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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Berry Punch awoke, feeling more refreshed than she had for a long, long time. She yawned, licked her lips, and then kissed Bucky lightly on the corner of his mouth. There was no blanket over her and the room was very warm. She heard the faint sounds of Lyra's lyre still playing. The early morning sun was streaming through the window. She looked around her and saw the bed was already partially emptied, Sparkler and Rising Star were already awake. Loch Skimmer and Ripple were still asleep. Berry crawled forward on her belly to Ripple, planted a soft kiss on the filly's cheek, and the did the same with Loch Skimmer. She then rolled on her side, stretched out her legs, and then the earth pony farted, which caused Bucky to snort, but he did not awaken.

Still feeling affectionate, the mare crawled back towards Derpy, planted her lips on the pegasus' lips, and then woke the grey mare with a probing kiss that made the other mare awaken with a low squeal of glee. Berry felt Derpy kissing back after she became aware of what was going on, and then finally, Derpy pulled away gasping and needing air.

“Good morning,” Berry said with a seductive lift of her eyebrow to the grey mare.

Berry watched as Derpy looked at Bucky, checking on him, and then she watched as the grey mare kissed her still sleeping mate. The earth pony mare's nose crinkled as Derpy released her usual morning blast, a blaring trumpet of malodorous feculent fury.

Dinky awoke with a soft cry of alarm, blinking her eyes and trying to gather her senses.  

Beside Dinky, Piña awoke with a whine of protest, after which she buried her face into Dinky's side, mumbling about how it wasn't time to wake up yet. The two filly foals had their own wake up routine, and Berry found it Berry enjoyable to watch them as they tried to clear the sleepy from their heads.

Bucky continued to snooze, his withers rising and falling with each breath, and Berry took the opportunity to look over his wounds closely.

“I need a snob over here,” Berry said, smacking her lips slightly, feeling a little thirsty from being in such a warm room.

“Who you calling a snob you numbskull?” Sparkler replied as she came over to the bed.

“I need a light,” requested Berry, speaking to the filly she now called her own.

“Sure, I can do that,” Sparkler offered, her horn now flaring to life.

The earth pony mare peered at Bucky's wounds, noticing that the cauterised places were healing nicely. The skin was still red and tight, some of it was still quite gnarled and puckered, but it was healing. New skin was growing. She gently rolled the stallion on his side and checked the wound just past his ribs, clucked her tongue, and then she smiled warmly. “Thank you Sparky,” Berry said just before she kissed the unicorn filly to thank her for her assistance.

“He's looking better. The missing chunk out of his leg still looks pretty bad though. Part of the muscle looks like it is gone. Every time I see him limping a bit it makes my heart hurt,” Sparkler stated as she peered over Bucky's body herself.

“He's still alive though, that's all that matters to me, call me selfish, but I want to keep him,” Berry admitted in a soft whisper.

“I feel -urp- nauseous,” Derpy announced. The grey mare's ears drooped down to the sides of her face. “I really don't feel good.”

“I don't either,” Berry agreed. “I woke up feeling a little weird. Really thirsty. I think it is because the room stayed so warm all night,” Berry speculated.

Derpy arose, stumbled off of the bed, nearly falling on her face had Sparkler not caught her with her magic, and then she hurried off behind the privacy barrier to the bucket. In a moment, there was retching and gagging from behind the barrier.

“Maybe she ate something that doesn't agree with her?” Rising Star said with some concern. “Mom?” he asked.

“I'm -urp- fine,” Derpy replied, her breath heaving.

There was more retching from behind the barrier.

“I hate -urp- the dry heaves,” the pegasus protested.

The earth pony felt a brief twinge of panic but could not figure out why or what was causing it, but she felt something deep inside of her trying to give voice to something, something that was a fundamental part of her earth pony nature. She tried to listen to her body, tried to fathom the message she was being sent from deep within her inner self, and failed.

All Berry knew was that she was Berry Berry horny and felt the need to make more ponies. Like right now. This moment. Ponies watching or not. Although the ideas of ponies watching sort of titillated the mare, but not the foals. She was capable of sinking low, but she had a few precious standards to which she held true.

Also, her teats were sore. But she figured that was because they had been rubbing on the rough sheets all night long because she had slept sprawled out on her belly.

Thistle emerged into the room, she had stopped knocking some time ago, and the kelpie paused as she felt the radiant warmth of the room. She couldn't say anything because there was a large fish her in mouth, a gift for Sentinel. She laid it on the floor and raised her head. “I brought breakfast for my colt,” she offered.

“Oh thank you!” Sentinel said, squirming off of the couch where he had been sitting with Lyra and practically running over to the fish.

