• Published 4th Jun 2012
  • 4,777 Views, 142 Comments

What is Fame without Friendship? - Rabuiods

A stallion goes to Ponyville to try and find himself and save his career.

  • ...

Chapter 2: There are No Secrets in Ponyville

“So what do you think of our town” Twilight asked as she escorted Laughing Stock from the train station.

“I’m not quite sure to be honest” he admitted as he looked all around him. “I always heard Ponyville wasn’t anything special, but I am pleasantly surprised. Ponyville sure looks like it could be a fun place.”

“Well, I am glad you like it” Twilight said beaming. “I can’t wait to show you around tomorrow, you are going to have so much fun!”

“Why can’t we look around now” a curious Laughing Stock asked. “It’s not that late.”

“It’s not late if you’re in Canterlot, but Ponyville is a different story” Twilight giggled.

As Laughing Stock took a moment to study his surroundings, he noticed that everything was very dark. The stores, the houses, even the streets were nearly pitch black. After visiting many cities while on tour, he became accustomed to places being open twenty four hours a day. Small town life was going to take some getting used to if he intended to stay in Ponyville for a while.

“Well, we’re home!” Twilight announced as they came to a stop in front of a tree.

Upon further inspection, Laughing Stock took note that this tree had a front door, windows and numerous balconies.

“So, you live in a tree…house,” Laughing Stock asked as she opened the front door and let him inside.

“No, I-“Twilight started to say, but then she thought about Laughing Stocks' question.

“Well, I guess I do live in a tree house. I never really thought of it that way” she said laughing.

Looking around, he saw nothing but shelves and shelves of books. He had never seen so many books in his life.

“Wow, you have enough books in your house to open up your own bookstore” he marveled.

“Yeah, but the city would be probably angry if I sold the contents of their library” Twilight said with a grin.

Laughing Stock suddenly became very confused.

“Wait, you live in the Ponyville library?” he asked, wanting to make sure he understood everything.

“Yes, is there something wrong with that?” Twilight was now the one who was confused. She wasn’t sure if there was a joke coming or he seriously thought there was something wrong with living in the library.

“No, there is nothing wrong with it. I actually think that is really cool” Laughing Stock replied.

Twilight let out a small sigh of relief.

“Well, it is getting pretty late. I should probably get your bed ready,” she said as she led him to the spare room.

When Laughing Stock entered the room, all he saw was more books. There wasn’t a bed or any other items that indicated this was a spare bedroom.

“Don’t worry; you won’t be sleeping on the floor. Just give me a moment” Twilight said very reassuringly.

Suddenly, her horn began to glow white and fill the room with light. Then, without warning, a loud pop erupted, nearly knocking him down. When he was finally able to open his eyes, he noticed a bed, right in the middle of the room.

“How…the bed…what’s going on?” Laughing Stock had difficulty speaking, mostly because the light and loud pop had acted like a concussion grenade.

“What’s the matter, haven’t you ever seen a unicorn use magic before?”

“I see unicorns use magic all the time, but I thought they only used magic to help with things that are associated with their special gift.” A stunned Laughing Stock said, still trying to piece together what exactly happened.

“That is true, more or less,” she answered.

“So that’s your special gift? You’re a carpenter?” Laughing Stock joked as climbed into bed.

“No, my special gift is magic in general.” Twilight explained as she suddenly began to see why there was so much confusion regarding the bed situation.

“Oh…I knew that,” Laughing Stock muttered as he began to blush. He didn’t think this situation could get any worse.

“I always thought my cutie mark displayed that I was good with magic” a curious Twilight Sparkle stated. “If you don’t mind me asking, what did you think my cutie mark was when you first saw it?”

And just like that, the situation did indeed get worse.

Laughing Stock looked into the eyes of the mare that stood in front of him. He desperately wanted to think of something that wasn’t the actual truth, but nothing reasonable came to mind. He suddenly thought back to the most embarrassing moment in his life.

While on stage in front of thousands of people, he got lost in the lights, got wrapped in the microphone cord and fell into the orchestra pit. He would give anything he owned to be in that situation again, instead of this library, with this one mare.

“Fireworks” Laughing Stock said as he decided to tell her the truth.

“Excuse me, I didn’t catch that,” Twilight replied.

“I thought your cutie mark had something to do with fireworks. Whether you made them, or put on shows, I wasn’t quite sure,” he said while he hid under the covers. He couldn’t look at her anymore. He was too humiliated.

After he thought the situation had officially escalated into the worst possible scenario, he heard her start to giggle outside the safety of his blanket.

He was wrong. The situation had now escalated into the worst possible scenario.

“It does look like a firework,” Twilight giggled. “You are too much Laughing Stock. I am so glad I offered you my spare room; I am already having a blast! Good Night.”

As she left the room, Laughing Stock poked his head out from under the covers. There was something about that mare, but he couldn’t place his hoof on it. He never felt this way about another pony, even his ex marefriend. He had no idea what the feeling was, but he figured he could think about it in the morning.

