Laughing Stock must convince Shining Armor that he is good enough to marry Twilight Sparkle.
(This is a sequel to my first story, "What is Fame without Friendship?" Special thanks to wildberk for editing this story, and HoovesLikeJagger for the awesome cover art!)
After being together for a year, Laughing Stock is ready to propose to his girlfriend, Twilight Sparkle. The only problem: Her brother, Shining Armor doesn't think the comedian is the right stallion for his sister. Laughing Stock is willing to do anything he can to prove he is the perfect stallion for Twilight, even if it means spending a week in a cabin with the Royal Family.
“Spike, you think Twilight would like a frying pan for Hearth’s Warming day?”
Laughing Stock was sitting in an easy chair in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter day in Ponyville. A JC Pony Hearth Warming catalog lay open in his lap.
“What would she do with a frying pan? She doesn’t cook.” Spike was placing assorted books on their proper shelves, per Twilight’s request, he always had a long to do list when she was away in Canterlot.
“Ok, I will it in the maybe category.” the comedian circled the picture of the frying pan in the catalog, wondering what she would do with it if he bought it for her. He wasn’t too concerned about finding an amazing gift however, because the item would only be a secondary gift. The main present she would receive would be a lot more personal.
Laughing Stock thought about the past year with Twilight, smiling while he flipped though the catalog. It was the best year of his life! His career as a standup comedian was at an all time high, he won Equestria’s prestigious entertainer of the year award and recieved the key to the city of Ponyville. The best thing to happen to him all year was finding a mare he was absolutely crazy about. He wanted the remaining years of his life to be this good. Laughing Stock knew the only way to make sure that happened was to make Twilight his bride.
Wondering how Twilight would look in a tracksuit, Laughing Stock heard the door to the Ponyville Library open and slam shut. He looked up and saw a dejected lavender unicorn plop herself in the easy chair next to him.
“How did the meeting go?” Laughing Stock slipped the catalog under the chair cushion; he didn’t want Twilight to know he was looking for a gift. “Did this publisher have anything different to say?
After spending her entire life reading books, she decided to write her own based on the magic of friendship. Since she finished writing the book a few months ago, Twilight has been shopping her work around to every publisher in Equestria. Despite the praise she received, none of the distributors would pick it up. Their reasons were all the same.
“They said the same thing all the others said, it lacks a personal feel.” Twilight had no idea what anypony meant by a personal feel. The book walked ponies through the steps of finding the magic of friendship using the methods she used.
“What could make it more personal than that?” Twilight asked, becoming very frustrated at the lack of answers she was receiving from anypony that was in a position to help her.
The earthpony left his chair and wrapped his front legs around his lovely lavender mare.
“We will find a way to get your book out there. I know we will.”
Twilight felt better already. He boyfriend always knew what to say.
“I know.” Twilight changed the topic of conversation from her day to her boyfriend's. “What did you do today?”
“Uh…”the comedian looked at the bulgy chair cushion he was just sitting on. He couldn’t say he spent all day looking a small gift that would enhance the marriage proposal he hoped to make, but saying he did nothing would only lead Twilight to ask more questions. “I...uh…read a book.
Twilight nearly fell out of her easy chair. “You read a book? I find that hard to believe.”
“Oh come on, is it that hard to believe that I read a book?”
Twilight started laughing. “Yes, it is very hard to believe. You can barely get through the Sunday comics without my help, let alone a novel.”
“Well, Ms. Snippy, I have the book right here.” Laughing Stock reached over to the table next to him and grabbed the first book he could find. He handed the book to Twilight and awaited her response.
“The Adventures of Buckleberry Finn” Twilight read as a smile crept upon her face. “This is one of my favorite books! I expect a full report as soon as possible.”
“Yeah right, like I would ever do a report.” Laughing Stock rolled his eyes.
Twilight gave the book back to Laughing Stock and told him to write something.
Write something huh…I know just the thing.
The stallion called Spike back into the living room. He proceeded to tell the purple dragon to take a letter. To Spike’s amusement and Twilight’s disdain, Laughing Stock began to mimic his girlfriend’s voice.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Today I learned a very important lesson about doubting my boyfriend. I sometimes get so overwhelmed with love when I think about him, I often forget that the magnificent creature I live with is a mere mortal and-
A pillow flew across the room and smacked the comedian in the face. Twilight had heard enough, but the stallion continued the letter.
…and I simply cannot live without him.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle
“Send it Spike” Laughing Stock shouted! Twilight raced across the room to intercept the letter. The stallion playfully tackled his mare and peppered her face with small kisses while the dragon made the phony friendship report disappear in a puff of smoke.
Twilight shook her head as Laughing Stock climbed off her. “I can’t believe you did that.”
“Well, I saved you a few minutes so we could spend it together.” Laughing Stock hugged Twilight. “Besides, most of it was true anyway, right?”
Before the mare could answer, Spike belched out a letter bearing the royal seal of Princess Celestia. Twilight broke the seal and read the letter. She began laughing uncontrollably.
“What is so funny?” Laughing Stock asked as she handed him the letter. She was actually wiping tears from her eyes.
Dear Laughing Stock,
Sincerely, Princess Celestia.
Twilight continued her extreme case of the giggles on the floor. Laughing Stock grabbed his scarf and told Twilight he had to run to Sugarcube Corner to speak to the Cakes about his next few shows.
“Farewell, you magnificent creature” Twilight chuckled as Laughing Stock shut the library door on his way out. During the walk into town, he only had one thing on his mind.
I can’t believe how lucky I am to have a mare like her.
After a few minutes, Laughing Stock arrived at his destination. The destination wasn’t the bakery however; Laughing Stock went to the Carousel Boutique to speak to Rarity. He needed her help, and she owed him a favor.
“Rarity, it’s Laughing Stock! You have a minute?”
Rarity came out of the back of her shop, wearing her drawing glasses around her neck. She looked exhausted.
“Whatever it is Laughing Stock, make it quick.” Rarity said, eyeing the clock on the wall behind her. “I have a massive order I need to finish.”
“I need you to tell Twilight you really need my assistance on your trip to Canterlot tomorrow.”
Rarity looked puzzled; the unicorn used her magic to summon her daily planner and skipped ahead to the next day.
“I do not have a trip to Canterlot planned for tomorrow.”
Laughing Stock pulled out a train ticket. “You do now” the stallion said as he presented the voucher to the white unicorn.
“I simply have too much to do. I’m sorry Laughing Stock, but you’ll have to find somepony else” Rarity turned away from the stallion. She attempted to walk back to her inspiration room, but Laughing Stock stood in her way.
“I need to speak to Shining Armor.” Laughing Stock informed Rarity while she used her magic to push the stallion aside.
“Well, take Twilight with you. It will be like a mini vacation!” Rarity put her glasses back on while she took her place behind her sewing machine.
Laughing Stock walked to the opposite side of the sewing machine and took the article of clothing she was working on. Rarity appeared irate.
“It’s not that simple.”
“Then I am sure you’re going to explain it to me, aren’t you?” Rarity angrily took her garment back.
“I don’t want Twilight anywhere near Canterlot when I ask Shining Armor for her hoof in marriage.”
Rarity looked up from her project.
“You’re…you’re…” Rarity struggled to find the right words, but Laughing Stock somehow knew what she was trying to say. He slowly nodded, which led Rarity to throw her front legs around him.
“I am so happy for the two of you” Rarity screeched, squeezing the life out of the earth pony. “My best friend is getting married to an absolutely amazing stallion!”
Rarity’s tone changed from sheer excitement to somber as she informed Laughing Stock she still wouldn’t be able to accompany him to Canterlot.
Laughing Stock had one last trick up his sleeve.
“It’s ok Rarity, I understand.” The stallion sighed, hanging his head while he walked toward the exit. “Hopefully Rainbow Dash can help me pick out Twilight’s wedding ring from the most exquisite shops in Canterlot.”
The next day, Laughing Stock and Rarity sat in their own first class compartment on the train to Canterlot. She was reading the current issue of Cosmoponyton, while Laughing Stock was skimming over Twilight’s book. She asked him to give it another look over, in hopes that he could find a way to make it a more personal story.
While the stallion made a note that the story needed more mentions of her handsome comedian boyfriend, Rarity interrupted him with a question.
“Laughing Stock, I thought it was custom to ask the father of the mare for his daughter’s hoof in marriage. Why are you asking Shining Armor?”
Laughing Stock secured Twilight’s book safely in his saddlebag before answering Rarity’s question.
“Last time Twilight and I were in Canterlot, we had dinner with her parents. I asked her dad while the mares were in the powder room. He said yes, under one condition.”
Rarity asked what the one condition was, so Laughing Stock obliged her.
“Apparently, he wasn’t around his children as much as he wanted to be. He loved them more than life itself, but work always kept him away. Shining Armor was always there for Twilight when he wasn’t, so if I want Twilight, I need Shining Armor’s approval.”
Rarity gave Laughing Stock a nervous smile. She knew something he didn’t, and Laughing Stock was determined to find out what it was.
“Spill it Rarity. What do you know about Shining Armor?”
“Well, I just know that Twilight and her brother are VERY close.” Rarity explained while Laughing Stock listened intently.
“I have met him a few times before and we hit it off pretty well.” Laughing Stock informed Rarity. Right after they started dating, Shining Armor and Princess Cadance invited them out to dinner, and the two stallions seemed to hit it off. “I don’t see why our relationship would change now.”
Rarity nodded. She told Laughing Stock that since they have already met, it should be fine. She also gave him a word of warning.
“The last time you spent time with him, you weren’t asking if you could marry his sister. Don’t be surprised if he acts differently.”
“That’s true I suppose” Laughing Stock shrugged. “I am not going to worry about it. Think positive Rarity!”
The white unicorn returned the smile her friend was giving her. She had one more question, but this one had nothing to do with their journey. It was a personal question.
“How do you know Twilight is the one?”
Laughing Stock was caught off guard at first; he didn’t see that question coming. Rarity kept staring, awaiting an answer.
“Well…It’s the way I feel around her.” Laughing Stock told Rarity that he felt differently around everypony he knew. “When I am with her, I feel very happy. It's almost like she completes me in a strange way.”
Rarity was lost for words. She could tell that Laughing Stock was telling her the truth about his feelings for Twilight. Even though this was going to increase her workload, she was happy she could be a part of this major event in her friend’s lives.
“There is one more thing I was wondering” Rarity asked as the train pulled into the station. “What do you feel when you’re around me?”
Laughing Stock rose to his feet and attached his saddlebags before looking at Rarity.
“Right now, I have the felling I am about to spend a lot of money.”
“Well, here we are!” Rarity announced, stopping in front of a very expensive jewelry store. “We would have been here sooner if those ruffians left us alone!”
Laughing Stock shook his head as he opened the door for Rarity. “Those weren’t ruffians; they were fans who wanted a picture.”
Rarity snorted as she began to look at the assortment of rings that were on display.
“I bet you’re just jealous they were my fans and not yours.” Laughing Stock teased his friend as he joined her at the display case.
“Please Laughing Stock; you think I would enjoy dozens of strangers clamoring around me, adoring my every movement, begging me to take pictures with them?”
Laughing Stock didn’t say a word; he simply brought his hoof to his mouth and coughed. It was an action that caused Rarity to roll her eyes.
After spending half an hour watching Rarity examine what seemed like every diamond in Equestria, she found one that was worthy of sitting on Twilight’s horn. Laughing Stock looked at the price and nearly had a heart attack.
“Rarity…I know I told you I wanted to get her a nice ring, but this?!”
“There is no price on a mare’s heart, Laughing Stock” Rarity reminded him.
“It’s so big; Twilight could put a leash on it, walk it around Ponyville, and name it if she wanted.”
Rarity looked uneasy after all this talk about naming a diamond, so Laughing Stock changed the subject. He picked out one he liked and showed it to her.
“It’s very reasonably priced; it’s practical, and really pretty.”
“Of course it’s pretty” Rarity admitted. “But we aren’t going for pretty; we must make sure this ring is absolutely stunning.”
The two friends began to argue about which ring was better, until the jeweler had enough. He motioned for both Rarity and Laughing Stock to follow him to the back, where he kept his private collection.
“I have just the ring for you. I usually don’t sell these to anypony, but in your case I will make an exception…as long as you do me one favor.”
The jeweler pulled a ring and placed it in Laughing Stocks’ hoof. The stallion was amazed; the ring was exactly like Twilight, perfect in every way. Rarity agreed that the ring was magnificent, and the two ponies told the jeweler they would do whatever he wanted, as long as they could by that ring.
“You buy the ring and leave…and never come back.”
After purchasing Twilight's engagement ring, the ponies exited the store.
“Well Laughing Stock, I guess this is where we go our separate ways” Rarity said, giving her good friend a hug. “I wish you the best of luck!”
“Thank you Rarity. I really appreciate your help with the ring” Laughing Stock broke the hug, but his hoof remained on the mare’s shoulder. “I just hope Twilight loves it.”
“Of course she will” Rarity insisted. “Diamonds are a mare’s best friend, after all.”
“You would know.” Before leaving Rarity, Laughing Stock asked what she was planning on doing while he was at the castle.
“Do you really have to ask?” Rarity began to laugh at the comedian for asking such an obvious question. “I’ll be shopping of course!”
The two friends made plans to meet at the castle gates after a couple hours. “Don’t spend all your bits in one place!” Laughing Stock called out, while the white unicorn trotted into the first store she came across.
Once he entered the castle, Laughing Stock inquired where he could see Shining Armor. Eventually, he found a guard who was helpful.
“Shining Armor is making his rounds; he should be back in the briefing room in a few moments. I’m sure it will be fine if you waited there for him.” The guard led Laughing Stock to the briefing room.
Minutes dragged by as Laughing Stock waited for Shining Armor. He was done sitting, so he decided to snoop around. After examining every nook and cranny in the briefing room, the stallion uncovered Royal Pony Guard armor and a helmet that was not being used, so he decided to try it on.
After managing to get the uniform on the best he could, he decided to check himself out in the mirror. Once Laughing Stock saw how ridiculous he looked, the stallion began to make faces and flex his front legs.
“Twilight never cared for stallions in armor.”
Laughing Stock turned around to see a grinning Shining Armor standing in the doorway, laughing at him.
Why does this always to happen to me?
The stallion removed the uniform and shook hooves with his brother-in-law to be. After a few moments of small talk, Shining Armor wanted to get down to brass tacks.
“I heard you needed to see me, what’s on your mind?”
“I know you’re a very busy pony” Laughing Stock said, suddenly becoming very nervous. “But I need to talk to you about Twilight.”
“Is something wrong?” Shining Armor suddenly became very concerned.
“No no, she is fine, but it’s about our relationship” Laughing Stock knew it was now or never. “I would like permission to marry your sister.”
A stunned Shining Armor stared at the earth pony that anxiously awaited his decision.
“Thank you Shining Armor! You have no idea…WAIT, WHAT?!” Laughing Stock furiously rubbed his ear; he wanted to make sure that his was hearing everything properly. “Did you say NO?!”
“Wait, yes?” Is that yes, I can marry Twilight? Or yes, you said no?”
Shining Armor was now confused. He repeated what he said earlier, telling Laughing Stock he didn’t want him to marry his sister.
“Look, you are a great pony, but I don’t think you are what my sister is looking for in a long term relationship.”
“How would you know what she wants?”
“I practically raised that filly. I spent every waking moment of my colthood with her, I know what she likes.” Shining Armor placed a hoof on Laughing Stocks shoulder. “I have no problem with you dating her right now, though.”
Laughing Stock was not a violent stallion. But at that moment, he wanted to do nothing more than buck Shining Armor into next week. After taking a few deep breaths, he calmed down enough to continue his civilized conversation.
“What Twilight and I have is very real. We are very much in love, and I will not stand around and let you tell me who I can fall in love with.”
Shining Armor went from felling sorry for the poor pony, to being very annoyed with him.
“Do you know who I am? I’m a captain of the Royal Guard!”
“Do you know who I am? I’m a stallion who doesn’t give a damn about who you are!” Laughing Stock asked why he couldn’t see the two of them together for the rest of their lives.
“Your career choice is rather unorthodox, but I am not sure you could support a family.” Shining Armor walked to a nearby window, he began staring at the castle grounds below. “You are certainly having your moment in the sun Icarus, but you will fall sooner or later.”
Laughing Stock was quiet; he had no idea what Shining Armor was trying to say.
“Who is Icarus? What does he have to do with me? Is he your ideal match for Twilight?!”
Looking away from the thick earth pony, Shining Armor rolled his eyes.
Seriously…what does Twilight see in this jester?
“What I was trying to say, is that your fame won’t last forever.” Shining Armor explained as he walked back to Laughing Stock. “Once it’s gone, what are you going to do? Twilight makes good money as a librarian, but not enough to support herself, a foal or two, and a dead beat husband.”
Laughing Stock suddenly remembered what Rarity said on the train:
The last time you spent time with him, you weren’t asking if you could marry his sister. Don’t be surprised if he acts differently.
The stallion finally understood what was going on here.
“You know what the real problem is Shining Armor, you are afraid of being replaced. You are afraid that I won’t be able to care, love and support Twilight the way you have all these years.” Laughing Stock sat down next to Shining Armor and put a hoof around him. “I think it’s adorable, but it’s time to move on. You have a lovely wife of your own, you tend to her. I promise you, Twilight will be in great hooves.”
Shining Armor took a deep breath as he prepared to go back to his rounds.
“The answer is still no, Laughing Stock. Thank you for coming to me first, I really appreciate it.” As he placed his helmet over his head and walked out of the room, Laughing Stock remained inside. With his head in his hooves, he had no idea what to do. He could just take Twilight to Las Pegasus and get married there, but that would ruin her relationship with her brother, but he feared Twilight would be devastated their relationship ended because her brother said so.
Laughing Stock sighed heavily as he picked himself up. One of the relationships Twilight had with these two stallions would become a casualty in their war of words.
Laughing Stock sat outside the castle at a small fountain, just looking at the pathetic pony that stared back. Suddenly, his vision disappeared and he heard a voice behind him.
Laughing Stock had no idea who the voice belonged too, and he really didn’t care to be honest.
“I don’t know…Daring Do?”
The hooves disappeared from his eyes. Laughing Stock turned around to see a smiling Princess Cadance.
“You’re really bad at this game, aren’t you?” Cadance said as she gave her friend a hug. “It’s so good to see you Laughing Stock. Is Twiley here?”
“No, she isn’t. I came here to speak with Shining Armor alone.” Laughing Stock was surprised Shining Armor didn’t tell Cadance anything.
Laughing Stock wasn’t planning on telling Cadance anything, but since it wasn’t going to happen, he didn’t see the harm.
“I came here to ask Shining Armor for Twilight’s hoof in marriage.”
Cadance’s eyes were as big as saucer plates hearing this. A massive smile grew upon her face while her hooves curled inward and began shaking at the thought of her little Twiley getting married. She then screamed and grabbed Laughing Stock’s front hooves and started dancing.
“I can’t believe my little Twily is getting married! I am so happy for the both of you!”
Laughing Stock was caught off guard by two things as Cadance started dragging him around while she danced.
Why is Cadance so happy at the thought of Twilight and I getting married? It makes no sense, especially since Shining Armor is against the idea. And how the hay is Cadance so strong? Seriously, I’m a couple hundred pounds of dead weight, and she’s throwing me around like a rag doll.
“Don’t buy us a present yet” Laughing Stock said while a giddy Cadance proceeded to bust a move, still holding on to the stallion. “Shining Armor said no.”
Hearing the news, Cadance dropped Laughing Stock.
“He said WHAT?”
Laughing Stock sat up and explained everything that had transpired between the two stallions. She looked hurt, but not too surprised.
“I’m sorry Laughing Stock, I had a feeling this would happen eventually.”
“I’m starting to think Shining Armor may be right.” Laughing Stock turned back to the fountain. “Maybe he is right. Twilight probably do a whole lot better than this train wreck.”
Cadance spun the gloomy pony around. She grabbed both shoulder and stuck her face close to his.
“If you believe that, then you are crazy.” The nice, friendly Cadance disappeared only to be replaced with a stern princess. “Look, Shining Armor is afraid of losing his little sister to a stallion who will not give her the love and respect she deserves. And from what I have seen from the two of you, love and respect will never be in short supply.”
“I just wish there was a way to prove to him that I am good enough to marry Twilight.” Laughing Stock said wistfully.
Cadance placed a hoof on her chin. “If there was a way for you to prove you were marriage material, would you do it?”
“Yeah” Laughing Stock looked at Cadance. “Did you not hear me say I wish there was a way I could?”
“No, I missed it. Sorry.” The princess climbed to her hooves and told Laughing Stock to follow her. After a few minutes, Laughing Stock and Princess Cadance stopped in front of a familiar pair of double doors. Behind these doors, Princess Celestia sat on her throne.
Princess Celestia greeted the stallion with a very warm smile as he entered her chambers. “Why hello, you magnificent creature!”
Apparently, she remembered “Twilight’s” letter from yesterday.
“Uh, sorry about that Princess” Laughing Stock said, rubbing the back of his head. “Twilight and I were goofing around.”
“Think nothing of it” the princess said. “Is there something I can do for you?”
Laughing Stock explained the situation to the princess, who listened intently.
“…and then Cadance said she wasn’t listening to me and told me to follow her up here.” The stallion didn’t leave anything out.” Then we entered your throne room, where you made fun of me and asked if I n-“
Celestia held her hoof up.
“I am sorry to hear about your spat with Shining Armor. For what it’s worth, you and Twilight are perfect together.”
Laughing Stock was surprised to hear this from the ruler of Equestria.
“You really think so?”
“I do” the princess said with another smile. “Your personality’s sync perfectly with each other, she is smart and serious, and you are funny and…“
The princess suddenly stopped herself, as if she was trying to pick her worlds carefully.
Laughing Stock knew exactly where she was coming from.
“And I’m an idiot?”
“Your words, not mine” the princess added as she turned to Cadance. “Is there a reason you brought him here?”
“He is looking for a way to spend time with Shining Armor, so he could prove he is marriage material.” Cadance explained as Celestia slowly began to nod.
“You want to bring them with us, don’t you?”
Cadance nodded, obviously agreeing with Celestia’s statement.
“Consider it done, I will send word to Twilight. They can stay here at the castle tonight and leave with us in the morning. I will send a carriage along shortly.”
“Can somepony tell me what is going on?” Laughing Stock wasn’t sure what he just signed himself up for, but it didn’t sound good.
“Every year, the week before Hearth’s Warming day, my sister and I spend a week at our cabin in the mountains. It’s just a simple vacation” Princess Celestia explained. “Since Shining Armor and Cadance were married, we have been inviting them, and this year the invitation has been extended to you and Twilight.”
“If you want time with Shining Armor, this is your best chance” Cadance said beaming. “I know you can do it.”
“Thank you both so much.” Laughing Stock gave Princess Cadance a hug, as a way to say thank you for listening. He turned to Celestia and opened his arms, beckoning her down to his level.
Princess Celestia smiled at his request, but did not budge.
“You’re getting a hug Princess, whether you like it or not!” Laughing Stock stood on his hind legs, wrapping his hooves around Celestia. She began to laugh as she hugged him back, when Twilight’s book fell out of his saddlebag.
“Laughing Stock, Twilight didn’t tell me you read books!”
“I don’t.” Laughing Stock explained that this was Twilight’s book, and told her of all the trouble they were having with the publishers.
Using her magic, Princess Celestia brought the book close to her. She began reading a few pages and was flabbergasted.
“This must have taken her ages! No wonder why my friendship reports have been in short supply.”
It didn’t happen very often, but Laughing Stock had an idea. He knew exactly what to get Twilight for Hearth’s Warming day.
Princess! You’re a genius!
“Obviously” She said with a laugh. “Can you explain what I did that made you realize my intellect?”
Laughing Stock whispered to the princess his plan of action, Cadance looked on. She had no idea what the two ponies were discussing.
“Laughing Stock, that is brilliant!” Princess Celestia exclaimed, she knew Twilight would love it. “You better get that taken care of now, so you can give it her at the cabin.”
“Wait, I came with Rarity today. Can your transportation take her home when they pick up Twilight?”
The princess nodded as Laughing Stock left the room and headed to the biggest book publisher in all of Equestria. With his idea for a more personal feel, he knew that they would distribute his girlfriend’s book in a heartbeat.
Laughing Stock didn’t realize how long he had been gone, by the time he entered the grounds, everypony was asleep. With the help of a few house cleaners, he found the room Twilight was staying in. He quietly made his way into the room and looked at the lavender unicorn snuggled in the bed in front of him. As he crawled in to bed, he was sure that this was the pony he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Nopony was going to deny him of that pleasure, not even her brother.
