• 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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Wishes Come True

Crystal knew the aisle runner was white with gold embroidery. There were white rose petals scattered on each side of it to stand out against the green grass, a floral barrier between her and the hundreds of guests in attendance. Friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers were standing and looking at her.

She knew all of these things existed around her, but she didn't see any of it. All she could see was the only thing that mattered in that moment: her eyes were locked on Silent Knight, standing under the arbor at the end of the aisle, looking at her. Even at that distance she could feel the loving warmth in his gaze.

Her hooves wanted to run to him, but her legs kept them in time with her father's steps. The music guided them down the aisle until she stood across from Silent while her heart did flips in her chest.

The stallion standing with them under the arbor cleared his throat to draw attention to him. He was Major Virtue, the royal guard they had selected to be their officiant for the ceremony. Silent wanted a traditional military wedding, Luna wanted to be a regular pony and not a princess for just one day, and Crystal wanted them both to be happy, so everypony won in the end with the major in charge.

"Who gives this beautiful filly away?"

Jet Set held his head high while patting Crystal's hoof. "I do," he announced with a swell of pride behind the two simple words. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead, then turned to Silent to offer his hoof. As Silent accepted and shook it, Jet Set leaned in to mumble something Crystal couldn't quite hear before he left the arbor to sit beside Upper Crust.

The major looked between Silent and Crystal, a gentle smile on his face. "Crystal Wishes and Silent Knight, today you celebrate one of life's greatest moments and give recognition to the harmony and beauty of friendship and love, as you join together in vows of marriage."

He directed his gaze toward the crowd and continued, "Marriage is the promise between two ponies who love each other, and who trust in that love, who honor one another as individuals, and who wish to spend the rest of their lives together."

Crystal couldn't take her eyes off Silent, and it seemed his attention was locked on her as well. He held up a hoof and she took it, only to realize that she was trembling. Hundreds of ponies were watching them. She was suddenly aware of that, but that wasn't what seemed to be the problem. She was overwrought with both joy and nerves.

"It is a symbol of the promises you will make to each other to continue growing stronger as individuals and as partners, no matter what challenges or successes you encounter together in the years before you."

They were getting married. Soon, they would be wife and husband. Would life change? Would things become different between them? Would it change their love?

"Today, your lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one."

Crystal tried to swallow the lump in her throat and attempted a calm smile. Silent gave her hoof a reassuring squeeze, and the smile became sincere. No, of course not. Their love would only grow stronger with each passing year together.

The major stepped to the side just enough to gesture with one hoof. "At this time I'd like to draw your attention to the box beside Crystal and Silent."

Off to the side, a wooden box sat on a pedestal, open to reveal the plush blue velvet that lined the inside. Crystal had read about the love letter and wine box ceremony in one of the several bridal magazines she owned, and the moment she learned what it was she knew it was something she wanted to do.

"They have written letters to each other," the major explained, "expressing the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. These letters were sealed before they could be read. We will include these letters in the box along with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Should Crystal and Silent ever find their marriage facing hardships, they will open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then read the letters they wrote to one another to be reminded of the reasons why they are together."

The idea of writing the letter had been easy. Coming up with the things she wanted to say? Even easier. Putting the quill to paper without getting emotional? Now that had been the difficult part. She had made three attempts at writing a coherent letter without either crying on the parchment or her focus dropping from a wave of sentimental feelings.

Major Virtue chuckled softly. "The hope is, however, that Crystal Wishes and Silent Knight will never have a reason to open this box." After a pause to let the mood settle before shifting topics, he turned his head toward Crystal and said, "Crystal Wishes. Today you commit your heart to a pony whose life is not completely within his control. A pony who has sworn other oaths beyond this one. Do you so swear to respect that, to live in harmony, loving what you know of him, and trusting that you will weather what you do not yet know? Will you respect his integrity and have faith in your mutual abiding love, through all your years, and in all that life may bring you?"

Was there any other answer she could possibly give? Crystal gazed up at Silent and replied, "I will."

