What is Fame without Friendship?

by Rabuiods

First published

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

Laughing Stock is a standup comedian from Canterlot who is having a difficult time with life as of late. He hops on a train to Ponyville in hopes that small town life will help him get a better perspective on things. During the journey, he meets a mare who offers to help him find what he is looking for and some things that he doesn't expect to find. During his trip, he realizes that while accomplishing your dreams is a fantastic feat, having nopony to share them with makes life's long journey pointless.

Special thanks to Golden Hoof and wildberk for helping me with this beast!

Another special thanks goes out to HoovesLikeJagger for the fantastic artwork!

Chapter 1: Do I Know You?

View Online

Laughing Stock boarded the twelve o’clock train headed to Ponyville from Canterlot. He patiently waited to give the conductor his ticket.

“Let’s see what we have here…a one way ticket to Ponyville? Huh, I don’t see many of these” the conductor mentioned as he stamped Laughing Stocks’ ticket.

“Really? I’m quite shocked to be honest.” Laughing Stock thought sarcastically.

“What is the reason for your trip, Business or pleasure?” The conductor handed Laughing Stock his ticket.

“It’s not business, but it sure as hay isn’t for pleasure either” Laughing Stock said with a bitter tone. “I just need to leave Canterlot now, and this was the first available train.”

“Oh, well have a nice trip, sir” The conductor added as Laughing Stock made his way down the corridor to his compartment.

Laughing Stock thought about the conductors question as he opened the compartment door and moved his things inside. He started to feel bad about his attitude toward the poor pony. He was only doing his job after all, but he was in no mood to engage in small talk.

“Business or pleasure...what am I supposed to say when my life is falling apart right before my eyes.”

Laughing Stock thought back to yesterday, a day that was the opposite of today. He had it all. His career as a standup comedian was starting to pick up; he had the most attractive marefriend in all of Equestria and a best friend who also doubled as his agent. He stopped at nothing to make sure that Laughing Stock had work as a struggling comedian.

Yesterday, his agent called him with great news; he had landed Laughing Stock a gig at Fancypants’ birthday party. Because it was such a high profile event, many very important ponies would be in attendance. He knew that putting on a good show could only mean great things for the future. He decided to take his marefriend and agent out to celebrate the occasion. At that moment, he was on top of the world.

This morning when he woke up in his apartment, he was still riding on the adrenaline from the night before. He arrived at the restaurant where the party would be held and made pre-show preparations and got a feel for his surroundings. Still in a great mood, he went to his marefriends apartment to take her out to a nice breakfast. That is where things started to fall apart.

Once he arrived on her floor and made his way to her door, he noticed it was cracked open. Fearing the worst, he crept in and decided to investigate. When he stopped outside her bedroom door, he heard two familiar voices: One belonging to his marefriend, the other belonged to his now former agent and best friend.

He left as quickly as possible, slamming the front door on the way out. He not only felt betrayed, but violated as well. He was doing his best to hold in his tears as he ran back to his place. He packed a bag with a few items and jumped on the next available train. He had no marefriend, no friends and worst of all, no career once Fancypants realizes his entertainment for the evening is on a train headed to Ponyville.

Laughing Stock had the events from earlier playing on a loop in his mind. He stared out the window as he ran his hooves through his long red mane, with only one thing on his mind. Why? He was so entrenched in his thoughts; he failed to notice the mare that had made her way into his compartment.

The mare had knocked and called out to him, but to no avail. She reached out a hoof and tapped gently on his shoulder in order to get his attention. Almost immediately, the young earthpony snapped back to reality. He turned to see who had touched him and saw the mare. She looked a little embarrassed at the fact she had startled him.

“I am so sorry.” The mare apologized. “There are no other seats available on the train and I was hoping I could sit here.”

“Oh, yeah…yeah sure…sorry about that” said Laughing Stock, once he had recovered from the whiplash like effect that had occurred after the physical contact.

Once the mare had settled in, he went back to thinking about his life that was slowly corroding around him. He had acted so hastily, he never considered the consequences for his actions. Just because the love of his life was currently entangled in his best friend, bed sheets and betrayal, didn’t necessarily mean he had to skip out on an event that could have changed his life.

As he silently thought about what it would be like as a homeless pony in Ponyville, the mare interrupted his train of thought.

“Ponyville doesn’t get a lot of visitors from Canterlot, what brings you there.”

Laughing Stock sighed. “I don’t know. I just need to be alone for a while. I am trying to get away from all noise and distractions that a big city has to offer.”

“I see…well anything I can help with?” The mare could see he was in pain, and wanted to lend a hoof.

“Not really. I just have a lot on my mind” Laughing Stock said with a small smile. He really appreciated this stranger offering to help him out, but he didn’t want to waste her time.

“Well, we still have a few hours.” She responded with a smile that made Laughing Stock feel a little better.

For the next forty-five minutes, he told her everything that had happened to him in the last forty-eight hours. The mare felt horrible and gave the distraught stallion her condolences.

“I am sure you will find another job somewhere, you need to think positive. You are still a young stallion, this is just a small hurdle on a long track of life” she told him.

”I suppose you’re right.” Laughing Stock said as took a deep breath. He had enough of this pity party. This mare was right, this was a small hurdle. Right there on the train, he swore to himself that he would get over this and get on with his life.

“There are other comedy clubs out there, right?” Laughing Stock said with a chuckle.

“That’s right; you mentioned you were a comedian” the mare added. “I happen to love standup comedy. What’s your name? Maybe I will look you up and take in a show.”

Laughing Stock stood up and introduced himself to the mare, and to his surprise, she had heard of him.

“I saw your show when you opened up for Mane Cook a few years ago! You were brilliant! I thought you looked familiar” the mare enthused.

Laughing Stock thought back to that period in his life. He was the talk among the comedy community. A pony fresh out of school that climbing up the ranks, and many other established comedians had taken notice. Mane Cook, one of the most popular comedians in Equestria had heard of Laughing Stocks’ popularity and decided to capitalize on it. He took him on his country wide tour to open his shows for him. That was the first time that he felt real fame, and it was a feeling he had to have back.

“Wow, you actually heard of me? That's a first" A grinning Laughing Stock answered “Well, back then I was rather brilliant” Laughing Stock said jokingly. He admitted that he was having a hard time finding new material, which was also making life a lot harder on him.

“For the past few months, I had been planning on doing some traveling just to get a fresh perspective on things and hopefully meet some new and interesting characters.” He said with his smile fading a little. “I had just hoped that I wouldn’t have to make the journey alone…”

In an attempt to change the subject, the mare quickly tried lighten his mood.

“Oh, you will have no problem meeting interesting characters in Ponyville,I guarantee you.” The mare said with a tone that implied that she knew just the ponies that may be able to help him create plenty of new material.

Laughing Stock started to feel a lot better since he started talking to this mare. It had been a while since anypony legitimately cared about his feelings. Even his ex marefriend dreaded the thought of talking about feelings; she just wanted to be out on the town, spending what little money he had.

“I do have one question, if you don’t mind me asking” the mare inquired. She remembered back to when she saw Laughing Stock live a few years ago. His cutie mark was rather peculiar, and she was dying to know more about it.

“Answering your question is the least I can do. Go ahead and ask.” Laughing Stock insisted.

“When I saw you on stage, it looked like you had a rubber chicken as a cutie mark. I have to know, is it real or just a part of your act.” Asked the mare, who sounded a little embarrassed since cutie marks were usually a personal matter.

Laughing Stock jokingly glanced down at his flank to double check his cutie mark. Right there in the center of his flank on his sleek, jet black fur, was a rubber chicken that appeared to be squawking.

“Oh trust me, it’s very real” assured Laughing Stock with a slight grin.

“Would you mind telling me the origin of your mark? I mean, everyone’s mark is unique in their own way, but a rubber chicken?! I find that rather fascinating” asked the mare, who seemed to really be interested.

Laughing Stock looked up the ceiling of the train compartment. It had been years since he thought about his cutie mark. In fact, it had been so long, that he nearly forgot the story of how he received it.

“It all started when I was in school as a colt. We had a talent show that everypony had to participate in; whether you were setting up the stage, selling treats during intermission, or actually performing. I was in charge of the curtain because I was too embarrassed to go onstage in front of everypony.”

As Laughing Stock began to tell the story, he felt happy for the first time today. Just reliving that faithful moment gave him enough hope that he could get back on his hooves in no time.

“So you earned your cutie mark raising and lowering a curtain? That’s rather odd to say the least…” said the mare as a smirk began to form on her face.

“No, it’s not quite that simple” Laughing Stock said with a reassuring shake of his head. “one of the performers started crying and refused to go on, and the next act wasn’t ready. They needed somepony to provide filler to stall the crowed. One of my friends told the director that I had some jokes and I “volunteered” to provide the audience with an act I had to create on the spot.

To be honest, I was terrified. I could barley tell my parents a joke, let alone the entire town. I really want to run, but at that moment, I felt a spark. And with that microphone in front of my face, I felt empowered. So I took a breath, looked out at the sea of faces and told them the best joke I had in my arsenal.

“Do you remember the joke?” the rather inquisitive mare asked, waiting for a response.

“Oh wow…it’s been so long.” Laughing Stock said, racking his brain trying to remember. “Wait! Yes, I remember it now!

“I would love to hear it, if you wouldn’t mind” the mare said rather sweetly.

“May I ask why?” Laughing Stock was very confused, why would she care about the first joke he told.

“Well, because I want to hear the joke that started a soon to be legendary career” the mare replied with a wink.

Laughing Stock rolled his eyes. “Fine…What is a ponies favorite game?”

“Hmm…I don’t know. What is it?”

“Stable Tennis.”

The mare began to laugh, and this made Laughing Stock laugh as well.

“So after I told that…gem among a few others, the audience ate it up. That was my first time on stage and I didn’t want to give it up. After I had taken a bow and thanked everypony, I happened to look at my flank and saw that I finally earned my cutie mark!” Laughing Stock exclaimed.

