What is Fame without Friendship?

by Rabuiods

Chapter 7: The Performance of a Lifetime/Acknowledgements


“Are you kidding me!?” Laughing Stock was visibly upset. He lost his tenth straight chess game to Spike. Every time Laughing Stock came close, Spike would find a way to come back.

As the dragon set up the board again, Laughing Stock looked up towards the empty upstairs bedroom. Twilight and her friends left earlier that day for Canterlot in order to attend Princess Celestia’s birthday celebration. Not being invited to the party didn’t upset the stallion, but being away from Twilight was a lot harder than he thought.

Spike made the first move as Laughing Stock thought about his future. If he missed Twilight this bad after a few hours, there was no way he could go on a several month tour. The only solution would be to bring her on the road, but she had her own responsibilities. It would be unfair to keep her away from her friends and work, just so he could feel better.

Maybe it’s time to find a new career…

“Check” the purple dragon interrupted the stallion’s train of thought.

Laughing Stock was about to flip the board over, but at that moment, Spike belched and a roll of parchment flew out. He picked it up, and promptly handed it to Laughing Stock.

“It’s addressed to you.”

Laughing Stock opened the letter and read it out loud.

Laughing Stock,

I’m sorry this is such short notice, but there is a small emergency. I need you in Canterlot as soon as possible. The princess is sending a carriage for you and Spike as we speak. It should be there as soon as you finish reading thi-

There was a knock on the door, and two Royal Guard ponies stood on the step outside.

“We were sent on behalf of Princess Celestia to transport a pony named Laughing Stock and Spike the dragon.”

Laughing Stock grabbed Spike and jumped in the carriage immediately. His head was swimming with possible reasons for the emergency. He didn’t know what to expect, but whatever the scenario was, he hoped Twilight was alright.

After spending what seemed like days in the carriage, they finally touched down in the castle grounds. Laughing Stock was out of the carriage before it came to a complete stop and made his way into the castle. He ran up to the nearest guard and asked where he could find Twilight. After being pointed in the right direction, Laughing Stock and Spike made their way to a large pair of double doors. As Laughing Stock reached for the handle, Spike knocked his hoof out of the way.

“You can’t go in there uninvited; it’s the princess’s throne room.”

“What do you suggest we do?” Laughing Stock was in a hurry and didn’t have time to wait around.

Spike knocked on the door, and to their surprise, a perfectly healthy Twilight Sparkle came out. Upon seeing her stallion, she wrapped her hooves around, sighing with relief.

“We need to talk, now!” Twilight began walking, expecting the stallion to follow. He caught up with her, but had a few questions for the purple unicorn.

“Are you ok? What is the emergency?”

“I am fine” Twilight reassured her concerned stallion. “But we have a problem regarding the princesses birthday and we need your help.”

“What is it?”

“It all started when we arrived at the castle this morning. Princess Celestia informed us that the Wonderbolts would be performing for her party.”

“I bet Dash was excited.” Laughing Stock tried to lighten the mood, but to no avail. The unicorn ignored him.

“She asked us if we would be interested in watching the Wonderbolts practice in the courtyard, and of course Rainbow Dash jumped at the opportunity. During their practice, there was an accident; Soarin made a mistake during a trick and crashed.”

“Is he alright?” Laughing Stock had no idea what this had to do with him.

“Well, he was fine after the initial crash.” Twilight admitted. “Then he started walking backwards, bragging about how tough he was and how a crash couldn’t stop him. He proceeded to trip over a rock and broke his wing.”

Laughing Stock began to smile. He felt bad Soarin was seriously injured, but he just loved irony.

“All this is really sad, but what does this have to do with me?”

“I’m getting there” Twilight promised. “Despite many pleas from Rainbow Dash, Spitfire refuses to perform a pony short, so they had to cancel. Celestia was planning on postponing her party, because there was no way to find entertainment on such short notice.”

Laughing Stock stopped walking; he closed his eyes and began to rub his temple. He had a feeling he knew where this was going, but he wanted to hear Twilight say it.

“So I told her you were a standup comic and volunteered your services!”

Laughing Stock experienced every emotion at the same time, which resulted in a blank stare splashed upon his face.

“YOU WHAT?!” I hope you’re joking, because if you are, I should have you open for me sometime.”

“Remember what you said the day before Vinyl Scratch’s concert? Next time an opportunity to perform presented itself, you would perform. So since you weren’t here, then I thought I was helping you.” Twilight thought the stallion would be happy to be working such a high profile event, but she was beginning to believe the opposite was happening.

“I appreciate you doing this, I really do.” Laughing Stock was struggling to find the right words to say. He was angry she didn’t ask if he would be interested before she volunteered him, but at the same time she was trying to help this washed up comedian get back on his hooves. He couldn’t get too angry with her. “But you have no idea what goes into a performance like this. Working a gig at Sugarcube Corner is nothing compared to one at Princess Celestia’s birthday, entertainers dream of working this event their whole lives. I am not good enough to work an event half as important as this.”

