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 watched as the messenger pegasus in silver armor flew away, holding a heavy, ornate wooden scroll tube in his telekinesis as the pegasus departed into the midmorning sun. He glanced at the tube and then his eyes darted back towards the skybound pegasus. It was a pleasant day for flying.

Opening the front door, Bucky let himself back into the house, turned right, and went into the living room. He sat down in the chair that was next to the window, popped the cap off of the scroll, pulled out the thick sheaf of papers, and began to read.

Berry Punch, always curious, sat down on the sofa and watched, her eyes narrowed in a quizzical expression of curiousity. She watched as Bucky’s head and eyes scanned the paper. And then, without warning, Bucky gasped and began sobbing. Feeling panicked, Berry Punch watched as the stack of papers fell out of his telekinesis and floated down to the floor like autumn leaves.

“Daddy?” Cadance said, dropping her stuffy and looking in Bucky’s direction. Her eyes were already welling up with tears of her own.

“Bucky, what is wrong? Bucky, talk to me… what’s wrong?” Berry Punch asked as she felt worry begin to gnaw at her insides.

“Bucky?” Derpy hobbled into the living room, stepped over the papers, and sat down on the floor, easing her backside down to the wooden planks so she could sit down beside Bucky’s chair.

Pitching forward, bawling, Bucky clung to Derpy’s neck as he tumbled to the floor to be beside her. Cadance, who had crawled over, began to paw at Bucky’s side with frantic intensity. Derpy wrapped her wings around Bucky and tried to hold him up.

While this was happening, Berry Punch, who had moved to the middle of the papers and had sat down, was picking them up and arranging them back into a stack. She wobbled on her haunches, her large oversized belly making it difficult to balance.

“Bucky, tell me what’s wrong,” Derpy said in a soothing whisper, speaking into Bucky’s ear as she held him up with one foreleg wrapped around him. Derpy lifted her head and looked at the earth pony holding the papers. “Berry?”

“The Stable of Representatives held a vote… there was a big vote that just happened and I guess it isn’t in the papers just yet,” Berry Punch replied as as her eyes darted over the well written letters, the perfect flowing script. “All of the nobles who remained as indentured public servants, all of them have proven themselves in one way or another, each has earned their freedom… the stable reps stood together for a historic vote as the end of the winter session nears… Derpy… Derpy they…” Berry Punch almost dropped the papers and covered her mouth with her hoof.

“What?” Derpy asked, giving Bucky a squeeze and patting the distraught alicorn foal with her wing.

“In a unanimous decision, the Stable of Representatives now and forever have abolished all forms of slavery and indentured servitude… Bucky is a free pony… Rising Star climbed up on top of a table and demanded that the last vestiges of the old Equestria finally be stripped away and the entire stable agreed with him.” Berry looked up at Derpy and there were tears in her eyes. She pulled her hoof away from her mouth and rubbed her stomach. “Mere minutes after the motion was settled, Princess Celestia had legal documents drawn up making her the legal guardian and next of kin for both Buckminster Beauregard Bitters and Sunset Shimmer. Bucky’s real mother and father are being stricken from public record… Celestia has formally adopted Bucky and Sunset as her own… there are papers here for Sunset Shimmer as well.” The sheaf of papers fell from Berry’s hoof and the earth pony mare gave Derpy a blank stare.

Berry stumbled forwards and collapsed against Bucky and Derpy. She wrapped her forelegs around both of them and was careful not to crush Cadance.

“What’s going on?” Thistle asked as she came around the corner with Belisama riding on her back.

“Somepony needs to go get Sunset Shimmer right away,” Derpy replied.

 

 

“I can’t figure out why she would do this.” Sunset Shimmer looked down at the papers sitting in the middle of the kitchen table. “I mean, I see the papers, but she didn’t include her reasons. Why did she do this? Not that I’m complaining.” She looked over at Bucky, who was huddled over a teacup and trembling.

“I have a sister,” Bucky mumbled as he rocked back and forth in his chair, his tea sloshing. “I have a sister.”

Lifting her head, Sunset Shimmer said to Bucky, “Actually, you would have two sisters if you wanted to look at it that way. Myself and Tourmaline… no… oh no… Bucky, no, don’t start crying again, it’s horrible when you cry!”

Too late, Bucky had begun sobbing. The teacup slipped from his talons and would have spilled all over the table if Sunset Shimmer hadn’t caught it. There was a thump as Bucky’s upper half collapsed over the table.

“Not even Discord can cause this sort of chaos,” Berry Punch said in a low muttering voice. Holding Cadance, Berry tried to console the foal that had started sobbing at the same time as Bucky. “And I just got you quieted down, too.”

“What is her motivation? I mean, Celestia never does anything without having some meaningful reason that motivates her actions. I mean, sometimes she does things for emotional reasons, but those times are rare… I don’t understand what is going on here.” Sunset Shimmer folded her forelegs over her barrel and tried to ignore the horrible sounds of Bucky sobbing.

“Technically, Celestia only listed herself as your guardian and next of kin. She might have simply tried filling the gap after she had your shite encrusted parents stricken from public record,” Berry Punch said as she patted Cadance on the back.