“All yours, I had a huge breakfast,” Thistle stated. “It is really warm in here, I am glad I came. It is cold outside. There is frost on the ground.”

“It is summer,” Rising Star said, looking confused. “This will kill the crops if this continues,” he  added in a tone of alarm.

“The earth ponies here will be able to revive the plants just so long as it doesn't get too bad,” Bon Bon said reassuringly as she watched Sentinel eating his fish. “Ugh, he's swallowing it whole, he just jammed the head down his throat and now he is sliding the entire fish down his gullet... you can see the tail sliding into his mouth... argh,” she commented as she watched the gut churning sight.

There was a yawn from the bed as Ripple awoke. She peered around, looking a little bleary, kissed her sister affectionately, which was becoming a new habit she was developing as she watched the others, it was not something she had done in what she called her old life, and then she stretched her wings out. Barely awake, she was promptly snoot-bumped by Dinky, and then by Piña, both of whom were becoming very close to the pegasus filly.

Loch Skimmer awoke to the sounds of three fillies giggling with one another, and she came to her waking state with a snug feeling of security knowing that her sister was safe as well as happy. She closed her eyes to yawn and felt somepony snoot-bump her. She opened her eyes and saw Ripple, their snoots still touching. Ripple was cross eyed and waggling her ears. Loch Skimmer giggled once her yawn ended and then she was assaulted by Dinky and Piña, who awoke in affectionate moods.

During all of this commotion, Bucky awoke. The moment he lifted his head, before he even had a chance to awaken fully, he was beset by three giggling fillies, Dinky, Piña, and Ripple, who kissed him all over the good side of his face. And then they were gone, off to mob somepony else. Bucky slowly opened his eye and peered around, craning his head to get a good view. As soon as his head turned, he was kissed again, and based upon the wiggling tongue invading between his lips, he knew it had to be Berry Punch.

After several increasingly hot moments, the mare pulled away and allowed the now flustered stallion to catch his breath. Bucky blinked several times, craned his head to one side and then the other to stretch the stiffness out of his neck, and then he heard the sounds of retching from behind the privacy barrier.

“Derpy?” Bucky inquired, his ears splaying out sideways.

“She's fine,” Berry replied reassuringly to her mate. “You look much better after a good night's rest,” she commented.

“I feel better,” Bucky admitted. “My head feels clearer than it usually does,” he continued in a low voice. He yawned again, started to rise, and was caught off guard by another kiss from Berry Punch.

“I don't know what's come over me,” Berry stated after she broke away from the kiss. “I am in one of those moods today,” she added, her voice a low seductive whisper.

“And I am in the mood for breakfast,” Loch Skimmer said as she wiped her eyes with her wings. She then slid off of the bed and wobbled around on three legs.

“I am in the mood to be breakfast,” Berry mentioned in a very low whisper to Bucky. Her low whisper was not nearly quiet enough though, and several ponies turned to stare at her. “What?” she said defensively. “I woke up with needs... surely some of you can understand that. Poor Bucky's been out of commission, Derpy has been busy, and we haven't haven't had any private time alone with one another... I just got married not all that long ago. I should be getting shagged regularly like a proper newlywed... instead I am so flustered that I just about can't stand myself right now,” explained Berry in an exasperated voice of frustration.

There was no reply, just many wide staring eyes blinking at the plum coloured earth pony mare, and many ears were perked forward. Dinky and Piña turned to look at one another, and then at Berry Punch, afterwards, they both fell into a fit of the giggles.

“Well, other than poor Berry, her needs, and my mother feeling queasy, how is everypony else feeling this morning? Because I feel wonderful. Lyra's music made all of the difference last night. I woke up and I feel rested. Renewed. I feel like I could do anything right now. I am going to be the best school teacher ever today. Thank you Lyra,” Sparkler said sheepishly, trying to change the awkward subject to something else.

“Don't mention it,” Lyra replied, and after she finished speaking she punctuated her words with a huge gaping yawn that ended with a slight squeak.

“Other than the queasiness I do feel well rested,” Derpy said as she emerged from behind the privacy barrier. “I do believe that the worst is over,” she added as she wiped her mouth with her foreleg, muffling some of her own words.

As the ponies all around him continued to chatter loquaciously, Bucky gathered his thoughts for the day. He was unsure of what the afternoon would bring, but he was looking forward to another morning in the brewery, getting himself immersed in trying to brew beer. Today, he planned to tweak the time fluctuations inside of the spell bubble, allowing for greater time to pass inside of the spell compared to outside of the spell. The complexity involved was immense, but he felt confident in his abilities, doubly so now that he felt so clear headed after sleeping so well. After figuring out the magical riddle of brewing beer in a self contained spell field, he could move on to other things of similar complexity.

