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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“We had to sedate him… he was raving,” Nurse Redheart explained in low voice. “He was crying and upset… frantic… and freezing everything around him. He caused several cases of major frostbite. We have him locked in the morgue right now… he’s turned it into a place inhospitable to life even though he’s knocked out.”

“I see,” Celestia replied in a flat monotone.

“The odds for Miss Shimmer are slim at best,” Nurse Redheart reported.

“Luna… go fetch Cadance and one of Bucky’s wives to care for her. We are going to need her,” Celestia commanded as she looked over at her sister.

“At once sister,” Luna responded as she took off down the hall.

“Tourmaline… a lot is depending on you right now… I know that you will do well,” Celestia said to the jet black foal with a soft pink mane and tail that stood beneath her and was peering out from between her front legs.

“Yes mama,” Tourmaline answered in a fearful voice. She turned her head around and looked at her cutie mark, blinked, and then turned her head back around to look up at the mare she called her mother.

“We are going to be in Sunset Shimmer’s room. We are not to be disturbed in there,” Celestia commanded as she looked down at Nurse Redheart.

“Okay,” Nurse Redheart replied nervously.

 

 

Looking at her husband, Derpy saw some signs of him waking. She took a deep breath and saw puffs of steam drift away from her nose. She pulled the blanket around her a little tighter, fought back the urge to shiver, squinted one eye, and watched her husband carefully.

Derpy felt the bone chilling cold, and she was a pegasus, a creature made to survive extreme cold temperatures. It stung her eyes, burned her nose, and made her lungs ache.

“Bucky?” Derpy whispered, her lips just inches away from her husband’s ear.

She saw him twitch and then she saw his eyelids over his remaining eye flicker.

“Bucky, love, if you can hear me, you have to make the cold stop,” Derpy whispered into his ear in a pleading voice. “Nopony else can get near you. The cold is hurting ponies… including me… let me warm you up, love.”

Hearing a muffled mumbled cry, Derpy pressed her face into Bucky’s. She snorted into his skin, something she always did when she was trying to get him to wake… she knew that it never failed to give her husband the shivers and it was something she knew that he enjoyed. Derpy heard a strangled sounding inhale and a faint gurgled cry.

“Sunset Shimmer is still alive Bucky… you got her here in time… she’s alive,” Derpy whispered as she tried to reassure her husband. She heard a muffled moan but could not make out the words Bucky was trying to say. “They had to sedate you… and then they brought Cadance here and Celestia got her to zap you somehow. You were draining the electricity from the walls… the power was flickering and threatening to go out and the whole hospital started to freeze over. We’re in the morgue.”

Heaving a sorrowful sigh, Derpy lay down upon the cold tile floor with her husband and cuddled up against his side. Already, the chill didn’t seem quite so bad. She pulled the blanket over the both of them and pulled Bucky close.

 

 

“With Cadance’s help, Tourmaline has managed to heal Sunset Shimmer… not completely, not yet, but I do believe that Sunset Shimmer will live,” Celestia said in a low voice. “The horn will take a little time to regrow, but Tourmaline was able to cap it off with changeling chitin that she grew from spitting up some new substance.”

“See Bucky… it’ll be okay,” Derpy whispered into her husband’s ear.

“I am very happy to have you out of the morgue Bucky… something felt very wrong about leaving you down there. I am also very sorry that I had to use Cadance against you as a weapon,” Celestia said in an apologetic voice.

Offering a weak nod that made the pillowcase crinkle slightly, Bucky blinked and wrapped his forelegs a little tighter around Derpy, trying to pull her inside of him somehow. He felt empty inside, it was as if he had been hollowed out and then filled with some horrible agonising pain that filled every inch of his being.

“I killed somepony,” Bucky whimpered.

Biting her lip for a moment, Celestia was unsure of what to say. She took a deep breath and cleared her throat. “You killed an enemy. You killed somepony that hurt Sunset Shimmer and was trying to kill you and your companions. What you did was justified.”

Closing his eye, Bucky buried his face into Derpy’s neck and shuddered. “I broke my vow… I used the very worst sort of dark magic I could think of. I shared with him every bit of pain I’ve felt in my life… all of it. Even the hook… he felt it all at once before he… before he… I finally did something that I don’t know if I can live with...”

Shaking her head, Celestia felt confused and even a little bit frustrated by Bucky’s confession. It was just one of many aspects of Bucky’s personality that she just simply did not understand.

“It is good that you feel compassion for your enemies, but you killed him for a good reason,” Derpy whispered as she stroked her husband softly. “Please, don’t hate yourself for this my love.”

“I am going to leave the two of you alone for a while. Derpy, please, try to make him feel better,” Celestia said as she began to back away from the bed and towards the door.

