• 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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No Doubt

Frost ponies were easy to spot in the middle of just about any crowd, so Crystal had no trouble finding him at the cafe. He sat at a table furthest away from anypony else, his back straight and rigid, eyes and ears forward.

Crystal had to giggle to herself as the excitement bubbled up in her chest. A real, honest-to-goodness frost pony was sitting at a cafe in Canterlot. After having read The Winter Soldier so many times, it almost seemed comical to her. He belonged in the Frozen North, the bitter wind whipping through his lionesque mane, looking out into a blizzard...

She shook her head quickly to clear it, returning her attention to the present. "Hi!" she called just before approaching the table. "You're Cobalt Thane, am I correct?"

Cobalt nodded.

She smiled and sat across from him. "I'm Crystal Wishes."

"I know." He stared at her, his expression void of emotion.

She waited a moment, then pressed, "Have you ordered already?"

He shook his head.

A twinge of annoyance shot through the back of her mind, but was quickly replaced by a nostalgic warmth. It was theater club all over again, except this time, she couldn't speak for the stallion. "Well, then, let's order first before we get down to business, as they say."

He nodded and levitated his menu, drawing her attention to the horn atop his head.

"So, would they call you a frost unicorn?" she asked, glancing at him over her own menu.

"No." His gaze remained firmly on the selection of sandwiches.

Her mouth tightened as she struggled against a frown. "Just a frost pony with a unicorn horn, then?"

He paused, then shook his head. "Just a frost pony."

"I see." Her magic clenched the menu a little too tightly. She coughed when she noticed the edges starting to crease, and forced a smile.

This was going to be the longest lunch of her life.

---

Crystal groaned as she dropped the book and rubbed her eyes with both hooves. "I don't understand."

"How can you not understand?" Velvet looked up from the magazine she held. "That's like, your fifth time reading that stupid thing."

"No, not that." Crystal tossed the book onto the coffee table, staring at it as though it had offended her honor. "Suddenly, the frost stallion's stoic behavior is so very... annoying." She flopped onto her side to give her back to the world. "Now what am I going to do? I can't even read The Winter Soldier without thinking about Cobalt and how awfully awkward that lunch was." Her ear flicked in agitation.

Velvet dropped her gaze back to the article she had been reading. "Isn't your job as a writer to take the unromantic and make it romantic?"

The ear flicked again. "There has to be some kind of spark to get my creative interest piqued, and that stoic rock of a stallion quelled my fire."

A long, drawn-out sigh groaned from Velvet as she slapped her magazine shut. "Oh, then just focus on your other story about Silent Knight, jeeze! Isn't there a lot of fire going on for you there? I mean, you practically finished it before you started chasing this frost pony stuff."

Crystal rolled over to shoot Velvet a curious look. "Forgive the Horseyism, but what kind of bee is in your bonnet?"

Velvet's lips twitched into a lopsided grin. "Horseyism? You know 'bees in the bonnet' was a thing before Horsey said it, right?"

"Yes, well, I never heard it until she said it." She snorted. "And don't change the subject." She waggled a stern hoof in the mare's direction.

Velvet rolled her eyes. "You changed the subject to bonnets first. What happened to Her Silent Love, anyway? I haven't seen you touch the manuscript since you started dating Silent."

Crystal's gaze darted away and she curled her tail around herself, frowning. "It's, well, it's almost complete. I just need to go through it one more time, that's all."

"Uh-huh. And when are you going to do that?" When Crystal merely shrugged in reply, Velvet sighed. "Fine, whatever. It's your life, not mine. I'm sure I'll be taking care of the rent on my own soon enough, anyway, so I'll just get used to that now while you go broke."

"I feel like you're trying to say something to me." Crystal sat up and looked at her again, the frown deepening. "Why don't you just get it off your chest already?"

Velvet opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Instead, her ear swiveled around, followed by her head. "Did you hear that?"

Crystal rolled her eyes. "Oh, real mature, Velvet. I—"

"No, seriously, listen!" Velvet's brow furrowed. "I swear I heard something like a really loud chicken."

"A really loud chicken?" Crystal stared with disbelief clear on her face until the very distinct sound of a chicken screeching hit her ears. "Okay, I heard it this time." She blinked a few times, stepped off the couch, and walked over to the window.

