• 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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Reaching Forward

The lights of Sunridge Sweets were off and a sign hanging in the door declared: "Closed for Private Function." While Sunbeam was in the back room putting last minute decorations together and Pepper Ridge was upstairs retrieving the guest of honor, Crystal glanced between Velvet and a mare she vaguely recognized from the ballet company, Nightingale. Silent sat at Crystal's side, staying true to his namesake in the presence of giggling mares.

"I can't wait to see his little face!" Nightingale quietly squealed, her wings held out from her body as they trembled with excitement.

Velvet sighed, staring at the door that concealed the stairs to the second floor. "I can't believe that little face is a year old already."

Crystal reached over to place a reassuring hoof on one of Velvet's. "Don't worry." She smiled. "Before you know it, he'll be attending Canterlot Academy."

"So not helping." Velvet's ears flattened against her mane.

"Hush, hush, hush," Sunbeam chided as she swept into the room with one foreleg clutching supplies to her chest. She set a party hat on each of their heads, threw some streamers at them, and fussed over the arrangement of cupcakes. "Pepper'll be down any second now with the birthday colt! He thinks it's a normal day of work, so sound normal!"

Velvet raised one brow. "Then wouldn't hushing us be the opposite of what you want?"

Sunbeam shot her a scolding look. Nightingale chirped, "Don't worry, Mrs. Sunbeam. It'll be fine!"

The door's handle jiggled loudly to alert them before it creaked open. "Oh my," Pepper said in an exaggerated tone of surprise. "It sure is dark down here! I sure wish I could find the light switch!"

Crystal, Velvet, and Nightingale breathed in and, once Pepper's hoof found the switch and the lights came on, they all exclaimed, "Surprise!"

"Surprise," Silent said just a second too late, earning a few teasing looks. His ears flicked and he crossed his forelegs over his chest.

Red gasped and looked at them all with wide eyes. His head bobbed a bit as he looked up at his father, furrowed his brow, and looked back over at them. Finally, he smiled wide and squeaked out, "Su-pise!"

Sunbeam trotted over to put a little party hat on his head. "Happy birthday, Red!"

Red waved his forelegs at her. "Ma-ma!" When Pepper held him out and Sunbeam took him, he wriggled about until he could stretch his forelegs at Velvet. "Si-si!"

"What?" Sunbeam stuck out her bottom lip in a pout. "What happened to ma-ma?"

Red blinked up at her. He stared for a moment, then squeaked, "Su-pise?"

Crystal tried to smother a giggle, but Sunbeam's light glare suggested she failed in her endeavor. "It's not really a surprise, is it?"

Velvet swatted at her. "Shh!" she whispered. "Mom's still pretty sensitive about that!"

Silent leaned back into his seat and shifted his gaze to Pepper Ridge. They made eye contact and nodded in an unspoken agreement to let the mares work things out themselves.

"So, those Wonderbolts, eh?" Pepper whispered to Silent as he took the empty seat beside him. Silent just nodded again.

Nightingale blinked a few times, then turned her attention to Sunbeam and put on a big smile. "It's all right, Mrs. Sunbeam. Just show him the cupcakes and he'll forget all about Velvet!"

"That's right!" Sunbeam gasped and rotated to face herself and Red toward the table of snacks, including a bunch of cupcakes arranged and decorated to look like one giant cupcake. "Look, muffin! It's a cupcake!"

Red tore his eyes away from Velvet long enough to be distracted. He gasped and exclaimed, "Coop-coop! Coop-coop!"

Sunbeam smiled brightly. "I'll take a coop-coop over a si-si! Thanks, Nightingale!" Shifting his weight to one foreleg, she picked up one of the cupcakes and held it up for him.

"Not a problem, Mrs. Sunbeam!"

Crystal glanced at Velvet and nudged her with an elbow. "How does it feel to be the big sister to a one-year-old?"

"Weird." Velvet blinked. "I mean, I'm old enough where I could be his mother, you know? That's weird."

