• Published 17th Nov 2014
  • 14,119 Views, 5,459 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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Something Borrowed, Something Blue

"Airship!" Runic yelled a little too loud the moment Crystal opened the front door. He stood on the doormat with a big grin plastered on his face, more excited than he had ever looked before.

Crystal's ears folded back and she furrowed her brow. "Uh, hello?"

Runic's wings trembled and quivered. "Airship!" He pointed at her. "You!"

She blinked. "Are you asking me to play Airship Armada with you?"

"What? No!" He shook his head so fast his flat cap nearly toppled off. "No, real airships! You can take me!"

"Real air—" Her eyes widened as she choked on her words. With guarded caution, she slowly asked, "What are you talking about?"

Runic puffed out his cheeks. "You're Crystal Wishes! Daughter of Jet Set! Son of Jet Ship! That means you basically own Jet Vent—"

She reached out to slap a hoof over his mouth, the other looping around his foreleg and tugging him inside. Once the door was shut behind him, she whispered, "How did you find out?"

"Same way I found out Silent is my cousin! Genealogical research, of course! It's kind of like researching rocks but a lot more complicated. Usually. This was actually really easy." The beaming smile stretched back into place. "So take me on an airship!"

"I can't just—" She shifted. "Well, I can, but—" After a moment of staring at his over-excited face, she sighed and relented, "All right, but it will be our secret."

Runic's head tilted and his ears flopped. "Huh? A secret? What for?"

She rubbed her hoof against her other leg. "Because I don't believe Silent knows who my grandparents are, and I don't think it would bother him, but I don't want to find out if it does. I hardly ever see them and we're not very close, so there's no sense in making things strange. I'm happy with the way things are."

Runic just peered at her before finally shrugging and smiling again. "If you say so! So, airship? We go now? To the airship?!"

"Yes, we go now." Her magic levitated a scarf over and she wrapped it around her neck as she followed him out of the condo. "Please try not to get your hopes too high. We're assuming my grandparents are even home, and that my grandfather has time to accommodate us."

"He's home!" Runic jumped into the air and soared down the stairs, the tips of his wings just barely clearing the walls. "I checked!"

Crystal frowned. "Excuse me?" She took her time descending to the first floor. "You spied on my grandfather?"

"Spied is a strong word! I dropped by on my way here. They were home. So we should hurry." He held the main door open and trotted in place. "It'd be faster if I carried you! But would that count as cheating? I don't think so. You're like a sister."

Crystal stopped just a pace away from the doors to peer at him with one brow raised until her composure broke and she couldn't help laughing. "Runic, you're ridiculous!"

He beamed at her. "So I'm told! Okay, so, let's go. Let's go!" He hopped out onto the sidewalk, held his wings out to the sides, and crouched down. "Let's go!"

Carefully, Crystal moved to sit on his back with both hind legs daintily shifted to the same side while her forelegs wrapped around his neck. "Okay, but not too—"

Runic pushed off the ground and took into the air, his wings giving a few strong flaps to send them soaring.

"—fast!" she finished in a squeaky gasp.

They flew over the various districts of Canterlot, rising higher through the tiers of the city until they had reached the one that held the most prestigious homes sitting at the feet of the castle. Runic angled himself toward one in particular and dropped down in front of it, then turned his head to look at her.

"Here we are!" he chimed.

Crystal remained frozen, gazing up at the house that towered at three stories tall. How long had it been since she had seen it? She had been a young filly, too young to remember much save for the way it smelled of stagnant air and how none of the furniture seemed to have any signs of use. It was more like a museum than a home in her memory.

Before she could think to speak, Runic slid her off his back and trotted up to the door.

"Wait!" she called after him, but it was too late.

He knocked on the door and started to bounce in place. "I'm so excited!"

After enough proper seconds had passed, a servant greeted them with a look of disdain. "May I help you?"

"Airship!" Runic shouted, then blinked when Crystal slapped a hoof over his mouth. "Mmf?"

Crystal offered a smile. "Hello, good day. I'm here to speak with my grandfather."

