• Published 17th Nov 2014
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Crystal's Wishes - Crystal Wishes



Crystal Wishes thought she was content just writing about ponies falling in love. While her career takes off, her love life is somewhat... lacking. Can she be happy living vicariously through her stories or will she find her own happily ever after?

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Best of Intentions

The door to the condo opened much too abruptly for Crystal to have time to properly react. Velvet watched from the doorway as Crystal flailed her forelegs in a vain attempt to stop the pages she had strewn across the floor from flying away at the sudden gust of air.

When the initial panic dissipated, Crystal caught the papers in her magic and shot the grinning Velvet a glare. "You could knock first!"

Velvet grinned wider. "I live here!"

"Is that so!" Crystal huffed while she tried to sort the papers between story notes and wedding ideas. "Well, lately, you certainly could have fooled me."

The hairs around Velvet's neck and shoulders bristled as she snapped, "Hey! You're the one who convinced me to join this company. They're a lot more serious than the Canterlot Ballet. But, you know, work hard, play hard, right?" She snorted. "I've been doing both, so, yeah, I've been gone, but I'm still gonna let myself in like I live here."

Crystal finished putting the last paper in its proper stack and sighed. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I am happy to see you. I'm just so distracted right now." She glanced up at Velvet with a shy smile. "We've set a date."

That seemed to pull Velvet right out of her little fit. "What?!" Her ears perked straight up and her eyes went wide. "Seriously? When?"

"Two weeks before Hearth's Warming." Crystal giggled when Velvet gasped. "I know!"

Velvet hopped from one hoof to the other, a grin spreading across her lips. "Crystal, that's just four months away! Oh my gosh, you're getting married in four months!" She paused, then relaxed her posture as her head cocked to the side. "Why so soon?"

Crystal twiddled her hooves while heat filled her cheeks and she mumbled, "So we can go on our honeymoon for Hearth's Warming and start the new year together as husband and wife. Like a new chapter in our story. Or the ending of this one and the start of the sequel, I don't know, but it's—"

"Sickeningly cute and totally appropriate for you, jeeze." Velvet laughed and waved a hoof. "Okay, so what can I help with?"

After taking a breath, holding it, and slowly exhaling, Crystal smiled up at her. "We had fun when you got me spun up about it a few months ago, but it's time to be serious. I need to schedule time with your parents to talk about the cake. I am going to go by the palace this afternoon to meet with Raven and then Willow." Her ears wiggled as she added, "Luna wants to throw a wedding shower, but thankfully all I have to do is nod and smile, because Luna and Willow are working on the arrangements."

Velvet nodded slowly. "That all sounds great, but what can I do?"

"Well, for starters, I don't know if we formally discussed the matter of my bridesmares."

"Uh-huh," Velvet said, eyeing her with playful suspicion. "What about it?"

Crystal giggled. "You are, without a doubt, my mare of honor, of course."

Velvet stuck her nose in the air. "Of course."

"I don't know how many groomstallions Silent plans to have. I presume Winterspear will be his best mare. It's safe to assume Runic will be one of his groomstallions. Perhaps Iridescence, as well? I'm not sure, but he'll have two for certain." Crystal tapped her hoof idly against the floor. "Obviously, I would ask Horsey to be my first bridesmare."

"Obviously," Velvet repeated while she started to pace in a circle. "You were in Raven's wedding, too, though. Isn't it, like, customary to return the favor or whatever?"

Crystal bobbed her head. "Raven could be my counterpart for Iridescence. If he asked for a fourth pony, then Painted would be my next choice." She raised a hoof to hide her frown. "Is it sad that I can't imagine who else he would ask?"

Velvet shrugged and sat by the piles, glanced them over to discern which was which, and picked up the top sheet from the wedding stack. "Not really. He's not exactly Mr. Sociable. Hmm, a string quartet? Your parents would probably know somepony for that?"

"Ugh." Crystal dropped her head forward to bury her face against her hooves. "I can't even think about them right now. Especially not my mother."

"What happened this time?" Velvet tossed the paper over her shoulder to replace it with another. "You did a marriage carriage for Horsey's wedding. You can't do one for your own, too."

Crystal paused, then huffed softly. "My mother gave me my grandparents' address."

Velvet's gaze flicked upward in thought while her head bobbed. "Yeah, it would probably be good to get them involved. Your granddad is pretty wealthy, right?"

"Not my father's parents," Crystal corrected, not looking at her.

There was a pause before Velvet jolted upright. "Wait, what?! I didn't know your mother had parents!"

A bubble of laughter escaped Crystal. "Of course she did—er, does! Where do you think she came from?"

"I dunno!" Velvet's brow shot up. "I just kind of assumed there was a garden party in Canterlot and—poof!—she was there. So, like, who are they? What are they like?"

Crystal shook her head. "I have no idea. All I have is their address and that they live in Chicagoat. And that neither of my parents are fond of them."

"So..." Velvet grinned. "Isn't that all the more reason to meet them? The enemy of your enemy and all that?" She lowered her gaze to the paper in her hoof. "Really? A bouquet of just roses?"

