• 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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At Her Doorstep

Raven peered at Crystal over the rim of her glasses from across the cafe table. "How are... things?" she asked, her tone guarded.

Crystal giggled after taking a sip of her tea. "It's all right, Raven. We can talk about wedding things."

"No, we agreed this would be a lunch date between friends!" Raven hesitated, then twiddled her hooves. "But, well, if friends talk about the current status of rescheduling for the wedding, I suppose that still falls within the boundaries."

Crystal set her teacup down and crossed her forelegs, leaning forward. "I've gotten most things rescheduled for the new date with little to no issue. There is a problem with the musicians, however. They go on tour the day before and won't be available."

"I see..." Raven sighed, but smiled nonetheless. "Well, I suppose there are worse problems to have. Can you find a new quartet?"

"For you, Princess, anything." Crystal giggled when Raven shot her a dirty look.

Raven straightened her glasses, lowering her gaze to her own untouched teacup. "Thank you for all of your hard work. My brother hasn't even offered to lift a hoof." Her nose scrunched up and her brow furrowed as she frowned. "I really cannot thank you enough."

"It's all right, really." She reached across the table to gently pat Raven's hoof. "That's what friends are for!"

"I suppose." Raven shook her head. "Enough talk about my wedding! Let's talk about yours." A sly grin curled the corners of her lips. "You and Silent Knight have been spending an awful lot of time together as of late."

Crystal's ears shot up and she cleared her throat, her gaze darting about to look at anything but Raven's cat-like grin. "We're only dating."

"Oh, I'm sure," Raven cooed. "You're graduating this year, aren't you?"

Crystal blinked and, wary of the sudden topic shift, answered slowly, "Yes. Month after next, in fact."

Raven hooked her forehooves together and leaned in closer. "Then you'll be a full-fledged young mare..." She winked. "Assuming you aren't already."

Crystal blinked a few more times. "What?" The mare just grinned at her. "I don't..." Her eyes widened and she waved her hooves while her face felt like it was on fire. "Oh, no, no, no! We're only dating!"

Raven's mischievous expression fell into a light frown. "No juicy gossip, then?"

"None!" Crystal squeaked, then dropped her face into her hooves. "Why is everypony so intent on embarrassing me?"

Raven shrugged. "I can't speak for anypony else, but I find it to be adorable when you get flustered."

"Adorable is a word one uses for fillies and colts." Crystal frowned. "I am neither."

Raven shrugged again and rested her muzzle on one hoof. "So, truly, how far has your relationship gone?" She smiled. "Give me something to giggle over."

Crystal stared at her, down at the table, over at another table, then she sighed. "We've had our first kiss."

"How tame! I expected better from a romance novelist." Raven shook her head, clicking her tongue with disappointment.

"I'm not that sort of romance writer, you know!" Crystal jabbed a hoof in the air to accentuate her point. "My stories are quite clean, thank you very much."

Raven giggled. "Perhaps that's why you're not rich! Have you considered that there is a much more profitable genre of romance?"

Crystal's face started to heat up. "I—that is—I'm aware of such a market, yes."

"It's just an idea." Raven winked, then rose to her hooves. "Now, unfortunately, I need to get back to work."

Crystal tossed a few bits on the table and stood to follow her, mumbling, "I'll walk with you. Silent said he needed to see me today, anyway."

"Oh?" The excitement returned to Raven's voice as they walked out of the cafe. "Oh, yes." She deflated, her gaze facing forward. "I think I know what it is about."

"You do?" Crystal tilted her head. "How?"

Raven hummed in thought before she shook her head. "It is probably a topic better for him to broach."

Confusion swirled around Crystal's emotions as they trotted toward the palace. Once there, Raven went straight toward the throne room while Crystal turned right into Luna's wing. She paused to smooth her mane with one hoof, then knocked on the door to Silent's office and called, "Hello, Silent Knight?"

"Come in," his voice responded.

Crystal pushed the door open and stuck her head inside. "Hi." She smiled. "How are you, Lieutenant?"

Silent bobbed his head, rising from his seat. "Fine. Why don't you sit down?"

Her ears stood straight up, but she nodded and complied. Sudden terror gripped her. He was breaking up with her. There was another mare. There was another stallion! She swallowed her thoughts and widened her smile.

"There's something I need to tell you, but the problem is I can't tell you very much." He sat back down once she was seated and took off his helmet. His gaze followed it as he set it down on the desk between them, then he looked back at her. "I have a... mission that I need to leave for."

Relief swept through her and her smile relaxed. "Oh? Is that all? Silent Knight, you've had missions before." A new sensation clenched the pit of her stomach. "Is there something special about this one?"

He folded his hooves on the desk. "I could be gone a while."

"A while," she repeated. "How long is a while?"

He hesitated, then repeated, "A while."

"I see." She glanced away from him. "Well, I'll miss you, certainly." Her gaze returned to him. "When are you leaving?"

"This afternoon." He sighed and his ears folded back, a guilty look briefly darkening his expression. "I meant to tell you this sooner, but I've been, well. I've been busy."

