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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Groaning, Bucky opened one eye, yawned, and then licked his lips. He could hear soft spoken voices. He flexed his talons, yawned again, and rolled over. He found himself snoot to snoot with an amber eyed grey pegasus. So far, the morning was turning out quite well.

“Did you and Thistle have a nice time last night?” Derpy asked in a low voice. After her question, she scootched her head over the pillow and kissed Bucky. “I told her that you needed to be ambushed.”

“You sicced Thistle on me?” Bucky asked in a low whisper. He chuckled, flexed his talons again, and then stretched his body, extending his hind legs and arching his spine as he lay on his side.

The grey pegasus began giggling as she extended her forelegs. She slipped one beneath Bucky’s neck, sliding it between him and the mattress, and the other one over his neck. When she had his neck encircled with her forelegs, she pulled him closer. She pressed her muzzle against his, not caring about morning breath, and gave Bucky a passionate, slobbery, excited-pegasus kiss.

The kiss was interrupted by giggling. Pulling away, Derpy turned her head and looked over to see the source of the giggling. Blinking, she saw orange frizz and bright pink. Cadance and Harper both. The grey mare sighed upon realising that there would be no morning make out.

“Out of bed, sleepyheads,” Harper said to her parents in a cheerful, squeaky voice.

“Lazy!” Cadance extended her wings and flung herself between both Bucky and Derpy. She nestled down between them, stomping the blanket that covered both of them down and forming a nest. “Up up up!”

Bucky realised that he and Derpy were the only ones in bed. Everypony (and birdy) else it seemed had long since vacated. He let out a wordless grumble in protest of the Empress’ royal decree and focused on Derpy.

“Gala!” Cadance shouted as she bounced up and down on her mother and father. “Gala gala gala!”

“Are you going to dance with Shiny?” Derpy asked Cadance as Harper climbed all over her. Harper tumbled down into the crevasse and Derpy smooched the frizzy maned filly on the cheek.

“Yes!” Cadance’s wings fluttered and she trembled with happiness. “Shiny!”

“They’re going to crown Sentinel,” Derpy said as both Cadance and Harper settled into the makeshift nest that her body and Bucky’s body formed together. “Are you excited?”

“Princess Sentinel.” Harper sat up and a very serious expression crept over her face. Sparks lept from her horn and her mane, already frizzy, floofy-poofed out even more as she generated more static.

Closing his eyes, Bucky began sniggering. He could hear the laughter of others and wondered what they found funny. Everypony sounded happy, and it put his mind as well as his body at ease.

“When Auntie Rayray?” Harper asked.

“Rarity is probably in Ponyville… I don’t know if she’ll be here for the gala,” Derpy replied. She let go of Bucky’s neck, reached out her foreleg, and stroked Harper’s cheek. She saw Harper’s disappointment. “You love Auntie Rayray, don’t you?”

“And Coco,” Harper chirped in reply. With a grunt, Harper flung her forelegs out, wrapped them around Cadance, pulled the pink foal closer, and gave Cadance a mighty squeeze. Harper got a faceful of Cadance’s rose scented ethereal mane, which made the unicorn filly snort, then, without warning, Harper sneezed, discharging a tremendous amount of electricity and zapping everypony in the bed with her.

Cadance’s eyes went wide as a bolt of static arced between her ears and her horn, starting at her skull and traveling upwards with an audible crackle. The pink alicorn was used to this happening, she bore it with good natured patience. Once the painful arcing ended, Cadance gave Harper a slobbery smooch to let her sibling know that all was well.

Groaning, Bucky reached up with his talons and pinched the smouldering tuft at the end of his ear. He sniffed the air, smelling burning hair, and he envied Derpy’s natural electrical resistance. Of course the pegasus was fine, even if her mane was now almost as frizzy as Harper’s. Cadance, part pegasus, was also fine. Harper looked guilty and a little sad. Lifting his head, his ear still smoking, Bucky kissed Harper on the corner of her mouth to set her straight and let her know that she was still loved.

At her father’s touch, all was right in the world once more, and a grin took over Harper’s face.

 

 

Standing on the balcony, Bucky waited for Sentinel to get himself together. Sentinel had lured him outside, saying that there was something he needed to say, and now the two of them were standing together. Bucky was quite enjoying the sun, even if it made him feel weak kneed and stung his eyes a little.

Sentinel, who was recovering, was moving around well enough and hadn’t bumped into anything, one eye or no. With his echolocation, the loss of an eye wasn’t quite as big of a deal as it might have been. Already, hair was growing on his face, accelerated growth caused by a salve left behind by Chrysalis.

“Father, I’ve asked for a glass eye decorated to look like the mare in the moon.”

“Sentinel, is that what you dragged me out here for?” Bucky asked as he sat down upon the warm stone. The spring breeze was cold up here at this elevation, but the stone he sat down upon radiated a pleasing heat into his backside.

“No, Father, it isn’t.” Sentinel also sat down and then scooted a little closer to Bucky.

“Well then, spill it, Squire.” Bucky glanced at his son with one eyebrow arched.

The colt took a deep breath, then another, and then gulped in as much air as possible. After a moment of preparing himself, he stared off at the distant horizon and said, “As I’m sure you know, I plan to accept Boadicea as my queen. I like her. Well, more than like… she… she is very special to me so this is not so onerous for me to do…” Sentinel’s words trailed off and the colt fell silent.

Bucky sighed. Onerous. Sentinel wasn’t just tightly wound, he was wordy too.

