tagNovels and NovellasAnimeCon Harem Pt. 02

AnimeCon Harem Pt. 02


"C'mon in," Brian said, shouldering the hotel room door open and swinging Stephanie's travel bag inside. An air conditioner rattled to life in the window beside the door as he flicked the lights on and revealed the small room's modest accommodations.

A single bed took up most of the room, a bag of clothes and costumes strewn across its covers, and the seat of the easy chair beside the nightstand was occupied by a large cardboard packing box. Opposite the bed, Brian's things were an untidy sprawl atop the dresser, which doubled as the TV stand. The far side of the room was sectioned off by a minimal bathroom, leaving an alcove outside it for a mirror and sink. The television, an old tube TV paired with a clunky cable box, betrayed the age of the spartan furnishings.

Not too impressive, and definitely not the hotel Chloe wanted, Brian remembered, suppressing a grimace. Last year, she'd been positively irate at this hotel's lack of modern amenities; there were hardly any outlets, there was no internet, there was neither a microwave nor a mini-fridge. Of course, with their sudden break-up, the simple room had suited him just fine, as it was affordable and just a short trek across the crosswalk from the convention center. Fuck, I wonder how long it'll be before every little thing stops reminding me of her in some way.

Well, I definitely have some welcome distractions, he thought, turning to admire the two beauties who followed him into the room.

"Thank you for having us, really..." Stephanie said, displaying an anxious but grateful smile. The sweet and terribly shy geek was still bedecked in the bright pinks and reds of her gijinka costume--long gloves, vinyl thigh-high boots, and a sleeveless sundress with an outrageously short skirt--it had been difficult for Brian not to steal glances at those slivers of exposed thigh. She bore more than passing resemblance to her creature from Monster Battlers, but with the panache of a sixties-era go-go dancer. A bobbing pair of costume rabbit ears rising from her pink-streaked blonde hair completed the outfit, and it was a strangely compelling look.

"Yeah, seriously, thanks," the dark-haired scene girl chimed in, tailing Stephanie into the room. Though she was dressed casually, Kelly simply radiated sex appeal. Slinky skinny jeans captured her appreciable curves, and the crossing strap of her purse had her black tank top stretched taut about the splendid contours of her breasts. Kelly wasn't ostensibly an anime fan or comic nerd, and instead seemed more like someone who normally looked down on geeks like them. Confidence shone in her eyes, a proud look that lent the fine quirk of her lips a very different impression than Stephanie's smile.

The girls were both gorgeous, but otherwise couldn't have been more different in appearance and demeanor--If Brian were to casually personify Stephanie as an innocent angel of conscience perched upon one shoulder, then Kelly would be the corrupting devil straddling the opposite shoulder.

"Here, lemme get all my junk outta the way," Brian said, shifting his scattered belongings off the dresser and into a neat pile beside the bed.

"I might, if it's okay, I'll take a shower?" Stephanie asked.

"Of course, go ahead," Brian said, "Guess you've probably been wanting to try and wash the pink out of your hair?"

"...Y-yeah," Stephanie slowly nodded, a complicated expression crossing her face. "That too."

"Yeah, what's up with her hair?" Kelly asked Brian. "Are you doin' something to her? Like at first there was just the one little streak, and then when I saw her again tonight it's like, all over. Hair doesn't spontaneously turn colors."

"It happened whenever we... uh, when we... kissed," Stephanie fussed, adjusting her glasses. "Both times, I think?"

"Well, lemme see you guys kiss, then," Kelly insisted. "Let's see the magic."

"I-I didn't say they were magic," Stephanie sputtered, looking down and scuffing the toe of her boot against the other nervously. "I mean, well, th-they are, but I didn't mean that I think that, uh, you see--"

"Actually... may I?" Brian interrupted, gently drawing Stephanie's pink rabbit-ear headband free of the girl's hair, "I've been thinking these are the culprit. You were wearing them all day, right? Did you make them yourself?"

"Uhm... oh! Yes, a little, it was uh, an Easter decoration I had, I glued them onto a better headband, and... the ears were white, I dyed them red for the costume..." Realization seemed to dawn on Stephanie.

"What'd you use to dye them?" he asked, offering the accessory back to her.