“Yes you are!” Twilight was not going to stand around and listen to the pony she loved believe he wasn’t talented. “You just need to believe in yourself, like the way I believe in you.”

Looking at Twilight, Laughing Stock knew that she was right. He remembered the promise he made to himself on the train ride to Ponyville. He was over feeling sorry for himself.

“If I'm going to do this” Laughing Stock said with a sigh. “I am going to need a few things.”

“Sure! What do you need?”

“First, I would like have somepony open for me. See if Vinyl Scratch is busy. She’s been in a situation like this before, she’ll understand.”

Twilight somehow managed to get her horn on a quill and piece of parchment. She began making one of her infamous checklists as the stallion rattled off his list of demands.

“Next, I am going to need a tuxedo. But I have no idea where I'm going to get one on such short notice.”

“Rarity is here, she’ll have you in one in no time” Twilight said adding his tuxedo to the list.

“Last thing I need is a definite must. I refuse to go on without it.” Laughing Stock made sure Twilight underlined it…twice

“I must have the most beautiful mare in Equestria join me for dinner at Canterlot’s finest eating establishment.”

Twilight looked up from the parchment; a look of disappointment resided on her face.

“Why would you want to go to dinner with your ex marefriend?”

Laughing Stock grinned and he stood on his hind legs and gently kissed the base of her horn. “She wasn’t the mare I was talking about.”

Twilight looked up at the stallion standing above her and smiled. This stallion was way too good to her, she couldn’t believe her luck.

“Come with me, there is somepony I want you to meet.” Twilight escorted Laughing Stock to the same double doors she appeared from earlier.

“Laughing Stock” Twilight said as she opened the door slowly. “I would like you to meet my mentor, Princess Celestia.”

Laughing Stock entered the room speechless, because sitting on her throne directly in front of him, was Princess Celestia. He immediately dove to the ground as a sign of respect.

“Well, you must be the stallion Twilight has told me about” the princess said smiling. “I’m glad to finally meet you, Laughing Stock.”

“It is an absolute pleasure to meet you, princess.” Laughing Stock couldn’t believe he was talking to THE Princess Celestia. “I would also like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to perform at your party tonight. It truly is an honor.”

“I’m so glad to hear it!” Princess Celestia nodded as the lowly comedian stood in front of her. “As much as I love the Wonderbolts’ performances, this will be a refreshing change. I haven’t seen a standup comedy show in at least a hundred years…literally.”

Twilight and the princess began to laugh, but the earth pony only let out a nervous chuckle. Now that he knew the princess was looking forward to a humorous evening, the pressure was on.

“If you both would excuse me, I have some royal business that needs my attention.” Princess Celestia stood up in front of the two ponies. “I hope you both have a wonderful evening.”

The princess started to make her way from the throne room; she stopped and asked Laughing Stock to walk with her. She quietly let him know that she was aware of his dinner plans with Twilight.

“Where are you taking her?”

“I haven’t thought that far ahead.” Laughing Stock admitted. Since he only made the date a few minutes ago, he didn’t have time to make a reservation anywhere.

“Go to this restaurant, it’s her favorite.” The princess handed him a letter along with instructions to give it to the maitre d’hotel. “He’ll know what to do.”

Laughing Stock and the princess walked together as they continued to talk about the plan for the evening.

“Princess, why are you doing all this?” Laughing Stock didn’t want to question Celestia’s generosity, but his curiosity got the better of him.

Princess Celestia looked at Laughing Stock and simply smiled.

“I suppose you are getting tired of hearing this, but I have never seen Twilight this happy. All of her letters as of late have been all about her relationship with you. It’s almost like she is an entirely different pony.”

Princess Celestia left to attend to her business, leaving Laughing Stock alone with his thoughts. He asked a guard where he could find the other visitors from Ponyville. After being escorted to the location, Laughing Stock walked into Rarity’s room.

“Hey Rarity, I need a-“Laughing Stock didn’t get a chance ask about his tuxedo. Before he could finish, the white unicorn threw herself on her drawing board to cover whatever she was working on.

“Laughing Stock!” Rarity was rather surprised to see him. “You must leave! I am working on Twilight’s dress for this evening and the party tomorrow, and it’s meant to be a surprise for you.”

“Oh, my apologies Rarity, I just need to see you about a tux. “Should I come back later?”

“Later would be fabulous darling.” Rarity began to get back to work.

“Answer me one thing Rarity, do you think I will like her dress?” Laughing Stock asked as he backed out of the room. It didn’t really matter what Twilight was wearing, but once again, his curiosity got the better of him.

The fashionista turned around and lowered her drawing glasses. “With out giving too much away, I think you will simply adore it.”

Rarity used her magic to shut her door and lock it. Laughing Stock retreated to his room for a few hours, where he started to work on material for his act. He never really liked writing jokes ahead of time, but he wanted to take time with any joke that targeted the princess. She had a great sense of humor, but everypony has a breaking point, and Laughing Stock wasn’t about to find out how much abuse the princess could withstand.

