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 awoke with several needs, all of them pressing in on his mind all at once. He addressed the most pressing one first, relieving himself. After a very satisfying bit of time spent with a bucket, he returned to bed to collect his thoughts.

He had the most marvelous idea of how to fix his horn. The idea had been in his head for a while, different means, different methods, a slew of ideas, all of which he had reflected upon a great deal during quiet moments. Now he knew for certain what he needed to do. There was an almost overwhelming compulsion to begin now.

He was going to need Sentinel. He looked at the colt. Sentinel was still sleeping, sandwiched between Lyra and Bon Bon. His gaze shifted to Lyra. He needed immense amounts of electrical currents. While he could cast electrical spells, he wasn’t all that good with them, and he was going to need his magic for other things.

He needed fulgurite. Petrified lightning. It was the missing piece in the puzzle that was replacing his horn. When lightning struck sand it created a special material prized by unicorns for magical work. Mineraloid in nature, it was perfect for channeling energy and could be used as a sort of magical prism. It was one of the many things that could be used to create focusing devices and magical reflectors. While he could have used crystals to achieve much of the same effect, fulgurite would be much better for his purposes due to the nature of how it could be infused with multiple types of magic.

One golden eye opened and he saw Lyra looking at him. She yawned, her orange tongue visible, and then her other eye opened. She stared at Bucky.

“You are up to mischief. What are you planning?” Lyra asked bluntly.

“Care to join me in some forbidden magic?” Bucky asked in reply.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Lyra replied sleepily and then yawned again when she was done speaking.

Bon Bon awoke with a snort. “Forbidden magic?” she mumbled. “No! Bad ponies! Bad! For shame! Lyra, what have I told you about wanting to experiment with necromancy!”

Bucky froze and looked at Lyra. Lyra squirmed under his gaze, her eyes now narrowed. “Look, I just said I’d like to study it, not actually practice it Bonnie… it isn’t fair that you keep bringing that up. It is only idle curiousity, nothing more. And I don’t think Bucky had necromancy in mind,” Lyra said in her own defense.

Bon Bon scowled at Bucky first, and then at Lyra, having woke up in quite a grumpy mood.

“I need Lyra and her elemental knack for lightning. I need to create fulgurites, a special type of glass created by lightning strikes. I intend to infuse it with raw magic,” Bucky explained.

“And then what?” Bon Bon growled.

Bucky squirmed uncomfortably under Bon Bon’s gaze. She was the one who had made him follow a strict policy of total honesty.

“And then what? Tell me… now,” Bon Bon repeated in an insistent tone.

“Oooh Bonnie woke up crabby,” Lyra muttered.

“Shush Lyra,” Bon Bon commanded.

Lyra dropped her head and covered her face with her forelegs.

“What is going on?” Ripple asked, not opening her eyes but perking up her ears.

“That is what I am trying to find out,” Bon Bon replied.

“I need to replace my horn. It keeps fizzling. I know how to do it now. I know how to make it work. If I don’t, I know it is going to fail me again, and if that happens while I am fighting the wolves, it will mean my death,” Bucky blurted out.

Bon Bon scowled and a low growl lingered in her throat.

Bucky felt an odd sensation. Fear. Bon Bon’s potential disapproval actually frightened him. Bucky had lived most of his life with his mother’s disapproval. This felt similar, but different at the same time. He discovered that deep inside, he didn’t want Bon Bon disappointed with him. It was something of an epiphany to Bucky. This was a mare that he cared deeply about and he valued what she thought as well as what she felt. And her critical gaze upon him right now wasn’t out being done out of spite or resentment, but love. Bucky felt a faint tingle of regret and shame and he dropped his gaze, unable to look Bon Bon in the eye any longer.

“Are you confident that you can do this and be successful?” asked Bon Bon in a low whisper. “I am assuming that if you fail, this will mean your death as well.”

Bucky’s stomach tied into knots. His first attempt to speak came out as a squeak. He cleared his throat and tried again. “I am confident that I can do this. But I can’t do it alone,” he replied.

“And this is forbidden magic… not something a law abiding unicorn would do. This is a violation of the natural order,” Bon Bon stated.

