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


94. 94

When Derpy returned to the group there seemed to be a bit of a commotion. She circled overhead and saw that Bucky and Thistle had returned and were sitting with Loch Skimmer and the foals. She heard laughter. She dropped to her hooves and stumbled a bit on the landing, her lack of depth perception working against her.

“Thistle got her cutie mark!” Piña exclaimed as Derpy drew near.

“She did?” asked Derpy as she looked at Thistle.

“Oh this is so embarrassing,” Thistle muttered.

“Why is this embarrassing?” Derpy inquired.

“Thistle’s cutie mark is… I can’t even say,” Loch Skimmer said and then collapsed into a fit of giggles.

Derpy drew up alongside Thistle and looked at the filly’s rear. She closed one eye and looked. There was a small red heart with a puckered pink lip print. The grey pegasus mare inhaled sharply and turned her stare towards Bucky.

“I didn’t even know that us kelpies could get cutie marks. My mother never had one. Never talked about one,” Thistle said as she craned her head around to look at her own backside.

“How did this happen?” Derpy questioned.

“Exactly like you would think it happened,” Bucky confessed.

“Well, Bucky and I, we were talking, and I was telling him how I feel about things, and he told me how he felt about things… and then I sort of told him how scared I was. After that, I sort of kissed him and-”

“But you have kissed him before. You’ve kissed Berry and I before,” Derpy interrupted, still looking at Thistle in shock.

“Yeah but this time when I kissed him I wasn’t afraid. I was a bit nervous, but I wasn’t afraid. I felt safe and I let go, I mean I really let go and then my emotions overcame me and I started crying a bit as I was kissing him and then I felt a weird tingle,” Thistle explained excitedly.

“Thistle got a cutie mark in making out,” Sparkler said. “Or maybe even-”

“SPARKY!” Derpy cried out, cutting Sparkler off.

Sparkler giggled and stared at her mother. She bounced in place for a moment and then took off to bounce around in a circle around the group, her happiness overwhelming her. She finally felt good about life again and it showed as she gamboled about.

Derpy smiled and looked Thistle in the eye. “You’ve finally grown up a bit. You’ve matured even in the short time that we’ve known you Thistle. And this is the sort of proof I’ve been waiting for,” Derpy said in a loud clear voice so that all those around her could hear her. She looked around. Rising Star, Berry, and Ripple were missing. They would have to be told later. “Would you like to join our herd?”

Thistle gasped. She already knew that she was in, but she wasn’t expecting the public announcement just yet. She felt her heart flutter in her barrel. She tried to talk but no words came out, only a nervous squeal. After a moment, she nodded.

“And you,” Derpy said to Bucky. “You did good Bucky. You took a scared filly and made her feel safe and secure. That makes me proud,” the grey mare said as she peered at her husband.

Bucky struggled to come up with a reply. He wasn’t used to being told that somepony was proud of him. He stammered a few times and then fell silent.

“Because she was able to feel safe and secure with you, she was able to discover her purpose,” Sparkler said in a singsong voice as she continued to bounce around. “And I’m thinking that her cutie mark will help her make lots of foals!”

Derpy rolled her eyes and sighed. “Sparkler, what has gotten into you?” she asked.

“I don’t know, I’m just happy,” Sparkler replied. “This has been one of those really good days. And it feels even better after all of the really awful days we’ve gone through.”

“I wonder if I will get a mark,” Loch said as she looked up Thistle.

“I am sure you will,” Derpy said reassuringly.

“I didn’t even know you could get cutie marks for kissing,” Piña quipped.

“I am not sure that her mark is just about kissing,” Bucky interjected in a soft voice. He looked embarrassed.

Thistle kicked the ground with one forehoof and her tail swished. “What do you think it means?” she asked coquettishly.

“What you are doing right now,” Bucky said slowly. “Sex appeal,” he whispered in a low voice.

“Uuuuuugh!” Dinky said as she shook her head. “You don’t get cutie marks for that,” she groaned.

“Who said?” Piña argued.

Dinky said nothing but glared at Piña. Finding nothing good to reply with, Dinky resorted to tackling Piña instead and the two rolled around in the grass trying to pin one another into submission.

“Well it is certainly an interesting cutie mark,” Derpy admitted. “Whatever it means. Berry is going to have something to say about this,” the mare huffed.

“Oh gosh Berry Punch is going to tease you something awful,” Sparkler said. “And test it out,” she added.