There was a knock on his door and the fashionista entered the room. She informed the comedian that she was finished with Twilight, and was ready to take his measurements for a tuxedo.

“Sorry for the short notice Rarity. Will it be ready in time?” Laughing Stock asked while the white unicorn wrapped a tape measure around his body. The cloth rubbing up against his fur made him itch. Much to Rarity’s dismay, the stallion began to squirm.

“Darling” Rarity said as she began to work on his front legs. “I should have it finished by the time you leave for your dinner with Twilight tonight.”

“She told you too?”

“Of course, she’s very excited. This is going to be her first real date in...” Rarity looked at Laughing Stock. She tried to remember how long it had been since Twilight had a proper date. “Well, let’s just say it has been a while.”

“Why is that?” Laughing Stock watched Rarity finish his measurements and began making his tuxedo.

“No idea. Twilight has never liked simply going on dates, but she never told us why. I think it may have something to do with wasting time.” Rarity suggested as she shifted through the different kinds of fabric she had.

“Wasting time? Care to explain?”

“I’m sure you have noticed that Twilight studies quite a bit.” Rarity said. Laughing Stock nodded in agreement. “She doesn’t like doing things unless she receives something from it. For example, she studies for obvious reasons; she spends time with her friends because she loves having fun with us and writing to the princess about the magic of friendship.”

She stopped sewing Laughing Stock’s outfit and stared at the stallion.

“If she is spending so much time with you, she must be getting something out of it.”

The two ponies were silent while Rarity finished his outfit. After trying it on, the stallion began to take it off when Rarity spoke up.

“I’d leave it on, it’s almost time for your date” The white unicorn reminded him.

“I have to wear this thing?” Laughing Stock loved the tuxedo, but wearing it while eating seemed silly.

“You can’t eat at a restaurant in Canterlot looking like you normally do.” Rarity laughed at the thought of Laughing Stock arriving at the restaurant without his outfit. “Honestly, how can somepony who grew up in Canterlot be so clueless about sophistication? It doesn’t make any sense.”

“It makes almost as much sense as a talented designer opening a boutique in Ponyville.” Laughing Stock said with a grin that Rarity returned.

“I suppose I should give you a crash course in fine dining.” Rarity taught Laughing Stock everything he would need to know about eating at Canterlot’s finest restaurants. At a quarter to five, Rarity stopped her etiquette lesson and told him to wait in front of the castle.

Laughing Stock did as he was told. He waited for a few minutes before he saw somepony walk out of the castle. The unknown pony was wearing a beautiful black gown and had her hair wrapped in a stylish bun. When she saw him, she smiled and made her way toward the stallion. As she stood next to him, Laughing Stock looked at her closely, nothing about her looked familiar. Except her violet eyes, the only mare he knew that had violet eyes was…

“Twi…Twilight? I didn’t even recognize you!” Laughing Stock was completely flabbergasted. Rarity was right; he adored the dress she made. “You look beautiful!”

“Don’t I always look beautiful?” Twilight teased as the two made their way to the carriage.

“Well, of course!” Laughing Stock suddenly became flustered. “But I mean…right now you look especially beautiful…”

“I know what you mean.” Twilight smiled as her stallion opened the carriage door and allowed her to enter first. “You look very handsome yourself.”

“Obviously.” Laughing Stock replied, which made Twilight laugh. After a few minutes the carriage ride ended. The two ponies made their way into the restaurant. Laughing Stock handed the letter to the maitre d’, who seated them immediately. Twilight couldn’t believe that Laughing Stock went to this much trouble just so the couple could have a nice evening together.

“Laughing Stock, how did you know I love this place?”

“A stallion never reveals his secrets” Laughing Stock said with a wink. A moment later the maitre d’ came by and told the couple to give his regards to the princess.

But apparently an overzealous waiter will, the stallion thought while watching the maitre d’ spend the next few moments attempting to butter up friends of the princess.

Twilight said she would relay the message to the princess, and then turned to the stallion sitting across from her. She placed her hooves on his and smiled.

“I still think this is the greatest thing anypony has ever done for me.” Laughing Stock began to relax a little; at least she was still having a good time.

Dinner went off without another hitch, expect when the maitre d’ would interrupt them every so often. Other than that, Laughing Stock thought absolutely nothing could ruin this evening. That is, until he heard a voice from his past.

“Is that Laughing Stock, the best comedian in Canterlot?”

Laughing Stock suddenly sat straight up. He knew the voice that called him, but he didn’t want to turn around. Twilight noticed her date looked very upset, she asked if everything was alright.

A very bitter Laughing Stock looked Twilight and answered her question. “Twilight Sparkle, I would like you to meet Slick Hooves and Ruby Ring, my ex best friend and ex marefriend respectively.”

“What do you mean ex best friend?” Slick looked a little offended. “I am angry you didn’t show up for Fancypants’ party, but that’s water under the bridge.”

“You both know exactly what I mean.” Laughing Stock still wouldn’t face the two ponies behind him, his gaze remained on Twilight. She was the only thing that was keeping him civil.

