• Published 17th Nov 2014
  • 13,379 Views, 5,574 Comments

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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Slice of Another Life

"So, since your mom is paying for everything, does that mean I can invite Nightingale?" Velvet peered over Crystal's shoulder while the mare worked on the guest list.

Crystal's ears twitched and she tilted her head back to look up at her. "What? Of course! Even if my mother weren't paying that would be fine." The quill floating in her magic wrote down the name. "Do you want to invite any of your other friends?"

Velvet paused. Her gaze darted away and her lips pursed in thought before she shook her head. "Nah. I'm sure Azurite will be there, right? I mean, she is a guard. Kind of." She paused again, then added, "Are all the guards going to be there?"

"I'm not sure. I haven't yet had a chance to talk to Silent about it." She eyed Velvet a moment. "Do you want me to write down Azurite's name just in case?"

"Yeah... Yeah, if you don't mind? She's a lot of fun. Plus, I think she'd be really upset if she weren't invited. Oh, wait, if we invite her, then we have to invite her partners."

"Partners?" Crystal squeaked. "What happened to Sunny?"

"Huh? They all got back together, you knew that." Velvet started to pace, her ears wiggling. "Anyway, Silent and Sunny work together, so I can't imagine he wouldn't invite her."

"Slow down just a second! Work together?" Crystal's eyes went wide. "Her Sunny is the Lieutenant Sunny?"

"Yeah, her. Soarin, though. Soarin, yeah, we'll need to add him."

Crystal gave an unrestrained, full-on gawk. "The vice commander of the Wonderbolts?"

Velvet shot her a sidelong glance. "Yeah. Sunny and Soarin. Add their names to the list."

Crystal did no such thing. Her attention was, instead, fixated on processing the new information. "Are we talking about the same Azurite?"

"Yes!" Velvet tossed her head back in a bark of laughter. "Little Azurite wrangled herself two pretty important ponies, it's crazy, I know!"

"She—two—three—" Crystal sputtered. She looked down at the list, then back up at Velvet. "Does she—well, are they—" After a quick shake of her head and a clearing of her throat, she said, "I-I suppose it's not entirely unheard of, three ponies in a relationship together, I just, well, I've never actually known a pony who was!"

The amusement in Velvet's expression faded while her ears folded back. "You don't have a problem with it, do you?"

"A problem with it?" Crystal waved a hoof. "No! If they all love each other and they're happy together, then of course I don't! I just can't fathom being in a relationship like that myself."

Silence held them for a moment, tense and thick in the air, until Velvet nodded. "Great! So add them to the list. Or—actually, you know what?" Her lips curled into a grin. "Send it Azurite plus two. It'll be funnier that way."

Crystal stared at the list sitting in front of her. "You want me to invite the lieutenant of Princess Celestia's House Guard and the vice commander of the Wonderbolts as pluses? Won't that be insulting?"

"No way, they have a sense of humor! It'll be funny!"

"I'm not so sure," Crystal murmured, then looked back up. "Do you have any extended family you want to invite?"

Velvet tilted her head. "You mean, my parents' parents and siblings? Yeah! We haven't all gotten together in, like... in years!"

Crystal rose to her hooves slowly, stretching out each leg, groaning when her back popped and then shaking out her coat for good measure. "Write them down while I get started on dinner." She walked into the kitchen. "Your mom's parents are the ones that make the banana nut bread every year for Hearth's Warming gifts, right?"

"What? No, those are my dad's parents, d'uh." Velvet stared at the quill while her brow knitted. "My mom's parents are the ones that made that inedible fruit cake that we threw off the side of Canterlot after you got drunk on eggnog."

Crystal's ears folded back and she winced. "Oh, right, yes. The ones who can't cook."

Velvet snorted. She paused to awkwardly take the quill between both of her forehooves and wrote out a few names with slow, careful effort. "Don't be like that," she finally said. "Nanny could crochet your mom's tail into anything you wanted when she wasn't looking. It wouldn't be hard to convince her!"

Crystal laughed softly while her magic worked to hollow out a squash. "Are you just another face in a long line of rapscallions?"

"Yup!" Velvet dropped the quill. "It's in my blood!"

