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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The morning had nearly been perfect, and the afternoon was shaping up to be even better. School had been surprisingly pleasant, with treats for everypony who attended. Dinky prowled the halls of the castle, exploring the enormous building, finally free of adult supervision. With her were Piña, and Ripple. Dinky was determined to explore every nook and cranny after she was finally free to do so. It had taken an endless amount of pleading to be allowed to go off and explore.

They saw maids cleaning, some of the nobles had gathered in one room and were discussing really boring adult stuff, and then there was Keg Smasher in his throne room, holding court.

Dinky wasn’t too fond of Keg Smasher.

“This place is huge,” Piña quipped.

“So, I have been meaning to ask, what is a Piña Colada exactly?” asked Ripple as they trotted down the hall together.

“It was my mother’s favourite drink,” Piña replied. “It has booze in it.”

“Oh,” Ripple replied.

“And Dinky is called Dinky because she was so big when she was born that her mama couldn’t squirt her out,” Piña explained, offering information nopony asked for.

“Piña!” Dinky exclaimed.

“What noodlehead?” Piña returned.

“I don’t think many ponies come here to this part of the castle. Look how dusty everything is,” Ripple commented, cutting off Dinky’s snarky reply. “Cobwebs.”

“I hope there isn’t any spiders,” Piña whimpered.

“Don’t worry Piña, I will keep you safe from spiders,” Ripple offered.

Dinky pushed open a set of double doors and entered into a large room. There was a ruined looking tile floor, set with black and grey tiles in a checkerboard pattern. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. The walls were lined with bookshelves, but there were no books.

“The bookshelves are burnt looking,” Piña commented.

“Yeah they are,” Dinky said as she ignited her horn and peered up at the empty shelves. “Everything is all sooty and black.”

“Looks like a fire happened here,” Ripple announced.

“Libraries with no books makes me kinda sad,” Dinky said as she looked around.

“Let’s keep exploring someplace else, this place is creepy,” Piña whispered fearfully.

“Piña, you have the right idea,” Dinky agreed and she led the trio back down the hallway.

 

 

Bucky flipped the page in one of his new books about shadow creatures, taking in a wealth of new information. Curled up near him where Lyra, Bon Bon, and Sentinel, all sleeping the afternoon away, and the room was quiet, which allowed Bucky to study. He lay in the bed, the book opened before him, and he enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Lyra whimpered in her sleep, looked frightened for a moment, and then Bon Bon shifted in her sleep, brushing up against Lyra, who quieted. Bucky watched as this happened and felt a pang of sympathy for Lyra.

He flipped another page and found a long well written note, the note mentioned a spellbook and several page numbers, and it was signed by Twilight Sparkle. Much to his surprise, Twilight’s note mentioned that the wolves could be hurt by cold, his specialised element, but one would have to be a master to cut through the shadow creature’s innate cold resistance. They were much more susceptible to fire based attacks, telekinetic blasts, kinetic pulses, and for very powerful unicorns, being physically crushed or torn apart. And then there were light based attacks, which the shadows could actually resist from weaker unicorns.

Bucky remembered tearing a few apart, ripping them asunder in his fury after they had nearly brought him down.

The most interesting fact mentioned in the note was that the wolves could not be natural, they had to be created. They were regular wolves, or had been at some point, and something had been done to forever alter them into the monstrous abominations that they now were. Twilight cited a passage in the book he currently had open.

Bucky sighed. Somepony was creating the wolves. Which meant that somepony was hiding on this island somehow. He thought about Luna’s letter and the difficulty she mentioned in scrying. Could another pony be hiding here? Bucky felt a nagging suspicion that he was going to run into a member of his family here. He didn’t know how he knew, but it was more than mere intuition.

Several questions formed in his mind. How were they remaining hidden? What were they eating? If another pony was here, causing all of this, using this much magic, they would need a prodigious amount of food.

There was a small chance that the pony responsible was still on the mainland, but hiding that much magic directly under the princesses’ noses seemed almost impossible. Plus, magic grew weaker over distance. No, Bucky thought to himself, the signs indicated the pony responsible was here.