"Silent Knight." The major faced his gentle smile toward the stallion. "Today you commit your heart to a pony who's chosen to give hers to a royal guard. A pony that may never fully understand our way of life. Do you swear to be considerate of that, to live in harmony, loving what you know of her, and trusting that you will weather what you do not yet know? Will you respect her feelings and have faith in your mutual abiding love, through all your years, and in all that life may bring you?"

Silent nodded. "I will."

"And so you both shall." Major Virtue angled himself back between them to look out at the crowd. "Traditionally, the passage to the status of wife and husband is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver, for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken."

"Velvet Step," he said, looking over at her, "will you please give Crystal the ring?"

Velvet shifted the bouquet from one hoof to the other, retrieving the ring that had been tucked into the ribbon tied around the rose stems. "Yes, sir." She held it out and looked up to meet Crystal's gaze. There were tears in her eyes, but a smile on her face.

Crystal smiled back at her while the simple blue band levitated in a pink aura. She hadn't considered the difficult implication being mare of honor put on Velvet; her father had ceremoniously given her away, but Velvet had to stand right by her side throughout the ceremony and give her the ring.

Silent extended his left wing toward her and, carefully, she used her magic to get the ring on one of the long primary feathers. A more hoof-oriented pony could be trusted with the task, but she didn't want to risk missing on the first try, dropping it, or—even worse—hurting him. Once the ring was situated, she switched to using her hoof to guide it further up. The ring, made of an already light material and then imbued with a featherweight spell, was effortlessly kept in place by the interlocked barbs of the feather.

"Crystal Wishes," the major said, "do you give this ring of your own free will and without reservation?"

"I do." She retracted her hoof, smiling up at Silent.

Major Virtue nodded. He angled his head toward Silent and his groomsponies. "Winterspear, will you please give Silent the ring?"

"Yes, sir," Winterspear said as she fetched the ring from a pocket and held it out to Silent. It was a simple white gold band with two pink stones separated by a curved groove, allowing it to fit her engagement ring as if they were one, creating something new and even more beautiful out of what was already perfect.

Crystal bowed her head just enough to lower her horn while she tried to keep her smile even. The stones were the same color as the beautiful pink crystal that their Fluorite Ferrier Resort room had been. It would be yet another link for her to keep reminding her of that wonderful, unforgettable trip to Glimmer World.

"Silent Knight," the major asked once Silent had slipped the ring onto her horn, "do you give this ring of your own free will and without reservation?"

"I do," he replied.

Crystal raised her head and their eyes met again. It was official—well, nearly. There was just one thing left to do.

With two stomps of his hoof, Major Virtue declared, "You have made your marriage vows to one another, witnessed by your friends and family. You have sealed your vows with the giving and receiving of these rings." He smiled. "Silent Knight, you may now kiss the bride."

Silent held her hoof and gave it a small, loving squeeze. He started to lean in and she met him halfway in a brief but sweet kiss. Some ponies may have preferred the kind where she was dipped and kissed with wild abandon, but with so many of their friends, family, and strangers watching, theirs was perfect.

"Friends and family, princesses and guards, it is now my privilege and my honor to present to you for the very first time, Crystal Wishes and Silent Knight, wife and husband."

Crystal turned with Silent to face all of the ponies that sat, waiting for their cue. The warmth of love in all its forms radiated from every pony in attendance—the love of friends through thick and thin, of family through highs and lows, and of the stallion standing beside her through it all.

Sunny Day and several other guards came in from the sides and marched toward the exit. On her command of "Center face!" they pivoted on their hind legs and faced one another to make a gauntlet of guards. When she ordered, "Arch sabres!" they all raised their swords to make, aptly, an arch, the tip of each touching the one across from it.

Crystal tried not to giggle at one of the swords that had to be raised by magic, given that it belonged to little Azurite and was appropriately sized for her. The quartet began to play and everypony rose to applaud and cheer the newlywed couple. Silent took the first step forward and she followed alongside him as they made their way down the aisle.

