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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Sentinel squirmed and felt itchy all over as he approached the double doors of the great hall. This was where the treaty had been signed. It was packed full of ponies and Sentinel felt as though he had trouble breathing. The doors had been opened for him as he approached. He saw his mothers and his siblings nearby. He saw the Princesses, all four of them, Princess Cadance now back from the Crystal Empire after she had returned home for several days to take care of affairs there.

“Hello Squire Cornet Sentinel. You look very handsome,” Princess Celestia greeted.

“Would you happen to know the whereabouts of your father?” Princess Cadance asked in gentle tones, cautiously approaching Sentinel.

“I will not betray his location… but I come bearing a message,” Sentinel said, daring to look up at Princess Celestia as he spoke.

“Where is your father?” Princess Cadance said sweetly.

Sentinel licked his lips nervously and his eyes darted between Princess Celestia and Princess Cadance. His wings fluttered against his side and he blinked a few times.

“Squire, do not betray your father’s trust,” Princess Luna instructed, her tone harsh.

“Princess Luna!” Princess Celestia said in scathing tones. She turned and glared at her sister, her eyebrow raised sharply. A flashbulb went off, capturing her expression for the newspaper.

“He was sent as a messenger. One does not coerce the messenger or kill them,” Princess Luna said, moving near Sentinel. “Now tell me, what is your father’s message?”

“Father says to catch him if you can,” Sentinel said in a strained voice. He was upset about the idea of killing the messenger, which he did not like, not at all. He drew closer to Princess Luna until he was actually pressed up against her side.

There was giggling from the platform where Bucky’s herd was gathered and a few exasperated sighs. Murmuring could be heard from the group, and it quickly spread over through the hall. Finally, the murmuring became a dull roar as the entire hall began to talk about the missing prince.

“I want him found. Spare no effort. I want him brought here. Search the castle. Focus on the school wing. Expect prankish resistance,” Princess Celestia said to her Solar Guard. “And make sure my office as Headmistress is well guarded!”

 

 

Bucky carefully made his way around the school, visiting his old haunts. With him he had his orb of warning, and the act of holding something was a good test of his concentration. The school was empty, all of the foals packed off to attend the coronation no doubt. Bucky stuck to the ceilings, occasionally the walls, and he prowled the deserted corridors thinking about all of the years of his life he had spent here in this place. He had stayed here for almost twenty years of his life. He had come here as a tiny foal, and he had left here as an adult. Not all that long after graduation, he had met Derpy, and everything had changed.

His nose wrinkled as he passed the alchemy labs. He had done well enough there, but he was not skilled by any stretch of the imagination. He had passing grades. Alchemy was completely optional as far as classes went, and he had attended out of curiousity. The stink of old potions, salves, and brews tingled in his sinuses.

There were no guards posted in the school and he made his way further in. He thought about heading to the astronomy tower, he had another secret nook that he frequently hid inside of there, but instead he continued towards the enchantment and illusion classrooms.

As he approached, he heard the sound of crying. He wondered if there was a lost student, or a troubled student. It was a sound that couldn’t be ignored and Bucky moved along to investigate, hobbling along the ceiling on three legs.

The sobbing was coming from one of the illusion classrooms.

He made his way down the wall, stepped onto the floor, and cautiously approached the door. His orb did not vibrate, so there were no guards near. He carefully pulled the door open and looked inside.

In the classroom, sitting at a student’s desk, there was a blue mare with a pale blue streaked mane. She looked terribly familiar, but Bucky could not recall her name.

 

 

The two unicorns stared at one another for a while, the blue one still sniffling and trying to compose herself. She wiped at her eyes and rubbed her nose on her foreleg. She hiccuped a few times as she struggled to get her emotions under control.

“Are you alright?” Bucky said again now that the blue mare seemed to be in a better position to answer. “You seem familiar.”

“Trixie remembers you… Trixie used to bully you in school Trixie… I… I don’t know who I am any longer,” Trixie replied, falling silent and more tears now trickling from her eyes.

“I remember you now,” Bucky said. “You made my existence miserable. You did terrible things to me. You were so heartless and cruel… You turned me into a gerbil and left me inside of a maze.”

“I’M SORRY!” Trixie wailed as she slumped over the desk and began to sob again.

Not knowing what else to do, Bucky reached out and gently patted the inconsolable mare upon the back. She froze up completely at his touch, becoming rather statuesque, and Bucky pulled his hoof away, leaning upon a desk to keep his balance.

“What… are… you… doing?” Trixie asked in a shuddering voice.

“Trying to comfort you,” Bucky replied.

“But I was unspeakably cruel to you,” Trixie sniffled as she lifted her head. She wiped her eyes again and looked at Bucky, her lips quivering and her eyes shimmering with tears.

“What happened to you? I thought you were famous,” Bucky said, his voice full of genuine warmth and concern.

“Trixie thought… I thought I was famous too,” Trixie said in a miserable voice.

Bucky looked around and peered at the door for a moment. He checked his orb. He then looked up at Trixie. “What happened?” he questioned.

“Bad things,” Trixie answered. “A lot of ponies started to hate unicorns. Something was running around sucking unicorns dry. It was Tirek. It was a scary time to be a unicorn for a while. Ponies were running around and cracking or breaking off unicorn horns… I don’t have the best reputation…”

“Yeah, you were a heartless bully and a real show off,” Bucky agreed.