Perhaps the wolves’ den was also the location of the hidden provocateur. Bucky scowled, realising how absurd that was, but he supposed it could be a reasonable assumption. If they were creating and controlling the wolves, they would be in no danger from them.

Still, there was the issue of staying hidden for so long and not being found. The need for food. Water. Sustenance.

Sentinel made a faint whimper in his sleep. He was currently being held in Bon Bon’s forelegs, and his tufted ears twitched in time to Bon Bon’s inhalations and exhalations. Bucky smiled to himself, glad to see Sentinel looking content.

The door opened and Bucky looked up. Sparkler stood in the doorway, looking at him intently. She said nothing, but made a gesture for Bucky to follow her.

 

 

Berry Punch watched Derpy and Thistle, who were sitting in the meadow some distance away, talking privately amongst themselves. Berry couldn’t really hear them, and she was tempted to eavesdrop being the overly curious mare that she was. The foals were exploring the castle, Bucky was studying, Sparkler had left for some reason, and Berry was bored, which was a terrible state of affairs for Berry Punch, who did not like boredom.

She turned and watched Rising Star and Loch Skimmer, who laying close to one another in the grass, giggling about something. They were getting closer, and Berry was pleased to see them bonding.

Berry rolled over on her back, exposing her belly to the sun, and she rubbed her belly with her forehooves. She lay on her back, sprawled open and exposed, not caring who saw her at this point. She was bored. She was feeling peckish, even though she had just eaten lunch not that long ago. She was horny, and there were itches that needed scratching.

The sun was warm and soothing on her belly, and the warmth permeated into her hips as she lay supine.

Berry realised in a perfect moment of clarity that her own earth pony sense had been trying to tell her that she was pregnant. The need to bond with Bucky. The need to be with her mates. Whatever it was that made her an earth pony was aware of the life that was growing in her belly. She hummed to herself, and continued to rub her stomach. Her stomach was flat, still taut, smooth, and covered in only a thin layer of velvety hairs. She lifted her head and looked down there. She wasn’t showing, not even in the slightest, but she wished that she was, mostly because she knew that Bucky had something of a pregnancy fetish going on.

Some ponies put on clothing to be sexy, others used bondage gear like ropes and bridles, but Berry took a small amount of satisfaction in knowing that all she had to do to get Bucky’s attention was to be pregnant. Which of course took getting Bucky’s attention, but that wasn’t a difficult thing to do. At least not anymore. She thought about a very sick Bucky lying in the bathtub in Derpy’s embrace, and how she had tried to get him to look at her exposed filly bits, and how he had resisted. Now, she noticed that he took every opportunity to have himself a peek, and she gave him plenty of chances.

She rolled and wiggled in the grass, trying to get rid of an itchy spot on her back, and she snorted and grunted in frustration. She had itchy places everywhere, and the worst itch was one that she just couldn’t scratch. At least not alone.

She turned her head and looked at Derpy. Derpy’s morning sickness had been pretty bad this morning, and the poor mare hadn’t eaten much for lunch. Berry watched as Derpy gently kissed Thistle on the cheek, and then nuzzled the filly. Berry silently wished that it would just be over with and Thistle would just be accepted into the herd. She understood though that Derpy had her reasons and wanted the best for Thistle.

Bucky was what was best for Thistle though, and Berry had reached that conclusion on her own some time ago.

Berry wiggled, dragging her croup over the ground, trying to get an itch worked out at the base of her spine, just above her dock. What she needed back there was Bucky’s belly, rubbing and grinding away on that particular portion of her anatomy. There was nothing quite like a stallion’s weight applying delightful pressure on your croup and sliding back and forth, building up friction on that particular patch of skin.

 

 

“What is she doing?” asked Loch Skimmer, eyeing Berry Punch as she spoke.

“No idea,” Rising Star replied.

“She looks very silly,” Loch Skimmer murmured.