“Yes,” Bucky replied. “But I need to magically alter myself if I am to avoid my fate. I will also need to draw off some of Sentinel’s essence to make this work. Some of his shadow magic. I promise it won’t hurt him, and Sentinel and I have already talked about-”

“Hush,” Bon Bon commanded, interrupting Bucky’s nervous explanation.

Bucky fell silent and raised his gaze. Ripple and Sentinel were awake now, and every eye in the room was looking at him.

“We can’t have your horn failing. I never thought I would ever have a husband. But now that I have one, I have no interest in losing him. Are you sure that you can survive this?” Bon Bon asked, her brows furrowed intensely as she stared at Bucky.

“Well, I mean, there is a chance that it could fail. A chance… but my horn will fail. So I take the chance now and potentially survive, or I do nothing and at some point, this will mean my death,” Bucky answered.

“We can’t have that,” Bon Bon stated. “I already know that Lyra is more than willing to help.”

“Yeah I am. Regular magic is humdrum and boring. Mundane. I want to explore the fringes of what is possible,” Lyra said.

Bon Bon nodded knowingly. “So what needs to be done?” she asked.

“I need to take Sentinel to a dark place, like the laboratory downstairs. I need to draw off his shadow essence and place it in a magical containment. Then I need to head back out to where the ley lines cross. I’ll need to commune with Lyra, and then focus an immense amount of power through her. Once she is juiced up with an indescribable amount of power, I’ll need her to cast lighting into a pile of sand to create fulgurites. I’ll then take these fulgurites, shape them magically, infuse them, and then through a very complicated process, I will fuse them to my own body, replacing my horn,” Bucky explained.

“Won’t they be fragile? Won’t they just break? I thought glass was fragile,” Bon Bon replied.

“Not magically infused fulgurites,” Lyra said in return. “This is actually a good idea I think. It will constantly draw a faint trickle of magic from Bucky which will make it very nearly unbreakable. I mean, it could be broken, but you’d need some kind of impossible circumstance to make it happen. So long as Bucky had magic, his horn would be more durable than his body would be.”

“I am coming with you,” Bon Bon said. “And you are going to tell the others. No trying to hide this,” the mare insisted.

Bucky felt a strange joy in knowing that Bon Bon was not displeased with him. He closed his eye and sighed in relief. He felt two lips press up against his in a quick peck, and he opened his eye in surprise.

“Bonnie!” Lyra exclaimed.

“What?” Bon Bon replied. “He’s our husband. I am allowed to kiss him. I am not asking him to rut me and no offense to you Bucky, but I have no interest in what you have to offer me. But I see no problem with giving you a kiss now and then.”

Lyra nodded thoughtfully at Bon Bon’s words. “I suppose you are right. It just sent a weird feeling through me seeing you do that,” Lyra admitted.

“I don’t want you to ever do anything you are uncomfortable with,” Bucky said.

“You were honest with me over a very difficult subject and I appreciate that a great deal,” Bon Bon replied. “I felt that you deserved to be rewarded.”

“Well then, I shall treasure your kisses all the more knowing that I have to work to earn them,” Bucky said.

Bon Bon tittered and her face broke into a wide grin.

“She makes me earn them too sometimes,” Lyra said to Bucky. “I have to be a good pony. No necromancy studies.”

 

 

Sentinel watched as Bucky did what needed to be done to prepare. The colt was frightened, even though he would never admit it or show it, not so much of having some of his shadow essence drained, but by the idea of Bucky failing. Sentinel didn’t want Bucky to die.

Explaining everything to the others had gone much better than expected and now, the group was divided. Derpy, Berry, and Thistle were off with the foals and the others, while the unicorns had gathered together along with Bon Bon, minus Dinky who was staying with her mother.

Fear rippled through both groups, and Sentinel could sense it. Being a creature of shadow, fear was something that gave Sentinel strength under normal circumstances. But feeling the fear of those he loved unnerved him.

“Ready?” Bucky asked. “I need you to shadow dive if you can. The room is very dim, it shouldn’t be too hard,” he instructed.