The faces were a blur as her gaze drifted between them all, but she did recognize the notable ones. Wallflower, Dot, and Princess Luna sat in the front row on Silent's side of the garden, with nearly every guard from the palace filling in the majority of the remaining seats. On her side, of course, were her parents, Sunbeam, Pepper Ridge, Red Velvet, Savoir, Moore, Verdant Wellspring, all of her mother's family, and too many other ponies to keep track of as they neared the arch.

Before they could pass through, however, Silent stopped just as Sunny and Russet Rook's swords lowered to block the way. Crystal blinked and wobbled forward as her hooves stopped before her legs were ready, perhaps to get revenge for earlier, then she looked up at Silent. He just smiled at her. He had been in charge of arranging the parts of the wedding that tied into the military aspects, so if he didn't look concerned, then—

Whump! Crystal squealed in surprise when Radiant Orchid's sword came down and swatted her rump with a playful but meaningful force.

"Welcome to the Royal Guard," the older mare said, a kind smile showing through her well-practiced guard expression before it snapped back into place.

Crystal's face was hot and she could only huff a squeaky, unintelligible response as the swords in front of them were lifted to let them through. The guards in the arch of sabers followed them out, the bridesmares and groomsponies right behind them, then the guests.

"Was that part of the tradition?" Crystal whispered to Silent, glancing up at his amused grin. "Or was that just for a laugh?"

"Why not both?" he teased, his ears wiggling. "You're making me do a receiving line, so I think it's a fair trade."

Crystal shook her head as they formed a line with Princess Luna, Wallflower, Upper Crust, and Jet Set. "I'm not the one who wanted this," she said in a low, private voice. "Blame my mother."

Silent accepted the silk saddlebags that a staff pony brought over to them. Their cutie marks were interwoven into one symbol, the blue moon beginning where the pink heart ended and the quill and blade facing one another, and embroidered on the flaps. Traditionally, guests would give them gifts to help start their new life together, but Crystal would be content with just filling them with bits. Bits could be used for anything. Three sets of silverware or two stock pots? Not so much.

"I'm sure I'll be saying that a lot." Silent's wings flicked before tucking in close to his sides. "Huh. I expected the ring to be more noticeable."

Crystal smiled. "Hopefully you won't lose too many of them—Hello! Thank you so much for coming." She bowed her head to the first pony in line. Once the group of ponies had passed, she quickly tried to continue, "But I have a whole bag of some cheap ones that look more or less the same—Hello! Thank you so much for coming." She bowed her head, smiled, and said once Silent had done the same, "In case you lose one or the feather it was on. And I bought a nice chain for you to wear this one on so it doesn't get lost."

Silent leaned down to nuzzle her cheek. "You're such a considerate wife."

"And I do the dishes," Crystal said, puffing out her chest.

Silent chuckled and nodded. "A considerate and well-bred wife. What a lucky stallion I am."

"Yes, you a—Hello! Thank you so much for coming. Silent, this is my grandfather, Pizzaiolo and..."

---

Silent let out a heavy sigh of relief and shook his head. "I thought that would never end. How did we end up with so many ponies?"

"My mother, your alicorn-mothers in attendance, a castle wedding... All of the above?" Crystal smiled. "All that's left is the reception, and most of that should be fun."

Silent bobbed his head. "I suppose that makes sense."

Crystal hooked her foreleg with his, bumped their shoulders together, and asked, "Are you ready to do this?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

"Then let's go. Our public awaits." She giggled.

As they approached the doors that led to the reception hall, two palace guards pushed them open and gave polite nods of their heads as Crystal and Silent walked past.

"Ladies and gentleponies," a voice announced as they entered and all eyes turned to look. "May I present to you for the first time: Mrs. Crystal Wishes and Mr. Silent Knight!"

A wave of cheers washed over them, accompanied by the sound of stomping hooves and excited whistling. Silent seemed to puff up with pride while Crystal just smiled and offered a small wave.

Then, the quartet from the ceremony began to play, soft and slow at first, until one of the instruments soared above the others and everypony went quiet.

Silent led Crystal to the center of the room that had been cleared for their first dance. They moved in time with the music as it picked up the melody. He bowed to her and she curtseyed in return; several awws rose from the crowd.

