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


374. 374

Shivering, feeling a delicious sensation of fear, Sunset Shimmer looked up at the monstrous golem hunched over in the center of the lab. It was terrifying. During her many years as a student, Princess Celestia had never allowed her to work on anything remotely threatening, and as the Winter Warlock’s apprentice, here she was working on giant death dealing automatons that were going to be used as walking trash receptacles. Life had a funny way of being turned about.

“Master, I think I can now appreciate your love of glass as a medium. Most wizards use steel, dirt, stone, or clay, but glass is readily available, has a certain stylish appeal, and you are correct, Master, it absorbs magic most readily,” Sunset Shimmer said as she bowed her head to her Master.

“Your work is beautiful, Minion,” Bucky praised.

“Master, you flatter me,” Sunset replied as she beamed and felt a blush coming over her features. “This… this is all I wanted in life. Power. The study of advanced magics. And now that I am doing it, I am unbelievably happy. Thank you, Master.”

“Think nothing of it, Minion. I’m heading back to the house. I need food. Are you coming with me?” Bucky said, his last words a question. He turned and looked at his apprentice with a curious stare.

“Actually, Master, I think I will head into Ponyville. Bon Bon and Lyra are at the chocolate shop, I think I will go find out how to make candies,” Sunset Shimmer answered, giving Bucky a gaze of adoration.

“Go. Go have fun. You’ve earned it. Take Bartleby with you, wherever he is. He’s the right sort of griffon to have the public get used to,” Bucky instructed.

“Yes Master, of course,” Sunset replied, bowing her head once again.

Watching Sunset Shimmer gather up her research notes and golem diagrams, Bucky sighed. He sat down, feeling weary, his head aching. He needed coffee… or a cup of tea. Food would be nice as well. He watched the impossibly happy unicorn go flying out the laboratory, her hooves scrabbling over the stone stairs as she returned to her quarters with her papers and effects.

“Minion… I wonder what sort of headmistress you will be,” Bucky quietly mused.



Feeling unusually thoughtful, Diamond Tiara settled into the soft grass and took a load off. School was done for the day and various small herds of foals were heading off in different directions. Dinky, Piña, Sentinel, and Ripple were all around her, talking with other foals, like the crusaders.

She thought of her meeting with Moonbow and the day spent with her and Sentinel. She had figured out what had made them different. Purpose. It all came down to purpose. They both had a sense of purpose and sacrificed everything else in their lives for that sense of purpose. Diamond Tiara struggled to think a very complex thought for a foal her age, but her time spent in psychotherapy gave her the sort of edge she needed. Destiny, fate, purpose, she wondered which of these things she actually had a say in, and by her reasoning, she figured it had to be purpose.

Moonbow thought of nothing but becoming a Myrmidon and a mother. Sentinel was bound by duty and was driven to become a knight. Diamond Tiara wasn’t sure what she wanted to be. All she had was her cutie mark, which was a tiara. She didn’t know what sort of future that granted her. She didn’t know what direction she was going, but she was determined to make a direction for herself now. Sentinel and Moonbow were happy because they had direction. They were devoted to some ideal, they had given themselves to some cause, and Diamond Tiara struggled through some very grown up thoughts as she realised that she wanted the same.

“Diamond Tiara, you coming with us?” Piña Colada asked in an excited voice. “We’re going to mama Bon Bon’s shop to pig out on candy.”

“I have to see my therapist,” Diamond Tiara answered, not at all ashamed of her words this time. “I need some time to get my head together before I go.” She lifted her head and watched as Sentinel took a few steps towards her and looked at her expectantly.

“I understand how that is,” Sentinel said in a low voice. “The need to gather one’s thoughts. Be well Diamond Tiara.”

