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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There were thirty six new spell jars and Bucky was pleased. There were sixty four filled spell jars. Each night, the process became easier and easier, and more and more of the globes were produced. After curing for a night, they were filled with spells. The ones filled with spells were carefully marked. Some were filled with fire. Others with lightning. Several were filled with strobing light spells. One was filled with what Lyra called her stormfront spell, which would release multiple streams of chain lightning once it broke.

Bucky was careful to document each spell type. He was going to need to protect himself from all types of magic later. Grounding spells. Spells that would protect him from fire. He made careful notes in a transmuted ledger that he had created.

Once again, Bucky was an accountant, just like he had been in his old life. There were numbers to keep, checks and balances to maintain, as well as making sure there were enough resources to keep his venture going.

Lyra worked with manic effort. It was almost as though this was some sort of lifelong fantasy of hers, to dabble in reckless and dangerous magic and to venture to the fringes of what was acceptable and what was forbidden.

As she worked, she kept her spell going, her magical lyre remained summoned back in their room, protecting the sleepers. She had learned to expand the spell, and now a sizable portion of the castle was covered as well.

Lyra paid the price for her continued efforts with a state of total exhaustion. She didn’t mind. It was a small price to pay for magical freedom and the ability to experiment without hinderance.

As Bucky and Lyra worked together, Bon Bon worked with Sentinel, tutoring him through the long hours of the night. He was needed occasionally, and his shadow essence was drawn off and placed into a waiting spell jar. Sentinel thrived under Bon Bon’s instruction. Always eager to please, Sentinel had become especially close to Bon Bon, calling her and Lyra his night mothers.

 

 

“You know Bucky, I think I figured out why we make such a good team. Why we are such good laboratory partners. Why we can get so much done,” Lyra stated as she studied a spell suspended in a spell jar.

“And why is that Lyra?” Bucky replied as he carefully marked down the spell type of the spell jar Lyra was holding in her magic.

“Well, I am a mare and you are a stallion and we are very close. We trust one another. We can work so well together because you respect me for what I am and do not expect anything from me except for my help. Things like sex and desire don’t get in the way and we can focus on work and getting stuff done,” Lyra explained.

Bon Bon raised her head from her book and peered at the pair with a smirk on her face. She pulled Sentinel closer and wrapped her forelegs around his ears. Sentinel squirmed and protested, but Bon Bon was an earth pony that took no guff and was, for the time being, much stronger than the colt.

“But that is where you are wrong Lyra,” Bucky replied as he moved forward suddenly.

Lyra found herself snoot to snoot with Bucky. Her golden eyes went wide and she carefully set the spell jar down into a rack. “Wha-wha-wha- Bucky…” she stammered. She was nearly crosseyed trying to look into Bucky’s remaining eye.

Bon Bon said nothing but sighed and shook her head.

“I find you very desirable,” Bucky breathed. “You have that whole mad hedge wizard thing going on. Your mane is all messy.”

Bon Bon rolled her eyes but said nothing.

“Bu-bu-bu- but Bucky I’m not into stallions… I-I-I- I mean you are kinda cute and all and I don’t mind cuddling with you while you are sleeping and I think that I really am starting to love you in real I am actually in love with you sort of way, but-”

“Lyra,” Bucky interrupted, gently bumping his snoot against hers. “I was teasing you. I would never force you to compromise your own values,” he said in a soothing voice.

“Buckminster Bitters, you are a bad pony,” Bon Bon scolded. “Teasing poor Lyra. For shame!”

Bucky lowered his head and peered back at Bon Bon. She was smirking at him. His ears perked as he realised that she was teasing him as well. He took a deep breath and sighed.

Lyra took a deep breath, held it, puffed out her cheeks, closed her eyes, and then finally exhaled in a huff. “Do you actually find me attractive?” Lyra asked in a wavering voice.

Bon Bon went rigid. So much so that Sentinel panicked a bit when he felt her tense. The colt struggled against her embrace, suddenly afraid because she was afraid.

