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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It was Celestia, but it was not the Princess Celestia Bucky knew. He watched as the much larger alicorn stood upon the balcony. She was horse sized now. Massive. A creature of statuesque proportions and perfect musculature. Her soft pastel mane was gone, replaced by a blazing sheen that held all of the colours of the sunrise… or the sunset. Purples, golds, pinks, rose hues, various shades of blue, all blazing with brilliant intensity.

“Who are you?” Bucky asked in a trembling voice.

“I am that which was promised. I am Celestia, the Eternal Light,” the tall alicorn said in a voice that was both soft and yet still somehow almost deafening.

Bucky saw the tall figure as it turned to look at him. Her eyes blazed with inner light, and they too were all the colours of the rising or setting sun, always changing. Looking up at her, Bucky felt very small and helpless. She was massive compared to his small body. She was also terrifying. She radiated power.

She was approaching now, her gait silent. Her large, heavy hooves made no sounds as they fell upon the stones. Her neck was like a marble pillar. Her face was different, it was not the face that Bucky knew, but it was similar. He saw kindness and that is how he recognised her as the Celestia that he knew. He saw the tall figure lower her head.

A second later, two lips pressed against his cheek. There was a brilliant flash of light, it was like staring into the sun, and Bucky went blind from the radiance. Celestia’s touch was almost searing. He felt two lips brush up against his ear.

“When you pass into the mists, I will absorb the best that you have to offer. I will be the protector this world needs. I will keep them safe, Buckminster… and when Twilight Sparkle slips away, lost to old age, I will take upon myself her mantle as well. I would have become Love had she passed, but Love chose permanency. I do not know the future of Growth. Fear not, tiny protector, and go into deep and gentle slumber, so that your body might recover…”

 

 

Scratching his chin, Bucky contemplated how large Sentinel had become. His son, his beloved colt, was a gargantuan pony that seemed too large for the doors in the house. He couldn’t remember Sentinel being quite so large. They grew up so fast. It seemed like only yesterday that Sentinel was a little colt that had stood watch through the freezing night to guard Dinky and Piña.

“Father, I’m scared.” Sentinel’s voice was a deep, baritone rumble that made the entire house rattle with each spoken word.

“Son, why are you scared?” Bucky sat down and looked up at his colt, feeling rather colt sized himself.

“They’re so little compared to me… I’m so afraid that I’m going to hurt them—”

“Oh, nonsense. You won’t hurt them. Look at Belisama and I. She’s half my size.” Bucky waved his talons in a dismissive gesture. “You love them, don’t you?”

“So very much. I’m still so confused by them.” Sentinel looked down at his father, shifting his massive bulk and sitting down upon the floor.

“Females are confusing creatures, designed by an insane creator—”

“Father, stop being silly.” Sentinel rolled his eyes.

“No, wait, hear me out, son… by their very design, females are illogical—”

“Father, you… I don’t know how to deal with you sometimes.” Sentinel shook his head.

“But I have proof… whoever designed them ran a sewer main right through the recreation area.” Bucky looked up at Sentinel and waited. He watched as his son began shaking, trying to hold in laughter. “That is the mark of an insane creator.”

“You are a terrible pony.” Sentinel had to fight to keep a straight face and not laugh. “That is a terrible joke. If mother was to hear you say that—”

“She’d probably turn around and fart at me.” Bucky grinned and sighed as he thought about Derpy. “And then I’d probably go and play in her recreation area.”

“Father please, there are some things I do not wish to know.” Sentinel’s ears pinned back against his head. “How do I take care of them all? How do I keep them happy?”

“Sentinel, son, you are a provider.” Bucky reached out and prodded Sentinel’s brown trout cutie mark. “You’ve been feeding all of your little brothers and sisters now for a long time. You go into the lake to catch fish for those that need it. This mark right here, this is the mark of a provider. Look, all you’ve got to do is be a good father and just keep doing what you’ve been doing with all of your brothers and sisters when your own foals come along. Trust me, Moonbow, Diamond Tiara, and Boadicea will take care of the rest. Everyone will do their part and everything will be fine, trust me.”

“Father, who will I go to for advice when you are gone?”

Bucky tried to reply, but no words would come.

 

 

The small blue foal was weeping. She was always weeping, that is to say, when she wasn’t angry. But she was almost always angry. Feeling pity, Bucky sat down in the soft grass beside her and then patted her upon the back.

“Having a rough day?” Bucky asked.

The small blue earth pony foal sniffled, then nodded, but said nothing in reply. Everything about her was blue. A soft blue pelt. A darker blue mane and tail. Ice blue eyes. Her mouth opened for a moment, revealing teeth like a steel trap, sharp jagged teeth.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Bucky rubbed the filly’s back, hoping to make her feel better. “Do you have the angries again? Is something hurting you?”

The small blue filly latched on to Bucky’s leg and began squeezing, her face pressed up against Bucky’s barrel. As she sobbed, she growled, a terrible, fierce sound that confused so many and made others afraid of her. But Bucky felt no fear. He took a deep breath and then patted the foal on the back again.

“What happened?” Bucky asked.

“Gloaming Guard called me a big smelly meanie head!” Lunacy blurted out.

“Oh.” Bucky, who had been called far worse, had to remind himself how much words like that could hurt. “Lunacy, love, Gloaming Guard is a bit of a prat. He… he can’t help himself.”

“He called Tranquility a big sissy and I punched him and I gave him a bloody nose and now Tranquility is mad at me and she’s being nice to him and it hurts so much I can’t take it.”

Closing his eyes, Bucky sighed. Not this again… he thought to himself. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Go?” Lunacy asked.

