What is Fame without Friendship?

by Rabuiods


Chapter 4: Snakes, Crabs and a Fashionista

“Rarity, its Twilight. Are you home?”

Twilight stood in the entry way of the Carousel Boutique, waiting for her friend to reply to her question. Laughing Stock, a pony not known for his patience began looking at the assortment of dresses on display.

“Just a moment dear” A voice called from the back. “Let me finish this last dress and we can talk as long as you want.”

“Hey Twilight, did your friend make all these outfits?” Laughing Stock asked as he became surprisingly interested in a massive sun hat.

“Yes, she did. Aren’t they all just lovely?”

“I don’t know much about fashion…or anything really, but they look nice.” In an attempt to make Twilight Laugh, the stallion put on the massive hat and made his way to a mirror.

“My chapeau is simply marvelous, isn’t it my lady” Laughing Stock was trying his best impersonation of a snotty Canterlot ponies.

“Hmm, it looks good on you, but yellow isn’t your color. A nice maroon would suit you nicely.”

The strange voice caused Laughing Stock to jump; he was expecting to hear Twilight. As he looked around the room for her, she was gone. However, taking her place was a white unicorn, looking at Laughing Stock with a mixture of confusion and amusement.

“I am going to go out on a limb here and guess you’re Rarity” He asked, still wearing the hat on his head.

“Why, yes. Yes I am.” Rarity said as she looked Laughing Stock up and down. “Have we met?”

“No, we haven’t. My name is Laughing Stock. I am a friend of Twilight’s” The stallion was trying his hardest to be polite. Twilight gave Laughing Stock a heads up before they entered the boutique, Rarity could be a little hard to deal with at times.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Laughing Stock.” Rarity seemed like a nice pony, he began to wonder why Twilight warned him about her. “I haven’t seen you around, where are you from?”

“I am visiting from Canterlot.” Rarity’s eyes began to widen.

“Canterlot? Oh how divine!” Rarity exclaimed, perhaps this was somepony she should get to know. “What do you do in Canterlot.”

“I work in the entertainment industry.” Thanks to Twilight’s speech, Laughing Stock was well aware that Rarity was a very sophisticated pony. He was planning to avoid telling her about his comedy career, mostly because he wasn’t sure how she would react.

“Really now, that is simply delightful!” Rarity moved a little closer to Laughing Stock, batting her eyelashes and began to put her charm to good use. If she could somehow…persuade him to put in a good word to his connections in the entertainment industry to wear her designs, it would mean great things for her business.

“I am sure you know all sorts of famous ponies” she said with her most alluring smile.

“Uh, I know a couple” the stallion was starting to feel nervous.

Laughing Stock began to back up a few inches; he thought Rarity was attractive, but nowhere as attractive as Twilight. He now understood why Twilight warned him about the white unicorn. He wanted nothing to do with her; he silently wished Twilight would come back.

“You know, it’s never polite to keep secrets from a lady.” Rarity began to play coy with Laughing Stock. “Is there any way you could tell me all about your famous friends?”

“I don't really like talking about them.” Laughing Stock had his back against a wall; he had nowhere to go while this white unicorn continued to suffocate him with forwarding advances.

“Oh come on now, you don’t need to be so shy.” As the white unicorn cornered the stallion, she slowly traced patterns in his fur with her hoof.

Before Laughing Stock could say anything, Twilight entered the room and saw exactly what was happening.

“Oh good Laughing Stock, I see you have already met Rarity.”

As Rarity slowly back away from the stallion, he wondered if this situation could get any worse.

“I see Rarity has you modeling her clothes for her already.”

As Laughing Stock looked in the mirror to his left, he noticed that after all this time, he was still wearing that oversized sun hat.

As he hastily removed the headdress, Twilight asked Rarity what she thought of their new friend.

“He is simply a gem, Twilight my dear” she said with a wink. “Handsome stallions with acting careers are hard to come by.”

“Acting career? Were you trying to impress Rarity by telling her you had an acting career?” Twilight thought this was hilarious for some reason.

“NO!” Laughing Stock began to panic. “I told her worked in the entertainment industry, and from that, she assumed that I was an actor.”

“Will somepony please tell me what is going on” Rarity shouted.

“Laughing Stock is a comedian, Rarity. He isn’t an actor.” As Twilight told Rarity this, she became angry.

"YOU LIED TO ME? Rarity was livid. Her dreams of seeing famous actresses wearing her designs on the red carpet started to evaporate.

