• 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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Blast from the Past

"Is this really necessary?" Silent asked, staring down at the cup of tea cradled in his hooves.

"Absolutely." Crystal smiled from across the table. It was their first lesson and she was doing everything she could to stay focused on the task at hoof. She had to be a teacher first... a potential, possible special somepony second. "This is going to be difficult for you, I know, but it's very important that you learn."

He frowned and glanced between her and the tea. "I don't understand. Why is it important to lie?"

She waggled a playful hoof. "Creative interpretation of the truth," she corrected. "It's important because you'll be faced with many situations where an honest mouth will get you in a great deal of trouble."

He snorted and grinned briefly before frowning again. "So you want me to tell you that this awful tea is good?"

"Not necessarily." She giggled. "I want you to find another path in the conversation." She leaned in toward him, folding her hooves and resting her chin on them. "Now, let's try again. How is your tea, sergeant?"

Silent sat in silence as he mulled over his options. Slowly, he took a sip, kept his expression even, and said, "Fine."

"Fine? Is that all you have to say?" She pouted and looked every bit disappointed as she would be were she not simply roleplaying a typical Canterlot socialite. "I made it just for you, Sergeant."

He stared at her for a while before saying, "Thank you for taking the time to do that just for me, Miss Wishes. I appreciate it."

She fluttered her eyelashes. "Then you like it?"

"I don't dislike it," he hedged uncertainly.

Crystal waited a moment, then broke out into a laugh. "I'm sorry, but you're awful at this, Silent. I suppose this is why you always play a stalwart paladin in Oubliettes and Ogres."

He sighed and set the cup on the table to free his hooves to rub at his temples. "I'm sorry, too. I just don't understand why I have to do this. Slaying fictional dragons is one thing, but this is just difficult."

"Think of it as rescuing a maiden with words instead of a sword." She got up off her pillow to shift around the table, nestling down onto the one beside him so that she could look up at him more closely. "Do you want to offend me?"

He shook his head quickly. "Never."

"Then you can't tell me the truth about my awful tea, because that would hurt my feelings, obviously. But you don't want me to serve you tea like this ever again, do you?"

He hesitated, then shook his head again. "Not particularly."

The teacup lifted in her magic and floated to her. She took a sip, blinked a few times, then smiled at him. "My, my, Mr. Knight, are you trying a new brew?"

He blinked a few times, his brow furrowed, then caught on and puffed his chest in feigned pride. "Yes, it is."

"Have you considered adding mint?" She set the teacup down. "It's all the rage in Manehattan, you know. They're saying it helps with relieving colds!"

Silent pondered her response while he tapped his chin. "I see. So that way I might consider changing the tea and it sounds like you're helping me. But how am I going to know that mint does that or that it's popular in Manehattan?"

Crystal giggled and waved her hoof. "Most ponies don't know either of those things. Trends change all the time and everypony claims everything does anything."

"So... you just, lied?" The look on his face was one of curiosity and almost surprise.

"You believed me, didn't you?" She winked. "Keep calm, talk with confidence, and everypony will believe you. That's the key. If you absolutely don't know what to say, then just find something to compliment. Such as... My, Mr. Knight, where did you get this teacup? I love the pattern on it."

He gave a heavy sigh and his ears drooped while he shook his head. "This is more complicated than I thought."

She patted him on the hoof. "You'll get the hang of it, I'm sure. Just remember that the goal is to not offend the other pony and that will make it easier. If you can not offend them and find a way to not be in that situation again, all the better."

"I'll try to keep that in mind." He smiled at her. "I really appreciate you helping me with this. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Her stomach did a small, excited flip and she bubbled with giggles. "Oh, the pleasure's all mine. Trust me."


The area reserved for Runic's birthday was perfectly decorated. Most of the decor was rock-themed, of course, but all of it was done with a touch of class befitting of the location. Nearly everypony was already there, hiding behind the bushes and waiting for the signal. The only ponies missing were the birthday colt himself and Miley, who had been tasked with retrieving him.

"I still think you're an idiot," Velvet hissed in a whisper to Crystal, their close proximity keeping her words private. "You've been alone with him four times the past two weeks and you've made no moves?"

Crystal swallowed. The whispering conversations of other ponies gave her some peace that their own would go unheard, but she wasn't eager to risk it. Instead, she simply shook her head and looked away.

