Something About Cosplay
Though weeks had passed since the tumultuous events of the Christmas season, Aiko still feared Jaycee had yet to fully recover. So badly did she want to make Jaycee feel better that Aiko would stop at nothing to cheer up her friend. And so very conveniently would Aiko find a way. The sprightly girl found a flyer posted on a bulletin board in the school’s hallway that would give her the inspiration she needed to lift Jaycee’s spirits.
“A cosplay convention,” said Aiko, scanning the bright yellow piece of paper. “Jaycee’s gonna love this.”
After school Aiko insisted that Jaycee come over to her house for a bit of frivolity. The two took to Aiko’s bedroom and began sifting through a pile of brightly colored clothes that would serve as inspiration for a costume.
“I said I’d go to the convention with you,” said Jaycee. “But I’m not sure I want to wear a costume. It’s too embarrassing.”
“It’s not embarrassing,” said Aiko. Her garment search then came to an abrupt halt. “It’s no use. None of my clothes are going to fit you.” Aiko then turned away so Jaycee would be unable to hear what she had to say next. “It’s probably because of those boobs of yours. Not so convenient now, are they, Jaycee?”
“Did you say something?”
Aiko began laughing. “I didn’t say anything,” she claimed. It was at that moment when something occurred to Aiko. “Wait, I do have a costume that might be suited for someone with your body type.” Aiko then let out a deflated sigh. “I thought one day I would grow into it, but that’s never gonna happen.”
“It’s not too revealing, is it?” asked Jaycee, who was unwilling to show off the body that Aiko would proudly flaunt had she been blessed with it.
A chuckle began resonating from the deepest recesses of Aiko’s being. “Oh, it’s not too revealing,” she said, though her tone proved otherwise.
“What’s with that weird look? What are you planning?”
Aiko began crawling toward Jaycee, still chuckling and wearing a look on her face that sent a chill down Jaycee’s spine.
“Stay away from me,” said Jaycee. “I said stay away.” Jaycee then let out a scream that filled the entire house. But she and Aiko were the only ones home at the time, so no one could save Jaycee from the calamity that was soon to befall her.
That Sunday Jaycee, Sage and Aiko arrived at the local convention center. Aiko made a grand appearance, entering in the same fashion a queen would have. She exuded confidence and had an air of superiority to her. But unlike most queens, Aiko was dressed as a cat girl. A pair of pointed ears atop her head, whiskers upon her face, paws on her hands and feet and a tail that swayed with every move Aiko made fit in perfectly with the skin tight outfit that showcased her trim physique.
Had anyone been able to look past such a delightful spectacle, they would have seen Sage enter shortly after Aiko. He, as anyone who knew the boy would expect, had no costume. The only thing Sage was wearing out of the ordinary was a look of discontent, though those close to him would say there was nothing out of the ordinary about that.
“Look at all these people,” exclaimed Aiko, taking in all the wonderful characters around her. “It’s feels so good to finally be surrounded by my kind of people.”
“I’ve never seen so many geeks in one place,” said Sage. “This might be one of the signs that the end of the world is coming.”
“You keep quiet. It’s a wonder they even let you in. I mean, what’s the point in going to one of these if you’re not going to wear a costume?”
“It’s called having dignity,” said Sage. “If anyone knew I was here, dressed in a costume or not, I would never be able to live it down. Besides, you’re the one that made me come. I don’t care if some guy starts touching you. It’s your own fault for dressing like that, so don’t expect me to rescue you if that happens.”
“Oh, don’t be like that, Sage,” said Aiko, rubbing against him in the way a real cat would. “Why are you in such a bad mood anyway? I dressed up as your favorite kind of character. I know how you have a thing for cat girls.”
“You only know that because you went through my things,” said a blushing Sage.
“How else am I supposed to find out things about you? You never open up. I have no other choice.” Aiko then began purring as she rubbed against Sage.
“What a freak.”
“Then step aside,” ordered Aiko, pushing Sage out of the way. She then made her way to a gathering of men with cameras. “It’s time for me to bask in my well deserved glory.” Once the cameras started flashing, Aiko took to many different poses for her adoring fans.
“I can only imagine what they’re going to do with those pictures,” said Sage.
“Don’t feel bad,” said Aiko once the crowd had departed. “One of these days, I’ll let you take some very special pictures of me.”
“What kind of pervert have I gotten myself mixed up with?”
“You’ll see, Sage.” said Aiko. “By the time the day is over, you’re going to be thanking me for dragging you to this place.” Aiko then took Sage by the arm. “Come on, there’s lots of stuff I want to see. I hope you brought lots of money to spend on me.”
“Aren’t you forgetting someone?”