The servant peered at her until his expression lifted with recognition. "Of course, Miss Wishes. Please, do come in." He stepped out of the doorway.

Crystal nodded. As she passed by Runic, she tapped her hoof to her lips and shushed him. He smiled and just bounded after her.

The foyer extended up into the second story with a grand chandelier hanging from above. Two winding staircases flanked the sides of the room and ended in a balcony where, only a few moments after the servant went to retrieve him, Jet Ship stood.

"Crystal?" His orange eyes pierced the distance between them, sending a shiver down her spine, and he smiled. "What a surprise!" He walked down the stairs and crossed the marble floor to her. "Who is your friend?"

Runic opened his mouth to speak, but Crystal cut in, "Runic Phial, my fiancé's cousin."

"I see." Jet Ship offered a hoof to Runic. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Runic."

"All mine!" Runic exclaimed, shaking the hoof with both of his forehooves. "Airships!"

Jet Ship's brow arched and he looked at Crystal. "Excuse me?"

Crystal sighed, but kept her head upright and proper. "Runic is an airship enthusiast, Grandfather. I would appreciate it if you could, perhaps, consider letting him see the Harmony?"

The silence that fell on them was chilling, finally shattered when Jet Ship chuckled and patted Runic on the shoulder. "I can do you better than that, my boy. How would you like a tour of it, and then I'll take you on a little trip on my personal airship?"

Runic released a high-pitched squeal that made the both of them wince.

Crystal's ear flicked. "I think that's a yes, Grandfather."

---

"I'm the queen of the world!" Runic yelled into the open skies as wind whipped through his mane while he stood on the bow of Jet Ship's personal airship.

Crystal snorted and called, "Don't you mean king?"

Runic flared out his wings. "Mares rule the world, not stallions!"

Jet Ship chuckled, keeping both of his forehooves on the wheel. "It's always the eccentric ones that are the brightest." He turned his head to look at Crystal. "You said he was your fiancé's cousin?"

"Yes, sir." Crystal shifted somewhat uncomfortably under the intensity of his gaze.

"I see." He nodded and looked back ahead. "Runic doesn't work with airships, does he?"

Crystal blinked a few times. "What? No, he's an alchemist."

Another nod. "Interesting."

"What do you mean?" Crystal eyed a small bowl of wrapped butterscotch candies.

Jet Ship followed her gaze, chuckled, and levitated one over to her. "I'm just surprised. He certainly knew a lot about airships for a regular pony not in the field."

"Thank you," she mumbled as her magic took over and started to unwrap the candy, then cleared her throat. "Oh, well. I would assume that has to do with his obsession with the game Airship Armada."

"Ah! That explains it." Jet Ship tapped a hoof against the wheel. "Yes, that little game has done quite well for the personal airship business. Sales most certainly saw a rise shortly after that game was released." He glanced at her. "Could I have a word with you?"

Crystal glanced around them. They had been the only ones to board the airship, and Runic was still perched like a figurehead on the bow and yelling incoherently into the wind. She finally nodded. "Yes, Grandfather."

"I am formally sending my regrets for your wedding." His brow settled low and his lips tightened into a firm line. "Diadem and I will not be attending."

"Oh?" Her ears folded back. "May I ask why?"

Jet Ship nodded. "You may. Dia and I talked it over and we agreed it would be best if we abstained. It might turn your wedding into a fiasco with the recent attention on Jet Ventures. I'm not sure you keep up with this sort of thing, but since the entitlement ceremony, the press has been all over Jet Ventures. What will we do next, what does this mean for the future of airships, when are we launching a new design, will there be more ships like the Harmony." He gestured off to the side with one idle hoof. "In fact, there has been a newspony following us on our little excursion."

Crystal leaned forward to look and not too far out was a pegasus flying alongside the ship, a camera attached to the hooves-free contraption around his neck. He smiled, waved, and snapped a picture.

Jet Ship added in a low voice, "Not to mention there is the tension with your parents. No, I think it's best if we abstain." He glanced at her and offered a cordial nod. "We will, of course, still send a gift and our best wishes."

Crystal pursed her lips, but nodded in return. "I understand, Grandfather."

