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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“Huzzah! I have made a cheese omelette!” Luna announced as she slid a plate in front of Bucky, her wings extended and a proud look upon her face. “My sister speaks nothing but lies... lies! I would not be helpless without servants.”

Tucking into his omelette, Bucky said nothing in reply, but began to shovel food down his throat. Ravenous in the way that only a predatory creature could be, he tore into the four egg omelette viciously, causing it to disappear in moments.

“Oh dear… that is disheartening. All of that work and the results are gone in less than a minute… I do believe that I owe the kitchen staff a heartier heartfelt thank you,” Luna reflected out loud as she turned back towards the stove. On the counter beside the stove, she cracked more eggs into a mixing bowl, added a bit of milk, a bit of salt and pepper, and then went to work once more.

Princess Luna hummed to herself as she worked, cocking her head so she could peer down into the bowl as she whipped the eggs. “Things are not going well for Shining Armor. Not only is he grief stricken, but the Crystal Empire is now demanding his removal. They do not want a consort upon the throne, but a proper steward until their Empress returns.”

“Shite,” Bucky swore, his talons drumming upon the table.

Luna’s ears perked forward at uttered profanity. “They’re demanding that Twilight Sparkle or you, the Lord of Winter, sit upon the throne until Cadance’s return. Is it wrong that I feel insulted?” Princess Luna questioned, trying to keep some kind of dialogue going. “I am the immortal alicorn that nopony wants.”

“I know the feeling,” Bucky grumbled.

“You do?” Luna asked.

“We recently signed some papers to allow our likenesses for the purposes of making toys. My Pretty Little Princess toys. There are no plans to create a toy of me. I worry that nothing but bad things will come about because of this. They didn’t even ask to use Belisama’s likeness. I guess she isn’t a pretty little pony princess… but she is the queen of the griffons. One of them anyway,” Bucky replied, sounding very disturbed and annoyed.

Carefully pouring the eggs into a pan, Luna scowled as the hissing sizzle filled the kitchen. “You know, I try to not let these things bother me. I have seen the toys. Mine doesn’t sell. In the toy displays, my little likeness is usually tucked away in some tower or hidden behind my sister’s much larger figure. I am never in the open. I am never prominently displayed. I am even displayed in front of a blue background which makes me almost invisible,” Luna grumbled as she sprinkled crumbled cheese into the cooking eggs. “Am I not beautiful?”

“Oh come on Luna… don’t make me answer embarrassing and awkward questions,” Bucky pleaded, his ears falling down to the sides of his face.

“Am I not shapely and desirable? Is not my plot furrow a desirable place to plow and plant seed? Am I not a pleasing shade of blue?” Luna questioned, her hurt becoming more and more evident with each question she posed. She folded the omelette over and turned to look at Bucky. “They speak endlessly of Cadance’s great beauty. Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, now a figure of immortal beauty, we have been graced with a vision of beautiful radiance almost as gorgeous as the sun,” the night blue alicorn said, reciting the newspaper headline in an acidic voice.

Grunting, Luna slipped the omelette from the pan and onto the plate. Lifting the plate, she slid it in front of Bucky and then frowned, her teal eyes filling with tears.

“There are more headlines about Cadance’s return than my own,” Luna moaned as her barrel began to hitch. She blinked several times and then ran out of the kitchen.

Alone, feeling rather disturbed, Bucky scarfed down his omelette and then wondered what else he would eat, his stomach still growling and begging for more food.

 

 

After devouring leftovers from the fridge and chugging down several jars of applesauce, Bucky took off in search of Luna, knowing that she was somewhere in the farmhouse. He peered into the living room, the dining room, and then the library. In the hall, he heard humming from the nursery. Moving silently down the hall, he made his way to the nursery and pushed the door open.

Standing in the doorway, Bucky saw Luna sprawled out in the bowl shaped chair that sat in the far corner of the nursery. She had three foals at her side, all of whom were awake and blinking at her, and then at Bucky when they noticed him standing at the door. Her shoes were upon the floor, kicked off and left scattered. Her crown had been tossed into a corner and her regalia had been thrown into the dirty diaper bin, one end still sticking out and visible, the lid unable to shut all of the way.

It was clear that Luna had been crying and she wiped her eyes when she saw Bucky.

“I heard a foal whimpering. It was Harper. The other foals were awake. I think Harper is gassy,” Luna said in a raspy tired sounding voice.

“If you rub her tummy she’ll feel better,” Bucky suggested as he moved towards the rocking chair and sat down.

“I do not hate her,” Luna stated.

“Hmm?” Bucky responded.

“Cadance. I bear her no ill will or resentment for being the princess that everypony loves. I love her dearly. When I returned, when I was still little, while I was still a filly and recovering, she was my foalsitter. She did not care that I was Nightmare Moon. She did not care that I was the horrible Princess of the Night. I was a hurt and scared little filly to her, and her gentle pegasus nature made her fawn over me endlessly. She loved me like few others loved me, save for my sister,” Luna explained, a few more tears sliding down her muzzle. She pulled Harper closer and then began to rub the foal’s belly with the joint of her wing.

“I suppose that is part of her nature as the embodiment of love,” Bucky whispered in a low voice. “It is good that you had a pony that loved so much after your return.”

