• 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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New Love, Old Love

Crystal gawked at him and all she could think to respond with was, "What?"

Silent stood frozen in place, though the feathers on his wings quivered. Perhaps she had misheard him. Plenty of words sounded like 'love' and 'you'. Of course, she couldn't think of any at that moment, and just waited in heart-pounding curiosity until he finally turned his head to look at her.

With more certainty than the casual way he said it the first time, he repeated, "I love you."

It wasn't how she had imagined their first exchange of such important words, but a tingling sensation of joy filled her chest. "That's what I hoped you had said." She smiled, leaned against the door frame, and drew a hoof along the edge as she tried not to tremble with nervous excitement while she whispered back, "I love you, too."

His ears perked straight up and he flashed a coltish smile before nodding and trotting down the hall, his wings flapping just enough so that only the tips of his hooves touched the ground. Crystal watched him until he turned the corner out of sight, then she withdrew into the condo and shut the door behind her.

In the newfound privacy, she squealed and pranced a victory lap around the main room. She needed to clean the kitchen and put away the leftovers, but she had so many euphoric feelings inside of her that they took priority. Her magic sought out the nearest notebook she could remember, retrieved a quill, and brought both to her. She set them down to free up her focus to levitate a record onto the player, then flipped it on and dropped the needle.

The sound of a saxophone poured out of the speaker paired with a gentle guitar and drums, then quieted down to allow a smooth mare's voice to sing, "You're a fairytale too good to be true. It's a fairytale in itself that we found each other. We could just as well never ever have met, or had our meeting already been decided long before we were born?"

"Who knows, not you," Crystal chimed in, smiling while her magic danced the quill along the page. "Who knows, not me..."

---

When Velvet came home around noon, she noticed it immediately. Crystal was hoping she could ambush Velvet with the great news before their new furniture was discovered, but the mare was ever the observant detective. The moment she walked in the door, her head jerked to the side, her ears perked, and her brow furrowed.

"Crystal?" she asked.

Crystal smiled as innocently as she could. "Welcome home!"

Velvet turned her head to face Crystal, returning the smile with a frown. "Since when did we have a dining table?"

"Oh, that?" Crystal waved a hoof. "It was very cheap, don't worry!"

Velvet sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I thought you were done spending money on frivolous things! What happened to me not worrying and you making money, not throwing it away?"

Crystal's smile fell into a serious line. "I'm sorry, Velvet. I've just been wrapped up in finishing school, and these weddings, and—"

"I get it, I get it." Velvet dropped down to sit on her haunches and crossed her forelegs over her chest. "So, now, you're done with school, you're done with weddings. You're running out of excuses, and I'm not going to pay your half of the rent, so... ?"

"I'm writing!" Crystal pointed at the notebook sitting open on the coffee table. "I'm still waiting on the second round of editing of Silent Love, but in the meantime, I'm going to dedicate myself to a short a month for Mares Monthly."

Velvet eyed her with clear skepticism, but eventually sighed and moved over to flop onto a pillow. "I'm pretty sure Cosmare pays better."

"Cosmare—" Crystal huffed. "Velvet!"

"What? Are you seriously pretending that wasn't a thing?" Velvet rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine, whatever. But my point still stands. And now that you actually have real life experience, I bet you'd be even more popular."

Crystal groaned. She squirmed on her pillow until she had wriggled around to face away from Velvet, then muttered, "I suppose money is more important than my dignity."

Velvet clapped her hooves. "You go, girl!" She leaned forward to slap Crystal on the flank, laughing when the mare gasped in surprise. "Anyway, so, how did it go? Did you surprise him?"

Recovering from her embarrassment, though her face was still a little red, Crystal giggled and shook her head. "Actually, he surprised me."

Velvet's gaze flickered over to the vase of roses. "I see that."

"Oh, that was only the first surprise!" Crystal twiddled her hooves.

"What?" Velvet blinked. "What else happened?"

"Weeell," Crystal started, drawing out the syllable for as long as she could before Velvet shot her a dirty look. "He also brought a box of chocolates from Sunridge Sweets."

Velvet's head tilted and brow furrowed. "You sure about that? Mom and Dad don't sell chocolates unless"—her eyes widened—"he ordered them special?"

Crystal nodded and when Velvet started to squeal, she interrupted, "But wait, there's more!"