“I am quite sure we don’t follow.” Slick and Ruby were still confused.

“The morning of the Fancypants event, I heard you two in Ruby’s bedroom.” Laughing Stock resisted the urge to turn around; he knew the look on their faces would be priceless, but he didn’t want to ruin Twilights evening.

His former friends were horrified that Laughing Stock knew everything.

“It’s not what you think” Ruby tried explaining, but the feeble excuses fell upon deaf ears. “I’m not a foal Ruby; I know exactly what was going on. I am finished with both of you.”

Slick had enough, he used his magic to pull Laughing Stock’s mane back, forcing the comedian to look up at him.

“Listen to me” the angry unicorn said. “Our friendship may be over, but I still own you.”

“What do you mean, you own me?” Laughing Stock was confused.

“Remember that contract you signed?”

Laughing Stock suddenly remembered the contract he signed when Slick became his agent.

“That’s right.” The wide eyed stare of Laughing Stock brought a grin to Slick’s face. “You're my property, and after your performance at Princess Celestia’s party tomorrow, we are going on tour.”

The maitre d’ came over and asked Slick and Ruby to leave before the authorities were called. After they left, Twilight looked very concerned.

“Do you want to go back to the castle and talk?”

Laughing Stock admitted that he did. He didn’t know what to do and need to talk to somepony.

The carriage ride back to the castle was quiet. Laughing just looked at the window while Twilight stroked his hoof. Upon entering the castle, the princess and their five friends were waiting for them, expecting a full report. The couple lied about their evening and said it was perfect; it went off without a hitch. The two ponies excused themselves for the evening and went up to their room. Once both ponies were inside, Twilight sat on the bed and waited for Laughing Stock to open up.

“I was a young stallion when I signed the contract. Back then, all I wanted was money and fame, and Slick delivered” Laughing Stock explained. “Now I’m screwed, there is no way out. The contract is airtight, no loopholes. He may be a jerk, but he isn’t foolish enough to make a mistake like that.”

The stallion crawled into bed and laid on his side, staring out the open window. He felt Twilight slide into bed next to him and kiss the top of his head. “You can’t worry about this now, just focus on the show tomorrow. I will do everything in my power to make sure that this mess is fixed.”

The next day passed by extremely quickly. His sound check felt like it lasted a few seconds, but in reality it lasted a few hours. Lunch with all his friends was supposed to be a relaxing time, but the thought of it being the last time he ate with them was too much for the stallion. He excused himself early and stayed in his room for the rest of the day.

Laughing Stock was on his way to his way to his temporary dressing room to get changed for the show. Vinyl Scratch had just started the opening act and the stallion knew he had about thirty minutes to get ready. After getting dressed, he sat in front of the vanity mirror and stared at the pony on the other side. A knock brought him back to reality. He walked over to the door and opened it. He expected a stage pony letting him know how much time he had left, but to his surprise it was Twilight.

“I just wanted you to break a leg out there.” Twilight said as she gave him a big hug, followed by a kiss.

“I hope you mean it in the figurative sense, and not literally.” Laughing Stock replied as Twilight laughed, she told him to save his jokes for the audience. “I will be up in the princess box if you want to see a friendly face” said the mare as she left to find her seat. Right after his mare left, he was told he had a few minutes till he had to be out there. He left the room and asked for directions to the stage from a janitor standing nearby.

“Sure, walk about a klick to your right, and when you’re facing the south east wall, hang to the side for a while until…”the janitor kept speaking, but Laughing Stock tuned it out.

Klick? A while? Hang to the side? These are the worst directions ever…of all time.

Laughing Stock started walking and found a door after a while; he assumed it was the door heading to the stage. He ripped the door open and shouted “HELLO CANTERLOT!” The door actually led to the janitors supply closet, not the stage.

“I thought my directions were clear” muttered the janitor as he moved Laughing Stock out of the way and reached for the bleach. “Follow me.”

The elderly pony led him to the side of the stage, they arrived in just enough time to watch the end of Vinyl Scratches show. The musical unicorn walked toward him and gave him a hug and told him that he was going to do fine.

Laughing Stock stood behind the curtain to the left of the stage and waited his introduction. He began to pace slowly back and forth as the master of ceremonies took his place at center stage.

“Nopony knows Princess Celestia’s real age, but our next act is determined to find out! Let’s give a round of applause for Laughing Stock!

The stallion took a deep breath and stepped on to the stage. To his surprise; there was only a polite applause. He silently began to curse Twilight for making him go through with this. As he stared out at the sea of faces he knew only two things: There were enough snotty ponies out there to justify the opening of a tissue factory, and that Twilight was going to pay. Oh yes, she was going to pay.

Grabbing the microphone in one hoof, he smiled and began his act.

“Wow, it’s great to be back in my hometown of Canterlot!” The black earth pony moved around on stage, trying to get a feel for the audience.