With practiced poise, they stood on their hind legs and came together to hold one another just as a harp joined the quartet. The words that accompanied the song began to play in the back of her mind.

Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute, the better that my longing you may know...

Dancing slow and upright brought back such fond memories. The time they danced in her condo living room and he dropped her. Of course, they had been practicing ever since they had set the date for the wedding, so hopefully there would be no dropping involved this time.

I’m not asking you to come, but—can’t you go?

More musicians came in from where they had been hiding in the crowd to join the original quartet. Silent, who had been so excited for their surprise orchestra, seemed to hardly give it any notice. Instead, he just gazed down at her as he led her through the turns, their eyes never drifting away.

"We finally made it," she whispered.

Three words, “I love you,” and the whole is said—the greatness of it throbs from sun to sun...

"Yes, we did." He squeezed the hoof he held in his own. "It took a few years to get here, but we're here now." He chuckled. "And I'm really glad you're not the fillyfooler I thought you were."

"Me, too." Crystal couldn't help a small grin that she smothered into a more even expression as he spun her out at foreleg's length, still holding hooves so that he could pull her back in.

I’m not asking you to walk, but—can’t you run?

Without missing a beat, they glided through the rest of their routine, along the turns and around the box-steps. The song started to draw to a close, and after a confirming nod between them, Silent spun her out one final time.

Three paces in the moonlight’s glow I stand, and here within the twilight beats my heart.

As she twirled back into his embrace, he shifted his weight to steady himself as he pulled her into a dip. They remained that way, his hooves wrapped around her middle and hers around his neck, gazing at each other while the musicians disappeared into the crowd, leaving the original quartet to finish the song.

I’m not asking you to finish, but—to start.

"I love you," she whispered, smiling up at him.

Applause and stomps rewarded them as he pulled her back upright, kissing her softly and mumbling, "I love you, too."

Crystal giggled as he nodded to acknowledge the crowd and she called, "Thank you, everypony! Please, enjoy your dinner. It's on us!"

Polite laughter responded as ponies found their seats and she and Silent went over to their special table nearby where their food was already waiting.

Velvet ran up and stopped Crystal by grabbing her neck and squeezing tight. Tears were running down her cheeks, but the cheer in her voice assuaged the initial fear Crystal felt at the sight of them. "Oh my Celestia, Crystal, that was the most beautiful thing! Ever!"

Crystal smiled and returned the hug. "That means a lot coming from somepony who does beautiful dances for a living."

Velvet snorted. "Ballet has nothing on what you just did." She sniffed and pulled back to beam at her. "Okay, sorry. Go, sit with your husband and enjoy the meal."

"I can stay with you and—"

"No, really, go eat! The food's great. The pasta salad's amazing." She grinned.

Crystal laughed, shaking her head. "Why am I not surprised you've already tried everything somehow?" She nuzzled her cheek, then walked over to sit beside Silent at their table.

After she had eaten her fill—lingering nerves over the whole affair made it hard for her to eat too much, but she certainly wasn't going to waste a meal prepared by the castle chefs—Crystal folded her napkin and placed it to the left of her plate, then looked at Silent. "We have some time. I'll start at my family's side of the room, we'll meet in the middle, take a break, and then switch?"

Silent nodded. "That sounds good to me. You can have a head start. I'm not done eating yet."

Crystal kissed his cheek before making her way to the nearest table where Fancy Pants and Lyrica Lilac sat with their usual entourage. "Hello! I hope you're all enjoying your meal."

Fancy Pants chuckled. "Quite so! But who can ever have a bad thing to say about a meal in the castle?" He winked. "You look absolutely ravishing, my dear. Ravishing."

Lyrica just offered a polite nod of her head.

"Terribly sorry about my daughter's absence," Fancy continued. "She wasn't feeling well and all that. Didn't want to bring anything that might be contagious. She sends her best wishes, of course."

Crystal kept her smile calm and even, though she wanted to roll her eyes. "I hope she feels better soon, Mr. Fancy Pants." She looked around the table. "Thank you all for coming. It means so much to Silent and me."

