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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Moving alongside Princess Celestia, Bucky realised that the majestic alicorn had to be feeling fatigued, yet she continued to perform tirelessly. Everywhere she went, she brought strength and a sense of renewed spirit to all those around her. She was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and cold night.

“I know why you did what you did,” Bucky stated, his demeanour calm and thoughtful as they laboured.

“I have no idea what you mean,” Celestia said in reply, her head held high as she watched a group of pegasi pulling sledges up the hill towards the hospital.

“I know why you allowed this to happen,” Bucky responded, looking up at Celestia and noticing an almost invisible smirk upon her lips.

“Do you now?” Celestia said, her tone almost teasing as her eyebrow raised.

“Look, I know that I am not always the brightest pony in the world. In fact, I can be downright stupid most of the time. But I am capable of learning. And I have been learning. And I understand why you allowed this happen,” Bucky replied, smiling a knowing smile at Celestia.

“Do tell,” Celestia remarked as she lifted a power pole out of the street and began restoring the powerline, trying to repair what she could. She eyed Bucky with a bemused expression upon her face.

“You can’t always interfere. It is like being a parent. You have to let your foals make mistakes. You have to let them get in trouble. You have to stand by sometimes and allow bad things to happen to see if they can take care of themselves. You have to see that they are ready, capable of dealing with serious trouble should the time come that you are not there to protect them. You have to allow bad things to happen so some ponies will learn what they are made of. You have to allow the dross to be burned away so society can be made stronger,” Bucky explained.

“Hmmph. The Lord of Winter seems to be growing wise. It suits you… matches your silver hairs,” Celestia said in a soft faintly teasing voice.

Lifting a snow covered wagon, Bucky ripped the wheels off with his magic, reshaped them into runners, and then secured them to the wagon to turn it into a sleigh. He shook off the snow and set it down upon the street as several stunned ponies watched with wide eyed wonder, which Bucky did not even notice because he was too busy looking at Celestia.

Celestia however, did notice. A shrewd expression overtook her features.

“You have admirers,” Celestia announced, hoping to distract Bucky.

“There are moments where I know that Dinky is going to make a mistake. Not a mistake where she is going to be horribly maimed, but I know that she is going to be a little singed or otherwise hurt. And I have to sit back and allow it to happen. I watch. I’ve sat back and watched as Dinky has hurt herself and it kills me,” Bucky confessed, ignoring Celestia and his admirers. He took a deep breath. “I hate doing it, but I’ve learned that when I step in and prevent her from making mistakes, she doesn’t learn very much and keeps screwing up. It’s only when I step back and suffer through my own personal agony of allowing her to make mistakes and get hurt that she really makes progress through the tough stuff… and I hate every moment of it,” he continued. Looking up at Celestia, Bucky noticed that her cheeks were darkened, damp with tears, and the regal white alicorn was looking at him with an expression upon her face that Bucky did not recognise. He felt a painful twinge of panic, the old panic, the panic that had plagued him long ago in what seemed like another life. He felt his throat begin to tighten…

Stammering wordlessly for a moment, Bucky felt awful. He took a deep breath and composed himself. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings or make you cry in front of everypony… if I did… if I did something wrong. I feel very confused all of a sudden. I can’t read the expression upon your face.”

“I love you a great deal. You and Twilight both. I often wonder if I am worthy of your affection. I’ve done so much to wrong the both of you. There are things that you don’t even know… and when you or Twilight reach one of these moments where you understand, I feel such pride… such fierce love, and I feel so terrible for having had to manipulate you into becoming the sorts of ponies you were meant to be. I’ve had to sit back and allow bad things… awful things… and doubly so in your case, truly dreadful things to happen. I could not interfere. Not only did I sit back and watch, but there were instances with the both of you that I had to make sure that you were thoroughly tested and I made your situations worse. Only recently have I ripped off the scabs and began to try and deal with this pain of mine,” Celestia explained in response, her own eyes locked on Bucky’s remaining Taint filled eye.

“I forgive you… I was all grown up before I even realised that your school existed to help unicorns like me. The worst of us. And I was bad. I was awful. I was such a broken individual. For so many reasons, the cosmic decay being the least of them. You told me to make friends. You encouraged me to fall in love with the most beautiful grey pegasus mare and make friends with her foals. You told me to step out of my comfort zone. Because of you I found Berry Punch. You allowed me to be exiled off to the Shetlands for a while… I had to be tested. I had to face darkness… and I understand now. I ended the curse over my family. But I also got Thistle, Bon Bon and Lyra too… and they are all so very dear to me. I was broken. I was missing pieces of myself and I couldn’t get those pieces to work again or get them back, and I found all of the missing pieces because of the situations that you had to allow me to stumble into and face woefully unprepared. Every test you’ve given me has left me with a lasting reward that was completely worth it,” Bucky said, speaking his heart, spilling his guts to his teacher, his mentor, one might even say his mother figure. “Even Griffonholm worked out for the best. Belisama… I love her. She’s one more missing piece.”

