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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A crowd of ponies had come out to stare. It wasn’t every day that you saw a unicorn walking along with a forty foot long ship hovering over his head. Stallions, mares, and foals all gaped at what they saw. It was the late afternoon and the summer sun was warm. Most of the snow had melted, but remnants remained in the shadows.

Bucky set the ship down in the meadow just outside the castle gate. He levitated several boulders over, balanced the boat upon its keel, and placed the boulders under the sides to keep the boat upright and leveled off. It took several.

The magical exertion from earlier was good for his new horn and the connections it was making. The new connections were painful, some of the pops and crackles also brought with them wisps of smoke, but they were becoming fewer and fewer. Bucky reveled in his new sense of power.

“I thought you were getting… I don’t know, a rowboat or a little fishing boat or something,” Berry Punch exclaimed.

“This boat will see us home when I am finished,” Bucky replied to the mare now staring at him.

“Piña did you have a nice time?” Berry asked her sister.

“I had a lovely time,” Piña said contentedly as she slid off of Bucky’s withers and landed on all four of her hooves with a splat. The ground was still wet and muddy.

“How?” Derpy asked.

“It weighs less than I do,” Piña boasted.

“What?” Derpy asked, now flabbergasted.

“I placed a featherweight spell on it. I plan to make it permanent later. Chariots and sky wagons use those spells as well. Casting the featherweight spell on it was quite a challenge. I’ve never cast that spell on anything so large and so heavy,” Bucky admitted. “Still, carrying it home was awkward. Not heavy at all, but balancing such a large object was tiresome.”

“And your horn seems to be working okay?” Berry inquired.

“Fine. Better than fine. The magic flows now. Everything feels smooth. Normal. I can’t wai-hmmmmph!” Bucky was cut off by two lips pressing into his own. His remaining eye went wide at first and then closed as he leaned into the kiss that Derpy was giving him. There was a wet popping sound as the mare pulled away.

“I want to go home,” Derpy said breathlessly. “When your work is done here of course,” she added.

“I think she needs to build a nest or something. She’s been acting weird all day,” Berry quipped.

“Shut up Berry!” Derpy grunted.

“She is in the terrible throes of pegasus mommy hormones I think,” Berry continued with a merry twinkle in her eyes.

“Berry, shut it!” Derpy snapped. “I might be feeling the need to secure a place for my young. I can’t help it,” the mare muttered.

“I can’t help teasing you just a little,” Berry said to her fellow-wife. “Please don’t be angry.”

Derpy blushed and looked at Berry. “Do you remember how I got when I was carrying Dinky?” the pegasus asked.

“I do… and I do not look forward to a return of those days,” Berry replied.

“What have I done?” Bucky asked as he realised that he was surrounded by pregnant mares.

 

 

Derpy carefully walked along the wooden deck. The ship quivered beneath her. It needed a bit more reinforcement to make it steady, the boulders alone were not enough. Her wings were out and ready to lift her skyward at a moment’s notice if something went wrong.

Bucky could not help but notice how beautiful and graceful she was during moments like these. Yes, she could be clumsy at times, but there were also moments like these that made his heart leap into his throat with desire. He stood upon the deck above the cabin of the ship. A full inspection revealed that the craft was in surprisingly good shape, minus the damage to the front half of the ship. There was even a galley in the rear.

“I want us to move into here once it is liveable,” Bucky stated. “I want all of us to think of this as our home. And we will defend it as our home.”

“That makes sense,” Derpy agreed. “But before we do that, maybe we could have some private time here away from the foals…”

“That would be nice,” Bucky said in agreement.

“Not nice, necessary,” Derpy said. “Bucky, I need to know something.”

“What?” Bucky asked in reply.

“Will my foals be safe? Can you keep the cabin secure? The wolves get into ponies homes and kill them,” Derpy said, her voice full of worry.

“I plan to secure the cabin. There will be wards. I also plan to have bright lights installed all over. The wolves might make it to the deck, but they will be powerless and quite weak if they do. Those on the deck might get hurt. I will admit that there is a chance of that happening,” Bucky replied. “But the cabin will be a fortress.”

Derpy closed her eyes and nodded. “Then we do this together. As a family. I never thought I’d be going into battle. Into war,” the pegasus said in a soft voice. “This is more than just a little scuffle, isn’t it?”