Bucky took a deep breath of his own and peered into Lyra’s golden eyes. Suddenly, she was entirely too close and he felt that he had made a mistake. What was intended to be a joke suddenly became far too serious.

“I have some very distressing thoughts,” Lyra confessed before Bucky could say anything. “I really do love you. Every day it grows a bit more. And I don’t know how to express it. With Bon Bon, love is easy to express. I know how to please her. I know what to do with her. I don’t know how to please you. Or what to do with you. I don’t know how to love without sex and I don’t know how to feel about you. Or how you feel about me. I want so very badly for you to be happy with me. I want to know that I please you. And I’ve been very worried about it and it has been making me a bit neurotic actually,” Lyra explained, letting everything out, following Bon Bon’s policy of total honesty.

Bucky leaned forward and kissed Lyra on her nasal bridge, just above her snoot and just below her eyes. “There is more to love than sex,” Bucky said in a calming voice. “I am learning that. I had to learn that after what happened to me. And I do love you Lyra Heartstrings. And I don’t expect anything from you other than what you’ve been doing so far.”

“Learning how to love Bon Bon was very difficult for me. Learning how to love you is somehow even harder,” Lyra admitted. “I only know of one way to express love. I thought I was above such silly things, but I really do want to know that I am a good wife.”

“You are,” Bucky whispered. “I couldn’t do this without you. Either of you. I am learning that each and every one of you fulfills a different need and I am discovering all of the different ways that I can love a pony. Love is really just the next level of friendship.”

Lyra trembled and continued to look Bucky in his remaining eye. Her mane slipped down from her ear and tumbled into her eyes. She blinked a few times.

Bon Bon felt her heart warm. She eased her grip on Sentinel and uncovered his ears, hugging him close instead. He squirmed in token protest, but knew that he was powerless. He continued to watch the two unicorns in silence.

“Look Sentinel,” Bon Bon whispered. “Lyra is finally learning to open her heart and be vulnerable to other ponies.”

Sentinel did not reply but turned his head so he could look at Bon Bon. As he did so, he felt her lips brush up against his cheek.

“One day, you will understand just how important this moment was,” Bon Bon whispered into Sentinel’s tufted ear, causing it to flicker.

Bucky finally backed away from Lyra, giving them both some much needed breathing room. Both unicorns were taking deep breaths. Bucky finally managed a nervous laugh.

“I really want to be a mother,” Lyra blurted out. “And it causes me no end of confusion.”

Bon Bon took a deep breath. It seemed the floodgates had opened.

“I mean I really want to be a mother and all that goes with it. And now I have a husband. So I want to be a mother and a wife. And I want both of these things and I feel very conflicted because I have no interest at all in, uh, the usual way of going about making foals. It feel weird to want something from you that you can offer me and not go about it in the usual way,” Lyra admitted in a trembling whisper.

Sentinel’s brow furrowed and he could feel Bon Bon’s breathing quicken. He worked a wing free and wrapped it around the emotional earth pony.

“I will give you whatever you ask of me,” Bucky offered.

“But I feel like I am giving you nothing in return and that makes me feel kinda guilty,” Lyra replied. “And I wasn’t being completely honest when I spoke earlier, when I said what I said about being good lab partners. I guess I said that because it was what I wanted to be true. And then you invaded my space and said what you said and suddenly I felt like a lovesick filly having her first crush and all of my thoughts went crazy because there was a part of me that felt so happy that you found me sexy, and then I felt a bit disappointed when I found out that you were teasing me and now I just feel confused,” Lyra explained, saying exactly how she felt.

“Oh, I wasn’t kidding about that,” Bucky interjected. “I do find you attractive. I just try to not get worked up over you because of how you are. I understand that you are off limits.”

“And now that you two have finally cleared the air I feel a lot better about our relationship,” Bon Bon said, finally speaking up. “Unicorns,” the mare muttered in exasperation.

“Adults,” Sentinel grumbled in an uncharacteristic reply.

“Oh shush cuddlebug,” Bon Bon said with a squeeze, causing Sentinel to roll his eyes and squirm uncomfortably.

“I think we’re done for the night. We should wrap up. It has been a long day for me, I am going to bed,” Bucky announced.