“Well, that’s Berry for you. She frequently looks silly,” Rising Star explained in return. “How is your leg? Are you in much pain?” Rising Star asked.

“It hurts a bit, I won’t lie,” Loch Skimmer replied.

Rising Star frowned. “I’m sorry, I wish there was something I could do for you,” he offered, his tone sincere.

“You’ve done plenty,” Loch Skimmer said reassuringly.

“I have?” he said in reply.

“You’ve been a very good husband,” Loch Skimmer said, a faint hint of the ghost of a giggle in her voice. “Tell me, do you find me attractive?” the filly asked.

“Oh great. Another insecure teenaged filly wondering if I find them pretty,” Rising Star grumbled.

“That was not an answer,” Loch Skimmer said, now pouting somewhat.

“And if I tell you that I find you pretty, you will accuse me of saying only what you want to hear, I know how this game works. So here is what I will do. I will explain my position. I am a teenaged colt. If the breeze blows just the right way, I become aroused. I find every filly attractive. It is due to my raging hormones and horny colt biology. You could do pretty much anything, anything at all, and I will find you irresistible. My brain is hardwired to find something that I like about you. So get back to me in about ten years or so when I am hopefully a bit matured, and I am no longer brain damaged by my biology, and I will tell you how pretty I find you, and I will be able to say it honestly. I hope,” Rising Star replied.

“Fair enough,” Loch Skimmer answered. “So… I was wondering…” she said, her words trailing off.

“What?” Rising Star asked.

“When the time comes, since we haven’t done anything, uh, how are we going to handle this?” Loch Skimmer asked.

Rising Star stared at the filly blankly.

“You know, marriage. And that thing that we need to do. Together. How are we going to handle it. Who goes first? Do we do it all together or apart? Do you deal with us one at a time? Sparkler and I have talked a bit, and I am not sure if I am interested in fillies like my sister is… and talking about this makes me feel really weird,” Loch Skimmer blurted out.

“Oh…” Rising Star exhaled as he took in Loch Skimmer’s words. “Oh yeah, that. I don’t know,” he replied.

“Sparkler isn’t here, so maybe this isn’t the best time to talk about it,” Loch Skimmer admitted.

“I really need to talk to Bucky about all of this before I do something stupid,” Rising Star mumbled to himself.

 

 

“So am I in?” Thistle asked directly, no longer mincing words.

“Yes, but we are not going to announce it for a while,” Derpy replied.

“Thank you for talking to me so openly,” Thistle said. “And why aren’t we going to tell them?” she questioned.

“I want Bucky to continue to try and earn your trust and affection,” Derpy answered. “You deserve to have him try and woo you a bit. I’ll let him know it is okay to try and romance you,” Derpy explained. “He is very sweet. And I know he will be very gentle with you.”

“Oh, that actually makes sense,” Thistle said thoughtfully.

Derpy looked at the young filly. There had been a long talk between the two of them, and the grey mare had struggled at many points to find the right words. It hadn’t been easy, but Ripple and Bucky had exposed the situation for what it was, and Derpy was grateful. “So are you comfortable with our agreement?” Derpy asked in a soft whisper.

“Yes, I am agreeable to our agreement,” Thistle replied. “What is Berry doing?”

“Being Berry Punch,” Derpy said as she watched Berry rolling in the grass.

“She’s funny,” Thistle quipped. “You know, I feel very happy knowing… thank you by the way. So are you going to have Berry to try and romance me as well?” Thistle asked.

“I think she already has been trying,” Derpy replied. “But yes, I will make it clear to both of them that it is safe to try and win your affections.”

“Will you ever tell them about the nature of our agreement?” Thistle asked.

“No,” Derpy answered. “But they will know in time.”

“Yeah, I suppose they will,” Thistle agreed.

“Are you clear about what is expected of you?” Derpy asked.

“Yes, I am,” Thistle answered. “I need to thank Ripple,” she remarked.

“You and Ripple seem to be very close,” Derpy commented.

