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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“So how much did you know?” Bucky asked as a damp wet cloth wiped off his muzzle.

Celestia, wiping Bucky’s muzzle clean from snot and dried tears, closed her eyes for a moment. “That is very difficult to answer. A little. A lot. When I started to get the notion that you were going to be the one, I mobilised everything I had. I knew you were touched by shadow from a young age, but I wasn’t totally sure it was going to be you. And then certain events began to play out and I saw patterns. I understood that the isles would be your testing grounds, but there are other places that destiny might have pulled you towards. I knew there was darkness over the isles, but I had no idea just what was hiding there under the mountains. Buckminster… I… I don’t know how much you are aware of yet, but I know you have become aware of your divine spark. I was told I couldn’t interfere. There is so much I wish I could tell you, but I am not allowed.”

“I understand,” Bucky whispered.

“Be angry with me! Shout! Scream… be mad… show some sign of emotion! At least Twilight Sparkle slapped me…” Celestia said in a pained voice as sat down in a chair beside Bucky’s bed.

“You called me “nephew” and I was wondering why you did,” Bucky questioned.

“Because you and Cadance are orphans,” Celestia answered.

“I’m an orphan?” Bucky asked, sounding puzzled.

“While you were gone, I legally severed your ties to your parents. I wasn’t sure how this trip was going to turn out. If things went badly, I didn’t want your parents or your house to have the right to claim any of your foals and keep them as possible heirs. I know that Derpy and Berry Punch both are pregnant with your foals. If you had died…” Celestia choked, her words failing for a moment and she was forced to swallow and clear her throat. “If you had died, I wanted to make sure your foals were untouchable.”

“But nephew?” Bucky inquired.

“We’re royals. We must have contingencies. Cadance has no parents. She too is an orphan, if something was to happen to her, as her aunt, I would have access to her foals to protect them,” Celestia explained.

“I am a slave,” Bucky muttered.

“Still a prince,” Celestia stated.

“I don’t want to be,” Bucky protested.

“Which is why you will make a good one,” Celestia argued. “Buckminster, why won’t you ascend? I know you know how. And if you do not not wish to do it yourself, let Luna or I do it for you. You should ascend. Heal your body. Restore yourself.”

“I don’t want to do that,” Bucky grumbled.

“But you were meant to be the alicorn of war,” Celestia said in a gentle reply.

“The alicorn of war is the end of all things,” Bucky said.

“The dreams you’ve had. Those are dreams. You don’t have to end the world, just protect Equestria,” Celestia said as she shook her head softly.

“I have,” Bucky stated.

“Buckminster, your body… the damage done. This has shortened your life,” Celestia whispered, her voice a soft satin.

“So I say no and you immediately go for the emotional blackmail approach,” Bucky grumbled.

“What? No! Not that, I am just worried… Buckminster, this has robbed you of years of your life. You deserve better,” Celestia said, more tears now starting to fall again.

“I’m sorry,” Bucky offered.

“So am I,” Celestia responded.

“So what happens now?” Bucky asked.

“Shining Armor is with your wives and discussing your punishment. Their obligations for your care. He is going to make them all sign a contract,” Celestia replied.

“Bon Bon is going to kill me,” Bucky muttered.

“Why?” Celestia asked.

“Because I lied Celestia, I lied through my big pointy teeth! Do you know how earth ponies are about lying?” Bucky said in a slightly panicked voice.

“They can get a little carried away in their reaction, or so I have read in the papers. There might have been a little rioting,” Celestia said with a ghost of a smile.

“What happened to you?” Bucky asked, unable to contain the question anymore.

“There was a war Buckminster,” Celestia said.

“I know that, but you… you look almost as bad as I do,” Bucky said in a raspy voice.

Celestia lifted up a glass of apple juice for Bucky to get a drink and slipped the straw between his lips. She watched as he drank the cold beverage slowly. “There was a war Buckminster. Ponies declared war on me,” Celestia said in a grief stricken voice.

“What did you do?” Bucky asked, the straw slipping from between his lips.

“Nothing at first. I holed up here in Canterlot Castle and let them wear themselves out. I ignored them and it infuriated them. And then they got the bright idea to attack one of the refugee camps near Ponyville. The moment I got word, I took wing. Half of them were waiting here in Canterlot to ambush me.”

“Oh no…” Bucky gasped.

“I can’t use magic safely around my little ponies… I was angry Buckminster… it doesn’t justify what I did. Normally I only allow the smallest fraction of my magic to come out in a battle for fear of destroying everything around me. It is the reason why I lost to Chrysalis and ponies still make jokes about it. But when they attacked me in the skies over Canterlot, I was filled with so much anger after hearing that they had attacked a camp of refugees to lure me out… I slipped Buckminster. It was an accident,” Celestia said, looking distant.

The white alicorn tucked the straw back into Bucky’s mouth and urged him to keep drinking before she would continue, smiling weakly and looking Bucky in the eye.

