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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Derpy inhaled sharply when she saw Sparkler’s body twitch. The ground was covered in snow that was already melting and her breath was visible. Relief flooded through the pegasus. She turned towards Rising Star, who was also starting to move.

“I- I don’t feel any different,” Sparkler murmured as she slowly sat up.

“I feel dizzy,” Rising Star muttered. He made no effort to sit up, and remained sprawled in the grass.

“I feel different,” Lyra muttered. “When can we do that again?” she asked.

“Lyra has music inside of her head,” Dinky announced as she rolled over onto her belly and lifted her head. She closed her eyes for a moment and tried to make her head stop spinning. “That was different than the last few times we’ve communed,” she added.

“I didn’t hear any music,” Bucky replied. He remained sprawled on his back and his eye was still closed. He felt a warm body press down on top of him and knew right away that it was a certain grey pegasus.

“You alright?” Derpy asked, her breath warm on Bucky’s ear.

“I feel fine,” Bucky answered, trying to reassure the worried pegasus.

“We could see the change,” Thistle said. “You were all surrounded by rainbows.”

“I don’t feel any different,” Sparkler insisted. “I don’t know what I was expecting. I still feel like me,” she announced. “No, wait, I feel something!” she cried. She leaned over, her lip curled up in a scowl of concentration, and the purple pink filly farted loudly. “Nope, just gas, stupid dried peas are killing me.”

“Oh thank goodness I still have my Sparkler,” Derpy said as she continued to lounge on Bucky.

“There is absolutely nothing different about Sparkler,” Loch Skimmer said in relief.

“Rising, can you get up?” Ripple asked, a trace of worry in her voice as she kneeled down next to the prone unicorn.

“I could but I don’t wanna,” he answered.

“Everypony seems fine. I suppose we will see the results of the change in time,” Berry said as she looked around.

“Once everypony is sorted out, feel free to go about your day. Lyra, Bon Bon, Sentinel, the three of you are probably wanting to go back to bed to rest up for tonight. The rest of you, do whatever. Dinky, you are to stay here with me. You and I are going to spend some time together,” Bucky said.

Dinky’s face creased with worry. “Is this about me being a bad foal earlier?” she asked.

“No Dinks,” Bucky replied. “I just want to spend some time with you. You and I are going to do something special.”

Dinky huffed in relief and flopped back over on her back.

Derpy leaned her head down and kissed Bucky and then carefully removed herself from him without stepping on him. “Magic lesson?” she asked.

“Something like that,” Bucky said as he looked up.

“Don’t overwork yourself. Or Dinky. She’s a foal,” Derpy said to Bucky.

“I feel fine mom,” Dinky said, overhearing her mother’s words.

“If it is all the same, would you mind if I stayed here with you and Dinky? I’ll be quiet, I promise,” Thistle begged.

Bucky became aware that Derpy was looking at him and awaiting his reply. He looked up at the grey mare, trying to gauge what she wanted in this situation and then looked at Thistle, who was looking at him pleadingly.

“If there is going to be a magic lesson then I want Piña here with me,” Dinky stated. “Piña helps me stay focused.”

“Fine,” Bucky said. “Piña and Thistle can stay. But I was hoping for some time alone with Dinky,” Bucky admitted. “I spent time alone with Piña and I don’t want Dinky to feel too left out.”

“I don’t feel left out,” Dinky said. “And really, if there is going to be a magic lesson, I need Piña,” she insisted.

Piña threw herself onto Dinky and began to squeeze the unicorn as hard as she possibly could, making Dinky grunt and groan.

“We should be going,” Berry said. “Still so much to do. We’ll leave you alone so you can get started.”

 

 

Thistle watched in fascination as Piña and Dinky leaned on one another as they sat in the grass. Dinky’s face was contorted in concentration and the foal’s eyes were closed. Thistle was curious about magic in general. She had her own magic as a shapeshifter, but this was different. Thistle gave a sudden cry of alarm as she felt herself lifted and moved. She soared through the air for a bit of a ways and then found herself gently set down next to Bucky. She could feel his warmth against her side. She quieted and hoped that she hadn’t broken anypony’s concentration too badly with her outburst. Saying nothing else, she leaned against Bucky and continued to watch.

There was a single bee flying in a circle over Dinky’s head, surrounded in a nimbus of magic, and Thistle watched as the bee buzzed around Dinky’s horn.

“Anything yet Dinky?” Bucky asked gently.

“Nothing yet,” Dinky replied.

“Keep trying. Just focus on the bee’s mind Dinks. You can do it. Try to see what the bee is seeing,” Bucky said soothingly.