Out in the near distance of Canterlot, several oversized cockatrices loomed above the buildings, seeming to be on some sort of rampage. Crystal just stared for a moment, then dropped the curtain back into place.

Velvet waited until the city alarm filled the silence. "Well?"

"Nope." Crystal took a step backwards.

"Nope?"

"Nope, nope, nope." Crystal's horn lit up and grabbed onto Velvet's hoof, tugging her as Crystal trotted toward the front door. "Nope!"

Velvet frowned and tried to struggle against the pink aura enveloping her hoof, but rather than risk injuring herself, she followed behind the mare. "The hay does 'nope' mean? What did you see?"

Crystal shook her head and started down the stairs at a brisk pace. "Nope means I'm just not dealing with this. I'm not dealing with that, with this, with anything."

"Oh my gosh, is this because—"

"Nope," Crystal interrupted and they skidded to a halt in front of a reinforced steel door where the old but sturdy wooden basement door used to be. Crystal tilted her head at the sight of it. "This is new."

Velvet sighed, rubbing her hoof when Crystal released it. "They installed it after the changeling attack. Didn't you read the newsletter?"

Crystal shrugged, then tested the door. It didn't budge. "Hello?" she called, knocking. "Anypony in there?"

A slot in the center of the door slid open and a pair of eyes peeked at them. "Who's that?" Earl Grey paused, then smiled. "Oh, Crystal and Violet!"

Velvet frowned and begrudgingly corrected, "Velvet. We've met like, hundreds of times now."

The sound of metal sliding against metal followed as Earl undid the locks and latches until the door swung open. "Come on in! You saw 'em too, eh?"

"Saw what?" Velvet glanced between them as Crystal nodded and they walked inside. "I didn't get to see anything."

Earl chuckled and followed them down the stairs. "Never seen anything before in my life like it. Glad we renovated the basement when we did."

Velvet whined, "What is 'it'?!" She paused when they reached the basement proper, blinking a few times. "Oh, wow, that's a big change."

The whole basement had been completely refurbished to look more like a small town bar. The hard concrete was replaced by plush carpet, a few benches and tables lined one side of the room, and a small serving station took up the other side. There were bottles of apple cider and barrels of water at the ready, as well as sacks of potatoes, a small crate of apples, and a couple barrels of oats and barley.

"We could live down here for days!" Velvet grinned, then dropped back into a sulking frown. "Which I hope isn't necessary due to the unseen terror that forced us down here. And, by the by, that is... ?"

Crystal sat down on one of the benches and levitated an apple over, offering it to Velvet. "Cockatrices."

Velvet peered at her over the bobbing red apple. "Aren't those primarily a problem in scary dark forests, and we're on the side of a mountain?"

"Not when they're of astronomical proportions." Crystal waved her forelegs high in the air and far apart. "They were huge! Taller than the buildings!"

Velvet's brow arched. "Uh-huh. Giant cockatrices." She turned her head to look at Earl Grey. "So, what are we hiding from?"

"Giant cockatrices," Earl Grey replied with a nod.

Velvet took a bite out of the floating apple and chewed very slowly as she glanced between them. "Right." Her attention shifted to a couple sitting off to the side at a different table. "And what are you all hiding from?"

The couple offered quietly, "Giant cockatrices."

"I see." Velvet stood there a moment before her eyes widened. "Wait, so there are seriously giant cockatrices wreaking havoc on the town right now?!"

Crystal, Earl Grey, and the couple all nodded. Velvet plucked the apple out of the air and walked over to sit beside Crystal. "Wow. That's kind of too ridiculous to believe."

"Thus why I decided to say nope." Crystal patted her on the back. "In the meantime, you can tell me all about your bonnet bees."

Velvet recoiled away from her, glaring. "Can't you just drop it?"

"Nope." Crystal smiled brightly.

Velvet rolled her eyes and took an emphatic, almost angry bite out of the apple. "You want to know what's bothering me? Seriously, you can't figure it out yourself?"

Crystal paused to think it over, then quietly replied, "Is this about Silent Knight and me?"

"It's about how there's no you and me anymore," Velvet snapped. "You go to school, you go on dates, you sit on the couch and read, you go off to do wedding stuff. There's no us anymore and it's kind of pissing me off!"

"Oh, no," the older mare sitting nearby mumbled just loud enough to be heard. She covered her mouth with a hoof. "Did you two break up?"

