• Published 17th Nov 2014
  • 13,026 Views, 5,574 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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Waylaid Plans

"Thank you so much for inviting me," Horsey said, her ears wiggling as she looked over the Café au Lait menu. "I wasn't sure if you'd remember me with everything that's been going on."

Crystal put a hoof to her chest and feigned a surprised gawk. "Forget you? Why, perish the thought!" She giggled, waving the hoof. "Horsey, we could never forget you. You know that!"

"We've only met once or twice and even I remembered you," Painted added.

Horsey just shrugged. Willow, sitting beside her, cleared her throat and said, "So do you know if the lieutenant has any plans for your birthday?"

"Hard to tell with him anymore," Velvet cut in before Crystal could speak. "He really surprised us all with the whole Hearts and Hooves Day thing. Maybe he'll take her on another trip and re-propose!"

Horsey giggled. "I don't think it works that way."

Velvet shot her a playful glare. "Why not? Ponies can renew their vows or whatever, right? Why not renew their engagement? It could work that way!"

Painted tapped her menu to the table top, humming thoughtfully. "That logic checks out to me. In fact, I should mention this to Verd... I'm sure he'd love the idea." Velvet looked over at her and they exchanged nods of approval.

With a soft laugh, Crystal waved a hoof to draw attention back to herself. "Silent hasn't given me any indication of anything special. I think he went above and beyond for Hearts and Hooves, so I'll be happy if he just shows up like he said he would."

Willow's ears perked and eyes narrowed as she peered at Crystal. "Do you need me to talk with the princess about his schedule tomorrow?"

"What? Oh, no. No, it's fine!" Crystal shook her head. "My birthday isn't more important than his job."

Four pairs of eyes turned on her and for a moment, not a word was spoken, but several were heavily implied by the varying degrees of glares—Horsey's expression, of course, being the least like a glare and more like a pitying look, while Velvet laid the withering stare on thick.

Crystal returned all the looks with a pout. "Nevermind, I don't like this conversation. Let's change it!" She perked upright. "Is everypony ready to order?"

"Um..." Horsey glanced between her menu and the others, pausing to stare at Willow. She squirmed and looked up at Crystal. "Do you think they wouldn't mind substituting the avocados for cranberries on the avocado and asparagus sandwich?"

After a brief frown, Crystal shrugged and inclined her head. "It can't hurt to ask." She raised her voice to call, "Rossby?"

The pegasus in question stiffened upright and froze, his back to their table. He slowly turned his head, stared at her, then turned back to the pony whose order he had been taking.

Crystal tapped a hoof against the table while they waited, giggles bubbling among the mares as Rossby walked over with the look of a cat about to be pushed into a lake.

"What?" he asked in a low voice.

"My friend would like to know if you all could substitute the avocado in the AvoAspa sandwich for cranberries." Crystal flashed an innocent smile at him and batted her eyes. "Please?"

Rossby's ears twitched back. "What? No. That's gross. It's not a CranAspa, it's an AvoAspa. I mean, both names are stupid, but one is wrong and one is right."

"Rossby," Crystal hissed, her smile falling into a frown, "behave!"

"You're not my mom," Rossby retorted and held her gaze, not blinking or flinching. "And you're not a paying customer yet. So you don't get to tell me what to do."

Horsey stammered in a voice just above a mumble, "It—it's all right, avocado is fine."

Rossby looked over at her. "Good choice." He flashed a forced smile and glanced around the table. "Does anypony else have any orders they'd like to make that are on the menu and not gross?"

Crystal rose to her hooves, the chair beneath her sliding back with a loud squeerk. "Rossby!" She fixed him in a stern, serious glare. "Would you be a dear and escort me over to today's selection of baked goods?"

"It's over there," he replied with an absent wave of one hoof.

"I said escort me," she enunciated more clearly, grabbing the waving hoof and tugging him along with her. She smiled over her shoulder at the others. "Be right back, girls!"

Velvet grinned and chirped, "Don't hurt him too much!" Her grin sobered as she looked at Horsey. "Hey, don't mind him. He's always like that. It's nothing personal. He..."

The words were drowned out by Rossby's voice. "Ow. Stop. You're hurting me. Ow, somepony, please. Help."

Crystal jerked him forward once they were out of earshot of the table and shoved her face in his. "What is wrong with you today?! Usually your little attitude is endearing in an 'annoying little brother' kind of way, but you don't get to talk to Horsey that way!"

"Horsey?" One of Rossby's brow raised. "You're friends with a pony named Horsey?"

Crystal jabbed a hoof at him. "Don't dodge the question! Why are you acting out like this?!"

Rossby stared. She stared back. Finally, he spat out, "The story wasn't happy."

A moment of confusion gripped her before she asked a little dumbly, "What?"

"The story. The Last Seapony. It wasn't happy at all. You're terrible at suggestions." His ears flicked as he turned his gaze away from her. "I don't know why I trusted you."