“She would go out into the royal gardens with me and chase fireflies. Shining Armor would come with her and watch over us as we played. He was so kind… so patient… he was so gentle with me. He deserves better,” Luna said, looking deeply troubled. “When I heard that the crystal ponies plan to have him ousted, I wanted to fly to the Crystal Empire and scare them into submission… I wanted to terrorise them… I wanted to fill the skies with storms and show them the fury of the night… I wanted them to suffer for how they are hurting him right now,” she confessed, shaking her head sadly. “I do not possess my sister’s gentle spirit.”

Feeling very confused and unable to convey how awkward he felt, Bucky pulled a blanket over himself as he sat in the rocking chair and then set the chair in motion with his magic. He studied Luna, looking for body language, a facial expression, anything that might help him understand her better, that might offer some insight, something, anything, he desperately wanted to make her feel better but did not know what to do or say. A painful feeling of hopeless despair settled over him, a feeling he knew too well, he had felt it keenly while he had hung on a hook in Tartarus. There were no wise pithy words, no clever quips, there was nothing he could offer. He had the pain of over a decade upon the hook, Luna had the pain of centuries that she had endured. A feeling of utter uselessness settled over Bucky like a funerary shroud and he felt it drag him down into black depths, a painful depression that made his bones ache.

“At least I know that Barley loves me,” Luna whispered in a voice so faint that it was like the breeze rustling through autumn leaves.

“There are others that love you,” Bucky groaned in a raspy voice.

“I know that… but I still feel so empty inside. I cannot help it,” Luna confessed as she continued to rub Harper’s belly.

At her side, Cadance and Peekaboo were asleep, curled up into little balls. Turning her head around, Luna gazed down upon them, her eyes sad and half closed.

“Why did you do it?” Luna asked.

“Do what?” Bucky questioned in response.

“Go to Tartarus for her,” Luna stated, turning to head to look at Bucky, who was sitting up in the rocking chair, covered up in a blanket. “What motivated you?”

“I love her,” Bucky grumbled in reply.

“You barely know her. You only met her a few times. Was it her nature that made you love her? Could you not help yourself? Is it my nature that makes me unlikeable? Do ponies fear me because they instinctually fear the night? Are we a slave to what we are? Will Cadance ever grow to hate being so loved and adored by all, having to do nothing to earn their affections, other than just existing? Just sit back on a throne, do nothing, and be loved. I know that it would gall me after a while, and I want to be loved. Poor Shining Armor lived in her shadow. The public adored her. The public resented him. He was the one that had her affections. She loved him. She loved him totally and completely. And the public hated Shining Armor after the marriage. The military grew distant from him. The male mindset so prevalent in the guard grew to loathe Shining Armor. I saw their dreams. Shining Armor was rutting the mare that they all dreamt about sticking their dirty Drip infected dicks into. He had the alicorn of lovely beauty as his bride. The perfect sexual being. Perfect in every way. An engine of raw lust with a body made for passionate or even animalistic sex. And Cadance loved him. Cadance adored him. She was blind to every other male but him. But it was impossible to hate her… the males, disappointed, frustrated, envious that they would never know the sweet perfection that lied in her feminine places, unable to hate Cadance, hated Shining Armor instead, because Shining Armor knew every single inch of her body inside and out,” Princess Luna said, letting out everything she felt in her heart to Bucky, tears streaming down her cheeks, and her words raspy from emotional pain.

“I don’t know what to say,” Bucky remarked, shaking his head.

“After the marriage, Shining Armor lost almost every male friend he had,” Luna grumbled. “The worst part is, most of the females grew to hate him as well. The mares said that Cadance could have done better. She could have married a strong stallion. Some big hunky musclebound brute. She could have married some ideal image of male perfection. Instead, Cadance married a nerd that liked to play role playing games, actually enjoyed spending time with his sister, collected stamps, had publicly acknowledged in secondary school that pink was his favourite colour, and had impossibly nerdy friends… it was those nerdy friends that are still standing at Shining Armor’s side by the way. They are the friends who have not left him. Alas, poor Shining Armor became hated by all.”

“I wish I knew what to say,” Bucky whispered, pulling the blanket a little tighter around him. “I had no idea. This sounds just awful.”

“Shining Armor might have been the only pony that loved her for what she truly was. A nerdy pony that liked to play with boats in the bathtub, that liked to stomp in mud puddles, which drove my sister crazy by the way, that snorted when she laughed, collected comic books, loved to read really scary horror novels, and had a secret fear of crowds. She was more than a warm willing body to him. She was more than the sum of her sexual parts. If ponies knew the reality of their private lives they would be shocked. The secret rendezvous with Shining Armor’s friends so they could play role playing games, paint little figurines, drink carbonated soda, and have rude belching contests,” Luna said, her brows furrowing as she spoke, her expression becoming darker and darker. “I feel as though I am offering a eulogy,” she stated.

“In a way, you are. That Cadance died. It is good that somepony knew her secrets and that she is remembered. Will you keep my secrets alive after I have passed? Will you keep all of the embarrassing details stored away in your mind so you can discuss them with some worthy soul?” Bucky responded, looking sorrowful.

“I will treasure every detail, sordid and pleasant,” Luna promised.

 

 

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