"What?" Velvet and Crystal responded at the same time and shook their heads.

"We didn't break up!" Velvet furrowed her brow.

"Not at all," Crystal agreed. "We weren't dating in the first place!"

The mare lowered her hoof to her chest. After an awkward moment of silence, she asked, "Are you sure?"

Velvet glared at her. "I think we'd know!" She turned to face her back to the mare and chomped on the apple.

Crystal sighed, returning her attention to her friend and rubbing a hoof to her temple. "I don't know what to tell you, Velvet. I don't know what you want to hear."

"I don't, either," Velvet bit back, her ears pressed flat against her mane. "But whatever it is, I need to hear it." She sniffed and wrung her hooves in her lap. "I just want some kind of proof that we're going to be friends no matter what."

"Proof?" Crystal stared at her, expression blank. "How? Why can't you just trust me that you're too important to me to lose?"

Velvet stomped a hoof against the floor. "I don't know, I just—"

"I'll break up with him."

Velvet's ears shot straight up and she jerked her head to look at Crystal. "What?!"

Crystal returned the surprised look with a serious one, her lips taut and her brow knitted. "I'll break up with him if that's what it takes. Velvet, you're my very best friend in the whole world. I can find another knight. I can't find another you."

They sat in awkward silence while Velvet's face shifted through all sorts of conflicted emotions. Her ears flicked up and back, her brow twitched, and her lips tugged in all directions until her eyes glossed over with tears. "Don't be stupid. You waited on him for a year."

Crystal jabbed her hoof lightly but meaningfully against Velvet's chest. "And we've been friends much longer than that, but a year qualifies him as important?"

"I..." Velvet sniffed and continued in a fragile whisper, "I just have these ugly emotions sometimes, and I don't understand them, and I'm scared you'll hate me if you knew I had them. I can't remember life without you and I don't know if I ever want to know what that's like, and sometimes, I hate Silent because he might take you away from me."

Crystal jabbed her again. "So then do something about it. Either tell me to break up with him, or tell me to pay attention to you. If you're feeling neglected or lonely or jealous, just say something!"

"I don't want you to break up with him," Velvet said firmly, pushing the hoof away. "It's stupid and confusing but no matter what I'm totally happy for you. You two deserve each other. I just... I just don't want to be forgotten in your fairy tale ending."

"Okay, then that means I'll be more attentive and take you on a date from time to time." Crystal's face lit up with a smile. "I can give both of you my affection!"

Velvet winced and glanced at the mare staring at them. She tried to smile, but the mare simply nodded with misguided understanding. "You're really not helping our case, you know."

Crystal giggled, reaching out and wrapping her forelegs around Velvet. "Aww, don't be shy after we just had a moment! We should be closer than ever now!"

"That's exactly the problem!" Velvet squirmed, but to no avail, as Crystal just held on tighter.

"We can start right now! This will be our first 'renewed best friends forever' date!"

Velvet finally got a hoof between them and shoved Crystal away. "If this is your idea of a date, then I weep for Silent Knight!"

They stared at each other a moment before Velvet broke into laughter first, followed shortly thereafter by Crystal. When they lulled into companionable silence, Velvet rubbed at her eyes and offered into the quiet between them, "I'm sorry."

Crystal looped a foreleg around her and pulled her closer. "Why?"

"I don't know why I'm so scared of losing you. I can't explain it." She sniffed.

"Because we've been friends forever"—Crystal squeezed her shoulder—"but we've never really had any hurdles to jump. If this is our first real hurdle, then it's a pretty easy one, seeing as the solution is I just make sure you know you're not forgotten. I can do that."

Velvet sighed and closed her eyes, tucking her head in the crook of Crystal's neck. "I can jump. I'm pretty good at jumping, you know. I can do a split in mid-air, even."

Crystal giggled. "Yes, yes. Now let's just hope we still have a place to go home to when this cockatrice business is over." The air grew tense as she continued in a somber tone, "I hope nopony gets hurt."

"It'll be fine. I'm sure Silent Knight is out there leading his guards into a valiant victory and everything will be just fine."

Crystal sighed and looked up at the ceiling that separated them from the potential chaos above. With her own safety and Velvet's emotional state on her mind, she had almost forgotten that Silent would be out there defending the city. Quietly, she mumbled, "I hope you're right."