"Sharpie cores," Stephanie admitted in embarrassment. "Red sharpie cores, put in, ah, soaked in rubbing alcohol. From a tutorial I found for dyeing synthetic fiber wigs... it must have come off into my hair? The guide did have all these warnings about st-staining things accidentally... gosh, I'm so stupid!"

She frowned cutely as she rubbed the material of the fluffy costume ear between her thumb and forefinger, inspecting it closely. All the swathes of pink in her blonde hair began at the crown of her head right where the headband had rested, so it did seem plausible enough.

"Hey, s'okay," Brian said, "Costume accidents happen all the time. If you meet my friend Emily on Sunday she'll tell you 'bout all her costume mishaps." A little bit of dye coming off in your hair is nothing compared to that body-paint fiasco, or last year with the band-aids that wouldn't stay on her nipples.

"So wait, the color in Steph's hair just... seeps out when she gets nervous and sweats, or something?" Kelly asked, ineffectively hiding a smirk behind her hand.

"I'm going to go shower now," Stephanie blurted quickly, looking mortified. She turned, heaving her travel bag into the tiny bathroom, and pulled the door closed behind her.

"You really okay with that, Brian?" Kelly asked, kicking off her skate-shoes and looking for a place to sit. "She might fuck up the hotel towels with all that pink."

"If they bill me, they bill me," Brian shrugged, "Couple years back my friend Emily did a Grimoire Saint cosplay, was this... all over textured gray body-paint with some little add-ons here and there that made her skin look like stone with cracks in it. If you'd seen the tub and shower curtains afterwards, you'd have thought she exploded."

"And they charged you extra?" Kelly asked.

"Nah. Emily left housekeeping a twenty dollar tip on the sink with a slip of paper that just said, 'I'm so sorry'."

"That's rich," Kelly remarked. "If I started writing those, my life would just be one unending string of apology notes. Someone could follow behind and make a book out of 'em. Probably be a bestseller, too."

• • •

This is... really happening, Stephanie thought, releasing an unsteady breath. Somehow, situation had led to circumstance, and she'd wound up here. In Brian's hotel room. I can't calm down at all.

Her heart was still racing, and jittery pink embers of energy spat and fizzled up and down her body. Out of reflex, she turned and searched the off-white tile walls for her reflection, before remembering with a wince that the sink and mirror were outside this tiny bathroom enclosure. She wouldn't have any moments of privacy to inspect her appearance, and it had been a long time since she'd felt this self-conscious. Nothing... nothing I can do about it now, she wearily decided, beginning to undress.

Perching her shapely bottom awkwardly on the lip of the bathtub, Stephanie laboriously pulled her tall costume boots off; the first priority for any cosplayer on their feet all day. She released a satisfied sigh as those pink vinyl boots hit the floor, and tenderly probed her swollen feet with her fingers to discover twinges of both pain and relief.

Brian's outside this door, Stephanie remembered, and her fingertips thoughtlessly traced their way up her tired legs towards her thighs. Brian is... right outside. That trembling pink flame inside her flared again, illuminating those amorous ideas she'd nearly entertained just a few hours ago.

Is it... this simple? Can I really just...? Stephanie spread her legs and flipped up the edge of her sundress over her lap, exposing her gray-striped panties. Blushing furiously and exhaling, Stephanie slid her hand down there to cup herself. She felt warm, and seemed to naturally fit to the shape of herself through her panties, with a finger on either side and then her middle finger settled across that slightly puffy groove, barely perceptible through the fabric.

What am I doing?! She stiffened, sitting up straight, and shook her head as if that could snuff out the spark of this idea... but despite her best efforts that tongue of flame persistently continued to creep along that length of fuse she'd discovered within herself, this awakening of curiosity.

Guys are supposed to always think about sex whenever they see a naked girl, she mused as she tugged her sundress over her head and tossed it into a crumpled heap on the floor. She finished undressing and started the shower, stepping inside when the streaming water had warmed.

But is that really true, it seems so... unlikely? she thought, diligently working shampoo into her hair. She'd always thought of herself as being so dull and plain that the idea seemed far-fetched. Her chest seemed small and unremarkable, her skin too pale, she almost found it hard to believe that someone would consider her sexual.

I'm not amazing like Kelly is. Frowning at the look of the shampoo suds sliding down her body, Stephanie lifted her foot to see the soapy water meandering towards the drain. Not a bit of that pink was actually coming out of her hair.

