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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Berry Punch awoke to see a blue face looking down at her. She blinked, her eyes bleary from sleep and pain. She was sore, so very sore. Brandywine had ripped her a new one. She looked up at Princess Luna and yawned.

“Hello Berry Punch. I have come to see my godfoals and to check up on you,” Luna said in a soft, but loud whisper. Luna levitated a syringe up where Berry Punch could see. “I also have come with this. I am sorry, there is a shortage. The synthetic compound only helps with superficial wounds. Tourmaline is having a bit of a problem at the moment making new healing compounds.”

“What’s wrong?” Berry asked, feeling worried.

Luna gave the earth pony a reassuring smile. “Tourmaline is growing. With her growth, her chitinous plates became too small for her body. She is moulting. Right now, she is very soft and vulnerable. I had no idea that changelings moulted. We keep learning something new from her almost every day.” Luna lifted up a glass of water from the bedside table and held it up to Berry’s lips. She watched as the earth pony mare pulled the straw into her mouth with her tongue. Berry’s cheeks went tight as she sucked in some much needed water, and Luna felt happy knowing that she had helped.

“So, um, where does that syringe have to be injected?” Derpy asked as she peered at it with her good eye. “That’s a big needle.”

Luna grinned. “It has to be injected into affected area, of course.”

Hearing Luna’s words, Berry Punch immediately spit out her water into Luna’s face and began to cough.

 

 

“Thank you,” Derpy said to Bucky as she nestled a little closer to him in bed. Her voice was low and soft. The grey mare closed her eyes and rested her head on Bucky’s right foreleg, ignoring how thin and bony it was.

“For what?” Bucky asked.

“For everything,” Derpy replied.

“I don’t understand.” Bucky lifted his head, moved it over to his right, and set it down upon Derpy’s head, his chin resting upon her ear.

“For everything,” Derpy repeated. “For making me happy. For looking after my foals. For giving me more foals to love. For being good to me. For being good to us.” The grey pegasus heard Berry Punch’s soft breathing. “That injection didn’t heal everything.”

Bucky’s ear twitched as he listened. “No, no it didn’t. But it gave her a good head start. She’ll recover and do the rest of the healing herself.”

“Why did you stop Sunset from healing Berry?” Derpy asked.

Letting out a long, slow sigh, Bucky took a moment to think about his answer. “I don’t think Sunset Shimmer is ready to experience the consequences of shoving a seventeen pound foal out her backside.”

“Bucky, she has a gift… she’s been blessed with healing. Sooner or later, she is going to get hurt. You can’t stop her from getting hurt and you can’t keep her from using her gift.” Derpy, feeling the weight of Bucky’s head resting on her own, let out a sigh.

“Yes I can,” Bucky muttered.

“Bucky, she’ll hate you if you hold her back.” Derpy pulled her head free, lifted her head, turned, and looked Bucky in the eye. “She loves you. You love her. Don’t make her hate you.”

“She’ll just have to scratch her mad spot and get over it.” Bucky turned away from Derpy. His ears perked at the sounds of soft laughter in the nursery. This was not something he wanted to talk about and wished the conversation would end.

“Stay here with Berry.” Derpy leaned over and gave Bucky a kiss on the corner of his mouth. “I’m going to see if any little foals need a feeding. I think it’s getting to be about that time.”

 

 

“Bucky, Bucky, wake up,” Luna said. She felt terrible about waking Bucky up, but it needed to be done. She heard the sounds of other ponies waking in the bed and then Bucky let out a snort. Luna lifted him up in her telekinesis. “Bucky, something has happened. I am not certain of what though. My sister is coming.”

“Huh?” Bucky opened his eyes and could see Luna’s snoot inches from his own. He kicked at the air, wanting to be back in bed with his wives. Back where it was warm.

“Bucky, how much gin did you drink to put you to sleep?” Luna levitated Bucky away from her and fanned the air with her wing. “Your breath could strip paint. Mine eyes are watering.”

