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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14. 14

Bucky awoke, feeling something cold and damp laying over his face, a cool moistened cloth had been placed over his forehead and his eyes. There was a dull thudding ache from the marrow inside of his horn, and a pounding throbbing inferno in his brain.

He could hear voices, speaking in low tones, some of them frantic, all of them familiar, and he took comfort in hearing the voices of those he knew. His lip had a ragged gash in it and he supposed that at some point, he had bitten down upon it. He couldn’t remember doing it.

“He is moving,” a voice said. A familiar voice, but Bucky could not place it, his mind too groggy to think. “Buckminster, can you hear me?” the voice asked, the tone soothing and gentle, piercing the fog of his mind.

His heart thudded dully in his barrel, keeping time with the thudding in his head.

“Oh Bucky please say something,” said another voice. Bucky recognised this one. It was Derpy. He struggled to talk, his lips moving, causing the tear in his lip to open. He tasted blood and gagged.

Something pulled his lower lip away and something cool and damp was applied to the ragged gash. He felt the tingling warmth of magic tugging at his lip, pulling gently, applying pressure with the damp cloth.

“Dinky is fine,” Derpy said. “But I am worried about you.”

“Buckminster, I know you can hear me, now please, just lay still. Maybe talking is not a good idea, just try to remain calm,” the voice said, filling him with an odd sense of calm.

“Princess, is he going to be alright?” a voice said. The voice belonged to Berry Punch and Bucky realised why the calming voice seemed so familiar.

“Nuh!” Bucky mumbled, his lip still held in the grasp of magic and the cloth applied to stop the flow of blood. He had tried to say no, but he found it was quite impossible.

He felt the hold on his lip released and Bucky felt once again the claws of panic slashing at his heart. His breathing began to increase. “No, you can’t take her,” gurgled Bucky, his mouth a bit full of blood. “Accident, accident, accident!” he repeated in panic, causing blood to dribble as he spoke. He felt something wipe his mouth carefully, cleaning the blood away.

“I know,” replied Celestia sadly. “It was a tragic accident. Now calm down Buckminster, while we have discussed options, nothing has been decided yet.”

Bucky whipped his head around, flinging the damp cloth from his eyes. He looked up, seeing Celestia looking down at him. He looked at her pleadingly and shook his head no.

Bucky struggled to sit up, squirming, and Berry Punch pulled him up into a sitting position with one tug of her foreleg. She sat down beside him and gave him something to lean on, wrapping her foreleg around his shoulders. Bucky stared at Celestia.

“I don’t want her to go,” confessed Derpy, looking sad and climbing up on the couch to sit beside Bucky, sandwiching him in.

“We will need to figure something out. Dinky Doo has powerful magic. She conjured a physical swarm of bees,” replied Celestia. “And she is going to have to learn control somehow, for the good of everypony.”

Derpy began dabbing at Bucky’s lip, having taken the cloth in hoof and gently wiping the blood away, which had slowed to a faint trickle.

Bucky gently pushed Derpy’s hoof away, and said; “Don’t tear Dinky away from her mother, there has to be another way.”

“Dinky manifested bees, that is not simple magic that can easily be held back. She is going to have to learn strict control measures,” replied Celestia, looking sad.

“And Dinky hasn’t had a lifetime of learning how to repress and hold back,” commented Bucky, slumping, realising the enormity of the situation. “She’s been raised as a pegasus foal might be raised.”

Derpy looked very confused and a little sad.

“Yes, and that complicates things,” agreed Celestia, now studying the three ponies on the couch. She stood in the center of the room, her wings folded to her sides, her head held high. She seemed regal, even standing in the small living room of one Derpy Doo Hooves.

“Manifesting of physical objects, that’s a class three level of magic,” Bucky said, now looking defeated. He wrapped a leg around Derpy and pulled her closer.

“I don’t understand,” said Berry, leaning on Bucky.

“Magical classifications,” replied Celestia. “There are different levels of ability for unicorns. Most unicorns are type ones. They have a little magic, usually related to their talent or ability. Some unicorns are type twos. They can perform two or more actions at once with their manipulation, like painting with two brushes at once. They have a little more magic than type ones, but not much. Rare unicorns are type threes, like Bucky here, Uncommon levels of magic, and the ability to cast a plethora of spells and call objects into reality, conjuring something from nothing. Skilled magicians. Commonly called wizards. Type fours are like Twilight Sparkle, Star Swirl the Bearded, and Clover the Clever. Archmage level abilities. And then there is alicorn class magic. Type five,” explained Celestia.

“So Dinky is gifted?” asked Derpy.

“Very much so,” mumbled Bucky in reply.

“We need to figure out what is best for Dinky Doo and the other ponies around her,” said Celestia, turning to one side and starting to pace in the limited space. “These magical outbursts are going to continue and potentially get worse if not controlled.”

“Maybe it would be best for Dinky to go to school,” Derpy admitted sadly, her ears drooping down to the sides of her face.

“Ponyville is ill equipped to deal with this type of magical education,” Celestia said, sighing as she did so. “I have tried several times to start a school of magic here, but nopony wants to move here to teach and the city residents do not want potentially dangerous students in the town.”

“I’ll do it,” grumbled Bucky, wincing as he spoke, his head throbbing painfully.

“Are you qualified?” asked Berry, turning her head and looking at Bucky, and then seeing how much pain he was in. She pursed her lips and rubbed his shoulders with her foreleg. “Aw, poor Bucky, you must be miserable.”

“Bucky, this is a very serious matter,” Celestia said, still pacing, taking a few steps in one direction and then turning to take a few steps in the other direction.

