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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“I have done as you have asked sister,” Luna said, staring off into the setting sun, preparing for her task. “I have looked after your troubled student and current project.”

“And how is he?” Celestia replied, lowering the sun, yielding for Luna’s night. “Has the process gone well? Is there hope of recovery? Will he be happy?”

“Which each sleep cycle, I break him a little bit more, slowly and carefully as you have asked. Each break so far has been clean and does not create schisms,” Luna answered, feeling the call of night taking ahold of her flesh.

“Do you think he will heal? He is in near ideal conditions to do so, near as I can tell,” Celestia queried, her tone worried. “He is fortunate to have found ponies who are willing to carry him through this.”

“Each break sees progress. The initial break during his encounter with Dinky Doo Hooves was quite traumatic, but opened the way, each break after has been much easier on his mind. He will get better, and we will restore him to those who care for him if I have my way,” Luna returned. “Still, the break he suffered protecting the foal, I worry that may never be fully healed, the best we can hope for is that he learns to draw strength from those around him.”

“So, are you going to leave me to my fate with Twilight Sparkle? No doubt, she will wake soon. She was exhausted,” Celestia said.

“Time for you to face the music sister, there is much for you to explain,” Luna said with a musical laugh.

“Not soon, now!”

“Twilight!” Celestia said in surprise, turning around and seeing Twilight in the door. Twilight had a terrible case of bedhead, she hadn’t bathed in a long while, and her eyes were still completely bloodshot. Twilight Sparkle looked awful.

“You! I have words to say to you!” Twilight snarled.

Celestia lowered her head, trying to reduce her posture to allow Twilight to calm.

She was quite surprised when Twilight slapped her across the muzzle, once, then twice, and finally a third time, the third time knocking her crown from her head. Luna caught it before it hit the ground, but did not place it back on Celestia’s head.

Celestia threw her head back, but said nothing, looking down, quite in shock.

“You struck my sister,” Luna accused, her voice a monotone.

“No, I swatted your sister, I corrected her, because I love her! I’ve been spending a little time with the pegasi!” Twilight growled.

“I already know,” Celestia said.

Twilight looked shocked for a moment and then deflated. Her back slumped, her wings sank down, and her head dropped. A low moan trembled in her throat.

“Fillydelphia,” Celestia said, her tone low and full of sadness.

Twilight nodded, looking quite disturbed, her lips moving but no words came forth.

“It is a very long and complicated story Twilight, and the beginnings of it go back over one thousand years ago,” Celestia announced, looking sad and frustrated.

“We are trying to fix that problem, but it is a complex problem to correct. It is getting better, but problems keep occurring and more corrections must be gently applied,” Luna said, staring at Twilight with wide eyes and a look of understanding upon her face.

“A mother lost her foal!” Twilight cried. “That’s more than a problem!”

“We agree. Which is why we are trying to fix it,” Luna replied. “But first, you should know how the problem started and why the problem still exists.”

The two sisters carefully began to weave a sordid tale, explaining how Princess Luna’s banishment led up to the problems that Fillydelphia was having currently in the modern day. They spoke of Luna’s desire to take orphans from the many wars that founded Equestria and start a new colony, Luna’s fall, they spoke of war, of curses, of black magic left behind by Nightmare Moon, a shadow government that had endured for almost one thousand years that held loyalty to Nightmare Moon and awaited her return, influencing things in the background and working against Celestia, and with each word they spoke, everything Twilight Sparkle thought she knew about Equestria died just a little bit more as the bigger picture began to be revealed.

At the end of it all, Celestia, also part pegasus, gently booped Twilight on the nose, once, twice, three times, to gently correct the troubled alicorn now that she had seen the unpleasant truth.

 

 

Bucky awoke, hearing birds, realising dawn was taking place. He was squished between two ponies, feeling very warm and secure. His stomach rumbled painfully. His mind was teased with hint of troubled dreams, but he couldn’t remember what they were. He tried to recall them, some vague sense of horror and panic about something unknown.

He gently prodded Berry Punch, who woke slightly, took one look at him, and then rolled over to connect a fresh canister to his feeding tube. After she was done, she rolled back over and pressed her nose up against him, going back to a drowsing state of bliss.

With a bothersome sense of discomfort, Bucky realised his neck was wet, sticky, oily, and waxy with pegasus drool.

Derpy began to stir next to him, squirming a bit, rolling over, kicking her legs out over the edge of the bed, and stretching, arching her back and producing an alarming number of crackles. She farted loudly from the strain, which caused her to giggle. Her tail twitched and swished, the dock hidden within the hairs thudding on the mattress.

“Guh!” Bucky gasped, catching a whiff of the pegasus, who had just fanned everything around.

“I got brownies in the oven, I gotta go,” Derpy announced, struggling to get out of bed, the strain causing a tuba like blast as she worked to get on her hooves. “Oh goodness!”

“Mmm, just imagine the feeling of that razzing over your tongue,” Berry said, only half awake, causing Bucky to gag.