Laughing Stock was awake early the next day. He couldn’t stop thinking about everything that happened to him in the past twenty-four hours, so sleep was the last thing on his mind. As he looked up and counted all the different grains of wood in the ceiling, he heard his stomach rumble. It was at this point he realized it had been at least a full day since he last ate.

As he walked into Twilight’s living room, he thought about raiding her kitchen for food, but as a guest in her house he thought it would be rude. Suddenly he had an idea! He would show his appreciation for Twilight by making her breakfast!

He grabbed the few bits he had and made his way out the front door and tried to find a grocery store. He saw a large stallion pulling a wagon of apples and decided to ask for directions.

“Excuse me sir, do you know where I could find the closest grocery store?”

The stallion just looked at him, unsure how to answer his question.

“You know; a big place to buy different kinds of food” Laughing Stock continued to explain.

The stallion responded with the same blank stare.

“Is there any place in this town to buy food?” Laughing Stock asked, becoming very annoyed with this whole situation. He just wanted to get the ingredients he needed to make pancakes and go back to Twilight’s tree house.”

For the first time in the conversation, the stallion spoke. He did not provide Laughing Stock with directions, however.

“Eyup” Was the only word the stallion said, before walking away with his apple cart.

What just happened? Laughing Stock asked himself.

“You have to excuse Big Macintosh, sugar cube.” A voice behind Laughing Stock called out. He turned around to see a mare, carrying her own basket of apples. “He isn’t very good with strangers. Anything I can help you with?”

“Do you know where I could find the closest grocery store?” he asked once again, hoping for a different response.

The mare stared at him the same way the stallion did a few minutes before.

“Where are you from exactly” the mare asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

“I’m from the only place in Equestria with a grocery store apparently” A sarcastic Laughing Stock answered.

The mare responded by giving him a look that implied she was not in the mood for his snarky comments.

“Look, I apologize for being smart with you. I am in a hurry for pancake supplies and I can’t find anywhere to buy food. Can you help me?” Laughing Stock pleaded, Twilight was sure to wake up soon, and if she did, the surprise would be ruined.

“Well, sure thing. Follow me, I was heading there myself” the mare smiled. She started walking towards the center of town, Laughing Stock close behind her.

“And to answer your question, I am from Canterlot.” He hoped that answering her question would extend the olive branch.

“Well shoot, no wonder why you’re askin’ bout fancy grocery stores. We have a farmers market here in Ponyville,” the mare chuckled.

The mare continued to speak as she explained what a farmers market was and how it was better than a “fancy” grocery store. Once they arrived, the mare showed Laughing Stock where he could get the ingredients he would need. As she started to make her way toward her own booth, Laughing Stock called out to her.

“Is there a place to buy flowers?”

“Sure, that booth over yonder sells flowers” the mare said pointing in the direction she was referencing. “Whatcha need flowers for, you putting them in the pancakes?”

“No. They are for somepony kind of special.” Laughing Stock grinned.

“Is this your very special somepony?” the mare replied with a grin of her own

“Well not quite, but I really like her,” he explained. “She is the most amazing mare I have ever met, but I don’t want to move things too quickly, I just met her yesterday. The flowers are more of a thank you for letting me stay at her place, along with the breakfast.”

“Well isn’t that sweet,” she said as she started to walk away. “You seem like a nice stallion, I hope things work out for you.”

As Laughing Stock turned away and bought the provisions he would need, he thought about all the advice he had been receiving from strangers lately. This kind of thing would never happen back home.

With a city the size of Canterlot, one would think that there would be a lot of people willing to help. Too bad they are all too preoccupied with how they look to ever lend a helping hoof to anyone in need.

As Laughing Stock quietly entered the library, he hoped Twilight was still sound asleep upstairs. As he silently began to unpack his purchases; he heard what sounded like hoof steps headed toward the kitchen. When he looked up, he expected to see Twilight. Instead he saw a small purple and green dragon.

“Are you Laughing Stock?” the dragon asked as he sat at the table.

“Depends who's asking” Laughing Stock responded.

“I am Spike. I am Twilight’s assistant and roommate,” the dragon stated as he extended his hand to Laughing Stock.”She left me a note saying we had a house guest.”

He accepted Spike’s hand and proceeded to introduce himself. He told Spike what he was planning on doing and asked if he would like to help with the breakfast. Spike agreed and the two began to work.

As Laughing Stock watched Spike wrestle with a stubborn bag of flour, he had some questions for the small dragon concerning Twilight. He decided being subtle was the best approach.

“Does Twilight have any stallions she is currently seeing?” Laughing Stock blurted out.

As Spike looked up from impromptu wrestling match, Laughing Stock began to wonder what happened to the subtle approach he had planned.

“Not that I know of, why?” Spike answered as he claimed victory over the bag of flour by ripping the bag open.