“I NEVER SAID I WAS AN ACTOR!” Laughing Stock shouted back. “IT’S NOT MY FAULT YOU ASSUMED I WAS AN ACTOR.”

“You said you knew famous ponies!” Rarity cried as she began to clam herself down. This stallion made a fool out of her, he was going to pay. “I bet you don’t even know one celebrity.”

“I do as a matter of fact.”

“Really” Rarity snapped. “Who?”

“I have preformed small shows with Kathy Griffon on many occasions. I also went on tour with Mane Cook.”

Rarity began to laugh, which wasn’t the reaction he expected.

“Goodness me, you must be a comedian.” Rarity briefly stopped her laughter. “Because if you think I would be interested in having those…entertainers wear my fashions, you must be silly.”

“Is this what all the flirting was about? You were going to use me to get closer to famous ponies!” Laughing Stock was now the one that was livid.

“Well, when you say it like that darling, of course it sounds bad. But I would have made it worth your while.”

In his blind rage, Laughing Stock began calling her names. He never used words like this unless he was very angry, or on stage.

“Such a mouth.” Rarity shook her head in disapproval. “With an attitude like that, I would be very surprised if you had any friends, let alone famous ones.”

Rarity had done it. After one last profane word to white unicorn, he ran from the boutique into town. He could hear Twilight calling him, but for the next few minutes at least, he had to be alone.

He stopped running when he arrived at Ponyville Park; he sat on the edge of the fountain and started thinking. After staring at his reflection in the fountain for what seemed like an hour, a purple unicorn appeared over his shoulder.

“I’m sorry she acted that way.” Twilight seemed to be very upset. “She has been under so much stress lately; people have been making massive orders she can barely keep up with. If it makes you feel any better, she feels horrible about it.”

“Yeah, she should” a very bitter Laughing Stock responded.

“Do you want to talk about anything?” Twilight asked as she took a seat next to him on the edge of the fountain.

“Friends…or lack of them for that matter” Laughing Stock muttered.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Twilight was once again, very sympathetic toward her new friend.

“I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I can’t help but feel alone. Yesterday, I had everything. Now all I have is…well you see where I am going with this.” Laughing Stock was getting sick of talking, but if he knew Twilight like he thought he did, she would continue to pry.

“Not quite sure I do, any way you can elaborate?”

“It’s just funny, when I was getting my career rolling; I had one great friend who was working the club scene as well. She was my best friend, we basically did everything together. When I blew up and went on tour I lost contact with her, but she was replaced with hundreds of people who swore we were friends.” Laughing Stock slowly rotated his sitting position on the fountain in order to see Twilight. “Here I am and guess what, none of those people are here. I’m all alone.”

“Well, I wouldn’t saw all alone.” Twilight moved closer to the troubled stallion and gently put a hoof around him. “You still have me.”

Laughing Stock grabbed her hoof and held it in position, he didn’t want her to let go. “What is going to happen when I go back to Canterlot, will we still be friends?”

“Of course, I need to visit the princess every once in a while. We can always meet up for lunch or I can see one of your shows.” Twilight tightened her grip on Laughing Stock just a little, in order to reassure him she wasn’t going anywhere.

“Twilight, there is something I have wanted to say to you all day.” The stallion carefully placed his hoof under her chin and brought her very close. “I want you to know that I really-“

Laughing Stock was too preoccupied with Twilight to notice the three fillies sneaking up behind him.

“HI TWILIGHT!” The three Fillies shouted in unison.

Laughing Stock was startled by the screeching fillies; he lost his balance and fell into the fountain.

Are you kidding me?! Twice in one day?! This is bull-

“Laughing Stock, I would like you to meet Sweetie Belle, Applebloom and Scootaloo.” Twilight interrupted his train of thought so she could introduce him to the fillies.

“Uh, hey girls” Laughing Stock said as he poked his head over the edge of the fountain. Getting out of the shallow pool was proving to be a very difficult task.

“Hello Laughing Stock!” The three fillies had no idea what they were interrupting.

“Laughing Stock and I are on our way to see Fluttershy, would you girls like to join us?”

“Nah, it’s cool” the filly who Twilight referred to as Scootaloo said. ‘We are on our way to find our Cutie Marks!”

“That sounds great girls! What are the three of you doing today?” Twilight asked as the three fillies.

“Today we are…CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CRAB CATCHERS!”

“Do you girls know anything about crabs?”

“Well…no not exactly.” Sweetie Belle began to rub the back of her mane and avoided eye contact with Twilight.