The next morning came too soon. Laughing Stock wiped the sleep out of his eyes while he waited for the carriage that would be taking them to the cabin. By the time it rolled around, four of the six seats were taken. One of the empty seats was between Shining Armor and Celestia while the other seat would sandwich the occupant between Cadance and a mare Laughing Stock didn’t know.
“Twilight where do y-“Before Laughing Stock could get the words out, Twilight claimed the seat next to her brother and mentor. Laughing Stock took the only remaining seat next to the unknown pony, who seemed rather grumpy.
“Laughing Stock” Princess Celestia said as the stallion took his seat. “I don’t think you have met my sister, Princess Luna.”
Luna looked away from the window toward the earth pony that just addressed her.
“Thank you Mr. …”
“My name is Laughing Stock.” He shook Luna outstretched hoof. She went back to staring at the window. Laughing Stock had so many questions for the Princess of the Night, but he didn’t want to disturb her.
“So Mr. Laughing Stock, why are thou attending this retreat with the Royal Family?” Luna asked, still looking out her window.
“Well, I came with Twilight Sparkle” Laughing Stock explained.
“Oh, thou is the stallion who is courting Ms. Sparkle!” Luna looked away from the window. “We have heard many things about thee!”
“I hope they were all good things” Laughing Stock chuckled
Princess Luna looked very puzzled. “But of course! Why would our sister tell us bad things about thou?”
“I’m sorry princess” Laughing Stock apologized. “It was a joke. I’m a comedian you see.”
Luna still looked relatively puzzled, “What is a comedian?”
Laughing Stock was surprised at the princess’ question. “Well, a comedian is a type of entertainer who makes ponies laugh. Some sing funny songs or use props to tell funny stories, but most comedians tell jokes.” Laughing Stock told Luna more about the comedy world. She seemed to be rather interested. She asked Laughing Stock for a favor after he finished his explanation.
“We have never heard standup comedy before, would thou care to demonstrate?”
“You want me to tell you some jokes?” Laughing Stock had difficulties understanding Luna.
Luna nodded, the comedian cleared his throat and broke into an impromptu stand up performance.
“As you know, I am currently dating Twilight. I am so lucky to have a mare like her; she absolutely flawless! I’m just glad she has found a stallion like me, a stallion who is absolutely flawed!
Princess Luna was shocked to say the least.
“So that’s all thou does? Thou makes fun of thy self?”
“Yeah, pretty much.” Laughing Stock could see that Luna wasn’t sure why a pony would make fun of themselves in front of other ponies. “I have no problem with it. I learned a long time ago that I am not a perfect creature and I am fine with that. I may lack in some areas, but I make up for it in others. Nopony is perfect.
Laughing Stock turned to his left. He watched Twilight talk with Celestia and her brother for a moment.
“Well, almost nopony is perfect.” He sighed as turned back to Princess Luna. “What did you think of your first standup comedy performance?”
“Your princess rather enjoyed it” Luna said with a smile. “Would thou mind making a joke about us now?”
“Are you sure Princess? I don’t pull punches, just ask your sister.” Laughing Stock would have no problem making a joke about Luna.
Luna nodded. She eagerly waited to see what the comedian could do.
“Princess Luna, the whole time I have been here I have been wondering one thing. What is that on your head?” Laughing Stock pointed to the black object that sat behind her horn.
Luna lifted the object off her head so she could show it to Laughing Stock. “Tis our crown, we always thought that was clear.”
“What Celestia is wearing is a crown; what you are wearing looks like a mountain range has sprouted from your head.”
Luna burst out laughing as she placed her crown back on.
“Thou is quite humorous, we can tell thee will be a good companion to have.” Luna went back to staring out her window. She was quiet for the rest of the trip, which was fine with Laughing Stock. He slept the rest of the way while Twilight continued to catch up with her family.
“Laughing Stock, we’re here!”
The comedian opened his eyes, expecting to see a lavish, multi-story building. Instead, he saw your everyday, run of the mill cabin.
As the ponies exited the carriage, Celestia pulled Laughing Stock aside.
“So what do you think of our cabin?”
“It looks so…plain” Laughing Stock admitted. “One would think the royal pony sisters would have something fancier.”
“Every once in a while, it’s nice to just come out here and rough it. Luna and I have ponies do everything for us so we don’t have to lift a hoof, but sometimes I enjoy cooking or doing other household tasks.”
“I’ll make you a deal princess” Laughing Stock said, entering the simple cabin with the ruler of Equestria by his side. “Next time come to Ponyville, you can do all my chores.”
“You’re simply too much fun!” Celestia smiled making her way up the stairs. “Make sure Shining Armor sees that.”
Celestia’s advice echoed in Laughing Stock’s head as he helped Twilight unpack their things. Twilight could sense her boyfriend was troubled. She wanted to help her boyfriend get over what was bothering him so he could start enjoying their vacation.
“Bit for your thoughts?” Twilight took a seat on the nearby bed, patting the empty spot next to her. Laughing Stock took the hint and sat beside his mare.
“You know I love you, right?”
“I hope so” Twilight said with a smirk. “If you don’t, you owe me a year’s worth of rent.”
Laughing Stock elicited a somber chuckle. Normally Laughing Stock would’ve found this hilarious, but the comedian wasn’t in the mood. He leaned in and gave the beautiful unicorn a tight hug.
“I’m being serious. You know I love you, right?”
“Of course I know you love me, why do you ask?” Twilight began nuzzling her stallions’ neck, reinforcing her words.
Before Laughing Stock could answer, there was a knock on the door. Cadance stood in the threshold, looking a little embarrassed.
“Hopefully I am not interrupting anything.”
“Nope, you’re fine” Laughing Stock said, still holding Twilight. “What’s on your mind Cadance?”
“Celestia, Shining Armor and I were on our way into town, so we could pick up a few things for dinner. Would you lovebirds like to join us?”
Twilight immediately accepted the invitation. Laughing Stock declined.
“I want you to go spend time with your family; you don’t see them very often.” Laughing Stock watched Twilight leave, her face glowing with delight at the thought of spending an afternoon with some of the ponies she adored most.
A few minutes later, the earth pony decided to take a look around the rest of the house. Upon entering the living room, he saw a very bored Princess Luna entertaining herself with the record player.
“Princess…what are you doing?”
“This device is rather peculiar.” The princess moved her face closer to the record player so she could get a better look. “How does one use such a complex object?”
Laughing Stock wanted to get far away from this topic, so he suggested doing something outside.
“Outside? Why would we go outside?”
Laughing Stock asked the princess what she planned on doing inside an empty cabin all day. Luna’s gaze slowly moved from the comedian back to the record player. Clearly she had not finished unlocking the secrets of this unknown object.
Laughing Stock opened a small chest. After rooting around for a few minutes, he found a circular disc titled “Coltmanes Greatest Hits” and placed it on the device. After a moment, the disk began to spin while music poured out of the machine.
“This is called a record player” Laughing Stock explained. “Ponies use this to listen to music. The black round things are called records, this is where the music comes from.”
Luna was amazed. “Thou is saying that this beautiful sound is coming from this device?”
“Yes. Now that you know how it works can we go outside?” Out of the corner of his eye, Laughing Stock saw a toboggan propped up against a wall. “Why don’t we go sledding? There is a small hill right outside.”
“You mean you have never been sledding?” Laughing Stock couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Where is the rock you have been living under?”
“It is back on the moon, where we spent the past one thousand years in isolation.”
For a few awkward seconds, the ponies just sat there with Coltmane playing softly. Laughing Stock completely forgot Luna was once Nightmare Moon.
“We rather stay inside and listen to this lovely composition” Luna said, sitting down in front of the record player.
Laughing Stock had one last idea. If he pulled it off, Luna would be outside in no time.
“Luna come here for a minute.” Laughing Stock walked to the record player and pointed to the spinning disk. “See the label in the middle there?”
Luna nodded as Laughing Stock continued his explanation. “Notice its moving in a circle. The edge of the record is moving in a circle too.”
“Why is thou revealing this to us?” Luna didn’t understand what Laughing Stock was trying to show her.
“The two circles are moving at two different speeds, Luna. See, the outer point has to spin twice as fast in order to keep up with the inner point. So basically, even thought they are moving at two different speeds, they make the same amount of circles per minute! Isn't that cool!”
Luna was dumbstruck. “So…what you are saying is that the outer circle speed have been doubled?”
“All we do is sit on this thing here and slide down the hill” Laughing Stock explained. “It couldn’t be simpler.” Luna was nervous at first, but she agreed to try this new activity.
“Alright Laughing Stock, you have been a good companion so far. We trust you.”
With the toboggan in tow, the two ponies made their way to the top of the hill. Laughing Stock let Luna sit in front of the sled, so she could get the full experience.
“Alright, here we go!” Laughing Stock pushed off and the toboggan sped downhill. From her cries of laughter, the stallion could tell she was having a great time.
Once their ride came to an end, Luna asked if they could go again. Laughing Stock groaned at the thought of walking all the way uphill, only to end up in the same spot. He wished there was a way to get back up to the top of the hill with no effort on his part. Looking at Luna, he had an idea.
“You know what is more fun than sledding, Luna?”
The princess shook her head.
“A game you play while you are sledding called Uphill.”
“What is this game thou speaks of?”
Laughing Stock started grinning, “The pony that can drag the sled uphill the most times wins. I should warn you though, I am pretty good. Do you still want to play?”
Luna was eager to beat this stallion at his own game. She grabbed the rope and started climbing toward the top of the hill.
Before she could make any progress, Laughing Stock stopped her.
“You get bonus points if you let somepony ride on the sled while you carry it up.”
“Laughing Stock, please do not take offense by our inquiry, but are we almost done with this activity?”
Princess Luna and Laughing Stock spent the last hour sledding, both ponies were exhausted.
“Yeah, we are pretty much done, unless you want to find another hill to go down.” Laughing Stock really wanted to go inside and dry his fur, but he started feeling guilty about the whole “Uphill” thing.
“Let us ask that colt over yonder if he knows the locations of other fun places to sled.”
From what Princess Luna just said, Laughing Stock assumed that she wanted to ask for directions. They made their way to a small colt with red fur and a messy blonde mane; he was towing a sled that appeared to be very badly damaged.
“Are you hurt?” From the state of the sled, Laughing Stock guessed the colt had crashed.
“No, we’re fine” the colt said. “We wouldn’t have crashed if my co-pilot told me that tree was in the way!”
Princess Luna and Laughing Stock scanned the area for anypony else, but they didn’t see a single soul.
“Where is your companion at this moment?” Luna wanted to make sure there wasn’t another injured pony somewhere.
“He’s on the back of the sled” the colt replied.
Both Laughing Stock and Princess Luna looked behind the colt at the mangled sled. There was nopony there; in fact the only thing that was on the sled was a stuffed animal.
“Are you saying the stuffed animal is your companion?” Laughing Stock still didn’t understand what was going on, but he didn’t care. He wanted to go home.
“Yes and a lousy one at that!” The colt turned to face the toy. To everyponies surprise, he began screaming at it.
“Hey, don’t mean to interrupt your…discussion.” Laughing Stock had no idea what was going on, but he didn’t want to stick around and find out. “You know if there are any long sled trails around here?”
The colt told the two of a sled run that lasted a few minutes; he gave the ponies directions and went on his way.
“That colt is a rather peculiar specimen” remarked Luna.
“I bet he drives his parent’s nuts.” Laughing Stock stated as they made their way to the top of the massive hill.
Minutes later, Luna and Laughing Stock found themselves at the peak of an extremely large hill. Laughing Stock carefully placed the toboggan in the snow and climbed on. As Luna took her place behind the stallion, he asked if she was sure this is what she wanted.
“We are very…very high up, and there are lots of obstacles to maneuver through. Are you sure you want to do this?”
Luna wrapped her front hooves around Laughing Stock, as a precaution for the ride they were about to take. The stallion began to rock back and forth until the toboggan began to slowly move forward. With one last thrust, the two ponies began their downhill journey.
After a few seconds of traveling downward at breakneck speed, Laughing Stock broke the silence with a question.
“So Luna, Twilight told me about the whole Nightmare Moon thing when we first met. If you don’t mind me asking, why did it happen?”
Luna gripped the stallion a little tighter as he barely avoided a pricker bush.
“Well, it’s rather difficult for us to discuss…”Luna said while the ponies ducked under a low hanging branch.
“I understand completely. Forget that I even asked,I just wanted to get to know you a little better.” The stallion felt stupid as he continued to pilot the toboggan.
“I suppose it all happened because I was very jealous of my sister’s popularity.” Luna’s statement caught Laughing Stock off guard, nearly causing him to steered themselves into a creek. “It didn’t seem right that everypony in all of Equestria preferred the brightness and warmth of the sun over our dark and mysterious moon. We became very carried away with our lust for the spotlight.”
“Well if it makes you feel any better Luna, eternal darkness sounds awesome” Laughing Stock took his eyes off the terrain in front of him to look at the sullen princess. “I would have more opportunities to sleep.”
Laughing Stock expected to make Luna smile, she rolled her eyes instead.
“That is exactly what we were referring too! Everypony just slept all night! They never took time to partake in all the glory that is our night! ”
“No offense princess, but you are a little off on your view on the common pony.”
The princess was taken aback by the stallion’s comments.
“Do you have evidence that proves our assumption was misguided?”
Before Laughing Stock gave his reasons, he focused all his attention on the mountainside in front of the toboggan. “Well, ponies love sleeping and sleeping usually happens at night. Therefore, ponies like the night.”
Princess Luna wasn’t amused.
“Surely that isn’t the best argument thee could come up with.”
“It’s not; I have plenty more…and don’t call me Shirley.” Once again, Laughing Stock excepted the princess to find his play on words humorous. He decided to give Luna the second part of his argument.
“Well, my best friend Vinyl Scratch is a very popular DJ. She absolutely loves staying out late and performing shows for her thousands of fans. Even though she wears sunglasses, she has always told me night time is the best time. I have no idea what she means by that, but I know more fans show up to night shows than any other time of day.”
Luna still wasn’t convinced. “We are still certain that ponies across Equestria prefer our sister’s sun over our moon…”
Laughing Stock had one last chance to make Luna see that somepony out there appreciated her work.
“I look forward to the sun setting every night, do you know why?”
Luna remained quiet.
“Every night, I fall asleep with Twilight in my arms.” Laughing Stock could feel Luna’s grip on his midsection tighten. Whether it was because she like what he said, or because he narrowly avoided a collision with a pile of rocks, he wasn’t sure. “When I finally told Twilight I loved her, it was underneath your moon and stars. Every night when I fall asleep with that beautiful mare, I think back to that amazing moment in my life.”
After hearing Laughing Stock pour his heart out to her, Luna had one question.
“Thou made a confession of undying love underneath our moon?”
“Yes...why?” Laughing Stock had no idea where this was going.
“We find it very humorous that a pony with your creativity would do something so…uncreative.”
“So wait…I try and help you feel better, and your response is to tell me the way I told Twilight I love her was cliché?” Laughing Stock started chuckling, shortly thereafter Luna joined him.
“We are sorry if our comments offended thee. We really think thou is a great companion to have, Twilight is a very lucky mare.” Laughing Stock turned to Luna, hoping to thank her for the kind words. Before he could get his words out, she asked another question.
“What about the plunge?”
“Celestia told you I was planning on asking Twilight to marry me?” Laughing Stock didn’t know why Princess Celestia told her sister, but he trusted Luna to not say a word. “I really want to, but Shining Armor is making things very hard.
Luna turned the stallion’s head around and pointed in front of them. “We mean the plunge that is eminent.”
Before Laughing Stock could react, the toboggan sailed over the cliff in front of them. The comedian’s first instinct was to grab Luna, his second was to shut his eyes and start screaming like a little school filly.
“LUNA, IN CASE YOU SURVIVE, TELL TWILIGHT I LOVE HER!”
Laughing Stock continued to hold on to the princess of the night after a few minutes. He wanted to know when the impact would take his life, but out of principle he kept his eyes shut.
“I love you too, sweetie. Why are you cuddling with Princess Luna?”
Hearing Twilight’s voice, the stallion opened his eyes. He was sitting on the sled in front of the cabin. The rest of the group came back from town, watching the show that was happening before their eyes.
He immediately let go of Luna. “I thought I was going to die! I can explain…well actually I can’t. I should be a pancake right now.”
“We were out on this wooden contraption here” Luna was pointing at the sled she had shared with Laughing Stock. “Then we lost control and careened off a small overhang no more than ten feet off the ground. Laughing Stock was afraid to finish our activity, so I transported us home.”
“So how was town? Buy lots of fun stuff?” Laughing Stock desperately changed the topic.
“We bought food, so we could have a homemade dinner” Celestia announced. “Then I thought we could all play a game together. Sound like fun?”
Laughing Stock agreed that it sounded like a fun night. “Is there anything I can do to help with dinner?”
“No the four of us have it under control” Cadance raised a hoof to the east of the cabin. “Shining Armor went that way to collect firewood; maybe you could go help him.”
Laughing Stock began trotting in the direction Cadance referenced. He found the unicorn gathering kindling. He noticed Shining Armor was having a hard time carrying the supplies, this gave Laughing Stock an idea. He returned a few minutes later with the toboggan.
“Hey Shining Armor, need a hoof?”
“No” Shining Armor grunted. “I got in under control.”
As soon as he said those words, he proceeded to drop very piece of wood he was holding.
“Well, I brought this sled with me. I figure we can put the wood on it and pull it back to camp.”
Shining Armor was stunned to say the least.
This nimrod actually had a good idea…
As the two stallions loaded the wood on the toboggan, Shining Armor broke the silence.
“I’m sorry if I upset you, I really am. I want to make sure Twilight is with somepony that can provide her with everything she has ever wanted.”
“What a coincidence!” Laughing Stock finished loading the rest of the firewood, so he was able make eye contact with Shining Armor. “I have done everything to your sister!”
Laughing Stock immediately realized his mistake. He started cursing quietly to himself.
FOR you idiot! You have done everything FOR his sister…
“What did you just say?!”
“I meant to say FOR your sister, not TO her.” Laughing Stock tried back peddling in order to save his flank. “I would never tell you about our bedroom activities!”
“Why would you even bring that up?” Shining Armor couldn’t believe he was having this conversation with his sister’s boyfriend.
He is either really ballsy or a complete moron.
To say Laughing Stock was a nervous wreck would be a massive understatement.
“I don’t know!” The stallion started panicking; he couldn’t keep his mouth closed. “I would never intentionally tell you Twilight likes putting her mane in a bun, putting on a pair of glasses and scolds me for not turning my books in on time while she...”
Laughing Stock threw his front hooves over his mouth to prevent himself from talking, he said way too much already. Shining Armor placed his head on a nearby tree.
“I think you better leave” the unicorn suggested. The earth pony took his advice, but not before putting his hoof in his mouth once again.
“I don’t know if it makes you feel better, but your sister is a very dedicated librarian. She always makes sure I learn a lesson if my books are late.”
“WILL YOU JUST LEAVE?!”
Laughing Stock sprinted back to the cabin. Avoiding the mares in the kitchen, he made his way to his room and climbed into bed. Princess Cadance came up a few minutes later; she wanted to know how it went.
“It started off good, the ending didn’t go so hot” Laughing Stock explained while hiding under the covers.
“It couldn’t have been that bad.” Princess Cadance tried cheering up the distraught stallion.
Laughing Stock told Cadance everything he said, including the sexy librarian spiel.
“Laughing Stock, you dog! I never knew Twilight had it in her.” Cadance smiled at her friend, trying to make him feel better.
The stallion poked his head out from under the covers.
“Hearth’s Warming Day is six days away, how am I going to get his approval in time?”
“I’m not sure, but Celestia and I will do our best to help out” Cadance said reassuringly.
“Why do you care so much Cadance?” This question was at the back of Laughing Stock’s mind since the two ponies met at the fountain the day before.
“Because if it wasn’t for Twilight, I wouldn’t be here with my wonderful husband” Cadance explained. “The way I see it, helping you with your relationship with Shining Armor is my way of repaying the debt I owe her.”
While leaving the room, Cadance told Laughing dinner would be ready in a few minutes while making her way out the door. Before heading down, Laughing Stock took a moment to think before heading down. Tomorrow he would have to start being serious about trying to get Shining Armor to like him.
After dinner, the group made their way into the living room and gathered around the coffee table.
“Are we ready to play a game?” Celestia asked, making her way to the hall closet.
“I don’t know if I want to play with you guys” Laughing Stock said with a grin. “You guys have a distinct advantage.”
“Whatever do you mean?” Princess Celestia wasn’t sure of the advantage Laughing Stock was talking about.
“Well, I’m the only pony here who can’t use magic” Laughing Stock pointed out. “Three alicorns, two unicorns and an earthpony…wait hold on…there’s a joke here somewhere.”
The room erupted with laughter as Celestia laid the game on the table. Laughing Stock looked to see what game Celestia brought down.
“Monopoly?!” Laughing Stock was excited, Monopoly was his favorite game.
“Should we select out tokens now?” Cadance was eyeing the small silver figurines. There were many to choose from.
“Great idea Cadance” Celestia said with a nod. She turned to the earthpony sitting across from her, “You pick first Laughing Stock.”
Laughing Stock looked at the different pieces. The horseshoe, pot of bits, carriage, small dog, and riverboat all looked really neat, but the small statuette of a particular white alicorn caught his attention.
“Dibs on Princess Celestia!” Laughing Stock pulled the token toward him, but Shining Armor put his hoof over the earth ponies’ hoof.
“Celestia is always the Celestia token; you’ll have to pick another one.” Shining Armor insisted, but Princess Celestia moved the royal guard's hoof. “It’s perfectly fine, Shining Armor. I am quite fond of this little doggie here.”
After unanimously voting Twilight Sparkle to be the banker, the group began rolling to see who would go first. Cadance rolled highest; Laughing Stock patiently waited for Cadance to roll. Laughing Stock watched the pink alicorn move 4 spaces, which would make her land on the tax square.
“Alright Cadance, two hundred bits please!” Twilight placed her hoof in front of Cadance, and the princess reluctantly paid. Twilight placed the money back in the tray with the extra bits that had not yet been distributed.
“Whoa, Whoa” Laughing Stock shouted. “That money goes in the center.”
“What do you mean?” Twilight summoned the slip of paper with the rules on it. “I don’t see anything in the rules about the putting tax money in the center.”
“Yeah, it goes there” Laughing Stock insisted. He went on to explain if a pony landed on free hitching, they would win all the money in the center.
“The rules say nothing about it, they say that the free hitching square is just a space nopony can buy” Twilight Sparkle said, the rules still in front of her lovely face.
“Right, I’m sure they say we can buy property on the first go around as well” a sarcastic Laughing Stock jested.
The room fell silent.
“We CAN buy property on the first go around?”
“Even we knew thou could do such a thing” Princess Luna teased.
Taking his turn, Laughing Stock rolled the dice. The five he received brought him to the first railroad square called the Friendship Express. Making sure to capitalize on his mistake from earlier, he bought it right away.
The game moved at a steady pace. Everypony had circled the board at least once, and majority of the property had been purchased. Laughing Stock was on a roll; he owned all the railways, the Lightning and Raincloud factories, and his personal favorite: Pony Place and Boardtrot! Once he was able to develop hotels on the two blue squares, he knew his friends would be in a world of hurt.
“Oh, we have rolled two doubles in a row!” Princess Luna picked up the dice and rolled again.
“HAHA double four!” Luna shouted with delight, but the delight soon faded as Celestia picked up Luna’s riverboat and placed it in jail.
“WHY HAVE WE BEEN IMPRISONED?” Luna shouted in the traditional Canterlot voice. “WHAT INJUSTICE HAVE WE COMMITED?”
“If you roll doubles three times, you get sent to jail.” Celestia explained, Luna was still beside herself with worry.
“HOW LONG MUST WE DWELL WITH THE REFUSE THAT CURRENTLY OCCUPIES THIS PRISON?” Luna asked, pointing at Twilight’s horseshoe.
Twilight rolled her eyes and placed her head on one of her hooves.
A few minutes later, Shining Armor landed on an Opportunity card. He read the card to himself, and then looked up at the board. He sighed heavily as he moved his token to the square the card mentioned, which was Laughing Stock’s Boardtrot.
“Alright, Shining Armor” Laughing Stock was trying his hardest not to smile as he did the math. “With three houses, it will cost you…eleven thousand, one hundred bits!”