"More?!" Velvet reached out to put a hoof on Crystal's. "Are you sure you didn't hit your head and dream all of this up? I mean, it's a nice dream and I wouldn't blame you, but..."

Crystal giggled. "I'm not making this up!"

Velvet slowly retracted her hoof. "Okay, then, what else happened?"

Crystal took a quick breath, then explained, "Well, he also showed up in a very nice suit. He had made reservations for Le Bernardin. And, last of all, he gave me a very sweet card that held two tickets to Glimmer World."

"Glimmer World?!" Velvet gasped, jumping to her hooves. "Crystal! Glimmer World?!" Her gaze darted around before it returned to Crystal and she stared at her with ears folded back and wide eyes. "Crystal, he's going to propose!"

Crystal gave a rapid, surprised shake of her head. "What?" She laughed. "Don't be silly!"

Velvet put her forehooves on Crystal's shoulders. "No, seriously, think about it! Flowers? Chocolates? Suit? Reservation? Glimmer World? It's like something straight out of one of your stories!"

Crystal stared at her for a quiet moment, then shook her head again. "He's just being a good stallionfriend. No, a great stallionfriend. I'm happy with him doing this much; I'm certainly not going to get my hopes up and ruin a perfectly nice trip by expecting more!" She added after a small giggle, "Besides, this is Silent Knight we're talking about here, you know."

Velvet's serious expression didn't waver in the least. "Yeah, Silent Knight who just did a bunch of un-Silent Knight things. All bets are off! But, fine." She finally smiled. "If you want to live in denial then I'm not going to waste my breath. Now, get back to writing, get a paycheck, and then we can go celebrate on your bit."

"All right, all right." Crystal laughed and turned to face the coffee table. "Why don't you help me decide what I'm going to write, since you're so intent on me writing something for Cosmarepolitan?"

"I thought you'd never ask," Velvet purred with a devilish grin on her face.

---

Crystal shifted in her seat and glanced around. Though she had picked a seat away from the other cafe occupants, there was certainly no way she would be caught working on a steamy story in public. Instead, she let her gaze wander the cafe, then out the window into the streets, searching for something to write about.

Sitting on a bench just outside the store across the street was an elderly couple. The old stallion had a hoof resting on the mare's and the two just sat there, watching the other ponies walk by. Crystal started to smile as the quill slid over the page.

Charlie Horse chuckled softly while he pushed his hind hooves against the rickety porch to set his rocking chair into motion. "Don't you worry, dear. Today's going t'be a fine day."

"How can you be so sure?" Bellerose shot him a sideways glance. "My knees tell me it's going to rain." She sniffed and looked out at their front yard. "I wanted to do some gardening today, too."

"Why don't I make you some tea?" Charlie Horse shifted his weight and stopped rocking. "That always cheers you up."

Bellerose shook her head. A few grey locks escaped the blue scarf tied over her ears and bounced into her vision from the movement. She huffed to blow them out of the way. "No point. It's going to rain."

Charlie hovered between sitting and standing before he slumped back into his chair. He reached over to put his hoof on her knee. "All right, dear."

A droll voice interrupted her writing. "Oh, you know my grandparents?"

Crystal blinked, looking up to see Rossby standing by her table and peering at her open notebook. She blinked again when she replayed the question in her mind. "What?" Her ears stood straight up. "What?! I, oh, no, this is just—"

Rossby cracked a smirk. "I'm joking. Seriously, who names their colt Charlie Horse?"

"It's an old stallion's name," she said, frowning. "The stallion is old. Therefore—"

"Why are you writing about old ponies?" His smirk faded into a straight line. "Are you a pervert?"

She slammed her notebook shut and glared at him. "I am not! The love of an old couple is sweet and perfectly innocent."

He just stared at her, shrugged, then set a cup of tea down in front of her. "Whatever. Here's your usual."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not ordering anything today." She looked down at the light brown liquid and added after sniffing it, "And this isn't my usual."

"Really?" His eyes widened as if surprised, but his tone didn't change any. "Oh. I guess that's what happens when you don't show up to a place for weeks. Or is it months? I can't remember."

She sighed, pushed the teacup away, and said in a solemn voice, "I'm sorry, Rossby. I've been busy."

His ear flicked. "That's what you said last time when you claimed you weren't avoiding me."

"I've not been—" She groaned. "Honestly, you act like you have no other ponies to talk to!" When he didn't say anything, she blinked a few times. "Wait, do you not?"

