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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“Bucky! Bucky, wake up!”

Opening one eye, Bucky looked around. The room was dim. The heavy drapes over the window had been closed to keep the warmth in and keep it from seeping out through the glass. Bucky felt a yank on one of his ears. He turned his head and saw Belisama as he opened his other eye.

“Look!” Belisama held out her talons.

In the dim light, Bucky saw Bandua. He blinked, half awake, and tried to figure out what was going on and why he was required to be awake. He yawned and his orange tongue fell out of his mouth.

“Her eyes! They’re open! And they are grey!” Belisama bounced up and down.

“Oh… eyes… open…” Bucky blinked a few more times. His horn itched in the most horrendous manner that one could imagine. Stretching out his neck and his lips, Bucky smooched the tiny hippogriff held in Belisama’s talons.

“What’s going on?” Bon Bon asked, now awake and looking around.

“Bandua has her eyes open,” Belisama replied.

With his telekinesis, Bucky lifted Bandua out of Belisama’s talons and then set her down upon the bed between his forelegs. He dropped his head down and bumped her with his snoot. He felt a tiny beak nibble on the edge of his nostril. Chills went galloping down his spine like a herd of windigos. When Bandua peeped, Bucky felt every single hair on his back stand up.

If only his damn horn would stop itching, Bucky might be able to enjoy this special moment. He reached up with his talons and began to rub his own horn. He felt something slip free and a thin brownish black flake floated down onto the bed. Feeling alarmed, Bucky scratched a little more and another flake came floating down. Looking up, he saw several eyes focused on him in the dim light.

He levitated Bandua up and held her in front of Belisama. “Here, take her.”

When Belisama took Bandua, Bucky wiggled out of bed and went to the bathroom.

 

 

Staring into the mirror, Bucky saw flakes hanging off of his horn. He didn’t know what to call them, what they were, but there was a thin layer of black and tan that was peeling off. Beneath the flakes, his horn had an odd metallic look and feel, just like his talons did. Reaching up, he rubbed and scratched some more. It felt good. Bending his neck, Bucky angled his horn against the edge of the sink and began to rub.

The feeling of relief was almost orgasmic, sort of like scratching your croup against something like a fence rail or getting on your back for a good roll in the grass. Whole flakes of horn casing peeled away, revealing the shiny black metallic layer beneath. Moaning with relief, Bucky continued to rub his horn, and he looked very much like a deer scraping velvet from their antlers.

The pressure inside of Bucky’s skull began to subside a little as the tight, taut casing surrounding his horn flaked and peeled away.

“You need to go to the doctor… something seems wrong,” Bon Bon said as she stood in the door of the bathroom.

“And who do I go see about this?” Bucky asked.

“I don’t know. Go back to Canterlot. Bucky, please, do this for me, I’m worried.” Bon Bon’s voice was pleading.

“But this is making me feel better.” Bucky continued to rub his horn against the hard edge of the sink. “You have no idea how good this feels. The pressure in my head is going away.”

“Bucky, please?” Bon Bon’s voice was insistent now.

“Bonnie, Canterlot is in shambles. The doctors are very busy looking after those who got hurt.” Bucky lifted his head away from the sink and gave himself a good shake. After doing so, he gathered up all of the flakes in a telekinetic bubble and then incinerated them to remove the mess. With a flick of magic, he burned away the soap scum in the tub, sterilised the toilet, and removed the toothpaste that was gunked around the drain in the bottom of the sink. “And they said taking household enchantments was a sissy thing to do,” Bucky said to his reflection in the mirror.

“Bucky, I’m worried… I don’t like this. If weird stuff keeps happening, please, promise me you will go to the doctor.” Bon Bon stepped forward and touched Bucky’s ribs with her hoof.

“Fine.” Bucky turned and looked Bon Bon in the eye. "If weird stuff keeps happening, I promise I will go to the doctor. I give you my word as your husband.”

“Thank you.” Bon Bon gave Bucky a worried smile. “Go back to bed. I am going to go upstairs to check on Erebus.”

 

 

Somewhere, there was a babbling brook. Bucky could hear it. He could feel the cool damp grass beneath his hooves. He knew right away that he was dreaming, there was an odd surreal sensation in his mind and he was an alicorn once more.

Beside him, Twilight Sparkle was looking around, wide eyed and curious.

Bucky was somewhat surprised to see her here with him. He looked around. There were trees, the distant sounds of water, and in the far off distance, there was some kind of wall or fence.

There was also a dark blue alicorn smiling at them.

“Hello again, observer,” Bucky said, feeling a strange sense of relief upon seeing the alicorn once more. “What brings you here?”

“Where are we?” Twilight Sparkle asked.

“This is a public park that is located in the city of Converge. I brought you here so that I might speak with you. I hope both of you are well,” the observer replied.

“I’d like to know what is going on, why am I here, and why Bucky is here… please?” Twilight said in a confused voice.

The observer stepped closer, his head high, and his eyes blazed with inner light. “I was asked to speak with both of you. On this occasion, I bring good news… glad tidings.”

“Good news is always appreciated.” Bucky spread his wings and began to examine his feathers. “I apologise if I was a bit rude last time.”

