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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There were a few last things to do, a few final heartfelt thank yous to make, a few more heroes to acknowledge. Princess Luna paused as she approached the door, already knowing that two of the heroes she was looking for would be inside. Because of their… uniquepunishment, their location was known at all times.

Lifting a hoof, Princess Luna knocked.

The door opened and a white head peeked out. There was a gasp and then it vanished inside the room, leaving the door wide open. Seeing as how the door was open, Princess Luna entered.

Inside the small but cozy room, there were two unicorns, one blue, one white. The white one, a mare, cowered, looking fearful, the blue one moved between Luna and the white mare, as if to protect her.

“Come to check up on us?” the blue unicorn asked.

Lifting herself up to her full height, Princess Luna nodded. “Yes I have, Night Light.” Princess Luna shook her head. “Twilight Velvet, why must you fear me? Was I not the one that begged for leniency on your behalf during your trial? Was I not the one who spoke, who testified in front of the court about the purity and the wholesomeness of your dreams?”

Twilight Velvet, her head bowed low, nodded but said nothing.

“I have come to speak to you about recent events.” Princess Luna looked Night Light in the eye and was pleased that he did not turn away. Night Light understood the majesty of the night. “What you did was very brave and I am most impressed by your actions.”

The blue unicorn stallion nodded his head. “We thank you, your Majesty.”

“What you did went above and beyond the call of duty… the conditions of your punishment require that you be public servants… nowhere does it state that you must follow any order that puts your life in danger—”

“Our babies were in danger!” Once the last word left her lips, Twilight Velvet froze, looking mortified, terrified, her whole body trembled with fear as she realised she had just interrupted Princess Luna.

The Princess of the Night’s lips twitched with the need to smile. “You stormed the dormitory towers, checked each floor as they were swarming with nightmare spawned necromantic rats bearing a terrible malady, and you rescued many students. I could not imagine the courage it must have required to go into those towers, into such close quarters, and brave the incoming horde. And at no point was this required of you. Indeed, at any moment, you could have invoked your contracts and said that you were not to be placed in danger.”

Night Light’s head turned and he lifted his hoof. He gestured around the small room. The walls were lined with shelves. On the shelves were photographs in frames, and each of the frames looked like something foals would make. Popsicle sticks, macaroni, sea shells, glitter, messy drizzles of glue, each frame was made by some loving and adoring soul who prized these two ponies.

Princess Luna looked around the small room. There was a bed in one corner, a small table just right for two in the other corner. A little hot plate sat on another small table. A somewhat battered looking tea set was set out on the table, with chipped cups, nicked saucers, and teapot with a mismatched lid.

The contract stated these two ponies were to never have bits, to never know wealth again, and to only have what others would provide for them. Looking around the room, it was clear that they had been provided for, and the picture frames showed who had been providing for them.

“After the towers were cleared, you joined the defenders at the outer perimeter. Night Light, your light spells proved most valuable. Rising Star mentions in a brief write up of the events that you were instrumental to his defense plans. But at no point were you required to place your lives in danger.” Princess Luna stepped forward, towards a shelf, and began to examine pictures. Inside of a frame decorated with dried and shellacked vines, there was a photo of Shining Armor and Twilight Sparkle, both of them foals and in the bathtub together.

It was the sort of photo that Shining Armor and Twilight Sparkle would beg Princess Luna not to reveal to the public. Luna tucked it away in memory, knowing it would be useful in dreams.

“Is there a point to all of this?” Night Light asked.

“Why yes there is,” Princess Luna replied. She whirled and turned on Night Light. Stepping forward, she came snoot to snoot with the blue stallion. “I am currently the only Royal Pony Sister in Equestria. And I see souls in front of me, worthy of a reward of some sort. Real valour took place here… true nobility. And so, it comes to this.”

With a flash of her horn, Princess Luna manifested two contracts. They ignited, burning with a strange pink and purple flame that produced no heat and no smoke.