“Yes my love,” Bucky answered. “Somepony… something is controlling these wolves. That much is obvious. And when we strike, we might draw whoever… whatever is controlling them out of hiding.”

“And then we might have a real fight to deal with,” Derpy said, as she opened one eye and looked up at Bucky. “I understand. If we are dealing with another pony…” she said, her voice trailing off.

“We will have to subdue them,” Bucky said.

“No,” Derpy said defiantly. “Look, I know you swore that you would never bring harm to another pony as long as you lived, but I am under no such oath. If we are dealing with another pony, I am going to save you from breaking your oath and I am going to kill them,” the mare insisted.

Bucky heaved a sad sigh. “I can’t stop you I suppose, but I wish you would reconsider,” Bucky replied.

“No Bucky, you need to reconsider. Think of the misery they have caused. The death. What they did to you. And countless others. The dark magic at work here. No, there will be no keeping them alive,” Derpy said bluntly.

“Derpy it really bothers me to hear you talking this way,” Bucky admitted.

“Too bad!” the mare shouted in reply. “It really bothered me seeing you returned to me all burnt and bloody! It tore my heart open! I have nightmares Bucky, nightmares! I keep seeing you die in a thousand horrible ways! It tore apart my guts listening to my foals cry after they saw you!”

Bucky hung his head and something stabbed at his heart.

“I am sorry I shouted. I shouldn’t have shouted at you,” Derpy said, her voice now full of shame. “We should only shout at one another if the house is on fire,” she muttered.

“Not everypony can share in my ideology, I understand that,” Bucky stated.

“Oh please, no big words. Not right now,” Derpy snapped. Her expression softened. “I understand your commitment to life now. It is one of the things I love about you. But I need you to understand me right now. As a pegasus. And a mare. Foals Bucky. You know where it begins and ends with me.”

Bucky nodded. “I do,” he admitted. “I guess this is our first fight,” Bucky said in a low voice.

“Not much of a fight really,” Derpy said, now looking down at her own hooves.

“We just see things in very different ways. As we always have. And always will,” Bucky stated.

“It really wasn’t much of a fight. It was just a bit of shouting. I mean, there was no slapping or anything,” Derpy said. “We just disagreed.” Derpy felt the tingle of magic all around her and suddenly she was standing next to Bucky. She blinked. “You just pulled me closer,” she said.

“I needed to look into your eyes,” Bucky said.

“Why?" Derpy asked shyly as she looked Bucky in the eye. Her ears splayed out sideways and a nervous half smile split her face.

“To be reminded of why I fell in love with you,” Bucky replied.

“This is a lot better than disagreeing,” Derpy said breathlessly. “And this isn’t our first fight. All those times I nipped you when we first came here, each one of those nips was me disagreeing with you. I guess unicorns and pegasi bicker differently.”

“But we can make up like ponies… surely we can find something in common there,” Bucky said as he leaned in closer.

“Oh, when a pegasus apologises, we don’t use words. A pony can say anything. We have to show that we mean that we are sorry, like this,” Derpy said as she lunged forwards. She had her forelegs around Bucky’s neck in an instant and kissed him savagely.

 

 

Rising Star wiped the sweat from his face with his foreleg. He ceased the flow of magic and dropped a large log on the ground. A few months ago, there was no way that he could have lifted something so large and so heavy in his magic. And in the back of his mind, he knew that even more power was coming. Real power. The thought was alluring to him.

There were still a few more hours of sunlight left and he was making the most of them, securing the wood that Bucky had said he needed.

“There is something about you when you are all hot and sweaty looking.”

Rising Star grinned as he turned to look at Sparkler.

“Really. You look really hawt when you are all disheveled. When your mane is a mess. I like it,” Sparkler admitted.

“There is something about you when you are hot and sweaty too,” Rising Star said in reply.

Sparkler bit her lip and her eyes narrowed. “We just keep torturing ourselves,” she said in a low voice. “We have the means to prevent accidents and we are married but we haven’t done anything to one another,” the purple pink filly muttered.

“I think that we are just grown up enough to realise just how big of a step that is,” Rising Star said as he looked at Sparkler with appreciative eyes. “And we are still trying to sort everything out.”

Sparkler gave a distracted nod.

“And I know that if we did do something, I wouldn’t have to worry about Bucky, Berry, or Derpy killing me. Bucky’s committed to life now and says he is never going to bring harm to another pony, Berry keeps giving me embarrassing suggestions on how to make mares moan, and your mother isn’t threatening to drop me from the stratosphere anymore,” Rising Star said. The colt shook himself and swished his tail. He felt hot and sticky in more ways than one. “I am going to the lake to take a dip,” he announced.

