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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Clutching her pencil in her primaries, Cloudstreaker put a game smile upon her face, tried to look as adorable as possible, and then focused her weapons-grade cuteness upon Night Light. In a sweet, happy, chirpy voice, Cloudstreaker spoke the well practiced words that she had repeated into the mirror a hundred times: “I wanted to get your story for the school newspaper.”

“Story?” Night Light looked at the foal sitting down at the table across from him. He heard his wife make an equine noise of concern, a sort of low nicker as she moved to fix tea, using her magic to boil the water.

“The rise and fall of Canterlot and how you came to be some of the bestest teachers ever.” Cloudstreaker’s smile widened. The word bestest had been selected for maximum cuteness.

“Oh my,” Twilight Velvet gasped as she moved about the small room. She placed a small chipped saucer with several ginger molasses cookies in front of the pegasus filly.

“Well, I don’t know…” Night Light said, drawing his words out.

“Nighty, be a dear and help her out. Her grade probably depends on this,” Twilight Velvet said to her husband.

Cloudstreaker readied her pencil and gave Night Light a hopeful expression.

“It all started with a ledger… are you getting this? Am I talking too fast? Can you keep up?” Night Light pulled out several sheets of paper from a folder on a shelf, a quill, and some ink. The quill quivered in his magic, and he made ready to help the filly write down all of the important stuff.

“We discovered our entire family fortune was blood money. It was awful,” Twilight Velvet said as she sat down upon a cushion on the floor. Her ears perked forwards and she noticed that the cookies on the plate were being ignored.

“Yes… we might not be perfect unicorns, or even perfect parents, but we try so very hard to be good examples to Shining Armor and Twilight Sparkle. We tried to give them a sense of self sacrifice, a sense of goodness, because so many of the nobles were just plain dreadful.” Night Light dipped his quill in ink and got ready for more words.

“We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made mistakes though. Like the time Twilight Sparkle thought there were ghosts in the air vents. But that is a story for another time.” Twilight Velvet pulled out a tea tin and began to drop loose leaf tea into a small wire mesh basket so that it could be dunked into the teapot and allowed to steep.

“And because of that little slip up, we tried to teach our foals to own their mistakes. So… when word got out about everything that had happened, we offered to do the right thing. We wanted to get rid of our fortune.” Night Light’s ear began to quiver. “Those were scary times. Princess Luna came to us and assured us that we would be looked after if we cooperated. She said that there were a lot of angry ponies, and while it was very unfortunate, scapegoats were needed. Do you know what a scapegoat is?”

“Yup.” Cloudstreaker’s head bobbed in a dainty nod. Realising that everything was getting written down, she set down her pencil and began to eat a cookie.

“We did not know at the time that this was part of a greater plan by Princess Celestia and that Princess Luna was simply playing her part. We, along with quite a number of other nobles, were spared because we did the right thing. A public display had to be made. Ponies got to see mercy as well as justice. After the trial, Princess Celestia came to us and gave us her solemn word that we would be looked after and that we would never know want. She sent us back to Ponyville.” Night Light paused and dipped his quill in ink once more.

“It was dangerous in Canterlot. Nobles who had turned were getting killed. Princess Celestia kept her word though. We were kept safe. The ponies of Ponyville took good care of us. We were heroes. We had stood up and did the right thing. We had so much love and support given to us. Fancy Pants and Fleur were also sent to Ponyville with us to be kept safe. It was hard on them at first, I guess it was hard on us too.” Reaching up, Twilight Velvet dabbed at her eyes with the back of her fetlock.

“Just before the all out rebellion and battle in Canterlot, Princess Celestia got a message to us. I did not understand the meaning at the time, but I understand it now.” Night Light watched as the ginger molasses cookie disappeared. “She said that serving as scapegoats was an admirable thing, but that before all of this was over, we would be needed for another greater purpose. Forgiveness.”

“Huh?” Cloudstreaker, who had cookie crumbs on her muzzle, looked at the dark blue stallion sitting across the table. She blinked a few times, her ears perked forwards, then fell backwards, and then she said, “I don’t understand.”

“We didn’t either.” Twilight Velvet drew in a deep breath and shook her head. “Ponies don’t realise just how smart Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are. How old and wise they both are. While Princess Luna can be a little scary at times, Princess Luna does try to do her best to protect us all and think of our needs. And so does Princess Celestia. We were serving a need. A purpose… but we didn’t know it at the time.”

“As time went on, after all those horrible things in Canterlot took place, after the Collapse, when peace began to return, something peculiar happened.” Night Light’s quill scratched along the paper, writing down everything and then some, including details left unsaid. “Ponies we didn’t even know came up to us and forgave us. Not that we had even done anything in particular to them... or that we were seen as being to blame for everything that had happened.”

“They just wanted some resolution.” Twilight Velvet poured hot water from the kettle into the teapot. “They came to us… we heard stories… things that happened. Some of them were Shetlanders. We had to endure listening to a lot of awful things. And ponies forgave us. They needed to forgive somepony so the healing could begin. Princess Celestia knew that this was going to happen, and she fulfilled the need, using us.”