“You go ahead and go, I’ll finish up here,” Lyra replied. As Bucky started to turn towards the door, Lyra darted forward and kissed him on the cheek. “You had me going Bucky,” Lyra said shyly.

“Go to bed Bucky. You’ll be of no use to anypony if you wear yourself out,” Bon Bon said. “Sentinel, say goodnight,” the mare instructed.

“Goodnight,” Sentinel said, doing as he was bid.

“G’night,” Bucky said. He exited through the door with a yawn.

 

 

Thistle was sleeping in his usual spot, right between Derpy and Berry. He wasn’t sure where to sleep. He yawned again. He saw Berry’s eyes flutter and he felt a twinge of guilt for waking the sleeping ponies.

“Been waiting for you,” Berry grumbled, only half awake. She prodded Thistle, who woke with a snort.

Thistle blinked and looked around. Upon seeing Bucky, her face lit up with a sleepy half smile. She rose carefully and moved away from Bucky’s spot, trying not to step on anypony.

“Where will you go?” Bucky whispered.

“I’ll find a spot,” Thistle replied sleepily.

Bucky settled into his usual spot. As his weight settled against Derpy, the mare farted loudly. She did not wake but one wing partially extended and flapped a bit. His nose crinkled. At least pegasi had the means to fan away the malodorous fumes. He settled himself into the bed and then looked up at Thistle.

The filly eased herself down beside Berry Punch and snuggled against Berry’s side. She gave a final glance at Bucky, wishing that she could be closer to him. It was something that would have to be worked out later. She was content to simply be here for now. As she drifted off back to sleep, Thistle realised that this was exactly what she wanted from life and the loneliness of sleeping in the depths of the lake was her last waking thought.

 

 

Sparkler stretched her legs and paced around the room. She had awoken before anypony else and was now being watched by Bon Bon, Lyra, and Sentinel as she walked in a circle around the room.

It was her intention to speak with Rising Star and then to Bucky when he finally awoke. Today, she hoped that before the sun settled on the horizon that she would be a type three. She had been mentally preparing for it for quite a while. She had driven the fear from her mind.

She recalled the feeling of ecstasy she had experienced the day that Bucky had channeled magic through her and she had summoned gemstones. Or the day that the tower had been constructed. He had assured her that there would be no pain and she believed him. Channeling deep magic wasn’t painful, but pleasurable.

But she was still scared.

The fear didn’t stop her from experiencing the alluring call of power. She was going to provide a good life for Loch Skimmer and Ripple. She was going to devote herself to study. She was going to be a teacher. And it would all begin with what she hoped would be done today.

“Sparkler honey, you look nervous,” Bon Bon said in a low voice as Sparkler continued to pace back and forth.

“I am,” Sparkler admitted.

Lyra yawned and watched the purple pink filly as she went back and forth.

Sparkler looked over at the bed. Thistle was with them now. The filly, so near Sparkler’s own age, was wrapped in Berry Punch’s forelegs. Sparkler felt happy for Thistle and thought about when they had first come here. She thought about how her mother had nipped her father for even thinking about Thistle being in the herd.

And here she was.

Sparkler looked at Thistle’s round belly and felt something deep within her. Sparkler realised that she wanted her own foals as she watched Thistle’s barrel rise and fall from her breathing. Her own foals would have to come later, when she was better prepared to provide for them. For now, she was content with looking after Dinky and Piña. She looked over at Sentinel, who tended to look after himself. He was sitting with Lyra and was half asleep, tuckered out after a long night. She watched his head nod as sleep threatened to overtake him.

Sparkler suffered something of an epiphany and she froze in place. She wasn’t just ready to embrace being a type three. She was ready to grow up and take responsibility for her own life and this was the transition point. She felt a twinge of sadness as this realisation settled into her brain. After having this thought, Sparkler realised that her foalhood was definitely over. Done. Gone. Now that she had experienced this realisation, there was no turning back. Awareness made it impossible for her to go back to how things were.

You cannot unring a bell Sparkler thought to herself.

 

 

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