Velvet's eyes widened. "Don't you look away from me!" She frowned, jerking her own head away. "Oh, two can play at this game, Crystal Wishes."

"Ho-who! Ho-who!" Winterspear called in her best owl impression and swooped down from her perch to hurry over to the others. They all crouched down low as Miley's voice came into earshot.

"Just wait until you see it, Runic!" she said in a loud, squeaky voice to ensure she was heard. "It's the biggest flower I've ever seen! We can totally make a potion out if it, I bet!"

Miley turned the corner first, followed closely by Runic as she practically dragged him behind her. He seemed less than excited about seeing a giant flower, but allowed her to lead him nonetheless. When they were both in view, everypony jumped out in front of Runic to yell, "Surprise!"

Runic's expression snapped into one Crystal recognized from the changeling attack, and her eyes widened. Before any of them could react to his hoof slipping under his vest, he reacted first by throwing several vials to the ground, filling the air with smoke.

There was a pause before Silent's voice came from the haze to state rather than ask, "Runic."

"Yes, Silent Knight?" Runic responded, his tone equally flat.

"Surprise. Happy Birthday."

Another pause. "I see that now," Runic said almost bashfully.

After a round of laughter and near-sighted chatting for a while, the smoke finally cleared. The string quartet, now able to see their sheet music, went to work filling the air instead with music. The fact they were playing popular rock songs didn't detract any from the beautiful sound of violins, viola, and cello in harmony.

While Runic and Silent exchanged words over the smoke bombs, Miley walked over to the rest of the ponies. "Val!" she exclaimed, hugging a grey unicorn mare that had been very casually mingling with the other two that were clearly Miley's friends, as Crystal didn't recognize any of them. "I'm so glad you could make it!"

Val smiled and put a foreleg around Miley to return the hug. As they pulled back, she raised a hoof to push her muted purple-and-blue mane out of her eyes. "You asked me to. You know I can never say no to you. Besides, it's about time I get to meet your guard friends."

"Oh! Right!" Miley giggled and tugged on Val's hoof. "You have to meet Silent Knight!"

Val turned her head to wave at the others she had been talking to before following after Miley. The two mares she left behind stood perfectly still, looking a little lost.

"So," Crystal said as she walked over to them, "you're Miley's friends?" She offered a hoof. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Crystal Wishes."

The first mare smiled and took the offer. Her coat was such a light shade of blue that it was almost the same off-white color as her mane and tail. "Yeah! I thought maybe you were Crystal! Miley says you're a really popular author."

Crystal flushed lightly. "Miley's prone to well-meaning exaggeration."

"What she meant is 'Hi, I'm Bianca Winters, and this is my friend, Robin Song,'" the grey-brown mare cut in, nudging her friend in the side. She had a reddish-orange blaze down the middle of her face that matched her mane and tail in color.

"Oh, right." Bianca flushed. "Hi, I'm Bianca Winters, and this is my friend, Robin Song."

Velvet cleared her throat. "And I'm Velvet Step!"

Robin gasped and squealed, hopping on the tips of her hooves. "The dancer! Miley mentioned you!"

"That's right!" Velvet puffed her chest and stuck her nose in the air. "I'm sure she told you a lot about me, and let me just say... It's all true. The good stuff, anyway. The bad stuff is all lies."

Bianca laughed while Robin just stared at Velvet with adoration.

"Good evening, ladies," Silent politely interjected as he walked toward them. "Don't you all look lovely tonight?"

He looked to Crystal for confirmation when all of them giggled and she reassured him with a wink. "You're looking like your old self again, Sergeant," she said. "Perhaps even stronger than before. They'll need to make you a new new set of armor at this rate. What is your secret?"

Silent's confidence visibly swelled as his chest puffed and his wings ruffled slightly, all in a proud display. "I owe it all to Winterspear." He chuckled. "She has been quite the tyrant with my diet and exercise regime. In fact, I've recommended her to to the Royal Guard Training Academy as an instructor. If my time under her iron hoof has taught me anything, it's that they've gone soft."

Silent looked pleased with himself as Crystal and Robin twittered with giggles and Bianca laughed behind a hoof. Velvet gave a feigned laugh, her attention focused on sending small signals of dissatisfaction to Crystal in the form of gentle nudges, light glares, and brief snorts.