“Oh, testing it out seems like a good idea,” Derpy agreed.

“Mom!” Sparkler exclaimed.

“What?” Derpy replied.

“Oh… never mind. Just be happy,” Sparkler said as she looked at Thistle.

“I plan on it,” Derpy answered.

“Wait,” Thistle said, looking at the ponies all around her. “I know I have Derpy’s acceptance into the herd, but I want to hear Bucky say it,” Thistle said in a small nervous voice.

Derpy brushed her snoot against Bucky’s neck and then leaned up against him. “Do you have anything to say Bucky?” she asked.

“I know I am young and that has made some things awkward and that I have perhaps done some things that have made me a bit less than mature and I would like to hear what he has to say about me joining the herd. If he will have me,” Thistle said.

Derpy beamed. The filly really was growing up. She reached out a wing, placed it over Thistle’s withers, and pulled her close. She planted a kiss on the filly’s cheek and smiled at her.

“Of course I want you with us Thistle. I’ve grown very fond of you. You’ve been with me every day through some bad times. Come be with us Thistle and once this messy business has been dealt with, we will all return home together,” Bucky said in a warm gentle voice.

“Bucky, you and I need to talk later,” Derpy said in a low voice to Bucky as she stood near him. “And you too Thistle. Just the three of us,” she added. “Nothing to worry about,” the mare said soothingly when she saw Thistle look a bit concerned.

Bucky looked at Thistle and saw she was crying. He said nothing but nudged Derpy, who was pressed between them. He saw Derpy as she turned and squinted. It didn’t take the mare long to cotton on to what was wrong.

“I hope those are happy tears,” Derpy said.

“Oh, they are,” Thistle replied. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me, I just seem to cry so easily lately,” she said, trying to explain her behaviour.

Sparkler came to Thistle’s side and pressed against her, squashing her against Derpy. The two fillies stood together in a moment bonding. “You might be getting married to them, but they’re old. If things ever get to be too much to bear, you can come and have fun with us,” Sparkler offered.

Thistle sniffled and smiled. “Thank you,” she said to Sparkler.

Derpy shot her daughter a wry look but said nothing.

“I’m not old,” Bucky protested.

Sparkler turned to Bucky and raised her eyebrow.

“I am only about a decade older than you young lady,” Bucky grumped.

“See Thistle, like I said, old,” Sparkler said teasingly.

“Why you little…” Derpy growled.

Sparkler realised she had gone too far and took off, and her mother bolted after her in hot pursuit. Sparkler blew a raspberry at her mother as she ran and Derpy flapped her wings as she ran along after the purple pink filly that had crossed the line.

Bucky watched them go. “I am not old,” he repeated.

“No, you are not,” Thistle said as she leaned on Bucky.

“I don’t know what it is, but I do feel different. Something about this day,” Loch said as she watched her fellow-wife being chased by her mother.

“I think Lyra’s spell keeping the fear away and all of us getting a restful sleep has had a profound impact on all of us,” Bucky said. “Those two are finally acting how they usually act. Sparkler has been so withdrawn and serious lately,” Bucky explained.

“I really am happy for both of you,” Loch said. “Well, all of you. You know what I mean,” the filly corrected. “And Sparkler was right Thistle. We might be your foals now which feels really weird to say, but you have a place with us if you need to cut loose and have fun.”

Bucky watched as Derpy tackled Sparkler and he saw a wing come slashing in. A second later he could hear Sparkler squealing and shrieking. “Sparkler is very, very ticklish,” he explained to Loch. “Something to remember Loch. Feathers.” He smiled at the pegasus sprawled in the grass. He stepped away from Thistle and kneeled down into the grass with Loch Skimmer. He sprawled out on his belly and made himself comfortable.

He hooked a fetlock under her chin and pulled her face around, getting a good look at where she was kicked. He smiled. “It looks like it is healing well,” he said gently. “How is your leg Loch?”

“Still pains me but I don’t complain. Not after what I’ve watched you go through,” Loch admitted. The filly turned her head as Thistle laid down beside her.

“A few more weeks and that cast will come off,” Bucky said as he settled even more into the grass and moved closer to Loch Skimmer. “Are you happy with us Loch?” he asked.

“Yes sir,” Loch Skimmer replied nervously.

“Why are you nervous?” Bucky asked.

“I don’t know,” Loch replied. “I just am. You and your family are all so affectionate. It can be difficult at times,” she admitted. “My family didn’t have much of that.”