---

Crystal stood in the crowd of ponies she called friends and family, her gaze wandering the beautiful architecture and decor of Princess Luna's new throne room. Pale marble the color of the moon kept the space bright and inviting as opposed to the dark colors normally associated with the night. It was a marvelous choice, especially when paired with the blue carpet in the center of the room and the dark-stained throne on the raised dais.

"Your designer did a wonderful job," Crystal said, smiling over at Luna. "This place is absolutely spectacular."

"Yes, yes," Luna replied absently while she waved a hoof. "That is all well and good, but how do you feel about the shower? Is it to your liking?"

Crystal giggled and nodded. "Of course, Luna. As if I would say otherwise after all the trouble you and Willow went to."

Standing at Luna's side, Willow lit up with a smile while Luna stared at Crystal with the stern brow and narrowed eyes of a mother on the verge of scolding before she laughed. "A wise answer! Then let us eat cake and be merry. In a month, you shall be a shackled mare!" She winked.

Crystal inclined her head to look for Silent, but he was absent from the crowd. "If that means knowing where my stallion is, then I will gladly accept the shackles."

"Ah, Silent Knight has never been one for parties like this." Luna shrugged.

"Is there anything he is one for?" Willow muttered, her ears pinned back, then cleared her throat. "Speaking of, I'm supposed to apologize for Frank. He's sorry he couldn't make it to the shower, and it's looking like he won't be able to make the wedding, either." Her gaze darted away. "The whole BBBFF tour has thrown his schedule out the window."

Crystal blinked. "BBBFF? The colt band? Is he a fan of theirs?"

Willow's ear twitched. "Not exactly."

Luna turned her head and said, "That means we should get a slice of cake for the absent stallions, and then eat it ourselves."

"I'm game!" Velvet chimed nearby, bounding over. "Can we bring it to Silent then eat it in front of his face? No, wait, that sounds like too much effort. Let's just eat cake. Mom said she had Dad bake in an extra surprise."

Crystal's ears pinned back. "That actually makes me less inclined to want to have cake now, you know."

Velvet huffed. "Aww, come on, you know she means well!"

Luna nodded and started to cross the room toward the table of food, the two-tier cake resting in the center. "Indeed. Sunbeam is a sweet and gentle soul."

"You don't know her very well, then," Crystal teased as she followed after the princess.

"Hey!" Velvet walked alongside Crystal. "Rude! I'm telling her you said that!"

A shrill squeal tore through the air and a pink blur zipped through the crowd before crashing into Crystal. "You're getting married!" Lovey squealed.

Crystal grunted from the impact and, with Lovey clinging to her neck and shoulders, tested her now sore legs. Nothing seemed to be broken. Finally, she smiled. "I am indeed!"

"Oh, you are familiar with Lovey Dovey?" Luna asked, having turned to face them while Willow helped herself to a slice of cheese and a wheat cracker.

Crystal blinked. "You are, too?"

Luna bobbed her head in a light nod. "Of course. Lovey Dovey is well known for her matchmaking work." She paused before looking at the giggling pink mare. "Lovey, are you listening?"

Lovey just kept bubbling with giggles while her wings fluttered.

"I thought not." Luna nodded absently. "Then it is safe to say, yes, my sister and I are very aware of Lovey. When she was young, she came to Celestia and asked for an official title as Secretary of Love. From what I'm told, and I wholly believe it, my sister found it very amusing and agreed. There is no such position, so it is not official at all, but Lovey comes once or twice a year to give a report to Celestia nonetheless."

"Celestia!" Lovey squeaked and untangled herself from Crystal. "I haven't said hello to her yet!" She bounced on the tips of her hooves. "I'm so happy for you, Crystal, and just know that no matter what you should always be strong because everything's going to work out fine in the end so just keep smiling!" She jumped into the air to soar over the crowd, heading in the direction of Princess Celestia. "Toodles!"

Crystal, Luna, and Velvet stared at the retreating pink form before Velvet said, "She weirds me out."

Luna chuckled. "She is odd, certainly. Now, enjoy your cake while I ensure my sister is not overwrought by a surprise Lovey attack. Come along, Willow." She nodded at the both of them before walking into the crowd, her aide following close behind after snatching a chocolate-covered strawberry.