"If you'll all excuse me," Silent said before Velvet could physically knock Crystal into him, "there is a special little filly that needs some attention." He bowed his head and backed out of the circle of mares.

"Oh, he's dreamy," Bianca cooed, fluttering her eyelashes. "It's a wonder that Miley picked Runic instead of him!"

Crystal's blood briefly ran cold. Her mouth opened to speak, but Velvet cleared her throat and cut in, "Yeah, it is a wonder! But he is single. Anypony could come along and snatch him up." She looked from Bianca to Crystal, an eerily plastic smile on her face.

"Is that so?" Bianca raised her brow.

Robin's ears stood straight up and her eyes widened. "He's way out of your league, though, Bia!"

While the two bantered back and forth, Velvet stared pointedly at Crystal, saying nothing further. Slowly, Crystal's ears folded back until she tore her gaze away from Velvet's.

"Coward," Velvet hissed and turned a smile on the other two mares. "I'm going to go get some punch. Be back in a second!" She snubbed her nose at Crystal as she walked away.

Crystal sighed, but put on a smile. "So, Bianca, Robin, what do y—"

"Wow!" a filly's voice screamed. It sounded like Dot, Iridescence's youngest sister who had recently moved to Canterlot from Manehattan. The filly was prone to small bouts of excitement, so the exclamation wouldn't have been so strange if it hadn't sounded like it came from above. Dot was distinctly a unicorn, not a pegasus.

Crystal looked up and gasped. Silent Knight flew high over the gardens with Dot on his back, the little filly squealing and cheering the whole time.

When was the last time she had seen him fly? It was such a natural thing for pegasi, but to her, and to most if not all ponies without flight, it was a truly awesome sight. She would never understand how it felt to be wholly free in the sense a pegasus was. On top of that, she also appreciated just watching him move. He was strong again, and she loved that.

"And he's good with foals?" Bianca fanned herself. "Why, I—"

"Velvet was mistaken," Crystal said with a light airiness to her voice, her eyes never leaving his form as he circled Canterlot from above. "He is most certainly spoken for."

Bianca blinked a few times, then pouted. "Oh, is that so? What a pity!"

Velvet was suddenly at her side. She must have been nearby, feigning disinterest, but now she was beaming up at Crystal with a big grin. "Is he really?" Her voice cracked as she struggled against a squeal.

Crystal nodded and replied in a private whisper, "I'll tell him. I promise. Let me finish his lessons first, though, all right? I committed to helping him and I want to fulfill that obligation first."

Velvet's excitement waned as her skepticism showed on her face, one brow raised and lips curled into a slight frown. "Crystal, I—"

"Cross my heart and hope to die," Crystal interrupted, crossing a hoof over her chest, "or I'll live in a pig's sty."

They stared at each other a moment before breaking out into gleeful smiles. Velvet garnered a few odd looks when she finally let out a high-pitched squeal, but she ignored them and instead threw her forelegs around Crystal's neck.


The convention center was throbbing with noise: brief discussions between fans and authors, elated conversations between fans and other fans, and various sounds to fill the spaces in between like hoofsteps and scrawling quills. It was a thrilling chaos that chased away all worries and doubts for most ponies involved.

Velvet, on the other hoof, seemed to be the opposite of thrilled as she cowered behind Crystal's booth table, her forelegs squeezing the life out of her bag of books. "I can't do it," she whispered, rocking back and forth. "I can't do it."

Crystal smiled politely at a pony as she returned the signed book, then looked down at the trembling ball beside her. "It's all you've been talking about for the past month! Why are you so scared now?"

"Why are you scared of like, every choice you ever have to make, ever?" Velvet retorted, then winced. "Sorry. Nerves."

Crystal giggled and looked back up. "Hello! Thank you for dropping by! To whom should I make this out?"

"Cl-Click Drag," the stallion on the other side of the table said, his gaze darting nervously from the table to her, a shy smile on his lips.

Crystal nodded. Her quill started to write out a message as she said, "It's really nice to see stallions interested in the romance genre!" She winked and levitated the copy of The Princess of the Knight back to him. "I hope to see you again next year!"

Click's ears perked up right and a blush showed through his aquamarine coat. He bowed his head and quickly said as he hurried out of line, "Thank you, I love your books, okay, bye!"

"See?" Velvet seethed. "He was nervous. Why didn't you lecture him about being nervous?"

