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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Something beeping made Bucky’s head throb painfully with each beep, and his muzzle was on fire. He opened his eyes and tried to squirm, tried to get the pain in his nose to go away. He had trouble raising his foreleg, the weight of the blanket over him almost impossible to lift.

“Be still Buckminster,” Celestia soothed. “There is a feeding tube inserted in your nose. Your horn is cracked, but will mend. Dinky and Piña Colada are both fine, I have smoothed over their minds and removed the burden of memory from them. They will remember a magical mishap, but nothing more. Nothing specific. Piña in particular should not have to live with the troubling memories that she would have had. You did a commendable job in keeping them both safe.  Nopony was seriously harmed this day.”

“We’re here Bucky,” Derpy said, her voice faint and soft. “We’re in a room not too far from Diamond Tiara.”

“I am troubled by your use of dark magic, but I understand its necessity. You did not use it for personal gain or to hold power over another, you used it in an entirely defensive manner. I am impressed. Very few can summon such energies without fueling it with selfish and dark desires. Your control is impeccable Buckminster,” Celestia spoke, her voice low and calm. “But it also raises troubling questions about how you came by such knowledge. I shall require a full confession from you at some point, but you are not in trouble.”

“Who would have thought Discord would save the day?” Berry asked in a confused voice.

“I was certainly surprised,” Celestia confessed. “Seems he has developed a soft spot for foals at some point. Perhaps Fluttershy has been more successful than anypony realises.”

“Dinky,” Bucky said in a low mumble, the tape holding the tube up his nostril binding his muzzle and making it difficult to talk, his voice raspy.

“Is in another room, sleeping, and Luna is working to further smooth over her mind, along with Piña’s,” Celestia answered. “We cannot have Dinky Doo casting that spell again, we have already witnessed the results. She cast a corrupted version of the spell. She did not pronounce certain words right. She made herself the object of desire and affection. It is all very troubling. I do not know how you resisted Buckminster, but I am impressed that you did. I took the liberty of explaining just what happened to Miss Hooves and Miss Berry Punch, letting them know exactly what you have endured. They were quite distraught.”

“You just keep looking after my foal,” Derpy cried, bursting into sobs, and clinging to Berry for comfort and support. “Even if it means hurting yourself!” she moaned, sounding as though she was in pain.

“Calm down bubble butt,” Berry said, pulling Derpy’s head to her neck and squeezing, trying to calm the blubbering pegasus. “I… I would trust Piña’s life with you Bucky,” said Berry to Bucky, her voice becoming raspy after the third word.

“Today also brings into light some new concerns Bucky. You. What you did today was extraordinary magic. I am no longer sure you were classified correctly. You are either a high functioning three or a low functioning four, however, either way, the line has been blurred. You have held up remarkably well to the pressures. Your force of will and your constant state of mental precaution paid off this day,” Celestia said, giving voice to her concerns. “Another concern is your horn, which is now cracked from channeling magical energies far beyond what your physiology is normally capable of. No magic for a while. Which means Dinky Doo is going to need another tutor, at least temporarily, somepony who can help keep an eye on her. And you for that matter. You have done some minor damage to your nervous system, you have a concussion from what appears to be blunt force trauma to your skull, and your stomach is going to remain emptied out for days after what you have done. When you do get out of the hospital, you are going under strict bed-rest.”

“And if you even try to get out of the bed for any reason, I am breaking your legs,” Berry promised. “Derpy and I have already agreed to be your caretakers. We have permission to do whatever is necessary to look after your needs.”

“They do,” Celestia replied, her voice firm.

Bucky groaned, a faint sound that could barely be heard. The full implications of what that entailed began to press in on his mind. This was bound to be embarrassing and demeaning.

“Lyra Heartstrings has agreed to help. I trust her, you should as well,” Celestia announced. “It is almost dawn. Time to raise the sun soon. You two should get some sleep. Bucky will be released into your care once his period of observation is over. Your foals are safe and are being tended to. It has been a sleepless night for both of you, I know. Miss Hooves, I will make sure that your place of employment understands that you need some time off.”

Bucky felt two lips gently kiss him, and realised with a start that it was Celestia.

“With greater power comes greater demands and responsibilities Buckminster, continue looking after my little ponies when you are better. For now though, sleep,” Celestia cooed, her voice soft, impossible to ignore, filling the room with comfort and warmth.

Bucky slipped away once again.

 

 

The hospital room was flooded with sunlight that made Bucky’s head hurt. He had hazy recollections of yesterday, but had trouble recalling specifics. Dinky had cast a spell…

Yes, Dinky had cast a spell that made everypony want to be her friend. A want it need it spell that would have made everypony trample her if she wasn’t kept safe.

And Bucky had kept her safe. He recalled that, but it seemed vague and distant. The details seemed hazy and jumbled. Probably because he had a concussion. He sort of recalled Celestia mentioning he had a concussion.

He had gone through extraordinary means to keep Dinky Doo safe from the ponies who could not resist her charms and would have crushed her underhoof had they caught her. Dinky really was that adorable. He felt a warm sense of pride, something he wasn’t entirely used to.

His stomach growled with emptiness and the air moving through the crack in his horn made it ache like cold water being poured over a rotten tooth. He hurt all over.

He heard hooves clattering on tile and saw a familiar plum colour flash in his blurry vision.

