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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“Where is the fleet?” Derpy asked in a low whine as she squirmed in her makeshift bed. The back of the wagon was filled with cushions and a few blankets so Derpy could be comfortable while she waited.

“They should be here soon,” Luna replied, lifting a wing over her eyes so she could search the eastern horizon. “I do know that Bucky did break away from the fleet upon reaching the east coast of Equestria.”

The grey mare, tired of waiting, let out an impatient whinny followed by a rumbling nicker. Reaching out a wing, she pulled Bell Heather a little closer and gave the foal a snuggle, fawning over the adorable pink sweater the foal was wearing to protect her from the cold.

“I’m nervous.” Thistle pacing back and forth beside the wagon, looked east.

“Why are you nervous?” Berry asked as she thought about getting into the wagon with Derpy. “Just be happy that he is coming home. Don’t be nervous.”

“You and Derpy are very, very fat with foal. Bon Bon and Lyra’s filly bits remain fillies only, no colts allowed. When Bucky comes home, he’s going to want to—”

“Have a proper welcoming,” Derpy said, cutting Thistle off and covering Bell Heather’s ears with both front hooves.

“I might be a fat slug, but I can still shag!” Berry shouted.

“Berry Punch!” Derpy shook her head. “Will somepony please smack Berry Punch?”

“Why?” Berry asked, hoping she was out of reach as she glanced around.

“Foals right over there, waiting,” Derpy replied. She glared at Berry over the edge of the wagon. “This is why Piña Colada has potty mouth.”

In the distance, there was a rumble, almost like an approaching storm. Every head in the yard looked up as a rainbow contrail and a bright purple contrail could now be seen in the sky. The rainbow contrail slowed for a moment, and then, there was a magnificent rainboom, followed by a dull thud as the sound barrier was smashed.

“Do you think traveling at supersonic speeds could hurt their foals?” Derpy asked.

Luna shook her head. “No, both of them are aware of  the problems. Twilight Sparkle knows a shielding spell that protects their bodies from the shock. The foals they carry in their wombs will be just fine.”

The dual contrails streaked overhead and headed for Ponyville, spiraling and twisting around one another, putting on quite a show. Watching the pair overhead filled every pony waiting in the yard with excitement. A certain grey mare’s eyes became teary as she waited.

“I can’t even fly up to greet him,” Derpy said she flapped her now useless wings.

“This will all be over soon,” Berry Punch said, looking over at Derpy. “For you and me both. Not much longer now. Spring is coming and with spring comes the many foals made in the late spring and summer heats.”

“Not soon enough.” Derpy’s ears drooped. Bored, frustrated, tired of waiting, Derpy turned her head and watched as Violet Velvet played tag in the snow with Dinky, Piña, Boadicea, and Sentinel. At least the foals had found a way to pass the time. Looking up, she saw Yew Wood circling overhead. Yew Wood, who had a small but visible bulge in her stomach now.

Derpy’s ears perked when she heard shrill laughter. Sunset Shimmer was running around in wild abandon with Trixie right behind her and Bartleby flying after the pair of them. Even with the snow and the freezing rain that had been common as of late, Derpy realised that something felt like the beginning of spring, the first hint that spring was coming. That need to run and play, to go out in defiance of the winter to play games like tag.

Sunset, Trixie, and Bartleby made for a happy trio and Derpy felt happy for them.

 

 

“I see it!” Luna shouted, peering east with narrowed eyes. Luna’s wings sprung from her sides and she was almost overcome with joy. Tears filled her eyes, a most peculiar response to being overwhelmed by happiness. She heard flapping, turned her head, and saw Derpy straining to take wing.

“Stop, you’ll hurt yourself!” Thistle cried as she lept into the wagon. “Stop! You can’t fly, you’ll mess up your spine and your wings! The doctor said so!”

Luna realised that Derpy showed no signs of stopping. The grey mare had lifted her forward half up from the wagon with her front legs. She heard a pained cry as something in Derpy’s body made a loud pop. Luna was filled with a peculiar emotion, one she could not name. She stood staring, watching Derpy’s valiant but foolish efforts.

There was an agonising realisation that Luna might have felt contempt for such weakness not all that long ago, a secret sneering contempt, and would have felt derision for such a foolish act. This knowledge hurt Luna a great deal. She wondered what had made her such a cold and horrid individual.

“Stop!”

Thistle had her forelegs around Derpy’s neck now. Luna, staring, thought about the majesty of pegasi. Their devotion to their mates was a thing of story and legend. Luna’s wings flapped, creating powerful downdrafts, and her horn flared as she rose up into the air. Using her telekinesis, she lifted Derpy, cradling her body, lifting Derpy with as much care and love as one might use to lift a newborn foal. Such a devotion, however foolish, was deserving of a reward, not contemptuous ridicule.

“Be still,” Luna commanded as she gained altitude.

Derpy’s only response was a frantic, heartbroken mewling cry of pain. Luna pulled the grey mare closer. Luna wasn’t certain that Derpy was even capable of making a rational response at the moment. The grey mare let out pained yelp after pained yelp, an endless stream of distraught, whimpering cries.

Feeling shame, feeling guilt, Luna knew that she was responsible for this. She had used instinct as a tool. Almost a year ago, when Bucky had suffered his mental break and then had gone into his recovery, Luna had left him imprintable, almost foal like. To complete the bonding, Luna had gone deep into Derpy’s mind to tap into the grey mare’s strongest maternal instincts and then Luna had painstakingly established connection after connection, manipulating instincts and using them as an artist might use a paintbrush. She had crosswired maternal instincts, love, and affection all together into a tangled weave, creating a powerful shackle to bind that which was dangerous.