“Wow, and to think you found your life’s calling on accident” the mare added with a sense of astonishment. “I have another question, if you wouldn’t mind…”

“Shoot.” Laughing Stock said as he gave the mare a small nod. Answering her questions has really helped bring him out of his funk, so he anxiously awaited her inquiry.

“I was also wondering; where are you planning on staying in Ponyville? Do you know anypony in town?”

“Nope” Laughing Stock replied with a grimace. He was in such a hurry to get out of town; he forgot to grab some bits. He didn’t have enough on him to rent a room at a hotel. He began to smile as he remembered the thought he had earlier about being homeless in Ponyville.

“Well, if you would like, I have an extra room at my house if you would like to stay over” the mare said. She really liked his company, and she thought it would be fun to keep him around.

“Oh no, I can’t do that!” Laughing Stock insisted. “You have already helped me more than anypony else in recent memory; this would be asking for way too much.”

“I am not taking no for an answer” the mare said standing up and putting her hoof down. For the first time on this train ride, the mare’s smile left her face and replaced it with a stern look.

In a desperate attempt to get her smiling again, Laughing Stock told her that he would take her up on her extremely generous offer.

“I would like to thank you for all your help today…Oh my…I just realized that we have spent the past few hours talking and I don’t know your name” a rather embarrassed Laughing Stock pointed out.

The mare simply smiled at him and said, “My name is Twilight Sparkle.”

“Well, pleased to meet you, Twilight Sparkle.” A happy Laughing Stock said as he looked out the window. He noticed the train slow down and eventually come to a stop.

“Well, it looks like we arrived at the Ponyville station!" A very excited Laughing Stock said as he stood up and picked up his bag and offered to take Twilight’s. After all that she has done for him, there was no way he was going to let Twilight carry her own bag.

As he exited the train with the bags on his back and his new friend, Twilight Sparkle by his side, he had a feeling that he had just cleared his hurdle on the track of life. And for the foreseeable future, there was nothing but a long straight away.

Chapter 2: There are No Secrets in Ponyville

View Online

“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.

Chapter 3: Apple Acres, Sugar Cubes and Buck Norris

View Online

“Well, nice to meet ya Laughing Stock” Applejack said as she shook hoofs with him.

Laughing Stock nodded in agreement. He was too nervous to speak, mostly because he was too busy hoping Applejack had forgotten their meeting earlier.

“Oh Twilight, I just remembered that Applebloom needed some help with some fancy school project. I was going to bring her by the library later, but since you are here, could you give her a hand?” Applejack asked.

“Sure, that won’t be a problem,” Twilight insisted. “Will you show our new friend around while I am gone?”

“I would love to show our new friend around.” Applejack winked at Laughing Stock.

Yeah, there was no way she forgot about earlier.

As Twilight left the barn, Applejack pulled Laughing Stock aside and gave him some advice.

“First rule about living in a town like Ponyville: Everypony knows everypony.” She said with a serious tone. “If you tell one pony something, expect everypony to find out eventually.”

“Believe me, I learned my lesson.” Laughing Stock swore. “The only question I have is whether you are going to tell her what we discussed earlier?”

“I won’t tell her as long as you promise me one thing.” Applejack demanded.

“Name it.”

“I want you to tell her yourself.” Applejack stated as she made her way to the barn door to make sure Twilight was nowhere to be seen.

“You’re kidding, right?” Laughing Stock let out a snort. “I would rather give you my first born foal.”

“Sugar, I guarantee Twilight likes you. Act your age or I will tell her myself” Applejack said, her voice becoming increasingly agitated.

“How do you know she likes me?” Laughing Stock asked.

“Well for one, she is letting you, a complete stranger stay in her home. It’s not like you’re old friends, apparently you met her yesterday.”

“Maybe she was just being nice…” Laughing Stock suggested.

“Nice would have been walking you to the nearest motel. When a mare opens her home to a complete stranger, it means something else entirely.” Applejack said, still keeping a lookout for Twilight. “Plus, right before you came into the barn, she was talking about you. When she mentioned your name and began to tell me everything you guys discussed yesterday and how she opened her home to you, there was a little extra sparkle in her smile.”

“You mean a pony named Twilight Sparkle had a little sparkle when she smiled? That’s almost like a pony named Applejack working in an apple orchard, or a pony named Laughing Stock being a comedian!” A very sarcastic Laughing Stock exclaimed.

Mimicking her glare from earlier in the market, Applejack reminded him she was in no mood for his smart remarks.

“Why is this so important to you anyway?” Laughing Stock asked as he sat on a bale of hay inside the barn.

“Twilight has never been in love.” Applejack answered as she left her post at the barn door and sat next to him.

“Ok, so what does Twilight’s lack of a love life have to do with me?”

Applejack was almost at her wits end at this point in the conversation.

“Do I REALLY need to spell this out for you?”

“Apparently you do.” Laughing Stock said, trying his best to keep a straight face. He knew exactly what she was trying to say, but he wanted Applejack to work for it.

Applejack took a deep breath and put her foreleg on Laughing Stock’s shoulder.

“Look, I know that you are a funny pony and all, but this is serious. If there is any truth to what you told me in the market earlier today, you need to let her know how you feel. I don’t know why, but it’s just one of those things you have to do.

After a moment of thought, Laughing Stock told Applejack he would agree with her terms on one condition.

“Can I pick the right moment to tell her at least?”

“Normally I would say yes, but I know you sneaky show biz types. There will never be a right moment; you would go on the rest of your life without saying a word.” Applejack began to chuckle as she painfully tightened her grip on his shoulder.

At that point in time, Laughing Stock realized Applejack was a lot smarter than he thought.

“Here’s how I see it. There are six of us in our group: Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Twilight and myself. You have six days to tell Twilight how you feel.” Applejack said as she stood up and moved directly into Laughing Stocks field of vision.

Laughing Stock found her threat very amusing and began to snicker. “And what are you going to do if I don’t?”

“I will tell her myself.”

Laughing Stock’s facial expression suddenly became very serious.

“You’re bluffing!”

“No I ain’t” Applejack laughed. “And in order to give you the…proper motivation, I will be telling another pony in our group your secret everyday you don’t tell her.”

“Can you elaborate on that last part a little more?” Again, Laughing Stock knew exactly what she was saying, but he noticed Applejack was getting frustrated, which caused her face to turn into the loveliest shade of vermilion.

“Ok, let me explain this very slowly” a vermilion colored Applejack grabbed both of Laughing Stock’s shoulders and moved her face as close as she possibly could to his. “If you don’t tell Twilight you love her today, I will tell somepony else in our group tomorrow. If you don’t tell her you love her tomorrow, I will tell somepony else the next day and so on until day six arrives. Then I will tell her personally.”

“Oh, I get it now, it is a lot simpler the last way you explained it. You should probably start with that next time.” Laughing Stock was just toying with Applejack. He was hoping to get her so mad, her hat burst into flames.

“So do we have a deal?" Applejack was gritting her teeth. Her hoof was hanging in front of the stallion, waiting for him to shake it.
“That’s fair, I suppose.” Laughing Stock said. He actually hated the idea, but Applejack had a lot of land and she could probably find a place to hide a body if he made her any angrier, he figured accepting this proposal was his best bet.

As the two ponies shook on it, Twilight Sparkle made her way into the barn.

“I helped Applebloom with her project, Applejack. Apparently she just needed help spelling Manehattan.”

“Ah, well I always get that one confused. Not sure it has two t's or just the one.”

“Its fine, Applejack, No harm was done.” Twilight said.

She asked Laughing Stock and Applejack if they were getting along.

“Like two peas in a pod.” Applejack responded smiling.

“Yeah, she’s great” Laughing Stock said rather unenthusiastically, until he noticed the fierce look he was receiving from Applejack.

“I mean, she is so nice, taking time out her harvest to show me around.”

“You guys were right here when I left; did she show you anything else other than the barn?” Twilight asked.

“It’s a really big barn, Twilight.” Applejack declared.

After the three ponies had agreed that the barn was very large, Twilight decided it was the perfect time to announce their next stop.

“I was planning on taking Laughing Stock to Sugar Cube Corner to see Pinkie Pie; would you like to come with Applejack?”

“Oh shoot,” Applejack said. “As much as I’d love to come, I need to finish the harvest.”

She turned to Laughing Stock with a sly grin.

“Because there are only five days left.”

Laughing Stock shot Applejack a fierce look as Twilight started to leave the barn. He then turned to follow Twilight back into town.

“So Twilight, I told you about my cutie mark yesterday.” Laughing Stock said as he caught up her. “Now it’s your turn.”

“Are you sure? My story isn’t as exciting as your story” After hearing his story yesterday, Twilight wasn't sure her story could compete with his.

“Sure I’m sure,” Laughing Stock said while smiling at Twilight. “I really am interested in you…”

Laughing Stock froze in his tracks while Twilight stopped and looked back at him.

Did I really just say that out loud? He mentally facehoofed himself.

“What are you interested in?” Twilight asked, looking rather perplexed.

“Your cutie mark story!” A befuddled Laughing Stock managed to blurt out. “I am really interested in your cutie mark story!”

“Oh, well in that case, when I was very little and saw Princess Celestia perform the Summer Sun Celebration...”

Twilight then began to tell Laughing Stock the story about the origin of her cutie mark. She told him all about getting the opportunity to attended Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns and the entrance exam she had to take in order to get accepted. She also explained how she caught Princess Celestia’s attention and received the opportunity to become her own personal pupil.

“So basically, you became Princess Celestia’s protégé because you transformed Spike from a small baby dragon into a massive baby dragon and destroyed school property?” Laughing Stock could not believe what he just heard.

“Yeah, that is the condensed version. I told you it wasn’t very exciting” Twilight answered.

“What are you talking about? That may be the best cutie mark story I have ever heard!” Laughing Stock exclaimed. “Now I understand why the princess selected you to do this research for her, she can see that you are a very special unicorn.”

“Oh, come on, you’re just saying that.” A muttering Twilight started to blush.

“Twilight, I am being serious! You are very special,” Laughing Stock insisted. “Answer this question; Out of all the unicorns in all of Equestria, how many actually get into Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns?”

“I am not quite sure,” She never really spent time with any other students, so an accurate headcount was impossible. “But it can’t be more than a few hundred.”