“I drank enough,” Bucky grumbled in reply.

Luna heard him grumble something else, but she couldn’t quite make it out. It sounded like Bucky had said, “Several quarts.” Luna shook her head. She pushed him a little farther away as her nostrils flared.

“What’s happening?” Bucky asked. He coughed, his cough sounding a little drier, and then he yawned, making a raspy whine. “I’ve retired. I’m done. Lemme alone. Put me back in my bed. Don’t make me breathe on you.”

“Whatever you do, do not do that,” Luna said as she made her way down the hall. She heard Barley’s voice as he explained why she was stealing Bucky away. She felt bad for even doing this. Bucky needed his rest. He was sick in more ways than one. But Celestia had insisted. Luna huffed, feeling irritated with her sister, and then she focused on not breathing.

Bucky reeked of gin.

 

 

In the ground floor of Bucky’s tower, Luna paced, waiting for Celestia to arrive. She didn’t know what was taking her sister so long. She felt nervous, not knowing what was going on. She heard a thunderous belch, paused mid step, and looked at Bucky. What she saw made her frown.

“Is that a jug of moonshine?” Luna asked.

Slumped in a comfortable chair, Bucky lifted his head just enough to look at Luna. “No.” He belched again, squinted one eye, and looked at the alicorn standing nearby with as much contempt as he could muster. “It’s mead. I’ll get to the moonshine later.”

“Why are you drinking?” Luna shook her head at Bucky and narrowed her eyes.

“Because,” Bucky replied. “I’m awake.” He let out yet another belch and then lifted the jug to his lips. He took a long swallow, lowered his jug, burped, burped again, and then wiped his mouth with his foreleg. “Insurance. I’ll be doo thrunk to shave Equestria. Equestria can go shave itself. I’m done.”

“Buckminster, sober yourself up at once, this instant,” Luna demanded.

“No.” Bucky belched in defiance. “Make me.”

“This passive aggressiveness does not become you.” Luna shook her head in disapproval. She watched as Bucky killed off the gallon jug of mead, guzzling it down. She could hear his stomach sloshing as he struggled to sit up in his chair. She saw his horn ignite and she let out a hopeful sigh. A little magic and Bucky would sober right up and be right as rain.

When the bottle of dark brown rum materialised next to Bucky, Luna ground her teeth together in frustration. She watched as he set down the brown gallon crockery jug on the floor beside him and he took the bottle of rum in his talons. Bucky belched once more and this time, a rainbow of flames shot out of his mouth and nostrils. She could see the pained expression upon his face as smoke rose from his nose.

Rolling her eyes, Luna let out a disgusted snort.

 

 

Tense, nervous, Luna watched as her sister Celestia entered the tower. Twilight Sparkle was right beside Celestia, looking fearful and concerned. Luna’s ears perked when she heard Sunset Shimmer speaking soft words to Bucky, trying to convince him to sober up. Luna, unable to help herself, smiled just a little when Celestia came to a stop and sniffed. She watched as her sister turned to look at Bucky and then, Celestia looked more than a little angry.

“Something terrible has happened,” Celestia said. She looked around the room, meeting every eye. She extended a wing and pointed at Twilight, who was carrying a wooden box.

Twilight, looking disgusted, scared, and horrified, placed the wooden box down upon a table and backed away until her rump hit the wall, her eyes never leaving the box.

Glancing at Bucky, Celestia continued: “Equestria has lost a major foe. Our enemy has struck down one of our fellow immortals to send a message to us. She was horrible, but she didn’t deserve this…” Celestia’s words trailed off and she fell silent.

“Box in the what?” Bucky, clutching an almost empty bottle in his telekinesis, fell out of his chair, wobbled on his legs, and then stumbled over to the table. “What’sh in the box… not ish birfday.”

“Bucky, will you please sober up?” Celestia asked in a patient voice.

