• 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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Moving On

Crystal sat on the stool in front of her vanity, examining her reflection. Everything seemed to be in place: her mane was brushed and adorned with her now-signature braid, her face was washed and powdered smooth with foundation, and her eyelashes were thickened and elongated with mascara. Yet, somehow, she felt incomplete.

She raised a hoof to touch her cheek, scrunching it up then pulling it back down. "Hmm." A small brush raised from its container, dipped its tip into a container of black makeup, and painted a small heart near the corner of her left eye.

She smiled at her work. Now she felt ready to leave her room.

As she descended the stairs, she offered a light "Good morning" to her parents.

Jet Set looked up from his newspaper with a smile. "I thought you'd never come down, dear. You missed breakfast."

Crystal flicked her tail. "I have a meeting at the cafe this morning. I had to be sure I was put together."

Upper Crust was focused so intently on the magazine draped over her forelegs that her ears didn't even swivel to acknowledge the conversation.

Crystal waited a moment, then raised one brow and said in a louder voice, "I'm leaving, Mother."

Upper Crust's whole body flinched with surprise and she jerked her head up. "Darling! Darling, have you seen the latest issue of Mares Monthly?" She paused. "And what is that on your face?"

"Nevermind that, Mother." Her heart pounded in her chest, but she kept her face locked in the intrigued position. "What's this about Mares Monthly?"

"Oh, yes." Upper Crust slipped a hoof out from under the magazine to tap on a page. "They've started publishing literature in place of their informative articles." She frowned down at the helpless text. "If I wanted to read fiction, I would go to a library." There was a pause before she chuckled and added, "Or to your room."

Crystal hesitated. The little filly in the back of her mind wanted her mother's approval, but the mare she was now knew it wouldn't happen. Her mother had a strong opinion about fiction, and it wasn't positive.

With a dry swallow, she fought back the filly's cries and smiled. "Then simply don't read the literature, Mother."

Upper Crust closed the magazine and tossed it onto the coffee table. "Certainly not."

Crystal took a step forward when it landed coverside up. "Oh! It's Golden Pants!" She smiled.

The mare was perched on the cover with a coy look, wearing a dress that blended perfectly with her golden coat. It was almost as if she was one with the slinky, shimmery fabric that swept off to one side of the page. What Crystal noticed most of all, however, were her blonde tresses, bleached to an almost platinum color.

"She dyed her mane?" Crystal mused aloud.

"Of course, darling." Upper Crust tossed her own mane over her shoulder. "She's known as Au now."

"Au? That's Prench, isn't it?"

Upper Crust clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "Yes, as well as chemistry, darling. AU is gold. It's a very clever and sophisticated name. Everypony is talking about her, you know."

"I see." Crystal pursed her lips but shrugged off the rest of her thoughts. "Well, good for her, and all that. I've got to leave for my meeting now."

"You've been having an awful lot of 'meetings' lately." Her mother raised her brow. "Are you seeing a stallion that you don't want us to know of? Is he the reason for the smudge on your cheek?"

Crystal groaned and levitated one of the hats by the door onto her head. "No, Mother, it's nothing like that! I'll be back later!"

Happy to shut the door behind her, she let out a heavy sigh. She was growing tired of having to explain herself whenever she left the house. It was difficult to feel like an adult with her mother questioning her every move.

When she arrived at the cafe near the castle, she easily spotted Raven sitting at the usual table in the corner.

"Good morning, Raven!" she chimed as she sat down in the seat across from her. "I was surprised when you wrote that you wanted to meet so early. Do you have a busy afternoon?"

Raven wasn't looking her directly in the eyes. She shook her head. "I simply wanted to see you sooner rather than later."

Crystal's smile sobered. "Why is that?"

Raven said nothing, instead simply lifting a folder onto the table and sliding it over. Crystal, after a hesitant moment, opened it to peer at its contents, then looked back up at Raven.

"Um." Crystal tried not to grin when she saw the bright blush lighting up Raven's face. "Well?"