"Wait, hold on a moment." She groaned and rubbed the bridge of her snout. "You're being mean to my friends because of my book recommendation?"

Rossby huffed. "Because of your terrible book recommendation. It was going great until that sad ending!"

Crystal tilted her head back to stare at the ceiling. If she didn't look at him, she could gather her wits instead of just being protective of Horsey. Slowly, she let out a sigh and lowered her gaze back down. "It was a happy ending for all the seaponies."

"Yeah, but not for the prince and the seapony." He frowned and continued in a bitter mumble, "Why couldn't she stay a unicorn and live with him?"

A smirk overtook Crystal's lips. "Gotchya!"

Rossby flinched, his ears pinned back. "What? Got what? What's wrong with you? Why are you grinning like that?"

"You want a romance novel," she stated with a triumphant toss of her mane and laughed. "Mr. Cantankerous wants a love story!"

"I do not!" His wings tucked in close to his sides. "Why would you even think that?!"

Crystal winked and started to walk back to the table. "Maybe you should try reading Vision of White by Flora Sorbets. I think you'll be much happier with that one."

There was a pause before he yelled after her, "Fine, but this is the last time I'm ever trusting you again!"

"Okay!" she chirped. Sitting back down at the table, she looked across to offer a small smile to Horsey. "Don't take anything he says personally. He's much younger than he looks."

Horsey responded with a wilting smile and a silent nod.

Painted cleared her throat. "So, Willowy, Velvet said that Crystal said that you said that you had a secret special somepony?"

Willow's ears perked upright and her face turned red. "Excuse me?!"

Crystal glared at Velvet who grinned and exclaimed, "What! You didn't say it was a secret! Just that he was a secret!"

"Well, I suppose that is a fair point," Crystal grumbled.

A moment of silence fell on them before attention returned to Willow and she leaned back into her seat as if to try to dodge their stares. "This—this—we didn't come here to talk about me! We're here to celebrate the pre-birthday of Crystal!"

Painted tossed her head back to laugh and waved a hoof. "Oh, I'm sure Crystal wouldn't mind! After all, romance is her specialty!" She leaned in, her polite smile turning into a grin that could rival Velvet for most devious. "So spill."

Willow's mouth flapped open and closed a few times. She looked between all the faces staring at her before she crossed her forelegs over her chest. "Why does anypony care about my personal business?"

"Why did you ask about whether or not Silent had anything planned for my birthday?" Crystal teased.

"Be—because—" Willow glared. "I don't know why it matters! He doesn't live in Canterlot. Frankly—" An unexpectedly filly-like giggle escaped her and she continued, "Frankly, I doubt any of you will meet him anytime soon. He's busy a lot of the time."

Velvet nodded slowly. "Uh-huh... A pony named Frank that we'll never meet? Sounds like a real keeper."

Crystal swatted at Velvet and smiled wide at Willow. "Well, you must introduce us if he's ever in town. I would love to meet him."

Willow opened her mouth as if to continue, but a plate landed in front of her.

"Steamed broccoli and pine nuts," Rossby said in a monotonous voice and moved on around the table, listing off each plate he set down in front of them. "Club sandwich. Macaroni and cheese. Sea—ugh, why do we even offer this—Seaweed wrap. PB and J. And"—he rolled his eyes as he offered Horsey her plate—"an AvoAspa."

Crystal waved a dismissive hoof at him. "Thank you very much, Rossby!"

"Yeah, whatever." He glared at her and turned to leave, the now-empty platter tucked under one wing.

After a moment as each mare turned their attentions to their meals, Horsey exclaimed, "Oh! How sweet!"

"What?" Velvet asked.

Horsey pulled the top slice of bread away. "There's no avocado on it, and"—she gestured at a small bowl sitting on the plate—"a side of cranberries!" Her lips parted into a beaming smile. "You're right, he's not that mean at all!"

Giggles and laughs went around the table while Horsey dumped the cranberries onto her sandwich. Velvet looked at Crystal and said around a mouthful of her cheesy macaroni, "So, back to your birthday. Do ya want me to clear out tomorrow? I can hang out with Nightingale. Now that I've changed companies I want to make sure she and I stay friends."

"Wait, what?" Painted blinked. "You mentioned that Willow had a special somepony, but not that you changed jobs?"

Velvet lifted and dropped her shoulders in a careless shrug. "One is good, fun gossip. The other is just kind of bragging."

Crystal kept quiet as she stared at Velvet, hoping her expression remained pleasant—not that she was feeling particularly unpleasant, but just curious. Perhaps when Velvet talked about her friends, she meant her fellow dancers? Somehow, that was almost a relief, in some odd way. She smiled and said, "I certainly hadn't planned on kicking you out, but—"

Velvet reached out to put a hoof on Crystal's mouth. "Say no more. I'll spend the night at my parents', too."