Shining Armor grumbled as he gave Laughing Stock the money.
Laughing Stock looked at his fellow players to see how long before he claimed victory. Everypony was almost out of money, with the exception of Princess Celestia. Her fortune was growing steadily as everypony fell victim to her side of the board. With the exception of the railroads and Raincloud factory, she owned every piece of property, with a hotel on each of them.
“I had a question. The way I have always played, we made our own Opportunity cards” Laughing Stock explained. “Anyway we could make our own?”
“Interesting…” Cadance thought that this idea could spice up a game that had turned rather dull. “What kind of homemade cards?”
“Well we always had a card that allowed somepony to rob a bank.”
“SURE, LAUGHING STOCK IS TALKING ABOUT ROBBING BANKS; WHILE WE ARE WASTING AWAY IN PRISON FOR CRIMES WE HAVE NOT COMMITTED!” Luna was still upset about being in jail.
“Luna, you have one turn left in jail” Celestia reasoned. “Until then, could you be quiet?”
Luna continued to pout as the game went on. The first pony to run out of bits was Twilight. While her properties were auctioned off, she moved along side her boyfriend. She gave him a kiss and told him he had to win to avenge her loss.
“Wipe the floor with them, Stocky” Twilight cheered!
“Yes, Twiley” Laughing Stock responded as play continued.
With the acquisition of Twilight’s Marediterranean and Bridle Avenue’s, Laughing Stock had the six spaces that surrounded Go. He knew his victory was eminent.
Cadance rolled a seven. When she approached the seventh square, she hung her head. It was Canterlot Gardens, one of Celestia’s spaces.
“Cadance sweetie, do you have twelve hundred bits?” Celestia knew her niece did not have the funds necessary to keep playing.
Candance levitated her piece into the box and took a seat next to her husband.
“I AM FINALLY FREE!” Princess Luna eagerly rolled the dice, desperate to escape the confines of the evil square. Her roll caused her to land on the first Opportunity square. Picking her card, Luna went ballistic and threw her card on the board.
“WE HAVE DONE NO WRONG, YET WE ARE FORCED INTO INCARCERATION ONCE AGAIN!”
Laughing Stock picked up the discarded card. He wanted to see what made Luna so mad.
Go directly to jail, do not collect two hundred bits for passing go.
“My turn, right?” Shining Armor asked as he grabbed the dice. He threw the dice, which landed him a double four. As he moved his token eight spaces, he landed on Pony Express railroad, which was owned by Laughing Stock.
“Two hundred bits please” Laughing Stock said with an outstretched hoof.
Shining Armor forcefully placed the money in the outstretched hoof. He rolled again, this time he received a double five. The unicorn moved his piece ten places and cleared his throat in anger. He had landed on Equestria Railroad.
Before Laughing Stock could open his mouth, two hundred bits flew at him.
For the third time in a row, Shining Armor threw the dice. They seemed to roll in slow motion as he bit his bottom lip. Would he join Luna in jail, or end up paying Laughing Stock more money.
When the dice finally stopped, it landed on eleven. Shining Armor let out an audible sigh as he moved his piece to the Opportunity square next to Shortcake Railroad and Pony Place. As he picked up his card, he grew very silent. The game board was suddenly surrounded by a rose light and was launched into the air, as Shining Armor stomped away. A worried Cadance followed her angry husband.
Celestia picked up the card that Shining Armor had received and read the message. She began to quietly snicker as she passed it around. By the time Laughing Stock got a hold of it, he just shook his head, with a grin on his face. The card read:
Catch a ride on the Friendship Express.
“Shining Armor knew that Laughing Stock owned all the railroads. He was down to his last two hundred bits” Celestia explained.
“Didn’t he know that he had to pass go in order to reach the Friendship Express? He would have had an additional two hundred bits!” Laughing Stock, Twilight and Celestia stopped giggling for a moment to look at Princess Luna, who was on the ground, collecting all the bits she could grab.
“MY FORTUNE HAS DOUBLED!”
“What a day!” Laughing Stock climbed into bed, with Twilight right behind him. She took her usual place beside her boyfriend.
“Tell me about it” Twilight responded, lying down beside her stallion.
“Well, we woke up early, took a long ride in a carriage, I went sledding with Luna an-“
Twilight kissed Laughing Stock good night before asking him a very important question.
“Do you ever shut up?” Twilight teased as she placed her head between Laughing Stock's neck and shoulder.
"Twilight, does your brother hate me after the way the game ended?"
"No, you should be fine" Twilight yawned. "He has always been a poor sport.”
He smiled as he held his girlfriend and went to sleep. Once again, he couldn’t help but think about how lucky he was to have somepony like Twilight.
This mare is definitely worth fighting for, was his last thought before falling into a peaceful slumber.
A/N: I do not own the rights to Monopoly or My Little Pony. Thank you Hasbro for not suing me.
“Wake up Laughing Stock, you’re burning daylight!” Twilight used her magic to lift the blinds in the bedroom. The sleepy comedian placed his pillow over his eyes to shield himself from the evil rays of the sun.
“We have a big day planned! Princess Celestia is going to take us hiking! Doesn’t that sound like fun?”
The lavender unicorn thought she heard a reply from her boyfriend, but the pillow over his face made it difficult to understand.
“I couldn’t hear you, what did you say?”
Laughing Stock lifted his head support long enough to say no.
Twilight was surprised. “How can you say hiking with the ruler of Equestria doesn’t sound like fun?”
“Because it’s physical activity and probably going to be educational.” He sat up, blinking heavily while his eyes grew accustomed to the sunlight. “And you know how much I hate both those things.”
“Well, I agree with you on the physical activity.” She used her magic to throw the pillow across the room. “But you know how much I love educational things, and since you’re my boyfriend, you have to come along.”
“Ugh…fine.” Laughing Stock rolled out of bed and followed Twilight to the kitchen. Upon entering, Laughing Stock saw Luna, Cadance and Shining Armor sitting at the table. He joined them while Twilight helped Princess Celestia with breakfast.
“Good Morning, Laughing Stock!” Cadance beamed as the comedian took a seat beside her. “How are you doing this morning?”
He didn’t didn’t reply. He placed his head on the table, attempting to go back to sleep.
“That bad, huh?” She pat the comedian on back. “Once we get outside and start the hike, you will feel so much better!”
This time, the tired comedian replied, but not with words. Instead, he just groaned.
“Good morning everypony!” Princess Celestia approached the table with a cheery smile. “I hope you all are ready for our hike.”
“Are we going somewhere in particular?” Twilight wanted to get started.
“Not really, I figured we can walk until we get tired.”
“Probably not the best idea, Celestia.” Laughing Stock picked his head off the table. “In my case, it will be a hundred yards out the front door.”
Everypony started laughing, even Shining Armor seemed to enjoy the joke.
Then again, I just insulted myself...
As the herd of ponies started their trek through the woods, Laughing Stock thought it would be a good time to apologize to Shining Armor.
“Excuse me, do you have a minute?” The Royal Guard nodded as the comedian approached him. Cadance joined her aunts and sister in law up ahead
“I’m sorry about everything that happened yesterday.”
The white unicorn shook his head. “You have no reason to be sorry. I was the one who acted like a foal and flipped the board.”
Laughing Stock felt some relief, but he felt that there were other issues that needed addressing.
“Well, there were other issues that occurred yesterday tha-“
The comedian was interrupted by the captain.
“Look, I understand that I have been quite unbearable to deal with the past few days, but please hear me out” Shining Armor pleaded. “I want to make sure she is in very capable hoofs. Even though she is my sister, Twiley is almost like a daughter to me.”
A rather grotesque image of Twilight’s mother and Shining Armor occupied Laughing Stock’s brain. Seeing the horrified expression on the earthpony’s face, the Royal Guard became frustrated immediately.
“See! That is a perfect example of why I find you incapable of caring for my sister. You are so immature!”
“I’m immature?!” Laughing Stock became offended immediately. “You’re face is immature!”
Shining Armor shook his head, “You say things like that, and you think you’re ready for marriage? You have a lot of growing up to do.”
“I am grown up enough to get married!” Laughing Stock insisted.
“Really?” The guard stopped momentarily, thinking of a way to prove the comedian’s maturity level wasn’t high enough.
Immediately the earth pony fell to the snow covered ground, cackling like a hyena.
“YOU SAID ERECTION!” Laughing Stock was rolling around, pointing at the disapproving unicorn standing above him. “That was classic, high hoof!”
“And…this is why I am not letting you marry my sister.” Shining Armor continued walking, leaving a very confused black pony on the snowy ground.
“Hey, you can’t do that! Lots of ponies think the word erection is funny, and I can prove it.” Climbing to his hooves, the comedian called Princess Luna.
“Yes, Laughing Stock?” The four mares were well ahead of the stallions. In order for the two ponies to hear each other, they had to shout.
Minutes later, Luna broke the silence.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY WAS BEING ERECTED?!”
Laughing Stock turned to a grinning Shining Armor, trying to explain that Luna was a horrible example in retrospect.
“She’s been on the moon for a thousand years!” He used every excuse in the book, but Shining Armor ignored him. His smug sense of satisfaction was driving the comedian crazy. Laughing Stock knew what he had to do to wipe that smirk of his immature face.
After a short gallop, Laughing Stock caught up to the rest of the group. He trotted alongside Shining Armor for a few moments before ruining the unicorn’s day.
“Your sister REALLY likes having her mane pulled while I spank her with a book.”
Hearing this newest exploit was enough to make the usually calm and collected stallion snap. He used his magic to roll a snowball, and hurled it at the earth pony. It smacked him in the side of the head.
“Did you really throw a snowball at me?”
The white unicorn nodded.
“You won’t throw another one.”
Once again, Shining Armor used his magic to create a snowball, but this time Laughing Stock was ready. He dove to the ground in order to avoid the slushball.
It hit Princess Celestia in the back of her head, knocking her crown to the ground.
Laughing Stock didn’t waste any time ratting the guard out.
“Shining Armor, why would you ever throw a snowball at me?”
The captain began apologizing profusely, blaming the comedian for the incident.
“Isn’t ironic that the pony who is sworn to protect you is now the one you need protection from?”
The focus of the ruler’s ire changed from her guard to the earth pony.
“Both of you need to stop behaving like foals! The next pony to throw a snowball will be-“
Before she could finish, Celestia was hit in the snout. Everypony turned to the left to see where the object came from.
Luna had a massive grin on her face. Another snowball was surrounded by a blue aura.
“That was banishing us to the moon!”
The lines had been drawn. The clearing that was being used as a place for a rest turned into a warzone before anypony could figure out what happened.
Laughing Stock avoided a barrage of snowballs and hid behind a massive tree. He noticed Princess Celestia was taking refuge behind a snow bank.
“Princess, it looks like Shining Armor and Luna have teamed up. I know you are angry, but if you want to get out of here unscathed, we should do the same.”
The princess agreed and the two began an offense assault of their own. After a few moments, Cadance and Twilight tried to stop the skirmish.
“Can’t we all just get along and get back to our hike? Twilight was pleading with the group, Cadance nodded in agreement.
“We are really looking forward to getting back to hike! We were just getting ready to learn about the local wildlife.” Just as Twilight was explaining her interest in the migration patterns of Europony Swallows and their carrying capacity, the comedian noticed the white alicorn trying to get his attention.
“It would be very funny if we threw a snowball at Twilight.”
“What? Are you crazy?! She’s already upset!”
“Oh come now. She is my star pupil, she can’t stay mad at me!”
“Yeah, she won’t be mad at you. That means she will be twice as mad at me.”
Princess Celestia insisted they should throw a snowball on three. Laughing Stock begrudgingly prepared his ammunition awaiting the signal.
“1…2…3…GO!” The princess hissed as Laughing Stock lobbed the ball of frozen water crystals toward the love of his life. Watching the object arc back toward earth, he prayed that it would miss.
Instead, the ball connected with Twilight, right on the cutie mark. Releasing a small yelp, she grabbed her flank and turned to face her assailant.
“Laughing Stock!” The lavender unicorn couldn’t believe the stallion she trusted most would do such a thing.
“What the hay happened to “we”, princess?” Laughing Stock turned to the ruler of Equestria, who was quietly snickering behind her tree.
“By “we”, I meant the team. Somepony on the team had to throw a snowball at her.” She carefully peeked around the side of the tree to take a look at the victim. “And by the looks of it, I’m glad it was you, and not me.”
The six ponies made their way back to the cabin. Princess Celestia told the others to sit down and not to say a word.
“The little incident proves that we all could use a little team building. So I have decided to pair each of us off, and we could get to know each other a little better during various activities.”
“What kind of activities?” The comedian was already loathing the idea of team building.
“Well, we are going to start with trust falls. Everybody pick a partner.”
Laughing Stock looked around to find a suitable partner. His first choice was obviously Twilight, but she had already paired with her brother. Cadance paired with her aunt Celestia, which meant one pony remained.
“We have the fortune of being paired with our newest companion, Laughing Stock!”
“Now that everypony has a partner, we need you all to stand on your hind legs.” Celestia and Cadance demonstrated how the fall should look.
Laughing Stock looked at Luna, who seemed nervous. The comedian asked if she was feeling ok.
“We are afraid of thou failing to seize us after our descent rearward.”
“I am assuming you said something along the lines of please don’t drop me…er…us.”
Luna nodded, so he attempted to calm her down.
“I understand we are still new friends, but you have to believe me when I say that I won’t drop you. Wasn’t I right about sledding yesterday?”
Taking a minute to think about the previous day, Luna stood on her hind legs, letting the stallion know she was ready to participate in the activity. Luna crossed her arms and gently fell into the hooves of the comedian. Still in his arms, she opened her eyes and looked at him.
“Thou is really comfortable to rest upon” the princess remarked. “Thy body is very spongy.”
“Thank you Luna, I…wait…did you just call me fat?”
Before he could get an answer, he had to switch places with Luna. Just like the previous group, Laughing Stock stood on his hind legs and fell backwards. He expected to feel Luna’s fur against his spine, but after falling back, he felt nothing.
“Luna the whole purpose of this exercise was to not use magic.” The comedian opened his eyes and say he was surrounded by Luna’s magical aura.
“Our apologies sister, we will correct our error!” Luna released Laughing Stock from her magical spell, but wasn’t quick enough to catch him. He fell to the floor with a heavy thud.
“LAUGHING STOCK, WE ARE TERRIBLY REGRETFUL FOR ANY DISCOMFORT WE HAVE CAUSED THEE!” Luna was visibly upset over dropping the comedian. “ARE THOU HURT?”
“Yeah, I think so.” The earthpony sat up, rubbing the back of his throbbing head. He looked at the group of ponies surrounding them, and immediately noticed the room was a lot more crowded than before. “My vision has been…doubled.”
Luna looked away from her injured friend to the rest of the room after hearing somepony else use her catchphrase.
“Do we sound that peculiar when we speak those words?”
After giving Laughing Stock a few minutes to collect himself, the trust falls continued. His falls with Celestia and Cadance yielded no injuries from the ponies involved.
“Looks like it’s our turn.” Twilight approached her stallion, still sounding troubled after the snowball fiasco.
“Look Twiley, if I hurt you, I apologize” The lavender unicorn fell back into her boyfriends outstretched hooves.
“No, I am sorry. I am sure I was over reacting a little.”
“A little?” The comedian playfully rolled his eyes. His lovely mare laughed as she wrapped her hooves around his neck, kissing the stallion she loved.
“Ok, that’s enough you two.” Princess Celestia reminded the lovebirds that everypony had one more trust fall to do.
Let’s see, I went with Luna, Cadance, Celestia and Twiley. This means…
Shining Armor approached the comedian, “Just so we’re clear, I want to get this done to make Celestia happy. I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you.”
“Fine by me.” Laughing Stock snapped as he caught the royal guard.
“Our next activity will require us to pair up once again” Princess Celestia announced as everypony finished their trust falls.
“What’s this activity going to be?” Laughing Stock was sick of these group games. He wanted to do something else.
“It’s actually something you are very familiar with, Laughing Stock.”
Before the princess could finish, Shining Armor guessed what the game could be.
“If Laughing Stock is good at it, it probably means we are going to be eating something.”
Nopony was laughing.
“You are such a f-“Laughing Stock’s insult was cut off by Celestia before he could finish.
“No, we are going to be doing some improv!” The white alicorn explained that each group would do one scene together with their new partner.
This time, Cadance was paired with the pony that did this for a living.
“Ok, let’s have Twilight and Luna go first.” As the two mares walked in front of the fireplace, Celestia asked for scene ideas.
Somepony suggested that Luna was a store clerk, and Twilight would be a customer.
“That’s perfect! Ready you two?”
The two mares nodded as they began their sketch. Twilight trotted up to the invisible counter a very confused Luna was standing behind.
“Hello ma’am, I am here to purchase these items from your store.”
Luna stared at Twilight.
“We do not see any items.”
“The items I am taking out of my bag…right in front of you.”
“We do not see a bag.
The performance went on a few more minutes. Twilight was desperately trying to stay in character while Luna was getting more confused as the show went on.
“Look!” Twilight’s tone suggested she was angry with the young princess, probably because she was ruining this assignment from her mentor. “I don’t understand how you can’t see my bag full of groceries, right here in front of you."
To everyponies surprise, Luna started to grin.
“Because we are a blind shopkeeper, we can’t see anything!”
Cadance turned to her partner. She confessed that she was very nervous.
“I am not very funny, I don’t know what to do!”
The comedian put a hoof on her shoulder and told her to relax.
“I’ll take care of the comedy. You just say the first thing that comes to mind.”
Taking their place in front of the fire place, the two ponies awaited their scenario.
Twilight suggested Cadance should be a rock star, while Laughing Stock plays her fashion designer.
“Alright…that’s weird, but here we go none the less.”
Laughing Stock rapped his hoof against the fireplace, simulating a knock on Cadance’s dressing room door. He let himself in and gasped in horror.
“Cadance, why aren’t you dressed yet, you are supposed to be on stage any minute!”
“I’m sorry Mr. Stock, I don’t know what to wear.”
“Don’t know what to…I don’t even know why I bother designing clothes for you…this is what you’ll wear!”
“No, that outfit says I’m too easy.”
“If this one doesn’t scream prude, nothing does.”
“No, that outfit says I am too prudish.”
“Here, this is the last one I’m picking for you.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What’s wrong with this one, too easy and too prudish at the same time?”
“No, I’m just not feeling it.”
“Well then maybe you should just wearing what you’re wearing now on stage!”
The rock star looked down at the outfit she was wearing.
Everypony in the room burst into a round of applause. Cadance gave the comedian a big hug and thanked him.
“Don’t thank me! You carried me during that performance!”
Celestia and Shining Armor were the last group to go. Laughing Stock eagerly waited to see what the two could do.
“Well…that was rather…” Laughing Stock had no idea what he just witnessed.
The skit with Celestia and Shining Armor was horrendous, mostly because Shining Armor tensed up and over analyzed the situation. He was trying too hard to be funny.
The guard left the room furious with himself. The comedian followed him, hoping to have a chat.
“Go ahead. Make fun of me, I deserve it.”
“Make fun of you? Why would I do that?”
“Because I blew it out there. I embarrassed myself, and that is what comedians do, isn't it?”
“Well, I guess we do tend to do that. But don’t worry, I’m not going to make fun of you, I want to help you.”
“Help me? How do you plan on doing that?”
“We are going to get back out there and doing a scene together.”
Shining Armor thought the earthpony was nuts.
“What if I mess up again?”
“Don’t think so much, just go out there and talk. You are going to be the serious pony, I will be the one making the jokes.”
“Why are you so eager to help me?”
"I've bombed on stage a few times in my life, I know how you’re feeling. Besides, you do know that the whole reason everypony is doing these team building exercises is because we don’t get along, right?”
“...I was not aware of that.”
The two ponies walked in front of the crowd. Laughing Stock addressed everypony, telling them that they were going to do the skit, they waited for Princess Celestia to give them a scene.
“Laughing Stock, you are a surgeon that is about to perform surgery with assistance from Doctor Shining Armor!”
The two stallions looked at each other and nodded.
“Good morning, Dr. Stockso.”
“HEY, Dr. Stable! Long time no see! I can't even remember the last time I saw you!”
“About twelve hours ago. Are you ready for the surgery you are going to be performing today?”
“Stockso, why do you need a bouncy ball during surgery?”
“Do you have any idea how stressful this job is? Bouncy balls take the edge off!”
“Ok, all we need to do is to attach this thing here and...uh oh...”
“What is it now Stockso?
“The ball bounced into the patient..”
“...I hope you’re joking...”
“It’s my favorite bouncy ball, why would I joke about that?”
“FIND IT! What color is it?”
“You brought a red bouncy ball with you to surgery?”
“It was the only one I had left after I lost my blue one in the...hey! I found it!”
“On the purple squishy thing.”
“...You mean her liver?”
“Right. It’s on her liver. Can you grab it, I can’t get a hoof free.
“Fine...there it is. Now can we please hurry up?
“Yeah, sure no problem. Let me just attach this to the do hickey and...done!”
“You think she will make a full recovery?”
“Dr. Stable, she will be bouncing off the walls in no time! Wait...I thought I started surgery with two gloves?”
The room went crackers. Standing ovations from eveypony in the room. To laughing Stocks surprise, Shining Armor put a forehoof around his neck.
“I really appreciate this.”
“Hey, it’s what brother in laws do for each other....right?”
Instead of a harsh response, the captain simply shrugged.
Once again, the group gathered around the small table in the living room after supper. Cadance left to pick a game from the hall closet. She returned a few minutes later with a box filled with small blocks. Laughing Stock had never seen this game before.
“Don’t tell me you’ve never played Jenga before.” Cadance began stacking the blocks in alternating patterns.
The comedian shook his head, so the pink alicorn began explaining the rules while the towers construction continued.
“The rules are simple: Take a block from a spot on the tower and place it at the top, last pony to successfully place a block on the tower before it falls over wins. Any questions?”
“Just one. How am I supposed to move the blocks to the top?”
The room fell silent as everpony stared at one another.
“That’s not what I mean.” Laughing Stock lifted a hoof toward the tower. While trying to pull a block out, his hoof knocked it over.
“I can’t use magic, remember?”
“Oh, that’s a problem we can fix easily.” Cadance and the other mares left the room, they were looking for small, slender items the earthpony could use to push blocks out. The only two males on the trip were left alone once again.
“You know Shining Armor, I could probably use my tongue. I have been told on numerous occasions that I am quite good with it.”
The Royal Guard grinned as he violently shook his head, a last ditch effort to rid his conscience of the disturbing image.
“You are a pig, you know that?”
The mares returned with a stick they found outside. They instructed the normal pony to push the blocks out with it and place them on top the best he could.
After rebuilding the block fortress, the ponies discussed who should go first. It was determined at random that the order would go Shining Armor, Laughing Stock, Cadance, Celestia, Luna and Twilight.
The earthpony watched the unicorn slide a piece of wood out from the tower.
This game doesn’t seem too hard.
When the time came for Laughing Stock to choose a block, he had already changed his opinion of the game. All the middle blocks had been moved, so he had to choose a piece from a side. He carefully poked at a piece near the top, until the wooden wedge safely fell away from the tower.
The ponies began to grow restless as the game went on. They had fun playing together, but it was becoming rather dull and repetitive. The silence wasn’t helping either. Princess Celestia thought the game could use more interaction.
“Laughing Stock, don’t you find it odd that you know a lot about everypony here, but most of us don’t know anything about you?”
“Nope. I’m a pony that loves his privacy.”
“Oh. I thought you liked us?
“I do! You guys are awesome!”
“So, then you won’t mind telling us all about you while we play.”
“…do I have a choice?”
Eveypony in the room shook their in unison, so the comedian reluctantly agreed to answer any questions.
“Let’s start off easy, where are you from?” Cadance had the first question since she had the next turn.
“I was born and raised in Canterlot.”
The questions kept coming while the game play eventually stopped.
“Where are your parents?”
“Dad choked to death during a Heimlich maneuver instruction course. Mom died when the non flammable shirt she was ironing caught on fire.”
“And you aren’t bothered by it?”
“Not really. My parents loved irony, so I think they loved the fact that they died so ironically.”
“How old were you when it happened?”
“Right after I went on tour for the first time. I missed their funerals.”
“And this has no emotional effect on you what so ever?”
“It did. I started drinking to cope with my feelings of loneliness. I thought it would make things easier, and for a while it did, but my career began to suffer. I decided to clean myself up. I passed the program with flying colors! Now I am sitting in a cabin with a beautiful mare by my side and a bunch of friends. I think i turned out OK in the end."