Raven sputtered, "I, ah, I—" She covered her mouth and glared at Crystal, though there was no malice in her gaze. "Is there more?"

Crystal giggled and flipped through the copies of her prose that she had dropped in the mail for the mare. "Oh, plenty. This was some of my better work, so I must warn you that it's fairly downhill from here." She put the folder into her saddlebags and took out the draft of her recent work on The Mare's Temptation. "I think you'll like what I have planned for the next few installments, however."

Raven's ears perked straight up. "Oh?" She leaned in, easily accepting the change of topic. "What's that?"

"The Grand Galloping Gala!"

Raven paused and raised her hooves, staring at them as she mouthed indiscernible words to herself. Crystal waited patiently for the mare to look back up.

"It fits with the timeline, if I recall the previous chapters correctly," she finally said. "But you've only just had the first installment published, haven't you? How many chapters ahead is this now?"

Crystal nodded. "I'm trying to get as much written as I can so I have a good buffer built up. There's not much downtime available between publications with the editing and approval processes, so." She waved a hoof to dismiss the topic. "Anyway, here you are." She set the papers down in front of Raven.

While Raven carefully pored over the writing, jotting down notes here and there, Crystal ordered tea for herself. She was halfway through her cup when Raven looked up at her. Crystal expected a smile or, at least, a straight face, but the mare looked almost sad.

"What is it?" Crystal asked, nearly dropping her cup in surprise. "Did I get something wrong again?"

"No," Raven responded in a soft voice. She looked back down at the papers. "It's quite accurate. I think you've perfectly captured Blueblood's personality."

Crystal bit her lower lip. "Is it too accurate?"

Raven hesitated, then shook her head. "No. I'm sorry, I just—" Her voice cracked and caught in her throat. She shook her head again. "I apologize. After reading your previous work, it's startling to read such a vastly different prince."

"Perhaps, but don't worry!" she hurriedly assured and offered a smile. "I promise, they're still going to get the happy ending I planned from the beginning. It'll work out for them."

Raven glanced between the papers and Crystal and mused softly, "They will, won't they?" She straightened her glasses. "Moving on, I've written down some corrections and feedback. Shall we meet again in two weeks?"

"Oh, sure." She watched the mare start to stand up. "Do you have to go back to work?"

Raven blinked at her. "What?"

Crystal swirled the honey-dipped stirrer around the teacup. "I just thought it might be nice to sit and talk."

Slowly, Raven's rump lowered back to her chair. "About?"

"Anything? Nothing?" She shrugged. "I don't know."

Raven frowned. "If you don't know, then why did you suggest it?"

"Because friends don't really have an agenda in conversation." She sipped her tea. "They just sit and talk."

Raven stared with open confusion on her face. Her voice was slow and careful as she asked, "When did we become friends?"

Crystal smiled lopsidedly. "I think of you as a friend. Maybe not a best friend, but, well, I'd be happy if you were happy, and I'd be sad if you were sad. So, I think that puts you in the ballpark, at the very least."


They sat in relative silence. The stirrer occasionally clinked against the side of her teacup, and there was the buzz of nearby conversations filling in the quiet.

Finally, Raven spoke up. "I have a dog. His name is Duke."

Both of them were surprised at how excitedly Crystal responded, "Really? Tell me everything about him!"

A smile brightened Raven's hesitant expression. "Well, he's a little terrier. I've had him since I was a filly." She paused, then corrected, "No, he's been my friend since I was a filly. I feel bad, sometimes, because he always looks at me like I'm breaking his heart when I leave in the morning, but he's always there at the door to my room to greet me whenever I turn in for the night." She smiled, looking somewhere past Crystal. "The way you talk about your friend Velvet is the way I feel about Duke. He's always there for me, even if he can't exactly talk."

Crystal listened quietly but eagerly as Raven told a few stories about growing up with the dog. It wasn't long before the mare insisted she had to return to work, but she left with a smile that gave Crystal hope. She remained at the cafe to read the notes over another cup of tea before she packed up and went home.