“Consider this a royal pardon… a reprieve, if you will. One night of bravery has purchased your freedom. No longer are you required to live as public servants to make up for what happened, the wealth and privilege you enjoyed at the expense of others.” The majestic blue alicorn looked at the contracts as the last remaining parts of them burned to dust.

“What if we don’t want to go?” Twilight Velvet asked. She shook her head. “We’re happy here… this… this is our home. We love these foals… these cubs… these calves. There is something amazing here and we are a part of it. We love this funny little room and our funny little bed… we’re close to Twilight and we can visit her at any time.”

“I suspect that Buckminster will pay you a salary… but watch out for his performance reviews… you are free… do what you will. Now, if you will excuse me, I have two other former nobles to go and sort out.”

 

 

Holding a spider golem up to eye level, Bucky applied the finishing touches. A smaller, weaker version of Lyra’s spell was now embedded in this spider golem and within a few hours, the spell would spread to all of them, due to the connection they all shared to the dreamscape and to Bucky.

The golems would not shatter every window, nor break every delicate thing, or even cause ponies or griffons to go deaf. But the harmonic resonance they now emitted would cause nightmare creatures given flesh to have explosive headaches.

The spider golem beeped and fussed at Bucky, its legs wiggling as it was held airborne.

“No… I will not give you heat beams, death rays, or disintegration emitters. Not unless the situation is dire and I feel that I have no other option.”

More beeping and blooping.

“The situation is not dire! The sun is supposed to rise each day! We are not in a time of crisis!” Finished, Bucky set the golem down. “Go on, get out of here. Teach that spell to others and go hunt any rat survivors.”

The spider golem raised a leg in salute and the scurried off to spread its new knowledge to others, spewing golem gibberish as it departed.

Sighing, Bucky lifted his talons. “Yes, all hail the Lunar Court.”

 

 

The sun approached the horizon. One stallion, five mares, and one griffoness all waited, feeling apprehensive, worried, and a little afraid. It was a time of togetherness.

“I’d feel better if Sentinel was home,” Derpy said as Cadance suckled.

Beside her, Thistle nursed Bell Heather. The kelpie nodded. She had taken a nap, but was still very much exhausted. She was thankful to be home, in her own bed, surrounded by those she loved.

Bon Bon lay next to Thistle, comfortable on her belly, a zebra foal in her forelegs. She yawned and watched the others around her. She too, had taken a bit of a nap, but longed for real sleep. It had been a long night and an even longer day. Bon Bon had no intention of opening her shop tomorrow. Or maybe even the next day.

Pressed against Bon Bon’s side was Lyra, who held Harper. Lightning arced between their horns, static discharge, it crackled and fizzled, and Harper’s mane had twice its usual frizziness. Since their reunion, Lyra had not let go of Harper.

Pressed against Derpy’s other side, Bucky lay with his head resting on the bulge of Berry Punch’s stomach. Bucky worried, Berry’s flesh felt just a little too warm, and she was somewhat sweaty. Berry was still, her eyes were closed, and little grunts of pleasure could be heard from her as Belisama brushed her mane.

“Dinky was so brave… she blasted any rat that popped inside,” Derpy said.

“Harper killed her fair share.” Belisama gave a tug on her brush to work free a tangle.

The frizzy maned foal nodded. “Zap.”

“I want my foals all back under one roof.” Derpy’s voice was a quavering whimper. Her lower lip trembled and her eyes moistened. “Ponies treat Sentinel as an adult and they forget that he is a foal. I’ve held him as he’s cried. I’ve been with him while he is in pain. He still needs his mothers.”

“Diamond Tiara has been left to care for him. One day Derpy, you are going to have to let go of Sentinel and give his care to Diamond Tiara,” Bon Bon said, looking over at the grey mare.

“She’s good, but she’s not one of us.” Derpy shook her head. “And Moonbow is so rough… even by pegasus standards.”

“One day, sooner than we’d like, Sentinel is going to grow up. He is going to have responsibilities. He is going to have tasks that take him away from home. And he is probably going to come home in less than whole condition sometimes,” Bon Bon said as she stroked Sukari.