“What was the strangest night of your life?”
“There was this one night when I thought this male club owner was pregnant...”
“What is thy opinion of us?”
“Well Luna, I really like you. You are a very nice pony. I think you and I are going to be very good friends!”
“Really? Nopony has ever viewed us as a good friend before.”
“Well, it’s their loss!”
This isn’t so bad. I don’t know why I thought this would be horrible.
It was Twilight’s turn to ask her boyfriend a question. She was blushing heavily as she examined the tower for a block to select. Laughing Stock took a drink of water while he waited for her question.
“Do you plan on getting married someday?”
It required every ounce of strength he possessed to keep the liquid in his mouth.
Now I remember.
He looked around the room, hoping somepony would help him out.
"Uh…yes. One day I would like to, when I meet that very special somepony of course."
Twilight seemed satisfied with that answer. She finished her turn, Shining Armor already had a question prepared.
“We all know you did a lot of traveling as a comedian right?”
“That is correct. I’ve been all over Equestria many times.”
“Besides my sister, how many other mares have you been with?”
“Well, look at that! I forgot to use my stick and I knocked the tower over! Shining Armor wins! Now if you excuse me, I’m off to bed.
The comedian ran for the stairs, but somepony else had other ideas.
“I’m sorry I asked. That subject is personal and nopony’s business, other than you and my sister of course.”
“Well, thank you Shining Armor. I am glad you understand.
“No problem. Before the guard made his way upstairs with his wife, he had one last request.
“Princess Celestia asked me to go into town for supplies tomorrow morning, would you like to come with me?”
Laughing Stock jumped at the opportunity. This is what he was waiting for, a chance to spend time alone with the pony who could make or break his future.
Laughing Stock turned around to see his girlfriend, Twilight Sparkle lying on her side, grinning at the fact her boyfriend was up before eight in the morning.
“Your brother said he wanted to get an early start. Last thing I want to do is make him angry, especially after things went so well yesterday.”
“Well, I’m sure he is going to appreciate the effort. He’s just trying to get to know you…either that, or he is going to get rid of you on his way to the store.”
“That reminds me. If he comes back alone, he sold me to a traveling band of musical gypsies who plan on exploiting my comedic genius.”
The stallion kissed his girlfriend goodbye, and went downstairs. Shining Armor waited by the front door, surprised to see the other stallion ready to go.
“I didn’t think I would see you this morning. You really want to come shopping?”
“Sure! It sounds like a great time…if you still want me to go, that is.”
The white unicorn nodded, so the two ponies exited the cabin. Laughing Stock couldn’t wait to get the conversation started.
Forty five minutes later, the comedian was still waiting for conversation to start. Awkward silence was the only sound either pony heard for most of the trip. Laughing Stock decided to get the ball rolling.
“So Shining Armor, how are you and Cadance enjoying the vacation?”
“We love it! I just love being able to spend a few extra minutes with her in the morning, because our schedules usually prevent it.”
“That’s nice.” Laughing Stock’s reply ended the conversation. More minutes of awkward silence passed as the grocery store came into view.
“I’m sorry to hear about your parents.” The larger stallion decided he would break the silence this time.
“Thank you. I try not to use their passing as a crutch, so please don’t make any decisions involving me based on my past or the fact my parents are dead.”
“I would never do that. Actually, the only thing preventing me from giving you my permission is the fact that you are still immature.”
The two stallions had arrived at the store. Laughing Stock stopped just outside, in hopes he could figure out this maturity situation once and for all.
“Can you explain what you mean by immature?”
“Well, from what I’ve seen this week, you don’t plan anything out. You just go with the flow, that isn’t the way an adult should act.”
“With all due respect Shining Armor, that is not immaturity. It’s spontaneity.”
The white stallion just stared at the earthpony, unsure how to respond.
“The reason I do things spur of the moment, is because Twilight plans everything ahead of time. It’s nice to surprise her and just do something every once in a while. When is the last time you kicked in the door of your room and told Cadance you guys were going out for a night on the town?”
The lack of response from unicorn is exactly what Laughing Stock expected.
“You should take Cadance out someplace on a whim. It doesn’t have to be nice or fancy, as long as the two of you are together. I’m sure she’ll love it!”
“Maybe you’re right…but I don’t see how just randomly doing something could be fun.”
“I will show you…I’m going to…”
The comedian started looking around the front of the store for something he could do spur of the moment. After surveying the area, he noticed a mechanical manticore in front of the store.
“…ride that Manticore over there.”
“You do realize that it is made for foals, right?”
“You’re thinking too much Shining Armor. Remember, when you are being spontaneous, you don’t think. You just do.”
The comedian jumped onto the ride. Immediately after inserting a bit into the slot, the machine began to rock back and forth. A minute later, the manticore went back to its lifeless state.
“Do have any idea how ridiculous you look sitting in this thing?” Shining Armor said, shaking his head as he stood next to the earthpony.
“Nope. But I will have some sort of idea once I watch you ride it though.”
“You’re joking! I am a captain in Celestia’s Royal Guard, I can’t be caught doing something so juvenile!”
“Come on! We are hours away from Canterlot, nopony has any idea who you are. Just give it a try.”
The unicorn reluctantly climbed into the ride. Once the movement started, a grin was plastered across his face. He was having such a good time goofing off, he didn’t notice the mother and her child watching him.
“Mommy, what is that stallion doing in the ride?”
At that moment, the ride ran out of juice. As he climbed out, the disgusted mother took her child into the store. Laughing Stock, on the other hoof, was proud of the unicorn.
“How was it?”
“Other than that mare, it was kind of fun.”
“It’s like I always say: If you aren’t upsetting the general public, you’re doing something wrong.”
A young stallion wearing a smock came out of the store and approached Laughing Stock and Shining Armor.
“Uh, excuse me sirs. My manager wants me to tell you that the machine is for foals, not full grown stallions.”
“Where does it say that?” The comedian forcefully placed his hoof on the ground. This pony who barely made minimum wage wasn’t going to tell him what to do.
The worker pointed to a sign at the base of the ride.
This ride is intended for foals and young ponies.
Thank you, Management.
“Ok, so other than the stock colt yelling at us and the creepy mare stare down, you had a good time right?”
The two stallions had entered the store and were started to shop.
“Yeah, I suppose. But it was just seemed rather silly.”
“I wouldn’t say it was silly. Silly would be allowing me to ride in the cart while you pulled me around.”
The unicorn raised an eyebrow as he glanced at the earthpony.
“Ok, you’re right, riding in the cart would be immature. Anyway, what are we buying for supper?”
“Princess Celestia said it was our turn to cook.” The guard looked at the comedian with an optimistic stare. “I don’t know how to cook anything, so I am hoping you do.”
“You’re in luck. I can cook anything…as long as you like it burned.”
Laughing Stock began chuckling at the unicorn’s expression.
“I’m kidding! Lighten up! I will take care of making dinner. I just need your help in the kitchen.”
Shining Armor agreed, so the two ponies made their way through the aisles. Laughing Stock thought a nice spaghetti dinner was in order.
“Let’s see…we have the pasta, sauce, bread…OH! I know. I should probably grab a bottle of wine for you guys.”
“Wine?!” The royal guard suddenly became concerned. “Hopefully you aren’t falling off the wagon.”
“I said ‘for YOU guys’. I wasn’t going to drink any.” Laughing Stock stopped the cart for a moment, so he could look directly into the eyes of the pony next to him. “I appreciate your concern though.”
“Think nothing of it. It’s what friends do for each other.”
“We’re just friends? We haven’t made it to brothers in law yet?”
“I figured as much. Is there anything else we need?”
“Well, I had one idea…why don’t we pick up some s’mores?”
“That’s a great idea!”
Placing the graham crackers in the wagon, the comedian decided to pick up the conversation where they left off.
“How are things with the Royal Guard?”
“Well, they have been better, moral is at an all time low.”
“You don’t say! How come?”
“We have had to make massive budget cuts, and guard entertainment has taken a massive hit. We provide next to nothing for them. I feel bad, but without any money, there isn’t a lot we can do.”
“I see…what if I was able to convince entertainers I know to do some shows free of charge, would that be ok?”
Shining Armor snorted as he selected a bag of marshmallows from the shelf, and playfully threw them at the earthpony.
“All entertainers want is money. Their talk about being patrons of the arts is garbage, they work for the highest bidder.”
“I know one pony that would do it for free…”
“I find that very hard to believe, who is it?”
“Why, he’s the most famous comedian in Equestria!”
“Really? You could get Mane Cook to do a free show for us?”
Laughing Stock stopped dead in his tracks.
“I’m kidding! I think our guards would love to have you come out and do a show for us.”
The comedian was still frozen in the same spot.
“Did you…just make a joke?”
“I guess I did. Your comedic ways are starting to rub off on me, I suppose.” Four days ago, the royal guard viewed this stallion as a slacker who wanted to marry his sister. Now, he saw a stallion who has overcome painful events in his life, who always tries to better himself and the people around him. But he still wanted to marry his sister.
“I could also ask my friend Vinyl Scratch to come out as well. She loves it when we do shows together, but she might come at a bit of a price…”
“Since we are saving money on our comedy act, how much would it cost to bring her out?”
“If I know Scratch the way I think I do…she’ll work for an open bar tab.”
“That sounds fair…I mean, how much alcohol could one mare drink?”
Laughing Stock didn’t answer. He wanted to see the look on the captain’s face when he saw the bill from Vinyl’s night out at his expense. When they arrived at the candy aisle Shining Armor asked a question older than Equestria
“How much chocolate is too much chocolate?”
The comedian’s response was simple.
“There is no such thing” as he began to sweep boxes of candy into the wagon. “Now that we have our dessert, is there anything else we want with dinner?”
“What about a salad?
“Salad sounds great! To the produce aisle!” Laughing Stock tried to climb into the wagon, but was met with a cold stare from the unicorn pulling the wagon.
Once they made it to produce, the two ponies began to pick up the materials they would need for their appetizer.
“Alright, the only thing we are missing is tomatoes. Can you grab some Shining Armor?”
As the stallion raced off to grab the last ingredient, Laughing Stock noticed the tomatoes were stacked in a pyramid. This gave him an idea.
“Shining Armor, make sure you grab the tomatoes from the very bottom. They keep the good ones there.”
The pony did as he was told. Using his magic, he selected the biggest, plumpest tomato he could find. Once he removed it from its spot in the bottom corner, the whole pyramid came rolling down. All Shining Armor could do was stand still, with that gorgeous tomato hovering in front of this face.
A plump pony came marching out of the offices in the back of the market. He stuck one of his hooves in the Royal Guards face. Laughing Stock decided to see if there was anything he could do, since this incident was partially his fault.
“You ruined my tomatoes!” The plump pony screamed as continued to poke Shining Armor in the chest.
“I’m so sorry sir! I don’t know what I was thinking!”
“What’s with all the yelling over here?”
This guy decided he had to have this particular tomato and made a mess in the process” the manager screamed. “Everypony knows you take from the top of the pyramid, not the bottom!”
“Where does it say we ‘have’ to take tomatoes from the top of the pile?” The comedian had never heard of such a rule.
The manager pointed to a note under the produce display.
Please take produce from top of the pile.
Thank you, Management
“It’s partially my fault for this, I told him to do it” Laughing Stock confessed. “Is there any way I can make up for it?”
The manager turned from Shining Armor to the earthpony in front of him. A look of disbelief slowly spread across his face.
“You’re…You’re Laughing Stock! I am such a HUGE fan!”
“Well thank you.” Laughing Stock extended his hoof to the manager who shook it vigorously. “It’s nice to see somepony appreciates my work.”
“No problem! What are you doin’ in our small town anyway?”
“My friend and I are just passing through.” The comedian looked away from his supporter to the mess on the floor. “I am so sorry about this mess, is there anything I can do?”
“What? Oh, this mess? Nah, that’s what I hire these youngins’ for! I am mighty curious why you would ruin every tomato I have though.…
“Oh…well I was…working on new material.”
“Destroying produce on stage? Hasn’t it already been done?”
“Well, technically Gallopgher smashed watermelons with a mallet. But watermelon are fruit, I want to be the first comedian to smash vegetables!”
“Technically, tomatoes are fruit as well.
After apologizing once again, and posing for a few pictures, the two stallions made their way to the checkout line. Once they emptied the contents of their wagon onto the counter, the mare gave them their total.
“That will be 35 bits please.”
As Shining Armor reached for his money, the mare told the stallions about their store membership.
“Ya’ll save lots’ when ya use this here card at our other locations.”
“No thank you.” The guard had no interest in the card, but he appreciated the fact she was doing her job.”
“The mare wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I’m sure ya’ll don’t realize the savings yer missin’! If ya’ll have it right now, yer savins’ would be five bits!”
Laughing Stock was tired of this mare already. He wanted to speed things up.
“I’ll pay you five bits to just give us our groceries so we could leave.”
The insulted mare crossed her forehooves and glared at the comedian, who glared back in return. Shining Armor suggested getting the memberships and going on their way.
“No! It’s not about the membership! It’s the principal! If I don’t want her stupid card, I shouldn’t have to get one!”
Looking at this young mare, he knew she would drop her sales pitch eventually.
“I have dealt with some of the biggest sharks, con ponies and shadiest agents in Equestria. I think I can take her.”
“On the bright side Laughing Stock, at least the cards look cool.”
“Don’t patronize me…”
The two ponies left the store with their saddlebags filled with the items they just purchased, along with a membership card that was valid at each of the stores twenty five convenient locations across Equestria.
“Are you hungry?” The comedian hadn’t eaten breakfast, and spending the morning looking at food didn’t help. He was famished.
“When I came into town the other day, there was a nice restaurant over there. We can stop if you like.”
The earthpony thought that was a good idea, so they made their way to the restaurant. Upon entering, Shining Armor was eating his words. ‘Nice’ wasn’t the right word to describe this place, ‘seedy’ would be more appropriate. Sitting down at a table, they were helped almost immediately. After the waitress took their drink orders, the unicorn excused himself so he could use the restroom. The comedian was left alone to look at the decor of this sordid cesspool. Two mares sitting next to a busted karaoke machine pointed and began whispering when his eyes looked toward them. A short time later, the mares joined him at his table.
“Excuse me, are you that famous comedian?” The first mare asked, fluttering her eyelashes as she spoke to him.
“Me? No, I get that a lot actually.”
“Oh, you’re so modest!” The second mare lifted up the tablecloth so she could see his flank. “I recognize your cutie mark, not many ponies have a rubber chicken down there.”
"Alright, you ladies caught me. What can I do for you?”
“Well, we are BIG fans.” The first mare was staring into his eyes. “We wanted to show you how much we appreciate your talents.”
The second mare, who had moved behind him, began to rub his shoulders very seductive manner.
“We will do ANYTHING to prove we are your biggest fans.”
Laughing Stock swatted the mare’s hooves away.
“Look, I appreciate the fact that you are fans, but I have a girlfriend.”
“That’s not a problem. She isn’t here, she won’t find out.”
“It doesn’t matter, I refuse to go anywhere or do anything with you. I think you should go back to your table.”
The two disappointed mares trotted out of the restaurant. Shining Armor returned with a smile on his face.
“That was very decent of you.”
The comedian was surprised the unicorn knew what had just happened.
“How did you…”
“The bathroom is right there.” Shining Armor pointed directly behind the earth pony. “I could hear everything, and I am surprised you handled it so well. Those mares were very attractive.”
“I find Twilight way more attractive than those two floozies.”
Shining Armor shook his head.
“Those two mares were perfect tens, total knock outs. Twilight is a lovely pony, but she looks NOTHING like that.”
Laughing Stock finally agreed the mares where physically more attractive than Twilight.
“Your sister’s insides are much better though.”
The earthpony couldn’t believe what he just said.
Really!? Her insides!? Her PERSONALITY is much better, you dolt.
“Before you say anything, I swear I didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”
Surprisingly, the unicorn started laughing.
“I think you mean her personality is what you like most about her.”
“EXACTLY! I’m glad you’re not reaching across the table, trying to strangle me.”
“I was warned ahead of time. Twilight told me yesterday, you usually embarrass yourself when you are nervous, and to not take anything you say seriously.”
The drinks came and the ponies ordered their lunch. There wasn’t much conversation while they waited for their food. Laughing Stock had one last thing to say to the unicorn sitting across from him, but he had no idea how to say it.
“Do you remember the question you asked me last night?”
“I asked you a lot of questions yesterday, which one are you talking about?”
“The one that was rather…personal.”
“Oh, yes. Once again, I am so sorry for asking that. I am not sure what came over me.” The waitress arrived with their meals, as she placed the comedian’s daisy salad in front of him, he answered the question.
“Two other mares.”
Shining Armor was preoccupied with his meal, so he didn’t hear anything from across the table.
“I’m sorry, I missed that. Can you repeat it?”
“Besides your sister, I have had two other mares in my life.”
“That’s it? I thought with your lavish lifestyle as a touring comedian, you would have had all sorts of mares.”
“For one thing, I was the opening act. The very attractive ones go with the main event, I would have had the leftovers. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.”
“That’s understandable. What is the other reason?”
“I am not sure to be honest. I guess it has something to do with saving physical activities for mares I am in a relationship with.”
“Well, I take back what I said earlier, that’s a very mature way to think.” Shining Armor stopped eating for a moment. This stallion was surprising him more and more each day.
Maybe he is good enough for Twiley…
“Just out of curiosity Laughing Stock, who were the other two mares?”
“Well, there was Ruby, the mare that cheated on me with my agent, which led me to Ponyville in the first place. The other was…”
The comedian mumbled something, he looked rather embarrassed as he stared at his food.
“Who was the other one?”
After a long sigh, the earthpony spoke up.
“ARE YOU JOKING?” You and Vinyl Scratch…”
Laughing Stock sheepishly grinned while the Royal Guard stared in amazement.
“Wait a minute…all the tabloids I’ve read say she is a fillyfooler.”
“As far as I know, she is. Why do you ask?”
“I’m trying to figure out how you managed to get a fillyfooler into bed.”
“Oh, I see. Well, we have been friends for years. We both started in the entertainment business together, we started dating at one point. Then one day, she told me that she preferred mares over stallions. I understood, and she was very grateful. We are still great friends for today.”
“So what you are telling me you dated Vinyl Scratch before she became a fillyfooler?”
And after you guys were together for a while, she told you she was into mares.”
Laughing Stock had no idea where this conversation was going.
“Yes…what are you trying to say?”
“I think you’re so bad in bed, it turned Vinyl Scratch into a fillyfooler!”
The Royal Guard started laughing as the comedian wished he would choke on his hay fries.
“I don’t think so, because Ruby is still into stallions, and Twilight still loves me.”
“I’m just giving you a hard time” Shining Armor climbed to his hooves and prepared to pay the bill, but the earthpony was a few steps ahead of him. As they exited the filthy eatery, Laughing Stock felt great about his relationship with his girlfriends’ brother.
Just in time too. With Hearths Warming Eve being three days away, I should get what I want after all!
*** “Laughing Stock, I missed you so much!”
Twilight was waiting by the cabin window for her stallion to return. She greeted him with a kiss, and hugged her brother.
“I’m surprised to see the both of you together in one piece. Nopony was sold to a traveling band of gypsies I see.”
“Nope” Shining Armor replied. “I really enjoyed myself, this trip wasn’t as bad as I thought.”
“I’m so glad to hear my stallions are getting along!”
Twilight told them that Celestia and Luna had been at it all day.
“Apparently somepony showed Luna how to use the record player, and she has been playing records all day.”
The comedian asked what the big deal was, “it’s not like she’s hurting anypony.”
“She has been playing them backwards by mistake. She is insisting that the records are telling her to do strange things…I’m not sure. All I know is Celestia has had it with Luna, and Cadance has been playing referee.” Entering the cabin, the ponies were greeted with the Royal Pony Sisters engaged in the argument Twilight warned them about.
“WE MUST DO WHAT THE DEVICE TELLS US! FREE OURSELVES FROM THE EVIL TYRANNY THAT IS…Oh hello Laughing Stock. I see you are back from the store.”
“Hello Luna! Yes, we are back with supper, I hope everypony likes spaghetti!”
Everypony in the cabin cheered when they heard what was for dinner. The two stallions entered the kitchen and prepared to make supper.
“Ok, first thing I need you to do is to fill up that pot with water.”
Shining Armor did what he was told. Once the pot was full and on the stove, the comedian told him to watch it.
“When it boils, let me know.”
Minutes later, while Laughing Stock was putting the finishing touches on the salad, the chef was told his water was boiling.
“Alright, now put the pasta in the water.”
After the unicorn said he put the pasta in the hot water, the comedian called the mares in.
“I bought some wine. I know it goes well with pasta, but would anypony like to get a head start now?”
“That was sweet of you Laughing Stock, but I don’t drink that often” Princess Celestia confessed.
“Thou would be a lot more tolerable if thou did!”
“On second thought, give me that bottle!” The white alicorn took the bottle from the stallion and filled a glass. After it was filled to capacity, she drank it as quickly as possible.
“Princess…” the comedian tried to get Celestia’s attention. “You’re supposed to let it breathe first before you-“
The ruler of Equestria shot the pony a look suggesting he should mind his own business.
“I’m going to work on the bread.”
As he entered the kitchen, Laughing Stock asked his helper how the pasta was coming.
“It’s still really firm…”
The pony who was doing the cooking thought nothing of it as he began to make garlic bread. Leaving his post at the stove, the Royal Guard commented on the wonderful smell.
“This is what my dad made for my mom the first time he cooked for her. I only make this on special occasions, like spending the evening with great friends.”
“What about announcing an engagement?” The unicorn suggested as he moved back to the stove to watch the pasta.
Before Laughing Stock could reply, Twilight called him into the living room.
He noticed something rather peculiar as he crossed the threshold into the living room. Celestia was sobbing at Luna’s feet.
“OH LUNA! I’M SO SORRY FOR *hiccup* BANISHING YOU TO THE ROOM!”
“Doesn’t our sister mean moon?”
“I MEANT *hiccup* MOON! I AM SO *hiccup* SORRY!”
Twilight asked him what he planned on doing about the plastered ruler of Equestria crying on the living room floor.
“Get her more wine” he cried. Twilight was not amused.
“I have a book upstairs that may help us out. Keep her occupied while I grab it.”
Watching the princess stumble to her feet, the comedian helped her to the couch. She proceeded to lay down.
“Do you know how much pressure I am under being the *hiccup* most beloved ruler of all time? It’s a miracle I am not like this more often.”
“I must say you are quite a lightweight” Laughing Stock commented taking a seat next to the intoxicated princess.
“The Royal Family has an extremely low tolerance to *hiccup* alcohol, which is why I don’t drink. Can I ask you something, Laughing Stock?”
“Sure, what’s on your mind?”
“If things don’t *hiccup* work out with Twilight, will you promise to look me *hiccup* up?”
She ran one of her hooves up his chest.
“Uh…sure...I wouldn’t count on that happening anytime soon, though.”
“We’ll see about *hiccup* that…”
“What is that supposed to mean?!”
Twilight came back downstairs before Celestia could reveal her plot to break up the young couple.
“This spell is rather difficult, and it’s been so long since I used it” the unicorn explained. “The last time I used it was on a very intoxicated Fluttershy during my brothers wedding.”
“If I were you Twilight, I would keep practicing that *hiccup* spell. You might need it for the wedding that’s coming up!” Everypony in the cabin watched in horror as Twilight asked who was getting married, even Shining Armor poked his head out of the kitchen to watch the events unfold.
“Ask Laughing *hiccup* Stock.”
A curious Twilight turned to her boyfriend.
“Who is getting married?”
Her boyfriend was trying to come up with an excuse before Cadance jumped in.
“Shining Armor and I are renewing our vows, isn’t that right honey?”
The royal guard agreed from the kitchen.
While Cadance entertained Twilight with the fake plans for the renewing of the vows ceremony, the comedian slipped back into the kitchen.
“How’s the pasta coming, Shining Armor?”
“Still very firm.”
The earthpony peered over the side of the pot.
“You do realize when I told you to put the pasta in the pot, you were supposed to take it out of the bag…right?”
*** Dinner continued without further incident. Twilight found a spell that quickened the sobering process on a pony, which she used hastily on the princess. Unfortunately, it did nothing to prevent her hangover.
“What game are we playing tonight?” Cadance asked, making her way upstairs to freshen up after dinner. Her husband followed her upstairs a few minutes later.