"Is it just the mares, or do I need to worry for Red's future?" Crystal glanced over with a light grin.

Velvet cocked her head, ears flopping. "That's a good question. Pappy is pretty laid back, so I guess it's just the mares."

Crystal giggled. "Good. I prefer him cute and innocent. I—"

After a click of the lock, the door opened and Silent walked in. "I'm home," he said, then paused to look at Velvet, blinking a few times. "Hi, Velvet."

"Well, well, well!" Velvet rose to her hooves. "Look who is on time for dinner!"

Silent raised his brow. "I could say the same to you. Are you staying to join us tonight? You don't have some where else to be?"

Crystal watched quietly from the kitchen as Velvet gave an exaggerated huff and retorted, "What, are you trying to kick me out?"

"Not at all." He shook his head. "I just don't see you much lately. I would be happy if you had dinner with us."

Velvet's ears wiggled. "Sure you would. I think you should go back to work. You're totally cutting into my time with Crystal! She was mine first, you know!"

Silent laughed. "Mm, I will first thing in the morning." He winked and started to remove his armor. "I'll be leaving for Haven for a while, so she'll be all yours again. I just want to spend some time with her before then." There was a pause, then he added with a light grin, "You might want to watch your jealousy though. Green isn't a good color for you."

"Oh yeah? Wanna fight about it?"

Crystal looked over to see Velvet backing up onto the couch, never giving her back to Silent, her eyes narrowed.

Silent raised his brow. After some thought, he chuckled and replied, "Bring it, tiny dancer!"

After a small wiggle of her rump, Velvet sprung into the air and landed on Silent's back. He blinked a few times and turned his head to look at her, but otherwise didn't offer much of a reaction to the small addition of weight. Velvet wrapped her legs around him to brace for an impact with the floor that never came, then blinked and said, "What? You were supposed to fall over."

Silent crossed the living room while she tried to tug him off course. "Sorry, but you don't weigh nearly enough."

Velvet leaned to the right and tugged with all her might, then jerked to the left, but he just kept walking. "Seriously, what in Equestria are you made out of?!" she cried, giving up her struggle and slumping against his neck.

"Steel and vinegar," he replied with a curt nod.

Crystal looked between the two of them, giggling behind a hoof. At that moment, she couldn't be more grateful for what she had: a healthy stallion, a spunky friend, and an idea for a scene with Charlie and his son. It would be great, so long as Velvet never found out that she was the inspiration for her character's foal.

---

A hoof drew a line down her back and pulled her out of the haze of sleep. She shivered at the sensation and blinked one eye open, shortly followed by the other. Silent smiled down at her and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. "Morning, beautiful."

"Mm." She ducked her head to hide a wide yawn, then nestled closer to him. "Morning."

"What, no 'beautiful' for me?" He placed his muzzle behind her ear and blew a soft puff of air against the sensitive area. "Rude!"

She giggled, one ear flicking to slap against his face. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Good morning, beautiful." She nipped at his neck. "Now stop!"

"Thank you." He leaned back down and watched her as she shifted to rest her head against his chest. "Unfortunately, you know what today is."

A sigh escaped her as she nodded. "Yes..." She shivered when his hoof stroked her back, all of her nerves lighting up from the touch. "Are you sure you have to go?"

"I'm sure." His chest reverberated against her ear with the sound of his voice, rising and falling with every steady breath. "I've got another session with Mindful Soul, and then I need to pick up the princess and alpha squad so we can escort her to Haven."

Another sigh. She traced a circle against his stomach with the tip of her hoof. "How long will you be gone this time?"

"Only two weeks," he assured in a soft voice. "I need to get the new sergeant settled there. Then I'll send Iridescence to take my place." His hoof trailed down and patted her flank, chuckling when she sucked in a squeaky breath. "Then we can get serious about kicking this wedding into gear."

Crystal wriggled to put her face in his and winked. "Oh, sweetheart, that's sweet, but it already is in gear. The wedding is right around the corner! What do you think I've been doing these past few days?"

"I see. Well, good, then." He grinned lopsidedly. "So, be honest. Are we going to have to move into base housing to survive the financial fallout of this wedding?"

She huffed and poked his cheek in the lightest of slaps. "No! My parents are going to pay for it."