“Thanks,” Diamond Tiara replied, feeling a hot blush flood through her cheeks as she looked at Sentinel. There was suddenly a lot she wanted to say to Sentinel. To tell him. To confess. That she liked him. That he was her role model. That she wanted to be a better pony because of him. That she kind of wanted to kiss him on the cheek right now for thinking of her. That maybe, just maybe, she also wanted a hug to go with that kiss on the cheek. She took a deep breath and opened her mouth to tell Sentinel everything that was suddenly whirling though her mind. “Go have fun,” she said, disappointing herself, everything she wanted to say dying before it reached her tongue.

“Aw, they’re so sweet when they look at one another,” Sweetie Belle said, almost swooning and leaning on Apple Bloom.

“Does anypony really know what their purpose is?” Diamond Tiara blurted out, much to her own surprise. She sat there, looking dumbfounded, unable to believe her mouth had betrayed her so easily.

“Well, we are the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” Scootaloo said, sounding very much like Rainbow Dash as she spoke. “Every day we go looking for our purpose.”

“No no no… Sentinel has a fish cutie mark. But is that his purpose?” Diamond Tiara questioned, looking confused and irritated.

“I don’t know,” Apple Bloom said in an honest voice, now looking confused as well.

“I have this stupid palm tree,” Piña Colada protested, her voice a shrill angry whine.

“We know,” Dinky said, rolling her eyes.

“What purpose is there to a palm tree?” Piña demanded, giving voice to her pet peeve, her eyes wide and flashing with barely contained emotion.

“All of this thinking makes my head hurt,” Sweetie Belle complained, rubbing the side of her head with her hoof. “I don’t like it.”

“I know my purpose. I know my function. My cutie mark reflects everything I am, everything I hope to be, and everything I believe in,” Ripple stated, looking around. “Sometimes, what you are meant to be meshes with your destiny and your purpose. Other times, you have something that defines you as a pony, but you are left to find your own purpose. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a donkey I need to see,” Ripple said as she spread her wings and took flight.

“Ripple scares me sometimes,” Apple Bloom said, shaking her head. “My sister has told me some stories about her. Applejack says that Ripple is going to grow up to be the next Commander Hurricane.”

“Spitfire is promising that mares will be able to serve in combat roles in the guard. She wants equality. Ripple is already an officer and she’s seen combat. The world is a confusing place,” Dinky said, sitting down in the grass and looking at her friends.

“Ripple falls into a grey area. She became a dragoon on the Shetlands and is Lugus’ squire. Sparkler too as a Buck Sergeant. They have the rank and the capability,” Sentinel said, looking at his sister Dinky and then his friends.

“Poor Rumble, he’s still grounded. I kinda want to see him,” Sweetie Belle said and heaving a sigh.

“He got into another fight. Somebody said something about his sister, Cloudstreaker. Again. Then something just awful was said about his mothers, Flitter and Cloudchaser and how gross it was for two sisters to be married,” Apple Bloom said in a sad sounding breathy voice of irritation.

“I keep wondering if Rumble is going to get a cutie mark like Ripple’s cutie mark… something for fighting,” Sweetie Belle squeaked, her voice cracking and shooting up an octave.

“If he keeps this up, he might,” Apple Bloom said.

“That would be awesome!” Scootaloo shouted, earning her an angry glare from Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. “Well it would,” she said defiantly, and then she stuck her tongue out at her friends. “I want a fighting cutie mark. I could grow up and be a guard like Flash Sentry, especially if mares can finally serve.”

“I need to go,” Diamond Tiara said, excusing herself and trotting off.

“We’ll be here if you need us,” Sentinel said, watching her go and tempted to chase after her, his face full of foalish concern.



Feeling very satisfied with herself, Coco Pommel sat back on her haunches and gave herself a hug. Each day the stockpile for Hearth’s Warming grew a little larger and the future felt a little bit better. Standing up, she closed the door to the storeroom and then looked out the window of Carousel Boutique. She felt happier than she had ever been and she could barely contain her own joy.

“Rarity?” she called out as she headed off for Rarity’s workroom.