“You came to me after the mirror crisis. I remember you. You told me about… about…” Twilight Sparkle looked thoughtful and she blinked as she tried to remember what had been discussed.

“Answers, Twilight Sparkle. We spoke about answers.” The observer’s eyes narrowed. “Which is why I am here now. Those who hold interest in the both of you felt the need to… help out. You are each fighting the battle in your own way, and I was sent to offer you hope.”

“We need hope,” Twilight replied.

“So about these answers… I’ve figured them out.” Bucky looked away from his wings. “Alicorns of specific purpose. I am War. Twilight Sparkle is Magic. Cadance is Love.”

“Very good. Three answers accounted for. The fate of your world hangs upon these answers. And that is why I am here. The fourth answer approaches,” the observer said. “The final answer is Growth.”

“There will be another alicorn?” Twilight Sparkle asked.

“Eventually.” The observer nodded. “You might say that one waits in the wings.”

“Why tell us this?” Bucky asked as he began to study the observer.

“Because. Magic will be key to Growth’s development, and as for you War, you are already guiding the answer to their purpose. You were put here to destroy Growth, yet you nurture her, much as Magic has done,” the observer replied. The observer’s face became serious. “Hope burns brightly. Others have begun to believe in your cause. Allies are forming. Rules are being broken and help is coming. There is now a sense of unity that has taken root in your world and that has inspired many.”

“What caused this?” Twilight asked. She stepped forward. “This unity, what brought it about? What can I do to make it stronger?”

“You are the Princess of Friendship, are you not?” The observer narrowed one eye and his eyebrow raised. “War may blaze the way, but it was friendship that has won the hearts of the world. War has burned down those that would have opposed you, perverted your message, and would have destroyed all of your hard work. Twilight Sparkle, heed my words… your great work is only beginning. There is much you must do and there is a lot of hard work ahead of you.”

Overcome with curiousity, Bucky asked, “What about me?”

“As Magic waxes, War must wane. I am sorry, but as Magic gains strength you will grow weaker. You will still have a part in the battle that is coming, of that there is no doubt, but surely you understand that the Apathy of War must give ground to the Magic of Friendship. As Magic gains in strength, so will Love and eventually, Growth. With these three, I am sorry, but you will fade into the background and become insignificant.”

“But that is what I want!” Bucky stepped forward and there was a manic look in his eye. “I don’t want to ascend. I want to fade away and lose power! I don’t want my destiny or the future I could bring about!”

“Then keep running. Keep resisting. Keep up the chase and may your destiny never catch you.” The observer’s face became blank of expression. “Many are starting to believe that you have what it takes to resist. Don’t give up. Keep going.”

“I will.” Bucky nodded.

“You must still play the role of guardian. You walk a fine, fine line.” The observer looked away from Bucky and his gaze turned to Twilight. “It is a pity that the both of you cannot be great together. But this is how it must be. Twilight Sparkle, when you awake, you will find a new spellbook in your library, on your secret shelf. You know the one of which I speak. It will be bound in white oak wood and will bear your mark upon the cover. Living holly will grow around the cover and keep the book closed to all eyes but yours.”

“Spellbook?” Twilight’s eyes narrowed and she looked puzzled.

The observer looked Twilight in the eye. “You will discover its purpose soon enough. Though I will say, the spells in there are… unique. They will grow much stronger in the presence of what give you strength. Be warned though. They come at a cost.”

“And that is?” Twilight’s ears pinned back and he pawed the grass with her hoof.

“For each of these spells that you use, you will weaken War. You will not harm him, nor will you shorten his life, but you will weaken him. As you grow in strength, he will become weaker,” the observer replied.

“So this becomes a matter of strategy… you said a big battle is coming. I should wait and use the spells when Bucky’s magic isn’t as necessary.” Twilight’s eyes widened as her mind began to race as she started thinking about everything involved in this.

“Perhaps. Or perhaps, if you weaken War, you will change the outcome of the coming battle in your favour. I cannot tell you, this is something you must discern upon your own.” The observer stepped away. “My time grows ever shorter.”

“About Growth… can you tell us any more?” Bucky asked.

“Growth represents change. A paradigm shift. When Growth manifests, the healing can begin in earnest. When Growth comes, they will remove many of the causes of War, and you will be weakened by their arrival. Growth will cause friendship to bloom and Love will blossom,” the observer replied.

“So this makes me a weed in the garden,” Bucky said.

Twilight Sparkle snorted and began to snicker.

“The analogy is accurate,” the observer said. “Tell me, do you have the humility to accept your own decline?”

“Of course I do, I don’t want my destiny, I never asked for this.” Bucky’s face became morose and sorrowful. “I love too much. I have friends. There are too many ponies I care about, and I would never want to be a threat to them. I would give my life for any of them.”

“Then if all goes well, you will diminish, grow weak, and become insignificant. There are many whose pride would never allow them to accept that fate.” The observer turned his burning stare upon Bucky and gazed into Bucky’s eyes. “You will not live long enough to reap the rewards you deserve. You will not see the end result of what Magic, Love, and Growth will accomplish together. You deserve a better fate. I may not have emotion, but I cannot help but feel that you were cheated.” The observer bowed his head. “My time is up…”

 

 

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