“You’re awake. Derpy is with the foals. They’re fine. Thank you for keeping Piña from being trampled along with Dinky,” Berry said cheerfully, moving to Bucky’s bedside and leaning over him. “Doctors plan on releasing you this afternoon perhaps, after another examination. I brought my wagon to haul you home in, and we’ve filled it with cushions.”

“Thirsty,” Bucky croaked.

Berry stood on her hindhooves, leaning one forehoof on the bed for balance, and lifted a small plastic cup with a straw to Bucky’s lips. He took slow careful sips, it was difficult to swallow with the tube going down his throat.

“I love you, you big dope,” Berry said while holding the glass.

“I’m having trouble remembering everything,” Bucky grunted in a strained voice.

“You hit your head really hard. We saw the bloodstain on the wall. What happened?” Berry asked, looking concerned.

“I don’t remember,” Bucky groaned.

“Piña could tell you more, she has a good memory of the event. Everypony really wanted to hug Dinky Doo. Maybe you tripped coming down the stairs? I mean, the bloodstain is right there at the foot of the stairs. Maybe you saw her and stumbled?” Berry reasoned.

“That seems likely. If I hit my head that hard, no wonder I can’t remember it. Everything on the left side of my face is numb and feels funny,” Bucky said, still straining to talk.

“You did some nerve damage when you conked your noggin. Doctors say it might heal, might not. It is minor, shouldn’t bother you to much,” Berry replied. “Now stop talking. You sound terrible.”

The water glass was finished off with a few more sips through the straw and then set down.

Berry stood, still on hindhooves, checking over Bucky now that he was awake. One ear was still swollen, the left side of face lumpy and misshapen, there was a line of stitches that ran from his ear to his neck, and his horn had a noticeable crack in it. His horn was not the same tan colour as the rest of his hide, but red and inflamed looking , and the tissues around its base were swollen and lumpy. She peered at the crack, looking at it from one angle, and then another, and then peered into Bucky’s eyes, not breaking eye contact, practically nose to nose.

“I am forever indebted to you for keeping Piña safe and keeping her secure until the spell was broken. Celestia explained in great detail what you went through, wanting to cuddle and love poor Dinky Doo and snuggle her adorable little huggable body along with everypony else,” Berry said solemnly. “And I imagine it was hard on Piña being in that situation. You did good. Being an uptight snob allowed you to resist Dinky’s magical adorableness.”  

Bucky stared up into Berry’s eyes, and felt a strange unknown emotion welling up inside of him. He tried to lift a hoof and couldn’t. Suddenly, he really wanted to be held by both Derpy and Berry.

“I need you,” his lips moved, but no words came out.

“I know, “ she said, understanding what was said anyway.

“Help me get better,” he said wordlessly, no sound from his lips.

“I will,” she promised, not needing to hear.

“Up here,” he explained, his lips moving, soundless, knowing and trusting she would understand, feeling a powerful connection growing as she peered into his eyes.

“I knew that already,” she answered, gently stroking the good side of his face.

“I want to want you and not feel bad about it,” he mouthed, making only a faint sound as dry lips brushed together.

“We’ll help you,” she comforted, still stroking his face.

 

 

The late afternoon sun felt warm and soothing on Bucky’s side as the wagon rolled home. The feeding tube was still up his nose, and would stay there for now, requiring constant feeding was only one of Bucky’s many needs.

In the wagon were two foals, clinging to one another, still afraid, still worried, pained to see their rescuer in the condition he was in. There were also two mares. One was Lyra Heartstrings,  student of Celestia, sometimes musician, and full time philosopher. Next to her sat Bon Bon, who watched the foals with great interest, smiling occasionally, and sometimes nudging Lyra with her nose. Derpy walked next to Berry, who was pulling the wagon.

“When we came back into town last night from Canterlot, everything was such a mess, looks like they’ve been cleaning everything up,” Lyra said. “Princess Celestia sure was worried. I haven’t seen her like that since Twilight cast the want it need it spell on her doll.”

“Buckminster, I am looking forward to getting to know you better,” Bon Bon said. “Celestia asked me to help you. She seems to think that since I fixed Lyra, I can help fix you as well. I don’t know if I can, but I am willing to try,” Bon Bon said, reaching out and gently stroking Bucky on his barrel.

“I was once a very messed up unicorn. I’m a type three as well. We went to school together, you and I, even though we never interacted, I remember you a bit. I was just like you. We both spent a lot of time avoiding other unicorns and playing terrible pranks to keep other unicorns from coming near us. You turned Celestia’s office upside down,” Lyra said with a laugh. “I enchanted the rug in front of her office to make whoopie cushion sounds when somepony walked on it. Celestia came out of her office when she heard the horrible sounds being made, and then became quite irate when she made those sounds with every step,” she added, still laughing. “She told me she still has that rug. She keeps it rolled up, but sometimes breaks it out when the new school year starts and little foals have to visit her office.”

There was a faint giggle from Dinky, who perked up a bit from hearing Lyra’s story. Piña also giggled and tittered, somehow looking miserable and amused at the same time.

“Lyra, if you teach Dinky that spell, I will crown you with a cast iron frying pan,” Bon Bon promised, gently wrapping a foreleg around Lyra as she spoke.

Lyra blinked a few times. “I’ve always wanted to be a Princess,” she replied, earning a poke from Bon Bon.

The wagon rolled slowly home as Lyra and Bon Bon continued to exchange witty banter.

 

 

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