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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The day was grey, overcast, and a freezing mist hung over Canterlot. In spite of this, spirits were high and a large number of ponies and griffons were gathered in the central courtyard. The festive atmosphere of a carnival filled the crowd.

There was one thing that gave Bucky some concern. A throne. A gaudy looking throne. He had been warned about it in advance, assured that it was just there for the festivities, but Bucky could not help but feel that there was something he wasn’t being told about it.

Looking out in the crowd, Bucky could see Sunset Shimmer, his apprentice, she had made the train to Canterlot or perhaps she had found some other way. Lugus was also visible, the big griffon was off in the corner of the courtyard and Bucky guessed that Lugus was telling some story to a group of little griffon cubs and foals that were gathered around him.

There were massive casks of cider, there was mulled wine, there was all manner of food, and the air was filled with too many scents for Bucky to keep track of, but he suspected that Sentinel would be able to tell what almost everything was.

Of Sentinel there was no sign; Bucky hoped that his colt was off somewhere having fun.

Bucky glanced over at Derpy for a moment, the grey mare was preening her feathers, which were already immaculate and clean, but Bucky understood that this sort of preening was more about showing off and expressing how good she felt. Bucky smiled a smug lopsided smile and turned his gaze out towards the crowd. Twilight was moving from group to group and Bucky spotted both Rarity as well as Coco, both of whom were with Twilight.

Heaving a sigh, Bucky realised that this was just about as nice of a day as one might hope for. He felt a wet slobbery kiss on his cheek and turned to look at Derpy once more, who was now sitting close beside him. Both of them were comfortable on a pile of cushions under a canopy, for whatever reason it was not yet time to sit upon the throne.

Of his other wives, there was no sign and Bucky supposed that they were off in the crowd or doing something of some importance. There was no sign of Celestia either.

Somepony was roasting chestnuts and they were starting to smell rather good.

In the skies overhead there was a deafening roar followed by a loud explosive boom. A rainbow coloured nova filled the skies, bringing colour to an otherwise dull looking day. The crowd began looking upwards and even Bucky was impressed by Rainbow Dash’s flying.

His grin broadened.

A moment later there was the blaring sound of trumpets and Bucky saw Celestia.

 

 

Nervousness overtook Bucky, his frogs grew sweaty and he felt itchy all over. Celestia was looking at him, waiting, a serene smile upon her muzzle. She had told him there was no need to do anything but make it snow, but that if he wanted to say something to address the crowd, he could.

Licking his lips, Bucky discovered that he had nothing in particular to say, even though there were plenty of expectant faces that appeared to be waiting for him to say something. He felt Derpy’s wing wrap around him. His other wives were with him now, having arrived with Celestia.

“Oh dear, the poor thing looks nervous. Look at him.”

Turning to look at Fluttershy, the back of Bucky’s mind noticed that the sunny yellow pegasus still spoke of him as though he was an animal. He didn’t mind, he prefered it in fact, his relationship with Fluttershy was special, something he treasured. Fluttershy didn’t open up to many ponies but she was open, warm, and gracious when she was around him.

Discord was nearby, his midsection was now large, a ludicrous size, and the draconequus was gobbling down a bag of popcorn as he waited. As Bucky stared at Discord, he began to feel that he was perhaps letting everypony down by not saying anything. A lump grew in his throat.

Bucky suffered the strangest sensation of feeling naked and exposed. He wished he had worn his black cloak, but he had been asked not to do so. Celestia wanted him to look approachable and not so intimidating. The cloak, his cloak, had almost become like a second skin and he was few times that he was without it.

“Well, uh… I suppose I should say something…” Bucky’s words trailed off and he took a deep breath. “Please, uh, um, this winter is going to be cold… There are plenty of ponies that have nothing right now, please think of them during this difficult season. Make friends… if you have more than you need, please consider sharing with another. If you have a warm room, take a pony that doesn’t have a warm room in.” Bucky fell silent and looked around. His eyes fell upon Derpy, who was looking at him, smiling at him, her lips were moving, she was trying to remind him of something.

Bucky’s mind went blank for a moment, he was distracted by her beauty and he thought of the moment they had shared earlier. Her fears, her concerns, the warm feel of her body. He felt somepony prodding him, urging him to continue.

“Um, please remember that foals are ponies too. There are a lot of needy foals out there. Twilight Sparkle and I are working very hard to make sure they have a nice holiday, but we need your help. If you would be so kind, Twilight Sparkle and I would appreciate it a great deal if you would consider adopting. Just adopting a single foal can make a world of difference… I’ve adopted… my colt Sentinel is adopted and I’m very proud of him even though I do not currently know where he is. But that’s okay because I trust him.”

Celestia’s smile was toothy now and Bucky could not help but think he was forgetting something as Celestia stared at him. He glanced around. Leaning against Derpy, Bucky wished that he could vanish. There were too many eyes on him.

“Bucky… just calm down and make it snow.”

Bon Bon’s voice tickled his ear and Bucky drew in a deep breath. Had she been the one that had prodded him? He did not know. He cleared his throat and looked skyward.

