The next morning, Laughing Stock awoke with his back against the bathtub. Rubbing his eyes, he struggled to remember why he fell asleep in the bathroom in the first place. He instinctively looked at the toilet, and suddenly remembered.
Amazing…even when passed out on a toilet seat , she is still beautiful.
The stallion carefully wiped his girlfriends face off with a cool washcloth, and carried her to a proper bed. He stood in the doorway for a moment, marveling at the fact such a small pony could snore so loud. His stomach began to grumble, so he made his way downstairs.
“Good morning, Laughing Stock! How is Twilight doing?”
“She is fine, Princess Celestia. I cleaned her up a bit, moved her from the bathroom and tucked her in.”
“Well isn't that sweet! If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.”
Laughing Stock smiled as he poured himself a glass of juice. He took a sit across from the white alicorn, who was reading over the morning paper.
“How are things between you and Shining Armor?”
“Pretty good. He hasn’t threatened to hurt me or anything, so I take that as a good sign.”
Princess Celestia nodded in agreement.
“Has he given you permission yet?”
“Well…” Laughing Stock glanced toward the staircase. The last thing he needed was Twilight interrupting them.
“No, he hasn’t.”
“Well, Hearth’s Warming Eve is two days away...”
“I know. I just need another moment alone with him.”
“Well, today is your lucky day then” the princess added, taking the breakfast dishes to the sink. “As a way to apologize for getting everypony drunk last night, I am going to be taking the girls into town to get their hooves and manes done. That should leave you with plenty of time alone with Shining Armor.”
“That is so nice of you princess, treating everypony to a spa day is very generous.”
A sly grin spread across the face of the mighty ruler.
“Especially since every salon in Equestria provides my friends and I with free treatments.”
“When I said I wanted to hang out, Shining Armor, I didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to go on an adventure.”
After the mare’s departure, the royal guard suggested going on a journey into the forest. Begrudgingly Laughing Stock agreed. After an hour, the two were miles away from the cabin.
“Oh come now Laughing Stock, this is the life!” The unicorn proudly stood on a rock overlooking a small valley. “As stallions, our significant others are view us as rugged, fearless and tough! Now we get to see for ourselves if we posses those qualities.”
“I really hope Luna didn’t eat the last cheese danish… I’m going to be very upset if she did.”
Continuing their journey, the ponies stumbled upon an abandoned cabin. Shining Armor was ecstatic about exploring the condemned building, the comedian was not so eager.
“Come on!” The guard pleaded to his friend. “You were complaining about being hungry earlier…I’ll give you a snack!”
“A snack? What kind of snack are we talking here?”
Using his magic, the guard pulled out a package of biscuits from his saddlebag.
“I’ll give you a biscuit. That should hold you over until dinner.”
“One biscuit? You’re going to do much better than that.”
“Better, but not quite there yet.”
“Will you go into the spooky cabin for a box of biscuits?
A box of biscuits later, the two stallions made their way into the decrepit building. Shining Armor’s face was aglow with colt like curiosity, while Laughing Stocks face was covered with crumbs.
“Dow munch wonger dar web gunna be her?”
“You think you could not talk with your mouth full?”
The comedian swallowed the last bit of food he had in his mouth before attempting to speak again.
“I asked how much longer do we have to be here. I want to go home.”
“Oh relax, nothing in here is going to hurt you.”
“Are you sure? This place looks like a breeding ground for mold, not to mention the foundation of this place could collapse under our feet…”
The unicorn raised an eyebrow at his companion.
“What? We all have our hobbies…I happen to be quite fond of real estate.”
The ponies continued to look through every nook and cranny. Laughing Stock couldn’t shake the story Twilight told around the fire the other night. Shining Armor could see the earthpony seemed nervous.
“Are you ok?”
“I don’t remember Twiley telling ghost stories…where was I?”
“You were providing your wife with night terrors.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nothing, nothing. By the way, if we ever get back to the cabin, you and Cadance need to have a talk with Luna.”
On the eastern corner of the building, Laughing Stock noticed a wooden dresser standing untouched. He walked up to the piece of furniture and examined it closely.
“Do you see something Laughing Stock?”
“There is something about that chifferobe…”
For the second time today, the unicorn raised an eyebrow at his companion.
“You know, a chifferobe!”
“If I knew what a chifferobe was, I wouldn’t have said chiffe-what.”
“Good point. It’s a piece of furniture that looks very similar to a closet.”
“Can’t you just say closet?”
“I could, but that happens to be another hobby of mine.”
“What is another hobby of yours? Hanging around closets?”
“What? NO! My other hobby is learning alternative names for furniture, so I can use them in everyday conversation and confuse everypony.”
“That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Whatever…I’ll be done in a minute. In the mean time, wait by the davenport.”
The comedian left a very perplexed captain and placed a hoof on the knob. Something about this fixture seemed eerie, but he decided to take a look inside anyway. Taking a deep breath, he jerked the knob to the right and leaped to the side, just in case something was waiting inside.