“Luna came when she saw the fires in the sky over Canterlot. My anger was nothing compared to Luna’s. She was at the point where she had reached her limits. I had killed a few, but Luna, she could not stop killing. She tore through their ranks and then she smote ruin upon their houses. She was blind with fury. And for the second time, I had to protect my little ponies from Luna’s murderous wrath. She refused to understand why I was protecting them after they had hurt me. It took a while before she calmed, but now ponies think we are fighting again. And maybe we are. We’ve have a few disagreements, but in private we comfort one another,” Celestia explained. “You must understand Buckminster… Luna’s loyalty. She took it personally that I was assaulted. It wasn’t that the ponies had attacked their monarch, it was that they had attacked her sister. Luna has a fear of being alone. For the few ponies that let her in or she lets in and she calls family, she becomes rather murderous when a family member is threatened. You and my sister have much in common.”

“So Luna killed a few nobles that made a bad decision,” Bucky grumbled.

Clearing her throat, Celestia squirmed in her chair. “It wasn’t just Luna. Buckminster, you are going to read some things in the paper, or hear some stories. It was a family quarrel... it was a mistake.”

“A family quarrel?” Bucky asked.

“Well, Cadance showed up and she was spoiling for a fight. She had a lot of pent up anger. You live with pegasi, so I know you know what I am talking about,” Celestia said in a sad voice.

“So three of you did what exactly?” Bucky questioned.

“Cadance and Luna felt I was wrong. Both of them were rearranging Canterlot. I had to stop them. And both of them were furious with me for protecting the ponies at war with me… I had started the battle and it escalated all so quickly. I let too much magic slip out. And then those two showed up and everything just went wrong,” Celestia said, heaving a sigh.

“And where was Twilight Sparkle during all of this?” Bucky asked.

“Oh Twilight was the responsible one. She was in the refugee camp and she had all of the unicorns spellbound. She rendered them harmless and locked them all away in protective custody. Twilight Sparkle has grown up so much,” Celestia said, sounding proud.

“We outnumber you,” Bucky said with a wry smile.

“I do not follow,” Celestia said in puzzlement.

“You and Twilight seem to be the only voices of reason,” Bucky said in an exhausted voice.

“Oh dear,” Celestia gasped.

 

 

Bucky was half dozing when the door opened and he heard hooves on the tile floor. He barely had time to get his eye open when he was swarmed. There were muzzles pressed into his face from every direction and murmured words he could not make out over everything being said all at once.

And then, just as the crowd was backing off to give him some air, Bucky felt a sharp blow the side of his head. It whipped his head off to one side and made him see white stars in his vision.

“Bon Bon! What has gotten into you?” Lyra shouted.

Still seeing stars, Bucky heard the sound of hooves clattering over the tile floor as somepony ran out of the room, and he could hear sobbing.

“Bucky, are you alright?” Derpy asked. “Bon Bon hasn’t been right since she heard.”

“Yeah Bucky, are you alright? How is your backside? Are you comfortable?” Berry inquired.

“Hurf ponies,” Bucky groaned. He could taste blood inside of his cheek.

“We have a legal writ that clears all of us from any wrongdoing,” Lyra said.

“They’ve already released a transcript of the trial into the newspaper,” Berry Punch said. “A special edition was printed off.”

Thistle settled herself into the chair that Celestia had been sitting in earlier and sat panting for a while as she rubbed her tummy. “I’ve been so panicked.”

“We had to talk about our contract and our ownership of you,” Berry said as she stood beside the bed. “Well, Derpy’s ownership of you. And what we are allowed to do and not allowed to do to you.”

“We had to talk about sex with a lawyer Bucky… I keep getting traumatised because of you,” Derpy said with a scowl. She held her scowl for a moment and then her face broke into a smile. “Everything is going to be okay.”

“The paper said you were a hero for what you did in court, taking the full brunt of the law upon your shoulders as an example for why it should be destroyed,” Berry said. “We’re going to have to protect our husband you know… a lot of mares might be attracted by this sort of thing.”

“Everypony understands why you did what you did… even if Bon Bon seems a little upset about it,” Lyra said.

“Sentinel isn’t taking it well though,” Derpy said.

“Ripple discovered coffee,” Berry Punch announced, swishing her tail from side to side as she did so. “We may have a problem now.”

“We sure do,” Thistle said.

Bucky sighed and enjoyed listening to his wives chatter. He didn’t feel the need to say anything, he was just glad to hear them talking. He was perfectly content to just keep listening.

“All of your pegasi guards miss you,” Derpy said.

“Don’t… don’t make jokes about that,” Bucky begged.

Derpy paused and looked confused for a moment, and then felt bad after she saw the hurt on her husband’s face. “I’m sorry… I didn’t know. I was trying to make a joke so what you said wouldn’t sting so much.”

“I know,” Bucky said, looking miserable. He closed his eye for a moment and took a deep breath. “I would rather be back under the mountain again walking down the endless line of steps.”

“I will admit, for a moment, I wanted to strangle you Bucky. All your talk about facing things together as a family and then you go off and commit the ultimate act of hypocrisy when you go off to face the punishment all by yourself,” Berry said. She leaned onto the bed and planted a kiss on Bucky’s lips, a brief peck to let him know she wasn’t too angry.

“They say I am going to deliver sometime around Hearth’s Warming Eve,” Thistle said. “I’ve never celebrated that before.”

“Oh… Bucky, you should know. Freezerburn has a bounty on his head. He flooded the entrance hall and then froze the water. When Princess Luna went to address the crowd not long after the trial, she took quite a tumble, and Freezerburn was seen fleeing the scene of the crime, cawing as he flew away. He’s been declared a public menace,” Lyra said with a broad grin.

 

 

 

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