“A few weeks back, I found my ex marefriend cheating on me, I wasn’t very surprised though. I mean, have you ever seen an unattractive stallion with an extremely attractive mare?”

A few of the audience members responded with “NO!”

“Exactly, that’s why I wasn’t surprised when I found out.”

There was some laughter scattered throughout the room, but not enough to keep this stallion satisfied. This crowd was proving to be a tough nut to crack, but he wasn’t going down without a fight. If they weren’t going to laugh at him, he was going to laugh at them. He scanned the crowd looking for a victim; his eyes found a gray unicorn looking extremely bored.

Laughing Stock made his way into the audience so he could interact with this pony.

“Excuse me sir, what is your name?”

The stallion said his name was Jet Set.

“Jet Set huh? So Mr. Jet Set, What do you do?”

Jet Set replied that he was a very important pony in the Canterlot social community.

“You’re a socialite? Let me ask you, how would I become a socialite?”

Both Jet Set and his wife glanced at each other and laughed. “You? A socialite?”

“From my experiences with socialites, all I need is a lot of money, a pretentious attitude and a tennis sweater.”

The now uncomfortable couple scoffed at the comedian. They were not amused and wanted Laughing Stock to stop bothering them.

“All I need is the money and attitude? The sweater is optional? Do you even play tennis? Because I have to be honest, you look like a badminton type of pony from where I’m standing.

The audience ate it up. Whether it was because they thought it was funny, or they hated Jet Set, he wasn’t sure. He looked around for a new target, and found one in a pony who started this whole mess to begin with, all because he asked Laughing Stock to perform at his party many weeks ago.

“Hey Fancypants! Glad to see you! I owe you an apology; see I was supposed to perform at your birthday a few weeks back. Unfortunately, due to a personal problem I had to miss it. But now that you are finally seeing my act live, I bet you’re glad I didn’t show up after all.”

Fancypants started to chuckle and nodded his head, luckily he was a good sport. Laughing Stock was going to a little easier on this one.

“Seriously though Fancypant’s, I can’t get over how much money you have. Is that how you manage to hold on to that hot mare sitting next to you? Excuse me ma’am, what’s your name?

The mare said her name was Fleur.

“So Fleur, how did Fanypants get his hoofs on you? I bet he told you he was taller when he is sitting on his massive pile of money, right?”

The mare nodded as she laughed along with everypony else.

So far so good, I may actually pull this off, the stallion thought as he continued his onslaught on

“Wait, what’s this? You don’t have a ring on your horn Fleur? Fancypant’s, you better get on that, or somepony with a bigger money pile will take her away. Luckily for you, Jet Set is married.”

Jet Set was fuming now, which only gave Laughing Stock more ammunition.

“Fancypant’s, I have one question to ask. Have you ever considered being a superhero? Seriously, you’re rich and good looking! Your parents aren’t dead, are they?”

Fancypant’s shook his head side to side.

“That’s too bad, but you meet two out of the three qualifications to becoming a superhero. The only problem with being a superhero in Canterlot is the lack of crime. The only criminal activity I’ve seen in town the past few days is the outfit Jet Set’s wife is wearing. Talk about a crime against fashion.”

The audience was very active now; Laughing Stock was very pleased with himself. Walking back to the stage, he decided to get a little wild. He looked up to his right and saw the princess sitting in her private box with her most faithful student.

“Let’s have another round of applause for the princess!”

The princess smiled and acknowledged the comedian with a nod.

“I just wanted the opportunity to thank you giving me the opportunity to perform at your party. I’m sure you are starting to regret it a tiny bit, but trust me in about a half an hour, you are REALLY going to regret it.”

“So your majesty, how does feel to be another year older? A certain purple unicorn told me you are over a thousand year old, but I refuse to believe it. You don’t look a day over eight hundred fifty.”

The princess was great sport and had started laughing at herself. This made everypony else more comfortable with laughing. The comedian took a small breath and continued to talk with the princess.

“One thing I don’t understand, why you make the raising the sun sound so difficult? The only reason you are able to lift it in the first place, is because Buck Norris lets you.”

Laughing Stock turned his attention from the princess to the audience. “That one was for you Rainbow Dash.”

Laughing Stock heard a voice from the back scream “I knew you’d tell one eventually!”

He looked to his left and saw Vinyl Scratch at the side of the stage. She mouthed the words “you’re doing great!”

“Hey guys, can we have a round of applause for DJ PON-3?”

The crowd granted his wished and went wild for his best friend.

“Little known fact: The DJ and I go way back. We first met while working on the independent scene together, but she went by a different name back then.”

Laughing Stock paused for a moment and let anticipation build. He peeked at Vinyl Scratch, who was standing at the side of the stage. She had no idea what the stallion was planning on saying, but she had a feeling she would love it.

“She went by DJ Drum Machine.”

Vinyl’s howls of laughter joined the rest of the audiences as they went crackers. The stallion knew his time was almost up, so he decided to serve the main course: A cold dish of revenge.

“Everypony, I would like to call your attention to the princess’s private box.”

