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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Princess Twilight Sparkle, who was having a wonderful time, took notice of a sign hanging on the wall. It was red, black, and yellow, the universal colours of safety. She studied the sign for a moment, noticing that it said, “NO DANCING!” big bold letters. That was a funny thing to hang up at a dance.

But upon closer inspection, Twilight Sparkle realised that it was her on the sign. This was a warning sign forbidding her to dance. A wry smile spread over Twilight’s lips, moving as slow as the weary sun when it goes to bed for the day.

“Just now noticing those?” Rainbow Dash asked in a teasing voice. She gave her mate a nudge. “Those are actually from the department of health and safety… see, you can see the stamp near the bottom. You’re a public safety hazard, Twi.”

An almost cruel smile appeared on Twilight’s face as she turned to face Rainbow Dash. It was cold, it was calculating, it was a well practiced look that she had spent hours practicing in the mirror, hoping to match Bucky and one of his evil dead eyed stares.

“You’re a naughty little pegasus, Rainbow Dash… it is time you learned how to be a proper student… I’m gonna make you stay after class,” Twilight said in a delicious evil whisper.  

“What’s going on here?” Flash Sentry asked, looking first at Rainbow Dash, who had a wingboner, and then at Twilight, who was trying to look evil but somehow managed to look silly and adorable. It made him love her even more.

“Rainbow Dash brought gum to school but she did not bring enough to share with the rest of the class… so she must be punished,” Twilight Sparkle replied.

“Ooooooh… I see,” Flash Sentry said in a low whisper as he began to look around. “I’m a naughty student too… I have the hots for teacher and I’ve been passing Rainbow Dash notes in class.”

“That’s a detention.” Twilight began to feel a curious state of arousal. This roleplay thing was not only fun, but it worked as advertised in the book. “Quick, since I’m not allowed to dance, let’s go find a secluded place where we can… discuss your punishments.”

“Ooooh hooo hooo…” Rainbow Dash could feel her wings throbbing.

“Get moving, both of you. Don’t make me compound your detention…”

 

 

“There sure are a lot of fillies at this dance.” Cloudstreaker looked at Spike, sighed, and then slumped over the table. “I asked my brother to take me with him, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. He acted all weird and told me no. I don’t understand why.”

“Because… you’re his sister and this is a romantic dance,” Spike said in a kind voice.

“But I could have tagged along.” Cloudstreaker scowled. “The pony I wanted to take me to the dance doesn’t even notice me and everything I try to do to get noticed by him.”

“I know how that is when you have a crush on somepony… really, I do.” Spike leaned forward over the table, looked over at Coco, and then back at Cloudstreaker. “At least you can take consolation that the pony you have feelings for is happy.”

“Coco makes her happy.” Cloudstreaker, who was young, was not blind.

“Yeah. She is. She is happy,” Spike replied in a flat monotone. He was sitting in such a way that it made his tuxedo jacket wrinkle and he didn’t care. “Crushes are the most awful thing. Love sometimes seems to be rewarded, but a crush lives up to its name. It always seems to hurt you.”

Looking over at her own crush, Cloudstreaker watched as he danced with his partners, an earth pony filly and a black griffoness. She watched for as long as she could bear, until it felt as though her heart was going to burst, and then, blinking away tears, she turned to look at Spike. “At least he’s happy.”

“Cloudstreaker, don’t feel bad. At least you’ll grow up sooner rather than later. And you’ll find somepony… for me, I’ll be almost a hundred years old before I’m even considered a teenager… and by then, the pony I have a crush on will have died of old age.”

“I’m sorry, Spike,” Cloudstreaker said in a soft pain filled whisper.

“Don’t be sorry.” Spike shook his head. “You’re, what, six years old? And you’re in such a hurry to grow up. I know you like him, but I know him. Even if you did get his attention, he is going to treat you like his little sister until you get a little older.”

“I just turned seven.” Cloudstreaker sniffled and wiped her nose with her fetlock. “My brother teases me sometimes and tells me I still sound like a yearling. He’s right though, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he’s right. I’m sorry Streaky.” Reaching over, Spike patted the pegasus filly on her withers. “Would you like to dance with me? As just friends, of course.”

“I’d really like that, Spike. It would mean the world to me,” Cloudstreaker replied.

 

 

“I brought some fruit punch,” Sweetie Belle said as she levitated a plastic cup over towards Apple Bloom and set it down upon the table. “You feeling better Bloomy?”

“So many ponies in there… I mean, I’ve been in there during school with a whole bunch of ponies, but this was different… so much pressure. I thought I was going to toss my cookies there for a moment,” Apple Bloom replied to Sweetie Belle. The filly picked up the glass that Sweetie Belle had set down and then emptied it in a few gulps.

Patting her stomach, Apple Bloom let out a roaring belch.

“Behold, Apple Bloom, Princess of Uncouth.” Scootaloo made a gesture with her hoof as if she was introducing Apple Bloom to somepony.

“So says the pooty pegasus,” Apple Bloom said as she set her cup down.

“Hey!” Rumble and Scootaloo said in unison.

“That’s not even fair!” Scootaloo pointed at Sweetie Belle. “And just who was it that set off the emergency quarantine at the hospital because of how bad she smelled?”

Turning a violent shade of red, Sweetie Belle began to giggle. She sat down and covered her face with both front hooves, closed her eyes, and her ears pinned back against her skull as she was overcome with embarrassment. “The doctors went around checking each room for corpses,” Sweetie Belle managed to say as she tried to hold back her chortles.