"Velvet!" Sunbeam turned her head and looked at her with an exaggeratedly hurt expression. "Are you suggesting I'm old enough to be his grandmother?"

Velvet rolled her eyes. "No, Mom. That's not what I'm saying at all. Just... Look, a distraction!" She pointed at Red. "He's going to need a B-A-T-H after this and I call not it!" The pointing hoof flew to touch her nose.

When Sunbeam touched her nose with her free hoof, Red blinked. He dropped the cupcake—though at that point there was more of it on his face than left in the wrapper—and stuck both of his hooves into the frosting that was smeared over his nose.

"Not it!" Sunbeam chimed, giggling.

Silent, Pepper, and Crystal reacted quickly in turn, leaving Nightingale the last to touch her nose. They all looked at her with a grin while she shrugged and said, "Oh well! That means I get to play with Red and you all don't!"

Velvet snickered and Crystal levitated some of the cupcakes over to their table. They both took a bite to hide their grins while Nightingale looked at them with a furrowed brow.

"Oh, sweetie." Sunbeam smiled, offering Red a second cupcake. "Have you ever tried to give a cat a B-A-T-H?"

Nightingale blinked. "Um... no?"

"Me neither, but from what I've heard, I'd much rather attempt that." Sunbeam stroked Red's cream cheese-colored mane that had a stripe of blue frosting running through it.

Pepper wrapped a foreleg around himself and feigned a shiver. "I still have nightmares from last night."

Velvet patted Nightingale on the back. "Don't worry! I'll come with so maybe he won't chew your hoof off in the process. Maybe."


"She learned the lesson very quickly," Crystal explained, smothering a giggle. "Despite not being stuck with the torture, Velvet and I went upstairs to help her with the bath."

Princess Luna's teacup remained levitated in mid-air, just inches from her lips. It had been lifted several minutes ago but went forgotten halfway through Crystal's story. "Yes?" she pressed, her eyes wide. "What is so fearful regarding this foal and baths?"

Crystal waved her hoof. "Oh, well, first, he splashes wildly as though he is under attack. And he screams. Then, after he's tired himself out from all the fighting, he just stares at you."

"Stares?" Luna blinked. "I... do not follow."

"Red is one of the cutest, most adorable foals I've ever known." Crystal put her hooves to her cheeks and tugged them down. "He stares at you with these big, pitiable, saucer-sized eyes as if to ask, 'Why? Why did you do this to me?'" She laughed as she let go of her cheeks. "It breaks your heart into so many pieces!"

Finally, Luna let out a soft laugh. "I see!" She took a sip of her tea and jerked the cup away, blinking down at her. "Oh, my. The tea is cold."

Like clockwork, Willow swept in to replace the teacup with a fresh brew. "There you are, Princess," she said while carrying the old cup over to the tea set's tray.

"Thank you." Luna gently blew on the light brown liquid to cool it off before she sipped. "Perfect."

"Before you fade into the background, Willow," Crystal said, looking over at the pegasus, "you have some questions to answer, missy."

Willow tilted her head. "Yes?"

Crystal pointed an accusatory hoof. "Why was I not aware that you had a stallionfriend?"

"I—" A noticeable red hue showed through the light brown coat on her face and she huffed. "Because, Miss Wishes, you never asked! Why would I divulge personal details when we've only been on one outing?"

Crystal's brow started to furrow until she burst into a chime of laughter. "So you're saying that it's my fault for not taking you out on another date?"

"It wasn't a date!" Willow shrieked, then coughed and cleared her throat when Luna looked at her with wide eyes and an amused smile.

Luna lowered her teacup to the table, her gaze fixated on Willow. "I must admit, Willowy, I was unaware that you had a special somepony."

"It's not pertinent to my job." Willow glanced between them and her ears flattened to the sides at the curious faces looking back at her. "Fine! His name is Frank."

Crystal and Luna looked at one another, the former with her brow raised and the latter with hers furrowed. Luna cleared her throat and asked, "Frank? That is a... unique name."