“Out of those few hundred unicorns, how many get the opportunity to learn directly from the princess?”

“Well, she visits all the classes and talks to all the students once a year.” Twilight replied.

“Twilight, you know as well as I do, it is not the same thing. There is a distinct difference between visiting students once a year versus learning everything they know from the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Twilight said as a small grin started to from across her face. “Only one lucky unicorn has the opportunity to study under the princess.”

“And who is this lucky unicorn?” Laughing Stock asked.

“Me” Twilight answered with a big smile. “Can I ask you something now, Laughing Stock?”

“Sure go ahead.”

“Why are you doing all this?” Twilight asked, still blushing from earlier.

“What do you mean?” Laughing Stock asked, starting to feel his face grow hotter.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” Twilight was now leaning close to Laughing Stock.

This is it. Laughing Stock thought to himself as he leaned closer to Twilight as well.

“Now that you mention it, there is one thing I wanted to tell you.” He said as he stopped inches away from Twilight’s face. “I really l-“


The two ponies were interrupted by screaming coming from above them. They had just enough time to move out of the way before colliding with whatever it was falling towards them. After the dust had cleared, Laughing Stock could see that it wasn’t an object, but a cyan pegasus with a rainbow colored mane.

“Laughing Stock” A rather irritated Twilight said as the pegasus stood up and brushed herself off. “This is my friend, Rainbow Dash.”

“It’s very nice to meet you Rainbow Dash.” Laughing Stock was trying to be on his best behavior with Rainbow Dash, especially since his interaction with Applejack did not go was well as he hoped.

Rainbow Dash nodded her head, “Same here. Any friend of Twilight’s is a friend of mine. So what brings you to Ponyville?”

“Vacation I suppose” Laughing Stock said, wanting to avoid more drama. “I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of Canterlot.”

“Canterlot is a busy place” Rainbow Dash concurred. “But I didn’t know they had farms in the city.”

Both Laughing Stock and Twilight turned away from the pegasus and glanced at each other, hoping that the other knew what Rainbow Dash meant. It was apparent each pony was just as confused as the other. Laughing Stock thought it would be best to clear up the confusion.

“I’m sorry, I am afraid I don’t understand what farms have to do with me.”

The rainbow haired mare simply pointed at his flank.

Twilight, being a lot smarter than Laughing Stock, was able to figure out what Rainbow Dash was talking about.

“He isn’t a farmer; he’s a comedian Rainbow Dash. It’s a rubber chicken.”

“Oh, now I see it. Sorry for the confusion there.” Rainbow Dash said grinning. “But a comedian huh, what’s that like?”

“It has its ups and downs like any other job” Laughing Stock said with a smile. “But I don’t think I would trade it for anything.”

“That sounds awesome!” Rainbow Dash began to rub the back of her mane with her hoof, like she had a something to say, but didn’t know how.

“You ok, Dash?” Laughing Stock was trying his best to be friendly.

“Look, I know you must get this all the time, and if you don’t want to, it’s totally ok” Rainbow Dash was still rubbing the back of her mane. “But I’m having a pretty rough day; think you could say something funny?”

“Sure, that won’t be a problem Dash.” Laughing Stock was relieved that is was something he could actually do. “Have anything in particular that you want to hear?”

“I would love to hear your best Buck Norris joke!” Rainbow Dash couldn’t wait to hear what this new stallion had to offer.

Laughing Stock let out a groan. Buck Norris jokes were the worst thing to happen to comedy since…well ever.

“Sorry Dash, I don’t know any Buck Norris jokes.”

“What do you mean? Buck Norris jokes are great!” Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“I don’t like Buck Norris jokes, so I don’t bother to learn them. Besides, I am more of an observational comedian. I make my living by talking about things I see and experiences in my life, not telling jokes about an actor.” Laughing Stock hoped Rainbow Dash understood.

After seeing the expression on her face, Laughing Stock learned that she didn’t understand.

“Everypony loves Buck Norris jokes!” A slightly insulted Rainbow Dash insisted.

Laughing Stock just stood there, shrugging his shoulders. He didn’t want to make this situation any worse, so he figured he would keep his mouth shut.

“I will prove to you that Buck Norris jokes are awesome!” Rainbow Dash cried as she flew a few feet above Twilight and Laughing Stock.

“Sure Rainbow Dash, let’s hear it.” Laughing Stock said with faux enthusiasm.

Rainbow Dash cleared her throat and prepared to beat this “comedian” at his own game. She closed her eyes and revealed her ace in the hole.

“Unicorns don’t use magic, they use Buck Norris!” Rainbow Dash said excitedly. She closed her eyes and expected to hear laughter.

There was a cricket nearby. Somepony coughed.

“Did you guys hear what I said?” Rainbow Dash didn’t hear laughing, so there was some confusion.

“Yeah, we heard you” Twilight said. “I thought it was really…good Rainbow Dash.”

“So, anymore jokes you want to get off your wings?” Laughing Stock was doing his best to not be rude, but Rainbow Dash and her horrible jokes were making it really hard.

“Yeah, here we go! Buck Norris doesn’t need wings to fly, he just kicks the sky!” Rainbow Dash yelled in triumph, hoping to make her friends laugh this time!

Laughing Stock was checking the time on an imaginary watch; Twilight was really interested in her mane for some reason.

“So how did I do?” Rainbow Dash asked Laughing Stock. “Did I change your mind on Buck Norris jokes?”

Considering Twilight and I are as quiet as Buck Norris at the end of “Way of the Dragon”, no not even close. Laughing Stock was doing everything in his power to keep his mouth shut. He took a deep breath and swallowed his pride and did the most painful thing a comedian could ever do.

“You…sure did…Rainbow Dash” Laughing Stock finally admitted. “You have shown me the error of my ways.”

“I knew it!” Rainbow Dash raised her hoof in victory. “I could probably go on tour and become even more famous than you!”

“I wouldn’t count on it” a bitter Laughing Stock muttered under his breath.

“Well, thanks for the laughs guys’ but I need to get going” Rainbow Dash said as she began to fly away. “I can't wait to seeing you again Laughing Stock!”

At least one of us is looking forward to it, Laughing Stock started to stare angrily at Rainbow Dash as she flew away.

“Sorry about Rainbow Dash” Twilight started to apologize for her friends’ behavior. “She takes challenges very seriously.”

“Its fine Twilight” A reassuring Laughing Stock comforted his friend as the two ponies continued their walk into town. “I give her credit; she really sticks to her beliefs.”

“That is how she is with everything” She said with a small smile. “Once Rainbow Dash finds something she enjoys, that pony will support it until the end of time.”

“How did you meet Applejack and Rainbow Dash anyway” a curious Laughing Stock wanted to know. “You are all so different; I just can’t see how you are friends with them.”

“It’s a long story” Twilight started to say before she noticed the grimace she was receiving from Laughing Stock. Once
Twilight saw the face, she changed her mind.

“It all started two years ago, the day before the Summer Sun Celebration. Princess Celestia sent me here to check on preparations for the event…”

After Twilights story had ended, Laughing Stock did not know what to say.

“So you and your friends are the ones that defeated Nightmare Moon? That is amazing, I remember reading something about it a while back! What happened next?”

“As much I would love to tell you, it has to wait until later.” Twilight said as she finally stopped walking.

“Why do we have to stop?” Laughing Stock asked as he turned around to see why she stopped. While turning his head back to its forward position, he didn’t notice the giant wooden sign directly in front of him.

Laughing Stock proceeded to walk into the sturdy barrier with a dull thud.

“We have arrived at the bakery.” Twilight informed Laughing Stock, who was picking himself off the ground.

“I assumed as much” the stallion replied, rubbing his nose which took most of the impact.

“What was your first clue?” Twilight joked. “Was it the iron pony out front holding a candy cane, or the giant cupcake on the roof?

“Neither actually. I got a pretty good look at the sign out front.”

As the two ponies laughed, a blue mare began to speak to Twilight.

“Hello Twilight my dear! What brings you here today?”

“Hello Mrs. Cake. Is Pinkie Pie around? I have someone I want her to meet.” Twilight asked as she stood in front of the counter.

“Yes, she’s in the back,” Mrs. Cake responded. “I need to help Mr. Cake with the foals, but you are more than welcome to speak with her.”

Twilight made her way through the swinging door in the back of the store while Laughing Stock looked at all the sweets that were on display.

“Go ahead dear, have a taste of whatever you like.” Mrs. Cake said with a smile as she made her way up the stairs.

As he helped himself to a cupcake, Laughing Stock started to feel a lot better about staying in Ponyville for a while.

Any town that has a bakery that hands out free samples is alright in my book.

He snapped back to reality after hearing an excited scream from the kitchen.

“NEW PONY!” he heard a voice yell as the swinging door from the kitchen revealed a pink pony lunging toward him. He closed his eyes and braced himself for impact, but it never happened. Slowly, Laughing Stock opened one eye, only to find a pair of massive light blue eyes staring back at him.

“Hi there, I’m Pinkie Pie, and I just love meeting new ponies” the pink pony squealed with copious amounts of enthusiasm.

“Hey, I’m Laughing Stock. It’s really great to meet another friend of Twilight’s” the stallion introduced himself.

“How long are you going to be in town?” the effervescent pink pony asked her new friend as he finished his cupcake.

“I have no idea.”

“I hope you stay for a long time! I don’t know why, but you look like a really fun pony!” Pinkie said as she started to bounce around Laughing Stock in a circle.

This pony is a few cupcakes short of a dozen, he thought as he reached for a cookie that had been calling his name since he walked into the building.

“It’s probably because Laughing Stock is a comedian” Twilight suggested as Pinkie kept on bouncing around the stallion.

“You know what Twilight?” Pinkie said as she stopped bouncing. “I think you’re right! He is pretty funny looking!”

Wait…did she mean that as a complement or an insult? Oh who cares, as long as she keeps making desserts like this, she can call me whatever she want. Laughing Stock shrugged Pinkie’s last words as he finished the cookie. Giving the store a quick scan, he noticed a pile of blue berry muffins that were begging to be sampled.