Sentinel nodded. He could shadow dive. He closed his eyes and concentrated on becoming one with the darkness. He stood in deep shadow and allowed the darkness to seep into him. He felt a tingle in his flesh. And then, his physical form slipped away and he became shadow. He could see all around him in all directions, something that always puzzled him. He felt the cool darkness. He felt strong. He felt an odd tickle as though something was pulling on him. A moment later, his hooves thudded onto the stone floor and he stood with his breath heaving in and out of his lungs, completely exhausted from his shadow dive.

“Perfect,” Bucky said. “I was able to draw off what I needed. Living shadow,” he added.

Sentinel looked and saw what appeared to be a black liquid swirling inside of a globe of blue-green magic that hovered over Bucky’s head.

“We'll need to do this again when I create my armor,” Bucky said. “See how easy it is? It didn’t hurt you, did it Sentinel?”

“No sir. I felt a tickle or something. No pain at all sir,” the colt replied.

Sentinel heard Bon Bon heave a sigh of relief and he turned to look at the earth pony. “I am fine ma’am,” he insisted.

“Daylight is burning. We don’t know how long this will take. We had better get moving,” Rising Star urged. “Do we have everything?” he asked.

“We have the sand. We have the sunstone that Bucky requested, but I am not sure why we need it. We have a coven of unicorns and we have two ley lines. I think we’re good,” Sparkler said in reply.

“The sunstone is beautiful. Why did you cast it inside of the green one Bucky?” Lyra asked.

“Well, I was experimenting. The others were all failures. I just happened to pull a green one out of the pile without looking at it,” Bucky answered.

“Painful to look at,” Rising Star said. “That emerald gives off a lot of light.”

“Well it is a sunstone, duh,” Sparkler replied snarkily.

“I am going to wait with the others,” Sentinel said.

“Okay Sentinel,” Bucky replied.

“I will keep your foals safe,” Sentinel promised.

“Thank you Sentinel,” Bucky said.

When he reached the stairs, safely away from the others, the first few tears fell and Sentinel allowed himself a private moment. Terror overtook him. He wept and hoped that Bucky would survive what came next.

 

 

“Are we ready to begin?” Rising Star asked. He looked at Bucky. The stallion was sitting on his haunches in the grass, looking very calm, his remaining eye closed.

“I think we are,” Lyra replied.

“I still don’t understand how father will graft this onto his head,” Sparkler said in bewildered confusion.

“I will teleport,” Bucky stated. “And while I am teleporting, I will draw myself together with my new horn into the same location so that we overlap. As I reassemble from the teleportation, it should molecularly fuse with me,” he explained.

“That makes sense,” Sparkler said in a voice full of worry. “Also sounds like it leaves a lot to chance,” she added.

“It does,” Bucky admitted.

“So if you fail on the first attempt…” Rising Star said, his voice trailing off.

“It will kill me, yes,” Bucky replied.

“Is there nothing we can do to save you?” Rising Star asked.

“No,” Bucky replied. “If the casing around my horn is breached at such a time, I will probably combust from all the raw magic being focused.”

“Oh,” Rising Star murmured.

“We don’t want that,” Lyra said. “Let’s not talk about that,” she insisted.

“So what is the sunstone for?” Bon Bon asked.

“I intend to replace my eye while I do this,” Bucky answered. “When I teleport I plan to use some of the same material that I will replace my horn with and fuse it into my eye socket. I will embed the sunstone in my eye socket and fuse it to my thaumaturgical nerves.”

“So built in spotlight?” Lyra asked.

“Yes,” Bucky replied.

“Will you be able to turn it off?" Lyra inquired.

“I think so,” Bucky answered.

“Seems practical,” Bon Bon stated in a calm voice.

“Before we start, I want to say, Bucky, I love you. I couldn’t ask for a better father. I had a good feeling about you when I shoved my mother out the door to talk you. You’ve been so good to her, giving her the love she needs. You’ve been good to Dinky and I. You let us all into your heart. I know that it isn’t easy to love a mare that has foals and to take her foals in,” Sparkler said.

Bucky blushed and struggled to reply, but no words came out.

“My life is better for having known you,” Rising Star said, settling in close to Sparkler. “Good luck,” he offered.

“Yes Bucky, good luck. Lyra and I would like foals, and we want them to be yours,” Bon Bon said.

