• 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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A Glimmering Start

Velvet lounged on the couch with a milkshake, which she slurped indiscriminately, and watched as Crystal ran back and forth across the condo. Finally, after a loud smack of her lips, she asked, "Do you really need to start packing now?"

Crystal skidded to a halt. Her ears sat straight up and she gawked at Velvet. "How long do you wait before packing for a big vacation?"

"The day of?" Velvet responded, one brow raised.

Crystal huffed, scrunched up her nose, and resumed her second trip to the kitchen. "And how many vacations do you arrive and go, oh!" She threw her hooves in the air while her magic scoured the cabinets. "What ever shall I do, I believe I forgot my curlers!"

Velvet snorted. "None, because I don't use curlers. Which are in the bathroom, by the way."

"I—" Crystal paused. Slowly, she lowered her forelegs back to the ground and with an exaggeratedly casual stride, she made her way toward the bathroom. "I knew that. And my point still stands. Packing the day of results in forgotten items."

"But you're not leaving for two days." Velvet took another long sip of her milkshake. "Come on, why don't we go out? Go do something? Get those legs moving in a direction instead of in circles?"

Crystal stuck her head out of the bathroom. "Like what?"

Velvet shrugged. "My milkshake's almost empty, so we could go by the bakery and get more."

Crystal leaned further out into the living room, but didn't fully commit. "It's close to dinnertime. You shouldn't even be having one milkshake at this hour, let alone two!"

"Fine. I'm going to go get a milkshake, play with Red, and not bear witness to your insanity." Velvet slipped off the couch.

Crystal watched her walk away and, just as Velvet opened the door, took another step forward. "Fine, but you're paying. You asked me on a date, so it's only fair."

"I thought you said we weren't a couple anymore?" Velvet flicked her tail and added an extra sway to her hips.

Crystal trotted to catch up, tugging the front door shut behind her. "Aw, did that hurt your feelings?"

"Of course not! It's your loss, anyway." Velvet laughed and turned her head toward Crystal. "So what are your plans for the senile story?"

With a snort, Crystal tossed her mane. "It's not senile. It's different. The amount of stories that target older mares is depressingly low."

"Maybe there's a reason for that?" Velvet shrugged. "Well, it's your career's funeral." A grin tugged at her lips and before she could continue, Crystal bumped their shoulders together.

"Whatever joke you were about to make, don't. Sunset will do the market research and if he really thinks there is no audience then I'll repurpose it into a different story." She smiled, though her ears flicked and folded back. "I really hope that doesn't happen, though."

Velvet shrugged again. Her gaze wandered their surroundings as they walked down the street toward Sunridge Sweets. "Things keep changing with you. It's weird."

Crystal blinked at her. "What do you mean?"

"I mean things keep changing. You're almost all grown up, and you're writing different things now. I'm..." She trailed off with a sigh, then mumbled, "I'm going to be in the corps forever."

For a moment, Crystal remained perfectly quiet. Velvet didn't look at her and slowly her ears started to fold back. Finally, Crystal said, "Have you thought of looking into changing companies?"

Velvet shook her head. "How? The Canterlot Ballet is a big deal. Most ponies would beat me just for thinking about leaving! You should see how many show up for try-outs!" She sighed, dropping her head low. "I barely made it in. How can I expect to make it into the Royal Ballet of Equestria?"

"Well, you certainly can't if you don't try." Crystal frowned. "Do you want to be in the Royal Ballet?"

"Yes? No. I don't know!" Velvet hopped forward to emphasize her frustrations by slamming her forehooves against the cobblestone. "I just want to feel like I'm going somewhere with my career! Is a corps dancer all I'll ever be? Am I not good enough to be more than that?"

They walked in uncomfortable silence for a while until Crystal mumbled, "I'm sorry, Velvet. I don't have any good advice for you. Everything I know about ballet doesn't exactly pertain to this, and nothing about being a writer is comparable at all." She leaned in to nuzzle her nose against Velvet's cheek, then grinned. "Maybe you should overthrow that mare you always complain about."

"Perennial?" Velvet snorted. "I don't stand a chance against her."

With the aid of her magic, Crystal opened the door to the bakery and held it to let Velvet in first. "Come now, don't talk that way. I'll buy you a milkshake and we can make plans for the demise of the diva."