But... he did kiss me, Stephanie recalled, unable to suppress a smile. Hours and hours had passed since then, and she was still feeling giddy at that pleasant surprise. He had in that moment suddenly made her aware that she was already a part of something she hadn't even thought she qualified for.

Stephanie lathered soap distractedly, looking down at herself as the spraying water beat a staccato rhythm across her naked back. She'd bathed nearly every day of her life, but today that thoughtless, habitual process was thoroughly disrupted by the flickering flames rising to life within her.

He wouldn't tell us what he thought of my butt, she thought, pouting. Water trickling down every curve, her hands subconsciously reached behind her, gripping her plush bottom. But he thought something. He said he'd have to show me, was he really thinking of it in a... sexual--

"Ahh!" Stephanie gave a small startled yelp of surprise as her rear touched the cold tile of the shower wall--she hadn't even realized she'd been arching her back. No, no, no. I'm not doing this right now. I'm... I'm just going to finish washing up. Going to change into my nightshirt. And then going to go out and see what the sleeping arrangements will be like, she decided. Her feelings, however, made it impossible to keep her mind from wandering.

I never thought I was attractive or appealing, so I just wasn't, Stephanie realized. But now, if he thinks I am, well... I actually feel sexy. I feel alive when I'm with him, like I did back before... everything happened way back then.

He said if I wanted him to go down on me, all I had to do is ask... she remembered again. Although she was still half-heartedly washing with one hand, the other had dropped down between her legs to hover, right over her mound of venus. He was joking. Of course, a guy can't really go down on a girl. But still, does that mean that he can really... see me as his partner for that kind of thing? And was he really flirting with me today?! Would seeing me naked like this... make him want...

Her entire body went still, hesitating for a moment of mute indecision as that pink inferno twisted and writhed within her, rising up and setting her last inhibitions ablaze.

...To fuck me? Her poised finger pressed down, parting her blushing cleft and sliding inside of her with alarming ease. Oh. Oh? Ohhhh...! Before she could come to her senses she was already playing with herself, her middle finger searching insistently for the relief to this longing ache of desire roiling throughout her. She was hot inside, and pumping her finger in and out of her slick slit, it felt as though this erotic heat was capable of melting the very thoughts out of her head.

Please, Stephanie trembled, stifling the gasps that threatened to rise up out of her as her finger sought feverishly towards that fleeting glimmer of release. I'll be yours. She wanted to belong to him. To be his lover, his plaything; his to hold, to undress, to do with as he pleased. She wanted to be enveloped in his embrace, wanted him to grab generous handfuls of her butt, to physically dominate every inch of her flesh. She wanted him to pin her down, wanted their bodies entwined together in the throes of naked passion, kissing endlessly. She even found she wanted his... thing inside of her, pulsing with strange, sexual motion as she guessed a guy's thing might.

I can't...? Stephanie sighed, feeling a pang of disappointment. She leaned against the tile wall, letting her arm go slack for a moment. It felt good, it felt amazing, but she just couldn't get that elusive new feeling inside of her to keep building towards... resolution. The sensations were overwhelming, and just as she felt like she was closing in on their source, her fingertip was already clumsily going off-track.

Senseless to the water streaming across her quivering body, she frigged herself with an increasingly frantic, desperate intensity. I can't... do it after all? Or maybe I just can't do it... by myself?

• • •

"So what's with the box? Buy somethin' big at the con?" Kelly asked, sliding into the easy chair situated beside the bed and settling the packing box into her lap. She tilted the box up on its end so that she could read the invoice taped onto the top. "Calamity Queen set by Noblesse Oblique? What is this?"

Ah... that thing. It was the gothic lolita outfit he'd bought for Chloe months ago and secreted away from her, that last tangible missed opportunity to reconcile their failing relationship.

"It's... uh..." He said, embarrassed. "It's like a costume... dress... thing. Bought it months ago, it was gonna be an AnimeCon surprise for my ex, but..."

"Right, that break-up, gotcha," she said, glancing suspiciously from the box to him. "Whatcha doin' with it here, though? Were you gonna try it on yourself or somethin'? I mean, why bring it to the con if it's a dress?"