Lyra said nothing, but gave a nod.

Bucky took a deep breath. Derpy was probably scared out of her mind right now he realised. Berry seemed confident, but was probably frightened as well. Thistle had cried a bit, but Derpy had comforted her and wiped away her tears. He took another deep breath. “We begin,” he commanded, his horn igniting in a fierce glow.

 

 

Bucky could feel the ley lines coursing through him. He hovered directly above the intersection of the two lines, channeling them directly, and forwarding their power through his fellow unicorns as he communed with them. He could feel Lyra summoning up a massive electrical blast. He could feel Sparkler and her magical connection to the sand. Rising Star was connected simply for the experience and he could feel the sense of wonder and awe in the colt’s mind.

He fused the raw magical essence he was summoning with the shadow essence contained within the sphere of magic. The sand was directly above him, contained in its own magical bubble. He merged the two bubbles together and as he did so, he felt Lyra let go.

For Lyra, it was practically a sexual release. She cried out as she channeled more magic than she had ever brought to bear in her whole life. A bolt of purple-blue lightning streamed from her horn and into the sphere over Bucky’s head.

Sparkler felt herself drawn into the sweet release of magic as well as she focused her will on the sphere, and she could feel Bucky in her mind, guiding her thoughts as she fused her magic into the sand, binding it with the elements being focused upon it. She gave the melting sand shape and form.

Bucky merged the magics together, Sentinel’s shadow essence blending into the writhing mass of magically infused sand as the magical lightning changed its nature. Bucky bled raw magic directly into the containment sphere, drawing directly from the ley line.

Lyra’s lightning finally ceased and the unicorn mare continued to let out heaving cries of pleasure, her hind legs kicking wildly as she floated, suspended in midair.

Sparkler exerted even more of her will and focused some of her own life force into the mass that was slowly taking shape in sphere. She did not know how she was doing this, but somehow she knew it needed to be done. Bucky was not guiding her. Something else lingered at the edge of her mind. Something primal and powerful.

The writhing mass in the sphere was a living thing now, infused with magical life. It became visible in between flashes. It looked like it was obsidian, black volcanic glass, long, jagged looking, and very very black. It was gnarled all along the surface, the lightning making it bubble as it had formed. A second mass was also briefly visible, small black, and the shape almost impossible to describe. Bucky levitated the sunstone into the middle of the second mass and merged them together.

Bucky used his own magic to cool both of the objects within the sphere, leeching the heat away from them. Soon, they were cooled, and Bucky knew that his time drew near.

He reached out and touched the minds of each unicorn connected to him, trying to broadcast his feelings of love and appreciation to each of them. Touching Lyra’s mind was awkward and weird, as she was still in the throes of what could only be described as a magical orgasm.

And then, he broke the connection. He didn’t want them feeling what came next should something go wrong. It would break them. He focused his will and steeled himself for what was coming. Before he teleported, his final thought was the soft and velvety feeling of Derpy’s snoot when they had bumped into one another on that fateful day.

There was a violent thunderclap of sound as Bucky blinked and snow drifted through the air. The temperature dropped instantly and several inches of snow settled to the ground. A moment later, Bucky blinked back into existence, and he immediately wished he hadn’t.

He could feel the magical glass fusing with his skull as his body merged with his new horn and the sunstone mount in his eye socket. The worst pain he had ever experienced tore through his body. He could feel the marrow of his horn being compressed into the new casing. The nerves fused with the new material, making new connections. Cold, freezing burning cold spread from the base of his horn into his skull and into his brain. He could feel himself screaming but could not hear it over the roar of the magic crackling all around him. He could feel ice forming all around him, crushing him, burning his skin as more of it formed.

The ice shell exploded and terrible pain ricocheted through his entire body. Cold traveled through every nerve. He could feel the tears freezing on his remaining eye. He felt the blood freeze within his heart, or so he thought, and terrible pain spiked through his barrel.

Bucky’s final thoughts were that he had made a mistake, and this was death. He felt his magic bleeding out of him. The magical glass grew roots and he felt them burrowing into his brain.

He felt his body crash into the earth and he waited for death to take him.

 

 

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