“Maziwa?” Sukari asked. She smacked her lips together.

It took Bon Bon a moment to figure out what Sukari wanted. Her eyes narrowed. “You’re a little old for this, but… I suppose.” The earth pony more rolled over onto her side and kicked out her hind leg. The zebra foal squirmed out of Bon Bon’s forelegs, crawled along Bon Bon’s belly, and latched on to a teat. Reaching down, Bon Bon patted the foal on the back.

“I don’t want Sentinel to come home bloodied and bruised.” Lyra reached up and wiped her nose. One ear drooped, going limp against her face, while the other stood in halfhearted defiance of Lyra’s worry. “Sentinel was born in the spring. That’s all we know… this spring, he will be nine years of age.”

“He is definitely in his adolescence,” Derpy said, glancing at Lyra.

“Do you… do you… well, do you think he… do you think he thinks of Diamond Tiara or Moonbow and.. um—”

“Lyra Heartstrings, if you finish that sentence I will never let you hear the end of it,” Bon Bon said, leaning her head over and getting into Lyra’s personal space.

“But Bonnie—”

“Lyra, I mean it, I will tell Sentinel that you were asking about that.”

Bon Bon’s terrible words loomed in the air like some unspeakable dread. Lyra fell silent and gave Harper a squeeze. The static discharge from Harper and Lyra spread to Bon Bon, and Bon Bon’s pink and blue mane began to stand on end. Leaning forward a little bit more, Bon Bon kissed Lyra on the lips, pressing in for a moment, getting a good tight seal, and then pulling away.

Seeing her mothers kiss, Harper giggled.

“The rats showed up before the sun actually set,” Belisama said as she pulled her brush through Berry’s curls. The griffoness’ eyes darted to the sabre that was within easy reach, sheathed in its scabbard and hung from the bedpost. She had used it last night and Lugus had praised her fluid movements.

From within Belisama’s shawl, Bandua peeped. Setting down the brush, Belisama produced a spoon. She pulled out her and Bucky’s cub and set her down upon the bed.

Bucky’s entire attention shifted and his eyes locked upon Bandua. She was a tawny brown on her backside still, but she had grown a little. She had what appeared to be porcupine quills now, spiny growths that would turn into feathers.

Bandua lifted her head and peeped, letting the world know she was hungry.

“Foal?” Harper asked, looking at Bandua.

“Cub,” Lyra replied.

“Nope. Foal.” Harper’s eyes narrowed as he challenged her mother.

“Fubby-wubby,” Bucky said.

Harper’s dark purple eyes glanced at her mama mama, then at Bandua, and then at Lyra. “Fubby-wubby?”

There was a retching sound as Belisama produced a hot meal for Bandua.

“Yuck.” Harper shook her head in disgust.

“Oh come on Harper… who wouldn’t want a delicious meal of hot vomit?” Bucky asked. He watched as Harper buried her face against Lyra’s neck and heard giggling all around him.

“It’s getting dark,” Dinky said, pushing her way through the bedroom door. She stood in the doorway, looking at her parents, all piled all the bed.

Behind Dinky, Piña Colada shoved her way into the room.

“Well don’t just stand there, come on and get in the bed with us,” Berry Punch said.

“We don’t want the nights to be scary again,” Piña said as she darted for the bed.

Dinky lept from several feet away, not wanting to risk a leg with anything that might be lurking in the dark below the bed. “Piña and I took a vote and we’re sleeping with you tonight.”

As Bucky was piled upon by two small fillies, he thought of Sentinel and was glad that Sentinel had somepony to sleep with him.

 

 

 

Author's Note:

So... did anybody wonder just what was Luna doing in Canterlot?

Well... did anybody stop and think about the Royal Pony Sisters' School for Gifted Unicorns?

Princess Luna had her own school to protect. Which is why part of Canterlot burned down. Just thought I'd clarify this because there has been a few private messages from folks who had trouble piecing the background bits together.

 

 

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