“Griffonholm was my worst mistake. I… I allowed myself… I-”

“Shush,” Bucky gently commanded, interrupting Celestia as she stammered. “That’s the past and it cannot be changed. The best thing we can do now is focus upon the future. Mistakes were made. Everypony makes them. Even you. I make plenty. Twilight screws up all the time. There is a new species of orangephibian living in the wetlands of Ponyville and it is Twilight Sparkle’s fault. And when you or Luna discover what I’ve done only recently, I suspect that I’ll be wing slapped again… and rightfully so. But I’m not about to tell you what I’ve done, you’ll have to find that out on your own,” he said, knowing full well that he’d be in terrible trouble when his somewhat sapient golems were discovered.

“We should get back to work,” Celestia suggested, her eyes still full of tears.

“The city needs us,” Bucky agreed.

 

 

A shadow descended upon Baltimare, a terrible horrific host. The Alicorn of Storms, the Electric Death, the Princess of the Night circled overhead, her lunar guard flying behind her, some of them pulling the terrifying chariots of the Lunar Court, spikey life threatening looking contraptions. In the chariots were unicorns, Luna’s own personal collection of royal guard unicorns.

With a flash of her horn, Princess Luna dismissed the rest of the stormclouds, pushing them out over the ocean, allowing moonlight to bathe the city in a silver glow. Her wings fully extended, she swooped down, flying not on air currents but on the raw energies emitted by the ley lines, ignoring gravity simply because she could.

 

 

“Sister, please, be reasonable… this is for the greater good,” Celestia pleaded.

“I am not a common battery!” Luna protested.

“But you could restore electricity to the hospital and the surrounding area… Buckminster’s idea was a good one,” Celestia cajoled.

Turning to glare at Bucky, Luna gave him a hideous glowering stare, her teal eyes narrowing into slits. “Fine then. One of you should do it.”

“Be reasonable,” Bucky suggested. “You know that neither of us are electrical in nature. All you have to do is sit there, look important, and keep this little ring over your horn. We need the power back on. The hospital and the buildings where we have survivors need power.”

“I certainly do not need electric lights! I loathe the light bulb! I find them offensive!” Luna bellowed, her expression becoming cantankerous.

“Sister, please, we have a hospital full of equipment that is badly needed. We must each do our part, and all we are doing is asking for you to sit here and provide electricity,” Celestia begged, her lip slowly protruding outwards in a pout as she continued to try and manipulate her sister into submission.

“I absolutely ABHOR the both of you! There are no words to describe how much I EXECRATE the two of you right now!” Luna hollered, her ears pinned back against her skull. “You want power? Plug into this!” Luna shouted as she whipped herself around and hiked her tail high, revealing her night blue pucker to her sister.

Squeezing his eye shut, Bucky jerked his head away, trying to avoid the sight. He had no desire to see the craters of the moon.

“Do not tempt me sister,” Celestia deadpanned.

“FINE! I will allow myself to be used as a common battery,” Luna huffed, her eyes now wide and glittering with rage. Turning back around, she faced her sister, her lip curled back in a sneer. “I hope that somepony uses you as a space heater!” she shouted. “And you… betrayer! I hope somepony uses you as a portable ice dispenser!”

 

 

“Ready for a long day?” Rainbow Dash asked the yawning pegasus foal she was cuddling.

“No,” Scootaloo replied.

“It finally happened,” Rainbow Dash said in a low voice as she pulled her foal a little closer, enjoying the warm bunk while it lasted.

“He never told me… he had to know… I think that’s why he called me back. and I think I know when it happened too,” Scootaloo said in a low voice.

“When?” Rainbow Dash questioned and then broke into a wide yawn, which caused her to moan as the air left her lungs.

Scootaloo rubbed her eyes with her fetlocks, trying to rub away the sleepy and the eye boogers. “When I touched the flight yoke. I felt my whole body jerk… it was like being shocked.”

“Some of the most awesome pilots in history have been pegasi. Commander Cloudburner lost his wing during the war with the griffons… he was a Wonderbolt. He lost a wing but he gained a career as a pilot. He went on to become one of the most famous pilots to have ever lived. They had to invent new types of airships to keep up with his flying. He also flew gyrocopters sometimes. He flew in the same way that unicorns cast magic. He did impossible things,” Rainbow Dash said, giving Scootaloo a squeeze and feeling very proud.

“I knew coming on this trip was a good idea,” Scootaloo whispered.

“Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that as you work all day today,” Rainbow Dash murmured, feeling sleepy still but knowing she had to get up.

“Why is it an old timey wooden wheel?” Scootaloo inquired.

“I don’t know… ya know... to be honest, a flight yoke would look stupid. Those old wooden wheels… they have style. Class. They’re at least forty percent more awesome,” Rainbow Dash replied, rubbing Scootaloo’s barrel with her hoof.

“I feel kinda awkward… I don’t know how to face Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. I’m worried that they’re gonna hate me,” Scootaloo admitted in a worried voice.

“Squirt, they’re your friends. True friends. You ain’t got nothing to worry about,” Rainbow Dash said and then yawned once more. A few more minutes with her foal surely couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

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