“I should probably throw you a party soon! I love throwing parties for my friends” Pinkie shouted as Laughing trotted over to the muffins and picked up the biggest one he could find.

As he took his first bite into the muffin, Pinkie gave him a slap on the back that scared him to death. As he reacted to the slap, he forgot about the massive bite of muffin in his mouth. It became lodged in throat and he couldn’t breathe.

“Hey, look Twilight!” Pinkie made her way over to Laughing Stock, who had his hoofs placed on his throat, gasping for air. “He likes making funny faces too!”

Pinkie began to make faces back at the suffering pony; Twilight noticed that this situation was very odd.

“Enough faces, you silly pony!” Pinkie cried with delight. “Tell me a joke!”

Laughing Stock tried to open his mouth, but noting but a gurgling noise came out.

“Uh, Pinkie,” Twilight said with a look of concern on her face. “I think Laughing Stock is choking.”

“I would say so,” Pinkie said as she stared at Laughing Stock. “But I don’t know why. If he is a comedian, he should be comfortable telling jokes in front of other ponies!”

“NO PINKIE! HE IS REALLY CHOKING!” Twilight screamed as she sprang into action. She started to slap Laughing Stock on the back until he coughed up the evil piece of blueberry deliciousness.

“Oh, he was really choking; I’m so sorry Laughing Stock” Pinkie Pie began apologizing profusely.

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it Pinkie” Laughing Stock said reassuring her. “It could have happened to anyone.

As he made his way to a chair to take a seat and catch his breath, Twilight turned her attention from the stallion to Pinkie.

“We are going to see Rarity and Fluttershy, you want to come with us?”

“I would love to come,” Pinkie said immediately. “I just need to tell the Cakes I am leaving.”

At that moment, the Cakes made their way down the stairs.

“Mr. Cake,” Pinkie shouted. “I am going out with Twilight and Laughing Stock.”

“You can’t Pinkie, I need you to stay here and finish that large order for us. I told you yesterday, we were leaving this afternoon to take the foals to the doctor.” Mr. Cake replied.


“It’s ok Pinkie, you can always join us later.” Twilight suggested, trying to do her best to defuse the situation.

“Okie Doki Loki, hopefully I can see you guys later. Sorry about the choking thing earlier,” Pinkie said as made her way back to the kitchen.

As Laughing Stock and Twilight left the bakery, he began to think about his day so far. In only a matter of a few hours, he was forced into a horrible contract,told another pony he like Buck Norris jokes and had a near death experience. The rest of
Twilights’ friends were this nuts, he started to question whether Twilight was worth all this trouble. As he looked at the
beautiful lavender mare in front of him, he answered his own inquiry almost immediately.

“Definitely” he quietly said to himself as he trailed behind her, following her to their next destination.

Chapter 4: Snakes, Crabs and a Fashionista

View Online

“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.


“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.


“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.

Chapter 5: The Element of Mediocre Comedy

View Online

“Boy, when you said it was a long story, you really meant it.” Vinyl Scratch couldn’t believe everything her friend had been through in the past few days.

“I know.” Laughing Stock was staring at his daisy salad. He was distraught over the thought of losing Twilight; he couldn’t bring himself to eat anything.

“Personally, I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I were you. Self loathing never helped anypony.” Vinyl Scratch said taking a sip of her tea. “Besides, with your record of first impressions, are you surprised you blew it wide open?”

“What are you talking about?” Laughing Stocks gaze shifted from his food to the unicorn across the table.

“Oh come on, every time I have been around you when you have met somepony new, you embarrass yourself.”

“That’s a lie!” Laughing Stock had no idea what she was talking about.

“Do you remember what happened at your first show in front of thousands of people?” Vinyl Scratch started laughing hysterically as she put her head on the table. “You somehow managed to get yourself caught in the microphone cord and fall into the orchestra pit!”

Laughing Stock couldn’t help but think of the incident the night before, when he thought Twilight’s cutie mark was a firework. He slumped over the table and covered his head with his hooves in embarrassment.

“Or how about the time you asked that club owner when the foals were due?” Vinyl Scratch gasped as she finally stopped laughing.

“In my defense, I was trying to be nice.” Laughing Stock mumbled with his hooves hiding his head from Scratches gaze.

“Yeah, and it would have been nice if she was pregnant… or a mare to begin with!” Vinyl Scratch began laughing uncontrollably again.

“You know Scratch, I hoped our first meeting after all these years would be…less humiliating.”

Vinyl Scratch placed one of her hooves over one of his, which caused Laughing Stock to pick up his head.

“What about the first day we met?”

“That I remember!” Laughing Stock said as a smile slowly spread across the stallion’s face. “It was after a show, you told me you liked my comedy and I told you I liked your music. We went back to my place and spent the night together.”

Vinyl Scratch pulled her hoof away from the stallion. The unicorn that was happy to see him a few moments ago suddenly became very annoyed with her friend.

“Is that honestly what you think happened?” Vinyl Scratch’s eyebrow slowly started to rise.

“Ok, so I don’t remember our first meeting.” Laughing Stock smiled as his friend started to relax. “Would you remind me how we met?

“Well, you had the first part half right. You just left the stage and I told you I enjoyed your set.” Vinyl Scratch took off her glasses, so Laughing Stock could look into her eyes. “And you told me that I was a step away from being replaced with a drum machine.”

Laughing Stock was mortified. “Did I really say that? Why on earth would you ever be friends with me?”

“Because almost immediately after you insulted me, you came back and apologized.” Vinyl Scratched grabbed her friends hoof again, leaning closer to him. “You may make mistakes and say the wrong thing every now and then, but your heart is in the right place. You are a really good pony where it really counts”

“So you’re saying I should apologize to Twilight?” It was an obvious solution, something Laughing Stock never considered.

“Well, yes. Eventually you should apologize to Twilight, but it’s in my opinion that you should try to apologize to her friends first. “That was the reason for her anger in the first place.”

“You know what Scratch, you’re right.” It was getting late and Laughing Stock remembered Twilight said to be home by six. According to the Ponyville clock tower, it was five thirty. The stallion knew that if he wanted to apologize to Twilight’s friends and be at the library on time, he would have to leave now.

“I loved spending time with you, but I have to leave now if I want to make amends with Twilight and her friends.“

“Hey, I understand completely.” Vinyl Scratch left her seat and pulled her friend in for one last hug. “Let’s make sure it isn’t another couple years before we see each other again.”

“We definitely need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

As the two ponies went their separate ways, Laughing Stock heard Vinyl Scratch call his name.

“If you ever come across a small event that needs music, can you let me know?”

“Yes, of course!” Laughing Stock began to worry about his friend. “Is something wrong?

“No, nothing is wrong; I just get bored doing the same highbrow social events over and over. It would be a nice change of pace to do a small club again.”

Laughing Stock promised to let his friend know if he heard anything. After seeing her train off, the stallion made his way to Carousel Boutique. When he arrived, the shop was locked up tight, Rarity obviously wasn’t home.

The stallions’ next stop was Sugarcube Corner to check on Pinkie. The pink earth pony seemed upset that she missed the fact he was choking, Laughing Stock wanted to let her know that no harm was done. Upon arriving at the bakery, he learned that because she wasn’t home either. Laughing Stock assumed that Rainbow Dash literally had her head in the clouds, so the only stop that remained was Fluttershy’s.

“Fluttershy is gone too…this is very weird” Laughing Stock didn’t understand how three of the ponies he was tracking down could be missing. Thinking about what the three ponies could be up to, he made his way to Sweet Apple Acres. After his search turned out to be fruitless, he gave up looking for her, but he found a familiar group of fillies instead.

“Hey girls, are you feeling better after our conversation earlier?”

“Yes, I think so.” Sweetie Belle answered for the other two fillies, who nodded in agreement.

“I’m so glad to hear it.” Laughing Stock smiled as he pat each of the girls on the head. “What brings you girls to Sweet Apple Acres?”

“We were coming up with new ways we could get our cutie marks,” Applebloom’s started fixing her bow, which was knocked lose after Laughing Stocks’ pat on the head. “Then my sister said she needed our help with the harvest.”

“Your sister works here on the farm with Applejack?” Laughing Stock couldn’t recall seeing any other mares when he was at the farm earlier that day.

“My sister is Applejack”

Laughing Stock began to think after listening to Applebloom.

Huh, Applejack…Applebloom. I never made the connection. Twilight was right, I really am stupid.

“So Scootaloo, if Applebloom is Applejack’s sister and Sweetie Belle is Rarity’s sister, are you Rainbow Dash’s sister? Laughing Stock asked, hoping to avoid any future awkward situations.

As the three fillies fell silent, Laughing Stock realized he inadvertently created the awkward situation he was trying to avoid.

“I wish” Scootaloo answered with a sense of longing in her voice. “If she was, she would be the most superultraextremeawesomeamazing sister in Equestria.

“Uh huh.” Laughing Stock had no real response to Scootaloo. He didn’t want to make the situation worse. “Applebloom have you seen your sister recently?”

“Sure have, she left for Twilight’s a few minutes ago.”

Laughing Stock took off without saying good bye to the fillies; he had to make it back to the library before Applejack. He may have been sorry for treating Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy horrible, but he had no sympathy for Applejack. She was going to break their agreement and ruin everything.

As he skidded to a halt in front of the library, he heard the clock tower signal it was six o’clock. He burst through the door and looked around inside. He couldn’t recall everything being so dark the night before.

“TWILIGHT” Laughing Stock began calling for his friend. “DON’T LISTEN TO APPLEJACK; SHE’S MAKING…MOST OF IT UP.”

All of a sudden, the lights turned on, revealing Twilight and all her friends standing on the staircase.

“SURPRISE” All six ponies screamed in unison! Laughing Stock had a blank expression on his face; he should have seen it coming. Pinkie TOLD him she was going to throw him a party.

The six mares surrounded the stallion with huge smiles on their faces.”