The usual cordial responses were given that, after hearing them from the next table and the table after that, started to get almost annoying.

"We wouldn't miss it for the world!"

"Of course, we are just honored to be here."

"Wonderful wedding, beautiful bride, good-looking groom!"

Crystal turned her back on the fifth table and sighed inwardly. Right—this was exactly why she had given up social events. She hated all the practiced phrases and empty praises. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a sage green pegasus sitting at a table of other pegasi.

After circling around to get a better look, Crystal blinked and approached him. "Rossby?"

Rossby stiffened, then turned his head to stare at her. "Huh? Crystal?"

"Oh!" Her brow furrowed. "What are you doing here?"

He kept staring. "I was invited. D'uh."

"But I—I didn't get to invite you! You said you were busy!"

"Yeah, busy with this wedding. My mom made me come. Apparently the niece or something of a cousin on my mom's side is getting married. We're second cousins, so I don't know why I should care, but... wait, why are you here?"

Crystal gawked and sputtered, "I-I'm the bride!"

"Oh." His ear flicked. "That makes more sense. I just thought you were really tacky wearing that to somepony else's wedding."

After her initial irritation subsided, she blinked a few times. "Wait, the niece of... Who's your cousin?"

Rossby's eyes widened. "Please tell me you don't have an uncle named Whisperwind."

"I do!" She gasped. "You're my cousin?!"

"I—" He paused, his lips moving to unspoken words while his gaze rose to the ceiling, and he shook his head. "I think that makes us second cousins. Once removed. Or something. Maybe twice removed. Family trees are weird." A smug grin gripped his lips. "Wait, that puts me a generation above you, doesn't it?"

Crystal jabbed a hoof at him. "You stop that! I'm still older than you. And it's my wedding day. So say something nice!" She tossed her mane and peered down her muzzle at him.

Rossby glowered at first, then raised his brow. "The weather sure is nice today, isn't it? Not a single raincloud in sight. You're welcome."

Crystal squinted at him before relenting with a sigh. "I'll take it. Now, excuse me. I have an uncle to interrogate to find out if it's the same stallion, or if perhaps this is just a coincidence."

"'Kay. But if we are related and things get weird, then I still expect you to recommend books for me. A deal's a deal."

Crystal rolled her eyes. "Of course, sure. Bye!"

The Pizza family wasn't hard to find, as they had taken up two tables by themselves and stood out from the common elite of Canterlot. She started to approach them, but froze when she saw her mother standing with them.

She couldn't hear what was said, but she could feel the tension even at the distance. Upper Crust fiddled with her pearl necklace, Pizzaiolo didn't look at her, and Fior had risen to her full height to peer down at Upper Crust as they spoke. The other family members were doing their best to preoccupy themselves, though Pretzi was staring at Upper Crust with wide eyes and infatuation clear on her face.

Crystal's ears folded back and she tried not to look like she was staring. She wandered to the nearest table and struck up a casual conversation with the ponies sitting there, glancing over every once and a while.

All of the pretense dropped, however, when Fior embraced Upper Crust. The whole Pizza family was paying attention at that point, Crystal included. Upper Crust didn't pull away, but she didn't return the hug, either; closing her eyes and accepting it was enough.

Crystal smiled as she willed herself to not cry, especially not when Jet Set walked over and Pizzaiolo rose. The two stallions stared for a while until Jet Set offered a hoof, which Pizzaiolo glanced at. Neither of them smiled nor frowned and simply shook hooves with noncommittal expressions. Once a tense truce seemed agreed upon, Pretzi jumped out of her seat to rush over to Upper Crust, embracing her as well.

Discovering Whisperwind's possible relation to Rossby Waves could wait. Crystal changed her course to make rounds at other tables. Her family had more important matters to attend.

---

Crystal stood beside Silent as they faced the waiting crowd while he fiddled with the bottle of champagne. After angling it at the ceiling, he said, "All right, I think I've got it. Everypony, look out!"

Breaths were held, but no loud pop! or flying cork followed. Instead, a cap fell into his hoof and the bottle just bubbled a bit. He looked down at it with a disappointed frown on his face. "What? It's a twist cap?"