Luna, unable to tear her eyes away, watched as Bucky staggered to the box. She looked at Celestia, wondering if Celestia was going to stop him, but then realised that Celestia wanted Bucky to see whatever was in the box. Perhaps the contents of said box would sober Bucky up. Luna looked into Twilight’s haunted eyes. She had seen whatever was in there.

“This was sent by a courier to Twilight Sparkle, along with a note stating that this could be her,” Celestia said in a low voice as Bucky clutched at the box with his talons.

“Nopony… hursh… Twi—” Bucky let out a thunderous belch that made everything in the room rattle, and caused the two sisters to both glare at him in anger, something that escaped his attention. “—light. Shomepony hursh Twilight, I do bad thingsh. Very bad thingsh. Break promish to Cady. Get Shadowboltsh and make mush violensh.”

Fumbling, Bucky had to struggle to get the latch on the box to open and then he lifted the lid. The bottle in his telekinesis crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces. Bucky stared for a few moments, his eyes going wide, then going narrow, then going wide again.

“Osh shite.”

From where Luna was standing, she could see the contents of the box. The severed head of Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings, stared up with sightless eyes. Her horn had been sawn off to make her head fit in the wooden box.

Slumping against the table, Bucky began laughing. He wheezed and cackled, his raspy breathing popping and crackling in his throat. He laughed until he coughed, but kept laughing. He clung to the edge of the table to keep from falling over.

“Buckminster Bitters!” Celestia snapped. “She was our enemy, she did bad things, but we should treat her remains with respect!” Celestia stomped a hoof. “This is very, very bad… one of the major immortals of this world has been killed!”

Thinking fast, Luna pulled away the shards of glass all over the floor as Bucky fell over, clutching his sides, coughing, and laughing. His hind legs kicked and scissored in the air as more and more maniacal laughter escaped from his thin lips.

“Master, stop, this isn’t funny!” Sunset Shimmer shouted.

“He’s drunk… I hope that he wouldn’t be like this sober.” Twilight shook her head, shuddered, and then closed the box with her telekinesis.

“Shomepony shut that dumb coont righth up,” Bucky wheezed as he rolled on the floor. He rubbed his eyes, coughed, kept coughing, then collapsed into a fit of wheezing and hacking that was so bad that he pissed himself. He pounded his talons on the floor, trying to breathe, and just as he started to get himself back under control, a little cackle slipped out and threatened to cause a coughing fit that might just finish him off. He clutched his ribs, panting and wheezing. He closed his eyes and focused on breathing.

“Are you done?” Celestia asked in a very short tempered voice.

Bucky coughed up an enormous, horrid chunk of lung butter and spat it out on the floor. Wobbling, he rose to his hooves He stood there for a moment, unsure of his balance, glanced at the box, turned his head, scowled at Celestia, and then gave himself a shake, sending urine and spilled rum from the floor that had soaked into his pelt all over, causing all mares present to let out cries of disgust.

Letting out a drunken cackle, Bucky staggered for the door that led outside, his movements jerky and slow. He almost fell over, laughed a bit, and then wobbled in the general direction of the door.

“Shcuse me… but I hash to go and shee an old friend,” Bucky said as he teetered forwards.

“Where is he going?” Sunset asked.

“I do not know. Probably to find another bottle. Let him go,” Celestia replied.

“We still have much to discuss. At least now we can do so without disruptions,” Luna said.

 

 

Outside of his tower, Bucky gave himself a shake, farted once, giggled, and then his horn blazed with a brilliant blue-green glow. He coughed up more lung butter, spat it out, and then gave himself another shake.

With a blinding flash, the unicorn turned into a axe beaked griffon, spread his wings, and took off, heading south southwest. It was a little past midnight, and Bucky had a long ways to go. Seeing Chrysalis’ severed head had forced him to throw aside his funk and his depression.

It was time to go and have a talk with an old friend about becoming allies.

 

 

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