“I haven’t given up,” Dinky answered in a determined voice.

Piña wrapped her forelegs around Dinky and one hoof rubbed Dinky’s shoulder. “I know you can do it,” Piña whispered encouragingly.

“I feel really weird,” Dinky stated. “Really really weird. I can hear buzzing inside of my head.”

As Thistle watched, Dinky’s horn flared brighter and brighter and the nimbus around the bee took on a fierce glow. There was a hum in the air that Thistle could feel inside of her teeth and behind her eyes.

“I can see,” Dinky announced with her eyes closed. “But everything looks weird. I don’t know what I am seeing.” Dinky’s eyes flew open and she cried out. She clutched her head with her forelegs and the bee vanished in a magical burst. “OW OW OW OW!” Dinky shouted. She howled in pain and kicked her hind legs.

Bucky lifted both foals to him and dropped them between his forelegs. “Dinky?” he asked in a gentle whisper.

“Feels like brainfreeze!” Dinky shouted. “Like when you drink a milkshake too fast!”

“You going to be okay?” Piña asked.

“No, I have brainfreeze,” Dinky snapped. The unicorn foal shook her head and writhed as Piña held on to her. “Stupid magic!” Dinky snarled. “I have all of this power and all I get are headaches,” Dinky growled.

“Dinky, I still get headaches sometimes,” Bucky said reassuringly. “It is the price we pay.”

A single tear rolled down Dinky’s cheek and Piña was the one that wiped it away. Piña continued to hold Dinky in her forelegs and both foals rested against Bucky’s chest as he laid on the ground.

“Felt any connections to any particular element yet Dinky?” Bucky questioned.

“Nothing yet,” Dinky replied, her eyes still squeezed shut. The filly let out a shuddering gasp. “It is finally easing off,” she muttered.

“Want to try and conjure some elements?” Bucky asked as Dinky continued to recover.

“Yeah,” Dinky answered. Her eyes opened and there was a determined look on her face.

“Give me some fire Dinky,” Bucky commanded in a low and gentle voice.

“Can do,” the unicorn filly replied. She grunted and her horn flared. There was a whooshing sound and a wisp of flame appeared in the air before them. It died out almost instantly as there was no fuel to keep it burning. “Fire comes pretty easy now,” Dinky announced.

“Remember what I told you Dinky. Most foals your age would never learn these sorts of spells. You must be careful. I am trusting you with something volatile and dangerous. Do not make me regret teaching you,” Bucky said in an authoritative tone.

“The only thing that will feel regret about you teaching me this will be the wolves if I see one. I bet I could set one on fire,” Dinky said aggressively. “If one comes near my mother or any of my family I will burn them alive,” she threatened.

“Electricity Dinky,” Bucky instructed.

Dinky grimaced. Electricity was tougher. All that was needed for fire was a bit of anger. Dinky had anger. Electricity needed focus and deep concentration. She bit down on her lip and dug deep. A crackling blue ball of energy formed a few feet away. She held it for several moments and she could feel her mane crackling as every hair stood on end.

Everypony around her suffered the same fate.

“Lyra gave me a few tips,” Dinky said as the orb collapsed with a loud pop. Dinky panted and felt like her lungs were on fire, it felt as though she had ran a great distance.

“Very good Dinky,” Bucky praised. “You actually listened to Lyra, I can tell,” he said.

Dinky beamed with fierce pride.

“Cold Dinky. Do it now,” Bucky commanded.

Dinky scowled. Out of the three major elements, cold was the most difficult. You needed anger for fire, focus and concentration for electricity, and for cold you needed raw force of will. “You know, foals aren’t known for their willpower,” Dinky muttered. She took a deep breath, held it, let it out, and then took another.

“Dinky, listen to me,” Bucky instructed. “Just gather your will. It isn’t too different from getting your mind prepared for summoning shock. Just force the heat to go away all around you. Just push. Cold just takes a strong belief in yourself,” he explained.

“I do believe in me,” Dinky snarled. She placed her forehooves on either side of her head and gritted her teeth. “Why is this so hard?” she growled. A surge of magical sparks shot from her horn and a small ball of magical ice appeared midair a few feet away. It dropped to the grass and Dinky collapsed, going completely limp in Piña’s embrace.

“Impressive,” Bucky praised.

Dinky made no reply. Her barrel heaved and her face looked as though she was in pain. She remained quiet for several long moments. “You make it look so easy. Sometimes I hate you for it,” Dinky said, finally speaking, her eyes still closed and her body still limp. “And now you seem to be doing it without even thinking about it, and it makes me so angry,” she added in brutal foalish honesty.