Willow huffed, the flush of her face returning, and she whipped around to trot toward the secretary's desk. "My personal life is not relevant to my professional life!"

Crystal whispered, "Frank?" Luna just shrugged, so Crystal continued in a normal tone, "Well, it is nice to have the both of you back. The three of us should have an outing sometime soon. If the timing is right, Velvet could make it a full mare's night out!"

Luna raised a hoof as she laughed and shook her head. "I am not so certain that is possible."

"Oh." Crystal's ears drooped. "No?"

Luna pointed in the direction of the secretary's desk, where Crystal saw Willow staring at them with wide eyes and a blanched face. "I believe Willowy would die if I were to join. Perhaps I should abstain, and then you and I can have tea where you will share all the gossip." She grinned at Willow, who shrunk down behind her desk and mumbled something incoherent.

"That sounds like a wonderful plan!" Crystal clapped her hooves. "Willow, please pencil in some time soon and I'll talk to Velvet! You can tell us all about this Frank of yours!"

Willow responded with a sound somewhere between a sob and a squeak.


It had been a long time since Crystal had been in the company of her father's parents. They were ponies of the highest class, well above the social circles of Canterlot. There was no need for them to attend art shows or garden parties and pay lip service to other ponies; they had lots of money, and that was enough.

Crystal took a deep breath in and released it through her nose. She stood beside her parents, both of whom were engaged in a quiet but heated debate over the entitlement ceremony and whether or not they should just leave. They went completely silent when Jet Ship and Diadem came into view, heading straight for them.

Some ponies carried themselves with confidence. Some ponies exuded it from their very being and it showed in their every movement. There was no question that Crystal's grandparents were very much in the latter category. Diadem tossed her perfectly curled mane over her shoulder while Jet Ship's piercing orange eyes locked with Crystal's even at a distance.

"Jet Set. Upper Crust," her grandfather said in an even tone that was tinged with ice. His gaze flickered away to acknowledge them before returning to Crystal and he continued, "Is this my granddaughter? Since when did she become a fully grown mare?"

Upper Crust snorted. Jet Set opened his mouth to speak, but his father raised a hoof to quiet him.

Crystal held his intense gaze, though her knees trembled just slightly. "I suppose when I graduated from Canterlot Academy, Grandfather."

The raised hoof shifted to reach into the pocket of his black tuxedo, which contrasted with his slate grey coat. "You've grown so fast. How long has it been since Grandpa had a surprise for you?"

"Father—" Jet Set tried to interject, but a huff from Diadem sent him back into silence. His tail twitched and he looked to Upper Crust, who simply rolled her eyes.

Crystal's brow furrowed. It was starting to come back to her. "A surprise?"

"That's right." A smile started to soften his otherwise stern features. "Grandpa's got a piece of candy for you!"

The confusion lifted with recollection. Though he had treated her parents with disinterest and even contempt, she had instead been showered with candy as a filly. "Grandfather, I'm not a foal anymore."

Jet Ship pulled out a wrapped butterscotch candy and bounced it on his hoof. "Oh? Even though it's your favorite?"

Crystal watched the bright golden sphere while her ears slowly flattened against her mane. Desire for its sweet taste overrode her desire to be treated as an adult and she held out her hoof, smiling. "Okay, Grandfather, all right. It is my favorite!"

While she took the candy, unwrapped it, and popped it in her mouth, Jet Ship turned his attention on his son. His expression snapped back to its cold and distant one. "Today is the entitlement ceremony."

Jet Set's ear flicked. "I'm aware, Father."

"I won't be mentioning that it was primarily your design." Jet Ship inclined his head to look at the young airship hovering in her berth.

The airship, soon to be entitled as Their Majesties' Ship Harmony, was the height of luxury and decadence in the transportation world. All of the airships that rested in their berths nearby paled in comparison to her design. The wood of her hull was stained a dark color and the polish made her shine in the sunlight. The main balloon was a deep purple with golden yellow accents, while the secondary balloons that served as a back-up if the primary failed were solid gold in color.