"I don't know," he replied. "I guess I thought I could sell it or trade it or... something, I've been keeping an eye out for girls wearing gothic lolita stuff. Even if I sell at a loss, I can still at least get three or four hundred bucks back and be rid of the thing without feeling like it was a total waste."

"Three or four hundred bucks?" Kelly echoed, eyes widening, and she hefted the box in her hands. "Christ, how much did you spend on it?"

"Ugh... you don't wanna know. Noblesse Oblique is considered burando, or, uh, 'brand' over there in Japan. It's a designer label sorta thing and not many get imported, so they're pretty rare."

"Burando, that's funny," Kelly said. "You said it's gothic? Like a goth... fantasy dress sorta thing? What's it look like? I used to be all gothic back in the day."

"Uh... how to even describe it..." Brian laughed, rubbing his cheek. "Kinda like some cross between a french maid outfit and a victorian dress, with a whole lot of... fancy little embellishments."

"Wouldn't it be easiest to sell that kind of thing online?" Kelly said, placing the box down reverently beside the chair.

"I wish," Brian griped. "Finding a buyer involves digging into all these little niche fashion subculture forums and knowing all about the burandos. When I bought it, it was direct from the retailer overseas. I just pointed my credit card towards these moon runes in her wish-list and that was that."

"Moon runes?" Kelly asked, arching an eyebrow.

Kind of weird describing things to a non-anime fan, even the explanations need explanations, Brian thought. "It's kinda... fan slang for when you run into a bunch of Japanese characters, all the hiragana and kanji and whatnot. If you don't know how to read them, they might as well be gibberish; moon-runes."

"That's funny," Kelly said, and he couldn't tell if her interest was feigned or not. "I figured you, uh... fans of this kind of stuff were into that though, like, learning Japanese and translating it and all."

"Some are, I guess," Brian admitted. "But that's deeper down the rabbit hole than most of us go." He resisted the temptation to tell her that their 'rabbit', Stephanie, was good with Kanji. Kelly probably wouldn't care.

"That's cool," Kelly said, and her vague reply left Brian wondering. Is she being dismissive, or trying to be polite? I can't get a read on her at all...

The sudden sounds of the Fantasy Wars victory theme began insistently playing from within the small pile of Brian's things beside the bed, and Kelly quirked an eyebrow at him.

"Sorry, I'd better get that," Brian said as he fished through the stack to retrieve his phone and accept the call. He felt both relieved and a little guilty to see that it was Emily rather than Chloe. Wouldn't have known what to say to her.

"Heeeey," Emily's voice warbled through his phone, "I just got off work. How've you been holdin' up, guy? How's the con been treatin' you?"

"Hey Emily," he replied, genuinely happy to hear from her. "Pretty good so far, actually." How do I even begin? How can I tell her I somehow went from alone and pretty miserable to suddenly sharing a room with some girls I just met?

"Yeah? For real?" She replied with enthusiasm, "Well, 'atta boy! I was worried, you know? And I keep thinkin' 'bout you. I also, ummm, called to see if maybe I could ask for a h-uuuuuge favor... if that's okay?"

"Whatcha need?" he asked.

"Okay. So. You know how I couldn't make it to the con 'till Sunday 'cause of work? Well! Karen hadta switch shifts with me, so now I'm free to hit the con soon as Rebecca's off work tomorrow. So we were wondering... if maybe we could room with you Saturday night? We can pay our share," she hastily added.

"Ah, geez lady, I dunno," Brian teased. "It's pretty crowded with me an' all these girls here already."

"Puhleeeeese," Emily called in her sickeningly-sweet little girl impression that he knew all too well, easily overlooking his comment about having girls. Of course she'd never think I was serious.

"I'll give you a whole dollar! I'm small and don't take up space at all! I'll sleep under your pillow and you won't even know I'm there! Rebecca will stand watch with her sword for the room all night and kill all of the enemies!"

"Well hmm, if it's all of the enemies..." he said, pausing. For a moment he considered warning her that he hadn't been joking and that there really wasn't much space left in the room now, but ended up holding his tongue. Honestly, I kinda want to see the look on her face when she realizes that I actually do have girls staying with me, Brian thought. And I'll play it off like it's no big deal, of course. The crowded little room might inconvenience them a bit, but it's not like he was going to accept their money anyways.

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