“We have a lot in common,” Thistle stated. “Ripple is a clever filly.”

“She is,” Derpy said in agreement, nodding her head somewhat as she did so.

The mare and the filly fell silent for a moment, and Thistle cuddled closer to Derpy’s side. Derpy gave the filly a nuzzle along the side of her neck, and enjoyed the warmth of her body.

“I am so scared,” Thistle said, finally breaking the silence after several minutes.

“I know,” Derpy whispered soothingly into the filly’s ear.

“What if something goes wrong?” Thistle whimpered. “My life has barely started, I don’t want to die or anything,” she said in a wavering voice, her mood shifting completely.

“I think we’ll be away from here soon,” Derpy soothed. “But I don’t know that the mainland will be any better. Everything sounds pretty bad there right now. But we will all take care of you. If something goes wrong, we will find a way to get through it.”

“You are supposed to tell me that nothing will go wrong and everything will be fine,” Thistle said as she sniffled and snuffled a bit.

“That would be lying, and that would hurt you,” Derpy replied.

Thistle quieted and tears continued to roll down her cheeks.

“Bucky is going to love you, and you are going to know what it feels like to be loved,” Derpy said, continuing to try and sooth the upset filly. “And not just in a physical sense. Once Bucky warms up, he is very affectionate in his own way, and he is very attentive to the needs of others.”

“I don’t just want his love,” Thistle mumbled.

“I know,” Derpy whispered into the filly’s ear. “You are ours now. You will be loved.”

Thistle drew in a deep shuddering breath but said nothing in reply.

 

 

Bucky stood in the room that was to be his makeshift laboratory, watching Sparkler as she paced back and forth. It was the only place he could think of for total privacy, which is what Sparkler wanted.

“I don’t know how to talk about this,” Sparkler began, shaking her head and her brows furrowed with worry.

“Look, if you don’t want to do this, I will not force you or try to make you feel guilty,” Bucky stated.

“But I do want to do this,” Sparkler admitted. “I am just very concerned about the consequences. And what it will do to me.”

“I think things will be a little different for you. You are not a Canterlot unicorn… we always seem a little worse. That said, there are bound to be some trying moments. Being a type three is a difficult thing,” Bucky stated.

“I’ve watched how Dinky has changed. Sometimes, she is still the same, but there are other moments where… where… where she is no longer the innocent foal that she used to be and you can just see the weight crushing down on her shoulders when she realises how responsible she has to be,” Sparkler said. “She’s become twitchy and a bit jumpy.”

“But Dinky is also very well rounded. At her age, I was impossibly screwed up. I think having a family around has made the difference. At her age, I had family, but I was alone. Utterly alone. I had to face it all alone. I had to carry the weight all by myself. Dinky has ponies she can turn to for support,” Bucky said in return. “To be honest, I thought Dinky would turn out much worse, but she is thriving for being a type three.”

“I think the communing helps,” Sparkler stated.

“I think so too,” Bucky agreed. “Dinky is learning both emotional control and how to turn to her fellow ponies for support. Everything for Canterlot unicorns is all about control, and isolation.”

“So then you don’t actually know what this will be like for me or Rising Star?” Sparkler asked.

Bucky shook his head. “No. No I don’t. Everything I thought I knew has been torn apart and I am not sure what I know anymore,” he admitted.

“So I get jumped into being a type three, and then I have to find out what works for me, to keep me leveled off and not be overwhelmed,” Sparkler summarised.

“But not alone,” Bucky pointed out.

“Yes, there is that,” Sparkler acknowledged.

“Everything has changed. I feel remarkably stable for being what I am. There is no doubt any more, I am a type four… and I feel more secure in myself now than I ever was as a type three. Sure, there are some mental snags, and the pressure is still there, no doubt about that… but your mother and everypony else keeps me leveled out. I think the trick was to admit that I couldn’t do it on my own and to surrender myself to them. I want to talk to Twilight Sparkle when we get home and ask her if she has discovered something similar. Surely her friends are the ones that keep her even keeled,” Bucky theorised.