“I’m all gussied up… and I’m feeling better. Who’s up for a dance?” Apple Bloom asked.

“I’m up for a kiss,” Rumble said. He reached up with his front leg and smoothed back his pompadour. He leaned closer to Apple Bloom and narrowed his eyes. “You’re really pretty, Bloomy… you are a perfect princess.” Closing his eyes, Rumble leaned his head forward and kissed Apple Bloom on the corner of the mouth, a gentle chaste peck.

“Hey, you have to share those,” Scootaloo said in a nervous squeak.

Rumble opened up his eyes and smiled. “I have enough to go around…”

 

 

“I wish that Moonbow was here… then this moment would be perfect,” Diamond Tiara whispered in a low voice. She stood chest to chest with her companions, Sentinel and Boadicea. Closing her eyes, she rubbed her cheek against Boadicea’s neck. “I’m glad you are here with us. This just feels right.”

“Yeah, it does,” Boadicea replied.

“I’m one lucky colt.” Sentinel pressed his nose against Diamond Tiara. “I have the prettiest females at the dance.” Mindful of his hooves, Sentinel shuffled around, not sure who was leading this dance, but glad to be moving together.

“What do we do when the dance is over?” Boadicea asked.

“What do you mean?” Diamond Tiara looked up at the somewhat taller griffoness.

“Are we friends… or something else… I know how you feel about me Diamond Tiara, but I don’t want to stick my beak where it isn’t wanted.” Reaching out her wing, Boadicea stroked Sentinel, trailing her feather tips over his neck. She delighted when the colt shivered from her touch.

“I feel funny speaking for Sentinel and Moonbow, but I know that both of them have very high expectations. It is part of why I cleaned up my act.” Diamond Tiara almost felt drowsy as she danced with her companions. It was warm, pressed up against both of them, and she couldn’t help but feel safe and secure somehow, a lone earth pony tucked up against two apex predators. “This is going to be a royal family… Sentinel takes his duties very, very seriously. Anypony, or anybirdy, who is going to be a part of this will have a lot expected from them. Sentinel demands servitude from all of us who join him. Moonbow will serve and protect the public as a Myrmidon. I don’t know exactly what I am going to do just yet, but I have options. Boadicea, if you intend to court us, just be aware that expectations made of you will be almost unrealistically high and we hold ourselves to a very different standard.”

“I understand,” Boadicea replied. “Both of you are very grown up about this—”

“We have to be,” Sentinel said, raising his voice somewhat as he cut in. “We have to be. Father intends for me to be the next king of the griffons, to replace him. The griffons, who hold a very fragile place in the world. The demands made of me, what is expected of me, the duties that I have… my whole life is being planned out and it starts now. I will be a knight, I will defend this country, and I will lead my father’s griffons. It is my intentions to earn my place as an Equestrian prince, so that I will have the resources and the political clout I need to make the best life possible for the griffons. Royal titles for Equestrians are no longer inherited, but earned, paid for in sweat, tears, and maybe blood. To continue my father’s legacy, a lot is expected of me, and I will not allow myself to let him down. He has hopes and dreams that he is not going to live long enough to see… and he has placed all of his faith and trust in me to make certain that his work, his vision, is seen through.” Sentinel took a deep breath. “I have no place at my side for weakness, frail character, cowardice, or being spineless… so if you really do wish to court us, think long and hard about what this means for you… it will mean that you will become the queen of the griffons some day… and I will not allow you to grow fat and live a life of luxury at the expense of your griffons… you will be the hardest working griffon among them, you will be their servant, and like me, you will be their slave. I have unreasonable demands, just as my father does, and I will see them through. I will not disappoint my father…”

“Yes sir, I understand, sir,” Boadicea replied.

“Now you understand what is expected of us,” Diamond Tiara said in a low voice. “I am being groomed for the life that I have planned. I have given over the whole of my existence and it was no easy decision. I still have moments of doubt, but each day I get a little more conviction… mostly because of Coco. She’s been amazing this whole time. Rarity too. And Sweetie Belle I suppose.”

“I never thought about how much goes into being prepared for good leadership.” Boadicea reached out her other wing and stroked Diamond Tiara, running her feathers up along the filly’s neck, and she heard Diamond Tiara sucking her breath in.

“Well, look at what bad leadership has done to the griffons… your homeland is a toxic cesspit… I was there… I was there when everything fell apart… I was there and I watched everything happen. I was on the deck of The Scorned Mare where the survivors were being gathered up. I saw what slavery and insanity had done to an entire species… not just their homeland, but the griffons themselves… I was there when they came into our room that night and tried to kill us… they sent assassins against us… I was there when it all went wrong… I was there when the center no longer held… and I saw everything fly apart!”

“Sentinel, it’s okay… calm down,” Diamond Tiara whispered in the colt’s ear. “Shh… it’s okay… you’re not there anymore and everything is getting better now.”

Looking down into Sentinel’s eyes, Boadicea saw tears. Overcome with an unfamiliar emotion, she felt her own eyes begin to water. She extended both wings, wrapped them around Diamond Tiara and Sentinel, giving them both a quiet, somewhat private space so Diamond Tiara could calm Sentinel down. She could feel him trembling, and the realised that the weight of the memory must be terrible upon his shoulders.

If she chose this life, this weight would be placed upon her shoulders as well. Boadicea began to wonder if she was strong enough to bear this burden.

 

 

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