“Jaycee,” gasped Aiko. “I forgot all about her. Where is she?”
“She’s still out in the hall,” said Sage. “She’s probably too embarrassed to come out in that horrible costume you put her in.”
“It’s not horrible. I think she looks really good.”
Aiko peeked her head out the door. “Hey, Jaycee, what are you still doing out there? “You’re gonna miss all the fun if you don’t come inside.”
“I’m fine out here,” said Jaycee.
“Come in here so everyone can get a look at you in your costume,” said Aiko. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. They’re going to love you.”
Jaycee reluctantly entered. She was dressed in a powder blue dress that failed to cover everything a good dress should. The skirt was of a length that hovered well above the knee and the neck line plunged so deep that much of Jaycee’s cleavage was visible. The small wings on her back were the only things keeping Jaycee from looking like one of “those kind of women.” But even though the dress was far too revealing for her taste, Jaycee had made no real fuss to Aiko as she feared she would hurt her friend’s feelings.
Sage did his best not to stare directly at Jaycee. He feared he might be caught by her or Aiko and reprimanded severely.
The crowd of picture taking men immediately rushed to Jaycee.
“See,” said Aiko, stepping aside to give Jaycee the limelight. “You already have your own admirers. Doesn’t that make you feel better?”
The men snapped picture after picture of Jaycee, who was far too timid to take to any pose other than that of a frozen high school student. So embarrassed was Jaycee that she could barely muster a smile for her fans.
“I knew they would like her,” said Aiko. “They might even take as many pictures of her as they did of me.” She then let out a half hearted laugh as the picture takers began clicking away at a more feverish pace. “They sure are taking lots of pictures.”
“I don’t remember these perverts taking this many pictures of you,” said Sage, making Aiko feel even more unsure of herself.
“That’s enough!” shouted Aiko, scaring off the crowd of men. “Can’t you tell that Jaycee doesn’t want you to take her picture!”
A stunning woman with long black hair was watching the group from afar. “So, they’ve finally arrived,” she said, tightening her grip on her spear. “Now the fun can finally begin.”
“You two enjoy yourselves,” said Sage, walking away. “I’m gonna try to find a hole I can hide myself in until you’re ready to go home.”
“Don’t you want to hang out with us?” asked Aiko.
“Sage really doesn’t want to be here,” said Jaycee, whose concern came more from her own desire to leave than for Sage’s feelings. “Maybe we should just leave.”
“We’re better off without him. He was just gonna ruin our fun. That’s what he always does.” Aiko then took Jaycee by the arm. “Come on, let’s look around.”
The girls visited various tables specializing in goods related to different animated shows. There were numerous items for sale, such as special edition comics, videos, wall hangings, and toys, just to name a few. But only one thing could pique Jaycee’s interest.
“Princess Starlight,” said Jaycee, hurrying to a nearby table. She then began picking up items and gazing at them as if they were long lost treasures.
“Jaycee,” said Aiko. “Princess Starlight is a kid’s show.” Her point was made all the more clear by the fact that the other patrons at the table were children. “And that show is so old. It’s been on TV since we were kids.”
“I know. But I used to watch this show with my mom when I was a little girl. That’s why it’s my favorite.”
“Well, I never said it wasn’t a good show,” said Aiko, who then joined Jaycee in looking over the many toys. “I used to watch it with my nanny.”
While the girls reminisced over their favorite childhood show, Sage was at the other end of the building rummaging through a pile of “Fleet Fighter V” products. He couldn’t help but constantly look over his shoulder, though, as he was afraid the girls might discover his secret.
The various items dedicated to Sage’s favorite show brought back many memories, though they were memories Sage had tried to forget. Jumping out a window, convinced that he could fly, and going after other children with a stick, convinced that he was a warrior, were the immediate memories that came flooding back into Sage’s mind. Both instances earned Sage a scolding and a spanking from his mother.
“Oh, Vice Chancellor Yumi,” whispered Sage, picking up one of the many still in package action figures on the table. “When I was a boy you were just another girl. But now I realize that the animators drew you to look hot. Oh so very hot.”
A portly teen was looking over Sage’s shoulder and listening to what he was whispering. Realizing this prompted Sage to drop the action figure and spin around. “What are you looking at, geek?” barked Sage, prompting the boy to flee.
At the other end of the building Jaycee continued to look at toys from her past, but something else had ensnared Aiko’s attention. The woman with long black hair was nearly impossible for her to miss. “She’s so cool,” said Aiko, approaching her.
“Time for the show to begin,” whispered the woman.
“Your costume is amazing,” said Aiko, whose eyes were almost sparkling.