"I like roses!" Crystal snapped back, then sighed. "I don't know. If my parents don't like them, that can't bode well, can it?"

Velvet shrugged, tossed the notes, and grabbed a new one. "Oh, my."

Crystal's ears twitched as she leaned over to try to peer at the writing. "What?"

"This is in the wrong pile, unless you intend to turn this wedding into a show." Velvet laughed when the paper was ripped from her hoof and crumpled up, Crystal's face turning bright red.

"Wrong pile!" Crystal squeaked, wrapping her magic around both stacks and lifting them into the air as she stood up. "I can take care of looking through these, thank you very much!"

Velvet snatched a hooffull of papers and bounded to the far side of the living room. "Aw, come on, it's been a while since you went into a writing frenzy!" She grinned at the glare sent her way and looked at the first page. "Seriously, these are all really lovey-dovey and steamy. What did I miss?"

Crystal maintained her glare a moment longer before her expression fell into a shy smile. "We talked. About the things we weren't talking about. He's going to try to keep regular hours when he can help it, and I'm going to stop going to social events."

"What?!" Velvet dropped the pages. "Seriously?! Oh, thank Celestia for that! How was that decided?"

Quietly, Crystal mumbled, "I wasn't aware that he wasn't aware why I was doing it, and when he asked why, I realized that I was making assumptions. All right?"

Velvet laughed and shook her head. "You are hopeless!"

Crystal's magic retrieved the forgotten papers, put them with the rest, and she turned toward her bedroom. "I am not hopeless! At least, not anymore. So there! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a wedding to plan."

---

"A rose garden?" Raven peered at Crystal over her glasses, then flashed a smile that verged on a smirk. "As you wish."

Crystal blinked. "What? What? No, I was just, we're just talking, Raven."

"Hmm?" Raven's gaze was fixated on her planner, her magic gripping a pencil that scribbled down some notes. "I'm sorry, Crystal. You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you over the sound of your dreams coming true."

"Raven..."

"Let's see, I'm sure if I talk to Princess Celestia, she won't mind approving the changes to the garden area. Temporarily, of course."

Crystal lifted a plaintive hoof. "Raven, stop."

Raven dismissed her with a click of her tongue. "Tut, tut. Crystal, you seem to be forgetting something very important." Her planner snapped shut and she looked up at Crystal with a smile. "If it weren't for you, I likely would never have found Moore. I at least owe you a rose garden for your wedding."

"In four months?" Crystal's brow raised. "In winter?"

"It's just for one day. Both princesses have made special arrangements with the local weather team to bring some sun to the castle grounds in the past. Why not for a wedding?" She stopped where the hall met the entrance to Princess Luna's wing. "And here you are. Willowy is waiting for you in her office. The wing is still being renovated, so mind your step." Her magic brought over a hard hat and set it on Crystal's head. "The hall should be clear of debris, but it doesn't hurt to be safe."

Crystal laughed and looped a foreleg around Raven's neck to pull her in for a hug. "Don't stress yourself over it if the rose garden can't work out. I was honestly just rambling. You're one of the best planners and coordinators I know, so I'm sure whatever you put together will be perfect."

"Oh, it will be." Raven laughed softly, returning the hug with a tight squeeze. "Don't you worry about that. I'll handle everything on the list you gave me, you can count on that!"

"Just try to remember the budget, too!" Crystal teased before turning to trot off into Luna's wing. Things were really coming along in the renovation project to give Luna bigger quarters and an audience chamber of her own, but there was still a ways to go before it was complete. She giggled to herself. The extra ponies roaming about and literal holes in the walls must have been a headache for Silent and the other guards to manage.

After knocking on the door and being called in, Crystal leaned into the office. "Hi, Willow!"

"Hi, hello, take a seat!" Willow waved a hoof, not lifting her gaze from the paperwork in front of her. "Princess Luna is very excited to know what you thought of her ideas regarding the shower."

Crystal giggled. "Honestly, she is the one putting forth the time and effort. Of course I approve of all of her ideas. I'm just honored and flattered that she wants to do that."

Willow blew a few frazzled tresses of her light pink mane out of her face and glanced up at her. "Yes, yes. I'm sure. You're only a friend of hers and marrying her favorite guard." She sighed, dropped her pencil, and leaned back into her seat. "I'm sorry. We're heading to Haven and I'm trying to get everything in order. I really don't like that place..."

"Really? Why is that?" Crystal leaned in, her ears perked with interest. "Silent doesn't talk about it much."

"I suppose that means I shouldn't, either, but oh well." Willow offered a light smile. "It's all inside a mountain, so there's no natural light. The princess spends all her time there in a place I can't go, and the nox ponies there have—well, how to put it—their culture is a little different. Sometimes I wish I could just stay here, but that would be shirking my duties."

Crystal hummed thoughtfully, then giggled and waved a hoof. "Sorry, I'll stay on topic so you can get back to work. The shower. I've brought the guest list that I can think of," she said as she retrieved the folded paper from her satchel. "Luna is, of course, free to add or remove any as she sees fit."