“I know, I know, I’m qualified right? I mean, that is what I was told when I graduated, you told me to look into teaching,” asked Bucky, his eyes still shut, an alarming ringing in his ears.

“I did,” replied Celestia, “but you are one pony and Dinky would need supervision during her waking hours. And if her problem becomes bad enough, her sleeping hours as well. That makes for a very long day.”

“Hurts too much to be pulled away from parents, even bad ones,” Bucky retorted.

“The hurt is sometimes necessary,” Celestia admitted.

“Bucky, I can’t ask you to do this,” Derpy said. “And I can’t pay you to do this either,” she added, a tear finally rolling down her cheek, the situation settling in and pressing on her motherly heart, wounding her emotions.

Bucky laughed, a manic laugh that threatened to cause his head to explode. “I bet I lost my job,” he chucked, his head falling forwards and his chin pressing against his chest. “I am going to have so much free time now.”

“How dedicated to this course of action would you be Buckminster?” Celestia asked solemnly, her pacing had stopped and she now stood still.

Bucky opened his eyes, causing searing pain to stab through his head, and lifted his head to look at Celestia. “You once called me a stubborn little pain in the plot your Majesty, and you said that I could give an earth pony a run for their bits on being steadfast. I remember it because you said “plot” and I couldn’t stop giggling, being the obnoxious little colt that I was. You said my dedication to mayhem was second to none.”

“I did say those things,” confessed Celestia, smiling faintly. “But this is a very serious issue. This is going to be a lot of work.”

“I can teach her control and focus. Today I compressed a playground slide into a glowing white orb and not a single soul was injured because of my own magic surge,” replied Bucky, leaning his head on Derpy and closing his eyes again, his head still thudding.

“I know what you did today Buckminster, I’ve spoken to several witnesses already. You also showed a remarkable level of restraint when dealing with Mister Rich. I’ve already informed him how lucky he was that you did not turn him into a pony boullion cube,” Celestia returned. “Twilight Sparkle might be able to help you at times, but she has many duties. This will devour all of your time if you agree to do this,” she added.

Derpy lifted a forehoof and gently rubbed the side of Bucky’s head, causing him to melt slightly into her side, a low moan escaping his mouth.

“His head must really be hurting,” Berry said, mostly to herself, looking concerned.

“He can’t,” Derpy said, looking up at Celestia, cradling Bucky’s head carefully. “If he spends all day with Dinky how will he support himself?”

“I intend to pay him a teacher’s salary with a potential bonus based on levels of performance,” Celestia explained, her lips pursing together after she spoke.

“You would do that?” Derpy said in disbelief, her eyes wide and full of tears. “Why? Why do that just for Dinky?”

“I do not like breaking up families unless absolutely necessary,” replied Celestia, her face overcome with sorrow. “I regret that sometimes, it is necessary. Here I see a chance that I am willing to take. If this fails, we will discuss other options. Buckminster has remarkable abilities for control, but he is terrible about repressing things, furthering the need for more control. He needs to find a good healthy outlet for stress and his own emotions. Perhaps serving and helping another will be a good learning experience for our Buckminster.”

“And what if Dinky has another surge?” Derpy asked, her brow furrowed in concern.

“Buckminster should be able to handle almost anything that happens. Bucky, what will you do if there is another cloud of bees?” Celestia asked, her eyes focused on Bucky.

“Cast cloud of ice, freeze bees, and then dispose of them in whatever convenient method presents itself,” replied Bucky, with no hint of concern in his voice. “I could do that right now if I had to, even with my headache.”

Berry Punch leaned on Bucky a little more, her face creased with worry.

Celestia could not help but notice all of these little signs and took copious amounts of mental notes to review later. The three ponies on the couch seemed awfully friendly.

“What are the chances of another swarm of bees?” Bucky asked. “I mean, this was a random occurrence. A surge.”

“Dinky Doo has a new cutie mark.” Derpy admitted.

“Three little bumblebees,” finished Berry Punch.

“Aw nuts,” replied Bucky, opening his eyes in alarm. “I hate bees. Where is Dinky now?”

“Upstairs, in bed, with Piña Colada. Sparkler is up there too, watching over them,” Derpy answered, turning her head towards the stairs and then back towards Bucky.

“I must have been out for hours,” Bucky said, voicing his thoughts.

“You were,” replied Berry Punch. “Is your head getting any better?” she asked.

“Not really,” groaned Bucky. “I need a drink.”

“I think we all do,” agreed Berry.

“Thank you,” Derpy said, her eyes wide and glistening with moisture, “for looking after my foal today and for helping us.” Derpy leaned in and pressed her lips against Bucky’s cheek, leaving them there for several moments, closing her eyes and squeezing a bit more.

“I like this job already,” Bucky quipped. “Nice benefits.”

“We shall communicate soon, I need to be going,” Celestia announced. “Good luck tomorrow. Try not to worry. I will try to find more help if it is needed. Do not give up.”

The three ponies on the couch all nodded, looking at Celestia, watching her turn and go, exiting out the front door, the guard visible as the front door hung open.

“Well bother... Bucky, if you are going to teach Dinky the finer points of control, I am going to teach you how to let go a bit,” Berry said, looking very concerned, “you are a bit too tightly wound.”

Derpy nodded in agreement as the three ponies sat on the couch together, a strange new bond steadily forming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Note:

Bumblebees!

And now, we slowly move into the new dynamic and begin the major arc of the story. The stage is set, the players are ready, clues have been dropped, shadows have been foreshadowed, and everything is good to go.

 
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