It seemed like forever had passed until the thundering of giant cockatrices moving around Canterlot came to a halt. The ponies in the basement all glanced around at one another until Earl Grey broke away from the pack to head up the stairs. They all waited in nervous silence until the door creaked open. A few moments later, he called down to them, "All's clear!"

"How does it look?" Crystal asked as she started up the stairs.

"Could be worse, I suppose," Earl replied with a sigh from where he stood, waiting just by the door. He shook his head. "At least most of the building is still standing."

One of the cockatrices must have stumbled into the building from the looks of it. Off to the right, the front lobby was caved in, the hall was blocked off on one end, and the stairs were littered with rubble. The view to the left, however, looked as though nothing had happened. While the other ponies ascended from the basement, Velvet and Crystal stood off to the side and out of the way.

"Thank Celestia we live over there," Velvet whispered to Crystal, who nodded in response.

"Let's see." Crystal tapped her chin, brow furrowed in thought. "I'll check on the condo while you check in with your parents and make sure they're all right. Mother and Father are in Manehattan for a fashion show, so they're fine, unless cockatrices attacked there, too."

Velvet shook her head. "I'll come up with you and then we can go together. Mom and Dad have a pretty cozy storage room under the bakery, so I'm sure they're fine." Her ears folded back, but she tried to smile. "Besides, I don't want you to be up there crying all alone in case something happened to your books."

Crystal nodded and they walked over to the stairs, very carefully making their way around the rubble. Same as the first floor, the view to one side was a disaster, and the other was perfectly fine. As they started down the hall, Crystal's ear flicked at the distinct sound of her name being called. "Strange. I swear I just heard Silent Knight."

"Isn't that what being in love is like?" Velvet nudged her side. "Seeing his face and hearing his voice everywhere?"

"Crystal!" Silent's voice rang out from the direction of their condo.

Velvet blinked. "Huh. Either he's really here or I'm in love with him, too."

Crystal's pace quickened and she stopped in the doorway, the door already open. In the darkness, a figure stood with their back to her. She could hear heavy, frantic breathing in the stillness before she spoke up. "Hello? Silent Knight, is that you?"

There was movement as the distinctly Silent Knight figure turned. He tore off his helmet and dropped it to the floor as he rushed toward her, the panic on his face overtaken by relief and he swept her into his embrace. Her eyes widened in surprise when his lips met hers and at first, her body reacted with a euphoric shock that coursed through her, sending tingles from the tips of her hooves all the way to her ears. The wave of electricity receded into blissful calm and she melted against him, her eyelids fluttering before they closed and she wrapped her forelegs around his neck.

Silent pulled back and they gazed at each other for a moment before she whispered, "I don't know exactly what happened today, but if this is the result then good or bad, I think I approve."

Off to the side, Velvet released a squealing aww, her hooves raised in an attempt to hide the grin on her face.

A sigh of relief escaped Silent and he tightened his grip on her. "I'm so glad you're all right. I was worried about you. Both of you... but, you."

Crystal still felt breathless, but swallowed her butterflies and smiled. "We're fine, Silent Knight, see?" She leaned up to nuzzle his cheek. "We're both fine, not a single scratch. And I'm happy to see you are, too."

Silent hesitated a moment before he finally let go of her. "I have to check in on the others," he said while retrieving his helmet and putting it on. "Be careful in here. A lot of your things have fallen off the shelves or toppled over and I think I spied some broken glass." He paused just in front of Crystal on his way out the door. "I'll come back for you later. All right?"

She nodded. "All right, I'll be here." She softly touched her nose to his. "Go be a hero."

He smiled and trotted out the door, leaving Crystal and Velvet alone.

Slowly, the butterflies returned and Crystal giggled. "He kissed me." She dropped down onto her hind legs to free her front ones. She touched her heated cheeks and pinched them to ensure it wasn't a dream. It wasn't. "Velvet, he kissed me!"

Velvet rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on already." She walked over to the nearest mess and set about cleaning up. "It was just a kiss. I mean, it looked like a pretty good one, but—"

"I don't think you understand," Crystal interrupted, tracing her lower lip with her hoof, smiling softly. "That was our first kiss."

While Velvet gawked before bursting into excited squeals, Crystal just sat there, her mind swirling with dumbfounded glee. The shock, surprise, and bliss of that moment all melded together and she felt warmth spread throughout her chest at the mere recollection.

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