It had all been done in the name of the greater good, an action deemed necessary to prepare for the potential future that both sisters had seen coming. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time… but now, hearing the grey mare’s heart rending cries, Luna felt crushing pangs of regret for what she had done. It was almost unbearable, and with each cry, Luna’s shame multiplied.

Picking up speed, Luna headed for The Scorned Mare.

 

 

As Luna approached the deck, she felt Derpy yanked from her magic by a powerful, but gentle force. Derpy, now wrapped in a blue-green aura of magic, was carried towards Bucky, her forelegs extended, her wings out, wriggling, waving, kicking as she could not bear to be separated from Bucky for another second.

Luna landed upon the deck, her eyes locked on Bucky and Derpy, not even noticing the crowd forming around her. She watched as Bucky swept his black cloak around Derpy, covering her in the Shroud of Night, the cloak Luna herself had made from elemental darkness.

Lost in her own thoughts, Luna was oblivious to the cheering and hooting all around her. She watched as Belisama was pulled into the embrace that Bucky and Derpy were sharing. There was a loud squawk, a shrill peep, and then the sounds of sobbing.

Overcome with guilt, Luna shook her head, spread her wings, and lept from the deck.

 

 

Standing at attention with his sister Ripple right beside him, Sentinel saluted when he saw his father coming down the loading ramp. His mother, Derpy, was held in a bubble of magic, her eyes red and weepy. Belisama sat on Bucky’s back, her crest high.

“Sir, I kept them safe, sir,” Sentinel said as his father drew closer.

“Good lad,” Bucky replied. He looked around at his family, overcome with emotion. It was cold and wet outside. He looked at the front door of the house. “Before everypony piles on top of me, how about we go inside.”

There was a flash from a camera. Lifting his head, Bucky could see several reporters, all of whom were staying a respectful distance away. There were students from his school. He heard a joyful cry above him, looked up, and saw that Lugus and Yew had reunited.

“Where is Harper?” Discord asked, coming down the loading ramp, Cadance held in his forelegs. “Harpy probably needs her Auntie Disco… I should go find her!” Clutching Cadance, Discord took off towards the farmhouse.

“Discord, wait!” Fluttershy cried as she floated over the railing, two blanketed bundles clutched in her forelegs. “Discord, we weren’t invited!” She flapped her wings to catch up with her mate. “Discord, this is very rude!”

“We should get inside. I’m in the mood for hugging, but I don’t want to get cold and wet,” Berry Punch said, brushing up against Bucky’s side.

“I’m throwing a huge party at Sugarcube Corner!” Pinkie Pie shouted from the deck. “The whole town is invited! Come have fun!”

“There’ll be music!” Cheese Sandwich cried to the gathered crowd. More flashbulbs went off and the curly headed stallion waved. “Come one, come all! The press are welcome!”

“Apple Bloom!” An orange blur shot down the loading ramp, blazed past Bucky, almost bowling him over, and then took at a tear towards a group of four waiting fillies and one pegasus colt. “Babs!”

“Oh dear, I don’t have any boots!” Rarity cried, looking down at the snow from the top of the ramp. “Oh bother… there is no help for it I guess… Hello Sweetie Belle!” Rarity waved at her sister and wondered where her parents were. She assumed they were at home.

Turning to look at Coco, Rarity said, “I want to go see my parents, do you mind?”

“Not at all,” Coco replied. The earth pony turned to look at Silver Shill, who was standing beside her. “I really am sorry about Granny Smith. I bet it feels good to be at home with your family.”

“Indeed it does,” Silver Shill replied as he started down the loading ramp.

 

 

The living room was packed with ponies, griffons, a nightmare made flesh, a draconequus pair, a draconequus spawn, and whatever the Tartarus Bucky now was. It was cramped to say the very least. Everything was starting to quiet down.

“Mama,” Harper said, rolling over and clinging to Bucky’s foreleg.

“I think Bell Heather needs a nap, she might need to be taken back to the nursery and put down,” Thistle said as she watched Sukari hanging on to Bucky’s neck. “Poor Sukari is beside herself.”

“Aye, it’s always hardest on the little ones,” Barley said. “And the bigger ones feel jealous—”

“I don’t feel jealous.” Piña looked up at her uncle. “I can be patient. It’s harder for them because they’re little. They don’t want to be pulled away from their daddy. I can wait.”

Reaching out a foreleg, Berry pulled Piña closer. “You make me proud.”

“You are not allowed to leave this house for a week,” Derpy said in a weak, trembling voice as she stared at her husband. “And I am not saying this for personal reasons. The little ones need you.”

“Dinner isn’t going to fix itself,” Broom said as she rose up on wobbling legs. “Come on Semillon, we have a lot of work to do.”

“Yeah we do,” the cook replied. She helped Broom get steady and then the pair headed off to the kitchen together.

“You and Discord are more than welcome to spend the night if you want to,” Thistle said to Fluttershy in a soft voice. “I know you are eager to get home, but if you wanted to stay, you could. I think the foals missed both of you.”

“Stay with us,” Berry Punch begged, looking over at Fluttershy. “I want to know all about Tranquility.”

“You are part of this family because of Lunacy… stay with us… please?” Derpy asked.

“Oh, very well, we can stay… I’d like that,” Fluttershy replied in a low voice. “I could use the help with Tranquility and Lunacy.”

“Fluttershy sneezed and brought Tranquility into the world.” Bucky grinned. “Incredible but true.”

 

 

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