“I don’t care, as long as it’s quiet.” Princess Celestia was outstretched on the couch, a cushion covering her head.
“Shining Armor and I bought ‘smores fixings, why don’t we gather round the fireplace and make some?”
Twilight and Luna agreed while Celestia moaned. The young married couple was noplace to be found though, so Twilight went up stairs to investigate.
The comedian entered the kitchen to grab the items they would need for desert. Turning to go back into the living room, Luna approached him.
“OUR SUPPER WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!”
“Luna, please shut up” Celestia hollered from the other room.
Laughing Stock told the Princess of the Night he appreciated her compliment. He carried the food into the family room as Twilight descended from the stairs.
“Cadance and Shining Armor won’t be joining us for dessert.”
“Oh no!” The earthpony hope that dinner didn’t make them sick. “Are they ok?!”
“Yes they are fine. From what Cadance told me, Shining Armor kicked their door in, and suggested an impromptu walk in the woods.” Twilight sat down, looking very confused. “This is very odd, usually my brother isn’t this spontaneous.”
The stallion shrugged as he distributed marshmallows to the ponies who wanted one.
“We should tell ghost stories!” “Aw Twiley, you know I am horrible at telling ghost stories! I tell jokes for a living, I can’t jump back and forth between funny and scary!”
“Shut up you big foal and do it.”
The lavender unicorn used her magic to extinguish all the lights in the room, with the exception of the fireplace. Laughing Stock cleared his throat as he began to his tell his tale.
“On a night like this, not too long ago, a young entertainer was preparing for his first big show. Once he was ready, he heard the master of ceremonies call his name. Upon walking on the stage, he saw the scariest thing a performer could ever see!
“Which was what?” Twilight wasn’t amused, she knew where this was going.
“He saw…nopony in the audience!”
“How in Equestria is that scary?”
“You could say it was as empty as a ghost town!” The comedian raised his hooves and began to wiggle them back and forth, trying his best to make spooky noises.
“That was horrible.” Twilight wasn’t going to pull any punches on ghost story critiques. She moved in front of the fire, and faced her boyfriend, Princess Luna, and a suffering Princess Celestia.
She used her magic to summon a bag from upstairs. She proceeded to pull out a bag of white powder with her hoof.
“Submitted for the approval for the Equestrian Folklore society, I call this story…”
She blew the powder into the fire, which made the flames roar at once.
“…The Traveling Ghost.”
Swing was a traveling musician. On a cold winter night, very similar to this, the musical pony was walking through a dark forest to his next destination. He looked up to the sky and could see a storm was brewing. Being a seasoned traveler, he decided to prepare himself for the storm just in case the weather became worse. Swing’s travel experience turned out to be useful because a few minutes later, the biggest storm he had ever experienced had arrived. With out a place to stop safely, the traveler kept walking through what he thought was the storm of the century.
After an hour of walking through the horrible weather, he saw a light, not far from him. As he moved closer, he could see that it was a small cabin. A flickering light told Swing there was a roaring fire inside. One of the mares inside the cabin hurried to the door and beckoned Swing inside, but the stallion was nervous. Something in his gut told him this was a bad idea, but the thought of the fire and perhaps a steaming hot bowl of soup was too much to pass up, so he went inside. Upon entering, his nerves became even worse. Despite being in a cabin with a roaring fire, the room still was freezing.
“I really appreciate your generous hospitality.” Swing said to the two mares as moved close to the fire.
They acknowledged him, but they kept to themselves. From the way they were dressed, Swing could tell they were gypsies, but something was strange about them. All the gypsies he knew traveled in caravans, why were these two alone? Swing tried to engage his hosts in small talk. Their brief, one word answers made conversation very difficult. After a few minutes of forced discussion, he noticed they both had silver eyes. This sent an eerie chill down his spine.
“Well, thank you so much for the opportunity to rest my weary bones, but I think it’s time I left.” Swing climbed to his hooves and headed toward the door, but both mares grabbed him.
“It’s too dangerous to go out at a time like this. A dangerous creature roams though these woods at this time of night, it takes the lives of the unfortunate ponies that cross its path” The first mare pleaded.
“We would prefer for your own safety, you remain here and entertain us. It has been so long since we heard such merry music” the second mare added, tugging at his sleeve.
Swing looked out the window, just as lightning flashed across the sky.
I suppose staying a few more minutes won’t hurt.
He ran outside to grab a few instruments from his wagon. He heard a rustling coming from the forest. For a moment, it looked like the entire forest had moved closer to the cabin.
I must be very tired…there is no way the whole forest moved. Is there?
Grabbing the instruments he needed to satisfy the mares’ wishes, he started to walk towards the cabin when he heard a different noise, almost like a shriek. Taking one step towards the forest, the wind greeted with a harsh whisper.
“Don’t go back into the cabin…they’re lying to you…”
The gypsies stood in the threshold of their cabin, motioning Swing to come back inside. The anxious stallion took his place beside the fire once again.
“Is there anything in particular you would like to hear?”
“We would love to hear the Gypsy Rover.”
Swing was surprised by their request.
“I haven’t played that song in years” Swing mentioned as he raised his violin. “It was my grandfathers’ favorite.”
After the song concluded, he glanced out the window to see if the storm had lessened. Instead of seeing a clear night sky, all he saw was a pair of silvery eyes staring back at him. Swing shrieked as his violin fell to the floor. The mares rushed to his aid, embracing the startled pony, reassuring him that he was in no danger. Despite sitting next to the fire all evening, the musician noticed that the gypsy sisters were absolutely freezing. Being a true gentlecolt, he offered them his blanket. While the mares huddled under his blanket close to the flame, Swing played another one of his grandfathers favorite songs. When the second song had finished, the cabin window burst open and once again, the musician heard the wind give him a warning.
“LEAVE WHILE YOU CAN!”
As one of the mares rushed over to the window, Swing saw the glowing orbs once again.
I have had enough of this, I am leaving!
The stallion dashed to the door, but was blocked by the other mare.
"Please play us one more song? We will let you go if we can just hear one more song" she whispered. "It is still too dangerous to leave so please, just sing us on more song."
“Are you CRAZY? There is something out there!”
"Please, just one more song?" When paired with her silver eyes, the gypsy’s voice was hypnotically calming. Swing decided to play one last song.
The sisters stopped the musical pony from reaching for his instrument.
“We insist that you play this.”
The younger sister handed him a small silver bell and requested that he play a very slow folk song. The first time he struck the bell, a wave of sleepiness washed over him, and the feeling only grew stronger as the song went on. As he struck the bell one final time, the cabin door exploded at the claws of the creature with the silvery orbs for eyes. He feel into a deep sleep, with the gypsy sisters screams of terror and tearing flesh being the last thing he heard.
The next morning, Swing awoke to find himself atop of two makeshift graves inside a demolished cabin in the woods. In front of him was a locket with a picture of the two sisters on it. The picture had dated back 14 years ago. Looking at his side, he spotted a small silver bell that looked oddly familiar. As he brought the bell closer for a better look, he noticed an inscription etched into its side.
May the sound of light protect you from the sight of darkness.
Leaving the woods, he turned back one last time. Despite being the middle of the day, the woods were still as dark as the night before. He saw the silvery eyes stare at him and emit an evil cackle.”
“Now that was a ghost story!”
Laughing Stock looked terrified, while Luna slept on his shoulder.
“That wasn’t too scary.” The comedian tried his best to keep a brave face, but let out a shriek when the princess snored.
“Laughing Stock, do me a favor and keep the noise down” Princess Celestia complained.
“Alright, Luna are you going to tell a story?” The now quiet stallion asked the princess of the night. “This seemed like something right up your alley.”
“We do know of a few tales that will frighten you!”
Princess Luna switched spots with Twilight, who snuggled up against her ‘brave’ stallion.
“OUR STORY OCCURS DURING A TIME WHEN...”
“Hey, I have a scary story!” Princess Celestia sat up suddenly, looking absolutely furious. “There was an evil princess who captured three of her nosiest subjects. She banished one of them to the moon for an additional thousand years, while the other two remained in the dungeon under the castle for the rest of their miserable, noisy lives. The end.”
The next morning, Laughing Stock and Twilight Sparkle found themselves in bed. After Princess Celestia’s ghost story the night before, they were doing their best to stay out of her way.
“Why should I see if she is awake?” The stallion hissed at Twilight when she suggested one of them should check on the princess.
“Because, I’d rather have you rot in a dungeon for the rest of your life.”
“…love you too, sweetheart.”
The couple saw Princess Luna walk past their door. They quietly called her into the room.
“Good Morning Twilight and Laughing Stock, we hope thou are having a pleasant morning.”
They asked if her sister was feeling alright after the effects of the wine from the night before.
“We haven’t seen her yet, but we will be more than willing to check for thou.”
Luna walked across the hall and began to speak to her sister through the door.
“SISTER, WE WANTED TO SEE IF THOU WERE STILL FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER.”
The sound of a shattering vase from the other side of the door told the three ponies everything they needed to know.
In an attempt to avoid flying pottery in their future, the group decided to move downstairs. They found themselves in the kitchen discussing their plans for the day over bowls of cereal.
“What did you want to do today Twilight?”
“I was hoping to spend some time together considering we haven’t done that...”
“Sounds like a plan, what did you have in mind?”
“Let’s take a walk! Cadance told me about this romantic spot not too far from here!”
Princess Luna interrupted the couple’s conversation with a question of her own.
“May we accompany thou on the romantic stroll?
Twilight gently bit her lower lip. As much as she enjoyed Luna’s company, she wanted to be alone with her very special somepony.
“What are Cadance and Shining Armor doing today?”
“We do not know. They have been locked in their room since last night. She had a horrible night’s slumber though.”
“Really?” The comedian looked up from his bowl of cereal. “Why would you say that, Luna?”
“Our dear Princess Cadance was having horrible night terrors. She was screaming for most of the night.”
“Really? Laughing Stock was now very interested. “What kind of things was she screaming?”
“Well, Shining Armor must have been in a deep slumber, because she was screaming his name. Then when she discovered he wasn’t waking up, she decided to call for our sister.”
“Interesting. How was she calling your sister?”
“OH CELESTIA” Luna explained. “And my sister must have arrived to her aid, because she seemed quite satisfied by the way she was helping her.”
The grin on the stallion’s face was enormous. Twilight laid her face on the table, she couldn’t believe her boyfriend was doing this.
“And how did you know she was satisfied with your sister’s work?”
“Because all we could hear for many minutes was YES! OH CELESTIA! YES! Poor Cadance, we feel bad she had to suffer through such a massive night terror.”
“Oh, I bet it was massive.”
Out of fear Princess Luna would be exposed to anymore of Cadance’s “night terrors”, she allowed the princess to come along on their walk.
The lovebirds continued to walk towards the location of the overlook that Twilight heard so much about, Princess Thirdwheel was close behind.
Turning to her boyfriend, the purple unicorn asked him how he was enjoying the vacation.
“It’s fine. I just enjoy spending so much time with my Cuddle Wuddle Honey Bear!”
Laughing Stock gently began to nuzzle his mare’s nose while a confused Luna watched.
“Her name is Twilight Sparkle. Why did thou refer to her as Cuddle something or other?”
“Oh…we just have little pet names for each other. It’s just a fun thing couples do. Her pet name for me is Super Du-“
“Laughing Stock, there are things we talk about in public and things we talk about in private. This falls into the private category.”
The stallion covered his girlfriend’s mouth and finished his explanation.
“Anyway, she calls me her Super Duper Stocking Stuffer beca-“
Twilight managed to get her mouth free, and bit her Stocking Stuffer’s forehoof.
“Haven’t you ever had a special stallion or mare in your life Luna?” Twilight asked, while the injured pony coddled his injured limb.
“We never had the opportunity to find a mate.We were too young before our banishment, and there are not any suitable ponies on the moon. We did manage to meet somepony before we left on our trip though.”
The comedian recovered from the painful nibble, and gave Luna a bit of advice.
“Have you talked to this somepony before?”
“We have spoken with him on a few occasions, but we have achieved our desired level of intimacy yet.”
“It’s probably because he is shy. Next time you have an opportunity alone with him, you grab his mane and you tell him how you feel, and kiss him.”
Luna turned to his girlfriend and asked if this would work.
“I suppose, it worked on me.”
“It has been decided, we will give your advice a try if the opportunity ever presents itself. Thank you Laughing Stock.”
After after trekking through the snow covered terrain, they arrived at the romantic location. It was a cliff that overlooked the snowy valley below them. The only thing the trio could see were rolling hills and trees that stretched into the horizon.
The young couple sat on the edge on the cliff, looking out at the snow covered landscape. Twilight’s head leaned against her stallions shoulder.
“Isn’t this beautiful?”
“It is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen, behind the stars and you of course.”
She looked up at her boyfriend with a dreamy stare.
“I know I say this all the time, but how did I wind up with such an amazing stallion?”
The comedian kissed the base of his girlfriend’s horn as he pulled her in closer. He turned his head to his right to see what Princess Luna was doing. She was sitting on a rock, while she used her magic to poke a bush with a stick.
“Luna, come here for a second.”
Luna walked to Laughing Stock, and he placed his forehoof around her neck.
“In case I haven’t told you, I think you are a great pony, I hope we can be friends forever.”
“That is impossible. Thou will perish eventually, which will hinder our quest to be companions for eternity.”
Much to the trio’s surprise, Princess Celestia was out of bed when they made it back to the cabin. She appeared to be her cheerful self once again, with bags full of groceries.
“Why, hello everypony! I hope you all are having a pleasant morning!”
The group looked at each other, they weren’t sure which princess was in front of them.
“I owe every one of you an apology for my behavior the past few hours. It was inexcusable and I will do my best to act the way a ruler should.”
“Princess, you have no need to worry.” Twilight ran up to her mentor and wrapped her hooves around her neck. “You are the best ruler anypony could ever ask for, you deserve to relax and unwind every once in a while.”
Patting her most faithful student on her head, she asked what they had planned for the rest of the day.
“We just finished taking a walk.” The comedian helped Celestia with the groceries. “Did you have something in mind?”
“In matter of fact, I do have an idea. Give me a few minutes to prepare myself.”
Twilight offered to stay and help Celestia put the supplies away. Once he was in his bedroom, the stallion secretly pulled out Twilight’s engagement ring. He sat on the bed and simply stared at it. He failed to notice Princess Luna standing over his shoulder.
“Is that Twilight’s ring?”
The startled comedian turned around to face the Princess of the Night.
“Yup. Most of the money I have earned in my life has gone towards this. What do you think?
“We think the ring is the most exquisite piece of jewelry we have seen.”
Luna proceeded to ask if she could examine it a bit closer.
Laughing Stock had a bad feeling about allowing his friend hold the ring, but against his better judgment, he took the ring out of the little black box and gave it to her.
“There are so many colors!” She held the ring up to the nearby window, looking though the diamond.
The ring was surrounded by the princess’ magical aura. She raised the ring just above her horn when Laughing Stock stopped her.
“Please don’t try it on. The ring was created with Twilight’s EXACT horn measurements, it won’t fit you.”
Luna carefully slid it on, telling him not to worry.
“We will treat this ring like it was our own. We will...uh oh.”
“UH OH? What do you mean UH OH?”
“How can we put this…Twilight’s ring is stuck on our horn.”
The comedian did not find this situation very funny.
“What do mean STUCK?”
“Stuck, as in we can’t get it off.”
“I know what stuck means! I can’t believe you tried it on…I have an idea. Until I get back, hide the fact that you have a very expensive ring on your horn.”
Laughing Stock ran to the bathroom, and grabbed a bottle of liquid soap. He returned to the room to find Luna wearing a lamp shade on her head.
“What in the world…”
“Thou sad to cover our horn, we couldn’t think of anything else.”
“That makes sense. Here, put this on your horn, this should make the ring slide off.”
Luna looked at the bottle that was handed to her.
“Oh…blueberry? We prefer the scent of lavender.”
“Yeah, well I would have preferred that you listened to me when I told you not to try the ring on.”
Once the princess had her horn slick, he instructed her to pull the ring off. She was trying her hardest, but she couldn’t pull hard enough.
“For the love of your sister…let me help you.”
He had Luna go down on all fours while he stood on his hind legs in order to get more leverage. After a few moments of tugging, the ring slid off just as Laughing Stock predicted.
“Uh, honey…what are you doing?”
The stallion turned to see a very concerned Twilight Sparkle in the threshold of their room. He surveyed the situation: He was on his hind legs while another mare was on all fours in front of him. Both of his front hooves rested on her head.
“I can explain, I swear it’s not what it looks like.”
“Alright, go ahead.”
Her boyfriend was silent. Despite being great at improv, he was drawing a blank.
“We apologize for the situation Twilight. Despite our sister’s orders, we tried on her jewelry without her permission. When it became stuck, we panicked and asked Laughing Stock for assistance.”
The lavender unicorn looked relieved.
“Well, here we are!”
Princess Celestia took the other five ponies to a cave, not too far from the cabin.
“Great…I always wanted to go spelunking…”
“That’s not what we’re doing here Laughing Stock. There is a hidden hot spring inside this cave.”
The three other mares squealed with excitement, but nopony was more excited than the stand up comedian, fell to the ground with his front hooves raised towards the sky.
As the ponies entered the cave, they felt the increase in temperature almost immediately. At the very end, was a pool of water with steam rising from it. Shining Armor suddenly looked upset, he turned towards the cave exit.
“Shoot, I just remembered we are out of firewood. I’m going to gather some, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
As Laughing Stock watched the white unicorn leave, he realized something rather wonderful.
One stallion left in the company of four beautiful mares in a hot spring? Dear Pentstable forum…
Minutes slowly passed inside the spring. It was silent for the most part, because everypony was experiencing extreme and total comfort.
“What are we going to do after dinner tonight?” Cadance asked while she sank into the relaxing water.
“I have an idea” the comedian suggested. “Why don’t we play charades?”
The mares agreed charades would be a fantastic way to end the night, and continued to talk amongst themselves. The lone male just sat in the temperate liquid, thinking about the scenario in front of him.
Excuse me ladies, I have pizza delivery.
Look girls! This incredibly handsome stallion has brought us our pizza!
We would love to pay you, but we would hate to get our money all wet.
Perhaps there is some other method of payment you would prefer?
“What are you thinking about?”
The comedian managed to drift off to sleep, due to his state of total relaxation. He awoke when Twilight swam over to him and asked her question.
“I was thinking about…bunnies! Why do you ask?”
“You were sound asleep with the goofiest grin on your face, that’s all” His girlfriend said, following the other mares out of the spring.
“We haven’t been in here that long, why are you getting out already?”
“You were asleep for two and a half hours, we are tired. If you and my brother want to stay in, be our guest.”
Laughing Stock looked to his left and saw a very relaxed Shining Armor.
“If we stayed in this hot spring together, this doesn’t make us coltcuddlers…does it?”
“No, we should be fine…as long as you stay on THAT side of the spring.”
“I can’t believe that you and my brother spent four hours together in the hot spring.” Twilight said while she cleared the dinner dishes.
“After spending all day together yesterday, I would think you two would be sick of each other by now.”
“What? Shining Armor and I sick of each other? NO WAY!”
The two stallions high hoofed across the table, while Princess Celestia called everypony into the living room to discuss the activities for the evening.
“I want you all to pick the teams. I will be in the kitchen fixing us a special surprise!”
As Princess Celestia made her way to the kitchen, the remaining ponies followed her directions. In her absence, it was decided that the three princesses would take on the three regular ponies.
“Are you guys ready for your treat? The white alicorn brought a silver tray filled with drinks, she gave one to everypony except the lone earthpony.
“Your drink is back in the kitchen, Laughing Stock. I didn’t have room for it on the tray.”
He grabbed his drink quickly and returned to the game.
“Ok Twilight, you’re up!”
The lavender unicorn rose to her feet and knocked on the coffee table twice, signaling to her team that there were two words in her secret phrase.
She began with both hooves above her head, and then gently slid them down opposite sides, making some sort of shape.
He boyfriend began to wonder what she was doing.
What shape has that many points…oh wait!
Twilight tapped her nose, signaling that star was correct. She moved on to the next clue, which had her spinning around in a circle.
Tornado…cyclone…I have no idea what she is doing.
Luckily, his teammate wasn’t as clueless.
Once again, a happy Twilight tapped her nose. She began rubbing her chin when it was time for the third clue.
Star…swirl…rub? No, that is dumb. Star…swirl…chin? I doubt it. Wait a minute…
“Starswirl the Bearded?”
Twilight happily nodded as the normal ponies recorded their first point. She was very surprised that her boyfriend figured it out.
“How do you know about Starswirl the Bearded!?”
“You have mentioned him before. You may not realize this, but I listen to you every once in a while.”
They took a seat and watched the other team make their first attempt at a point,
Cadance took her place in front of the fireplace and knocked only once. She began flapping wings and running around the living room.
Celestia and Luna began throwing out various species of birds, but none of their guess was right. The pink alicorn waved her arms back and forth, a signal that meant her team should forget that clue. She then pretended to strike a match. With the imaginary watch lit, she flapped her wings and gently flew across the room.
“Oh, we have the solution! Cadance’s secret word is…FIREFLY!”
Cadance shook her head vigorously back and forth before the time ran out, but it was too late.
A deflated pink alicorn revealed the word was phoenix.
“I thought you would get that one auntie, especially since you have a pet phoenix.
“Don’t worry” Celestia pat her niece on the head. “We’ll get the next one.”
They didn’t. The three normal ponies were playing circles around the princesses. After a while, Laughing Stock began to notice a change in most of the other participants. With the exception of Princess Celestia, everypony else's speech began to slur, hoof eye coordination was off, and their personalities had changed drastically.
Princess Luna rose to her hooves in hopes of getting her team a point, she immediately tripped and hit the floor very hard.
The comedian raced to her aid, while everypony else laughed.
“LUNA! Are you ok?”
“Yes, I’m ok. I didn’t see that table there.”
The concerned stallion was stunned.
“Did…did you just say ‘I’?”
“I have never heard you use ‘I’ before, only the traditional royal ‘we’.”
“No way! That sounds stupid, there is no way I would do that.”
Luna proceeded to give her teams clues, nearly falling over in the process. The comedian decided to play detective and looked for a reason everypony was acting like an idiot. He opened every cupboard, drawer and pantry the kitchen, but he found nothing.
“Looking for something Laughing Stock?”
He turned to see Princess Celestia standing in the kitchen doorway, an evil smirk upon her face.
“I was just seeing why everypony was acting silly, that’s all.”
She nodded and pointed to the trashcan under the sink. He pulled out the receptacle to see the reason why his friends are acting weird.
“Oh my…Princess Celestia, did you spike their drinks?”
“How much alcohol did you use? Hopefully you didn’t use all these bottles.”
“I did…do you think it was too much?”
“Considering you used enough alcohol to give a dragon the hangover of the century…yes, you over did it. I though you said you were going to try harder to be more princess like?”
“I am trying to be more princess like, but it’s not going well as you can see” Celestia explained. “I wanted to give Luna one hell of a hangover, since she was the reason I got drunk yesterday.”
“Ok, that is a valid excuse. Why everypony else though?”
“I am very curious to see what they are like when intoxicated.”
Laughing Stock raised his hoof, hoping to give the ruler of Equestria a piece of his mind, but he stopped himself.
“You know…I should be very mad at you right now…but I have a feeling I will be thanking you in the morning. I hope you didn’t spike mine.”
“Of course not, that’s why it was left in the kitchen. I didn’t want to get it confused with an alcoholic one.”
“Well, thanks for that I suppose.”
The earthpony returned to the living room. He took a seat next to his girlfriend, who was twirling her hair very seductively.
“Hey handsome, where have you been?”
“I was in the kitchen, getting some water. Where have you been?”
“Waiting right here for you to get back.”
The drunken unicorn climbed into his lap and began kissing him. He was taken aback, she was NEVER this forward when other ponies were around. He tried pushing her away, but she wouldn’t budge.
“Come on Stocky! You’re so good to me, let me repay the favor.”
“Twilight! What are you doing? Not now!”
Celestia stood up and told everypony she was ready to resume the game. Laughing Stock didn’t see a point, especially since more than half of the competitors didn’t know their own names.
Shining Armor stood up to take his turn, but promptly fell to the floor.
“And he is down!” Luna began laughing hysterically as the white unicorn began to snooze. “I thought a pony his size would be able to handle the pressures of charades.”
“Luna, he didn't faint, he passed out because he is very drunk. Just like the rest of you guys.”
“What? I am not drunk! I feel more clear headed than ever. Want to hear some impersonations?