“Well then how on earth do you expect to catch crabs then?” Twilight inquired.

“We were hoping your new friend could tell us.” Scootaloo looked at Laughing Stock with a hopeful grin.

“What? Why on earth would you ask me?” Laughing Stock had finally made it out of the fountain. He looked at Twilight who seemed to be just as puzzled.

Sweetie Belle began to stare at the stallion, almost like she was examining him.

“Because my sister said Twilight’s new friend was crabby, but I am not seeing it.”

“Girls, I think you better get going before all the crabs get caught.”

“Ok then, bye Twilight, bye Crabby!” The three small ponies yelled as they made their way out of the park.

“Rarity is Sweetie Belle’s sister.” Twilight explained to an obviously confused Laughing Stock.

He immediately understood. He suggested they make their way to her last friends’ house before the girls came back.

“So, you and your friends stopped Nightmare Moon. Then what happened?”

“I opted to stay in Ponyville with my friends and study the magic of friendship.”

“There is the magic of friendship thing again.” The last time Laughing Stock asked about it, she avoided the question. She wasn’t going to this time, he wouldn’t let it happen.

“I told you, once you met my friends, you would understand.”

“I have met five out of six. The only magic I’ve seen is that you have managed to become friends in the first place.”

“Ok, fine.” Twilight knew he wasn’t going to give up so easily this time. “The magic of friendship is the connection a pony has with their friends.”

Laughing Stock was still lost.

“The relationship I have with my friends is so strong; it allows us to…do very special things with each other.

A sly grin slowly grew across Laughing Stocks face as he began to imagine what those special things could be.

“Laughing Stock,” Twilight said shaking her head side to side. “That is NOT what I was talking about.”

“Hey, in my defense, you can’t end a sentence like that. A stallions mind can be a rather creative place.”

“As I was saying, our friendship is so strong; we can wield ancient weapons known as the Elements of Harmony.”

“Ancient weapons?” Laughing stock was suddenly very interested.

“Yes, each of us represents a particular element. And when you put them all together, it creates the most powerful weapon known to ponykind.”

Twilight explained which element each of her friends represented. This gave Laughing Stock an idea.

“Can I join your group? I want to wield an ancient weapon too!”

“Sorry, there are only six elements” Twilight said.

“Can we kick somepony out then? Rarity doesn’t seem very generous to me…” Laughing Stock suggested.

“Sorry, no can do.” Twilight suddenly started to laugh very hard. “But if we ever come across the element of mediocre comedy, you will definitely be the pony for the job.

“Ouch, thank you for taking my last shed of dignity and stomping on it.” Laughing Stock was chuckling. Twilight was a lot feistier than he realized, he liked that.

“Well, here we are at Fluttershy’s!” Twilight made sure the stallion stopped before reaching the front door. “There is one thing I need to tell you about Fluttershy.”

“You said she is the element of kindness, so she can’t be that bad right?”

“Not at all, she is just really shy.” Twilight went into even greater detail about things to do and avoid when dealing with Fluttershy.

As the two ponies made their way to the door, Laughing Stock’s nerves were getting the best of him. This was his last chance to make a good impression with one of Twilights friends; he didn’t want to blow it.

Twilight knocked on the door and moments later, a yellow pegasus with a long pink mane opened the door. After seeing Laughing Stock, she let out a squeak and hid.

“Fluttershy, it’s ok. This is my friend Laughing Stock, he really wants to meet you.”

“Hello Fluttershy” Laughing Stock moved closer to the door so Fluttershy could hear him. “Twilight told me a lot about you, and I wanted to see if all the nice things were true.”

The door cracked open, revealing a single cyan eye looking at Laughing Stock?”

“Re-Really? You want to meet m-me?" Fluttershy could not believe what she was hearing.

Fluttershy opened the door and let the two ponies into her home. When Laughing Stock entered, he became every uncomfortable at the sight of all the different animals and other critters running around. He wasn’t very fond of living creatures, other than ponies of course.

“Fluttershy takes care of animals.” Twilight explained as Fluttershy continued to give the stallion a tour of her cottage.

“You don’t say, that’s…really nice.” Laughing Stock was distracted by a mouse rolling along the floor of the cottage in a tiny wheelchair.

“Oh thank you! I try and do my best to take care of the little creatures because nopony else will.” Fluttershy was glad her new friend seemed to appreciate her line of work.

“You got a lot of animals here.” Laughing Stock, now looking at rabbit that seemed to be very temperamental, backed slowly to the door. Fluttershy grabbed Laughing Stock and took him outside to show him all her other animals.