Crystal burst into laughter and quickly clamped a hoof over her mouth. Nearby ponies that caught his expression chuckled and snickered. Silent sighed before shrugging it off and he filled her glass, then his. After a few polite taps of his fork to the glass, the room went quiet and all attention was on them.

Silent took a moment to look out at all their faces, his expression reserved at first until he finally smiled and looked down at the cards for the toast Crystal had helped him prepare.

Taking a breath, Silent started, "Those of you that know me best know I'm not one for speaking in front of crowds. To be frank, Crystal had to help me write most of this toast so that I could practice in advance. Otherwise I'd be too nervous to give it."

He looked up from the cards and smiled. "When I look out at all of you tonight, however, I'm not nervous. I'm not nervous at all. I know one third of you, I’m excited to get to know another third of you, and for the rest... Well, I hope you're enjoying your free meal at the palace."

He winked and paused to allow for the soft laughter that followed. Crystal smiled, letting her gaze drift the room as she reminisced and reflected. Working with him on the speech had reminded her of how far he truly had come. Once upon a time, he was the stallion in her theater class she hardly knew was there most of the time because he avoided other ponies to "just build sets." She giggled to herself. Yes, he had definitely come a long way since then.

Silent continued, "I arrived in Canterlot many years ago knowing only one thing: that I was to be a royal guard. That was my drive. That was my motivation. It was what I was meant to do and I had to excel at it and, without sounding too much like a braggart, I think I have... but that isn't the whole story. Focusing solely on being a royal guard doesn't lend itself to becoming a pony that knows how to live. In fact, it doesn't prepare you for much of anything that life has to offer and, in a few short years, I've learned that life has a lot to offer.”

Of course, he wasn't the only one who had grown. Her horizons had broadened, her interests had expanded, and her goals had changed. All she had ever wanted to do was fall in love, but there was more to life than finding a stallion and settling down. She just had to find that out for herself along the way.

Silent turned his attention to the table where the ponies dearest to him sat: Winterspear, Runic, Shining Armor, Iridescence, and Luna. "Like the deep bonds of loyalty between siblings or the humorous antics of a cousin willing to do anything to make you laugh. Then there is the value of an honest mentor that only wants what is best for you and is willing to call you out when you're wrong."

Life had so much to offer that focusing on only one aspect meant missing out. She smiled as she looked at the ponies that were close to her heart. Horsey held hooves with Savoir, who stroked her cheek while she cried freely. Velvet sat with her family, Red in her lap while Sunbeam cried into Pepper Ridge's shoulder, the stallion doing everything he could to keep his trembling composure so that he could comfort his wife.

Raven and Willow had been in the middle of going over a checklist, Moore standing between them to hold the list in question with one hoof. Painted beamed at them, though she did sneak rubbing at the corner of one of her eyes when she thought nopony was looking. Verdant glanced at her and grinned knowingly, but otherwise let her keep her dignity intact.

"And you have friends. Ponies who give generously of themselves when we need it or who treat us with kindness we sometimes don't even feel we deserve."

A couple tables over, Sunset Coffee and his family watched. Even Blue Belle and Violet were still and quiet, either understanding the situation or having recently been scolded into doing so. She owed him a great deal of debt for helping her launch her career, so much so that she could never repay him. Of course, he never asked her to. He just smiled and teased as always, We're even so long as you keep writing. Meeting her gaze, Sunset winked before returning his attention to Silent.

"Life has given me all of those things and one thing more: love."

Crystal's ear twitched and she looked up at him. This part was unfamiliar to her; he was supposed to then raise his glass and request everypony toast to the magic that was life, friendship, and love.

"Life offers us all love. The love of family, the love of friends, and the love of a special pony. For me, that special pony is Crystal. She has been the guiding star of my life recently and even when things were stormy I could always see her. It was as if by magic she could cut through the gales and get right to me."

Silent met her gaze and smiled, sending her heart into a fluttering frenzy as her face heated up.