"Ponies don't seem to want to talk to me," he retorted. "And that's fine by me. Most ponies aren't capable of intelligent conversation."

A mixed expression played across her face as her mouth wriggled to keep from grinning and her brow knitted. "Are you saying I'm capable of intelligent conversation? Rossby, I'm flattered!"

"That's not what I meant." He snatched the teacup up and set another in its place. "Here you go. Your actual usual. It's on the house, or whatever. Just stop talking."

Crystal smiled and waved after him as he walked away. "Thank you, Rossby! I'll try to come by more often just for you!" She laughed when his pace quickened to walk faster.

She sighed happily and lifted the teacup to her lips while her gaze returned to her notebook, which she opened to reread what she had written. The aroma of the sweet and savory liquid sent a wave of calm through her, putting her in the perfect mood to continue where she had left off.

The air was filled with the quiet sounds of nature, as well as the occasional creak of Charlie's chair from the gentle rocking motion. Bellerose took a deep breath and let it out as a heavy sigh. Charlie looked over at her and asked, "What now, dear?"

"I'm old," she said in the almost ironic manner of a pouting filly.

Charlie blinked, then chuckled. "And so am I."

She glared at him with the fire in her eyes that he had always loved, and always would. Time could take the luster from her coat and the spring from her step, but it would never quell the flame of her spirit. "I'm old, Charlie. Too old to garden even if it weren't going to rain." Her gaze drifted back to their front yard. "And I'm only going to get older."

He said nothing at first. He just watched her as nature buzzed around them. A breeze drifted by, catching the loose curls of her mane, and finally he smiled. "You are, dear." He leaned over with a bit of effort and put his hoof on her cheek. Gently, he coaxed her to turn her head and look at him. "But leaves are always the most beautiful before they fall."

The corners of her eyes creased as a smile spread across her face. She turned her head to place a soft kiss on his hoof. "You're a fool. Now if you call me beautiful, I'm going to be afraid I'll fall."

Crystal paused, giggled, and set down her quill. Was there even a market for that sort of story? With another giggle she looked out the window. The elderly couple that had inspired her were still sitting on their bench and watching the world go by, their expressions just as content as when she first spotted them.

An idea struck her and she finished off her tea in one long sip, gathered up her things, then trotted for the door. "Hello!" she called as she crossed the street.

The mare blinked at her in surprise while the stallion smiled. "Well, hello, little filly."

"I'm sorry to bother you, bu—"

"Oh, sweetheart, you're no bother at all." The mare scooted away from her partner to open up a space between them, which she patted. "Sit down, sit down."

Crystal bobbed her head politely and sat down. "Thank you... ?"

"Rich Light," the mare said, reaching around Crystal to pat the stallion on the knee. "And my husband, Rickety Rich."

Crystal raised a hoof to hide her smile. "Rich and Rich?"

Rickety chuckled and nodded. "That was what we were called in school."

"But my friends just call me Riley," Rich Light interjected. "It's much friendlier than Rich or Light, please and thank you."

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you both. My name is Crystal Wishes and I saw you two from the cafe over there"—she gestured at the cafe in question—"and the both of you seemed so content and happy that I just had to know what your story was."

Rickety folded his hooves in his lap, leaned back against the bench, and looked up at the sky. "Oh, well, when you've been together as long as we have, it's nice to just sit and watch the world go by."

"It reminds you and makes you appreciate what you have," Riley continued, a soft smile on her face. "At your age you still have so much to see and do, but Rickety and I have been all over Equestria together. Now we're just grateful to have one more day to spend, and tomorrow, Celestia willing, we'll be just as grateful then, too."

Crystal flipped her notebook open to a blank page. "If you don't mind, I'm a bit of a writer and I would love to know how you two met and fell in love."

One of Rickety's brows quirked. "A writer, or a reporter?"

"A writer," Crystal confirmed.

Rickety's brow relaxed and he smiled again. "Well, then, it was a long time ago..."

---

Velvet sat in silence as her eyes scanned the last page. Finally, she looked up at Crystal and said in a perfectly neutral voice, "So this is what you've been working on the past week?"

Crystal swallowed. "Well... yes, it is. It's just a rough draft of the plot, but—"

"It's really sweet." Velvet returned her gaze to the writing. "I don't know if it's, well, at all like your normal stuff. I mean, they're just normal ponies, no princes or princesses or anything."

"Silent Love doesn't feature any nobility," Crystal mumbled.