“WE TOTALLY GOT YOU!” Pinkie Pie began to bounce around Laughing Stock once again. “YOU WALKED IN YELLING, THEN WE TURNED ON THE LIGHTS AND SAID SURPRISE AND YOU ALMOST FAINTED! THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUNNY! Unless you were choking again, then in that case it wouldn’t have been funny…”

“No, you girls certainly did get me.” Laughing Stock had no problem admitting when he was at the flank end of a joke. “But before we start having too much fun, I have to say something to each of you.”

The stallion turned to Fluttershy and gave her a hug. ‘I am so sorry for what I said earlier, I had absolutely no reason to act the way I did. I hope you can forgive me.”

“Don’t worry, I forgive you Laughing Stock.”

He then turned to Rarity and wrapped his arms around her. “I also owe you a massive apology Rarity. There is no need for anypony to use those words, especially in front of a lady. I really am sorry.”

“Please darling, it is just as much my fault. Let’s just forget it every happened”

Pinkie Pie was next on the stallion’s radar. “Pinkie…I really don’t think I was that mean to you. But if I was in anyway, I am sorry.”

“Aw, you weren’t mean to me! In fact, I can’t remember the last time a new pony made me feel so happy! It was probably the last new pony that came into town…

“Rainbow Dash” Laughing Stock said as he embraced the rainbow haired mare. “I promise to learn Buck Norris jokes just for you.”

“Nah, you don’t have to, it’s cool.

“Applejack” Laughing Stock started to say he was sorry for toying with her earlier that day, but noticing Twilight standing beside her, he just nodded. He hoped that she would understand.

Once again, Applejack proved to Laughing Stock she was a lot smarter than he thought. She responded to his nod with one of her own.

He turned to Twilight and stared at the floor. Once again, he was too embarrassed to speak to the purple unicorn.

“I don’t even know what to say to you. After everything you have done for me, I still treated you and your friends horribly. I would understand completely if you told me to leave immediately.

The unicorn threw her arms around him and told him she forgave him. Laughing Stock looked at the other five ponies over

Twilight’s shoulder, he saw Applejack mouth something, He was able to read her lips after watching her mouth for a few moments.

Tell her!

“Twilight, I want you to know that I-“

There was a loud bang which startled everypony in the room. The bang had, once again interrupted his special moment with Twilight.

“THAT’S ENOUGH TALK EVERY PONY, LETS PAR-TAY!” Pinkie Pie wheeled a small blue cannon into the library. Just as soon as it happened, the case of the mysterious bang had been solved.

As the two ponies broke the hug, Laughing Stock chuckled at his situation.

I will tell her eventually, and when I do, it will be interruption free.

“One last thing before the party officially begins.” Rarity walked over to Laughing Stock with a small box, hovering a few inches above her head. “I made this for you after our little spat earlier, I hope you like it.”

As he opened the box, a gold necklace with a jeweled rubber chicken was revealed.

“Wow, this is awesome!” Laughing Stock was thrilled, but he had no idea what he was holding in his hoof. “What is it exactly?”

“Let’s just say we didn’t want you to feel left out, so we found the seventh element of harmony for you.” Rarity said with a laugh.

“This is great! What is my element? Probably something neat, like laser eyes or invisibility right?”

“Not quite.” Twilight struggled to hold back her laughter. “You’re the element of mediocre comedy, remember?”

As Laughing Stock placed the necklace over his head, the mares gathered around him and gave him a group hug. He felt a slight tingle run through his body, but didn’t pay much attention once the conga line started. This was a party, and if there was one thing Laughing Stock knew how to do, it was conga like it was nopony else’s business.

After a few hours of pin the tail on the pony and eating their weight in cupcakes, the party was winding down and everypony was exhausted, but they couldn’t bring themselves to leave. Twilight and her friends entertained Laughing Stock with stories of their adventures.

“So let me get this straight; this Discord character was threatening Equestria with eternal chaos that consisted of soapy roads, day and night alternating back and forth multiple times a day, and cotton candy clouds that rained chocolate milk?”

“Yes, among other things.” Twilight answered as a few of the other ponies in the room shuddered. It was clear those crazy events were still fresh in their minds.

“I have to agree with Pinkie. Chocolate rain would be awesome.” Laughing Stock leaned over so he could give Pinkie a high hoof.

As the room erupted with laughter, Rarity announced she had to leave.

“I had a fantastic time this evening, but a lady must get her beauty sleep after all.”

Laughing Stock stood up and gave the white unicorn a hug, thanking her once again for the beautiful necklace she had made him.

After Fluttershy and Pinkie excused themselves; Applejack asked Laughing Stock if she could speak with him alone for a minute. Laughing Stock agreed; he didn’t need to ask what it was about.

“Just because you made a heap of fancy apologies, don’t think that our deal is off.” Applejack sat on the stoop in front of the library as Laughing Stock closed the door behind. ”Because day two has officially started, and the next pony out that front door is going to know about your crush on Twilight.”

“What if Twilight is the next pony out the door?”

“Well Sugar Cube, if Twilight is the next pony out this here door” Applejack laughed as she nodded towards the entrance both ponies were currently blocking. “This whole situation will be over a lot sooner than we thought.”

The front door opened and Laughing Stock held his breath. He was relieved to see the cyan mare with the rainbow mane exit the library, spread her wings and begin to fly away. Before she got too far Applejack beckoned her back down to the ground.

“Hey Rainbow Dash, can you keep a secret?”

Rainbow Dash put her hoof to her chin taking a moment to think.

“Eh, probably” The rainbow pony admitted. “Depends on how juicy it is.”

“Our pal Laughing Stock has a bit of a crush on Twilight.”

“Really? Has he told her yet?” Rainbow Dash became interested immediately.

“Nope, not yet.” Applejack began to explain the deal she made with Laughing Stock.

“Well, somepony better get a move on and tell her!” Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe the stallion had neglected to tell her by now. “You know Buck Norris would never be afraid to tell a pony how he feels!”

Rainbow Dash flew away laughing, the stallion felt a little relieved. He feared that Twilight’s friends would be against the two of them being together, but if Dash’s reaction was any indication on the reaction of the other three ponies, he had nothing to worry about.

He waved goodbye to Applejack, Laughing Stock decided he would tell Twilight in the morning. The stallion walked back into the library and put his arms around the purple unicorn once again.

“I am sorry for the things I said to you earlier, I was just so upset. I was afraid I would have to divide my time between you and my friends if you guys’ didn’t get along.” Twilight said embracing the stallion.

“What do you mean divide your time?”

“Well…I like spending time with friends obviously” The unicorn pulled away from the stallion so she could look into his eyes. “But you are also a blast to hang out with.”

Laughing Stock considered telling her now, but thought it would mean more if both parties weren’t in danger of falling asleep on the floor.

Twilight made her way up the stairs toward her bedroom; Laughing Stock had one last question before he went to bed.

“During the group hug, I had this weird tingling sensation run through my body. Do you have any idea what is it was?”

Twilight stopped at the top of the stairs and looked down at her friend, a small smile made its way on to her face.

“I have an idea” she said. “Can you give me anymore details?”

“I can try.” The stallion struggled to stay awake, trying to remember the feeling. “It was almost like my whole body was asleep at the same time. It felt very…very…”

“Magical?” Twilight said finishing his sentence.

Laughing Stock was about to scoff at the unicorn’s suggestion, but the word fit perfectly for some reason.

“You know what…it did feel rather…magical.”

“Congratulations Laughing Stock” Twilight turned her back to the stallion making her way to bed.” You have discovered the
magic of friendship.”

Laughing Stock collapsed on his bed, thinking about the day he had. He made five new friends, reconnected with an old ne, and grew a lot closer to the mare of his dreams.

Tomorrow will be the day I tell Twilight I love her, or may Princess Celestia strike me down. It was his last thought before drifting off into a peaceful sleep.


Laughing Stock woke up on the morning of the fifth day exhausted. His less than successful efforts over the past four days kept him awake all night. The stallion sat up and began to rub his face with his hooves as he realized this was his last day.

I can’t dwell on the past. I need to forget about all my failed attempts at telling Twilight I love her. I need to focus on my goal and just tell her today...no pressure, right?

After he dragged himself to the kitchen, the stallion noticed a letter addressed to him sitting on the table. He opened it and began to read.

Laughing Stock-
I am sorry I didn’t get to tell you in person, but Princess Celestia needs me in Canterlot. Apparently, there is a problem with the archives and my organizational talents are needed. I should be back late tonight, please take care of Spike while I am gone.
Twilight Sparkle

Laughing Stock placed his head on the table and released a small sigh. With Twilight gone all day, he had no idea how he would tell her his feelings. His idea for a nice picnic was shot to hay, and now dinner wasn’t an option either. The only option left was to tell an exhausted mare he loved her as she came home from a long day of travel and library organization. It wasn’t as romantic as Laughing Stock hoped, but it would have to do.

Spike joined Laughing Stock at the table and asked the earth pony about his plans for the day.

“I planned to spend it with Twilight, but since she’s gone, I am free till lunch.” Laughing Stock began to stretch his legs as he got up from the table. He didn’t feel like eating, making the appropriate preparations were at the forefront of his mind.”Rarity invited all of us over for lunch, so I was going to head over there. Did you want to do something this morning?”

“I was hoping you could help me dig up some gems.” Spike suddenly looked upset. “Twilight and I usually go together, but she has been so busy with you, she hasn’t had time for me.”

Laughing Stock instantly choked up. He felt horrible for neglecting Spike this past week, and if Twilight was going to be part of his life, then Spike would be part of the package as well.

“Sure, sound like fun!” Laughing Stock crouched down so Spike could hop on his back.

“This is going to be great!” Spike cheered as the earth pony and the dragon made their way into the countryside.

After a few minutes of awkward silence had passed, Laughing Stock broke the ice.

“So Spike, what have you been up to the last few days?”

“The same stuff I usually do when Twilight is busy studying.” Spike said as the pair continued on their search for gems. “I tidied up the library, made sure Twilight has plenty of quills and parchment for her letters to the princess, cleaned Rarity’s house, made lunch for-“

“Wait, back up. Did you say you cleaned up Rarity’s house?” Laughing Stock couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Yeah, a beautiful pony shouldn’t have to do her own housework.”