Velvet's nose scrunched up before she broke out into laughter. Once she had enough breath to manage speech, she said, "If you ever decide to get into murder mystery novels, you should totally use that as the name for your first book!"

"I'll keep that in mind." Crystal giggled. "For now, I think I'll keep myself safely within the romance genre."

Velvet paused to jab an accusatory hoof at her. "Hey, who said it couldn't be both?"

Crystal tilted her head, one ear perking upright and the other flopping over to the side. "Uh..." She shook her head a few rapid times and frowned. "I'll, ah, I'll get back to you on that."

---

The day of their departure to the Crystal Empire had finally arrived and though she was perfectly prepared, sleep was fleeting. Crystal gave up on lying in bed with fluttering anticipation and ventured out of her bedroom. She yawned as she walked into the main area and, at what she saw, transitioned into a cry of despair.

"Velvet!" She ran over to the mare's bedroom door and trotted in place outside it after knocking. "Velvet, we've been robbed!"

After an exaggeratedly long few seconds, the door opened and Velvet's groggy face came into view. "No, we haven't."

"Yes, we have!" Crystal gestured at a vacant spot by the door. "My luggage is gone!"

Velvet yawned. "No. I unpacked it all last night."

Crystal's eyes went painfully wide. "You did what?!"

"I unpacked it all last night," Velvet repeated in a drawl, then shook her head. "Crystal, there were six suitcases and three hat boxes. You won't even be gone a full week! I know that you're insane, but come on!"

Crystal whined and trotted faster. "But he'll be here in a few hours! I don't have time to repack everything!"

Velvet gave a sarcastically slow nod of her head. "That's the point. Pack only what you need, you stupid filly."

"Ooh, Velvet, you—" Crystal huffed and ran off to her bedroom, yelling over her shoulder, "How did you not wake me up while ruining my perfectly packed luggage?!"

Velvet walked over and stopped by the door, rested against the wall, and leaned her head through the doorway. "I'm pretty light on my hooves, and you're not quite the Princess of the Pea, you know."

There was no room left for being offended in Crystal's mind. All of her mental energy was spent on exerting her magic to grab as much as she could see that she wanted to bring. Of course, Velvet had improperly unpacked her things—likely on purpose, the awful scamp—and that meant finding what she wanted was even more difficult.

"Good luck." Velvet grinned, her gaze following Crystal while the mare darted around the bedroom. "I liked some of what I saw, so I may have put some things in my room." As Crystal ran out of the room, Velvet hummed and added, "Or was it the kitchen? I don't know, it was really early in the morning. I was tired and it was dark."

Crystal stopped just short of bursting into Velvet's room. She stood there in silent thought before her ears drooped, her tail went limp, and her eyes closed. "I'm not going to have time to repack everything, am I?"

Velvet shook her head. "Nope."

"I need to only pack the essentials, don't I?"

"Yup."

Crystal sighed and turned back to her own room. "I assume you returned anything you thought was essential to my room and hid the rest, didn't you?"

A grin lit up Velvet's face. "Now you're catching on!"

"Okay. All right. I can do this!" Crystal lifted her head as high as she could. "What's my limit?"

Velvet raised a hoof. "One bag."

"One?!" Crystal gawked. "Velvet! One bag?!"

Velvet mimicked the gawking expression and exclaimed, "One week, one bag!"

"Fine!" Crystal stormed into her bedroom, the brief confidence marred with disbelief and irritation. She stared at the various shapes and sizes of luggage available. Velvet had already taken back the bags Crystal took from her, but Sunbeam had been generous in letting her borrow what they had lying around, which left her with several options.

Finally, she huffed, selected the largest one among the set, and went to work.

---

Knock, knock, knock. Crystal froze and jerked her head to look at the clock. Time was up; Silent Knight was here. It was finally happening. She and Silent were going to go on a vacation, just the two of them. Was he even aware of how important this was? He had showed up exactly on time, not excitedly early or nervously late!

"Hi, Silent!" Velvet chirped from the main room after opening the door.

"Hello, Velvet," Silent's voice responded. "How are you?"

Velvet snorted. "Oh, fine, but don't bother yourself with pleasantries. You're not here for me, lover boy!"