"That's right! Cake!" Velvet bounded forward. "Yes, you have to see it!"

Crystal sighed as she followed after her. "Can you just tell me what it is?"

"Nope. Mom and Dad worked hard to make this come out right, so I'm not going to spoil it." She stood by the table and tilted her head. "Do we have to announce that we're cutting the cake, or is that just for weddings?"

"We didn't have a cake at my shower," Horsey's voice chimed as the mare approached, leaving Savoir behind with the stallions in attendance. "But we also didn't have a shower, so that doesn't help much." She giggled softly.

Crystal's ear flicked, then she shrugged. "I am not aware of there being any formalities surrounding the cake at a shower. I say we don't interrupt the party and cut it now."

"Seconded!" Velvet stood up on her hind legs and picked up the knife. Carefully, she cut into one of the tiers and slid out the carved slice. Underneath the fluffy white frosting was a pink cake that was decorated with light blue hearts throughout. "Tada!"

Horsey gasped. "Oh, that's so pretty!"

Crystal blinked and lowered her head to peer at the slice. "What! How did they do that?"

Velvet waved her hooves. "Earth pony magic!"

"Earth ponies don't have magic," Crystal teased as she levitated the plate over to herself.

"They do so!" Velvet puffed out her cheeks. "Don't be an elitist!"

"Uh-huh." Crystal smiled, raising the plate high above Velvet's head. "Then use your earth pony magic to take this cake."

Velvet tilted her head back, peered at the slice, then started to grin. "Easy-peasy." She looked over at Horsey. "Hey, did you know that there is a writer by the name of Lu—"

The cake was promptly shoved in Velvet's mouth, startling a choked bout of laughter out of her.

Horsey looked at Crystal with one brow raised and a tiny but coy smile on her lips. "It looks like earth ponies do have magic after all."

Crystal tried to will the embarrassed heat from her cheeks, her glare focused on Velvet. "Trickery! It's not magic, it's dirty, underhoofed trickery!"

Horsey glanced between them, then quietly started to cut a slice for herself. "Oh," she commented, glancing over at them, "it looks like somepony beat you to the cake. There's a slice taken from the back."

Before they could respond, Luna's voice rose above the various conversations to call, "There he is! The stallion of the hour!"

Crystal blinked a few times, turning to look around the room until she spotted him. Silent walked into the room with Shining Armor at his side and she giggled. "I should have known. It's just like his graduation party."

Velvet finished wiping the icing off her face with a napkin. "Maybe you should be worried about the Silent Knight in Shining Armor."

Crystal and Horsey both gasped and sputtered into surprised laughter, looking at Velvet with wide eyes as she just grinned.

Winterspear yelled from the center of the room, "Guess who's got baby pictures!"

While the crowd started to circle around Winterspear and the album she held, Crystal saw Silent's ears droop and he looked up at Shining Armor for help. Shining just grinned and nudged Silent forward. Crystal smiled, letting her gaze drift away and she followed the others to look at the album.

In just a month, she was going to be a married mare. She could hardly believe that it was finally happening.

---

Crystal hummed as she hurried between the kitchen and the living room, trying to balance making tea while going through the various brochures of potential honeymoon locations. They had stalled long enough in picking one and it was time to make a decision. Silent had helped her narrow it down to four options, but when she asked him to stay and help her select one, he bounded off with the excuse that work was calling.

Of course, he actually did have work, but that didn't change the fact she was nervous to pick one on her own.

"Maris... Colton Head... Maredrid... or just go back to Glimmer World?" She sighed and trotted back to the kitchen. "Oh, tea, would you hurry up already?"

"You know what they say about a watched kettle," Velvet's voice, raspier than normal, came from the living room.

"Oh, good morning! I—" Crystal leaned around the corner with a smile that quickly fell at the sight of Velvet's bloodshot, tired eyes. "Velvet? What's the matter?"

Velvet glanced around. "Is Silent still here?"

Crystal shook her head. "No, he's already left for work."