“Congratulations” a sarcastic Shining Armor said, tapping his foot on the warped wooden floor. “You are scared of a silver bell.”
“Chifferobe…” the embarrassed stallion muttered. Staring at the silver bell on the floor, he shook his head.
Twilight’s story has me all worked up. I mean, lots of abandoned cabins in the middle of the snow filled woods have silver bells in them...right? I just have to rela-
Before he could finish his thought, the shutters and front door slammed shut and locked with an audible click. The frightened earth pony sprinted to the door, twisting the knob as hard as he could, hoping to get it open. Shining Armor didn’t understand the reason for the comedian’s panicked state.
“What is your problem?”
“We’re all going to DIE! First the gypsy sisters are going to come, and then a creature is going to rip us apart!”
The soldier started to share the entertainer’s sense of urgency.
“We have to get out of here! I’ll work on the windows, while you work on the door!”
Laughing Stock ran back to the entrance and began to buck the heavy oak barrier, but it wasn’t budging.
“It’s no use!”
“Try tackling the door!”
The earthpony took a few steps back, and slammed his body against the door.
“It didn’t work!”
“Try it again!”
For the second time, he threw himself into the entrance.
“It useless, the door is too strong!”
Pulling at the shutters, the unicorn suggested one last tackle.
“The third time’s the charm!”
Taking a running start from the other side of the room, Laughing Stock approached the door at full gallop. He dove at the door with everything he had, but to his surprise, the door flew open. The stallion sailed through the threshold, into the snow.
“Shining Armor! The door is open, get out now!”
The guard carelessly strolled though the threshold with a massive smile on his face.
“Revenge is a dish best served cold…and from where I am standing, you look pretty cold.”
The comedian lifted his head up from the snow.
“Revenge for what?”
“Remember our first day here? When we were gathering wood, you told me Twilight likes to dress like a librarian when she…”
“Why are you bringing it up?
“I wanted to get you back. The story Twiley told you was one our father told us when we were younger, she told me yesterday that it scared you to death. When I saw the cabin, I just had the idea.”
The unicorn leisurely walked to the snow covered pony, dropped to one knee and smiled.
“How’s that for being spontaneous?”
“Not bad. I should have seen it coming, but you pulled it off flawlessly. How did you manage to lock everything at the same time?”
The prankster pointed at his horn.
“Oh right…magic. What about the bell?”
“I thought you put it in the...chifferobe.”
Taking a moment to shake the remaining snow off his body, Laughing Stock suggested heading back to the cabin to avoid getting ripped apart, and to see the mares.
“What’s the hurry? We have the rest of this wilderness to explore!”
“I’ve had enough exploration for one day…plus I want to see Twilight.”
“You really love her, don’t you?”
“Of course! I love her more than anything…except maybe sweet rolls and hot springs. She is definitely in the top three.”
“Can we stop for a minute?” The white unicorn took a seat on a stump, so he looked the other stallion in the eye.
“That day in Canterlot, when you first told me your intentions with my sister, I thought I was doing what was best for her. I believed that I was protecting her from heartbreak, which is probably the most painful things a pony can go through.”
The comedian thought about all the things that could were probably more painful than heartbreak. Being attacked by a shark topped his list, but Shining Armor looked like he meant business, so he remained silent.
“I now realize I wouldn’t be protecting her by keeping you two apart. In reality, I would be the one hurting her.”
The earthpony felt the unicorns hoof on his shoulder.
“I give you permission to marry Twilight.”
Without thinking, Laughing Stock threw his arms around his future brother in law.
“Thank you so much Shining Armor! You have no idea how happy I am right now!”
The solder, who wasn’t used to this kind of affection from other stallions, returned the gesture with an awkward pat on the back.
“Laughing Stock, how much longer is this hug supposed to last?”
“I am not sure to be honest. I haven’t hugged a lot of stallions in my time.”
“I think five minutes is long enough…”
“You two are absolutely filthy, where have you been?”
Princess Celestia stopped the stallions when they reached the entrance way.
“Aw, come on Celley! We wiped our hooves first!”
The princess shot the comedian a glare.
“Uh…We’ll use the hose outside. Sorry about the disrespect, your majesty.
Celestia returned to her seat next to Twilight Sparkle, her book lay open on the table in front of them.
“Princess, can you think of anything I can add to my book to make it more personal?”
“I’m sorry Twilight, I am not sure I can be much help. You have done a marvelous job already! I feel like this will take Equestria by storm!
“That means so much coming from you, Princess!”
Cadance descended from the stairs, asking what the two mares are at the table were doing.
“The princess is helping me with my book. Would you like to help as well, Cadance?”
“Sure! I’ve always been quite fond of reading.”
Her aunt placed her hooves over her face, stifling her laughter.
“Something funny, Auntie?”
“Just the thought of you liking books.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What’s the last book you read?”
Cadance muttered something, so her aunt asked her to speak up.
“50 Shades of Mane.”
“I see...so you basically read pornography.”