Laughing Stock paused a moment while the audience shifted their attention to the small section that protruded out from the wall.

“Tonight wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the purple unicorn up there, the best marefriend in the world, Twilight Sparkle. Take a bow Twilight.”

Twilight stood up and hastily bent over as the spotlight left the comedian for the first time during the show to focus on the mare.

“No sweetheart, that isn’t what I meant, come down to the stage and take a bow.”

The unicorn refused.

“You know for being Celestia’s star pupil you would think this girl would know how to properly address a crowd. Are you sure you don’t want to come down here?”

Twilight didn’t budge an inch.

“Ok fine, I will have to get you down here the hard way. Princess Celestia, if you wouldn’t mind.”

The princess nodded and apologized to Twilight as she used her magic to move the mare down to the stage, right alongside her stallion. Laughing Stock wrapped a hoof around her for two reasons: To show the audience that that she really was his marefriend and he really loved her. The other was to prevent her from escaping; she got him into this mess, so she had to suffer the consequences.

“I met this beautiful creature on a train heading towards Ponyville after I caught my ex cheating on me.”

Laughing Stock turned his head and looked into the eyes of the pony he loved.

“I had no money and no place to stay, but she took me into her home anyway. In my case, it was love at first sight. But for her, I’m sure it was something along the lines of taking in a stray animal.”

“Not only did she show me that my life was actually worth something, she showed me the magic of friendship and most importantly, the magic of true love.

Laughing Stock leaned in and kissed the mare of his dreams, and hundreds of people cheered, clapped and provided cat calls. As the two ponies broke the passionate moment, Laughing Stock started to grin.

“But just because I love you, doesn’t mean you won’t feel my comedic wrath!”

Twilight’s dreamy love filled eyes suddenly showed a glimmer of fear.

“I’m not going to lie; I was extremely nervous about doing this event, because I am with such important company. We have the birthday mare Princess Celestia, and the most important audience members here tonight, Jet Set and his wife. Anyway, at first I was terrified to be out here, but Twilight assured me that I would have a good time, and as usual she’s right. She’s always right because she is so much smarter than I am, which isn’t a big accomplishment by the way.”

“So for those of you who do not know Twilight Sparkle, she is Celestia’s personal student and has saved Equestria, twice! Her brother is the captain of the royal guard, who married Princess Cadence. Sounds like this family is destined to be the greatest family in existence... With all this great potential she ended up falling for a dead beat comedian? Looks like someponies standards aren’t as high as we thought.”

Laughing Stock took a moment to look down at Twilight who seemed to be having a good time, despite being held on stage against her will. The stallion knew he was blessed to have such an amazing pony by his side.

“You would think that having a super smart marefriend would have no downside, but sometimes she is too smart. This mare can sometimes be a handful because she can never be wrong, but it works out great because I am never right.”

“When I first started seeing this mare I thought I was in a love triangle, between her, and her work. This mare is so organized I can’t go out on a date without her having to read of a check list that is planned out MINUTE BY MINUTE. Did you know that she made me walk around the house once because I showed up too early?”

The stallion’s time was up; he saw the signal from the side of the stage. He pulled Twilight closer to him and once again looked her in the eye.

“Despite everything I have said about her this evening, it doesn’t matter. I love her, and if that means I have to put up with her crazy antics, so be it.”

The audience stood up and began to applaud for the young couple on stage. Laughing Stock took a bow at center stage with Twilight. As the two ponies exited the stage, Twilight was ecstatically wrapped her front legs around his neck.

“YOU DID IT!” Twilight was so proud of her stallion, she couldn’t keep herself composed. “YOU WERE FANTASTIC! I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!”

Laughing Stock thanked Twilight for believing in him, even when he didn’t. He told her to find her friends and bring them to his dressing room; a night on the town was in order. She agreed, and the two ponies went their separate ways. In the peace and quiet of his dressing room, Laughing Stock thought about the show he just performed without a doubt, was the best show of his career. After a few minutes of personal reflection, there was a knock at the door. After opening the door, he wished he hadn’t, because standing in the threshold was Slick and Ruby.

“I have to say, you really surprised me tonight” Slick said as he entered Laughing Stock’s dressing room. “Except for all that romantic stuff, this was your best show yet. You’re finally going to be the star I always knew you could be.”

“I’m done with you, Slick.” Laughing Stock was tired of being pushed around; he wasn’t going to be Slick’s puppet anymore. “I want to move on with my life, I want to go back to Ponyville with Twilight and her friends.”

“Ponyville? Is that where you have been the past few weeks?” Slick was busy fixing his mane in the vanity mirror. “You will see your friends in Ponyville again, as long as it is a stop on our next tour.”

“I am not going on tour” Laughing Stock spun the chair Slick was sitting in around so he could look him in the eye.

“Yes you are, the contract gives me total control over your career.” Slick shoved the evil document in Laughing Stocks face. “We can do things the easy way or the hard way.”

Laughing Stock had enough. As Slick put the piece of paper away, he spit in his face.