The comedian answered no, but the wasted princess did some anyway.
“I am Princess Celestia! I can't allow my younger sister to have any spotlight. Just because she is the princess of the night, means she has to stay in the dark. When she gets a little carried away, she is banished to the moon for a thousand years!
Celestia watched her sister, debating whether the terrible impersonation was a punishable offence.
“I am Princess Cadance. I am lucky enough to have found true love, but do I give my youngest aunt any advice? NO!”
Cadance started clapping on the couch when she heard her name.
“I am Twilight Sparkle. Despite the fact I have read every book in Equestria, I have no real life experience.”
Twilight wasn’t paying attention. She was too busy poking Laughing Stock’s shoulder.
“What now Twiley?
“You have legs, go get something to eat.”
“I want to...but the floor won’t cooperate.”
The stallion pulled him self away from the drunken princess, who was currently mocking the royal guard passed out at her hooves. He came back into the living room with a piece of bread.
“Here, eat this.”
The puzzled unicorn looked at the bread, unsure of what to do with it.
Laughing Stock turned back to Luna, who was about to make an impression of him.
“I’m Laughing Stock! I *thud*”
The Princess of the Night passed out right next to the royal guard. Seeing her aunt fall to the floor with a heavy thud, Cadance began to clap.
The comedian turned back to Twilight. Instead of eating the bread, she placed it on her horn.
“Twilight...I told you to eat the bread.”
“The bread hanging from your horn.”
“What do you mean you can’t?”
“I can’t bread!”
Laughing Stock asked the white alicorn they could postpone the game.
“Why, are you afraid of losing?”
“No, we each have a member passed out on the floor.”
At that moment, Cadance fell on top the other two ponies on the ground.
“Never mind, you have two team members down.”
“Well, the three of us can play. Twilight, go ahead.”
The lusty unicorn blew her boyfriend a kiss and knocked on the table twice.
“Ok sweetheart, two words…go.”
Laughing Stock and Princess Celestia knew what she was doing, but were too embarrassed to say.
“Twilight Sparkle…that is very inappropriate.”
“I’m going to have to agree with the princess here. That is just…wow.”
The ruler of Equestria called the game a draw, and decided to end the game.
“Come on Twipsy Sparkle, you’re coming with me.”
The comedian carried his mare upstairs and placed her carefully into bed. After climbing into bed himself, he felt a hoof crawl up his spine.
“We have a problem here, Mr. Stock.”
The stallion recognized Twilight’s tone of voice.
“Oh really? What kind of problem?”
“I see you have very many overdue library books. How do you expect to pay for all these?”
“I…I have no idea, Mrs. Sparkle.”
“Well then…I suppose we will have to do something about this, won’t we?”
The unicorn clumsily moved toward her boyfriend, trying to look as sultry as possible. She moved her face very close to hers, with every intention of rocking his world.
“Twilight, are you OK? You became very pale all of a sudden...”
“You know sweetie, when you said ‘we will have to do something about this’, I never thought you meant holding your hair back while you threw up.”
He looked down at the smartest pony in Equestria. She was sitting on the floor in front of the toilet, with her hooves and head resting in the bowl.
“I’m so sorry” she gasped. “You must find me disgusting.”
“Uh, Twiley, I was an alcoholic at one point in my life. Your acting like I’ve never been covered in vomit before.”
“Well, I’m sure you have never been covered in another ponies throw up before.”
“Ask Vinyl Scratch about that next time you see her.”
Shaking out of embarrassment and fear, she turned to the stallion beside her.
“What’s going to happen next? Am I going to be sick for a while?”
“You’ll come around eventually.” A wicked grin replaced the look of concern the stallion once had. “But not before you have a pretty awful hangover.”
“I’ve never heard of a hangover. What is it like?”
“Imagine your head is book in a library and somepony decides to check it out. They take it to the librarian at the front who needs to date stamp the book, but the stamp isn’t working. Instead of replacing the ink pad, she stamps the book over and over and over...”
A/N: Once again, thank you Berk! Now get out there and bread!
The next morning, Laughing Stock awoke with his back against the bathtub. Rubbing his eyes, he struggled to remember why he fell asleep in the bathroom in the first place. He instinctively looked at the toilet, and suddenly remembered.
Amazing…even when passed out on a toilet seat , she is still beautiful.
The stallion carefully wiped his girlfriends face off with a cool washcloth, and carried her to a proper bed. He stood in the doorway for a moment, marveling at the fact such a small pony could snore so loud. His stomach began to grumble, so he made his way downstairs.
“Good morning, Laughing Stock! How is Twilight doing?”
“She is fine, Princess Celestia. I cleaned her up a bit, moved her from the bathroom and tucked her in.”
“Well isn't that sweet! If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.”
Laughing Stock smiled as he poured himself a glass of juice. He took a sit across from the white alicorn, who was reading over the morning paper.
“How are things between you and Shining Armor?”
“Pretty good. He hasn’t threatened to hurt me or anything, so I take that as a good sign.”
Princess Celestia nodded in agreement.
“Has he given you permission yet?”
“Well…” Laughing Stock glanced toward the staircase. The last thing he needed was Twilight interrupting them.
“No, he hasn’t.”
“Well, Hearth’s Warming Eve is two days away...”
“I know. I just need another moment alone with him.”
“Well, today is your lucky day then” the princess added, taking the breakfast dishes to the sink. “As a way to apologize for getting everypony drunk last night, I am going to be taking the girls into town to get their hooves and manes done. That should leave you with plenty of time alone with Shining Armor.”
“That is so nice of you princess, treating everypony to a spa day is very generous.”
A sly grin spread across the face of the mighty ruler.
“Especially since every salon in Equestria provides my friends and I with free treatments.”
“When I said I wanted to hang out, Shining Armor, I didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to go on an adventure.”
After the mare’s departure, the royal guard suggested going on a journey into the forest. Begrudgingly Laughing Stock agreed. After an hour, the two were miles away from the cabin.
“Oh come now Laughing Stock, this is the life!” The unicorn proudly stood on a rock overlooking a small valley. “As stallions, our significant others are view us as rugged, fearless and tough! Now we get to see for ourselves if we posses those qualities.”
“I really hope Luna didn’t eat the last cheese danish… I’m going to be very upset if she did.”
Continuing their journey, the ponies stumbled upon an abandoned cabin. Shining Armor was ecstatic about exploring the condemned building, the comedian was not so eager.
“Come on!” The guard pleaded to his friend. “You were complaining about being hungry earlier…I’ll give you a snack!”
“A snack? What kind of snack are we talking here?”
Using his magic, the guard pulled out a package of biscuits from his saddlebag.
“I’ll give you a biscuit. That should hold you over until dinner.”
“One biscuit? You’re going to do much better than that.”
“Better, but not quite there yet.”
“Will you go into the spooky cabin for a box of biscuits?
A box of biscuits later, the two stallions made their way into the decrepit building. Shining Armor’s face was aglow with colt like curiosity, while Laughing Stocks face was covered with crumbs.
“Dow munch wonger dar web gunna be her?”
“You think you could not talk with your mouth full?”
The comedian swallowed the last bit of food he had in his mouth before attempting to speak again.
“I asked how much longer do we have to be here. I want to go home.”
“Oh relax, nothing in here is going to hurt you.”
“Are you sure? This place looks like a breeding ground for mold, not to mention the foundation of this place could collapse under our feet…”
The unicorn raised an eyebrow at his companion.
“What? We all have our hobbies…I happen to be quite fond of real estate.”
The ponies continued to look through every nook and cranny. Laughing Stock couldn’t shake the story Twilight told around the fire the other night. Shining Armor could see the earthpony seemed nervous.
“Are you ok?”
“I don’t remember Twiley telling ghost stories…where was I?”
“You were providing your wife with night terrors.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nothing, nothing. By the way, if we ever get back to the cabin, you and Cadance need to have a talk with Luna.”
On the eastern corner of the building, Laughing Stock noticed a wooden dresser standing untouched. He walked up to the piece of furniture and examined it closely.
“Do you see something Laughing Stock?”
“There is something about that chifferobe…”
For the second time today, the unicorn raised an eyebrow at his companion.
“You know, a chifferobe!”
“If I knew what a chifferobe was, I wouldn’t have said chiffe-what.”
“Good point. It’s a piece of furniture that looks very similar to a closet.”
“Can’t you just say closet?”
“I could, but that happens to be another hobby of mine.”
“What is another hobby of yours? Hanging around closets?”
“What? NO! My other hobby is learning alternative names for furniture, so I can use them in everyday conversation and confuse everypony.”
“That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Whatever…I’ll be done in a minute. In the mean time, wait by the davenport.”
The comedian left a very perplexed captain and placed a hoof on the knob. Something about this fixture seemed eerie, but he decided to take a look inside anyway. Taking a deep breath, he jerked the knob to the right and leaped to the side, just in case something was waiting inside.
“Congratulations” a sarcastic Shining Armor said, tapping his foot on the warped wooden floor. “You are scared of a silver bell.”
“Chifferobe…” the embarrassed stallion muttered. Staring at the silver bell on the floor, he shook his head.
Twilight’s story has me all worked up. I mean, lots of abandoned cabins in the middle of the snow filled woods have silver bells in them...right? I just have to rela-
Before he could finish his thought, the shutters and front door slammed shut and locked with an audible click. The frightened earth pony sprinted to the door, twisting the knob as hard as he could, hoping to get it open. Shining Armor didn’t understand the reason for the comedian’s panicked state.
“What is your problem?”
“We’re all going to DIE! First the gypsy sisters are going to come, and then a creature is going to rip us apart!”
The soldier started to share the entertainer’s sense of urgency.
“We have to get out of here! I’ll work on the windows, while you work on the door!”
Laughing Stock ran back to the entrance and began to buck the heavy oak barrier, but it wasn’t budging.
“It’s no use!”
“Try tackling the door!”
The earthpony took a few steps back, and slammed his body against the door.
“It didn’t work!”
“Try it again!”
For the second time, he threw himself into the entrance.
“It useless, the door is too strong!”
Pulling at the shutters, the unicorn suggested one last tackle.
“The third time’s the charm!”
Taking a running start from the other side of the room, Laughing Stock approached the door at full gallop. He dove at the door with everything he had, but to his surprise, the door flew open. The stallion sailed through the threshold, into the snow.
“Shining Armor! The door is open, get out now!”
The guard carelessly strolled though the threshold with a massive smile on his face.
“Revenge is a dish best served cold…and from where I am standing, you look pretty cold.”
The comedian lifted his head up from the snow.
“Revenge for what?”
“Remember our first day here? When we were gathering wood, you told me Twilight likes to dress like a librarian when she…”
“Why are you bringing it up?
“I wanted to get you back. The story Twiley told you was one our father told us when we were younger, she told me yesterday that it scared you to death. When I saw the cabin, I just had the idea.”
The unicorn leisurely walked to the snow covered pony, dropped to one knee and smiled.
“How’s that for being spontaneous?”
“Not bad. I should have seen it coming, but you pulled it off flawlessly. How did you manage to lock everything at the same time?”
The prankster pointed at his horn.
“Oh right…magic. What about the bell?”
“I thought you put it in the...chifferobe.”
Taking a moment to shake the remaining snow off his body, Laughing Stock suggested heading back to the cabin to avoid getting ripped apart, and to see the mares.
“What’s the hurry? We have the rest of this wilderness to explore!”
“I’ve had enough exploration for one day…plus I want to see Twilight.”
“You really love her, don’t you?”
“Of course! I love her more than anything…except maybe sweet rolls and hot springs. She is definitely in the top three.”
“Can we stop for a minute?” The white unicorn took a seat on a stump, so he looked the other stallion in the eye.
“That day in Canterlot, when you first told me your intentions with my sister, I thought I was doing what was best for her. I believed that I was protecting her from heartbreak, which is probably the most painful things a pony can go through.”
The comedian thought about all the things that could were probably more painful than heartbreak. Being attacked by a shark topped his list, but Shining Armor looked like he meant business, so he remained silent.
“I now realize I wouldn’t be protecting her by keeping you two apart. In reality, I would be the one hurting her.”
The earthpony felt the unicorns hoof on his shoulder.
“I give you permission to marry Twilight.”
Without thinking, Laughing Stock threw his arms around his future brother in law.
“Thank you so much Shining Armor! You have no idea how happy I am right now!”
The solder, who wasn’t used to this kind of affection from other stallions, returned the gesture with an awkward pat on the back.
“Laughing Stock, how much longer is this hug supposed to last?”
“I am not sure to be honest. I haven’t hugged a lot of stallions in my time.”
“I think five minutes is long enough…”
“You two are absolutely filthy, where have you been?”
Princess Celestia stopped the stallions when they reached the entrance way.
“Aw, come on Celley! We wiped our hooves first!”
The princess shot the comedian a glare.
“Uh…We’ll use the hose outside. Sorry about the disrespect, your majesty.
Celestia returned to her seat next to Twilight Sparkle, her book lay open on the table in front of them.
“Princess, can you think of anything I can add to my book to make it more personal?”
“I’m sorry Twilight, I am not sure I can be much help. You have done a marvelous job already! I feel like this will take Equestria by storm!
“That means so much coming from you, Princess!”
Cadance descended from the stairs, asking what the two mares are at the table were doing.
“The princess is helping me with my book. Would you like to help as well, Cadance?”
“Sure! I’ve always been quite fond of reading.”
Her aunt placed her hooves over her face, stifling her laughter.
“Something funny, Auntie?”
“Just the thought of you liking books.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What’s the last book you read?”
Cadance muttered something, so her aunt asked her to speak up.
“50 Shades of Mane.”
“I see...so you basically read pornography.”
“Yes, I read ‘pornography’ Auntie. It's better than the things you keep in your top drawer.”
“How do you...”
“You should make sure you lock your chamber doors when you’re not home...a young filly gets curious.”
“Ok, I admit it, I’m not ashamed. I’m actually surprised you know how to read.”
“Are you insinuating that I'm dumb?”
The ruler of Equestria brought her front hooves together in a sarcastic manner.
“Very good Cadnace, insinuating is a five syllable word. I’m impressed. From what I remember, you had all the naive colts doing your homework for you.”
Twilight knew where this was going.
“So Laughing Stock told me the funniest joke the other day! What do you get when you cross two small numbers?”
After thinking for a moment, Celestia made a guess.
“Cadance’s grade point average?”
Before the pink alicorn could fire back, the window closest to the mares exploded, sending glass all over the room. The three mares looked out the window and saw Laughing Stock and Shining Armor standing on the other side, looking guilty.
“What were you two doing?” Princess Celestia exploded, channeling her anger away from her niece, to the stallions. “You were supposed to be washing the mud of your coats!”
“Well it started out that way princess...” Laughing Stock stammered.
“...Then we kind of got carried away” Shining Armor finished.
The princess sighed as her horn began to glow. A golden aura surrounded the various pieces of the window as Princess Celestia repaired the window.
“Lets just eat dinner and go to bed...it's been a day.”
“Just like an old gray mare” Candance whispered to Twilight. “Early bird special and off to bed before the sun sets...I wonder what that's like.”
“Keep it up young filly and you won’t live long enough to find out. ”
Dinner had concluded with out any further incidents. After the dishes were washed and put away, Laughing Stock pulled Princess Celestia aside.
“I got it Princess!”
“What do you mean?”
“Shining Armor gave me permission!”
Princess Celestia smiled as she gave the groom to be a hug.
“I am so proud of you. You stuck with what you felt in your heart, even though the odds were against you.”
“For Twilight, I would do just about anything.”
When the hug with Princess Celestia concluded, the comedian left to tell Cadance the good news.
“Cadance, Shining Armor said yes!”
The young princess squealed with delight as she embraced her friend.
“My little Twiley is getting married! I can’t wait for the wedding!
The stallion was so excited about the news, he was ready to share it with anypony. With out thinking, he ran into the room he was staying in.
“Twilight, Shining Armor said yes!”
Once he realized what he had done, he became motionless. His front legs were outstretched, a smile across his face, but he was mentally kicking himself.
I can’t believe I just did that...
Twilight was very confused, which wasn’t out of the ordinary when she was dealing with her boyfriend.
“What did he say yes to?”
“To joining me in the...hot spring...again!”
The lavender unicorn shook her head.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would say you two had something going on behind my back...” Laughing Stock chuckled nervously.
“What? Your brother and I doing stuff with out your knowledge? You’re crazy...you crazy mare you...”
Leaving the room, he had one more pony to tell. He looked for Princess Luna, but she was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes, he called off his search for the princess of the night in favor of the soak in the springs.
“Hey Shining Armor, want to go to the springs again?”
“Again? I think you like spending time in the spring with me a little too much...”
The earthpony explained how he almost gave away his plans to Twilight, and the spring was his cover.
“I see. Well, I suppose I can join you for a a little bit. Can I meet you there in twenty minutes?”
Laughing Stock thought it would be fine, and left for the spring. On his way to the cave, he noticed the night sky was a lot brighter than usual.
Wow, I have never seen the stars so bright! Luna must be in a good mood.
Making it to the cave in record time, he submersed himself into the tranquil water. Placing his head on the edge of the spring, the stallion closed his eyes.
“Hello Laughing Stock, may we accompany thou?”
He opened one eye to see Luna standing near the water.
“Of course Luna, you have no need to ask!”
Luna slid into the water carefully to avoid getting her mane wet.
“I noticed that the night sky very bright tonight.”
“Yes it is. We wanted our sky to be extra special for this evening.”
“Oh, you heard the great news!”
“No, what is this news?”
“Shining Armor finally gave me permission to marry Twilight!”
Luna smiled and congratulated the pony, but she continued to act strange. After the small talk had died down, the comedian placed his head back and closed his eyes once more. He tried to allow his body to relax, but something was different this time. He carefully opened an eye, only to see a giant pair of cyan eyes staring at him.
“LUNA! What are you doing!? You scared me half to death.”
“We are sorry for startling thou...does thee have a minute to converse with us?
“Sure Luna, what’s on your mind?”
“We appreciate all the things thou has done for us.”
“...What have I done for you?”
“Thou has treated us like a princess. A large number of our subjects still believe we are a creature of evil, but not thou.”
“I try to see the good in everypony, Luna.”
“We understand, but it’s been so long since we have been treated with such kindness and respect.”
In one quick movement, Luna grabbed the unsuspecting stallions mane and pulled it back. She kissed him with all the passion she could muster. After breaking the kiss, the princess of the night continued to stare at the shocked pony.
“Did we not kiss thou properly? We have witnessed thee do it with Twilight enough, so we thought we were prepared.”
“No, the kiss was fine. I mean, YES, YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG! You know Twilight and I are going to get married, but you drop a bomb like this? Are you crazy!?”
“Yes we are crazy” Luna moved closer to the stallion of her dreams. “Crazy in love.”
He ran his hooves though his mane, his usual method of showing frustration.
“Luna, please don’t do this. I think you are a great friend, but I can’t love you because I love Twilight.”
“Thou can’t love both of us?”
For a split second, he entertained the thought of Princess Luna on his left and Twilight on his right.
“That’s not how things work now. I’m not sure what things were like before you were banished, but now it’s one stallion, one mare. With the occasional exception for couples that are interested in…you know what, forget that last part.”
The dejected princess hung her head, her eyes beginning to well up with tears.
“We are sorry if our advances offended thou…we just thought if we made everything special, our feelings would be reciprocated.”
“What did you do make special for me?”
“The reason our sky is so bright tonight is because of thou. We did it for thou.”
The comedian placed a hoof on his forehead.
Seriously, what did I do to deserve this?
“Luna, I am happy you followed my advice. That makes you the first pony to do so since…well ever actually. But you and I won’t work, if you are ok with it, I would love to still be friends.”
Without saying a word, Princess Luna left the tub as fast as her hooves could take her. Laughing Stock quickly followed her, afraid she may do something to harm herself. When he made it to the cave’s entrance, she was gone. Looking up at the sky, he noticed that the moon that had previously been aglow with light that rivaled her sister’s sun, was now almost as black as the sky that surrounded it.
Well…at least tonight can’t get much worse.
Correction, NOW tonight can’t get much worse.
When he made it back to the cabin a few minutes after Luna took off, he was greeted by an upset older brother. Without a word, he used his magic to throw the comedian into the nearest wall, lifting him high enough to look into his eyes.
“You really had me fooled, you know that? But now it is obvious that you are the fool!”
“Well then, maybe I should change my job title from stand up comic, to court jester! Am I right?”
Shining Armor showed his appreciation for the comedic arts by slamming him into the wall a second time.
“Geez…tough room. What did I do? Two hours ago, we were squirting each other with a hose and breaking Princess Celestia’s stuff.”
“Don’t act dumb with me!”
“It’s not an act…”
The guard’s nostrils flared at the fact the comedian wasn’t taking this situation seriously.
“I saw you in the hot spring with Luna!”
The pinned stallion’s eyes suddenly doubled in size.
Oh…now I get it! I am so screwed.
“All this talk about you loving my sister was a lie. If you really did love her, you wouldn’t be locking lips with Luna!”
“Shining Armor, please understand me when I say that you have no idea what happened! Wait…I didn’t even see you there, how do you know what went on?”
“Per your request, I went to join you in the spring to back up what you told my sister… the first thing I saw when I walked in was Luna on your lap, kissing you.”
“You weren’t there for the beginning or the end of that situation, you have no idea what went on!”
“I agree with you there. I wasn’t around for the whole thing, but I saw enough.”
The helpless earthpony had one last card he hadn’t played yet.
“Go upstairs and ask Luna! She will tell you what really happened!”
“She isn’t here. She must be back at the spring where you left her.”
The doomed pony asked a rather obvious question.
“So…I’m assuming that the proposal is off?.”
The unicorn answered his question with a gut wrenching chuckle.
“Isn’t it obvious? Not is the proposal off, I’m also ending your relationship with my sister all together!”
“WHAT! You can’t do that!”
“Well, actually you’re right. I can’t physically end it…you are going to end it because I told you to.”
“That’s not fair!”
“It’s not fair to my sister that you kissed Luna!”
Laughing Stock decided to use the guard’s own words as a last ditch effort to save his relationship.
“You said yesterday that keeping your sister and I apart would hurt her.”
“It probably will at first, but I will introduce her to somepony better. Then she will forget all about you.”
“What am I, a dog? Besides, I’m one of a kind. You can’t replace me!”
“How hard can finding another chubby stand-up comedian?”
“…ok that part will be easy. But she won’t forget me easily. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m Laughing Stock! I’m famous, my name and face is everywhere.
An evil smile slowly formed across the unicorns face.”
“You’re famous now…but when Equestria discovers that you are a Changeling sympathizer, everyone will view you as a traitor to ponykind. Your career will be over, and you will be arrested.”
“So if I leave your sister…my life will go on normally.”
“Yep, you have until tomorrow night to figure it out. We leave for home the next day.”
“You’re a real asshole…you know that?
Shining Armor released his magic grip on Laughing Stock before heading upstairs for the night. Picking himself off the ground, the broken comedian stumbled into the kitchen to get some water. While reaching for a glass, he noticed a bottle of alcohol left over from the other night.
Everfree Everclear?! This would definitely mess those lightweights up. I wonder if I still have the tolerance I used to have…NO! I am better than this! I quit years ago!
He tried to walk away, but old feelings began to resurface. He remembered how much easier his problems seemed to be when alcohol was involved.
I won’t take a sip! I’ll just…smell it! Yeah, nopony ever became drunk off smells.
Inhaling the aroma, it reminded him of a happier time in his life, when the bottle was the only thing that mattered.
Taking a sip won’t hurt right? I mean, I’m not going to get drunk off one little sip…
Tilting his head back, he watched the clear liquid move closer to the bottle mouth.
“Laughing Stock, what are you doing?”
Before the drink could reach his lips, he turned around to see a concerned white alicorn. When he realized what he was doing, he smashed the bottle on the floor.
“Celestia! I can explain!”
“I heard a large thump a few moments ago, and now I find you with a bottle in your hoof. Is there something you would like to talk about?”
Laughing Stock admitted there was something on his mind. He followed the princess into the living room, ready to tell her everything that had happened in the last hour.
“I’m so sorry for almost drinking again…I just haven’t felt like this since my parents died, and seeing the bottle jogged my memory.”
“No need to apologize to me Laughing Stock. I am the one who owes you an apology.”
She placed a hoof on his shoulder.
“I have known for awhile that Luna has feelings for you, but I didn’t say anything. I should have explained how things work now.” She looked away from the stallion in front of her. “She was timid about telling you, so I didn’t bother giving you or Twilight heads up. I never thought she would actually do it.”