“I ask you all now. Please lift your glasses and join me in a toast to Crystal Wishes. A mare far better than a pony like me deserves.”

“To Crystal Wishes,” all the voices in the room repeated enthusiastically. Glasses were raised, champagne was downed, and hooves then stomped.

“Thank you, everypony,” he said before kissing Crystal's cheek and muttering, “Okay, speech done, I'm done.”

Crystal laughed. "Yes, yes." She patted his cheek in return. "You're free until the cake cutting. I'll do the bouquet toss, so go have fun for now."

Silent flashed her a smile and trotted off to finish trying to mingle with the ponies he wanted to see. Crystal cleared her throat and called, "Will all the single mares please join me in the middle of the room for a bouquet toss?"

Some mares squealed in delight and raced to the space cleared for the event. Sunbeam took Red from Velvet and shoved her onto the floor, grinning as she watched her daughter begrudgingly join the growing crowd. Iridescence and Winterspear looked at each other, shrugged, and walked out as well.

"Is that everymare?" Crystal asked, looking around. She smiled when there was nothing said to the contrary and turned her back on the group of mares. "All right! Ladies, get ready in three..."

Her magic lifted the bouquet in front of her. She had an idea. It would be funny, right? No, of course it would.

"... Two..."

Sounds of excitement and hooves shuffling started up. It was just a joke. Ponies could handle jokes.

"... One!" Crystal sucked in a breath, spun around, and pelted Velvet right in the face with the bouquet. After a moment of surprise, most ponies laughed while Velvet just stood there, looking down at the mess of flowers sitting unceremoniously at her hooves.

Velvet looked back up at Crystal, one brow raised. "That doesn't count. I didn't catch it!"

Crystal stuck out her tongue. "You touched it!"

Velvet countered with a raspberry. "Do it right, silly filly!"

Crystal gave an exaggerated roll of her eyes and levitated the bouquet back to herself. "Fine! If I have to. All right, for real this time. Three..." She turned away from them. "... Two..." She readied the bouquet, then let it sail away. "One!"

As a chorus of squeals and delight filled the air, Crystal turned to watch the frantic scuffle. Surprisingly, Winterspear jumped up out of the crowd, using the advantage of her wings to intercept the bouquet before it could reach the other mares.

"I got it!" Winterspear puffed out her chest and held the trophy high in the air, but when her eyes met the wide, surprised ones of Iridescence, she flushed and glanced away.

"W-well," Crystal said, trying to laugh casually. "Congratulations, Winterspear!" She cleared her throat. "If my husband is ready, I think that means it's time to cut the cake."

Hoots and hollers responded, and one pony even teasingly tried to shove Silent in the direction of the cake. The effort was in vain, of course, as not much could move a stallion of his strength and size, but he smiled and trotted on anyway.

Unsurprisingly, Sunbeam and Pepper Ridge had made a cake that normally only existed in bridal magazines to give mares unrealistic dreams. It was seven tiers tall and covered in chocolate roses so perfectly hoofmade by Sunbeam that they looked real. The pink ones went from dark to light at the tips, while the blue gradient went in reverse to contrast beautifully with their counterparts. Certain ones were selected to be white instead, some arranged to form the letters CW and SK on one tier, hearts on the next, then back to their initials and so on.

At the very top of the cake were two toppers, one to represent both of them, holding hooves and standing under an arch that was half of a pink heart on one side and a blue crescent moon on the other.

"Oh, Mama Sunbeam, Papa Pepper," Crystal said as the two approached them while Silent inspected the suspiciously Azurite-sized sword that a grinning Sunny gave him, "it's absolutely perfect."

Sunbeam sniffled and nosed her cheek, tears still in her eyes. Pepper Ridge said with his chest puffed out, "Only the best for you on your special day. We were happy to make it."

Crystal smiled and hugged them both. "When I said 'surprise me,' I meant... Oh, it doesn't matter what I meant. Thank you both so very, very much."

"Just wait until you taste it," Pepper Ridge said, placing a quick kiss on her cheek. "I used a hint of rose extract just for you."