“You have a crush on Rarity, don’t you Spike?” Laughing Stock put the pieces to this fairly obvious puzzle together.

“Yeah, how did you know? Did Twilight tell you? She swore she wouldn’t tell anypony else after the Photo Finish incident…”

“Relax Spike” Laughing Stock attempted to calm the upset dragon down. “She didn’t tell me anything. Like you, I have done many things to make a mare like me, but they usually take advantage of you in the end. Can I give you some friendly advice?

“Sure Laughing Stock, go right ahead.”

“You should just tell Rarity how you feel. If you drag it out, it may make matters worse.”

Spike raised an eyebrow and stared at the back of Laughing Stocks head.

“That is the advice you’re giving me?”

“Yeah, why? Is there something wrong with it?” Laughing Stock thought it was great advice, and he never took Spike to be the skeptical type.

“No, not at all.” Spike said with a smile. “I just didn’t know you followed the ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ philosophy.

“What in Equestria are you talking about Spike?”

“That advice you gave me is great, you should follow it yourself and tell Twilight already.”

Laughing Stock came to a halt.

“Why did Applejack tell you?

“She didn’t tell me directly” Spike confessed. “I was watching Rarity outside her window when I heard Applejack tell Rarity.”

“What were you doing watching Rarity outside her window?”

“She had nothing for me to do, but I still wanted to see her.”

“So you’re stalking Rarity, Spike?” Laughing Stock was chuckling and shaking his head side to side. “I don’t judge my friends Spike, but that is really weird.”

“It wasn’t stalking…I was just eavesdropping.” The baby dragons’ face began to glow red.

“That sounds an awful lot like stalking Spike.”

“I looked it up in Mareiam Webster’s dictionary myself.” Spike muttered. The dragon and pony arrived at the dig site. “What I was doing is considered eavesdropping.”

“Alright, no need to get upset Spike.” Laughing Stock wanted to avoid arguing at all costs today, he wasn’t feeling very confrontational. “I was just joking; I am a comedian after all.”

After a few minutes of digging up gems in silence, Laughing Stock broke the ice once again.

“Spike, do you think I have a chance with Twilight?

Spike glanced at the stallion from the hole he was digging.

“I don’t see why not. She really likes you, and you obviously like her, so why not just find out for yourself?”

Laughing Stock continued to help the dragon look for his stones, but with a smile on his face while he worked. If this baby dragon could see that Twilight liked him, why couldn’t he see it? After the pair finished excavating as many gems as they could carry, they made their way back home. Laughing Stock was thinking about the words he would be using to express himself, while Spike was snacking on gems. The stallion made his way to the Carousel Boutique to meet his friends.

“Good afternoon Casanova.” Rarity began teasing Laughing Stock the moment he entered her kitchen. He didn’t mind though, he actually felt like he deserved it. “Did you say anything to a certain pony this morning?”

“Well, considering she left for Canterlot before I woke up. No, I haven’t told her yet.” Laughing Stock took a seat at the table next to Fluttershy.

“I feel bad sugar, I really do.” Applejack said from across the table. “But you have had four days to tell her, why are you surprised that it didn’t work out the way you wanted at the last minute.”

“Well, in my defense, I want to make it special for her.” Rarity brought over a plate to Laughing Stock, who started to eat immediately. “But every time I find the right moment, one of you interrupts us and the magic is gone.”

“I’m sorry for my interruption.” Fluttershy apologized immediately. “I forgot you and Twilight hate snakes, I never should have brought them by the library.

The other ponies weren’t as quick to apologize for their faults.

“How dare you accuse me doing something so garish!” Rarity turned her nose up at the thought of ruining a special moment between two ponies.

“What about yesterday when you ran into the park screaming Photo Finish stole the hat you made?”

“It’s not my fault” Rarity whined. “It was missing and it is sure to sweep the fashion world by storm! I wouldn’t put it past Photo Finish to steal it.”

Laughing Stock rubbed his face with his hoof. “It was on your head the whole time, Rarity.”

“Well, I certainly did apologize after the incident” Rarity insisted. “But it was not as bad as you are making it sound.”

“You brought your drama couch.”

“Ok, so I may have overreacted a tiny bit.” The white unicorn finally admitted she made a mistake.

“Typical Rarity” Applejack shook her in disgust. “She’s always managin’ to mess a special moment with her drama.”

“Really Applejack?” Laughing Stock turned towards the earth pony, who gulped. “Would you care to tell everypony what you did?

“Not particularly.” Applejack muttered. She gave Laughing Stock permission to visit her farm after hours so he could tell express himself to Twilight her overlooking Ponyville at sunset. But she forgot to tell Big Macintosh that Laughing Stock had the go-ahead, and the only male member of the Apple family doesn’t like trespassers.

“Do you realize how humiliating it was being hog tied while the pony of your love dreams watches? It’s very unsettling.”

“You’re a comedian aint’cha? You have ponies laugh at you all the time!” Applejack tried to defend herself, but she realized he was right.

“And as for you Pinkie, how many times have you managed to interrupted Twilight and I?”

The pink earth pony thought for a moment.

“Do you want the numbers for this whole week, or just in one day?”

“Whole week if you don’t mind.”

“Twenty seven different times!” The pink pony exclaimed, Laughing Stock wasn’t sharing her enthusiasm.

“I don’t even want to discuss some of the things you did, especially the cake fiasco.” Laughing Stock shuttered as he remembered the incident. “It’s still baffling to me that you managed to get a cake to do that.”

The other ponies agreed. They all decided to never speak of the incident again, as long as the Mr. and Mrs. Cake didn’t find out, they were in the clear.

“Look, just do me a favor and stay away from the library tonight, please. I don’t care about our deal anymore Applejack, it is very pathetic that I have squandered four precious days with her. I refuse to waste another.” Laughing Stock was pleading with his friends. Not only this was very important to him, but to Twilight as well.

The five mares agreed to stay away from the library to ensure Twilight and Laughing Stock had time alone.

Laughing Stock declined the option to hang out with his friends after lunch at Rarity’s concluded; he wanted some peace and quiet.

He arrived at the lake and sat beneath a tree and began to practice what he was going to say to Twilight. He didn’t want to be too straight forward, but was afraid that being too subtle would backfire.

The walk back to the library felt like an eternity, but once he arrived at the front door, he felt ready. Upon pushing it open, he saw Spike, still snacking on the gem stones the two found earlier.”

“Hey Spike, have you heard from Twilight?”

“Yeah, she got home a few minutes ago. She is out on the highest balcony.”

Laughing Stock swallowed hard. He knew it was now or never.

“What is she doing up there?”

“I am not sure; she always goes up there after getting back from Canterlot.” Spike was a little preoccupied ogling a massive emerald, which was fine with Laughing Stock. One less distraction he had to deal with.

The nervous stallion stopped in front of the door that separated the earth pony from the mare of his dreams. He took a deep breath and made his way outside. He saw Twilight lying on her back, looking up at the stars.

“Hey you” the purple unicorn said as she leaned her head back to see who was on the balcony with her. “Care to join me?”

Laughing Stock laid down right next to the mare.

“So, what are we looking at?”

“The stars.” Twilight answered as she continued to gaze at the sky. “You can never see the stars this clearly in Canterlot, too many lights I suppose. Whenever I come back, I just love looking at them.”

Laughing Stock agreed. He couldn’t recall seeing this many lights at home, but he was more interested in what was next to him, not what was above him.

“Aren’t they the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?” Twilight added.

She set you up with the perfect line, he thought. Now is the time, go for it!

“They aren’t actually.” Laughing Stock took a deep breath. “I have seen something even more beautiful.”

“What was it?” Twilight asked, still looking at the stars above her head.

“You” the stallion replied turning his head to look at her.

Twilight slowly moved her head in Laughing Stocks direction.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” The mare’s heart suddenly began beating very fast. She heard exactly what he said, but she couldn’t believe it.

“Twilight Sparkle, I love you.” Laughing Stock suddenly felt the weight of the world off his shoulders. “I know I have only known you a little less than a week, but it doesn’t matter. I have never felt this way about another pony in my life.”

Laughing Stock carefully placed his hoof under her chin and brought her close. The two ponies kissed for the first time. Laughing Stock felt the same tingling feeling throughout his body after the group hug he received a few days ago, that same magical feeling had returned.

“Laughing Stock” Twilight said as she put a hoof on his face. “I love you too! I have wanted to say something all week, but I was afraid. I thought since we haven’t known each other that long, it would be strange. You have no idea how happy you have made me.”

As the ponies embraced, Laughing Stock gently kissed the top of her head.

“I have some sort of idea” the stallion confessed. “You have made me the happiest pony in all of Equestria.”

After a few more minutes of bliss, Laughing Stock had something he had to tell Twilight.

“The day I made breakfast, I ran into Applejack and told her my feelings for you before I knew you guys were friends.” Laughing Stock lifted her head so they could look into each other’s eyes. “When you introduced us later, she somehow knew that you felt the same way and we made a deal. If I didn’t tell you I loved you by tonight, she would tell you herself.”

Laughing Stock expected Twilight to be angry, but the purple unicorn placed her head on his shoulder and slowly nuzzled his neck and emit a soft chuckle.

“She somehow knew I felt the same way because I told her right before you entered the barn.”

Laughing Stock felt a small hint of anger when he first heard this, but when he looked down and saw Twilight in his arms, the bad feelings began to melt away. He wasn’t mad at Applejack after all, in fact, he was happy she got involved. If it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be in this situation with this beautiful creature lying next to him.

As the two continued to watch the sky, the stallion was in a state of nirvana. He had no idea what the future had in store for him, and it really didn’t concern him. As long as he had Twilight Sparkle by his side, the future would always be bright.

Chapter 6: A Concert in Ponyville

View Online

Laughing Stock slowly woke up the next morning; he was up late with Twilight. The two just looked at the stars and spent time with each other. After a few moments of lying in bed and relished the events from the night before, the stallion climbed out of bed, eager to make new memories. Upon entering the living room, Laughing Stock heard Twilight talking to Spike.