“Let’s see what I have out here…oh, I found this poor boy limping around the edge of town last week.” Fluttershy held a dog within reach of Laughing Stock.

Laughing Stock immediately curled his hoofs inward and kept them close to his body. “Uh no thanks Fluttershy, I am not a big fan of dogs.”

“Why do you think that? Dogs are so adorable!”

“They always want to play and stuff. They are too active.” Laughing Stock started to relax as Fluttershy put the dog down, and lifted a cat in his place.

“Well how about this little dear?”

“No, I don’t like cats either. They aren’t active enough.”

Fluttershy began to pick up one animal after another, desperate to find one Laughing Stock would like. Twilight just stood there, watching the situation unfold.

“What about bunnies?”

“Too Hoppy.”

I have this nice parrot here…”

“Too many feathers.”

“Well if feathers are I problem, I have this adorable snake here and-“

Laughing Stock made a small shriek and dove for cover behind a nearby chicken coop.

“Is something wrong?” Fluttershy asked while holding the snake.

“I hate snakes Fluttershy!” Laughing Stock wanted to make sure she put the snake down before he came out from behind the chicken coop. “I hate ‘em!”

“Oh, I am so sorry! Is there an animal you do like? I probably it around here somewhere…”

“Look, I hate animals!” Laughing Stock had enough. “They are gross, dirty and just stare at you. It’s weird.”

Fluttershy didn’t understand what she was hearing.

“I mean, you have mice and other creatures in your house! Most ponies don’t want mice anywhere near their home! And don’t get me started on the snakes!”

Fluttershy held her head away from Laughing Stock as she ran into the house, a furious Twilight replaced her.

“That was so rude!”

“I know, right? Running off like that when you have company over. That is no way to treat guests.”

Twilight’s glare gave him the impression that he was in some sort of trouble.

“Did Applejack teach you that look, because I swear, she used the same one earlier…”

“You can’t seriously be that stupid!” Twilight was in his face, yelling at him for reasons he still didn’t understand.

“Tell me what I did, so I can fix it or whatever.”

“All day, while most of my friends have been rude to you, I assumed it was their fault. Fluttershy would NEVER do anything to upset another pony on purpose and you insult her!?”

“What?” Laughing Stock was visibly upset.”I never insulted her.”

“Yes you did! When you were spewing your hatred for animals, it really upset her.” Twilight couldn’t believe she had to explain this to a stallion her own age.

“It’s not my fault she can’t take a little constructive criticism.” Laughing Stock muttered. He couldn’t believe a mare his own age was treating him like a foal.

Twilight let out a small sigh as she reached into her saddlebag. She pulled out a few bits and threw them at Laughing Stocks feet.

“I thought you were different from all the other ponies from Canterlot.” Twilight said with pain in her eyes. “I told myself that this stallion was different, he didn’t look down on small town ponies like everyone else does. Turns out, I was wrong.”

As she crossed the threshold of Fluttershy’s cottage, she turned back to Laughing Stock and told him she had some very important studying to do and couldn’t be disturbed.

“Come back to the library at six o’clock, and not a moment earlier."

As Twilight left Laughing Stock alone in Fluttershy’s backyard, he began to feel horrible. Maybe he was a harsh with

Fluttershy and her other friends. The feeling of loneliness he felt earlier resurfaced; only this time, Twilight Sparkle was nowhere to be found.

As he made his way back to the center of Ponyville, he saw the three fillies from earlier.

“Well hey there Mr. Laughing Stock!” Applebloom cried as they ran towards him. “Where’s Twilight?”

“Sorry girls, she had some studying to do.”

“Oh, that’s fine.” The three fillies started to look disappointed. “We just wanted to let her know the Cutie Mark Crusader Crab Catchers didn’t work out.”

“I’m very sorry to hear that girls, anything I can do to help?” Laughing Stock was trying to avenge his sins from earlier, so maybe helping these fillies could be a start.

“Not unless you know how we can get our cutie marks.” Scootaloo said as she sat down in front of Laughing Stock.

Noticing that the fillies all had blank flanks, the whole Cutie Mark Crusaders thing began to make sense to Laughing Stock.

“Can I give you girls a little advice?”

“Yeah, we know” the three fillies said at the same time. “Stick with what your good at.”

Laughing stock started to laugh at the girls, “Actually, I was going to say keep doing what you are doing and you will find it eventually.”

“Really?” The fillies where shocked to think somepony actually agreed with their crusades.