“So we went from scapegoats to being an ear for forgiveness. Twilight Velvet, Fancy Pants, Fleur, we got invited to a lot of dinners, many suppers, many afternoon teas, and we got to hear the stories of so many. They got a chance to pour their hearts out… they finally had a chance to tell the nobles just how they had been hurt… and  they forgave us. It really was something magical. It was perhaps the greatest experience of my life,” Night Light said to Cloudstreaker. “We got a chance to be part of the healing process.”

“And true to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna’s word, we were looked after. We wanted for nothing. We never went hungry, we never missed so much as a single meal. Nopony was cruel and vindictive towards us… well, not the Ponyville ponies. We had a few of our own fellow family members, cousins and such, that threatened to kill us for what we had done.” Twilight Velvet closed her eyes for a moment and then shook her head. “We were so humbled by the graciousness and goodness all around us.”

“Princess Celestia told us privately that we, and others who also served in this role, were the reason why Equestria was able to begin the healing process and start down the road to recovery and reunification. The unrepentant nobles were exiled. The heartless criminals were dealt with. The public got the justice and the wicked were punished, which appeased many angry ponies. We nobles who did the right thing, we who made the noble gestures… in the most literal sense of the word, the common ponies got to see that we weren’t so bad. They learned that not all of us were heartless leeches and monsters living in beautiful, lofty towers in Canterlot.” Night Light sniffled a bit and watched as Cloudstreaker began to eat another cookie.

“Some of us got the punishment, others got the forgiveness. Both were necessary, and the Royal Pony Sisters knew it.” Twilight Velvet opened her eyes. “We’re free now, but nothing has changed. We plan to remain teachers and teach the lessons of the past with the sincere hope that these same mistakes will not be made in the future.”

“Wow,” Cloudstreaker said after she swallowed her bite of cookie. “I’m gonna be newspaper famous!”



Sitting in a small chair, Coco Pommel looked over at Rarity, who was sitting on the other side of the bed. Coco, who was overcome with a dreadful sense of worry, felt her spirits lift a little when she saw Rarity looking back at her. Reaching out her hoof, Coco patted the comatose pony in the bed, hoping he would wake.

Rarity, knitting, gave Coco a soft, sad smile and returned to paying attention to her knitting, her needles making faint clicking sounds as she made loop after loop of yarn.

“I am glad we came,” Coco said in a soft whisper.

“Say again, darling?” Rarity replied, not looking up from her work.

Reaching out, Coco patted Bucky’s cheek with a soft, gentle touch. “I am glad we came. Seeing all of this has been hard, but I think it has made me a better pony. I have made a difference. I have brought smiles to the faces of those suffering. I have brought a measure of comfort to those who needed it most. And when I go home, I will be able to say that I fought in this war and I did my part. We have done battle here.”

“I suppose we have.” Rarity’s knitting needles stopped clicking. With a troubled expression, she shoved her knitting into her bag and then looked over at Coco. “Did you know that you really are the most extraordinary pony and that every single day, you inspire me?”

“I try.” Coco gave Rarity a demure smile.

“I am so crazily in love with you, Coco Pommel.” Rarity’s affectionate, eyes half opened gaze lingered upon Coco. Rarity’s ears twitched upwards when she heard the door open. Turning her head, she saw Cheese Sandwich and Pinkie Pie enter the small room.

“How is he?” Cheese Sandwich asked, looking a bit morose.

“He was dreaming earlier and talking in his sleep. It was strange.” Rarity’s lips pursed. “It sounded as though he was trying to teach somepony to ice skate.”

“He has to be awake if he wants to teach somepony to ice skate. That’s the rules,” Pinkie Pie said in an unusual subdued voice. “Cheese and I can’t stay long… we’re sorry, but were supposed to go and sing in the amputation ward.”

“Oh, that place is just dreadful,” Rarity said, cringing, her ears drooping down and falling beside her cheeks, which were taut with tension. “Coco and I were just in there earlier. I feel so bad for the poor darlings.”

“When we get home I suspect that Bucky’s knack for prosthetics will be useful.” Coco, still hoping, gave Bucky another prod with her hoof.

“Where is cute little Cadance?” Cheese Sandwich asked.

“Fluttershy and Discord have her. She was in dire need of a bath,” Rarity replied.

“We should get going. We don’t want to keep them waiting, they need cheering up and we’re just the right ponies to make them smile, smile smile,” Pinkie Pie said in a voice that became more chipper with each instance of the word ‘smile.’

“Has anypony seen Applejack?” Coco asked just as Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich started to slip out of the door.

A wide grin spread over Pinkie Pie’s face. “General Pommejack and her Fancy colonel Silver Shill are working the flight deck. General Pommejack has been instrumental in motivating others and her spectacular work ethic has been an inspiration. She has taken a hard stance against lollygagging and keeps the flights moving.”

“Oh dear… oh… that’s dreadful, not everypony has Applejack’s endless stamina.” Rarity covered her mouth with her hoof. “Best of luck in the amputee ward… tata, both of you.” Lifting her other hoof, Rarity waved goodbye.





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