Crystal reached over to pat her on the head. "At least he found the courage to come by. You, on the other hoof, have been sitting here for hours. Rose is just an author like me, you know."

Velvet scowled and clutched the books closer to her chest. "That's not true! Rose Quartz is, like, in a league on her own!"

Crystal gasped in mock offense, jerked her head away, and pouted at the pony waiting patiently across the table. "Can you believe it? My own best friend likes another author better than me!"

The pony froze, eyes wide with uncertainty. "U-um, well, that, uh..."

"Oh, don't mind me." She laughed and patted the space between them. "What am I signing and to whom?"

While Crystal worked her booth, Velvet muttered incoherently to herself and eventually talked herself into rereading the first Prima Donna book. The hours ticked on and by the time she reached the third book in the series, Crystal yawned and stretched her forelegs over her head. "All right, I think it's about time for a break. Are you ready to go meet Rose Quartz?"

"No!" Velvet shrieked and clamped the book shut. "I can't!"

The book lifted out of her hooves along with the others, all wrapped in pink magic, and they followed behind Crystal as she started to prance away. "Well, I'll just go have her sign all of these to me, then!"

"You wouldn't dare!" Velvet stormed after her, desperately trying to snatch the books out of the air. They danced just out of hoof's reach and Crystal laughed at her. "They're my favorite books, not yours!"

"Oh, really?" a voice unfamiliar to them asked. "Well, I appreciate you saying so."

Velvet skidded to a halt. She looked around to get her bearings, Crystal looking on with a wickedly mischievous grin. They had reached the next row over and were standing at the front of a line right by a booth. The pony behind Crystal looked a little perturbed at having been cut in front of, but didn't say anything about it. Velvet gasped and froze when she saw the books on the table: all of them were from the Prima Donna series.

A rosy-colored mare sat on the other side, a soft smile on her face as she peered at Velvet curiously. "Hi," she finally said after an awkward moment of silence.

Velvet's eyelashes fluttered as she seemed to struggle against swooning. All at once, she stumbled forward, placed both forehooves on the table, and exclaimed, "You're the reason I got my cutie mark and I really love your stories, ever since I was a filly! You are amazing and I think you're the best and please sign all my books, I have them all! Some are first editions! I love your books!"

Rose Quartz blinked a few times in surprise, then her smile returned. "It would be my honor, Miss... ?"

"Velvet Step! The honor's mine!" Velvet grabbed one of them out of Crystal's magic and put it on the table with nervous, wooden movements. "Thank you, okay!"

"Good thing your alchemist friend isn't around," a familiar voice said from behind Crystal.

Crystal turned and tilted her head at the sight of Painted Wave standing there. "Why is that?"

She grinned. "Velvet seems to be having a pretty strong reaction, and who knows what kind of crazy potion of his it might trigger." Crystal sputtered into a laugh, and Painted continued, "Sorry, I can't help myself. Alchemical puns are a bonding experience and I'm in my element here, I zinc." She waved a hoof, chuckling to herself. "I'm done. Honestly. How are you? It's been a while."

"Clearly," Crystal agreed, giggling and gesturing at the mare with a hoof. "You changed your hair! When did you do that?"

Gone were the pink and purple stripes, replaced by an ombre gradient of purple fading into pink fading into blue that contrasted with her otherwise dark brown hairs.

"I just needed something new, that's all." She shrugged.

Crystal smiled and properly greeted her with a quick hug. "It suits you! To answer your question, I'm fine. Velvet is just meeting her favorite author, which apparently isn't me." She pouted playfully when Painted gasped. "It's shocking, I know."

Painted shook her head in feigned disbelief. "And to think I liked her because she liked cats. Perhaps that was all a lie, too!"

"It was a phase," Crystal corrected. "Now she's into foals. Her little brother was born a few months ago and that's been her obsession lately."

Painted's nose scrunched up. She looked over at Velvet, who continued to hand Rose Quartz books to sign, then shrugged and diverted the topic. "Any news about a new novel?"

"Yes!" Velvet exclaimed, whipping around to face them. "Prima Donna and the Final Showdown!"

"What?" Crystal and Painted asked together.

Velvet hopped up and down with a big, foalish grin on her face. "Rose Quartz is going to release a brand new book in the Prima Donna series! Isn't that amazing?!"