“It’s not your fault princess. I don’t even blame Luna, it was an honest mistake. If anypony is to blame, it should be me. I gave her advice yesterday on how to tell somepony you love them.”
The comedian thanked Princess Celestia for taking a moment to speak with him. As prepared to give the her a hug, she stopped him.
“You were already caught with one princess tonight.”
After laughing for a few moments, both ponies said good night and went to their separate rooms. As he climbed into bed, he made sure to sleep facing away from of Twilight. He didn’t feel like looking at her, he felt ashamed for some reason. As he started to drift off to sleep, he felt her hooves wrap around his chest, her tail slowly curling around his leg.
Before Twilight could figure out what happened, Laughing Stock was out of the cabin running into the woods. Grabbing a blanket, she chased after her boyfriend, fearing something horrible had happened. She found him at a nearby campsite, hunched over and crying.
The teary eyed stallion turned around to see the love of his life standing behind him. She wrapped him in the blanket while asked him what was wrong.
“You have to promise to keep this between us.”
“Of course! You can trust me.”
Laughing Stock told his girlfriend everything that had happened with Luna, Shining Armor and almost succumbing to temptation. She grabbed her stallion and pulled him close.
“I want you to listen to me. Luna is not your fault, I do NOT consider you a cheater. It was just an awkward situation, but you handled it properly. I am very proud of you.
Wiping his nose, the comedian asked what he should about her brother.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret…as much as I love him, I think he can be a real pain in the flank sometimes.”
“You won’t get an argument from me, but what do I do?”
Twilight asked him if he thought the relationship should end.
“Then don’t worry about it.”
“But he said he was going to break us up if I-“
“We are the only ponies that can end this relationship. He can introduce me to all the chubby comedians he wants, but none of them will be as amazing or chubby as you.”
With a flash of the lavender unicorn’s horn, a roaring fire appeared in the nearby fire pit. Laughing Stock took a portion of the blanket and wrapped it around his mare. For the remainder of the night, they cuddled under the blanket and watched the fire burn down to embers.
The day Laughing Stock was waiting for finally arrived. Hearth’s Warming Eve. Tonight was going to be the night Twilight became more than his girlfriend, she became his future wife. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.Since everpony seemed to be on edge, the dragged on rather slowly. Princess Luna and Shining Armor refused to come out of their rooms, so the other four ponies played cards all day.
“Cadance, got any fives?”
Laughing Stock pulled a card from the pile as he asked the young princess what she thought of last night’s events.
“Personally, I think Shining Armor overreacted. I understand his concern when he first walked in the cave, but to actually threaten you like that? That’s not like him.”
She turned to her left and asked her aunt if she had any tens.
Reluctantly, the ruler handed over three cards.
“Anypony want to go out to eat tonight? There is a restaurant in town that looks good.”
“It’s not really a restaurant Princess.” Laughing Stock paused to collect two aces from Twilight. “It’s a dive bar…with decent food.”
“Well, everypony grab your scarves, its dinner time and I don’t feel like cooking. I’m going to get Luna and Shining Armor.
Twenty minutes later, the party of six walked into the restaurant. Being a Saturday night, the place was packed with the locals, relaxing from a hard work week. A hushed silence rippled through the establishment as they noticed both Royal Pony Sisters and Laughing Stock, gracing the bar with their presence.
The owner came out and offered them the best table in the place, right in front of the stage where the karaoke machine sat. He provided the group with free food and free unlimited karaoke if they so desired. Princess Celestia seemed excited.
“That sounds delightful!” Who is going first?”
“Laughing Stock, why don’t you get things going?”
Unenthusiastically, the stallion walked toward the book with the long lists. Flipping through the book, he saw one song that caught his eye.
For the love of Celestia, this song is PERFECT!”
Laughing Stock walked up to the owner and asked him to play the song. He was more than happy to comply. The comedian took the stage, looking over the sea of faces and waited for his song to begin.
The music intro started and everypony turned toward the stage once they recognized the song. It was Heartbreaker, by Pat Maneatar. When the first verse started, the comedian turned singer began to belt out the lyrics.
Your love is a tidal wave, spinning over my head Drownin’ me in your promises, better left unsaid You’re the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be…
Before the chorus started, the entertainer pointed a hoof at Shining Armor and stared right into his eyes.
You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Don’t you mess around with me You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Don’t you mess around-NO NO NO!
Laughing Stock leapt from the stage and landed on his party's table. He offered his girlfriend his empty hoof and she joined him on the makeshift stage. He held her hoof close and gazed into her perfect purple eyes.
Your love has set my soul on fire, burnin’ out of control You taught me the ways of desire, now it’s taking its toll You’re the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be…
Once again, he glared at the white unicorn that was sitting at the table.
You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Don’t you mess around with me You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Don’t you mess around-NO NO NO!
Laughing Stock continued with the next verse, but when the chorus came around, he dropped to his knees in front of the stallion that was the source of his frustration. He grabbed the guards scarf and pulled him inches away from his face, so there was no way he could misunderstand what he was saying.
You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Don’t you mess around with me You’re a heartbreaker Dream maker, love taker Heartbreaker!
When the entire song concluded, he looked his audience. He waited for their reaction. They blew the roof of the place. He wasn’t sure if it was because he was famous, or if they actually liked his singing.
Somepony in the audience started shouting out requests.
Laughing Stock rolled his eyes.
“How bout no!”
“How bout Ponhemian Rhapsody?”
“Will somepony throw this little silhouetto of a pony outside?!”
“Don’t Stop Believing!”
“Hey buddy, I’m serious. I’m here with my friends and girlfriend. If you don’t shut up, I'll send you on a journey through the window.”
“Play Stairway to Cloudsdale!”
“I can’t! The sign in the back says no! I’ve had enough of this anyway.”
Climbing down from the stage, he joined his group.
“Sweetheart, you did amazing!”
The stallion put his front legs around Twilight, bringer her close and kissing the top of her horn.
“Uhh...Laughing Stock, your fans are back.”
Shining Armor pointed behind the comedian to the two mares that propositioned him the last time he was here. They walked up to the table, making room for themselves. They started eyeing the lavender unicorn
“So this is your girlfriend? You could do so much better. She’s so...plain.”
“That’s how I like them, plain and disease free...unlike the two of you.”
Twilight begged Laughing Stock to ignore them. She reminded him that it was supposed to be a fun night.
“Yeah, listen to the boring unicorn over here, Laughing Stock. Ignore us.”
Twilight turned to the rude mare, telling her that her insults were inappropriate and unwelcome at their table.
“What are you going to do about it?”
To everyponies surprise, the non confrontational unicorn used her magic to bring the mare’s face closer to her.
“If you don’t leave my friends and boyfriend alone, you’ll have to deal with me.”
“You? Don’t make me laugh!”
“I warned you, Harlot!”
The angry unicorn used her magic to throw the mare against the bar. She turned to her friend, who promptly backed away, running over to her downed friend.
As she sat down, Twilight noticed everyponies eyes at the table were on her.”
“I’m sorry I lost my temper everypony, but she had the nerve to hit on you after I told them to leave, somepony had to do it.”
Laughing Stock’s reaction wasn’t quite what she expected.
“Twilight, that was the most amazing thing I have seen you do! Where did you learn to do that?!”
“You can’t go to a bar with Applejack with out learning a thing or two about fighting.”
An hour later, everypony except Twilight had performed a song. Princess Luna sang an awkward rendition of “More than a Feeling”, Shining Armor performed “Piano Mare”, and Princess Celestia’s cover of “House of the Rising Sun” went over well. Twilight’s was waiting for Cadance to finish her song.
“Cadance...that was an interesting song choice. What was the name of that band again?”
“For the third time, Aunt Celestia, they are called Arch Enemy.”
“Oh, my mistake...I couldn't hear you. In fact, I’ll never hear again after that.”
With Cadance murmuring something nopony appreciating death metal, Twilight took the stage.
“I dedicate this song to my boyfriend, Laughing Stock!” As soon as the song intro started, the comedian recognized it immediately. It was his favorite band, The Black Veil Bridles. He watched in awe as his girlfriend strutted her stuff on stage, singing along on stage to their song.
I cannot hide what's on my mind I feel it burning deep inside A passion crime to take what's mine Let us start living for today
She walked to the end of the stage and looked at her brother.
Never gonna' change my mind We can leave it all behind Nothin's gonna' stop us No not this time
Her gaze shifted from the white unicorn, to the black earth pony.
So take your hoof in mine It's ours tonight This is a rebel love song Hearts will sacrifice It's do or die This is a rebel love song
When the song concluded, Twilight blew her boyfriend a kiss, which he caught and placed on his cheek. The stallion behind Laughing Stock, reeking of whisky, patted him on the shoulder.
“Wit’ a mare like dat, you be one lucky sum bitch.”
The comedian watched Twilight descend from the stage.
“You’re right, I be one lucky sum bitch.”
*** “That was certainly an entertaining evening.”
Princess Celestia plopped on the couch as the rest of the group followed suit. After spending most of the evening at the restaurant, everypony was too tired to do anything else but go to bed.
“I have an idea.” The white alicorn suggested, pulling a bag from the hall closet. “It will be Hearth’s Warming Day in a few hours, let’s open presents now!”
The room full of ponies agreed as boxes and envelopes were passed around.
“Can we open thy gift first sister?”
“Sure Luna, go ahead.”
The princess of the night opened her present with the assistance of her magic.
“Haha, our sister has given us a book!”
Twilight’s ears perked, hearing the word book.
“What book is it Luna?”
Twilight read the cover after receiving it from Luna.
Your Speech Impediment and You
“We will start reading immediately!”
Princess Celestia smiled at her sister.
“That’s a novel idea.”
With most of the gifts unwrapped, the living room was littered with colorful paper and ribbons. Princess Celestia asked if there were any more presents that needed to be distributed before they cleaned up.
“I have one.” Laughing Stock walked over to his girlfriend, giving her a present.
“It feels like a book, it looks like a book, and it weighs the same as book…I wonder what it is.”
To noponies surprise, it was a book. Twilight held up it for everypony to see, when she noticed it looked familiar.
“Is this my book?”
“Laughing Stock…is this some kind of joke?”
“Nope. Open it up.”
Twilight opened the book and to her surprise, a letter fell out. After opening and reading the letter, her eyes filled with confusion.
“He somehow managed to get my book published…what did you do?! The publishers said it needed something personal.”
“I found something personal to add.”
“Really? What was it?”
Laughing Stock answered casually, sipping his cocoa.
Twilight’s face turned as white as Princess Celestia.
“I’m kidding honey. Look in the back.”
She quickly flipped to the back, furiously scanning the pages to see what her boyfriend added.
“Every friendship report I ever wrote to Princess Celestia is in here…”
“I thought it would be a good idea for your readers to see them. They can actually see how you learned about friendship, plus it’s personal.”
“Laughing Stock…I…I don’t know what to say…”
“The publisher said it’s only a matter of time before it’s a best seller.”
The author threw her front legs around her boyfriend, tears streaming down her face.
“This is the greatest thing anypony has ever done for me! I have never been so happy in my entire life, I love you so much.” She kissed his cheek as she squeezed him as tight as she could. “This is the greatest Hearth’s Warming Day present ever!”
“What about the other present?”
Everypony pony in the room turned toward the voice. It belonged to Shining Armor.
“What other present are you talking about.”
“The one you needed MY help with.”
The earthpony wracked his brain trying to figure out what the unicorn was talking about.
“…do you mean…?”
The royal guard nodded slowly.
Laughing Stock made it upstairs and back in a matter of seconds. In front of their friends and family, he called Twilight over to the fireplace. He dropped to one knee, opening the little black box that contained her ring.
“Twilight Sparkle, the day I meet you was the greatest day of my life. This past year has been the greatest year of my life. I want the rest of my life to be as good as things are now, but in order for that to happen, I need you to be there. Will you marry me?”
The lavender unicorn just stood there trembling, unsure of what to do.
“I…I don’t know what to say…”
The stallion’s heart dropped.
“What do you mean you don’t know what to say!?”
“I was trying to come up with something romantic that would make this moment memorable.”
Laughing Stock smiled, telling her that a simple yes would make this moment unforgettable.
The couple embraced, holding each other tighter than ever before. Looking over Twilights shoulder, he saw the faces of the ponies that have helped him make this dream a reality. Princesses Celestia and Cadance smiled thought their tear streaked faces, Princess Luna clapped her hooves, and Shining Armor just sat there.
Looking directly at his soon to be brother in law, he mouthed the words thank you. To his surprise, he replied with a wink.
“Oh! Laughing Stock, I almost forgot! I have a present for you as well!”
“Twiley, you didn’t need to get me anything.”
The newly engaged mare handed her fiancé a massive box. Making short work of the wrapping paper, he ripped open the package to reveal his present inside.
“Well, how did I do?”
“It’s…a frying pan.”
“I’m not sure why you would want one, but I bought it for you anyway.”
“I love it, but when did I say I wanted a frying pan?”
“You didn’t tell me. When you were in Canterlot with Rarity that day, I tidied up the library. While cleaning, I found a JC Pony Hearth’s Warming Day catalog with this very frying pan circled.”
A/N: I don't know why, but I love the idea of Cadance as a metalhead. Here is the song she "sang". Actual song starts at 1:35
Laughing Stock rolled out of bed and made his way downstairs. It had been three months since Twilight accepted his marriage proposal. Ever since that wonderful evening, every waking moment had been dedicated to picking out place settings to deciding how many tiers would be on their cake. Despite messing up every wedding chore that was handed to him, Twilight continued to keep him busy. But all that was behind them, because in a few short hours, Twilight Sparkle would become a Laughing Stock.
While sitting at the kitchen table trying to solve the puzzle on the back of his cereal box, he heard a knock at the door.
Shining Armor made his way inside, all smiles as he greeted his brother in law to be.
“Hey big guy, are you ready for the first day of the rest of your life?”
“You aren’t going to get cold feet and leave her waiting at the altar, are you?”
The unicorn sat of the couch and watched the earth pony eat his cereal.
“Can I ask you something Shining Armor?”
“Sure, what do you want to talk about?”
“What made you change your mind?”
Taking a deep breath, the royal guard explained that a few things happened that evening got him thinking.
“When we were at the karaoke bar and-“
“I performed my brilliant rendition of Heartbreaker, and you were so moved you decided to change your mind?”
“No…as a matter of fact, I was going to kill you after that. The way Twilight looked at you while she sang that song. I have never seen her look so-“
“Attracted to a stallion before?”
“…I suppose that’s one way to put it. Then, after she opened her gift from you, I have never seen her look so happy. After all those years I spent rearing her, I was never able to bring her that level of…something wrong Laughing Stock?”
“I wished you used a different choice of words, that’s all.”
“Why, all I said was…Oh, that’s sick. I’m trying to open my heart to you and the only thing you can do is take my words out of context…I honestly will never figure out what she sees in you.”
“It’s probably the fact that I rear her.”
Shining Armor was too busy laughing to stay mad at the comedian. He joined him at the kitchen table, hoping to continue his heart to heart talk.
“Can I give you some marriage advice?”
Laughing Stock told the unicorn that any advice he had would be appreciated.
“Whatever you do, don’t change. Sometimes ponies change after they get married, and it throws the relationship out of sync. Twilight loves you for a reason, so do your best to stay true to yourself.”
Laughing Stock felt gave the royal guard a brief hug. The comedian told him that he would do his best to stay the same, even if it meant annoying the most powerful member of Princess Celestia’s royal guard.
“It’s been lovely, but I must be going. I promised Cadance that we would spend some time together today. I assume there will be other people who want to talk to you before hand as well.”
As Shining Armor faced the door to leave, something out of place caught his eye.
“Is that the frying pan that Twilight got you for Hearth Warming Day?”
“Why is it on a hook by the door?”
“Oh, that’s an amusing anecdote. I let Twilight borrow my umbrella to run to the store a few weeks back, and she lost it!”
“Why would she use an umbrella? I use magic when it rains…”
“THAT’S WHAT I SAID!” The enraged comedian threw his cereal box on the table, watching the package bounce to the floor. “So now instead of letting my mane get soaked, I use the frying pan to keep dry.”
“Does that actually work?”
“It’s not the best thing to use, but it’s better than catching something.”
The white stallion left the library, leaving the black stallion alone with his thoughts. Cleaning the mess from breakfast, he couldn’t wait to see his lovely lavender unicorn.
“So Spike, you ready for the wedding?”
The dragon muttered something, but the comedian didn’t understand.
“Something wrong Spike?”
“Fine...I’m not ready for the wedding? Are you happy now?
Laughing Stock told the dragon he wasn’t happy, and asked to join him at the table.
“Why aren’t you ready?”
“After you two are married, you guys are going to make me leave.”
“That’s ridiculous Spike. I like having you around!”
Spike shook his head. He pulled the stallions head close so he could whisper into his ear.
“I mean, you guys are going to kick me out when you want to do…adult stuff.”
Laughing Stock chuckled at Spikes concern.
“We usually wait until you’re asleep.”
“Aw Laughing Stock, I sleep right next to the bed!”
“Come on Spike! I’m…not kidding. We do wait for you to fall asleep, but that isn’t the point. The three of us are going to be one happy family. Who knows, maybe you could find a little friend for yourself, and the two of you could wait for us to fall asleep.”
“Laughing Stock darling? Are you home?”
“Yeah Rarity, I’m here. What’s up?”
“I have your tuxedo, be a dear and try it on.”
The comedian laid the outfit on his bed and he dressed in front of a mirror. Rarity released a sigh as she watched the stallion change into the outfit she made.
“Something wrong Rarity?”
“No…well, yes. I can’t believe Twilight is getting married.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I never thought Twilight Sparkle would get married before me.”
Fixing his bowtie, Laughing Stock asked the white unicorn if she was jealous.
“WHAT? ME JEALOUS? Why would I be jealous of Twilight? I mean, not only is she getting married, but she’s a famous author as well. WHAT’S THERE TO BE JEALOUS ABOUT?”
“Rarity, you are a wonderful mare! You just haven’t found that very special somepony…have you tried lowering your standards?”
“What!? Why would I do such a thing?”
“Well, it worked for Twilight…”
Rarity left the chair in the living room and went upstairs to help the stallion with his cummerbund.
“I just always thought I would have a successful business, plenty of friends and a husband by now…”
Laughing Stock tried to console his friend. He gently placed his hoof on her shoulder.
“I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself. If you just let things happen naturally, everything will turn out fine. That’s what I do, and look at me. I have a successful career, a lot of friends, and a beautiful mare is about to become my wife.” Making sure Rarity was looking into his eyes, he told her to think of the positives.
“Out of the three things you rattled off earlier, you have a successful business and plenty of friends. You need to realize, two out three ain’t bad. Plus, think of all the stallions that will be here today.”
Rarity placed a hoof on her chin.
“OH! I never considered meeting somepony today, that would be simply marvelous!”
The comedian asked how his blushing bride was doing.
“She is doing fantastic. She keeps asking about you…”
“Tell her that I want to see her so bad! I hate this stupid tradition, who cares if I see her before the wedding anyway?”
“I’m quite shocked to hear you say that” Rarity responded as she placed the tuxedo in the garment bag. “For somepony who went through hell and back to get Shining Armor’s permission, I thought traditions meant a lot to you?”
“They do, just not the ones that keep me away from Twilight.”
Sitting in one of the library’s easy chairs, Laughing Stock tried to pass the time by reading.
“WHAT THE HAY IS THIS? This book isn’t about two ponies fishing!”
There was another knock on the door, so the comedian threw the copy of Buckleberry Finn in the corner as he answered the door.
“Rainbow Dash! What’s going on?”
“Congrats on the big day, I’m so happy for you guys!”
“Thanks Dash, I really appreciate all the support.”
The ponies made their way to the couch so they could continue their conversation.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but aren’t ponies usually engaged longer than three months?”
“Um…I guess. I mean, someponies just jump straight to the marriage. What’s your point Dash?”
“Three months doesn’t seem like enough time to get everything ready. That’s all.”
“You know Twilight, she had the entire wedding planned by the time we returned from the cabin. The only reason we waited this long was because we had to wait for the invitations and everything.”
“Oh I see…so in Twilight’s hurry, she may have forgotten something.”
The comedian laughed at the thought of Twilight making a mistake on one of her lists.
“Right, I’m sure she made a mistake. And I’m going to try out for the Wonderbolts when my honeymoon is over.
“What! You don’t even have wings! How do you expect to-“
“I was being sarcastic, Dash.”
Recognizing the sound of annoyance in the rainbow mare’s voice, the comedian asked if she was jealous of Twilight.
“No, I’m not jealous. I’m hurt!”
“What do you mean hurt? Did you have an accident while flying today?”
“NO! I mean my feelings and all that other junk are hurt.”
Laughing Stock apologized for being insensitive.
“I didn’t think you had any.”
The visibly upset mare looked at the stallion in disbelief.
“Ok…I worded that horribly. I meant, you’re RAINBOW DASH! The best flier in all Equestria, I thought you were too busy to worry about hurt feelings.”
“Well, how else am I supposed to react when my best friend doesn’t include me in the wedding?!”
“What are you talking about? You’re one of the mare’s of honor!”
“At her brother’s wedding, I did a sonic rainboom as the bride and groom kissed. DO I get asked to do one this time? NO! SHE SNUFFED ME!”
“Well Rainbow Dash, would you like do a sonic rainbow as Twilight and I make out in front of everypony?”
The rainbow mare jumped at the opportunity, thanking the stallion for allowing her to do her prized stunt on his most special day. As she flew towards the front door, she turned to the groom to be and asked one last question
“Do you really think you and Twilight are ready for the danger zone?”
“Well I…wait, what is the danger zone?”
“You know, the DANGER ZONE!”
“You’re going to have to explain that to me.”
“You know…the danger zone, the unknown. Neither of you have been married before, so this will be all new territory for the both of you.
“Oh, well I think so. I mean, it can’t be that much different than dating right?”
Where did I leave my cufflinks?
Laughing Stock heard another knock at the front door, so he postponed his search so he could greet the visitor.
“Pinkie! What a surprise, I thought you would be getting ready for the reception.”
“It’s all ready silly! Tables are set, decorations are up, and the ice sculpture is on display!”
“…Pinkie, we aren’t getting married for another four hours. Do you think the ice sculpture needs to be out right now?”
“Of course silly! It’s so pretty, you should let people look at it now!”
“What people? Guests aren’t supposed to arrive for another three hours!”
“And when they get here, the ice goose will greet them. Geez Laughing Stock, you need to relax. You seem really stressed.”
Mumbling something about a three thousand bit ice sculpture, the comedian returned to his search for the missing cufflinks.
“What are you doing Laughing Stock?”
“I’m looking for my cufflinks.”
Pinkie offered her assistance, and the reluctant stallion agreed. While they tore the library apart, the effervescent pink pony tried to start a conversation.
“So how long before you get Twilight knocked up?”
Laughing Stock nearly fell over.
“What are you talking about!?”
“You know, getting Twilight pregnant.”
“Not that, I know what getting knocked up means. What I-“
“How do you know? Did you knock somepony else up already?”
“No!” Laughing Stock screamed, slamming the drawer to his chifferobe. “What is your obsession with Twilight getting pregnant?”
“I just love foals! They are so cute!”
“We won’t be having foals for a while, trust me.”
“Aw, how come?”
The comedian explained to his friend that his career was still red hot, while Twilight’s new life as an author had her doing a few book signings a month.
“We wouldn’t be around too much, were would our child stay?”
The mare immediately volunteered her services.
“I love watching Pumpkin and Pound Cake! If your foal comes over, we can our own little FOAL PARTY!”
“While that sounds like fun Pinkie, I don’t think it will be happening anytime soon.”
“Is it because Twilight can’t have foals?”
The black earthpony slowly turned to stare at his pink counterpart. Words could not express what he was feeling at that moment.
“Because you know, my womb is open for business if you need a-“
Luckily for Pinkie, Rarity interrupted her sales pitch.
“Um, Pinkie darling. The beautiful goose ice sculpture is turning into an ugly duckling.”
“Oh shucks. We’ll see ya Laughing Stock, don’t forget my offer.”
Just the thought of Pinkie Pie carrying a foal that belonged to Twilight and himself was enough to make the stallion crawl under his bed, taking a moment to reassess his life up to that point.
“Sugar cube, ya’ll in here?”
Laughing Stock remained under the bed, he had enough of the wedding advice.
I should have eloped…WHY DIDN’T I ELOPE?
The bed skit was raised, and Applejack’s face joined the stallion in his quiet place.