“I am coming with you,” Sparkler said.

“It scares Loch something awful,” Rising Star said.

“I know,” Sparkler said in a trembling voice.

“I mean, she said she wants to watch us, and I think that will be good for her,” Rising Star said.

Sparkler nodded at her husband. “Rising, I feel funny telling you this, because she hasn’t told you this, but she watched her father do things to her mothers. Unpleasant things. Even if they weren’t in the mood. Sex was never a pleasant thing when she witnessed it. It was always brutal and degrading. And it has left her skittish. She wants to believe that it will be different between us, but it scares her,” Sparkler whispered.

Rising Star choked and coughed. His good mood died and his ears drooped to the sides of his face.

“So when we go at it during our first time and she is watching, I need for you to be extra gentle and loving with me. We need to show her that it isn’t something to be afraid of. She’s coming around. She’s been watching how Bucky, Berry, and my mother all act towards one another. It has given her some hope. Rising, Loch is a pegasus, and she is a lot like my mother. Words aren’t going to convince her of much. We can talk to her and reassure her all we want, but if we want to reach her, we need to show her. She needs to observe us. A pegasus watches, a unicorn explains, and an earth pony does, at least that is what Berry said to me a few nights ago,” Sparkler explained.

“I understand,” Rising Star replied. “We need Berry to teach Loch about feminism.”

“Actually Rising… that is a very good idea. Let’s go to the lake,” Sparkler said as she took off and led the way. She gave a come hither glance over her shoulder and flicked her tail at Rising Star.

Rising Star felt some of his good mood restored as he followed after Sparkler. While walking beside her was nice, walking behind her was even better. He grinned and took off in a slow trot, determined to allow Sparkler to lead.

 

 

“Did you have a nice time?” Berry asked her sister, asking her again now that they were alone.

“I had a lovely time,” Piña replied. “There was a picnic on the beach, father and I talked…” the foal’s words trailed off as she spoke.

“Still having some trouble with that?” Berry asked.

Piña nodded but said nothing.

“Look Piña, you place too much value on placing labels on everything. Just call him your father and be happy,” Berry suggested.

Piña blinked. “Okay I’ll try. But labels tell us what goes where. I have a label but I don’t know what it means. I don’t understand my place… and everything always seems so confusing,” she whined. She was tired and cranky and probably needed a nap, even though she would not admit it at the moment.

Berry took a deep breath and tried to focus her mind. Understanding her sister at times was difficult. It required patience and love. “Are you complaining about your cutie mark again?” she asked.

Piña nodded.

The elder sibling looked down at her younger sibling and felt a twinge of irritation. She made no sign of showing it, knowing how much it would hurt Piña. “Piña Colada, I swear, sometimes I think you are a unicorn trapped inside of an earth pony. No wonder you and Bucky get along so well. You’re both neurotic,” Berry said. She took another deep breath, held it, and then let it out slowly. “Piña, you are my foal. You have always been my foal. While I loved our mother a great deal and I hate saying anything bad about her, I was the one that raised you. I was still mostly a foal myself but I was the one that cared for you while our mother went about her life. After having so many foals I think mom just got tired once you came along. I was the one that fed you. I wiped your backside. I bathed you. You followed me around. When you were about six months old you called me “momma” and it made our mother go berserk. After that, well, the rift between you and our mom went wide. I was the one that taught you how to talk. I was the one that showed you how to live. And then when mother died, I was the one that didn’t kill you because you didn’t stop crying until you passed out from exhaustion and then when you woke up, you started crying again, and this lasted for a whole month. Nopony else could take care of you. I was the one that held you and tried to comfort you as you cried and cried and cried. You made everypony else barmy with your wailing. But I loved you so much. The crying didn’t matter to me. All I could think about was how much you were hurting,” Berry said.

Piña looked up at her sister and sniffled. Tears stung at her eyes.

“Only your mother could love you that much!” Berry exclaimed in exasperation.

Piña threw her forelegs around her sister’s neck and pulled herself upwards. She clung to Berry, saying nothing. Berry wrapped a foreleg around her sister and crushed her close.

“You were such a booger,” Berry said, her emotions now flooding her voice. “And you still are.”

 

 

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