"Yes, Velvet," Crystal replied in the tone of an absent mother as she turned her gaze back to Painted. "And somewhat. I have something I'm working on, but it's not quite ready yet. Will you be available to do the cover when it's ready?" Painted smiled so wide that Crystal had to laugh. "I'll take that as a yes."

"Good, I was worried I might send a mixed signal with that reaction." Painted clapped her hooves together. "I look forward to it! Now, I'll leave you to your half-crazed, foal-loving, cat-and-Crystal-betraying friend." She waved to Velvet before walking on down the aisle to visit other booths.

Crystal giggled and walked over to Velvet. "So, are all your books signed now?"

Velvet nodded enthusiastically, clutching as many as she could carry to her chest. "Yes! And I placed a pre-order for the new one!"

"I'll make sure to sign it," Rose added in with a polite laugh.

Crystal smiled at Rose. "Thank you for your time, Miss Quartz." Her gaze returned to Velvet and her magic gathered up all the books. "Let's go get lunch, shall we?"

"Bye, Rose Quartz! Thank you! You're the best ever!" Velvet called while Crystal practically dragged her away. She sighed, shaking her head. "That was the most amazing experience of my life. You have no idea. These books... changed my life." Her tone grew more soft and serious and she looked over at Crystal. "Don't think I've forgotten that you introduced me to them. I owe you just as much as I owe her. I don't know how long it would have been before I discovered how much I love ballet if it weren't for you and these books."

Crystal leaned over to nuzzle Velvet's cheek. "I forgive you for not making me your favorite author. Now—"

"Velvet Step?" a mare's voice asked, a little cautiously.

Though it shouldn't have come as a surprise, given just how many ponies attended the convention, Crystal was still surprised at how they kept running into other ponies. This one was unfamiliar to her, but one glance told her everything she needed to know: her blue coat, mane, and tail all shimmered in the light with a crystalline magnificence.

"A crystal pony," Crystal said, almost breathless at the sight.

The details were made fuzzy by the extraordinary amount of contradicting gossip surrounding the Crystal Empire's return just over a month ago, but what she did know was that its inhabitants were only half as mesmerizing as the Empire itself. If the mare in front of them was any indication, then she absolutely had to catch the next train to the Empire.

Velvet blinked a few times. "Lazuli?"

"It is you!" The sparkling blue mare hurried closer to them. "Velvet, do you know who is in charge of this convention? Hmm?"

"Uh..." Velvet furrowed her brow. "No? Why?"

Lazuli frowned and looked upward at the ceiling. "The lighting in here is horrendous. It's as though they just got whatever bulbs were cheapest and installed them haphazardly. It's not good for the eyes, and it's definitely not good for the displays! If only they used—" Her gaze dropped back down to land on the gawking Crystal. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I interrupt you two?"

Velvet shook her head. "No, Crystal and I were just getting lunch."

"You can join us," Crystal added quickly, her face lighting up. "I'd love to hear more about how awful the lights are in here. As well as how the lighting is in the Crystal Empire."

Velvet shot her an odd, confused look before she rolled her eyes and laughed. "Right! I forgot, you're a crystal pony, aren't you?"

Lazuli raised one brow, though her lips lifted in a pleasant smile. "How can you forget?"

"You've been working with us long enough that I just... forgot?" She shrugged. "Anyway, Crystal, this is Lazuli Luminaire, our newest addition to the ballet. She's the best lighting technician we've got from what I can tell! Being in the spotlight isn't nearly as uncomfortably hot as it used to be."

"Well, that's what happens when you focus the throw properly," Lazuli grumbled, then perked back up. "If you don't mind me joining you for lunch, I'd be happy to talk about the Crystal Empire."

Crystal's eyes widened with excitement. "I don't mind at all! I want to hear everything."

Lazuli giggled softly. "I don't know if you actually mean that, but I'll do my best to sate your curiosity. Lunch first, though?"

"Lunch first," Velvet agreed and marched on ahead, forcing the other two to follow her.

Crystal couldn't help but stare at the crystalline mare beside her. She had so many questions swimming around her head that she wasn't sure she'd ever make it back to her booth, and right at that moment, she was completely all right with that. After all, the first draft for Her Silent Love was nearly complete, so it couldn't hurt to see if the Crystal Empire had anything to tickle her muse for a new novel...

Author's Note:

Companion Memoirs Chapter: Happy Birthday Runic

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