“Uh, Sugar cube, what ya’ll doing down here?”
“I’m hiding from all of you.”
“Sugar, I haven’t seen you at all today. Ah don’t know what the other girls said to you, but what ah want to say comes straight from the heart, nuthin’ other than good ol’ fashioned advice.
The comedian slowly crawled out from under the bed, waiting for the orange pony to begin speaking.
“Now, I may not know a lot about relationships and all, but I do know a thing or two about responsibility. This is a huge thing you two are doing, and with it comes a lot of responsibilities. Do you understand?”
Laughing Stock nodded.
“Have you two considered the future?”
The comedian explained Pinkie had said earlier.
“She said wut now?!”
“I know…that’s why I was under the bed.”
“The thought of that is…well strange. Anyway, there is more to your future besides foals.”
Applejack suggested that the married couple may want to move away in a few years.
“Why would we move?”
“Well, Canterlot makes more sense than Ponyville. Her parents live in Canterlot, along with Princess Celestia. Not to mention, both of you are from there.”
“Now don’t you worry about us here in Ponyville. We’ll be here when you decide to visit us!”
“I don’t plan on moving anywhere, I love Ponyville! Canterlot is awesome, but this is home to me now, and I am sure Twilight would agree.”
Applejack was all smiles after hearing this news. She told the stallion she was thrilled that they wouldn’t be leaving the small town.
Gee, I wonder who that could be?!
For the sixth time that day, somepony was outside the library wanting to speak to him. Trotting to the front door, he assumed it was Fluttershy, since she hadn’t spoken to him yet. Upon opening the door, he turned out to be right, but it wasn’t the Fluttershy he was used to.
“Fluttershy…are you ok?”
“Oh yes, I’m *hic* fine!”
Laughing Stock had heard stories of Fluttershy’s drunkenness, but he didn’t believe them. But there she was, an intoxicated yellow pegasus that could barley stumble inside.
“Why are you drunk Fluttershy?”
“I always *hic* cut lose at weddings. I don’t know why, everypony has their *hic* hobbies I suppose.”
“You know the wedding isn’t for a few hours, right?”
She fell on the couch and began to snore.
At least she can’t give me any advice now…oh no, who can THAT be?
The annoyed eathpony ripped the front door open.
“Vinyl Scratch! What are you doing here?”
“Hello! I’m your best mare, remember?”
The DJ wrapped her front hooves around the stallion, giving him a peck on the check.
“Congrats! I can’t believe my best friend is getting married!”
“I know right? I’m so glad you could come!”
“Anything for my…what’s that smell? It almost smells like…whisky.”
The unicorn pulled her glasses off and asked her friend if he started drinking again. Laughing Stock shook his head, pointing at the yellow lump on the couch.
“Is that Fluttershy asleep on your couch?”
“Dang, girl started pre-gaming early. Is she ok?”
“I’m sure she will be, but enough about her. How have you been?”
After a few minutes of small talk, the comedian had something he had to get off his chest.
“Vinyl…I didn’t turn you into a filly fooler, did I?”
The unicorn burst out laughing, much to the earthpony’s dismay.
“You know I hate it when you laugh at my serious questions…”
“I’m sorry, but that is the silliest thing you’ve asked me in a long time. What brought this up?”
Laughing Stock explained his conversation with Shining Armor. The DJ simply chucked at his story, removing her trademark sunglasses.
“No, you didn’t turn me into a filly fooler, I was just tired of stallions. I mean, do you know how frustrating it is going through, life pleasing sompony and never feeling the pleasure returned.” Vinyl Scratch looked away from her friend, her hoof resting against her forehead.
“You know what, now that I think about it…I’m sorry Laughing Stock, but I got to go. I’ll see you at the wedding.”
Watching his friend leave in a hurry, the comedian wondered what her problem was out loud.
“I think you definitely *hic* turned her into a filly fooler.”
Looking at Fluttershy on the couch, the earthpony wondered how long it would take to suffocate her with a throw pillow.
Alright, I look great! Only minutes until Twilight and I are officially-
“Oh for the love of-“
Opening the door for what seemed like the one hundredth time, the frustrated stallion opened the door.
“For the love of me, I’m assuming?”
“I’m so sorry Princess. I’ve just been having my friends stop by all day, and some of them have been…really tiresome.”
“I understand Laughing Stock. It’s almost time for the ceremony, but I wanted to share some things with you if I may.”
“Of course you can Princess! Let’s have a seat on the-“
The comedian realized that Fluttershy was still sleeping on the couch, so he offered the ruler of Equestria a seat in the kitchen.
“What’s on your mind, Princess?”
“I just wanted to say how happy I am for the both of you. I have known Twilight Sparkle since she was a filly, she is almost like a daughter to me. I think you are a great pony, and you will make her very happy.”
Laughing Stock stood on his hind legs, in order to give the alicorn ruler a hug.
“I appreciate everything you have done for me princess. Allowing Twilight and I to accompany you on your vacation is the nicest thing anypony has ever done for us. If it wasn’t for you, we might not be here today” the earth pony said, breaking the hug. “It also means the world to us that you are presiding over our wedding. Twilight and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Princess Celestia nodded in agreement. She reminded the pony that it was time for the ceremony to begin. With the help of Celestia’s magic, they dragged a semi comatose Fluttershy to the center of town. Laughing Stock took his place, awaiting the mare he was going to be spending the rest of his life with.
Chapter 9: A Wedding in Ponyville Part 2/Acknowledgements
Laughing Stock nervously stood at the altar, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Oh man, I really hope she doesn’t get cold hooves. If she runs off with the caterer, I’m going to be super pissed.
The stallion felt a comforting hoof on his shoulder. It belonged to Princess Celestia, the pony who was going to be overseeing the wedding ceremony.
“Don’t worry Laughing Stock, Twilight Sparkle will be here.”
“I apologize Princess, I didn’t realize I said that out loud.”
“You didn’t. Weren’t you aware of my ability to read other ponies thoughts?”
The comedian was stunned to say the least.
“I was unaware of that…have you read my thoughts before?”
“I have Laughing Stock. You should be very ashamed.” The princess moved her mouth next to the stallion ear so no one else cold hear her.
“Although I’m flattered, leather and chains aren’t my thing.”
Before any half-flanked excuses could be created, the four piece band from Canterlot began playing Ponchelbel’s Canon.
The earthpony’s heart nearly exploded with joy when he saw a beautiful mare escorted a white unicorn in Royal Guard attire.
Fluttershy was not as emotionally involved with this situation as everypony else.
“Here comes the *hic* bride, skinny as a broom. Here is the groom, fair, fat and *hic* wide.”
The other mare’s of honor place their hooves over their faces, embarrassed by their friend’s antics. Vinyl Scratch, on the other hoof, encouraged the yellow pegasus to continue.
When Twilight and Shining Armor arrived in front of the altar, the comedian trotted down the steps to greet them. Princess Celestia asked who was giving the bride away.
“I am.” Shining Armor extended his left hoof, which was met with Laughing Stock’s. The two stallions shook while Twilight left her brother’s side and joined her husband to be.
“Make me proud” The royal guard said, ending the hoof shake and returning to his seat. Before the earthpony could escort his lovely mare up to their spots, she asked if Fluttershy was drunk.
“Oh yeah. She spent most of the afternoon sleeping on our couch.”
The young couple climbed the stairs, taking their places in front of a smiling Princess Celestia.
"Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of Laughing Stock and Twilight Sparkle in marriage. In the year they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured. Now they have decided to live their lives together as mare and gentlecolt."
The ruler of Equestria asked if anypony had any reasons why these two should not be wed.
“Speak now or forever hold your peace.”
Princess Luna stood up, but was quickly restrained by Princess Candance and Shining Armor.
“Before I continue with the rest of the ceremony, I would like to say a few words about these young ponies. I have known Twilight Sparkle since she was…”
Laughing Stock told Twilight she looked absolutely stunning, while the alicorn continued her story.
“Well, I have to look this way since I am about to marry the most handsome stallion in Equestria.”
The two ponies quickly nuzzled each other before the earthpony continued the conversation.
“You would not believe the day I’ve had up to now.”
“Let me guess, all of our friends gave you advice, or complained about one thing or another…”
“Exactly, same thing happened to you?”
“More or less. The advice they gave was sweet for the most part, except Pinkie’s. She told me she was willing to help if you couldn’t provide me with a foal.”
“I know she…wait, what!?”
“…and now the two of them are getting married! How time flies when two youngsters are in love.”
Finishing her story, Princess Celestia asked for the mothers of both ponies so they could light the unity candle. The lavender unicorn’s mother, Twilight Velvet approached the stairs, using her magic to pick up the candle that represented her daughter.
“Will Laughing Stock’s mother please join Twilight’s Sparkle’s mother at the foot of the stairs?”
The comedian informed the princess that her mother couldn’t make it to the wedding.
“Why not?! Where is she?”
“Right now? I would have to guess she’s at Canterlot Memorial Cemetery. Did you forget we had this conversation at the cabin?”
Feeling embarrassed, the ruler of Equestria asked if somepony would like to stand in as Laughing Stock’s mother.
“WE WOULD LOVE TO!”
The stallion sighed heavily as Princess Luna trotted to the foot of the stairs, where she lit his candle.
This wedding can’t possibly get any more awkward.
When Princess Celestia finished with the candles, she announced that it was time for the couples to exchange vows. Twilight took her stallions hooves into her own and began to speak from the heart.
“I Twilight Sparkle, take you Laughing Stock to be my gentlecolt, my partner and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I promise to love, honor and obey you as-“
For some reason, Fluttershy found the lavender unicorns vows hysterical.
“What do you mean *hic* obey, Twilight? What are you, a dog? Bad Twilight, bad!”
Twilight attempted to finish the vow, but was interrupted once again.
“Who’s a good unicorn? You’re a good *hic* unicorn, yo-“
Feeling frustrated, the good unicorn used her magic on Fluttershy’s bouquet, and hit her square in the face with it. The pegasus learned her lesson and sat quietly.
“Laughing Stock, it is your turn to say your vows.”
The earthpony gently caressed his mare’s face as he recited his vows.
“I Laughing Stock, take you Twilight Sparkle to be my mare, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will honor and obey you, laugh and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I give you my hoof, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live."
“We will now exchange the rings. Laughing Stock, I would like you to place Twilight’s ring on her horn and repeat after me.
The comedian gently slid the ring onto the unicorn’s horn, copying the princess word for word.
“Alright Twilight, I need you to do the same. Take Laughing Stock’s ring and place it on his…”
The mighty Celestia was lost for words.
“Excuse me Laughing Stock, where are you going to where your ring?”
“Uh…I haven’t given it much thought.”
Twilight suggested putting the band on a necklace.
“Nah, you know I’m not one for necklaces Twiley.”
Seconds later, the stallion had an idea. He asked Princess Celestia if she could make the band bigger.
“Maybe I can wear it around my hoof?”
“...so instead of a wedding ring, you want a wedding bracelet?”
The pony nodded, so the princess used her magic to expand the jewelery. Twilight slid the bracelet onto her special somepony’s hoof. As the couple gazed deeply into each other’s eyes, Princess Celestia said the words they had been waiting to hear for the past three months.
“By the power vested in me by the land of Equestria, I pronounce you mare and gentlecolt. Laughing Stock, give her a kiss will you?”
Rainbow Dash took flight as soon as she saw the newlyweds kiss. She created the best sonic rainboom she had ever done, in honor of her friend’s new relationship status. Before the couple could walk down the aisle together and leave, Princess Celestia made one last announcement to the ponies watching the festivities.
“Last pony to the open bar gets banished to the moon!”
“Laughing Stock, I think it’s safe to say that the next time we have a huge party, there shouldn’t be an open bar.”
The stallion agreed, as the couple watched the entire town of Ponyville become very intoxicated from their table. After dinner as served, the tables were cleared to the sides of the room, so attendees could dance before dessert was served.
"Alright everypony, listen up!”
The best mare, Vinyl Scratch caught everypony’s attention.
“It’s now time for Laughing Stock and Twilight to have their first dance as a married couple. Get down here you two!”
The ponies made their way to the dance floor, holding each other as the Canterlot quartet began to play. The newlyweds quickly lost themselves in the music, forgetting everything else in the world.
“So Twilight, is this the wedding you’ve always wanted?”
Resting her head on Laughing Stock’s shoulder, the bride buried her face in his neck.
I take that as a yes.
“I’m glad to see you so happy, this is the wedding I’ve always dreamed of as well.”
“You’ve dreamed of your wedding? That’s a little odd, I thought fillies did that.”
“Don’t get me wrong, dreaming about the cake, decorations and all that other stuff is for fillies. For years I’ve waited for the moment when I promised myself to a beautiful mare for the rest of my life.”
When the couple’s first dance ended, everypony in attendance rushed toward them. They all hoped to for an opportunity to dance with Laughing Stock or Twilight. Granny Smith approached the young groom, asking him to join her on the dance floor.
“Of course Granny Smith, it would be my pleasure.”
He kept his moments nice and easy so he wouldn’t harm the elderly mare.
“Wow Granny Smith, you dance great! Are you sure you’re as old as you say you are?”
“Why yes sonny! I may not dance like it, but I’m very old. The reason I dance so well is because I have years of practice!” “Well, it certainly shows! Did you dance much when you were younger?”
Telling the young whipper snapper a brief story about her youth, Granny Smith mentioned she was the best dancer in town at one point.
“Stallions came far and wide to dance with me, and I always obliged them. Those ponies were always so thankful I took time out of my day to show them a fun time. Of course, all that fun began to build me a reputation.
“Wouldn’t that be a good thing? According to your story, you made a lot of stallions happy.”
“There were a few mares too, sonny.”
Laughing Stock started to put the pieces to Granny’s story together.
“We still are talking about dancing, right?
“Of course, what did you think we were talking about?”
Following the songs conclusion, the comedian bowed to his partner, thanking her for a lovely time.
“Aw shucks youngin’.” You made an old mare very happy, I’m going to be quite popular at my weekly bridge game!”
Granny Smith approached the groom once again a few minutes later, this time with an apology.
“I just realized how silly I sounded. It made dancing sound like another word for…well, a roll in the hay.”
“Oh no, I didn’t think that at all!”
“Don’t you lie to me sonny! I just wanted to apologize for boring you with a story about this old mare.
Laughing Stock gave the mare a hug, telling her the story was very entertaining.
“Well aren’t you the sweetest thing, I’ll have to finish telling it sometime! I didn’t get to the exciting part!”
“Really? What happened during the exciting part?”
“Well, there were times when the farm wasn’t doing so well, so my mother and I had to find ways to come up with some extra money.”
“That sounds like fun! I’m assuming you sold quilts or baked goods or something?”
“Nope, quilts and baked good cost money to make. My mother and I sold our bodies. Thanks again youngin!
Sitting at the head table with his bride, Laughing Stock watched other ponies danced the night away.
“Look who’s here!”
Ruby, the ex girlfriend of the groom, approached the table. She asked him if he had time for one last dance
“It depends who’s asking. Is it a friend or a clingy ex girlfriend?”
“Ouch Stocky, that hurt.” Ruby grabbed her friend’s hoof and took him out to the floor. “So how have things been, I don’t get to see you very much.”
“I’ve been very busy lately. I’m either with Twiley at a book signing, or performing. What have you been up to?”
Ruby proceeded to tell the comedian that she has been making some life changes.
“Really? That’s great! What kind of changes? New attitude? New coat color?”
“Not quite. I’m a…I’m into mares now.”
The earthpony was flabbergasted.
“No, why?! You don’t hate me now, do you?”
Laughing Stock began to apologize profusely.
“No not at all! In fact, I love filly foolers! It’s just, you are the second mare that I’ve dated that has become one. I’ve been wondering if I turned Vinyl Scratch into one, and now that you are one as well…let’s just say things are adding up.”
Ruby left the floor before the song was finished, which made the comedian very suspicious.
Oh man…I’m two for three at turning straight mares into filly foolers.
Once the dancing stopped, the reception started to wind down. The beautiful bride and handsome groom were saying their goodbyes before leaving on their honeymoon.
“Laughing Stock, I’m going to go to the house and pick up our bags.”
“Alright, I want to talk to Luna real quick. You know, thank her for the “help” today.”
The princess of the night was standing in front of the ice sculpture, concentrating very hard.
“Something wrong Luna?”
“Hello Laughing Stock. We are trying to examine this goose, but he doesn’t like us apparently.”
The comedian asked why a goose would hate her.
“Well, he seems to be giving us the cold shoulder.”
The comedian desperately wanted to tell Luna it wasn’t a real goose, but he figured it would be better if he didn’t.
Eh, she’s a big pony. She should be able to figure it out herself.
“So Luna, I just wanted to say thank you for all your help today. It’s nice to know that you have my back when I 'need' help.”
“It was our pleasure! We owe thou thanks as well.”
“Really? Why are you thanking me?”
Princess Luna started to blush heavily.
“We have met somepony tonight!
The look on Laughing Stock's face was priceless.
“I’m very happy for you Luna! Who is it?”
Luna pointed at a pony near the bar.
“Is it the stallion next to Vinyl Scratch?”
“No, the pony right there!”
“Oh, the bartender talking to Vinyl Scratch, he seems nice.”
The best DJ in Equestria walked over to Luna, wrapping her front hooves around her.
“Hey Stock, I see you have met my new friend Luna.
Feeling flustered, Laughing Stock sat at the bar, hoping to grab a drink to calm himself down
“Bartender, do you have anything to drink that isn’t alcoholic.”
“Sure! We got...water. What’s the matter, afraid to drink?”
The comedian explained that he was a recovering alcoholic.
“Well, I can make you think drink I usually make for filly’s. Basically, it’s grenadine, lemon lime soda with cherries.
“Oh, you mean stallion temples! I love those!
Slowly sipping the cherry flavored beverage, the stallion felt a small tap on his shoulder.
“Shining Armor! What are you doing here?”
“I came to have a drink with my brother in law! Bartender, I’ll have what he’s having.”
The bartender returned moments later with the captains drink.
“Here we are, two stallion temple’s for the filly’s.”
The captain, unlike the comedian sitting next to him, didn’t take too kindly to name calling.
“Excuse me, did you call my brother in law and I fillies because our drinks don’t have alcohol?”
“Yes I did.”
“Where does it say that stallions have to drink alcohol when they get together? Look, he’s a recovering alcoholic, and I don’t feel up to it. There’s nothing wrong with these drinks.”
Laughing at the two stallions, the bartender told them that he used to be a soldier in the Royal Guard.
“We had a name for stallions like you.”
“Really now? I am currently in the guard, I’ve never heard of anything like that.”
Shining Armor introduced himself to the former guard, who turned white instantly. He quickly apologized, and hurried to the other side of the bar. Laughing Stock found the situation hilarious.
“Wow, you showed him a thing or two.”
“I guess I did. Anyway, how does it feel, being a married stallion?
“Well, up until a few minutes ago, it felt marvelous. I was the luckiest pony in the world. Now I feel horrible.”
“Uh oh, what happened?”
The earthpony explained how his ex girlfriend Ruby came out to him and Luna was now seeing Vinyl Scratch.
“So basically, in a few years, you’re sister is going to be a filly fooler. Just my luck too, I finally meet a mare that puts up with me, only to drive her into another mares hooves.”
The response Laughing Stock received was not one he expected to hear. Shining Armor started cackling, pounding his hoof on the bar.
“I’m glad that you find my eventual pain and suffering hilarious.”
“It’s not that. Ruby and Luna aren’t filly foolers, I put them up to it.”
The comedian was very confused, so the captain filled him in on the ruse.
“I ran into Ruby, Vinyl Scratch and Luna today. I told them I wanted to prank you and asked if they wanted in, which they all did.”
“So...Vinyl Scratch is the only one who is into mares?”
The relieved pony rubbed his face with his hooves.
“You have no idea how glad I am to hear this was a prank” He said, extending his hoof to the guard. “You really pulled the wool over my eyes, nicely played.”
“Hey, thank you for taking this with stride.”
Leaving money on the bar, Shining Armor stood up to leave, but not before he told Laughing Stock his parting words.
“I am really glad you married my sister. You have your ups and downs, but you always battle through them and come out on top. No marriage is perfect, I know that both of you will do whatever it takes to make it work. “
“Laughing Stock, I have a problem with you!”
Turning away from the bar, the comedian was face to face with Fluttershy.
“What did I do now?”
“You cut me off! How’s a pegaus supposed to drunk around here if I can’t get any booze?
He reminded the yellow pegasus that he wasn’t the bar tender, but that didn’t seem to matter.
“It’s your wedding! Therefore its-”
Fluttershy stopped talking and placed a hoof over her mouth, her face instantly turned a pale green. Having been in this this situation many times before, Laughing Stock knew exactly what to do.
“Bathrooms are that way.”
Looking into the bottom of his non alcoholic beverage, he started to wonder what was taking Twilight so long with the bags.
“Hey Mr. Groom! You’re not drinking, are you?”
Princess Celestia clumsily climbed onto a vacant bar stool next to the earthpony.
“No princess, I’m drinking a stallion temple. I can see you have been hitting the sauce pretty hard though.”
“Aw come on, lighten up. It’s a wedding!”
Ordering a drink from the surly barkeep, the ruler asked the earthpony how married life was treating him.
“It’s only been two hours, but so far, its amazing!”
“Must be nice...being able to get married.”
“Do i detect a hint of bitterness, Princess Celestia?”
Before answering, the alicorn downed her drink.
“Of course I’m bitter! I’m always marrying ponies, but I have yet to get married myself.”
Unsure of what to do, the stallion nervously pat the princess between her wings.
“There, there. Everything is going to be ok.”
“I just wish I could find a pony to spend just one night with, is that too much to ask?!”
“There are stallions all over the place! You’re the ruler of Equestria, it shouldn’t be that hard to...well, you know.”
“They are too intimidated. Stallions always have to be in charge, is it so hard to let a mare take over once in a while?”
“Not all stallions have to be in control all the time. In fact, I let...” Laughing Stock stopped mid sentence. “Actually, forget I said anything.”
“That’s what I love about you, Laughing Stock. You always put Twilight’s desires before your own, it’s very commendable.”
She asked the comedian if he remembered her request from the cabin.
“Which one? You made several.”
“If things don’t work out between you and Twilight, make sure to look me up.”
The princess excused herself, heading toward the bathrooms. Moments after his talk with Celestia, Twilight arrived with the luggage.
“Alright, you ready to go?”
“Of course! I just want to use the restroom first.”
The comedian entered the bathroom, proceeding with business as usual. While washing his hooves, he heard strange noises coming from one of the occupied stalls. His curiosity got the better of him, he quietly peeked through the crack in the door.
In the confines of the bathroom stall, he witnessed Princess Celestia with her frontlegs wrapped around another pony.
Wow...good for you princess! I wish I could get a better look at the stallion she’s with...all I can see is his tail. Who do I know with a long pink tail...
Laughing Stock suddenly remembered a pony which a long pink tail, very similar to the one under the door. He quietly backed away, wishing to forget everything he saw and heard.
“Hey you! You were in there for...is everything alright sweetheart? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“You know Twilight...I wish I had seen a ghost. Can we please leave...like right now?”
“You never did tell me where we are going on our honeymoon, Twilight.”
Snuggling up to her stallion, she told him they were returning to the cabin where they spent Hearth’s Warming Eve.
“Really? Out of all the places in Equestria, you want to go there? I mean, I will go anywhere as long as you’re there, but we’ve kind been there, done that.”
“Well I thought that way at first, but I figured it would be cute to start our lives there as a married couple, since our single lives ended at that very place.”
“I didn’t know you were so romantic” the comedian said, kissing the base of her horn.
“Well, I also have some unfinished business to attend to…”
Laughing Stock was puzzled, Twilight NEVER left business unfinished. She played coy when he asked what that business might be.
“Let’s just say there were some things we never had an opportunity to try in the hot spring…”
A/N: First of all, big thank you to HoovesLikeJagger! Not only has he been fan of mine since my first story, but his artwork is probably the reason so many of you decided to check this story out. He has a lot of great stories, so look him up if you haven't already.
Thank you to anyone who has thumbs up, commented on or favored this story. It keeps me motivated knowing that people enjoy the weird, twisted scenarios I come it with!
And finally, a very special thank you to wildberk! This story would not be what it is today if it wasn't for him. Not only is he a great editor, but over the course of this story, I can safely say he's become a great friend. Whether he is correcting my horrible grammar, or silently raging over my crappy Portal 2 skills, he makes story preparation fun!