His ears perked. "Are they really? That's a surprise."

"Oh," she managed through a muffled giggle, "don't say it like that."

He shrugged. "I won't now." He shifted to roll her onto her back, put his weight onto her, and placed several featherlight kisses along her neck and chest, then nuzzled her cheek. "I'm sorry, beautiful, but I have to go now." She felt him grin. "Try not to get Velvet too worked up, but if I do come home to find you two in bed together, I'll accept it."

"What!" She huffed and squirmed against him. "Oh, if that happens, it will be because sisters have sleepovers from time to time. It'll have nothing to do with your... your perverted stallion's dream!"

He pulled back to look down at her with one brow raised. "I'm not perverted. She is the one who attacked me to fight over you last night."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "If she had actually attacked you, your instincts would have kicked in. All she did was try to assert her dominance and failed." She puffed her chest. "Unlike me."

"Unlike you, huh?" His ears wiggled. "And when did you succeed?"

Her chest remained full of prideful air. "Why, just the other day."

"Mmhm. No, I seem to recall I got my armor back and went to work."

She gasped and lightly snapped back, "You were late, though!"

One of his hooves moved to press against the center of her chest. "All right, then, Miss Dominant. Get up."

"I will!" She urged her upper half to lean up, but his hoof remained firm. Her nose scrunched and she tried leaning to the side; she barely moved an inch. Glaring up at him, she tried to wiggle down, then pushed her hind legs against the bed to slide up.

With every attempt, his hoof remained unmoved and vigil. He just grinned as he watched her struggle.

Finally, she clamped her forehooves down on either side of his and pushed, pulled, tugged, and otherwise exerted every direction of force she could until she groaned and went limp. "Oh, all right, fine. You win. You're the biggest pony."

"That's right." He leaned down and kissed her softly, then said as he pulled back, "And biggest pony would like to share a shower with his mare before he has to leave for two weeks."

She giggled and chirped, "Second biggest pony is most definitely okay with that idea!"

"Great. I'll get the shower warmed up."

She watched him as he slid off the bed and walked over to the door that led to the shared bathroom, then slowly she closed her eyes and sighed. While he was gone, she was going to have some free time on her hooves, and there was one thing she needed to do sooner rather than later: meet her grandparents, even though the idea scared her.

After a quick shake of her head to clear it, she pranced her way into the shower. "Ready for some company?"

Silent's head peeked out around the curtain. "Always."

Carefully, she stepped into the tub to fill the remaining space. The combination shower-tub was not designed for two ponies, and certainly not prepared for one of those ponies to be a big, strong, muscular stallion. Neither of them complained about the result of having to stand in very close quarters, of course.

Her shoulder pressed to his flank, she flicked her tail against his chest while hot water poured down on them from above. "So, Velvet would like to invite Lieutenant Sunny and Vice Commander Soarin."

"Oh?" His muscles tensed and relaxed as he inclined his head to look back at her. "I already planned for Sunny to be on the list. Soarin, too."

"The thing is," she said, pausing to wriggle herself into turning around so that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder, "she would like them invited as the pluses to A—" Her ears shot up. That was still a secret! "—another pony. Apparently they are—close friends with somepony she knows and she thinks it would be funny if that friend brought them as their pluses."

Silent was silent for a moment. He just scrubbed his mane with one hoof to massage shampoo into it until he looked at her with a light grin. "I think I know who she's talking about. She's right. That would be pretty amusing. Yeah, let's do that."

"Great!" She shifted her weight to her hind legs and crossed her forelegs over his rump to keep herself upright and free up some room. "Now, let me get under your wings, dear." Her magic brought over a bath brush and, once he held out his wings, gently scrubbed soap into the coat on his sides.

A small, satisfied groan rumbled in his throat and she giggled. This was the good life.

---

In some ways, Chicagoat reminded Crystal of Manehattan. It had the same tall buildings that shimmered in the light and towered way above her, but there was one key difference that immediately stood out to her. While Manehattan was a hornet's nest of busy workers rushing to and fro, Chicagoat felt like a refuge for those that wanted the small town feel in a big city.