"I can't—" Velvet's voice hitched.

The sound of near tears clenched Crystal's heart in an icy grip. "What's wrong?"

Velvet raised a hoof to rub her eyes and whispered, "I can't do this anymore. I have—I have to tell you a secret."

"Okay." Crystal's magic flipped the stove off before she walked over to the couch and patted the spot beside her. "Come here, it's okay."

Velvet sniffed. She took a tentative step forward, then recoiled and shook her head. "No, I don't want to. I-I want you to just sit there and listen to me."

Velvet's voice was guarded and uncertain. All semblance of confidence seemed to be shaken from her and taken away.

Crystal nodded slowly. "All right. I'm listening."

Velvet took a breath in and released it in a long, drawn-out groan. "We've been friends a really long time, you know, so it seems kind of strange that I'd have a secret from you."

Crystal just nodded and listened.

"I-I—" Velvet shook her head. "I... you know. No, you don't know, I mean, what I mean is, I... When I've been out late, and you don't see me until the next morning, I've been at another pony's place. Sleeping over. With them."

"Sleeping over?" Crystal's brow furrowed. "What do you—ooh!" Her eyes widened and her muscles went rigid. "Velvet! How long have you had a secret special somepony?!"

The look that crossed Velvet's face could only be described as regret. "I haven't! I don't! That's the point!" Her voice cracked. Fresh tears started to fall down her cheeks.

Crystal opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out.

"If I say sex, you immediately th-think of special someponies!" Velvet drew a shaky, ragged breath. "That's why I haven't told you, because you can't understand how I feel!"

Crystal's gaze darted the room in search of an answer it refused to give and she chewed on her bottom lip. "I-I, Velvet, I'm sorry, but—"

Velvet stomped a hoof. "I don't want any of that! Why doesn't anypony get that?! Why is it always that I just 'haven't found the right one'?" She choked out a sob. "How could you, of all ponies, possibly understand?! Sex is love to you!"

"Velvet, I—"

"But I'm sick of hiding the way I am from you, so, there! There you have it." Her rump dropped down to the floor and she rubbed at her face with the back of one foreleg. "I'm different, I'm strange, you're disgusted, you're leaving anyway to move in with him, so who cares?"

"Velvet!" Crystal slid off the couch and stormed over to her. She put her forehooves on Velvet's shoulders and gave her a light shake. "Would you let me get in a word?!"

"I've already heard it all, so fine, whatever." Velvet snorted and sniffled. "It doesn't matter anymore."

Crystal gawked. Almost as if reflexive to the venomous tone, her hoof drew back and slapped Velvet's cheek. It was not quite hard, but not a gentle tap, either; it was certainly enough to make Velvet jerk back and go wide-eyed.

"Velvet Step!" Crystal snarled. "I'm not sure exactly what's going on but how dare you make assumptions for how I'll feel or react! I don't care what another pony has told you but I'm not disgusted! I'm confused. You up and tell me something like this out of nowhere? Of course I'm confused, but I'm not disgusted!"

Crystal glared down at her and continued, "You're right, I can't fathom being intimate with somepony you don't love. I don't understand that at all. So maybe you could explain it to me instead of acting like a petulant foal about how you assume I'll feel!"

They stared at one another in silence, save for the occasional sniffle from Velvet, who finally muttered, "What's there to explain?"

Crystal huffed. "I don't know, but anything must be better than this!"

A short laugh escaped Velvet and she rubbed her eyes. "I'm—I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I just thought you, the romantic of all romantics, would be, you know, disgusted by me. I take something beautiful that you and Silent share and just throw it at the first pony that catches my eye."

Crystal paused. Her mind whirled around for a moment until she asked, "So does that mean you're, ah, promiscuous?"

Velvet furrowed her brow, then snorted and laughed. "That's a really nice way to put it, sure. Yeah. I'm promiscuous."

"Okay. Well, you're not the only pony, so it can't be that strange." Crystal said the words, and though she certainly meant them, the idea would take some getting used to. "I don't understand, but I can't hate you for who you are." She paused, then added with a hesitant cadence, "Are you, at the least, safe?"