Panic seizing her for a moment, her magic faltered, then came back in full force. She had ended up with two suitcases, trying to either fit as much as she possibly could into both of them or pare down into one to avoid a scolding from Velvet. Snapping them both shut and lifting a hat box—Velvet didn't say she couldn't have one of those, after all—she started toward the door that separated her from the living room.

"Crystal?" Silent started. "Are you ready t—"

"Yes!" Crystal dropped the luggage near the door. As she walked forward, she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror. In her haste to pack and re-pack, she had completely forgotten to take care of her mane or make-up. "Yes, I am, just one moment!" She pivoted on her hind hooves and hurried into the bathroom.

She was running low on energy, but she pushed her limits to get every task done simultaneously. Her mane and tail needed brushing, her braid was missing in action, and her lashes were without mascara. The top priority, of course, was not getting the signals crossed and accidentally poking herself in the eye or using the mascara applicator as a hair brush.

"I'd invite you in, but that should be unnecessary. Assuming she gets her act together soon, anyway. She's been running around the past two days like a mad mare," Velvet said in a loud voice. "I told her to take one bag, but I guess this was the best she could do."

Crystal frowned at the reflection of Velvet and Silent in the mirror, then returned her gaze to her own. "I can hear you, you know!"

"I know! I'm not exactly trying to be subtle!"

Crystal huffed. "Oh, hush." She tied off her braid, dabbed a bit of shiny pink gloss on her lips, and finished with the last touch: a small, heart-shaped beauty mark below her left eye.

She couldn't waste any more time or they might miss their train. But was she ready? They were going to be spending a lot of time together, and Velvet was right. She was a nigh professional at overreacting. How long could she keep it under wraps? Would he find it cute? Annoying?

"I'll be fine," Velvet's voice interrupted. "I've got my little brother to keep me company, and I do have other friends, you know."

Crystal sighed. She had to face the music, no matter how nervous the butterflies in her stomach were. After gathering everything she had used into the small travel kit, she paused to examine her work, then trotted out into the living room. "And yet she's never introduced us."

Velvet rolled her eyes and waved a hoof to dismiss the notion. "Whatever. Just get out of here already."

Crystal dropped the travel kit into one of the bags and zipped everything up. It was hard to hear anything above the pounding in her ears. She levitated all of her things into the air and squeezed the pony to her left tightly. "Stay out of trouble and don't burn the place down, all right? And if you get lonely, go visit Horsey, okay?" She let go and kissed the cheek of the pony on her right. "Let's go, honey. We're late already!"

Pulling back, she realized that the pony she was facing was light pink and small, not white and large. She blinked a few times as Velvet snorted and sputtered into laughter.

"Careful, Crystal!" Velvet managed and wiped her eyes. "He already thought we were together once, let's not make it twice!"

Crystal looked between them and while she tried to piece things together, Silent put his hoof on her shoulder and gently guided her with him out the door.

"It's all right, Velvet," he said over his shoulder. "We can share her."

The door shut behind them to the sound of Velvet's hysterical laughter. Crystal flashed a sheepish smile at Silent, who was taking the luggage out of her magic and balancing them on his back. "I'm sorry, I'm just so—" No, she didn't want to say nervous. That could have negative implications. She swallowed and finished, "Excited!"

Silent smiled down at her. "I'm glad. Now, let's make sure we make the train so you stay that way."

He kept a steady pace and she put forth a good effort to match it. She was impressed at how easily he moved despite carrying both of their luggage, though he had somehow managed to pack everything he needed into his regular saddlebags. Either he had packed extremely space-consciously, or he just hadn't packed much at all. She couldn't help a small roll of her eyes. He was a stallion; of course he had packed only the bare minimum.

The train had just pulled into the station when they trotted onto the platform and once it came to a stop, Silent stood by one of the doors to let her on first. Carefully, she arranged her luggage in a neat pile for the porter, then climbed aboard.

"Where would you like to sit?" Silent asked from behind her.

Crystal glanced around. The car was nearly empty, but she pointed at and walked to an empty row of seats far from the other occupants. "This is really happening," she mumbled as she sat down by the window.