“Buckminster, I surrender control of the seasons to you. Please, Lord of Winter, put an end to the season of fall and bring us winter,” Celestia said as she bowed her head. “The summer is long over, the harvest is done, now it is time for a long winter rest, to sit back and enjoy the rewards of our many labours.”

After listening to Celestia’s words, Bucky felt even more nervous. His horn ignited. He knew this magic, he knew this spell, Sombra had done this many times. Not even the heat of the summer could dare to stand against winter’s chill. He had brought winter to Griffonholm. Equestria did not need a winter that would last centuries though, just a winter that lasted a few months, to give the land a chance to heal. As Bucky tapped into the ley line, he could feel himself channeling the deep magic, primal magic, the legacy of unicorns. Magic that had become necessary after the chaos war and the planet had been brought to the verge of death. Unicorns had become stewards, guardians of these vital processes, at least until the alicorns had come along. For a moment, Bucky could feel the earth, he could feel its need, its desire. It needed the winter snows. Bucky wondered if perhaps some part of his alicorn nature was manifesting somewhere deep within, if he was feeling some earth pony sense. He did not know.

Consumed by magic, Bucky was not aware that he had risen into the air and was now floating, drifting, gravity had loosened its grip. Blue flames danced around his body, cold flames, flames very much like Freezerburn’s flames. Beneath him, two ley lines intersected. Canterlot had been built upon a nexus.

The air temperature dropped, ponies in the crowd shivered.

“Buckminster, we need a lot of snow for today’s festivities, give it all you have and then some,” Celestia said, unsure if her words would even reach Bucky in his current state.

The sky overhead began to fill with clouds; thick billowing clouds, grey clouds, the fluffy grey clouds that were associated with snow and winter. A roaring wind blew in from the north, bringing with it a biting cold that made noses sting and ears numb. The sun vanished, unable to penetrate the heavy cloud cover.

The first flakes began to fall, thick heavy flakes, wet, they clung to everything they landed upon, leaving behind large wet spots as they melted on warm pony pelts. The storm intensified and soon it was almost white out conditions, it became impossible to see the outer walls of the castle from the courtyard and the towers were lost from sight.

Winter had come to Equestria, as the storm continued to gain intensity, Bucky suffered a surge as the voice of the earth overtook him. The winter was going to be a season to remember. The courtyard filled with dazzling blue light as the Lord of Winter exploded with raw magic from his surge.

 

 

Diamond Tiara watched as Sentinel and Moonbow continued to cling to one another, feeling somewhat awkward as the third member of this group, whatever this group was, whatever this group was meant to be.

Sentinel was crying. Diamond Tiara was not used to seeing colts cry, it was something that unnerved her, made her feel unsettled, but it was also why she had such strong feelings for Sentinel. The colt had feelings, even if he was a little stuffy and neurotic most of the time.

From what little bit that Diamond Tiara had been able to gather, Moonbow had freed herself of her iron bonds by flying, something she had done by accident. She had been flapping her wings and running around, building her strength, and then the filly had found herself airborne quite by accident. Afterwards, she continued to fly for quite some time.

Moonbow was getting a day away from her endless training to enjoy the festival.

Blinking away some tears of her own, Diamond Tiara watched as Moonbow made a gesture with her wing, a beckoning gesture. Nervous, cautious, Diamond Tiara approached the lunar pegasi.

Letting out a cry as she was snatched, Diamond Tiara found herself being crushed in between the two brutes. She gasped, struggled for air for a moment, and then the relentless pressure eased off. For once, Diamond Tiara was thankful for being an earth pony, had she been less sturdy, less solid, she might have been smooshed into pink pony jelly by the two over-enthusiastic lunar pegasi and their affection.

“Have you been looking after my Sentinel?” Moonbow asked.

Diamond Tiara felt even more nervous now, unsure of what was expected of her. She did not know how to answer, she did not know what to say, she felt overwhelmed, her senses overloaded, she had a pegasus on each side of her squeezing one another with her body crammed in between them.

“She helps me with my homework,” Sentinel said.

There was something damp pressing up against the back of her neck, into her mane, and Diamond Tiara realised she was feeling Sentinel’s tears.

“One day we will all be together and we can be happy,” Moonbow said as she wrapped her wings around both Sentinel and Diamond Tiara. “Thinking about that gets me through the hard times, the times when I don’t know if I can keep going.”

“It’s going to get harder.”

Sentinel’s words tickled Diamond Tiara’s ear and made it twitch.

Diamond Tiara knew why, Sentinel had spoke about it often, Moonbow would soon be blinded and forced to depend upon her echolocation for an entire year. The pink earth pony foal wrapped her forelegs around Moonbow’s neck and squeezed for all she was worth. “Good luck, when it gets hard, think of us. We’ll be waiting for you. Don’t give up.”

The embrace became tighter, almost too tight, almost unbearable. Diamond Tiara gasped, her lungs burned as she tried to take in air, and then the crush eased off and she was able to breathe once more.

“I have one day to have fun. I was told to make the most of it,” Moonbow said.

“Well we’ll have to eat together. And play in the snow if we can. We’ll try to make this day as special as possible, try to make each moment matter,” Sentinel replied.

“When the sun goes down, I must return to attend my lessons, my training never ends…”

 

 

 

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