Bucky was not sure what to do with Berry Punch.

“If you ever go into the Backdoor Brownie Bakery never use pegasus spit for lube,” Berry warned, her eyes closed, her words slurred as she was still only half awake. “Trust me, I know, it is designed to stick to feathers and shed moisture.”

“Hrrk!” Bucky horked, coughed, and felt a painful constriction in his barrel.

A powerful blast echoed in the next room over.

“Derpy is bowl busting the thundermug,” Berry mumbled, pressing her face into Bucky and smacking her lips from morning mouth.

“Hnng!” Bucky groaned, just knowing that Derpy had left him in the bed all alone with Berry on purpose.

Berry rolled over on her back, rubbing her back on the sheets, wiggling around, and then she reached down between her legs and started to scratch. “I has me a bad case of morning knob,” she muttered. Her scratching filled the room with odd noises, somewhat arousing noises, not that Bucky would ever admit that. He was shocked that he was thinking about it so openly though.

Berry pulled both of her hind legs up to her chest, displaying her flexibility, causing her backside to take on the most pleasant curved appearance. She hugged her hind legs to her barrel, making her hips pop loudly.

After her stretching, Berry sat up and studied Bucky’s horn. She made concerned sounds, vocalisations in her throat, looking this way and that, using her “Berry-Serious” face as she studied him.

“The crack is noticeably smaller. Wow,” the concerned mare said. “I bet you need to go, let’s take care of that, shall we?”

 

 

The door opened with a click of the latch and a single push. Berry did not know what to expect. Bucky’s apartment was… something. There were things inside, and these things suggested life, but nothing actually looked like somepony lived here. The inside was cold and sterile. She pushed her way inside, stood in the center, and looked around.

There were some records sitting on a rack, all of them old looking, and one sitting on the hi-fi phonograph. Using her hoof, Berry cranked the phonograph, turning the handle several times, and then allowed the record to play.

Berry was actually surprised to hear the sort of music she did. It was something mournful and sad, full of emotion, she couldn’t quite make out what it was, but there was a banjo, a violin, and a trumpet or something. The music was strange but somehow appropriate for Bucky. It added a surprising new level of depth for his character.

There were no words in the song being played.

Of course not Berry thought to herself. Hearing another voice would indicate need.

On the counter, there was exactly one bowl, one plate, one fork, a spoon, a glass, and a teacup. Nothing at all to indicate a way to serve guests.

Berry felt a profound sense of sadness welling up within herself.

She moved nearer to the bookshelf, most of the books were of the self-help variety, Dull stuffy sorts of books. Even the books were lifeless and were far too painful of a reflection of Bucky’s inner nature.

“Cultivating Solitude, a Unicorn’s Guide to the Problems of Society,” the lone mare read to herself, her voice reaching nopony in particular. “Hmmph,” she huffed. She pulled the book free from the shelf, looking at the cover, scowling a horrible scowl. “Now with bonus content on the earth pony dilemma,” she muttered to herself. “Well damnit, this book did him no good,” she groused. She stuffed the book back into the shelf and moved on, her eyes darting around the room.

She moved over to the bed in the corner, and there was a small bedside table with a drawer. Not feeling at all guilty, she pulled the drawer open and looked inside, not sure what she would find. She knew one thing she wouldn’t find… Condoms.

“Yep, none of those,” she agreed, rummaging around inside. Just an address book. She flipped that open and began to look, noting that only two pages were in use, and on each page there was one entry. One was for Bucky’s parents. On the other page, the next page over, sitting side by side with the first page, were the words “you can’t go home again,”

A quiet seething rage slowly overtook the plum coloured earth pony, she began to tremble and an unusual red haze filled her vision. This entire apartment represented everything wrong with the pony that she loved, and she was looking at the home addresses of those most responsible for doing him the most harm.

Berry did not repress her rage, instead, she focused it into motivation, carefully she began to pack things up and place them into boxes she had brought.

On a shelf on the wall, in a small frame, she saw a photograph of a young colt. She realised it was Bucky. It was a school photo, it had to be, he was standing by a stone wall, looking well groomed, caught from an off angle, and he looked rather self-conscious about having his picture taken. There was another photo of a train set and a Hearth’s Warming tree. It seemed odd. There were no foals in the picture.

The pantry was sparse, with little left inside, lots of bland lifeless food that was eaten for sustenance, but not for living. The only thing that showed any pleasure taken in life was a container of black licorice drops, and those were just nasty Berry concluded, after trying one. Even his candy was full of self-torture and self-loathing.

Berry moved swiftly around the room, finding a number of things already packed, and she realised that Bucky had never fully unpacked on moving in. The boxes were covered in dust. She moved them to the center of the room, where a stack was forming, pressing them along using her head.

Berry wanted very much to be out of this place, she did not like it here. It was dull and lifeless, and something oppressive hung in the air. As she continued her task, a plan began to form in the back of her mind.

 

 

 

 

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