Crystal flushed and glared at her. Painted and Horsey laughed while Willow kept her attention firmly on her broccoli. Glancing around at their faces, Crystal finally smiled. The carefree feeling of spending time with friends was something she really needed to make an effort to experience more often.

---

Breathing in and out through her nose, Crystal stared at her reflection. The mare in the mirror looked upset. The mare on the inside was trying desperately not to feel upset, but it was showing, and that just made things harder to swallow. She had known what she was getting into when she decided to stay by his side, so why was she so mad at him for being the stallion he had always been?

It would probably be easier if she hadn't been ruminating all day on his absence. Every knock on the door got her heart all spun up with excitement, but each time it had been a delivery pony with a card or a gift from anypony but Silent. She didn't even care that it was her birthday, specifically—it was the principle of the matter.

First it would be a birthday. Next, an anniversary. Then their foal's birthday!

She blinked, the last thought tearing her out of the angry fog clouding her mind, and her face heated up. Foals! How could she be mad at him and at the same time imagining their future foals? A sigh escaped and she shook her head. Love was so much easier in her novels. In reality, it was simply and utterly confusing.

Hooves dragging along the floor, she walked over to the bed and flopped onto it. Well, she could still sulk, couldn't she? Just because she accepted something and was totally, definitely okay with it didn't mean she couldn't sulk. Even if it did, it was too late. She was already sulking.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid," she mumbled, half of her face buried against a pillow. Hypocrite! She couldn't turn down dates to go to social events and then get mad at him for doing the same for his job. Keeping up social appearances to reflect well on him was an important role of an officer's significant other, but it certainly wasn't as vital as protecting a princess.

Of course, maybe just once in a while, she wanted to be the princess. His princess. She huffed and rolled over onto her side to face her back to the world while she clenched her eyes shut. Silly, silly filly—she knew better than that. Luna would come first, then the rest of his job, then her. The sooner she accepted that the sooner she'd stop feeling so conflicted. How long would that take, though?

Just as she was drifting off to sleep, she heard the front door open and Silent's voice call, "Crystal? Hello? I'm home."

She didn't want to move. She was warm and comfortable right where she was. But he was likely late because of work, and ignoring him wouldn't make her feel good. With a grunt and a groan, she forced herself upright and off the bed. "Welcome home," she said as she walked into the living room. "You're rather late tonight. Your dinner is cold and in the fridge."

A strange expression crossed Silent's face. He was smiling too wide, too plastic, too fake. Her suspicion rose even higher when he said, "Sorry about that. Work kept me late like usual."

Before she could decide if she wanted to argue with him, however, his smile faltered and he corrected, "Actually, I'm sorry. That's not completely true. A friend at the palace was having a bad time and I was trying to lift her spirits. That got me behind on my own work... which still isn't resolved. I have to go back and finish it but I wanted to drop in to apologize. I'm sorry, Crystal. I know this isn't what either of us had in mind for your birthday."

A smile lightened her face and she closed the distance between them. "Well, isn't that sweet of you to fit me in somewhere?" She kissed his cheek. "Your job is your job, honey. It comes first." She pulled back and looked up at him with her brow arched. "So, what is it this time? Another Haven trip dropped on you at the last minute?"

He raised a foreleg to tug her to him in a tight hug, whispering in her ear, "It's classified."

"Classified!" She huffed and pushed against his chest to look up at him with her best pout. "That's what you always say! Oh, fine. Fine, go be a hero at the office and get your work done. Should I expect you for breakfast, or is that classified, too?"

There was an almost awkward, unsettling pause as he gazed at her. Finally, he shook his head and said, "No, I think my morning is going to be busy. Let's call it lunch."

"All right." She leaned in toward him. "Lunch it is."

Their lips met in a gentle kiss and his hooves moved to wrap around her. The unique scent of him, the feeling and warmth of his lips, all of it captivated her senses and for that moment, there was no irritation buzzing about in her chest, only the fluttering of love. She pulled back to smile up at him, but he didn't return it at first. He looked down at her with a knitted brow that seemed to carry the weight of the world on it.

She slid a hoof around his neck. "Siley?" she asked in a quiet voice.

The look in his eyes softened and he pulled her closer as he whispered, "I love you, Crystal. I really do, more than anypony else. I'm so sorry that I have to go, but I really do have to. I hope you can forgive me for that."

Heat spread across her face and her gaze darted away. Was he really that upset over missing her birthday? Now that she thought about it, he had missed it the year prior because of his job. She looked back up at him, smiling. "I love you, too. It's all right, Siley, honest. I knew what I was getting into when I fell for you."

He just nodded and finally let go of her. When he started walking away without another word, she added, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah," he mumbled and just like that, the door closed behind him and he was gone.

Crystal stood there a while, staring at the spot where he had been. Lingering butterflies from the kiss were joined by new ones that hatched from seeds of concern. Quickly, she shook her head and turned back to her bedroom. All she needed was a good night's rest.

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: Lights Out

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