The buildings that were made from brick or wood boasted colorful murals on their sides, and at one street corner there was a band of musicians playing smooth jazz for tips. Ponies didn't seem to be in any particular hurry to get anywhere, which made it much easier for Crystal to roam the city searching for a distraction from her sudden indecision.

She had lived her life without ever knowing them, and it wasn't as if they had made an effort to meet her. Why was she there, then? Why didn't she just go home and work on planning her wedding?

Because she had to know, of course. She sighed and looked at her current surroundings; she had wandered her way into a large park that featured several interesting architectural features. In front of her sat a large, bean-shaped metallic structure that captured the city's skyline like a snowglobe. A beanglobe? She tilted her head one way, then the other. Yes, a beanglobe.

Finally, she put her mind back on the task at hoof and went to the main street to flag down a taxi. She flashed a smile at the stallion who pulled up to the curb. "Hello! Could you take me to 2324 Haylor Street, please?"

"Yes, ma'am!" The stallion tipped his hat and, once Crystal had boarded the cart behind him, he trotted forward. "What brings ya by there, business or pleasure?"

Crystal blinked and fidgeted, her gaze wandering to look at the buildings that rolled by. "A bit of both, I suppose."

The stallion just chuckled and kept up the brisk and steady pace. When they crossed over a bridge, the scenery changed almost drastically. Two- and three-story homes rose up along the sides of the streets in long chains with no separation until the next road met with Haylor Street. Trees were planted at every interval to be between the buildings, out of the way of doors and signs.

Brick seemed to be the common material, though the varying colors used kept one storefront distinct from its neighbors. They were all of different styles, too; the whole street seemed to be a quilt of all sorts of fabrics, no two alike.

"All right, ma'am," the driver said as he came to a stop. "Have a good time in Liddle Itaily! 'At'll be five bits, if ya please."

Crystal blinked and focused her gaze on the building in front of them. "I'm sorry, is this the right place?"

He nodded. "2324, ma'am!"

She squinted to read the numbers on the door, then slowly lifted her head to peer at the sign.

Papa Pizza's.

"So it is," she said with uncertainty seeping into her voice while she floated the bits—plus tip, of course—out of her satchel and stepped onto the sidewalk. "Thank you, sir!"

He chimed some polite response, but she didn't hear it. Her attention was firmly planted on what was, without any shadow of a doubt, a pizza parlor.

Her tail flicked, then she smiled and almost laughed. Of course! It was so obvious. They had to have moved. After all, how would her mother be current on their address if they were estranged?

Before she could make up her mind on her next step, the door opened and an older stallion of rotund frame stuck his head out.

"Sorry, signorina, but we're closed today. But if ya want, eh, I can fetch a breadstick for you?" He offered a soft smile. "Ya look 'ungry."

Crystal shook her head. "Oh, no, it's all right. I actually was just looking for somepony who used to live here, but I guess they've moved away."

He tilted his head. "Moved away? From 'ere?" He gave a full-bellied laugh. "Then you're looking for us, because nopony moved away from 'ere! Papa Pizza's been 'ere longer than I've been Papa Pizza!" With a wink and a wave of his hoof, he gestured her inside. "Come on in, you're just in time for dinner!"

"What? I—"

'Papa Pizza' hooked his foreleg with hers and tugged her inside as he bellowed, "Fior! We've got company for dinner!"

Crystal's mouth flapped uselessly as she was guided through the empty restaurant and toward a set of stairs. The space was dimly lit and the chairs were upturned to sit on the tables, but a warm glow poured down through the open door above.

A mare's voice, light and sweet and airy, called back, "Grab a chair on your way up!"

"Sì, sì!" Wrapped in a yellow-orange glow, a chair followed behind them and the stallion winked down at her. "It will be nice to have some company for dinner, no? Things can get a little stale when it is always just me, Fior, and the kids."

Crystal could only nod and smile. Her brain had already shut down while her hooves moved on auto pilot just to keep from being dragged.

When they reached the top of the stairs and turned into what seemed to be a dining room, Crystal squeaked in surprise.

Fourteen ponies—all unicorns save for one pegasus, two earth ponies, and a sleeping foal—were crammed around one long table. Thirteen pairs of eyes turned on her; thirteen faces offered smiles and grins; thirteen voices chimed cheerful greetings.

What in the hay was going on?

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Turning It Around

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