"I understand." She smiled and reached across the desk to place her hooves on his. "The life of an officer is not always convenient."

He looked up to meet her gaze, smiling softly. "I'm glad you understand. I'm sorry I can't tell you more... Do you have time to sit with me a while before I leave?" He nodded his head toward a tall stack of paperwork. "I still have work to do so it might not be very interesting, but it's nice to have company, especially when that company is you."

She giggled and leaned in, placing a kiss on his cheek. "I'll do anything you'd like if you keep up that flattery."

"I do my best." He settled his helmet back onto his head, then slid a paper off the stack and focused his attention on it.

She shifted in her seat to get more comfortable and gazed fondly at him, if a bit solemnly. How long was a while, indeed?

---

Crystal walked alongside Silent as they stepped out into the courtyard where two sky chariots were parked. They carried a waiting Princess Luna and other guards, but Crystal's eyes were fixated on her stallion. She maintained her smile, though her chest ached with worry and a tinge of loneliness already. "Quite the entourage you have. This must be a very special mission."

He shifted uncomfortably after they stopped a few paces away from the chariots. "I'm afraid I can't really speak to that."

One of her ears started to fold back but she flicked it into place. "Of course. You're a big, important pony with big, important things to do." She giggled, though the cheerful sound subsided just as quickly as it bubbled up. She asked in a quiet, tentative voice, "Should I be worried for your safety?"

Silent hesitated, then shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't speak to that, either. But..." He glanced at her. "I don't believe so."

Crystal's heart clenched in her chest and, for a moment, she forgot how to breathe. She took a sharp intake of air and smiled. "I understand. Please come home safely, all right?"

They stopped just a few paces away from the chariots and turned to face one another. He looked down at her with a soft smile. "I'll do my best." They just stared at each other until he continued, "I should go. They're waiting on me."

Her ears drooped. "No kiss goodbye before you head off into uncertain territory and unknown danger?"

"Oh." He glanced at the chariots, all eyes suddenly on them, and he swallowed.

She followed his gaze, then huffed. "Oh, come now, Silent Knight." She returned her focus to him. "They don't care."

"Yes, Silent Knight," Luna called from her chariot, "we do not care. Do not make me order you to kiss her so we can go."

Silent shot the princess a polite but serious glare. After brief consideration, he leaned in and placed a quick peck of a kiss on her lips. "See you soon."

"I hope so," she replied, watching him as he straightened up. "Be careful."

He nodded, then trotted over to the chariots and climbed into the larger one. Crystal stood there, a throbbing ache in her chest but a smile on her face while she waved them off. Once they were airborne, she allowed the tears she had been biting back to blur her vision. He was frequently away on guard duty, but rarely like this. It scared her that he might not return, and it scared her even more that she had to let him go. Her head knew that duty came first but her heart didn't want to believe it.

She wiped her eyes and turned to start the walk back into the city proper. This was the life she had agreed to and she certainly wasn't going to make a fool of herself by going back on her word. He would be fine. Princess Luna was with him.

Of course, Luna had been with him last time, but she tried to push that thought out of her mind.

---

"Velvet, do you think I'm a proper socialite?" Crystal asked absently while flipping through a magazine.

Velvet blinked a few times. "Uh, I don't know. What answer do you want to hear?"

Crystal glanced at her with a small frown. "The truth?"

"Oh." Velvet shrugged. "I guess not, but isn't that what you wanted? To get away from your parents and their smothering social crap?"

Crystal clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and snapped the magazine shut. "That was before I began dating a royal officer." She hopped down off the couch to pace around the living room. "This simply won't do! If I'm serious about him, then I should be a good and proper match. It won't be so difficult." Her brow furrowed in thought. "One event a week should suffice to elevate my status. Of course, that means I'll be attending events again."

"Well, yeah, most ponies generally attend events when they plan to attend events." Velvet snorted. "They kind of go hoof-in-hoof."

The frown returned and Crystal's pacing became more fevered. "That means more time spent with my parents. My mother will begin to ask questions. She'll want to meet him!"

Velvet's head lolled from side to side as she tracked Crystal's movement. "I see. Then don't go!"

Crystal stopped to stare at her. "But I need to if I plan to be in a serious relationship with him!"

"You're not in a serious relationship already?" Velvet crossed her forelegs over her chest. "Celestia's sake, dating is unnecessarily complicated."

"Of course we're not in a serious relationship yet! We've only just progressed past hoof holding to kisses goodbye." She flopped down onto a pillow and buried half of her face into it. "I'm serious about him, and I believe he is committed to me, but there is still a great deal of time until he invites me to his condo on the beach!"

Velvet stared for a long, quiet moment until she said, "Crystal, he doesn't have a condo on the beach."

Crystal huffed. "No, but that's the type of situation that implies a serious relationship."

One of Velvet's hooves raised to rub at her left temple while she groaned. "Okay, whatever. Let's get back to this whole event-going thing. Do you want to?"