Dear Princess Celestia,
I have learned friends can come from anywhere. Just because you are not in a place you are familiar with, doesn’t mean there aren’t friends to be made. I met a stallion on the way back from the visit before last, and we became friends instantly. This stallion is different though, in the few days we have known each other, he has already taught me so much. Not only has this new stallion helped me understand the magic of friendship, but he has introduced me to the magic of love. I can’t wait to introduce him to you!

Your faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle

Laughing Stock leaned close to Twilight’s ear and whispered “anypony I know?”

Twilight jumped when she heard the voice behind her. After discovering it was her handsome stallion, she answered the question.

“You might” the mare replied as she kissed him good morning. Spike gagged as he made his way to the window so he could send the letter

“What’s on the agenda for today?” Laughing Stock didn’t care what Twilight had planned, he just wanted to be around her.
“We have been invited to Sugarcube Corner so we can test out the Cakes new sweet roll recipe, if that interests you.”

“That sounds awesome” Laughing Stock confessed. “There’s nothing I love more than sweet rolls!”

Twilight teased the stallion by pretending to take offense to his comment. “Surely there is at least one other thing you love more than sweet rolls.”

Remembering their first full day together, Laughing Stock smiled. “Well, now that you mention it, there may be one other thing I love more…and my name is Laughing Stock, not Shirley.”

The young couple made their way into the bakery, only to be greeted with a round of applause from all their friends.

“Well I’ll be looks like he finally told her after all.” Applejack was relieved that she didn’t have to tell Twilight.

Laughing Stock walked over to his fellow earth pony and gave her a hug. “Thank you for all you encouragement and threats, I have no idea where I would be if it wasn’t for you.”

“Think nothing of it sugar cube.”

As the Cakes came out of the kitchen with their newest creations ready to be devoured, Laughing Stock asked them how business was going.

Mr. Cake let out a small sigh. “Its fine I suppose, it’s just been very slow. The Mrs. and I have been trying to think of a way to drum up business, but we can’t think of anything.”

“Can you guys help us think of some super de duper ways we can bring more ponies into the store?” Pinkie asked in between bites of sweet roll.

Laughing Stock was mesmerized by Pinkies eating ability. She alone was a one pony sweet roll eating apocalypse.

“Couldn’t ya’ll just give out free samples or sumthin?” Applejack suggested, but the Cakes shook their heads in unison.

“We have tried that many times, but nopony wants them. When we ask them why, they always say something about baked bads.”

Applejack pulled the brim of her hat over her eyes.

“What about a fashion show?” Rarity was always looking for an excuse to show off her latest designs; a fashion show would be the perfect place to do it.

“Nopony cares about your dresses, Rarity.” Rainbow Dash was quick to point out. “If they did, don’t you think that somepony would actually buy them?”

Rarity shot Rainbow Dash a glare, but the cyan pegasus didn’t notice because she was getting her suggestion ready.

“Maybe you guys could have the-“

Everypony else in the bakery, including the Cakes interrupted her before she could finish. “The Wonderbolts wouldn’t perform for a bakery, Rainbow Dash.”

Laughing Stock took his eyes of Pinkie for the first time in minutes to give his suggestion.

“In Canterlot, I know many restaurants have live performances during business hours to draw people in, have you guys considered something like that?”

The Cakes admitted that they had thought of that, but they didn’t know any live performers.

Twilight cleared her throat, which drew everyponies attention.

“Laughing Stock happens to be-“

“FRIENDS WITH A MUSICIAN!” Laughing Stock knew exactly what she was going to say, so the stallion cut her off before she
could finish. He wasn’t ready to perform in front of people again, he would get back out in front of an audience soon enough, but not in the immediate future.

All eyes were on the stallion, including his marefriends, which weren’t looking very happy.

“I am good friends with DJ PON-3, I could ask her to do me a favor and come down tomorrow and play a show if that interests you.”

Everypony was excited, but nopony was more excited than Pinkie.

“DJ PON-3 HERE? THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAMZING!” The pink pony leapt to her hooves and pretended the empty plates were turntables.

“There are a few things we are going to need.” Laughing Stock stood on his hind legs and put his front legs on the table. “We are going to need a venue, an opening act, and a way to get the word out.”

The Cakes immediately suggested they use their bakery as the venue for the show. Looking around, Laughing Stock thought it was a tad small, but it could work if the proper adjustments could be made in time.

“I could fly around and get the word out” Rainbow Dash suggested. Laughing Stock agreed, he told Dash that she should take off as soon as breakfast was finished.

Twilight cleared her throat again.

“And you could be the-“

“PONY WHO JUDGES THE OPEN AUDITIONS FOR THE OPENING ACT? Great idea Twilight!” Once again, Laughing Stock interrupted his marefriend because he knew exactly what she was going to say.

“I’m going to need everyponies help with this if we are going to pull this off” Laughing Stock announced as the room started to buzz with excitement. He started to rattle off jobs for everypony to complete.”

“Rainbow Dash, you make sure everypony knows that we will be holding auditions later this afternoon for an opening act, and that the show will take place tomorrow night.”

“Got it!” Rainbow Dash flew out the closest window, saluted the stallion that gave her orders and flew away.

“Rarity, I am going to need somepony that can make this place look concert appropriate. Think you are up for the job?”

The white unicorn nodded. If she couldn’t show her spring fashion line to the world, her interior design skills would be the next best thing.

“Pinkie Pie, all I want you to do is help the Cakes prepare all the food for the show.”

“Oki Doki Loki!” Pinkie made her way to the kitchen, but Laughing Stock called her back.

“DO NOT eat anything you make until the show starts.”

Pinkie looked crestfallen at Laughing Stocks request as she dragged herself through the swinging kitchen doors.

“Applejack and Fluttershy, I am going to need your help with the open auditions.”

“Um…Laughing Stock…I don’t know anything about open auditions.” Fluttershy wasn’t sure what he meant by help with the auditions, but she was sure she didn’t want to be a part of it.

“All you girls have to do is watch the performers and let me know what you think” Laughing Stock promised. “It’s very easy.”

After Applejack and Fluttershy agreed to help; Laughing Stock told Twilight he needed to speak with her outside.

“Look sweetheart” the stallion said as the purple unicorn sat next to him. “I really appreciate your attempt to get me on stage again, but I don’t think I’m up to it yet.”

“If you wait for the perfect moment, it will never come around. You just have to jump in with all four hooves.”

Laughing Stock agreed with his mare, and promised her that the next time an opportunity to perform presented itself, he would jump on it. He then asked Twilight if she would be interested in organizing the rest of the event.

“Of course.” Twilight couldn’t wait to get started. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes there is, could you find a way to get a letter to a pony named Vinyl Scratch in Canterlot? Tell her to get on the next train to Ponyville and to bring all her equipment that she would need for a show.”


“Alright everypony, can I have your attention please!”

A few hours after Rainbow Dash spread word about the auditions for the opportunity to open the show for DJ Pon-3, ponies arrived in droves. Laughing Stock was trying his best to get their attention.

“My name is Laughing Stock. I will be one of the judges who will determine whether you have what it takes to be the opening act. I will be assisted by Applejack and Fluttershy, who is currently hiding under our table. Good luck everypony.”

“Alright ya’ll, listen up.” Applejack was reading the names of the contestants off a clipboard. “First up is Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara, who will be doin' a duet.”

The two fillies went in front of the three judges and sang their hearts out. As the two girls finished, they awaited their fate.

“I thought they were lovely.” Fluttershy was trying her best to avoid hurting the fillies’ feelings.

“You have got to be kidding.” Laughing Stock, on the other hand, didn’t give a rat’s flank. “They were horrible. I don’t think they were on key ONCE during the song.”

“Listen here girls.” Applejack was somewhere in between her friends. “You’re talented, but you’re not right for this competition.”

“How dare all of you!” Diamond Tierra screamed as Silver Spoon did her best to remove the angry filly from stage. “Wait till my father hears about this!”

“I can’t wait!” Laughing Stock heckled the small pony. “Next we have Snips and Snails performing feats of magic.”


After two hours of horrible magic, lousy singing, and comedy so bad it made Laughing Stock considered a career change, the three judges finished auditioning everypony in line.

“I hate to say it, but I think my sister and her little friends were the best act we saw.” Applejack didn’t want to vote for her sister, but in all honesty, the Cutie Mark Crusaders Jugglers were the best thing they saw all day.

Laughing Stock and Fluttershy agreed as Vinyl Scratch walked into the bakery. The stallion leaped from his chair, so he could inform her of everything he had planned.

“Laughing Stock, do you have a minute?” Twilight asked the stallion while he was finishing up his spiel.

“For you, of course! But first, Twilight meet Vinyl Scratch, my best friend! Vinyl Scratch meet Twilight, the best marefriend in all of Equestria!” Laughing Stock hoped that the two ponies would get along.

Unbeknownst to the stallion, the two ponies had met already. Laughing Stock heard one of them say something about a wedding; he stopped paying attention once the filly talk started.

“You wanted to talk to me about something, Twilight?”

“Is there any way you could audition one more pony, for me?” The purple unicorn had a small smile on her face, she really wanted him to try-out this pony for some reason.

“Sure, one more won’t hurt I suppose. Bring her in.”

Laughing Stock took his seat as a gray pegasus walked in front of him, and the pony just stared at Laughing Stock, or at least she tried. One eye was on Laughing Stock, but the other seemed to be focused on Rarity who was busy hanging black curtains on the windows.

“So, what’s your name?”

“My name is Ditzy Doo, but everypony calls me Derpy.” The gray pegasus looked upset. “But I prefer Ditzy if you don’t mind.”

“Ditzy it is then!” Laughing Stock started to understand the situation at hand. From what the stallion could see, this pony was self conscious about her eyes, and other ponies probably made fun of her. Laughing Stock, who was no stranger to bullying, wanted to make her feel as comfortable as possible. “If you were to open for DJ PON-3, what would you be doing?”

“I like bubbles” Ditzy said as she pulled out a container of bubbles.

Laughing Stock was between a rock and a hard place as he watched Ditzy blow bubble after bubble. Obviously, nopony was going to like watching another pony blow bubbles. But on the other hand, Ditzy was showing a lot of courage auditioning in the first place, and he though it should be rewarded.