“Yes, we need to go find your mother so you can confess to her what you did.” Bucky cringed, waiting, knowing what would come next. His ears fell back in anticipation as…

“NOOOOOOOO!” Lunacy shrieked. She fell over in the grass and went limp, refusing to move, laying on her back, all four legs up in the air. “NOOOOOO!”

Ears ringing, Bucky summoned his patience. It took a gentle touch to deal with Lunacy. One could not be angry when dealing with her, it brought complications that were very difficult to deal with.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!”

“Come on little one, it won’t be so bad,” Bucky said in a soothing voice. “Fluttershy never stops loving you, and you know that.” Reaching out his talons, he placed them atop Lunacy’s belly. He rubbed a little, trying to comfort the distraught foal. “You poor thing. All those emotions and so little control. We don’t have to go to Fluttershy right away… you can spend some time crying. And maybe we’ll go find your sister first.”

 

 

“You look beautiful.” Bucky bowed his head low to the ground and then lifted it back up so he was eye to eye with the radiant vision of beauty before him. Two amber coloured eyes gazed into his own. Or, at least he thought they were gazing into his. He could never quite be certain. He stole a kiss and heard a giggle.

That maddening giggle that always flooded him with so much desire. “You’re mine… all mine,” Bucky said as he moved forwards and stood neck to neck with Derpy. He pressed his chest against hers and then a somewhat clumsy slow dance began. “It’s just us… I have you all to myself.”

As they danced, Bucky looked around. So many foals. Such a large family. He and Derpy had somehow managed to make all of this possible. Berry Punch was dancing with Thistle. Bon Bon and Lyra were standing up on their hind hooves and slow dancing with one another. Belisama danced with Bandua, trying to teach the awkward little cub to dance.

A firefly went buzzing past, bobbing along in a lazy manner in the cool evening breeze. The scent of spring hung heavy in the air. Little paper lanterns had been hung from long lines and bathed the engulfing twilight with a riotous display of colour. A splash could be heard as something jumped into the lake.

“It wasn’t always easy,” Derpy said.

“But I think it was worth every moment,” Bucky replied. “How about you and I slip off and go have ourselves a little roll in the grass?” Bucky heard a soft giggle and he felt Derpy’s breathing quicken.

“How would you feel about having just one more?” Derpy asked.

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind that at all.” Bucky closed his eyes and leaned on Derpy.

“Well, that’s good, because in ten more months, the foal is due…”

 

 

“Any luck?” Celestia looked at her sister Luna. “Can you reach him? Have you figured out what is wrong?”

“He is dreaming… but I cannot reach him. Sister… I… I think he has Bucky.” Luna took a step backwards away from the bed.

“Father?” Celestia’s eyes went wide with panic and then narrowed with anger.

Luna nodded. “I cannot get through. Bucky’s mind is completely lost to me. I do not know what Bucky is dreaming, or if he is being tortured, I can do nothing.”

Lifting her head high, Celestia pondered what to do. She heard Cadance’s soft snuffling and Celestia inhaled, took a deep breath, and tried to calm herself. She looked down at Bucky, his form wrapped in bandages. Tourmaline had done what she could, but Tourmaline could only do so much at a time. One ruptured lung. Multiple broken bones. Many, many lacerations. Wounds of transference, wounds that Bucky had endured while he had become an ice elemental.

Tourmaline wanted to heal Bucky using empathic healing, and Celestia, broken hearted, had forbade it. The foal wasn’t ready for that kind of pain. Nopony was ready for that kind of pain.

“Cadance, hold still, he will be okay,” Luna said, pressing her nose into Cadance’s neck. “Be calm, be still, and try not to worry. You are here by his side, where you wanted to be.”

“Luna, we approach a grim situation. I do not expect many survivors, but you and I are going to look anyway—”

“Sister, I have read the reports already. I am prepared to do what I can… but you and I both know what we will find.” Reaching out her wing, Luna stroked Cadance, trying to calm her. “At least this conflict is more or less over.”

“There are still a few remnants in the lowlands and some have crossed over into Germaney. Your Shadowbolts hound them… the Shadowbolts have been a tremendous help in this war effort. They can travel vast distances and they are very good at what they do.” Celestia looked her sister in the eye. “I must confess, I was hesitant to allow the Shadowbolt program to happen. Now, I am glad that I did. So many lives have been saved. Luna, you were right to champion that idea.”

Luna, blushing, blinked as her ears drooped down beside her face. “Thank you… sister… I…” Luna’s words trailed off and her eyes glazed over. She swallowed, blinked away tears, and then whispered, “Thank you.”

The door opened and a hovering figure slipped through the door. “Sorry I’m late, I’m here, Lunacy was being fussy and Discord is getting ready to help and I—” Fluttershy paused and looked at Luna. “Oh… hi Luna.”

Luna, wide eyed, glared at the blanketed bundle held by Fluttershy. She said nothing. She began to tremble as a fearful look crept into her eyes. And then, Luna vanished.

“I’m sorry!” Fluttershy squeaked.

“Fluttershy, she will come around in time. I hope.” Celestia’s muzzle wrinkled with concern. “Look after him Fluttershy. I must go as well. There is much to do and much preparation needs to take place.”

The no longer a pegasus nodded as she hovered over beside Bucky’s bed. She looked over the various tubes and wires sticking out everywhere, making certain that everything was the way that it was supposed to be, then placed two blanketed bundles down into the bed beside Cadance and Bucky.

Lingering in the doorway, Princess Celestia cast one final glance, and then she was gone.

 

 

 

 

 

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