“I’ve always been connected to cold,” replied Bucky patiently. “But lately it does seem to be happening with no effort. Like when I wink or even perform a spell that has nothing to do with cold.”

“Your telekinesis sometimes leaves frost on metal objects,” Dinky muttered.

“I noticed that too,” Bucky acknowledged. “Been experimenting to keep away the mischief Dinky?” he asked.

“I figured out how to magnetise metal,” Dinky said as she opened her eyes. They were bloodshot and irritated looking.

“Oh very good Dinky,” Bucky said.

“Daddy, I have a question,” Dinky asked, some of her anger now gone and sounding a bit more like a foal again.

“And that is?” Bucky replied.

“You know how two magnets if you place them the right way push away from one another,” Dinky said in return. “Well I was wondering, what if I did that to a metal object? Put those two fields together?” she asked.

“It would rip itself in half if you made the fields strong enough,” Bucky answered.

“So I could cause metal to rip in half?” Dinky queried.

“If you applied enough force of will and made the fields strong enough,” Bucky replied. “But there are easier ways of doing it, like simply teleporting a piece of it away,” he explained.

“Would be hard to teleport away something like a half a skyscraper,” Dinky muttered.

“What are you planning?” Piña asked in alarm.

“Was just thinking,” Dinky replied.

“Dinky is just exploring theory,” Bucky interjected. “At least I hope,” he added with a wry smile.

“I just want to know what is possible, that’s all,” Dinky stated, trying to soothe Piña’s fears.

“That’s terrifying,” Thistle whispered, breaking her silence.

“Father is the scary one. I’ve been inside of his head. He knows what he is capable of. I’m still trying to figure out what is possible,” Dinky admitted. “Will you ever show me how to summon dark magic?” the foal asked.

Bucky scowled, unsure of how he felt about Dinky’s request. He had trusted her with so much already. He knew how to do it and he couldn’t figure out how to say no without sounding like a hypocrite, which bothered him a great deal. “I will show you someday Dinky, once you’ve proven yourself a bit more. I will trust you with the knowledge once you’ve earned it,” Bucky said slowly.

“I don’t mind working for it,” Dinky replied, snuggling against her father’s chest. “I’m hungry. And sleepy,” she said in a foalish voice.

“I am feeling a bit peckish myself,” Bucky answered. “I guess we will head back and find a bite to eat. You did well Dinky.”

“You’ve taught her such dangerous things,” Thistle said in an astonished voice. “Why? I want to understand.”

“She is my daughter as well as my student. I have to know that I can trust her. She is gifted. She is bound to come into the knowledge in one way or the other. With the dangerous things, I’d rather she learn them from me so she can be safe, rather than learn them haphazardly on her own and get hurt. And I will continue to teach her whatever I can… unless she gives me a reason not to trust her,” Bucky said.

“And that would be stupid of me,” Dinky mentioned. “If I act like a bonehead then I don’t deserve his trust.”

“But you have given her knowledge that she could use to kill things. Even other ponies,” Thistle said. “Dangerous knowledge.”

“Yes I have,” Bucky said, not denying it. “I am also teaching her sense of values so that she doesn’t hurt her fellow ponies. I trust Dinky to be a good filly.”

Thistle looked at Dinky, then at Piña, and finally at Bucky. “I am having some trouble understanding,” she admitted.

“Do you trust me?” Bucky asked.

Thistle blinked a few times as she was put on the spot. Her ears splayed out sideways and her tail swished erratically as she took in the question. “I trust you. With my life. And my foal when it comes,” she finally said after several moments of contemplation.

“I trust Dinky,” Bucky said. “I understand that it is unorthodox to teach a foal these sorts of things. The thing is, most of the time, they wind up learning them anyway. Well, some do. Dinky is driven.”

“I sure am,” Dinky quipped.

“And I trust Dinky to do the right thing,” Bucky stated. “Just like I trust Rising Star and Sparkler with the power that I have given them. There are a lot of type threes that do not deserve their power, but those two, they deserve the gift given to them and the power that comes with it.”

Thistle gave a nod, but she did not fully understand.

“It isn’t like I want to be the Dark Lady Dinky Doo Hooves,” Dinky announced. “I just want ponies to shiver a bit when they say my name,” she said with a smile.

“You’ve been listening to Lyra too much,” Piña grumbled as she rolled her eyes.

“I was only kidding. I don’t want anypony afraid of me,” Dinky said. “I’d rather have them come to me for help if they need it.”

“And this is why I trust Dinky the way I do,” Bucky said as a smile cracked upon his face.

 

 

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