When the bubbles stopped, a hopeful Ditzy waited for Laughing Stocks response. Before he said a word to the pegasus, he walked over to Vinyl Scratch and Twilight, and the three ponies talked for a few moments. Ditzy noticed that both the earth pony and the unicorns were looking at her quite a bit, but she couldn’t hear what they were saying.

Finally after a few minutes, Laughing returned with Vinyl Scratch and Twilight in tow.

“Well Ditzy, the bad news is that we already have an opening act, I’m sorry” Laughing Stock sounded remorseful.

The gray pony hung her head and made her way to the door.

“Wait Ditzy, there is good news!” Laughing Stock was smiling now, so they pegasus decided to hear him out.

“DJ Pon-3 happens to love bubbles, but doesn’t have a way to use them as part of her show. So she was wondering if you would like to blow bubbles for her while she is onstage.”

Twilight couldn’t recall seeing Ditzy’s face light up like that before, to say she was excited would be an understatement. She agreed to provide the bubbles for the musical pony and proceeded to race home and tell her daughter.

“That may have been the sweetest thing I have ever seen.” Twilight said to Laughing Stock as he watched Ditzy run down
the street.

“Well, I have been getting so much help from strangers recently; I figured that I should return the favor.”

“How did I ever meet such a sweet stallion?” Twilight asked as she kissed him on the cheek.

“You lowered your standards.” Laughing Stock said with a grin, which earned him a playful slap in the face from Twilight.

After staying up late preparing the bakery for the concert, the group of friends decided to call it a day. As everypony went their separate ways, Vinyl Scratch asked where she could find a hotel.

“Oh no, I must insist that you stay with us” Twilight insisted.

Laughing Stock was pleased when he heard the musical unicorn would be staying with them, but he was also confused. There was not room for another bed in Twilight’s house, so where was Scratch going to sleep?

“Well, here is where you will be sleeping Vinyl Scratch.” Twilight showed the back bedroom to the DJ, as the comedian watched his bed become occupied by another pony.

Laughing Stock walked to the hall closet and took out an extra blanket; he proceeded to lie down in the middle of the living room and covered himself. This would have to do until tomorrow.

“Why are you lying on the floor?” Twilight asked, standing over the stallion.

“Scratch is in my bed, and I don’t want you to give me yours. I’ll be fine here tonight.”

“We could always…sleep in the same bed…” Twilight sounded nervous making this suggestion. She had never done anything like this, but she felt comfortable with Laughing Stock. She trusted him to not do anything she wasn’t ready to do.

Laughing Stock silently lay on his side, eyes wide open as he heard Twilight’s suggestion. He didn’t have the faintest idea on what he should say.

“We…we could do that…only if you want to.”

Twilight smiled sweetly at the stallion as she nodded and beckoned him up stairs.

Upon climbing into bed and snuggling with Twilight, Laughing Stock began to realize how peaceful he felt. The young couple fell asleep holding each other almost immediately.


The next morning arrived much too soon for Laughing Stock. He woke up to find Twilight’s face buried in his neck, still sound asleep. Not waiting to disrupt her, he remained in bed while she slept. A few minutes later, the mare began to stir and slowly opened her eyes.

“What time is it?” She asked with her features still concealed in Laughing Stock’s shoulder.

“It’s almost ten.” Twilight suddenly jumped out of bed, which startled the stallion. “Is there somewhere you need to be?”

“I’m running late! I was supposed to meet Rarity at the boutique right now.” Twilight was out the door before she could explain what the big hurry was about.

Laughing Stock wanted to go after her, but he didn’t want to leave a sleeping Vinyl Scratch alone in a strange house. Then he remembered that it was Vinyl Scratch, she probably went to bed within the last hour. Even though this was Ponyville, if there was a party somewhere nearby, that unicorn would find it.

He arrived at the Carousel Boutique a few minutes later and peeked in the window. Rarity was working on some sort of dress, Twilight sat close to her friend. The two seemed to be having a great time, but Laughing Stock still felt like something she was hiding something from him. If she just wanted to have time alone with Rarity, why didn’t she just say so?

Laughing Stock was too busy looking through the boutique window to notice the creature creep up behind him.

“So Laughing Stock?” Spike stood behind the stallion, arms crossed and tapping his foot. “I see somepony has become a stalker.”

“I’m not stalking Spike. I’m…doing surveillance.” Laughing Stock tried fighting it, but it was no use. The stallion had been caught red hoofed. “Twilight left in a hurry and I am trying to see what the fuss was about.”

“Follow me.” Spike motioned to the pony so he could follow him. They silently made their way to the back of the store where there was an open window.

“You can hear what they are saying if your quiet” Spike informed Laughing Stock as they leaned their heads close.

“I don’t know how to tell him Rarity.” Laughing Stock recognized Twilight's voice, so the stallion took a wild guess at who the mysterious pony was. “He will be upset and all alone.”

Laughing Stock had heard enough. He turned away from the window and sat with his back to the wall. If she wanted to end their relationship after a few hours, why did she bother telling him she loved him in the first place? He felt sick to his stomach.

“You can simply tell him right now darling. Laughing Stock and Spike are outside eavesdropping on us through the back window.” Rarity said, pointing toward the exact location where the two males were hiding.

The mares called them inside, and they reluctantly obeyed instructions.

“So Twilight, what is it you can’t tell me?” Laughing Stock was trying to stay calm.

“Well, I have to leave in a week to go to Canterlot for a couple days.” Twilight looked upset as she began explaining the situation to her stallion. “All of us girls have been invited to Princess Celestia’s birthday party. When we were invited, I didn’t know you, and I don’t want to ask if I can bring a guest on such short notice. I hope you understand.”

Laughing Stock thought this was hilarious for some reason. “Is that all your worried about? Me feeling left out?”

“Yes…don’t you feel left out?” Twilight wasn’t upset anymore, but she was just as confused.

“I don’t care about it.” The stallion kissed Twilight’s forehead and stroked her mane. “I will stay here and look after the library. You need to have some time alone with your friends.”

“Well, isn’t that precious.” Rarity said as she pushed Laughing Stock out the door. “But we mares need our privacy if we are going to be trying on dresses.”

“Yeah, Laughing Stock. Leave us alone.” Spike said as he closed the door, only to be thrown out the same one a few moments later.

“Well wasn’t that smooth.” Laughing Stock joked as Spike dust himself off.

“The concert doesn’t start for a few hours, want to go dig up some more gems?”

“I’d love too, but I need to make sure everything at the bakery is coming along.” Laughing Stock said as he made his way to Sugarcube Corner.


Laughing Stock and his friends made all the last minute arrangements as ponies started showing up to see the concert. The Cutie Mark Crusaders had arrived and were getting ready to perform their juggling act. Pinkie Pie, who volunteered to be the Master of Ceremonies this evening stood at center stage and addressed the crowd.

“GOOD EVENING EVERYPONY! ARE WE READY TO HAVE SOME FUN?” The pink mare screamed. Her question was met with applause from everypony in the building; they couldn’t wait for the show to begin.

“Before we start with our opening act, let’s have a round of applause for the stallion that made all this possible.” Pinkie turned to her left where Laughing Stock was standing, and before he knew what was going on, he was thrust into the spotlight.

“Laughing Stock here is a comedian from Canterlot who has been staying in town for a few days. Go ahead Laughing Stock, say something funny!” Pinkie Pie demanded as the crowd began to cheer for the stallion.

Laughing Stock thought about Pinkies request for a moment and the stallion couldn’t resist.

“Something funny.”

Not expecting that answer, everypony in the room laughed at the comedian, who bowed and exited stage left. As he took his place behind the curtain, Twilight joined him.

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“No, but I still am not interested in getting back out there full time as of this moment.” Laughing Stock watched the Crusaders walk out on stage. When they auditioned the day before, the fillies used balls to perform their juggling act, but tonight the girls were using what looked like…

“Torches” Laughing Stock said as he placed his hoof on his face.

Without saying a word, the stallion grabbed his mare and stood next to the back door of the bakery. Once he heard screams and what sounded like a fire carriage in the distance, he opened their escape route.

“After you, my lady.”


“Let’s have a round of applause for the Ponyville Fire Department, who was able to put out the fire before no real damage could be done!” Pinkie was attempting to cheer everypony up after juggling incident, but all she received in return was a sarcastic round of applause.

“Now let’s hear it for our main attraction, DJ PON-3!”

As the curtain opened, the best DJ in all of Equestria began her show to a massive round of applause. Laughing Stock forgot how good she was, almost instantly everypony in the bakery were on their hooves. He took note that Ditzy was having the time of her life as she sat next to Vinyl Scratch, blowing bubbles with a smile on her face.

Looking up from her turn tables, Vinyl noticed Laughing Stock off to the side of the stage and Twilight standing right next to him.

“Hey Laughing Stock, I think Vinyl is trying to get your attention…” Twilight noticed the musician was waving her arms furiously, trying to get the stallions attention.

Laughing Stock shrugged towards his friend. He had no idea what she was trying to say, the music was too loud.

The DJ tilted her head to the left and began to jerk it in the same direction. The stallion looked to his left but didn’t see anything besides Twilight.

Once again, the stallion shrugged, he had no idea what the musician was trying to tell him. Once again she tilted her head and repeated the motion.

This time, Laughing Stock understood. He raised a hoof over Twilights head. Vinyl began to nod furiously.

“I think she wants us to dance.” The stallion took Twilight’s hooves and the two began to dance. The two ponies remained by each other’s side for the remainder of the show.

“That was a fantastic show Vinyl Scratch! Are you sure you have to leave right now?” The show ended earlier that Vinyl Scratch thought, so she decided it would be best if she caught the last train back to Cantrerlot, Laughing Stock and Twilight walked the musical unicorn to the station.

“I have a show the day after tomorrow I need to get ready for, I should probably head home.” Scratch turned to Laughing Stock and gave him a hug and whispered into Laughing Stock’s ear. “You have a great thing going with Twilight, don’t blow it.”

Chapter 7: The Performance of a Lifetime/Acknowledgements

View Online


“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.