“Yes, what is it darling, I’m very busy, Sapphire Shores just contacted me about needing a new series of outfits for the big adoption benefit she is planning to celebrate the Royal Pony Sisters and their new foal,” Rarity replied, her voice sounding happy.

Stepping through the door, Coco looked around Rarity’s workroom. It was her workroom as well now, her own sewing machine had been set up near the window, the sewing machine that Rarity had purchased as a gift, trying to make up for everything Coco had lost. The room was messy, things were strewn everywhere, and a roll of black velvet was currently out upon the table, Rarity was eyeing it and hoping for inspiration. Coco knew that look on Rarity’s face all too well.

“Tourmaline is black… Sapphire Shores wants black outfits with pink highlights,” Rarity explained, not needing to look at Coco to know she was being watched. “She also wants you there to collect toys and gifts for the unfortunates… you’ve become the public face for seasonal giving!”

“I’m flattered,” Coco said in a soft surprised voice. “Rarity, I know things are becoming busy, but we need to talk about us.”

“What about us dear?” Rarity cooed, looking at Coco with a concerned expression, her eyebrow arched perfectly.

“We’re going to keep making excuses because of how busy we are. I want to be married. I don’t want a big fuss or big party. I want a quiet meaningful ceremony like you talked about. We go to Buckminster and stand on the deck of his ship. And I want us to do it soon. No more excuses,” Coco Pommel said in soft voice that was thick with worry. “We can have a party and a big get together later if you would like, but I want it to be just us. And maybe your parents and Sweetie Belle.”

Nodding, Rarity blinked a few times at Coco. “I agree. We’ve been putting this off. I’ll stop what I am doing and I will go see my parents this afternoon. I’ll speak with my mother and my father and we shall get together tomorrow or the next day and take care of this. It is important.”

“I’ve spoken a little with Hondo and Cookie,” Coco said demurely. “While you were gone… we talked… they liked me but I could not help but feel they were disappointed. They wanted grandfoals… especially Cookie.”

“My mother has foal fever. When I was still a teenager in my later years, my mother actually said to me that it wouldn’t be so terrible if I was a teenage filly mother, like those other teenage fillies in the newspaper,” Rarity said and then heaved a sigh. “Sweetie Belle was a most troublesome foal… nothing but trouble. She had to be surgically removed you see, there were complications… my mother could no longer have anymore foals… for a unicorn, she’s practically an earth pony, she wanted a large family,” Rarity explained, painfully aware that she was talking to an earth pony that she loved a great deal and she hoped that she was not insulting.

“I want foals,” Coco said, nodding her head. “We need to tell your parents that I want foals. I know you want to keep your slender figure, but I want to have so many foals that it makes my plot go pudgy.”

“Oh dear darling… the idea of you pregnant… why… I find that most appealing,” Rarity admitted, now fanning herself with a hoof. “Is it just me or is it dreadfully hot in here?” she asked, her eyes blinking rapidly. “Oh it is getting hotter in here. I feel as though I might start sweating. Somepony open a window, this is dreadful. I don’t like it. My nethers are on fire.”

“We’ll need a donor,” Coco whispered, smiling at Rarity’s theatrics. “Or we’ll need to lure a male into our clutches and keep him in the storeroom. I’m certain we can lure one in by allowing him to watch us make out.”

“Deviant,” Rarity sighed, rolling her eyes. “I will tell my mother the good news, that she will be a grandmother at some point in the near future.”

“Thank you,” Coco said graciously. “I know that you as a unicorn have different priorities than I do as an earth pony… but I want… no, I need to start a family. It is all I can think about… and I want it to be with you.”

Blushing, Rarity looked at Coco, batting her eyelashes at the earth pony, too flustered to respond. She continued to fan herself with her hoof and she smiled a warm smile of affection, feeling her heart swell with love.

After her brush with death, Rarity was glad to be home and focusing on life.



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