Crystal yawned as she walked to the front door that somepony was frantically knocking on. "All right, all right!" she called once she was near enough to be heard on the other side. "Calm down, I'm coming!"

When she opened the door, she was abruptly knocked to the floor by an overexcited Velvet.

"Crystal, Crystal, Crystal!" Velvet sat on Crystal's stomach and held up three envelopes in the space between them. "Look what arrived!"

Crystal squinted. "You attacked me at this hour of the morning to show me that you got mail?"

"No, you got mail!"

"What?!" Crystal squirmed, knocking Velvet off and jumping to her hooves. "I did?!"

"Why did Velvet get your mail, darling?" Upper Crust asked from the stairs as she descended them. "Did the mailpony have a mishap?"

"I guess so, Mother." Crystal mouthed 'be quiet' to Velvet, who nodded in response, then looked over her shoulder with a smile. "I'm going to walk Velvet home since it's still dark out."

Upper Crust looked at the pair with clear suspicion, but she said nonetheless, "All right, darling."

Once the door shut behind them and they had walked down the block and around the corner to be out of sight of any spying mares, Crystal turned on Velvet like a starved timberwolf. "Is it from Mares Monthly?!"

"Yes!" Velvet beamed at her. "Open them, open them!"

Crystal's magic nearly ripped the first envelope in her hurry to get it out of Velvet's grip and she tore it open. Her gaze scanned the neat hoofwriting as quickly as her mind could process the words, then she giggled.

"What does it say?!" Velvet leaned against her to read it for herself. "Oh! I must say, this is brilliant!"

"Can you believe it?" Crystal sighed dreamily. "I have been endlessly entertained by this first installment. Curious to see where this is headed." She tucked the envelope back into Velvet's hoof and lifted the second one.

There was a pause while both mares eagerly read the letter, then squealed together.

"I do say you've done a good job here, and I look forward to reading more." Velvet fanned herself with the envelopes. "This is so exciting. What's the next one say?!"

After exchanging and reading the last letter, the mares bounced up and down, giggling like fillies.

"All in all, a very good start, and I can't wait for more. Oh my Celestia, Velvet, it's only been a week and I've got three fan letters!" She grabbed Velvet by the shoulders. "Do you realize what this means?!"

"That three ponies out there like your work?" Velvet grinned.

Crystal paused, then muttered, "Well, yes, but you were supposed to say 'what' so I could say it myself."

Velvet smothered a giggle, scrunching up her nose and asking in a mock curious tone, "What?"

"Three ponies out there like my work!" She grinned, then laughed. "Thank you for letting me say it." She glanced up at the horizon. "Do you think your parents would mind it if we dropped by before they're open?"

Velvet rolled her eyes. "Have they ever?"

Crystal nodded and started to trot in the direction of Sunridge Sweets. "Then celebratory cupcakes for breakfast it is!"

Every time Velvet received mail for Crystal, she hurried over right away. After Upper Crust's suspicious reaction the first time, however, they learned to be much more subdued until they had left the house and were out of sight before letting their excitement show.

"Crystal, it's not even been two months and today you got seventeen letters!" She raised a hoof to lift the flaps of her saddlebags. "You got eleven yesterday. This is getting ridiculous!"

Crystal danced from one hoof to the other. "Ridiculously awesome, you mean!"

Velvet gave a smile, but it wasn't as full of mirth as it normally was. "No, what I mean is, my parents wanted me to talk to you about it. They don't know what they'll do with your mail after I move out."

"Move out?" She blinked a few times. "But that's—I mean, move out? That's not for a while, so why talk about it now?"

"Because." Velvet rubbed one hoof against the other leg. "I got into the Canterlot Ballet."

Crystal gasped and threw her forelegs around Velvet's neck. "Oh my gosh, Velvet, that's amazing! How can you say that in such a nervous manner?!"

Velvet giggled softly, returning the embrace with one leg. "Because." She pushed Crystal away to look her in the eyes. "I'm going to move out. Like, soon. Probably really soon."

They stared at each other in an awkward moment of silence until Crystal simply said, "Oh."

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