Willow just nodded for a moment. Finally, she smiled. "What sort of food should be served? I don't think that was on the princess's list, but it's important nonetheless. The castle staff will cater, and we have chefs specialized in all types and styles of cuisine."

"What? Oh! Well." She shifted her hooves, her gaze darting away. "Silent is fond of summer vegetables. I like most pasta dishes, myself. But given the time of year, I suppose something seasonally appropriate as well? Sweet rolls and mulled cider?"

Willow's lips wriggled as she struggled against a laugh. "I'm not sure Itailian, sweet rolls, and mulled cider mix at all."

Crystal sighed. "I suppose not. Well, I'm not too picky, and neither is Silent. Perhaps let Luna decide the menu, and ask her to pick her favorite food. She is the host, after all, so she should get to treat herself."

"I'll see what I can do." After a tentative pause, her ears flicked and she tilted her head. "Say, is there anything I can help with for the wedding? I can easily find time in my schedule if so. We are almost done with the final details for the princess's Nightmare Night party, and that aside, I'll have a lot of time on my hooves in Haven."

Crystal hesitated and tapped one hoof against her thigh, her gaze wandering the office before she looked back at Willow. "Do you think your extraordinary ability to manage time would work with seating arrangements?"

Willow shrugged. "I don't know, but I can give it a shot!"

"All right." Crystal nodded and smiled. "I will get started on the guest list for the wedding right away and give it to Raven to send to you, along with the notes on familial strife to mitigate."

"Challenge accepted," Willow said, extending a hoof and continuing as Crystal shook it, "I will devise the optimal seating arrangement for minimal tension between your guests. Or we'll find out I'm no good at it and your reception is a complete disaster." She grinned lightly. "I would estimate the chance at sixty percent right now!"

Crystal laughed, albeit a little strained. "I hope, at least, the sixty is in favor of the former."

---

Standing outside of her parents' house, Crystal took a deep breath in and slowly released it before she knocked on the door. She counted the passing of seconds in her head and once she reached six, the door opened.

"Oh, darling, hello," Upper Crust said with a light smile. "Please, do come in."

"Hi, Mom." Crystal paused just inside the door to hang her satchel on a hook, wiped her hooves on the mat, and started toward the couch. "Hi, Dad."

Jet Set lowered his newspaper to look up from where he sat in the recliner. "Hello, dear! How are you?"

Crystal flashed him a smile. "I'm fine. Just running around Canterlot trying to get everything in order for the wedding that I can today."

Upper Crust seated herself on the loveseat and peered at Crystal. "Does this mean you have officially set a date, then?"

"Yes, Mom." Crystal shifted on the couch, her gaze flickering between them. "Two weeks before Hearth's Warming."

The eyes and ears of both her parents reacted, going wide and shooting up, respectively. They looked at one another, then back at her.

"Darling, you do realize that's in four months, right?" Upper Crust pawed at the air in her direction. "Is there something you need to tell us? Something that might explain the rush? You can be honest with us, you know."

Jet Set nodded. "It's not completely unheard of these days, after all."

Crystal's smile grew harder to maintain under the weight of their stares. "Dad, Mom, no! I'm not pregnant!" Her mother breathed a sigh of relief. "It's because—well, it's for several reasons, but the most important of which being that we're ready to be married." One of her ears twitched. "Of course, with things being somewhat short notice, a few items on the list are tricky to manage while staying within budget."

Upper Crust blinked. "Within budget? But, darling, we haven't even discussed that."

Crystal blinked back. "Discussed what?"

"The budget, of course." After a moment of awkward silence, Upper Crust chortled behind one hoof. "Oh, my! No! You thought you would pay for this wedding? No, no, no, darling, what a silly notion! You're only going to have one wedding, and you don't want it to be one that you can afford, do you?"

Crystal's gut reaction was to bristle and snap back, and though she was sure her expression gave those feelings away, she did her best to calmly reply, "Well, Mother, what do you suggest instead, then?"

Upper Crust looked over at Jet Set, mirth in her voice as she explained, "Your father and I will pay for everything, of course. It's only proper as the parents of the bride."

Jet Set folded up his newspaper that he had been trying to still give attention, tossed it on the coffee table, and smiled at Crystal. "Sweetheart, you're our only daughter. We only want the very best for you, especially on your special day. Please let us do this?"

The proposal tore her feelings in twain and she just stared at them for a quiet few moments. Control of the budget implied control of the wedding, but a bigger budget meant a bigger wedding. Did she really need the extra bits, though? Wasn't what she planned good enough for them? Her ears slowly folded back. A wedding at the castle did generally imply the kitchen there would cater, but that was financially out of reach, unless—

"All right." Crystal swallowed and forced a smile. "I suppose that is how it is normally done, isn't it? Who am I to say no to tradition?"

Upper Crust clapped her hooves together. "Wonderful! Now, tell me what you've already done so we can decide if it would be better to reconsider your choices made under a tight budget. You want this to be perfect, don't you?"

Judging by the look in her mother's eyes and the irritation rising in her chest, Crystal was certain she had just made a deal that she was most definitely going to regret.

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