Silent slid in beside her, looping one foreleg over her shoulders. "Now all that's left is one train ride and we'll be at the Crystal Empire." He leaned in and nosed her cheek.

She offered him a brief smile before returning her gaze to the window. "That's true." How could he be so casual about it? Questions and doubts circled around her mind, amplified twofold when, a few minutes later, the train's whistle blew and they started moving forward.

They sat in quiet until Silent offered, "It should be beautiful there, or so I'm told."

She just nodded. He stared at her for a while, nodded to himself, and looked around the car. His right hind leg jiggled and he tapped a hoof on the floor.

The butterflies traveled up to her chest and made it harder to breathe. It was awkward. She was awkward. He was already regretting this, he—

He asked, "Would you like to have lunch?"

"Lunch on the train?" She turned and tilted her head. "But isn't the dining car expensive?"

He shrugged. "It's not that bad, really." He winked and added, "Especially since we're on vacation." When she didn't respond, his brow started to furrow. "Are you feeling all right? You look... upset?"

"No!" She shook her head and put a hoof on his. "I'm not upset at all, I just, well." She swallowed. "It's just that we're going on a vacation. You and I. Together. Alone. For a whole week."

He gave a slow nod of his head. "Those are indeed facts. But I don't understand. We've been alone before, you know."

At first, a smirk curled her lips, but she battled it into a more ladylike smile. "Yes, Silent Knight, I'm aware of that. I was there, too." She gestured at the train car around them. "But this is a vacation! That's a big step from just spending the night. Ponies that are in serious relationships go on vacations together."

His ears started to droop and he flicked them back into place. "I thought we were in a serious relationship?"

"One never knows," she mumbled, then smiled. "But now I know! You're serious enough to take me on a vacation." After a pause, she twiddled her hooves and added, "Unless you just had no idea how big of a deal this is."

He bobbed his head and after a brief moment of thought, he pulled her closer. "Is that going to bother you the whole trip, or can you still have fun?"

"No, no, I'm fine. I'm just being silly, I suppose." She smiled and leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Let's get lunch. I think it will do me some good."

He stood up and out of the way, motioning with one hoof. "After you, madam."

"Why, thank you, good sir," she teased and led the way to the dining car.

---

The server approached to set a cup of tea in front of Crystal and a glass of water in front of Silent. "Have we had a chance to look at the menu?" He reached over and tapped on Crystal's. "Perhaps I could recommend the brunch portion? Our chef's specialty is the prench toast. He makes it with applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract, then it is topped with a light berry compote. It is especially divine."

Before he had finished explaining, Crystal had already snapped her menu shut and tried not to drool. "I'll have that, please!"

"Make it two," Silent said and offered his menu to the server. "Thank you."

The server nodded as he tucked the menus into the crook of his foreleg. "Very good, madam, lieutenant."

After the pony had walked off, Silent muttered, "I really wish he wouldn't call me that."

"Why?" Crystal tilted her head.

"Because we're on vacation. I left my silver bar back at the palace. Until we get back, I'm just Silent Knight, stallion about town and exceptional stallionfriend."

A fit of giggles bubbled up from her chest. "And so modest, too?"

Silent cracked a grin. "Does madam disagree?"

She shook her head. "Madam most certainly does not." She hooked her forehooves together to rest her chin on them. "So, when we arrive at the Crystal Empire, what is first on the agenda?"

He shrugged and leaned back into his seat. "Well, I think we should check into the hotel first so we can take advantage of the great amenities and just relax so we're well-rested. Tomorrow we're going to be spending the whole day in Glimmer World so we'll need it."

She giggled. "I can't wait!" She lifted her head and clapped her hooves together. "I read an article about these special earrings they sell that are made from crystals you can only find in the Crystal Empire."

He paused, then cleared his throat and said, "You don't say. Actually, it's funny you should mention them. I think first thing tomorrow we should check them out and get you a pair."

"Really?" Her ears stood straight up. "Are you sure? It might be a hassle, though. In fact, I read that some ponies have had to wait in line for up to two hours." She hid a giggle behind a hoof as she teased, "Mares seem to be going absolutely crazy trying to get their hooves on a pair."

He blinked slowly and repeated in a monotonous voice, "You don't say."

"Honey?" She tilted her head. "What's the matter?"