The blue unicorn mare flinched as though struck. “Trixie deserves that,” she muttered as she looked at Bucky. “A group of pegasi and earth ponies burned my wagon. With me still inside of it. I had to wink away and then use my talents for illusion to get away from them. I came here. This was the only place that ever felt like home. I begged Princess Celestia and Princess Twilight Sparkle for a place to stay safe. Princess Celestia allowed me to stay here with the agreement that I work as a teacher’s assistant. None of the students respect me. They all laugh at me and make fun of me. I’m miserable.” Trixie’s expression became morose and she wiped her face yet again, her forelegs now sticky and damp with mucus and tears.

“I’m sorry,” Bucky stated.

“Why are you sorry?” Trixie asked in total befuddlement.

“Because you sound sorry… and it looks like you need a friend,” Bucky replied.

“Twilight Sparkle is the closest thing I have to a friend. She’s been very kind to me,” Trixie stated in a strangled sounding voice. “Look, Trixie knows who you are now… why are you here with me?”

“Because they want to stick a crown on my head and I can’t let that happen,” Bucky replied.

“Why not?!” Trixie exclaimed. “I mean, you are a prince. You killed a crystal lich… you… you… you’ve become great and powerful.

Not knowing what to say, Bucky shrugged.

“I don’t understand,” Trixie whispered, her nostrils flaring.

“I don’t either,” Bucky said. “One minute, I’m totally okay with life, I finally accepted my solitude, and then out of the blue, I bump snoot first into a pegasus and she runs me down. I thought she was trying to kill me or something. I had no clue what was going on. Next thing I know, I am no longer happy being alone. I couldn’t sit in solitude and sulk, hating the world. So I went to see Celestia and I was told to make friends. So I made friends with the grey pegasus, and then this earth pony came along, and oh boy, earth ponies are a whole different critter. We became friends. Stuff happened. Other stuff happened. I got swept away by everything that was happening and I didn’t seem to have a say in anything. Eventually I ended up on some isles infested by shadow wolves and to top that off, I had to deal with a thousand year old curse caused by Star Swirl the Bearded and Sombra. I had a terrible dream where I murdered my whole family. I learned something very important from that dream though. I endured. Eventually, with a lot of help, I destroyed the wolves and killed my great grandfather who had become a crystal lich.”

“What did you learn?” Trixie asked, her eyes wide with interest and curiousity.

“I learned that I am not great nor powerful. I just made friends and they pulled me through. Everything I am is either because of my family or the friends I’ve made,” Bucky stated. “I couldn’t have done this on my own. Everything I’ve become, everything I’ve accomplished, it was because somepony else helped me do it.”

Trixie stared at Bucky, her eyes narrowing as she tried to take in everything he had said. She opened her mouth and started to say something, but then she fell silent and her mouth snapped shut. She closed her eyes and a pained look crept over her face. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I have one friend, and I don’t deserve her,” Trixie confessed.

“Well, now you have two,” Bucky said.

“But I wronged you.... I did awful things to you… I bullied you…” Trixie sputtered.

“Why?” Bucky asked bluntly.

Trixie covered her face with her front hooves and slammed herself into the desk. She moaned wordlessly and rocked back and forth in her seat.

“Why?” Bucky asked again.

“Because Trixie… because I had a crush on you,” Trixie admitted in a strangled sob.

“Oh,” Bucky said.

“I spill my guts and all you can say is “Oh” in reply?” Trixie said as she continued clutching her face and rocking, still trying to comfort herself.

“Well, I don’t know what else to say,” Bucky responded. “Wait, you still don’t-”

“Maybe just a little,” Trixie interrupted.

Sighing through his nostrils, Bucky tried to figure out something nice to say, but failed miserably. He looked at Trixie, focusing his remaining eye upon her.

“You were this brilliant enchanter and your skill as a transmuter wasn’t bad either. The entire school talked about you. You were as good of an enchanter as I was at illusion. You robbed my limelight. You stole away all of my glory. I plotted and had revenge fantasies. Eventually, those revenge fantasies became something else… oh, I was still getting revenge, but in a very sexy way. Well, the very sexy way in the mind of a fifteen year old filly… this is very embarrassing,” Trixie confessed.

Bucky looked down with alarm at the vibrating globe on the desk. He panicked. “Oh bugger,” he swore.

“What is it?” Trixie asked.

“The guard are near,” Bucky replied. “They’ve come for me,” he added.

“We can’t let them catch you!” Trixie cried.

“You don’t need to get involved in this,” Bucky answered in a low voice.

“But… but… you said Trixie was your friend…” Trixie whispered, her lower lip quivering.

“I can’t have you in trouble with Princess Celestia and jeopardise your standing here,” Bucky responded. He concentrated and lifted up the orb in his magic, and then shakily got up on his hooves.

“I’m coming with you,” Trixie whispered. “I can make us invisible.”

Bucky reconsidered. That was something he had a lot of trouble doing. Aversion was the next best thing. He looked at Trixie. “You do understand that I am off limits, right?”

“We can still be friends,” Trixie said. “Any idea where to hide? I know you had hiding places all over the school.”

“The astronomy tower. I had a hidden nook there. There should still be a powerful aversion spell lingering on the entrance,” Bucky said.

“Well, Trixie will get you there, and then Trixie will lead them away with many distractions,” Trixie offered.

“Let’s go,” Bucky commanded. “Worst comes to worst, I will write you out a royal pardon.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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