"Unless," Jet Ship continued, "you would like to join the company."

A long, tense moment of silence held them all. Crystal stopped turning the candy around in her mouth so the sound of it clicking against her teeth didn't draw unwanted attention to herself. She just stared at her father with wide eyes while he stared at his own father.

Jet Set finally shook his head. "I'm not interested, Father."

Jet Ship sneered, his upper lip curling into a brief snarl. "I see." His short-cropped tail swished in agitation, but stilled when he looked at Crystal. The sudden shift in his demeanor and tone was almost as frightening as the venom in his prior words. "Do you want to join us for her maiden voyage, hmm?" He smiled.

Crystal nearly choked on the candy when she tried to swallow her nerves, and she quickly shook her head. Though she wanted to, of course, the narrowed eyes of her parents gave her no choice. "That's all right, Grandfather. But thank you for the offer."

"Hmm." Jet Ship raised one brow, then shrugged and levitated a second piece of candy out of his pocket and over to her. "Well, enjoy the ceremony!"

"Thanks, Grandfather..." She shifted her gaze to her grandmother, who had kept herself preoccupied with styling her mane. "It was nice to see you, Grandmother."

Diadem regarded her with mild surprise, then shrugged. "Yes, it was."

"Come along, dear." Jet Ship turned and started toward the area behind the ceremony stage. "I must speak with Eminence before we begin."

Upper Crust waited until they were out of earshot before she muttered, "Your parents are truly despicable."

Jet Set wrapped a foreleg around her shoulders, shaking his head. "They are as they always have been, dear. Nothing has changed."

"I disagree." Upper Crust inclined her head to look down her snout at Crystal. "Accepting his bribe? Darling, that was terribly uncouth."

Crystal tucked the butterscotch in her cheek, the still-wrapped one hovering nearby in her magic. "It's not a bribe, Mom." One ear flicked. "It's just candy."

Upper Crust's lips twitched into a frown before she jerked her head to the side and strode toward the gathered crowd. "Come along, dear. I believe I see Hoity Toity in attendance."

"Really?" Jet Set smiled, following behind her. "It's been a while since he's actually been to anything outside of a fashion show. We must know how he has been!"

Crystal remained standing where she was. Her tongue pulled the hard candy out of its hiding place and she sucked on it while her gaze wandered the area. Fancy Pants's fall line premiere was only a few days away, which would lock her in to a higher run in the hierarchy. It wouldn't do to be caught being unsociable so soon before then.

With a small groan, she crunched and chewed the hard candy while she tucked the second into a small pocket sewn into her light blue dress. She put a proper smile on her face and urged her hooves toward the crowd. The ceremony would begin shortly, so she only had to keep the smile on for a little while.

Only two pointless conversations later, all eyes turned to the stage when a pony approached the podium and called over the murmuring conversations, "Ladies and gentleponies, on behalf of Jet Ventures and Eminence Enterprizes, I am honored to thank you all for being here for this momentous occasion today. Please join me in welcoming the Chairpony of Jet Ventures, Mr. Jet Ship."

Polite stomping filled the air as Jet Ship walked up to take the pony's spot at the podium. The applause quieted down when he looked out across the crowd with that hauntingly commanding gaze of his. "Friends, I am thrilled to be standing here today," he started, though his low voice clashed with the words. "My father founded this company in an era when most ponies believed the sky to belong to the pegasi alone. He started with small airships for a single pony to the designs considered standard now. Today, however, I am here to present a craft he could have never imagined."

Crystal snorted. A craft that the pony known as Jet Craft could have never imagined? She raised a hoof to hide the amused grin that spread at the thought. No eyes were on her, of course, as they were all focused on the Harmony when he gestured to it and the sound of stomping briefly returned.