"I want to be a good mare by his side," Crystal replied hesitantly.

"That is totally not the question." Velvet waggled a scolding hoof. "If you don't want to go, then I think it's a stupid idea. If you want to elevate your social status, then it's really your only option. Just don't forget you still have final exams coming up. Can't this wait two more months so school's off your plate?"

Crystal sat up and shook her head. "I don't think it can. I have the perfect opportunity to attend events on the weekend while he is away. I'm sure he'll have an officers' gala at some point and when that happens, I want everypony there to know he is with the right mare." Her eyes widened. "And I have just the idea of how to ensure that!"

In a flurry of excited movement, Crystal's magic retrieved a quill, an ink pot, and parchment, and she began to write out a letter.

Velvet watched her with a raised brow. "And just what is your idea?"

Crystal glanced up at her. "I'm going to ask Axel if he can make me a custom sulky. Something that will impress every pony when I arrive at an event. Of course, I'll have to hire somepony to pull it, but I can deal with that issue later. The sooner he can get started on it, the better." Her gaze returned to her letter. "It would be good for his business, as well, so I'm certain he won't mind."

Velvet shifted on her pillow, her shoulders rolling to stretch out the muscles before she asked, "How can you afford it, especially with all the crystal things you've been buying lately?"

Slowly, Crystal's ears folded flat against her mane. "Things are getting a little tight," she quietly admitted. "I've been writing short stories for Mares Monthly for the extra bits, but that only goes so far." She looked at Velvet, smiling. "This will be my last big expense. It will be worth it. Then I'll restrain myself until my savings are back in order. I can still cover my part of the rent, of course."

Velvet sighed and shrugged. "Okay. Just try to keep your wits about you, okay? I don't want you to be miserable just to fulfill some stupid obligation you made up yourself."

Crystal nodded while she folded the letter and tucked it into an envelope. "Some sacrifices must be made, and if all I have to do is attend one or two events a week, then I believe I have it pretty easy."

"Sacrifices." Velvet scrunched up her nose. "Now you're making dating sound like a cult."

Crystal paused, then turned her head to grin at Velvet. "Join the love side," she hissed. "Resistance is futile!"

Velvet stood with a huff and turned away, snapping her tail as she walked toward the kitchen. "I'm not listening!"

Crystal pointed at Velvet's retreating form. "You will be assimilated!" She held her serious face for as long as she could before bursting into a fit of giggles.

---

Sunday marked the beginning of her re-entry into the socialite world, and she was more than prepared. Of course, the personal carriage was hardly ready yet, but she had put together a stunning ensemble for that afternoon's art show. Crystalline attire was already all the rage, so she retrieved a silky gown of varying shades of blue from the back of her closet. After all, if everypony was going to sparkle, then she was going to stand out by not standing out.

That didn't stop her from adding a little glitter to her coat, of course, but she otherwise remained without shine. Snapping a black feathery clip just behind her ear, she examined her reflection before giving a nod of approval. That left her with two and a half hours before she would be fashionably late.

"Let's see," she muttered to herself, pacing around her bedroom. "Who will be there? My parents, of course." She rolled her eyes. "I presume Fancy Pants will make an appearance. Perhaps Fleur will be with him." Another roll of the eyes. "I swear, if she does another impromptu fashion show..." She blinked when realization struck her. "Wait, is Fleur still his top model? Or is she at a new agency?" Her heart started to race as panic set in. "Is anything I know still relevant anymore?"

It would be fine. She would be fine. She had known the ponies everypony should know all her life, and even if she had been out of the loop for a while, she was born and bred to be a social elite. It was about time her upbringing actually had a use beyond playing puppet for her mother's whims.

Her pacing ceased at a new, distracting thought. "Art show. I wonder if Painted will be there?" A smile crossed her lips. "It would be nice to see her, though I don't know how much time I'll have to chat..." She shook her head to clear it of thoughts and started toward the bedroom door. "Let's give this a trial run, then."

She swept into the living room to make her grand entrance, nodding at the furniture in greeting. "Hello, darlings. Oh, my." She stopped beside the floor lamp in the corner of the room. "You're looking absolutely divine, Mrs. Lamp." She smiled and batted her eyelashes. "Have you lost weight? My goodness, if you keep this up, Mrs. Lamp, you might disappear!" They shared a laugh, though it was really just her laughing behind a hoof.

Three knocks interrupted her mirth. They resounded throughout the condo like a drum of war and shattered her nervous but cheerful disposition, replacing it with an overwhelming sense of dread. "No," she whispered as she turned to face the door.

The pony on the other side knocked again. Crystal swallowed and walked forward, her magic turning the knob. "Hello?"

Winterspear stood at her doorstep.

She was out of uniform, but that detail did nothing for how suddenly difficult it was for Crystal to breathe. Winterspear's eyes were bloodshot and widened when she met Crystal's gaze. "No, wait, it's not—I'm not here about Silent Knight. As far as I know he's fine. It's his..." Her ears folded back. "It's our father. He's—he's dead."

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Preparations

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