"Safe?" Velvet blinked, then pursed her lips before nodding. "Uh, yeah, but this is bordering on awkward territory."

Crystal smiled. "Okay, then, back in the realm of less awkward, are you happy? If I don't hate you, then are you happy with who you are?"

Velvet looked away—not out of shame or guilt, but to think it over without meeting Crystal's gaze. "Yeah? Yeah. I don't really want to change, which is the scary part, I guess. If I can be me and still keep you as a friend, then, yeah, I'm happy."

"Then, please." Crystal clasped her hooves around one of Velvet's. "Sleep with all the ponies you want. You have my blessing."

Velvet's lips squirmed and wiggled in an attempt to stay in a straight line, but she cracked and tossed her head back to laugh. "I never, ever thought I'd hear those words coming from you!"

"You also thought that I would hate you for being different from me, so clearly your thoughts are untrustworthy." She giggled and shifted to pull Velvet into a hug. "Would now be a good time to tell you a secret of my own?"

Velvet leaned back to peer at her with one brow raised. "What?"

Crystal sighed. "I just found out a few days ago myself, but at the shower, Silent got a new job offer, one that he'd like to take. The problem is it would require us moving to the Crystal Empire."

After an unnervingly long pause, Velvet nodded. "Okay."

"Okay?"

"Okay." Velvet shrugged. "You can't stop your life for me, and Silent's your life now. Or he will be in like, less than a month."

Crystal's ears flicked. "You're not upset?"

"Oh, I totally am. I want to cry, but I'm out of tears at this point." Velvet grinned, nosed Crystal's cheek, and whispered, "I'm going to miss you."

A burning sensation speared Crystal's eyes and tears started to blur her vision. "Yeah," she replied in an even softer whisper. "It's just a train ride away, though."

Velvet shook her head. "That's what we said when Horsey moved away, and how often do we see her?"

Crystal had no response, and Velvet just offered a weak smile. They both knew there was no good answer, but it was easier to say nothing at all.

---

Crystal stared at the list of wedding to-dos. It was right around the corner and almost everything was lined up. She scrunched her nose as a pain formed behind her eyes, dropped the list on the table, and leaned back into the couch with a sigh. "Does it make me a bad bride if all I want at this point is to be done with all this? I'm not sure I care anymore about the pomp and show."

Silent leaned in and nuzzled her neck, sending a shiver down her spine. "Nope," he mumbled, the movement of his lips tickling the sensitive area.

"Quit that!" She made an effort to push him away, but he remained against her. "We still have more to go over."

"The list is down." He put his hooves around hers to lower them and kissed her neck.

Crystal huffed and tried to angle her head to block his access. "Velvet will be home soon. I don't want her to see this; you know how she can be." She offered him a coy smile. "Just keep it together a few more weeks and we'll be on our honeymoon, alone, just the two of us."

He peered at her, snorted, and pulled away. "Fine, for Velvet's sake. But if you think I'm leaving you alone for a few weeks..."

Her ears wiggled and she slipped her hooves around his middle as she leaned in closer to him. "All right, stud. If you can make it until Friday night, I promise I'll—" She squeaked when the lock clicked.

Velvet pushed the door open, looked at them, and said with a grin, "Hello, lovebirds, I'm home! What are you two up to, hmm?"

Crystal quickly gestured at the nearly forgotten list and started to say "Wedding planning" when Silent replied, "Striking out."

With heat spreading across her face, Crystal's magic grabbed the nearest decorative pillow and hit him with it.

Velvet tossed her head back to laugh. "Yeah, I see that!" She looked over at the kitchen, then back at them. "So, what's for dinner? I see it's not waiting for me."

The embarrassment still coursed through her, so Crystal let her magic continue the barrage of pillow slaps while Silent said, "Well I thought—ow—I would take—ow—my two favorite mares—ow—out to Le Bernardin. My treat—ow."

Crystal blinked. She looked up to meet Velvet's surprised gaze, then peered down at him while the pillow remained suspended in the air. "Really? Why? What is the occasion?"

Silent raised his brow. "Does there have to be one?"