“During the gala, I am going to announce my betrothal to Boadicea to all of the world.” Sentinel fell silent again and shook his head. “I know that you already know this.” Sentinel cleared his throat and made ready to speak again—  

“Out with it, Son… don’t make me tickle torture this out of you,” Bucky said, giving his colt fair warning.

“You wouldn’t dare…” Sentinel turned and looked at his father, having to turn his head around quite a ways to focus his right eye upon Bucky. “Nevermind, you would dare.”

Bucky chuckled, reached over, and prodded Sentinel, who was on his right, with his hoof. He heard a soft laugh from Sentinel and Bucky could not help but feel that all was right with the world. He felt a happiness that he hadn’t felt in a long time.

“Father, I know that I’m young, but being engaged for love isn’t all that different than being betrothed for political reasons.” Sentinel cleared his throat, let out a nervous cough, and then found the courage to continue. “I’m going to ask Diamond Tiara to marry me. We’ve talked. We’re going to wait, obviously. No need to rush anything. I think when Moonbow finishes her Myrmidon training, we’ll have our union.”

“Union.” Bucky snorted. “Such a serious affair… sounds so romantic. Diamond Tiara will be able to brag about her ‘union’ to the high society ponies at length.” He focused his manic gaze upon his son and a wide grin split his muzzle.

“Um…” Sentinel looked away from his father, focusing his gaze upon the horizon once more. He nodded, his wings fidgeted at his sides, and then he heaved a sigh. “Marriage. Marriage I guess. This is all overwhelming to me. It’s all so serious. Words like ‘union’ help me see it for what it is, I guess. It’s all choices that have to be made, the right things that have to be done so everypony and everybirdy can have a better future.” Sentinel heaved another sigh, then made a sharp inhale. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing it. I mean, Diamond Tiara is pretty… she’s really really pretty, and Boadicea… oh… she’s good looking too… and Moonbow… well… Moonbow… I… uh, um, uh, I get flustered just thinking about her and I’ve already, uh, well, you know, um, done something with her and I, uh, um, eh, er, well… um… marrying Boadicea and Diamond Tiara are going to be its own reward because let’s face it, they’re going to grow up and be, uh, um… well, you know… uh…” Stammering, embarrassed, Sentinel fell silent and his whole body shuddered.

“Good looking?” Bucky said, finishing his son’s words.

Sentinel nodded.

“Boner inducing?” A terrible smirk lurked on Bucky’s lips.

Hearing his father’s words, Sentinel’s mostly hairless face turned beet red. The colt let out a panicked wheeze, and then nodded again. “Diamond Tiara keeps flashing me!” Sentinel blurted out. He sucked in a deep breath before he continued, “I know that she knows what she’s doing! She keeps looking back over her shoulder to see if I’m looking and believe me, I’m looking, and when she sees me, she goes prancing off with her tail held just high enough that I keep getting peeks at her pink goodies and she’s torturing me, because I can never quite see everything, just little peeks as her tail bobs around and it’s driving me crazy!”

Much to Sentinel’s surprise, his father wasn’t laughing. He craned his head around and focused his surviving right eye upon Bucky. He could see a serious expression upon his father’s face.

“Son, she has strong feelings for you. She loves you, make no mistake. It might be young, somewhat innocent love, but have no doubts, she's sticking all of this out because she loves you. And like any other filly her age, she feels insecure and afraid of her body. She wants to know that she’s desireable and she wants to know that she’s pretty.” Bucky reached out his right foreleg, wrapped it around Sentinel’s withers, and pulled his son closer.

The pair sat in silence for a few minutes, before Bucky found the words he wanted to say. After clearing his throat, Bucky spoke from his heart, trying to pass on to his son everything he had learned. “Diamond Tiara is devoted to you. You came into her life at a time when she needed you most, and you were there with her. You’ve seen her at her worst and you’ve never turned her away. She’s gonna remember that… she’s gonna remember that you stuck it out with her and you stayed with her and you were her friend when she needed one the most.”

Sentinel’s ears drooped and he leaned against his father. “Sort of like you and mother…” Sentinel paused, and then felt the need for clarification. “Derpy… you found each other at a pretty rough time in both of your lives… she was lonely…” Sentinel closed his eye and took a deep breath. “We’ve talked, she and I. We talk about you sometimes. She’s been trying to teach me what it means to love somepony and stick with them through thick and thin.”

Bucky gave Sentinel a squeeze of encouragement.

“She saw you at your worst. She saw the end result of all those years of abuse and neglect. She didn’t turn away, but she could have. She could have found somepony else, somepony with fewer problems, but she made a choice to stick it out with you. Berry too.” Sentinel opened his eye, blinked away a tear, and then sniffled. “She told me that the work is what makes it worth it. She said that she saw that you were a good pony deep down inside and even when you were laid low”—Sentinel cleared his throat and licked his lips—“when you rescued Dinky and cracked your horn, when things got really, really tough and she had to nurse you back to health, she explained to me that it is those sorts of moments that make a relationship.”

“I suppose they do, Son.” Bucky felt a growing tightness in his throat.

“Berry said that most fillies are flighty, fickle, finicky creatures and that any normal filly would have dumped me a long time ago. She said that Diamond Tiara is exceptional for sticking all of this out with me.” Sentinel sighed and then drew in a deep breath. “Berry also said that if I ever did anything stupid that jeopardised or otherwise ruined my relationship with Diamond Tiara… she said that she, Bon Bon, Applejack, and Coco were all going to open up a can of good ol’ fashioned earth pony arsewhoopin’ and take turns having a go at me.”

Blinking, Bucky offered up the best advice he could think of to his son. “Son, you’d best pray to Luna that you never screw up…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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