"This new class of airship," he continued, "will be the new standard. It is the most modern, the most safe, and the most luxurious in Equestria—and beyond. Its spacious hull can comfortably house two thousand guests and seven hundred crew members, allowing more ponies than ever before to experience the joy of being one with the skies." He paused, then smiled and added in a light tone, "Of course, as chairpony of the board, it is solely out of obligation to that position that I mention we will be taking reservations for the maiden voyage as of today. Be sure to speak to your travel agent as soon as possible."

He straightened up and returned to his cut-and-dry manner of speech as he finished, "Without further ado, I would like to invite to the stage a pony who had a huge hoof in making all of this possible. In fact, I would dare say that without him I doubt we would be where we are today."

Crystal stole a glance at her father. His ears were folded back and his eyes were closed halfway while he bit down on his lower lip. She reached out a hoof and set it gently on his shoulder. He jolted in surprise and blinked at her, then returned his gaze to the stage.

"Ladies and gentleponies, please help me welcome the president of Eminence Enterprizes, Mr. Eminence himself."

A unicorn who exuded even more confidence and power than Jet Ship walked onto the stage to stand beside him at the podium. Where Jet Ship was a more stocky sort of stallion of faded hues, Eminence was tall, lanky, and had a coat of gold. They shook hooves and he said, "Thank you, Mr. Ship. You are much too kind." He smiled, lowering his hoof. "I am simply happy to be part of such a monumental moment in history. I have always believed that we as ponies should always reach for the heavens and you, sir, have never disappointed. It is my honor to stand here next to you."

Jet Ship nodded and turned his head to look at the airship that hovered right within hoof's reach of the stage. "Well, then, shall we entitle her and reach for those heavens together?"

Eminence smiled. "By all means."

While they walked side by side toward the edge of the stage, an attendant stepped forward with a bottle of champagne already prepared. The two powerful figures put a hoof each on the bottle and, after counting down together, pushed it forward so that it swung along the ceremonial ribbon to crash into the side of the hull.

When the bottle burst open, the crowd burst into cheers and stomps, and Eminence declared, "We entitle you: TMS Harmony. May you sail the skies for many years to come."

"Well, then," Jet Set said while the cheering continued all around them. "I suppose that is that, then."

Upper Crust sighed. "I'm so glad that is out of the way."

Crystal stared up at the Harmony, smiling softly. "She is a beautiful ship. You did a wonderful job, Father."

A smile flashed across Jet Set's face before he settled into a light frown. "Thank you, dear."

Upper Crust looked at Crystal out of the corner of her half-lidded eyes. Her nose started to wrinkle up until she gave an exaggeratedly loud sound somewhere between a sigh and a groan. "Darling, are we going to keep playing this charade?"

"Charade?" Crystal blinked at her. "Excuse me?"

"It has been a month and you still have not introduced us to your fiancé." Upper Crust turned her head to look at her straight-on. "I honestly am appalled that you've let this linger as long as it has. Shall this be another evening where you avoid the topic? What are you hiding, darling?"

Crystal bit back her first response, sucked in a breath, and said, "Nothing, Mother."

"Then if you have nothing to hide, we shall expect you and him for dinner." Upper Crust looked to her husband, who was looking anywhere but at her. She huffed and returned her gaze to Crystal.

Crystal dug a hoof into the grass and managed through clenched teeth, "All right. When?"

Upper Crust smiled briefly. "Tomorrow night, of course. Why delay any longer?"

For a moment, Crystal pondered every excuse she had available and weighed their believability. He was an important commander of Princess Luna's House Guard. She knew firsthoof that he was busy most evenings. How long could she delay the inevitable, though? Until the day before the wedding? The day of?

"All right," Crystal relented, her ears folding back in defeat. "Tomorrow night it is, then."

As soon as the words left her mouth and a smile twisted the corners of her mother's lips, regret flooded her mind. She was certain she had just walked into a trap, but what other option was there at that point?

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Harmony, Planning, Ponies
Companion Velveteen Mask chapter: Not Yet Released

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