whole world and I know we’re still really close but now I have to share her with two other ponies that want her and her time just as much as I do and I don’t know how I feel.” Dinky inhaled and heaved out a huge sigh. She curled up and hugged her hind legs to her barrel.

“Dinky, love, ponies grow up and things change.” Derpy blinked. “You’ve grown up. The only time you come to me now is if you are in trouble.”

“I’m sorry, mama,” Dinky replied.

Drawing in a deep breath, Derpy could feel the twins kicking around inside of her. “Nothing to be sorry about Dinky, that’s just the way it is. Growing up happens. I do miss you though. But now, you have other ponies you want to be with and I’ve had to learn to share you.”

Giving her hind legs a squeeze, Dinky considered her mother’s words. “I guess the same way I’m having to learn to share Piña.”

“Dinky, on a much more personal level, I have had to learn to share Bucky. First with Berry and then with others. It was difficult at first, but I held on, because it was Berry that promised me it would be okay. And she was right. There was plenty of love to go around. It wasn’t just Bucky’s love I was after, but Thistle’s as well. Bon Bon and Lyra mean so much to me. Belisama is a good friend and I have no doubt that I love her.” Derpy paused and gave some consideration to her next words. “Dinky, don’t misunderstand me, but maybe what you need to do is stop thinking about losing Piña, but think instead about what you gain from having Larch and Babs as very close friends. I’m not saying you need to wiggle your way into their relationship, but you can be their friend. It would mean the world to Piña to know that her sister was there for her closest friends.”

Like a tolling bell, Derpy’s words rang true for Dinky, and she gave them careful, serious thought. She closed her eyes, feeling the sun shining upon her through the window, and the warmth of her mother’s body against her.

“Mama?”

“Yes Dinky?”

“I’m taking biology in school… and there are things I don’t understand.”

“I dunno if I can help you, Dinky, but I can listen.”

“We’re studying puberty and sexual development.” Dinky squeezed her eyes shut ever tighter. “A pony can be sexually mature and capable of having foals just after their decade mark. And I’ve seen that… I’ve seen the Shetlands and I know what happened with you when you had me and Loch Skimmer is going to have a foal… and my teacher says that our sexual maturity happens long before we become emotionally mature. I don’t understand any of this. This feels backwards, having your body get all grown up before the mind does.”

“That’s just the way it is Dinky. I suppose it allowed us to survive when the world was a dangerous place. I don’t know. Just because a filly who is not yet a mare can have foals, doesn’t mean that she should. Her womb might work, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of her body is ready.” Derpy forced herself to relax, knowing that Dinky needed her more than ever, even though this was a very difficult thing to talk about.

“Equines are herbivorous mammals. We’re prey animals with a strong herding instinct. The need to form compatible herds is deeply rooted in our biology. That’s what my textbook says. And a big part of our sexual development is the need to form herds of like minded peers. Only I don’t have like minded peers. No one else is really like me. I love my magic… I love the study of magic. No one else is driven like I am, Piña is the only pony that really understands me and what I want.” Dinky sighed and opened up her eyes, which were dazzled by the sunlight coming in through the window. She squinted for a moment, letting her eyes adjust, and watched as things came back into focus.

“Dinky, love, whatever you do, don’t give up on the world. Learn from your father. I worry about you becoming a bit too bookish. Even if you can find just one pony you can connect with, fall in love with, life will be better for you,” Derpy said in a soft whisper, her lips inches from Dinky’s ear.

 

 

“You know, Sentinel, she really loves you. She talks about you all of the time. She gets on my nerves sometimes, but I don’t let it bother me too much because she’s been such a good friend,” Boadicea said to Sentinel in a low voice. She cocked her head sideways and looked at the colt.

“She talks about you, too,” Sentinel replied. He blinked, reached out with his wing, and adjusted his glasses. His body still felt stiff and it was difficult to move, but each day it was getting a little easier.

“We have something in common. We both like Diamond Tiara. We both want her happy.” Boadicea fluffed out and her tail began to dart around in an erratic manner. “I would do anything for her. She has been very kind to me. She says she does it because of the kindness that you showed her and she tries to live by your example.”

Sentinel’s ears perked forwards and the colt felt his wing muscles tense. “She was in a bad spot. She’s done a lot of bad things. Questionable things. She’d had to make up for them and earn trust the hard way. Dinky and Piña are like sisters to her.”

“Yeah, I know. She talks about them. Piña is off with her right now, talking to that zebra doctor… I can’t think of her name…”

“Doctor Mawu. She’s a psychiatrist. Piña went with Diamond Tiara to a therapy session?” Sentinel’s expression became puzzled.

“Diamond Tiara said she might tell me later, but for right now, it was private,” Boadicea replied. The griffoness studied Sentinel. “So… tell me about Moonbow.”

“Moonbow and I are betrothed. Arranged marriage. We have agreed to do what is best for our species. Moonbow is training to become a Myrmidon.” Sentinel sighed. “I like her. I like her spirit. I miss her. I don’t know if I love her, but she is my friend. We both understand duty, honour, and obligation.”

“I understand all of those things… I want my honour back. I did some very dishonourable things. Things that I am very, very ashamed of now.” Boadicea reached out with her talons and began smoothing out her wing feathers. “I live for the moments when Lugus says he is proud of me. Lugus and Yew have been good to me. It’s funny, but I actually worry more about Yew Wood scolding me than Lugus having words with me. With Lugus, it is just a few words about how disappointed he is. With Yew, she tells me how disappointed she is and how much it hurts her, and how I am not living up to my potential, and I don’t know how she does it, but she can really rake me over the coals.”

“It’s funny… I too, live in fear of disappointing my mother. I mean, I worry about letting my father down, and it scares me, but I have nightmares of my mother Derpy being unhappy with me.” Sentinel shivered and turned to look out the window. “There is something about pegasi mothers.”

“Yep.” Boadicea nodded her head. “I’ve come to respect pegasi, after my experiences.”

“I heard a little about you and Keg Smasher,” Sentinel said as he turned to look at Boadicea. “I miss him. He was good to me.”

“He tried to be good to me, but I was stupid.” Boadicea shook her head and tugged on her wing feathers with her talons, pulling off loose sheaths from new feathers that were growing in. “He forgave me, even after all I did. I feel so bad about everything now. Having lived here… in Equestria, seeing how everything is. I don’t know why I chose to believe the lies I was being told. But this, this is what it means to be a griffon. To have honour. To be just, good, virtuous, and true. To protect.” She pulled her talons away from her wing and gestured at the ponies and many other creatures in the hall. “Here, I can be great. I could go into the Everfree and slay a monster. I could make a name for myself. I can fight and make a difference.”

“Equestria needs heroes. I plan to become a knight. Moonbow plans to become a Myrmidon. Diamond Tiara isn’t totally certain what she wants to do just yet, but every day, more and more, she gains interest in becoming a lawyer. She’s gonna make an incredible fighter… she’s tenacious, she’s brave, and she’s dedicated… together, we’re gonna make a better future and nothing is gonna stop us.”

“I just want a worthy fight… I need a worthy foe so that I might test myself,” Boadicea said, staring out the window. She flexed her talons. “I see a future worth fighting for here… this isn’t about survival, eating rats and scratching a living out of the sand, this is preserving a way of life, and so help me I will fight beak and claw to keep my new home safe.”

“We don’t fight for ourselves, but for others, those who cannot defend themselves.” Sentinel looked Boadicea in the eye. “When I take my father’s place in ruling the griffons, I will need like minded compatriots to help me fulfill my father’s vision… it is a fight worth fighting…”

 

 

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