“But there are still dangers to being a type three,” Sparkler stated.

“Yes,” Bucky admitted. “But there are also better ways of dealing with those issues now I think. We are in uncharted territory here… we are making up a new way of life and abandoning the old ways that have got us this far, but I feel have ultimately failed.”

“So when you become the headmaster at this new magic school, you are going to apply everything you’ve learned right? Create an entirely new way to live? How to deal with being a type three and finding a unicorn support group?” Sparkler questioned.

“Yes,” Bucky answered without hesitation.

“I am a wife now, an alpha no less, and someday, I will be a mother and I will be giving you grandfoals… and there is a lot on my shoulders already, and I have been very worried about adding further trouble by being turned into a type three,” Sparkler confessed.

“Woah there sweetheart, I am way too young to be a grandfather at the moment,” Bucky protested.

“I didn’t say it would happen right away, but it is bound to happen,” Sparkler said gently. “I intend to finish school.” Sparkler paused for a moment, looking at Bucky, staring at him with a focused look. “Look, there is a condition for my consent,” Sparkler announced.

“And that is?” Bucky asked.

“Rising Star and I have been talking about this, whenever we have a private moment,” Sparkler stated. “If you are going to jump us up to type threes, than we both want something from you in return,” she added.

“Yes, we have established that,” Bucky replied.

“We like being teachers,” Sparkler admitted. “And we are going to finish school. And after we finish school, we want to be teachers. Now, I know there is a heap of trouble on the mainland, but that trouble can’t last forever. Things will settle down, and life will continue. And when we’ve completed our schooling, we both want positions in your school. Look, I know you will have it eventually, even if the current troubles cause a bit of a delay.”

“I find your terms agreeable,” Bucky stated. “But I have caveats,” he added.

“Careful with your caveats,” Sparkler warned. “I will add my own.”

Bucky smiled. “Mine are not onerous,” he said with a chuckle.

“Fine. Let’s hear what you got,” Sparkler said with one raised eyebrow.

“I intend to be family focused. My plans are still pretty half baked, but I want my teachers to showcase life… and family. In the classroom,” Bucky said.

“I am confuzzled,” Sparkler replied.

“If I have a mare as a teacher, and she has a foal, then I don’t want her leaving the foal at home while it is young… I want her to bring to school with her. I want my students to be able to observe the bonds of family in action. And for this, I want very loving and devoted parents. I suspect that many of my students will be Canterlot unicorns, and I don’t want to just tell them the importance of family bonds, I want to show them,” Bucky explained.

“I think I understand. You want them to see how other ponies live. How we are. You want them to see the love and affection they might not be getting at home,” Sparkler summarised.

“Yes. And I don’t intend for this school to just be for unicorns. I think that is the problem. I think the separation is a bad idea,” Bucky said.

“Separation, more like segregation,” Sparkler interjected.

“Yes, and it is a problem,” Bucky replied. “I think magic instruction should take place in a classroom, and that young unicorns should begin their long journey of magic with their friends. It might be a little dangerous, but I think continuing the current methods are even more dangerous in the long run.”

Sparkler nodded. “Well, I want in on it. Just let me know when you are ready to attempt this,” the filly stated.

“Soonish,” Bucky replied. “I am going to need your help for what I have planned.”

 

 

“This castle is boring,” Piña complained.

“Yeah, you always hear about how exciting and wonderful castles are in storybooks,” Dinky quipped. “But this castle is a snorefest.”

“The top of the tower was nice, there was quite a view,” Ripple said to the two fillies that were her companions.

“No no no,” Piña protested. “I don’t think I like heights.”

“That’s because you are a scaredy pony,” Dinky teased.

“Am not!” Piña retorted as she trotted down the hall.

“It is okay to be afraid of things,” Ripple stated. “I am afraid of wide open spaces. I always feel exposed and vulnerable. Well, on the ground anyway.”

“That’s because there are things that will gobble us right up,” Piña acknowledged. “That isn’t something to be scared of, that’s just smart.”