“When I was your age, I knew a pony that had no idea what his talent was, until he was forced into a situation he planned on avoiding. But when it was all said and done, he had a rubber chicken cutie mark! The point I am trying to make here is that you could spend all day long doing your special talent and not get your cutie mark, but if you expose yourself to many different situations, you have a better chance of finding your mark.

“What do you mean?” The girls were a little confused.

“Ok, let’s say Sweetie Belle was hurt trying to catch crabs an-“

“But we didn’t see any crabs” Sweetie Belle interrupted.

“I know, it’s a pretend scenario. Let me finish.” Laughing Stock insisted.

The girls quietly returned to their sitting positions and waited for him to finish.

“Anyway, Sweetie Belle is hurt and Applebloom takes care of her while the paramedics are in route. After Sweetie Belle is taken away, Applebloom receives he cutie mark in first aid.”

“HEY! Why didn’t I get my cutie mark” Scootaloo demanded.

Laughing Stock took a deep breath and looked up at the sky

For the love of Celestia…give me strength.

“It’s not the point girls; the point is to-”

“Wait a minute…”Applebloom interrupted Laughing Stock and pointed at his flank. “At the start of your story, you said you knew of a pony that was forced into a situation and got a rubber chicken cutie mark.”

“Yes, I did.”

“But you have a rubber chicken cutie mark…so that means…”

“Yes I do.” Laughing Stock was thrilled the girls figured out his story

“That means you knew another pony with the same cutie mark as you” Applebloom deduced.

Laughing Stock gave up.

“Yes, girls, we both had rubber chicken cutie marks. Now if you will excuse me, I have to get going.”

“Thanks for the story Laughing Stock!” The three fillies shouted as he walked away.

As he entered town, he walked by the Ponyville train station. He entertained the thought of leaving like he did the day before, but the thought of Twilight kept him here. He wanted to stay with her, even if he hated his guts. He wished he had someone he could talk to that wasn’t from Ponyville, someone who he lost contact with years ago. He missed the best friend he ever had.

Both Laughing Stock and his friend broke into the entertainment business at the same time. They ran into each other so often, they became great friends. They went to other shows together, saw each other perform and would regularly just hang out. But the good times came to an end when Laughing Stock went on tour with Mane Cook. While he was gone, her music career took off as well and made her famous.

Laughing Stock took a seat that was facing the train station and silently began to make fun of ponies that stepped off the train. His first victim was a pony with a fancy moustache.

Hey look at me; I’m a pony with a fancy moustache. I look down on every pony that doesn’t have one because they aren’t as sophisticated as I am. But everypony who has a better moustache than I, is lower class because they take more time to groom themselves, which means they have no life.

Laughing Stock began to feel better; he usually did this when he was on stage as a way to interact with the audience. He laid his eyes on his next victim; a mare wearing a wig.

Oh, look at me! I am a mare in wig! I have to show everypony how much money I have by wearing a wig made from the finest things known to pony kind. But I hope it isn’t windy out, otherwise it may give away my secret. The only thing is, everypony already knows my secret because this wig looks so horrible!

Laughing Stock finally found his third victim: A pony with pale yellow fur and a blue mane.

Oh, look everypony! It’s me, Vinyl Scratch! I-

Laughing Stock sat straight up.

It can’t be, Vinyl Scratch here in Ponyville?! I need to introduce myself!

He ran after the unicorn, screaming her name. When she finally heard him, she turned around and lifted her sun glasses to get a better look at the pony calling her. She couldn’t believe what she saw.

“LAUGHING STOCK?! OH MY GOSH, IT’S BEEN YEARS!!” The unicorn shouted as she gave him a hug.

“I know it’s my fault; I am so sorry” Laughing Stock apologized.”When I got back from touring, your music career had taken off and you had moved…”

“Hey, no worries” Scratch said as she finally broke the hug. “So what are you doing here in Ponyville?”

It’s a long story” Laughing Stock explained. “I would love to talk to you about it over lunch, and why are you here in Ponyville.”

“This place has a record store I love visiting, they have a lot of hard to find albums.” Vinyl Scratch began to walk in the direction of the store, “You can come shopping with me and tell me your long story, and then we can grab a bite if you like.”

“That sounds great, Scratch.”

As Laughing Stock was reacquainted with his old friend, he felt like things were going to be ok. She knew him better than anyone else all those years ago, so she could probably help him out of his predicament. Laughing Stock knew that the only way he was ever leaving Ponyville was the same way he entered; with a lovely purple unicorn by his side.