"To go to the most expensive restaurant in town?" Velvet snorted. "Uh, yeah, so spill."

"Well, all right. It's just that you and Velvet have been working night and day lately on getting the wedding together. Not to mention we never really celebrated Velvet getting into the Royal Ballet, and I've got a new job coming up, too. Beyond that, we just haven't done anything special in a while." He glanced between them. "So I thought we could just forget everything for one evening and go out for dinner, dessert, and drinks."

Velvet's ears wiggled and she trotted toward the bathroom door. "Those are all acceptable reasons! I'll get cleaned up, then. If we're going to Le Bernardin, then I need to wash the stink of practice sweat off."

Once the door shut behind Velvet, Crystal glared down at Silent. "If you were planning to take us to dinner, then why were you getting so hoovesy?"

Silent glared back at her. "Why were you born hot?"

The heat returned to her face, different from before. She tried to keep her air of slight annoyance in tact, however, and slapped the pillow against his face. "Oh! I'm not going to get a straight answer out of you, am I?" She huffed and slid off the couch. "In that case, I'm going to get ready."

Once she was in the privacy of her bedroom, Crystal looked at the door behind her and smiled. She couldn't have asked for a better stallion. Of course, he had his quirks that annoyed her, and sometimes she never knew where his head was really at, but he was perfect for her.

---

"Le Bernardin is the best," Velvet said, sliding back into her seat and patting her stomach. "I'll never find a better mushroom risotto."

"Their other food is good, too," Crystal teased. "Maybe you should try something else for once."

Velvet huffed. "We don't come here often, so when we do, I want to know for a fact that I'm going to enjoy my meal. Why should I gamble on what might also be good but might also be a waste of a once-in-a-rare-while trip? I'll stick to my risotto, thank you very much."

Silent shrugged and smiled. "She has a point."

Crystal looked at him with mock offense as she huffed, "Well!" She tossed her mane. "I see where your loyalties lie."

Silent reached over to place a hoof on hers. "What I meant to say is that you're right, dear. She should try something new."

"Turncoat," Velvet spat as she stuck her nose in the air. "I'll remember that next time you need a favor from me."

Silent inclined his head toward the dessert menu that rested off to the side of the table. "Would a sweet treat change your mind?"

Velvet eyed him before she grinned wide. "You know what, you're totally right. Agree with your wife! Your marriage will last longer that way."

After Crystal and Velvet had pored over the dessert menu and made their selections, Silent cleared his throat. "The real reason I wanted to go out for a nice dinner tonight was so I could give both of you a present." He reached under his wing and pulled out a small, wrapped package, which he unfolded and placed on the table.

Inside were two tickets that had Crystal Empire Express — 1 Year written on them. Crystal and Velvet just stared at them in silence.

Silent sat with a self-satisfied smile on his face and explained, "They're unlimited passes to travel to and from the Crystal Empire any time either of you would like for a year."

Crystal wasn't sure when she had stopped breathing, but she had to take a sudden breath in when she realized she needed air. "Oh..."

Velvet's sniffle pushed her over the edge and they both started to cry. Crystal tried to hide behind her hooves while Velvet just sat there and trembled.

It was real. Crystal was moving away, and the passes were that concept brought to life. It hadn't seemed like reality until that moment. How could something be so exciting and so sad at the same time?

Silent looked between them, his ears folding back. "I'm... sorry?"

Crystal quickly shook her head. "No, don't be." She sniffed and picked up the rail pass, turning it over to look at both sides. "It's a wonderful gift."

"Yeah, you big old softy." Velvet rubbed at her eyes. "It's the second best thing you've ever done for me."

"The second?" Silent blinked. "What is the first?"

Velvet wrapped a foreleg around Crystal's shoulders and pulled her close. "Making my best friend in the world, the happiest mare in the world." Her glossy eyes narrowed as she added, "So don't break her heart or I swear I'll make you regret it."

Crystal laughed softly while Silent nodded and replied, "I have no intention of doing anything of the sort. You have my word."

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Priorities, Obligations, and Commitments
Companion Secrets Chapter: Groomsponies

♪ ...We're leaving together... ♪

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