When Celestia was gone, Bucky rubbed his snoot against the grey pegasus beside him. “I’m so cold and dead inside. I need you,” he whispered pleadingly. “I need to feel warm… make me feel alive again…”

“Of course,” Derpy replied as she rolled over onto her back and pulled Bucky on top of her. She knew just what he needed. She felt her husband crawling downward, his chin trailing over her stomach. Reaching down with her front hooves and her wings, she stroked him softly, then gasped when she felt his lips latch on to her sensitive flesh. “Just remember to save some for Cadance…”

 

 

Moving about the sunny hospital room, Trixie carefully placed the carnations into a vase, added some water, and then set the vase on the bedside table. She stood at the side of Sunset Shimmer’s bed for a moment, looking at all of the tubes sticking out of the mare that she felt a strong sense of affection for. She turned to look at Bartleby, who had made himself comfortable in a chair beside the bed.

“Her ear will regrow… already it looks much better than it did,” Luna said in a soft reassuring voice. “Her face will also fully heal… we just need time. Tourmaline can only do so much at a time. She is exhausted and sick right now… and also crying because she cannot do more.”

“When she is better, might we thank her?” Bartleby inquired in a grief stricken but grateful voice as he looked up at Luna.

“Yes… of course. I do believe she would appreciate that. Now, if you will excuse me, I do believe Erebus is starting to get fussy because he is hungry. I need to go find a place to get comfortable,” Luna said as she excused herself. She turned and departed out the door, cooing at the foal slung around her neck in a shawl.

“What do we do?” Bartleby asked as he gave a pained look to Trixie.

“We wait Bartleby. We wait,” Trixie responded in a soft voice.

 

 

Feeling lightheaded, her eyelids feeling far too heavy, Luna looked at her sister with a deep feeling of concern. “I said this might happen.”

“I know… I know… I still hoped that she would be spared,” Celestia responded as she stared out the window at the town of Ponyville. “Perhaps this is just random chance.”

“Just like Buckminster’s horn suffering a crack was random chance,” Luna remarked. She turned to look at Erebus, who was yawning and revealing his pink blood stained teeth. “Those in Sombra’s bloodline are doomed to this curse.”

“But she is from Star Swirl’s bloodline as well… the two bloodlines intermingled once again when Starjammer and Cerise Velvet had that troublesome foal of theirs. Bucky should have ended the curse,” Celestia said in a frustrated voice.

“Sunset Shimmer was in a different reality when the curse was ended,” Luna stated.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Celestia bit down on her lip to keep from crying out in grief and frustration as Luna’s words sank in and the painful truth made itself evident. She could not stop the tears that started to fall.

“I wonder if she will be further tested, or, since the curse is technically broken, now that her horn has been damaged… I wonder if she will be allowed to go on with her life without the rest of the curse manifesting itself upon her,” Luna said as she rolled over onto her belly and pulled Erebus on top of her barrel. She began to pat the foal upon his back, hoping to make the insufferably adorable little monster burp.

“I allowed myself to believe that this awful nightmare was finally over,” Celestia whimpered in a heartbroken voice as she turned away from the window. “When Buckminster finally ended the curse I was so relieved… I really do hope that this is one final hiccup of fate.”

“What do we do with Buckminster?” Luna questioned as she continued to pat Erebus.

“His mind is already so fractured. How many times can you keep putting the shattered pieces back together and still have some hope of him being the pony that we love?” Celestia responded in a voice fraught with worry. “Can we make him forget?”

“No,” Luna replied in a soft whisper. “The Fates, our sisters, have done something to his mind. I can no longer make him forget things. I can repair, I can fix, there is much I can do, but trimming away problematic memories is no longer an option. For good or for ill, Buckminster now remembers everything. He can no longer be tampered with that way.”

“Damn,” Celestia swore, a rare occurrence that made her sister Luna’s ears twitch. “We cannot have him falling apart right now… or ever for that matter. I am concerned for his well being because I love him… and also because I fear what he is capable of if he stumbles.”

“He will recover. We have Cadance if he needs to be put down for a while. He is utterly powerless to her little love taps,” Luna stated. She yawned and then smiled when Erebus finally let go with a window rattling belch. “I think alicorn milk is doing funny things to Erebus,” she calmly mentioned to her sister.

“I am going to go check on Tourmaline and see how she is doing. I hope she continues to sleep for a while… I worry for her… being in the hospital is hard on her. She can feel the pain of everypony in here,” Celestia said as she started for the door. She paused at the door for a moment and then turned to look at Luna. “I think the best thing that we could do for Buckminster is to be there for him. As his family. I think our old way of thinking is now a detriment. He deserves better from us.”

“I find myself in agreement sister,” Luna responded as she continued to pat Erebus, knowing there was always more gas somewhere in the colt. “Perhaps it would be best to let Buckminster heal up from this in his own way… without tampering. Perhaps we should trust his family to look after him and tend to his needs. I know what he is… I know what he is capable of… but he is still a pony… and the fact that he is so grief stricken over this is proof of that. Perhaps we should see this as a good sign sister.”

“Twilight Sparkle seems a little bit more cold and distant now that you’ve eased her troubled mind from the memories of what took place in Griffonholm… all of the lives she took... I am filled with so many doubts now sister… I used to think I knew what was right… there was a time that I was positive I knew what was necessary for the greater good. Now I find myself second guessing everything I do… every decision I make,” Celestia confessed in a low whisper.

“Go look after Tourmaline…”

 

 

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