Slick was surprised at first, he wasn’t sure what happened. After wiping his face, he began to laugh as he pinned Laughing Stock against the wall, one of his forehooves was applying pressure to his throat.

“I see you have picked the hard way, which is fine with me.”

Laughing Stock tried to escape his predicament, but Slick was just too strong. Suddenly, a light purple aura surrounded Slick. Moments later, he was hurled across the room. Twilight had interrupted the shakedown, and the gutsy purple unicorn ran to her stallion’s aid.

After being helped to his hooves, Laughing Stock moved in between Slick and Twilight. He wanted the violence to stop.

“Let me see the contract!” Twilight knew enough about Equestria contract law to know that every contract has a way it can be voided.

Slick gave Twilight the contract and the mare began to read it. Laughing Stock tried the diplomatic approach, hoping to appeal to Slick’s businesspony side.

“Look, what if I buy myself out of the contract” Laughing Stock suggested. “I will give you every bit I have in my possession.”

Slick contemplated the offer for a moment, but shook his head side to side.

“The way I see it, I could make a few hundred bits if I allow you to buy yourself out, or I can make thousands taking you on tour. Which one do you think I would rather have?” Slick changed the focus of this gaze from Laughing Stock to Twilight. “Of course, I’d be willing to take a trade.”

“What do you mean, “A trade?”?” Laughing Stock didn’t like where this was going.

“I have always been jealous of your ability to attract beautiful mares” Slick confessed. “This Twilight Sparkle is quite attractive if I do say so myself…” He began to run his hoof under her chin.

Laughing Stock lost all control as he lunged at Slick, but Twilight’s magic prevented him from moving an inch.

“It’s alright Laughing Stock” Twilight said as she brought the stallion back to her side. “I found a way out of this contract.”

“You’re lying.” Slick scoffed at the purple unicorn’s ignorance. “There are no loop holes anywhere on the document.”

Twilight nodded in agreement. “This contract was written very well, it is airtight in fact. We are ending the contract through the satisfaction clause.”

“What satisfaction clause?” Both Slick and Laughing Stock were confused. The comedian didn’t remember a reading a satisfaction clause. Granted, he didn’t read it the contract at all when he signed it, but a satisfaction clause sounded like something he would have noticed.

Twilight began to read the clause:

If one of the contractual parties does not satisfy the expectations that have been set for him, the party member whose expectations are not met has the option of voiding the contract.

“Oh, that satisfaction clause” Slick wiped his brow, and took a breath. “I put that in there in case I found a talent that was better than this comedian here. If I found somepony who would make me more money, I could dump him and bring on the new talent.”

“Hmm, that’s funny” Twilight remarked. “I don’t see any mention of this clause applying to Slick only, but I do see the term contractual parties, which would include Laughing Stock.”

“Would you make your point?” Slick was getting progressively angry, he wanted to take his golden egg laying goose that was Laughing Stock and get out of town.

“If Laughing Stock is considered a contractual party and he feels that you aren’t being a good agent, he has the right to void the contract.” Twilight then turned to Laughing Stock. “Are you satisfied with Slick’s performance as of late?”

Laughing Stock grinned, “Hay no!”

“Then I deem this contract void.” Twilight happily ripped the contract in half, letting the pieces slowly fall to the floor. Slick was not about to let Laughing Stock get away that easily. He charged at the happy couple.

Laughing Stock jumped in front of his mare and pushed her out of the way. He waited a few moments for the collision, but it never happened. He opened his eyes to see Slick hog tied to the floor and Applejack with a hoof on his chest.

“If I ever see ya’ll even lookin’ at those two over there inappropriately, I will show you how we settle disagreements on the farm.”

Slick started begging for forgiveness and pleaded to be let go, but the girls had other plans. Rarity lifted him up with her magic and placed him in a trash can Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash found outside. After placing Slick inside, Pinkie slammed the lid down on the stallion and the two pegasus went to put it back where they found it.

“Thanks guys, I owe you one” Laughing Stock said as he took a seat. Between the performance and putting up with his now former agent, it wore him out. After only a moment’s rest, he felt a tap on the shoulder. It was Ruby; he forgot she was here during all the excitement.

The Ponyville mare’s were preparing for another fight, but Laughing Stock told them to relax. To everypony’s surprise, he opened his arms to his ex marefriend.

“Are you ok?”

“Laughing Stock! I am so sorry for the way I treated you!” Ruby began to sob as she buried her face in his shoulder. “Slick came over that morning and one thing led to another. I am so sorry.”

Laughing Stock consoled the distraught mare. He told her she wouldn’t have to worry about Slick anymore.

“I suppose this means we are still through?” Ruby looked at the stallion, but he was busy looking at Twilight who gave him a small smile.”

“I’m sorry Ruby, but we are still through.” Laughing Stock told the mare he forgave her, but he had moved on. He told her that she had the opportunity to make another stallion a very happy pony. “I still want to be friends. If you ever need anything, look me up in Ponyville.”

Ruby started to walk out of the room, but stopped when she was face to face with Twilight.