At some point in the very near future, he needed Dinky and her bees to find where the ley lines intersected. He knew it had to be near, he could feel both of the lines, and he was going to need that intersection and its associated nexus for his plans.

It was already taking too long Bucky felt, more had died and he had done nothing, and a nagging feeling of guilt lingered in his mind. Progress needed to be made. He had no intention of leaving this wretched place until all of the wolves had been eradicated. He felt confident about Thistle earning her place within the herd. When that finally happens, they would be free to go, but Bucky had no intention of leaving, not until certain bloody revenge had taken place and the ponies here made safe.

Princess Celestia had clearly known of the problems here, of that Bucky had no doubt. The book about shadow creatures slipped into the trunk was proof of this. He was one of Celestia's students, he had graduated from her school, and a part of him felt flattered that she believed in him enough to deal with the situation.

Some of his self confidence flagged though knowing that he was almost killed on his first encounter with the wolves. He had nearly made his mates widows, and the thought weighed heavily upon his mind during his moments of reflection. He hoped that he would never have a close call like that ever again. He was going to have to apply his cautious methodical nature to the problem.

“Bucky?”

The unicorn looked at the grey mare who had just pulled him from his state of reflection. She was gazing at him intently, lovingly, and he felt feathers caressing the side of his neck.

“You looked kinda lost in the moment,” Derpy commented as she stared at her mate. The pegasus looked concerned. “You looked angry for a moment there,” she mentioned.

“I was thinking about how I almost made you a widow...” Bucky half explained.

“Things happen,” Derpy said gently. “Sometimes bad things. But you are still with us, you shouldn't be angry about that. Nopony could have known what was going to happen that night.”

“You said it yourself, the fear messed with your magic... but you still managed to save yourself and probably Keg Smasher and the others as well, even with the fear holding you back. You are looking at this all wrong,” Berry chided.

“What she said,” Derpy added.

“I do not intend to make the same mistake twice. I finally have what I want in life... something I didn't even know I wanted. All of this... all of you...” Bucky said, his voice low and soft.

“This will all be over, we just have to endure this trying time and stay close to one another. And then, when this is over, we can go home, have foals, and grow old together,” Berry stated.

“As bad as this has been, we are all stronger for it,” Derpy said. “I don't know about the rest of you, but I have learned a lot about myself here. I will never take my life for granted ever again or how good I had it. I remember struggling as a single mother... the money troubles... everything. I thought I had it so bad. By comparison, that was nothing. But here, I have learned what sort of pony I am. I am a wife and a mother. I am the matriarch of this newly founded clan.” The pegasus mare paused, struggling to find a way to put her thoughts to into words, something that had always eluded her to some degree. “I have discovered my strength... who and what I am as a pegasus. I feel a lot better about myself.”

“I think by the time we leave here, we will all understand ourselves far better than most ponies back home,” Rising Star said, his voice raised to be heard over the sounds in the room. “This awful place is acting like a crucible for us, and right now we are melting away the dross... when we finally do get out of here, the full depth of our characters will be fully tested. I know I have been made wiser than most colts my age. I've learned about duty, about obligation, I have learned about devotion, love, and respect. I have learned about dedication. I have learned that I had a lot of growing up to do, and I still do. But most importantly, I have learned that I am capable of so much more. Right now, I am learning that love is a choice, it is something you have to make happen, while you can fall into it, you can also build it up like a fire, carefully applying a spark and nurturing the precious little flame when it happens. It's funny... I have known Loch Skimmer and Ripple for only a short time, but already I would do anything for them. Choosing to make love happen is hard work... and I don't know where I am going with this and everypony is staring at me... oh my,” Rising Star said. He slowly met the gaze of everypony in the room, all of whom were staring at him.

With the room now totally silent, Ripple slowly walked to Rising Star. Upon reaching him, she shyly raised her head, kissed him on the cheek, nuzzled his neck, and then sat down beside him, saying nothing.

“And this is why we came here,” Bon Bon said, breaking the silence. “To be a part of this. Some ponies are destined for greatness... and that is fine and good. But a family destined for greatness, that is something I want to be a part of. Even if it means just growing old together and raising foals.”

“Some of us are still learning what family means,” Sentinel said, looking at Ripple and Loch Skimmer. “And we are truly blessed to have been welcomed into a family that loves us and accepts us,” he added, his tufted ears folded back against his skull and his gaze cast downwards. “It is very humbling when I think about it,” the colt confessed.

 

 

 

 

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