“If something tries to gobble either one of you I’ll make them pay,” Dinky said, and there was no hint of playfulness in her voice. The corner of her eye twitched slightly and one ear quivered.

“Dinky, calm down,” Piña said soothingly, spotting the warning signs that Dinky was having a unicorn moment.

Dinky visibly calmed at the earth pony’s words. The little unicorn filly took a few deep breaths and closed her eyes for a moment.

“You alright Dinks?” Piña asked.

“I don’t know what came over me for a moment there,” Dinky replied. “I thought about something hurting you… and then I wanted to do bad things. I wanted to smash things. Crush things. Set things on fire. I wanted to make everything around me afraid of me so they would be to afraid to hurt you… I don’t know what just went through my mind.”

Piña leaned over and kissed Dinky on the cheek. She peered at her best friend, trying to determine if Dinky was okay. “You know, when you don’t have adults around, you become a very different filly,” Piña observed.

“How so?” Dinky asked.

“I think having Bucky or Berry or Derpy around allows you to feel safe,” Piña said carefully. “And when they aren’t around, you get weird.”

“Weird?” Dinky repeated.

“You know, like how Bucky was weird,” Piña replied.

“Oh,” Dinky answered. “The unicorn thing. I suppose that is the reason why they didn’t want to let us go off alone and explore,” the filly concluded.

“The day you had your magic surge, I was hurt by Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara,” Piña mentioned softly. “You know, I am bound to get hurt again. Life happens Dinky. I am going to grow up, and there are going to be bad moments, and there are bound to be things that are going to hurt me, and you can’t just set things on fire or smoosh things to keep me safe,” Piña continued.

“I know,” Dinky said with a nod. “You don’t know what it is like though Piña, to have all of this power… and the need to let it out. I want so badly to keep you safe from the things that scare you.”

“And what if it is you that is scaring me?” Piña asked bluntly.

Dinky’s eyes instantly clouded over with tears.

“Look, you don’t scare me Dinky, I just wanted you to think about it,” Piña said soothingly to her best friend.

Ripple watched the exchange and thought of her own sister, and how close they were. Loch Skimmer had always been there to look after her. “You two are sisters in every way that matters,” Ripple observed.

“I know,” Piña answered.

“Yeah, we are,” Dinky said in a quavering voice. She wiped her nose with her foreleg and sniffled a few times.

“You two are very lucky to have one another. Just like I am really lucky to have my sister,” Ripple stated.

“Want to join our secret sisterhood?” Piña offered. “Dinky and I would kinda like Sentinel to join, but he’s a colt. You could join us though. We need a pegasus of some kind to round out our group.”

Ripple laughed and it echoed through the halls as the group continued back towards the dining hall.

“A unicorn, an earth pony, and a pegasus. That is is what you need to form a good group,” Piña insisted. “Back home, there are a group of fillies called the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Apple Bloom is an earth pony, Sweetie Belle is a unicorn, and Scootaloo is a pegasus. They have adventures and do crazy stuff together.”

Dinky nodded.

“I would be glad to join both of you to have adventures. Somepony is going to have to show me how to live on the mainland,” Ripple replied.

“But no acting like an adult just because you are older,” Dinky quipped.

“I like playing… I never had much of a chance to do that,” Ripple said.

“That’s awful,” Piña replied. “This island is messed up. No toys, hardly anything fun to do, this whole place is just terrible.”

“Yes it is Piña,” Ripple agreed.

“When we get home, once things settle down I guess, we’ll have to show you how we have fun. Like take you to a movie,” Dinky offered.

“Just don’t go to a movie with Derpy and Berry together. They like kissie kissie smoochy smoochy movies,” Piña quipped.

“Ugh, gross…” Dinky groaned.

“So, are you ever going to try kissing Rising Star?” asked Piña who said it rather bluntly.

“I suppose at some point. Kissing him couldn’t hurt. But I am not into colts. Still, he is my husband now, and he has been very kind to me,” Ripple replied.