“Yes, I read ‘pornography’ Auntie. It's better than the things you keep in your top drawer.”
“How do you...”
“You should make sure you lock your chamber doors when you’re not home...a young filly gets curious.”
“Ok, I admit it, I’m not ashamed. I’m actually surprised you know how to read.”
“Are you insinuating that I'm dumb?”
The ruler of Equestria brought her front hooves together in a sarcastic manner.
“Very good Cadnace, insinuating is a five syllable word. I’m impressed. From what I remember, you had all the naive colts doing your homework for you.”
Twilight knew where this was going.
“So Laughing Stock told me the funniest joke the other day! What do you get when you cross two small numbers?”
After thinking for a moment, Celestia made a guess.
“Cadance’s grade point average?”
Before the pink alicorn could fire back, the window closest to the mares exploded, sending glass all over the room. The three mares looked out the window and saw Laughing Stock and Shining Armor standing on the other side, looking guilty.
“What were you two doing?” Princess Celestia exploded, channeling her anger away from her niece, to the stallions. “You were supposed to be washing the mud of your coats!”
“Well it started out that way princess...” Laughing Stock stammered.
“...Then we kind of got carried away” Shining Armor finished.
The princess sighed as her horn began to glow. A golden aura surrounded the various pieces of the window as Princess Celestia repaired the window.
“Lets just eat dinner and go to bed...it's been a day.”
“Just like an old gray mare” Candance whispered to Twilight. “Early bird special and off to bed before the sun sets...I wonder what that's like.”
“Keep it up young filly and you won’t live long enough to find out. ”
Dinner had concluded with out any further incidents. After the dishes were washed and put away, Laughing Stock pulled Princess Celestia aside.
“I got it Princess!”
“What do you mean?”
“Shining Armor gave me permission!”
Princess Celestia smiled as she gave the groom to be a hug.
“I am so proud of you. You stuck with what you felt in your heart, even though the odds were against you.”
“For Twilight, I would do just about anything.”
When the hug with Princess Celestia concluded, the comedian left to tell Cadance the good news.
“Cadance, Shining Armor said yes!”
The young princess squealed with delight as she embraced her friend.
“My little Twiley is getting married! I can’t wait for the wedding!
The stallion was so excited about the news, he was ready to share it with anypony. With out thinking, he ran into the room he was staying in.
“Twilight, Shining Armor said yes!”
Once he realized what he had done, he became motionless. His front legs were outstretched, a smile across his face, but he was mentally kicking himself.
I can’t believe I just did that...
Twilight was very confused, which wasn’t out of the ordinary when she was dealing with her boyfriend.
“What did he say yes to?”
“To joining me in the...hot spring...again!”
The lavender unicorn shook her head.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would say you two had something going on behind my back...”
Laughing Stock chuckled nervously.
“What? Your brother and I doing stuff with out your knowledge? You’re crazy...you crazy mare you...”
Leaving the room, he had one more pony to tell. He looked for Princess Luna, but she was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes, he called off his search for the princess of the night in favor of the soak in the springs.
“Hey Shining Armor, want to go to the springs again?”
“Again? I think you like spending time in the spring with me a little too much...”
The earthpony explained how he almost gave away his plans to Twilight, and the spring was his cover.
“I see. Well, I suppose I can join you for a a little bit. Can I meet you there in twenty minutes?”
Laughing Stock thought it would be fine, and left for the spring. On his way to the cave, he noticed the night sky was a lot brighter than usual.
Wow, I have never seen the stars so bright! Luna must be in a good mood.
Making it to the cave in record time, he submersed himself into the tranquil water. Placing his head on the edge of the spring, the stallion closed his eyes.
“Hello Laughing Stock, may we accompany thou?”
He opened one eye to see Luna standing near the water.
“Of course Luna, you have no need to ask!”
Luna slid into the water carefully to avoid getting her mane wet.
“I noticed that the night sky very bright tonight.”
“Yes it is. We wanted our sky to be extra special for this evening.”
“Oh, you heard the great news!”
“No, what is this news?”
“Shining Armor finally gave me permission to marry Twilight!”
Luna smiled and congratulated the pony, but she continued to act strange. After the small talk had died down, the comedian placed his head back and closed his eyes once more. He tried to allow his body to relax, but something was different this time. He carefully opened an eye, only to see a giant pair of cyan eyes staring at him.
“LUNA! What are you doing!? You scared me half to death.”
“We are sorry for startling thou...does thee have a minute to converse with us?
“Sure Luna, what’s on your mind?”
“We appreciate all the things thou has done for us.”
“...What have I done for you?”
“Thou has treated us like a princess. A large number of our subjects still believe we are a creature of evil, but not thou.”
“I try to see the good in everypony, Luna.”
“We understand, but it’s been so long since we have been treated with such kindness and respect.”
In one quick movement, Luna grabbed the unsuspecting stallions mane and pulled it back. She kissed him with all the passion she could muster. After breaking the kiss, the princess of the night continued to stare at the shocked pony.
“We love you, Laughing Stock.”