“Is it a political move? Support for herd marriage? Now that Bucky is off the leash, is this a move to gain public trust? I mean, while Bucky is known as a warlock, he is also known for being an insanely devoted father… and if Celestia has him as her ward, is she trying to send some sort of message to society that she trusts Bucky and his dark ways?” Sunset Shimmer asked.

“You could always go to Canterlot and ask her, I suppose.” Derpy sighed and took a deep breath. “It isn’t right to second guess her actions like this. She might have had a very simple reason.”

“Bucky needs to get some sleep. He has a long night ahead of him tonight. So no going to Canterlot.” Berry Punch bounced Cadance up and down and there seemed to be no end in sight for Cadance’s tears. “Come on Bucky… you’ve been up all night and right through the morning and you’re all emotional. Come to bed… and I’ll tuck Cadance in with you.”

“I guess I’ll go to Canterlot. I can fly there and be back in no time,” Sunset Shimmer said.

“That’s a good idea,” Derpy said to Sunset Shimmer. The grey pegasus mare looked at Bucky. “Come on. I’ll come to bed with you. I can’t sit up no more.”

 

 

Sentinel glanced at the various hats, trying to figure out which one that Dinky might like. For all of her word work, for all of her effort, Sentinel felt that Dinky deserved a reward. Piña too, but he didn’t know what to do for Piña. It was Piña’s idea to find Dinky a hat.

“Shouldn’t you be in school?” a mare asked as she peered down at Sentinel. “Wait, I know you… you’re Sentinel. Why aren’t you in school?”

“I have study hall and I am free for one hour and fifteen minutes and I came to Ponyville to look through your hat selection because I want to do something real nice for my sister, Dinky, because Dinky did something that I think deserves rewarding,” Sentinel replied.

“I see.” The mare raised her eyebrow. “What sort of hat might your sister like?”

“I don’t know… she wants to grow up and be a wizard. She wants a distinctive hat that is unique… something uncommon that when ponies see it, they immediately know right away that it is her. She wants a hat that ponies will associate with her name… at least that is what my other sister, Piña, told me when we talked.”

“Oh my,” the mare gasped. She turned tail and headed off to the back of the store. “I think I know what you might want. Follow me, Monsieur.

Following the mare’s commands, Sentinel took off, moving at double time. He moved past hundreds of hats on racks, hats of all styles, makes, and models. Sentinel had trouble believing there could be so many hats.

“These are all I have left… nopony even makes these anymore,” the mare said as she came to a stop in front of a shelf. “Nopony wears them any longer, at least no one that I know. These fell out of fashion about a hundred years ago. Nopony even remembers what they were called.”

“What are they?” Sentinel asked as he looked at the hats on the shelf.

“They’re called smoking caps. As you can see, they are very distinctive. Classy. Dressy. Part of a bygone age,” the mare replied.

Craning his head, Sentinel looked at them. Some were velvet, some looked quilted, some were made of heavy looking brocade. As Sentinel looked them over, he found one that stood out more than the others. On the top shelf there was one that was dark purple, and it looked like wool velvet. There were green shoots of ivy embroidered around the sides and in between the ivy leaves, there were bumblebees.

It could not be more perfect.

“That one!” Sentinel said, pointing upwards with his wing. “How much?”

“For you, twenty five silver bits,” the mare replied.

“These are display models, right? Do you have a second?” Sentinel asked.

“Hang on, let me check,” the mare replied as she hustled off and then vanished through a narrow door in the back wall where the shelf was located.

His wings fluttering at his side, Sentinel waited and stared upwards at the hat. The dark purple would match Dinky’s pelt and the bumblebees would match her cutie mark. It was also unique and unlike anything that Sentinel had ever seen before.

The mare poked her head out of the door. “I have three left. The factory that made these has long since gone out of existence.”

“How much for three?” Sentinel asked. “All of them. How much?”

“For you, I could let all three of them all go for sixty silver bits,” the mare replied.

“I’ll take all three… I have enough with a little extra left over.” Sentinel grinned.

“Planning for the future… such a clever colt. These hats shall age well, but it will be nice to have spares if there is ever an accident.” The mare vanished into the back once more. “I will steam clean this one, it is dusty, it will not take long!”

Sentinel saw the hat on the shelf vanish, pulled into the back room. With nothing else to do, Sentinel waited and thought about his sister, hoping that Dinky would be happy.

At last, the mare appeared, carrying a hatbox on her back. “I have tied this off with twine so it will be easy for you to carry home. Each of the hats are packed in a special bag that will keep moths away. The tassels are removable and I packed in several extra tassels, those tend to wear out before the hat does. These are all heirloom quality pieces, so one day, your sister might be giving these to her foals and telling them a wonderful story about her big brother.”

Sentinel felt his cheeks burn and his ears felt as though they would combust at any second. He stared down at his front hooves and kicked his right hoof with his left hoof.

“I’ll ring you up at the register. I do hope that she will like them. You are such a good colt…”

 

 

 

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