“I used to have a lot of problems with affection,” Bucky said in a gentle voice. “Derpy and Berry had to teach me how to be affectionate. How to let go. How to allow myself to be touched and experience life.”

“I know,” Loch said. “Berry told me. We had a long talk. She told me that you were abused too, just in a different way than I was. My father was cruel. I saw him the other day. He just glared at me stupidly. Rising Star and Sparkler saw him too. And Ripple. I thought Sparkler was going to kill him,” Loch said in a low pained voice.

“How is he?” asked Bucky, his voice filled with genuine concern.

“Healing. One wing will probably stay crippled. He looked like a mess,” Loch replied. “No, Bucky, please, don’t look pained, now I wish I hadn’t said anything,” Loch said fretfully.

Thistle pressed her cheek against Loch Skimmer’s and tried to comfort the sad filly.

“I still don’t know how I feel about that,” Bucky confessed. “I don’t know how I should feel about that.”

“It made me sick to watch you do what you were made to do, but I am glad you did it,” Loch hissed. “Between what he did to all of us and something that happened to Ripple when she was little it is no wonder she turned out the way she did. She’s probably terrified of males just like I am.”

Bucky did not press issue about what happened to Ripple. He figured that he would learn in time.

“But you are different. I’ve seen how you are with your wives. And Rising Star… he’s been so good to me and I’ve been running hot and cold towards him. He just patiently waits me out and keeps being nice,” Loch said.

“I am glad you are able to tell me this,” Bucky said.

“Oh there are a bunch of things that Bon Bon wants me to tell you,” Loch replied.

“Don’t worry about them now,” Bucky said gently. “There is time to tell me later. It is good you are talking to Bon Bon. She can help you.”

The trio watched as Sparkler was completely subdued by her mother. Derpy found herself under attack a moment later when Dinky and Piña pounced upon her. The mare fell over as the two foals went to work on her.

“She is so gentle with her foals,” Loch Skimmer said.

“And that’s the sort of mother I want to be,” Thistle commented.

“That mare is perhaps the most dedicated mother I know. My own mother was absolutely rotten. Seeing her… Derpy, the way she is, it changed me,” Bucky said.

“I think it has had an affect on me,” Loch admitted.

“And me,” Thistle quipped.

“I hope I am patient enough,” Loch said.

“Loch, you are a pegasus. You’ll be a good mother,” Bucky said reassuringly.

“My mothers were pegasi,” Loch retorted. “They did nothing to protect me from my father’s fury.”

Bucky sighed and realised that he might have made a mistake. “Loch, you will be a good mother because you are a good pony. Look, you have a good example now. If you watch her and learn from her, I don’t think you can go wrong,” Bucky said, correcting his earlier statement.

“You can also learn from my mistakes,” Thistle offered. “I mean, I am bound to make a few, right?”

Derpy’s laughter could be heard from quite some distance away. It was a distinctive sound and something that Bucky truly loved about the mare. He felt his heart melt. “That is the sound that lets me know that something is right in the world,” he said.

“What?” Thistle asked.

“Her laughter,” Bucky answered.

“I wish Rising Star was back,” Loch Skimmer said nervously. “It drives me crazy when he is gone. I can’t stand how much I miss him when he isn’t here,” she admitted.

“I feel that way every night when I go home and sleep all alone in the water,” Thistle replied. “I think about all of you. And I miss you. Every one of you.”

“So stay with us at night Thistle,” Bucky offered. “I am sure we can make room in the bed for one more.”

“I think that tonight I will,” Thistle said.

“You can take Bucky’s spot. He’ll probably be up most of the night again,” Loch said as she rolled her eyes.

“There is so much to do,” Bucky said in his own defense. “Plus I want to spend time with Bon Bon, Sentinel, and Lyra.”

“Oh, there he is,” Loch said as she rose up on three legs and began to wobble off. “Excuse me, I have to go,” she said as she hurried away as fast as her three legs would take her.

“Prepare yourself Thistle, Berry Punch is going to go nuts when she finds out about your cutie mark,” Bucky warned.

Thistle gave Bucky a seductive look. “I hope so. And I hope you are watching,” she said alluringly.

Bucky swallowed and he suddenly felt warm. He looked at Thistle and saw her wink at him. He pressed against her side and kissed her on the cheek. “You’re mine now,” he whispered. “And I protect what is mine.”





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