Crystal nodded as she pulled back. "I'm sure I'll love it."

"Are you ready?" Silent asked, looking over at her with the sword held in his hoof.

"Of course." She moved to stand at his side.

With all eyes on them, Silent made another show of inspecting the blade before presenting it rested over his foreleg, hilt toward Crystal. She carefully took the sword from him and, with his right hoof resting over hers and left foreleg wrapped around her waist, they cut into the cake together.

It was a shame to cut something so beautiful, but the moist white cake that waited beneath the rosy exterior seemed more than worth the cost. After they took the first slice for themselves, they stepped aside to let two staff ponies work on cutting the rest for the other guests.

Crystal cut off a piece with a fork and held it to him while he did the same and, in unison, they took their respective bites. The piece of pink chocolate rose that accompanied her bite tasted like a strawberry, a gentle flavor that complemented the vanilla cake and hint of rose extract.

"Cotton candy," Silent remarked, her forkful for him having had a corner of a blue rose.

"Really?" Crystal giggled and nibbled on a piece. "Oh, wow! It is cotton candy! I guess that fits you."

Silent arched one brow. "How so?"

She winked. "An unexpected twist in an otherwise normal set of things: vanilla, roses, strawberries... and then cotton candy."

"Oh. Not my sugary sweet personality?"

She tossed her head back to laugh. "No, that definitely doesn't fit!"

Silent chuckled and took another bite of cake. "Thanks, dear. I love you, too."

---

Though her whole body ached with exhaustion, Crystal did her best to follow alongside Silent as they made their way down the hall.

"I'm going to start getting used to staying in the castle," she teased, managing a tired laugh.

Silent sighed. "I told them they were going to spoil you when they made the offer. They said it was okay."

At the end of the hall were two oversized double doors that led to the dignitaries's suite. Other than the private quarters of the princesses, it was the most extravagant and luxurious place to sleep in the castle. Rumor had it that the room had a fully stocked mini bar, a bathroom that rivaled the nicest spa in Canterlot, and a rope that, when pulled, meant a servant would be at the door in ten seconds or less.

"Oh, it's absolutely okay. Until things like this stop happening and my heart is broken forever. But other than that, I'm fine with it."

The palace guards waiting outside the doors stiffened to attention, then pulled the doors open. Crystal gazed at the lavish interior of velvet drapes, plush carpet, and a bed that could fit at least five ponies on it. There even seemed to be a sitting area off to one side and—was that a chocolate fountain?

Silent pulled her out of her stunned staring by nudging his wing against her side. "Are you ready, Mrs. Wishes?"

Crystal blinked a few times, then smiled. There was only one thing left to check off the list. "I am, Mr. Knight."

After he lowered himself to make it easier for her to climb on his back, she glanced down at her dress of much-too-much material and contemplated her movement. She sucked in a breath and, hoping to become the embodiment of grace and poise, sat down with her hind hooves tucked beneath her and her forehooves folded in her lap. With her head held high, she teased in her best officer's voice, "Onward, husband."

Silent chuckled. "Yes, wife." He straightened up and carried her through the arched doorway to cross the threshold together.

From then on, everything would be together as wife and husband. Of course, there would be times where he would go on missions he couldn't talk about. And she certainly didn't want to get in the way of his work.

Perhaps it would be better to just say that everything important they would do together.

After the doors closed behind them, she carefully slid off his back and gazed up at him, warmth spreading throughout her chest as she tried to sum up what the long but wonderful day had taught her. She had everything she ever wanted and more: a successful career, more friends than she could count, and a true love to last her through all her years.

It had taken effort, there was no doubt of that. She had almost given up a few times, but the heart wanted what the heart wanted and there was no denying that. Perhaps the path would have been easier if she had sought a stallion that was less oblivious and had a more simple career that kept him within the city's limits. But that wouldn't have been right. Silent was the only stallion for her, and now he was hers and she was his.

Finally, in spite of the tears and uncertainty she had endured the past two years, Crystal's wishes had come true.

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Our Canterlot Wedding - Part 2

Please enjoy this video, art courtesy of Rossby. :heart:

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