“Because…there are a lot of heavy looking books in here and a stallion could probably help her lift them onto the shelves.”
Laughing Stock said quickly, trying to cover up his previous question. He realized Spike was a bit preoccupied at the moment and wasn’t even paying attention to what he was saying. The bag of flour decided to extract revenge by not only emptying its contents into the mixing bowl, but all over the floor and counter as well.

“She has magic for all the heavy lifting, and that’s also why I am here,” Spike groaned as he grabbed a broom so he could clean up what was left of the all purpose monstrosity.

“Oh, that’s good to know. I didn’t want her getting hurt.” Added Laughing Stock, who began mixing the rest of the ingredients together, while Spike swept up the mess he had made.

“So how exactly do you assist Twilight?” Laughing Stock asked as he transferred the contents of the mixing bowl to the stove.

“Well, I mostly help her out with household things since she is so busy being the town’s librarian and all.” As he walked back to the closet to put the cleaning supplies away. “I am also the main line of communication between Twilight and the princess. They need to keep in constant contact while Twilight helps the Princess with her research after all.”

Much to Spike’s dismay, Laughing Stock spilled some batter on the floor after hearing Twilight and princess in the same sentence.

“Did you say princess? Twilight knows Princess Celestia?” Laughing Stock questioned as Spike retrieved the cleaning supplies he had just put away.

“Yeah, why does it matter? Is that a big deal or something?” Spike asked as he started to clean the batter off the floor.

“Spike, you need to remember that everypony in Equestria does not get to see the Princess as often as we do” Twilight reminded him as she walked down the stairs. “What are guys doing down here anyway?”

“I decided to show my thanks by making you breakfast,” Laughing Stock said as he started taking the hotcakes off the stove.
“You don’t mind, do you?”

“Of course I don’t mind!” Twilight exclaimed.

As she sat at the table, she noticed a bouquet of flowers lying next to an empty mutilated bag of flour.

“Did you forget to put these in the batter?” she asked.

“No, I didn’t forget. They are the other part of that thank you breakfast.”

“Oh, that’s so sweet! You didn’t have to do all this” Twilight said with a smile.

“Yeah, I know I didn’t have to, but I really appreciated the way you helped me on the train. I will never forget it, so I figured making you pancakes and buying you some flowers is the least I could do” Laughing Stock confessed.

As the two ponies and little dragon sat down to eat, Twilight announced their plans for the day.

“I figured that I could take you out and introduce you to all my friends, unless you were planning on heading back to Canterlot already.” she teased.

“I won’t be heading back anytime soon.” Laughing Stock grinned.

After finishing breakfast, Twilight Sparkle and Laughing Stock made their way to a place called Sweet Apple Acres, where
Twilight’s good friend Applejack lived.

They invited Spike to come along, but he had personal errands to run. Laughing Stock was secretly happy with this news; this meant he had the opportunity to be all alone with Twilight. Laughing Stock didn’t want to waste a moment alone with her, so he figured now was a great time to ask some questions.

“Spike mentioned you do research for Princess Celestia. I have to know, what are you researching?” Laughing Stock inquired.

“I am currently helping Princess Celestia research friendship.”

Laughing Stock was rather puzzled. “What do you mean friendship? Like the positive effects of friendship on a pony's brain?”

“No, I’m studying the magic of friendship” Twilight responded.

“Well, can I ask why? I mean, why does the princess need to know about friendship? And why are you here and not in Canterlot? Surely the Canterlot Archives are better than what you can find here in Ponyville.”

“My name is Twilight, not Shirley, remember” Twilight said with a grin.

“Forget about that, just answer the question, Twilight” Laughing Stock muttered as he placed his face in his hoof. He couldn’t believe that just happened.

“I am here in Ponyville because my friends are here. The best lab equipment in Equestria wouldn’t help me if I did not have any friends to help with my studies.”

“Ok, that point is valid” Laughing Stock admitted. “But you still haven’t answered the original one: Why does Princess Celestia need someone to study the magic of friendship.”

After pondering his question for a moment, Twilight supplied Laughing Stock with an offer.

“It is rather difficult to explain with words, but it is a lot easier to understand in person. Once you meet all of my friends, you should have a better idea” she promised.

After a few more minutes of small talk, Twilight announced they had arrived at Sweet Apple Acres. While looking around, he noticed the stallion he ran into earlier. He felt bad about the way he ended the conversation earlier and walked over to make amends while Twilight searched for her friend.

“Excuse me; your name is Big Macintosh, correct?” Laughing Stock asked as he walked up to the Stallion.

“Eyup” the stallion replied.

“Well, I just wanted to apologize for getting sore with you earlier. I was just under a lot of pressure,” Laughing Stock said as he stuck out his hoof.

Big Macintosh smiled and shook Laughing Stocks' outstretched hoof.

Twilight poked her head out of the barn closest to the two stallions and called out to Laughing Stock.

“Hey, I found Applejack! Come introduce yourself!”

As Laughing Stock walked into the barn, he looked up and nearly had a heart attack. Twilight’s friend Applejack was the nice mare who helped him around the farmers market.

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