“That stallion over there is one of a kind” Ruby said as she pointed at Laughing Stock. “Don’t make the same mistake I did, hold on to him and never let go.”

To everypony’s surprise, Twilight embraced the mare and agreed with everything she said. “Don’t you worry, Laughing Stock isn’t going anywhere.”

Once Ruby had left, Laughing Stock told his friends he was ready to party.

“Let’s go out and celebrate! It’s my treat of course!”

Five of the six mares in the room left, but Twilight remained. She gave her stallion a kiss and asked where he planned on taking them at this time of night. Laughing Stock remembered what she told him upon entering Ponyville for the first time.

“It’s late if you’re in Ponyville, but Canterlot is a different story.”


“Hey Laughing Stock, Ditzy just delivered the mail. You have some more gig requests.”

Laughing Stock groaned. It had been a month since the princess’ birthday. When word of his performance got out, his popularity had skyrocketed. Everypony and their mother wanted Laughing Stock to host their award show, tell jokes at their charity event, or attend their party.

Twilight opened one of the letters, “You have been asked to host the Equestria Music Awards, interested?”

“Is Vinyl Scratch nominated for an award?”

Twilight scanned the rest of the letter, looking to see if Vinyl Scratches’ name was mentioned.

“Nope, sorry.”

“What about the Black Veil Bridles or Iron Maneden?”

“No” Twilight answered as she finished the letter.

“Then I am not interested.” Laughing Stock said as he kissed Twilight on the forehead. “I’m on my way to Sugarcube Corner, you coming to see the show?”

“Of course, I haven’t missed one of your shows yet, why start now?” Twilight teased.

Laughing Stock left the library and thought about everything that had happened since the princess’s birthday. He officially made the move to Ponyville and was living with Twilight in the library. Mr. and Mrs. Cake approached him about performing the bakery a couple times a week, and to everypony’s surprise, he accepted on the condition that he only received enough money to live on.

“If I wanted to be rich, I would go on tour” he claimed as the Cakes agreed to his terms before he changed his mind. His decision to perform at Sugarcube Corner not only helped the bakery, but the whole town’s economy boomed. Ponies from all over Equestria started coming to Ponyville to see the comedian, but it still remained a small sleepy town that closed around nine o’clock at night.

After entering the back door of the bakery and started preparing for his show, a waitress who worked at the bakery came up to the stallion.

“Hey Laughing Stock” she said. “A foal in the audience threw up; if you see the janitor, let him know.

“Alright, I will let him know, thanks Ruby.”

A few weeks after the party, Ruby came to Ponyville and asked Twilight for help reestablishing her life. The two ponies were able to find her a job at Sugarcube Corner as a waitress during the shows, and she couldn’t be happier.

Laughing Stock found the janitor, looking in the closet for something. “Hey, somepony threw up out there. You’re up, Slick.”

“I used to be somepony!”Slick emerged from the closet glaring at Laughing Stock. His career as an agent was over, after Laughing Stock spread the word about how he managed his talent. He came crawling to Ponyville, and begged his former friend for help. Laughing Stock got him a job at the bakery as well, but his job wasn’t as glamorous as Ruby’s.”

“Hey, listen you still are somepony” Laughing Stock said as he placed one of his front legs around Slick’s neck. “You’re the somepony who cleans up vomit and tidies the bathrooms.”

Laughing Stock watched his open act finish his routine from the side of the stage. Another agreement Laughing Stock made with the Cakes is that they would only hire entertainers from the independent circuit to open for him. The entertainment community had given him so much, so he decided to help the entertainers of tomorrow by giving them an opportunity to shine.

The opening act, which happened to be a young up and coming comedian left the stage and walked by Laughing Stock.

“Nice set.” Laughing Stock said as the colt turned around. “In a few years, you’re going to be giving me a run for my money.”

“No way, you’re way funnier than I am” The colt said in amazement. “I hope to be famous like you one day!”

Laughing Stock heard the crowd chant his name, so he made his way to the stage, but not before giving the young comedian a word of advice.

“Being famous is great, but having friends is even better. When you are famous, everypony will say they are your friend, but if they hang around after you have hit rock bottom, that is when you know they are true friends.”

The moment Laughing Stock entered the spotlight, he felt a calming sensation wash over him. He had a steady job, a lot of great friends, and most importantly a mare that loved him and supported him in everything he did…except when he made fun of her on stage.

A/N: Thank you for reading! I think it turned out very well for my first work of fiction. I have learned a lot in the process, and hope to apply what I have learned to my future stories. I appreciate the individuals who left comments, followed the story, or decided to give me a watch! Your input is always appreciated, and it helped keep me motivated during the writing process.

A very special thanks to HoovesLikeJagger for the cover art! I'm sure most of you wouldn't have stumbled across this story with out that awesome black and red earth pony staring at you!

The BIGGEST thanks goes to wildberk! If it wasn't for his editing, this story would have the word "as" at least 1500 more times...and it would not be as enjoyable.