A smile that seemed more pained than joyful tugged at his lips. "Well, it's a funny story."

"I like funny stories," she said, her ears starting to fold back. "And we have time to spend."

Silent put his hooves on the table, steepled them, and closed his eyes as he searched for some sort of inner peace. Finally, he looked at her and explained, "I know this vacation is about you and me spending time together and I swear that came first. But a mare at work asked me to get a pair for her."

"Uh-huh," Crystal murmured and nodded. "That seems fine."

He cleared his throat. "As well as a pair for her marefriend."

"Oh." She blinked. "Well, I—"

"And I may or may not have received a request from Princess Luna to buy a pair for her, too." He flinched and waited with a nervous smile.

Three pairs of earrings for other mares on a vacation meant for the two of them. She processed the situation while keeping the amusement out of her expression until she burst into laughter. "That sounds exactly like you." Smiling, she reached across the table to request his hooves.

He complied, giving her hooves a small squeeze. "You're not upset?"

"I won't be if you make it four pairs so I can have a set, too." Her eyelashes fluttered. "After all, I am an exceptional marefriend."

The smile widened and he teased, "And so modest."

She pushed herself up and leaned over to kiss him softly. "Just like you."

---

Some things in the world are universally beautiful, and the Crystal Empire was no exception. Stepping off the train and looking up to see the splendor before her quite literally took Crystal's breath away for a moment.

The fields of vibrant green stretched as far as she could see into a backdrop of snow-crested mountains and, inserted into the idyllic scene as though a master painter had been suddenly struck with inspiration, was the Crystal Empire. Buildings carved out of crystals rose up from the ground and reflected the light in beautiful arrays of red, blue, green, and every color in between.

Most prominent of all, however, was the Crystal Palace itself, standing tall in the center and seeming to capture the very sun itself to serve as the light for its kingdom. Crystal could search every dictionary she owned and she was sure she could never find a word appropriate enough to describe the beauty of the empire. It was beautiful, the very essence of the word, and for a while all she could do was stare.

"Lieutenant Knight?" a voice asked from behind them.

While Crystal kept staring in awe, Silent turned to face the pony and peered at him. After a moment, the pony pressed, "Sir, you are Lieutenant Knight, correct?"

Crystal could hear the change in Silent's voice. The 'stallion about town' had given way to Lieutenant Knight. "Yes, sergeant," he replied. "What can I do for you?"

"Nothing, sir. We've been sent by Lady Cadence to convey you to the resort."

Crystal finally tore her gaze away from the view to look over at the guard. Just like the buildings she could see, his armor glimmered in the light and stood out from his, by comparison, rather plain, orange coat. "Us?" she asked, moving closer to Silent and tilting her head.

"Yes, ma'am." He nodded curtly. "With Lady Cadence's compliments, of course." He motioned to a chariot waiting nearby with two other guards already hitched to it and clad in the same glimmering armor.

After exchanging glances with her, Silent shrugged. "Well, thank you, then, sergeant. I'm sorry you got pulled away from your normal duties to play host to a couple of tourists."

The guard shook his head. "Don't be, sir. It's quiet here in the Crystal Empire. These crystal ponies are the least troublesome bunch I've ever seen, to be honest."

Silent set about moving his bags and her luggage into the chariot. "I hope things stay quiet while we're visiting."

"The weather ponies haven't scheduled anything but blue skies and sunshine for the next two weeks, sir."

Silent nodded, then stood by the chariot and offered a hoof to help Crystal up. Once she was settled, he sat down beside her, wrapping a foreleg around her shoulders.

"All right, fellas, let's get a move on," the guard said and trotted on ahead to lead the way.

"Lady Cadence is awfully sweet to do this for us," Crystal whispered.

Silent frowned. "It's also kind of embarrassing." He offered a small wave to a crystal pony that had stopped to stare at them.

The further they got into town, the more locals there were to watch them with clear interest. Crystal felt her cheeks heat up and she glanced up at her stallionfriend, whispering and giggling at the same time, "I feel like a princess."

"Good. I hope you get to feel that way all week." He squeezed her shoulder.

Crystal smiled and nestled closer to him, resting her head against the crook of his neck. "Me, too."

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: All That Glimmers - Part 1

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