“You could try smooching Sparkler,” Dinky said wickedly, a nearly maniacal cackle punctuating her words.

Ripple blushed enough that it was visible through her dark grey pelt.

“Do you think Sparkler is pretty? I think you do,” Piña teased.

“Sparkler is pretty… but I don’t know if she is into fillies. And even if she was, I am not sure I am ready for smooching just yet,” Ripple admitted.

“Must be strange to be married at your age,” Piña commented.

“It isn’t so bad,” Ripple replied. “At least this marriage is nice. There was the alternative.” The filly shuddered silently as she continued down the hall.

“If you could have your first real kiss with Sparkler that would be pretty romantic,” Dinky said as she turned to look at Ripple. “We could help you,” she offered.

“When you are older of course,” Piña added.

“Yeah, older. For now, we’ll just focus on having fun together,” Dinky stated.

“And we should bring Sentinel with us on our adventures. He’s a colt, but he is a good colt,” Ripple replied.

“You really like him, don’t you?” Piña asked.

“Yes I do. I don’t know why. I suppose it is because he was so kind to me when I first came to be with all of you. He let me cry and get snot all over him and he never complained,” Ripple explained.

“He’s a good colt. I like him. I have grown very fond of him actually,” Piña admitted. “I like having him as a brother.”

“He is also very well behaved,” Ripple stated.

“Well of course he is,” Dinky replied.

“No… I mean…” Ripple stammered, her words faltering as she tried to speak.

“What?” Piña asked, halting in place, no longer trotting forward, which caused everypony else to stop.

”Sentinel is non threatening,” Ripple murmured.

“I don’t understand,” Piña said in return.

“Look, you little fillies, you need to be very careful going off by yourselves around here. In the castle, I think we’ll be fine, but I know from experience that some of the colts around here are… well…” Ripple’s words died in her throat.

“What?” Dinky asked, her voice held a tremour of fear as she spoke.

“Some of the colts around here, even the younger ones, the ones you would think were innocent, they want to prove how tough they are and how grown up they are,” Ripple said slowly, trying to choose her words carefully.

“Uh…” Piña said, her eyes wide, and her breathing becoming somewhat panicked.

Ripple swallowed, a hard gulp that could be heard quite clearly in the hall. “Some of the colts are very eager to prove themselves. Which is why you two need to mind your parents and stay inside the castle unless you are with them. I had a group of colts chase me, run me down, and then one tried to mount me. He didn’t know what he was doing, but that didn’t stop him from trying. And I wasn’t much older than either of you when this happened. I snuck away from my mother and put off doing my work for the day… and if Loch Skimmer hadn’t of found me when she did, something very bad would have happened,” Ripple explained.

“What did Loch do?” Piña asked in a trembling voice.

“She beat the stuffing out of all of them and then held me while I cried,” Ripple replied.

Dinky shook her head. “I don’t like it here,” she muttered.

“I don’t think Sentinel would ever do something like that,” Piña commented.

“No, no he wouldn’t, which is why I like him. A filly needs to know that she can trust a colt, or so my sister says,” Ripple said.

“When he wakes up, I am going to hug him to death,” Piña said.

“I’ll help,” Dinky offered. “If he gets squirmy, it’ll take two of us to hold on.”

Ripple heaved a sigh of relief, feeling better about sharing her secret with the two fillies. “Please, don’t tell anypony what happened,” she begged. “I don’t want anypony else knowing.”

“Sisters keep secrets,” Dinky replied as she resumed her trot back to the dining hall.

“Well, there are exceptions, like Cheerilee said. Never keep a secret that might hurt somepony,” Piña said. “But we'll keep your secret.” She took off after Dinky, moving swiftly to keep up.

“Thank you,” Ripple said in return to the two fillies as she followed after them.

 

Author's Note:

I am actually starting to feel bad for Berry at this point.

No, I am not going to tell you exactly what the agreement was between Derpy and Thistle. But there has been plenty of hints.

 
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