Velvet waved a dismissive hoof. "But Stoutheart is a knight, so that's still, you know, not normal." She lowered the hoof to tap on the notebook. "Okay, so, the real question is how many months can you drag out of this for Mares Monthly?"

Crystal's magic brought the notebook over and she flipped through the pages, her brow furrowing. "I'm not sure. I don't even know if Sunset would go for it."

"I didn't say it wasn't good." Velvet rolled her eyes, then blinked and tilted her head. "Hey, what about that frost pony thing? Weren't you interested in writing about them?"

Crystal brought the notebook closer to cover her frown. "I was until I met one. I'd much sooner turn Bellerose into a dragon solely for the abnormal intrigue than try to pick that up again."

"Hey!" Velvet grinned. "That's an idea. What if Bellerose was a dragon?"

Crystal's ears flattened against her mane. "No."

"Aww, come on, I'm sure there's somepony out there who would be into that." Velvet laughed and waved a hoof. "Look, maybe it's just that I don't see the appeal. You've got two ponies who kind of liked each other, then got separated, then found each other again and get married and grow old together. I know you're a great writer and could make it interesting, but based on that alone, I'm just not impressed."

Crystal took in a deep breath through her nose. There was only one way to find out if the story was worth pursuing. Slowly, she flipped back through the notebook until she found the first bit of writing about Charlie and Bellerose. "Can you read this, then?"

Velvet nodded and took it back to read. One ear flicked and, briefly, a smile took hold of her lips before returning to a straight line. At one point she released a small "aww" and giggled. Finally, she sputtered into laughter and exclaimed, "Oh, come on! That's so corny!"

Crystal nibbled on her lower lip. "Corny good or corny bad?"

Velvet shot her a wide grin. "Dunno, I'd have to read more to find out." She picked up the quill and held it out. "So get to writing."

"Yeah?" Crystal's magic wrapped around the quill. "Do you think it could work?"

"I could see how some ponies would find it cute or whatever. So, sure." Velvet rose to her hooves and walked to the kitchen. "So, are you prepared to leave for your big trip with Silent Knight next week?"

Butterflies found their way into Crystal's stomach and she tried to ignore them by giggling. "Oh, yes! A whole week together, just me... and him..." The butterflies turned into an agitated roar. "Together... for a whole week..."

Velvet leaned back from the fridge to look at her around the door. "Uh, yeah? You say that like it's a bad thing."

The pink aura dissipated and the quill dropped out of her magic. "What if it is?!" Crystal bolted upright. "Oh, Velvet, do I snore?"

"No? At least, not that I know of?" Velvet's brow furrowed. "What's wrong with you?"

"Do you think the way I eat is annoying?" Crystal tried pacing to shake out the nervous energy but to no avail. "Perhaps I laugh strangely! Does he realize what this trip could herald?! This could be the very end of our relationship!"

Velvet slowly closed the fridge door and just watched her in silence.

Crystal did her best to keep her breathing even. "I don't think he realizes what he's done! It's too soon for this kind of trip! I'm not ready for him to discover things about me that overnight stays don't reveal!"

Finally, Velvet walked over, grabbed Crystal by the shoulders, and steadied her. "I'm sorry, but this is for your own good." One hoof released her shoulder to instead flick her nose. "Shut up."

"But—"

"I said shut up." Velvet frowned, her eyes slightly narrowed. "You liked him when he was an oblivious mass of antisocial stallion, right?"

Crystal nodded meekly.

"And he liked you when he thought you were a fillyfooler, right?"

After a brief struggle to not burst into laughter, Crystal nodded again.

"Then seriously, what could you two discover on this trip that would be worse than either of those things?" Velvet allowed a small grin. "You can talk now, by the way."

"I don't know," Crystal said after a sigh. "When you say it, it sounds stupid. But when my mind says it, it makes perfect sense." She smiled softly. "Let's just not talk about the trip for now, all right? I'd rather focus on my writing while the muse is singing."

Velvet nodded and let go of her, returning to the kitchen. "Fine, but only because you making money is more important to me than your mental health. I'm your roommate, not your therapist!"

"Of course, of course." Crystal sat back down beside her notebook. The quill rose in her magic, dipped into the inkwell resting on the coffee table, then resumed where she had left off. She had a week to come to terms with her anxiety; until then, she would do what she did best and write.

Author's Note:

Companion Mask Chapter: Put On a Happy Face

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