“Thanks,” said the woman. “Yours is cute.”
“Wow, praise from someone as cool as you,” said Aiko. Realizing how much of a fan girl she was making herself look, Aiko tried her best to regain some of her composure. “So, what’s your character’s name?”
“My name is Naja.”
“That’s such a cool name,” said Aiko. “But I don’t think I’ve ever seen your character before. What show is she on?”
“I’m from a show that’s still in production.”
“So cool,” said Aiko, once again acting the part of an obsessed admirer. “What’s the show about? I have to know.”
“It’s about a beautiful queen who sends her equally beautiful warrior to destroy a pair of despicable little witches,” said Naja, a smirk gracing her black lips. “And if the beautiful warrior has the time, she’s to destroy the man they’re sharing, so to speak.”
“That sounds so cool. What are these little witches like?”
“Well, one of them is a little loud mouth who thinks she’s better than everyone else, which is a joke because she looks more like a boy than a girl.” Such a description prompted a chuckle to escape from Aiko. “And the other is the most pitiful kind. She’s the tragic type that always has to have everyone’s sympathy.” Naja then leaned in to whisper what she had to say next. “And her boobs are drawn way too big for someone her age.”
“I hate girls like that. The other one sounds bad, but this one sounds like she really has it coming to her. So, what happens at the end?”
“Well, that still remains to be seen,” said Naja, raising her weapon. “You see, the story hasn’t been finished yet. But very soon, it will be.”
“That weapon of yours,” said Aiko, “it looks pretty real.”
Without warning Naja took a swing at Aiko with her spear. Even in her costume Aiko was able to leap out of the way.
“What are you doing? You almost hit me!”
“Why are you getting so upset?” asked Naja. “You do want to see how the story ends, don’t you? Well, I’m going to show you, first hand, what happens.”
“You were talking about us?”
“You’re just now figuring that out?” asked Naja. “You’re even more of a fool than my queen led me to believe.” With that said Naja thrust her weapon at Aiko again but missed when the nimble girl leaped out of the way. “Damn you, stand still!”
Jaycee and Sage arrived. “What’s going on?” asked Sage.
“She called me a loud mouth!” exclaimed Aiko. “And she said that I look like a boy. I don’t look like a boy, do I?”
“Look out,” exclaimed Sage, pulling Aiko out of the way of another attack.
“The rest of the cast has arrived,” said Naja. “Now we can really get the show started.” She then lifted her weapon above her head and began spinning it, creating a powerful gust of wind. “But I’m afraid this show doesn’t need an audience.”
With such a powerful wind swirling inside the building, the frightened spectators made a mad dash for the exits, leaving only the four players.
“It would probably be a good idea to summon our weapons now,” said Sage, extending his right arm. In his hand was an action figure of a slender female. He blushed when it came into view. “Uh, someone gave that to me,” he said before swiftly stuffing it into his pocket. He then called upon the Sword of Heaven.
Jaycee followed Sage’s lead and summoned her staff. The sudden movement, however, made her jiggle in certain places, making Jaycee blush a deep shade of red.
“Did you see that?” asked Aiko.
“How could I miss it?” asked Sage.
“That dress wasn’t made for fighting in. If Jaycee takes part in the battle, she’ll come falling out of it. We’ll be able to see everything.”
“So, you don’t want her to come popping out, do you?” asked Naja, charging toward Jaycee. “That sounds like a challenge to me.” She then let loose another furious attack but Sage was able to block her strike.
“You’re not getting by me,” said Sage.
“I have no intention of hurting your friend,” said Naja. “I just want her clothes to fall off. Don’t you want to know what’s under there?”
“I don’t have thoughts like that,” said a blushing Sage.
“Of course you don’t, but let me show you anyway,” said Naja, putting distance between herself and her foes. “Oh, my queen never told me how much fun it was going to be trying to embarrass that busty little friend of yours. But what a fitting last experience before dying, being so humiliated that death is actually something you’d welcome.”
“We have to protect Jaycee,” said Aiko.
Sage charged. But being up against someone with such a long weapon put him at quite the disadvantage. Naja took a swing before Sage was ready to properly defend himself. The force of Naja’s weapon striking Sage’s sword knocked the young man to the ground, leaving him unable to get back up and continue the fight.
“Sage,” exclaimed Aiko.
“That’s it for him,” said Naja. “And now for the girls.” She then unleashed a flurry of attacks at Aiko but the costumed girl was able to avoid every one. “You’re pretty good.”
“You haven’t seen anything yet,” said Aiko. She then delivered a kick to the side of Naja’s head. With her opponent staggering, Aiko unleashed a plethora of jabs to Naja’s face that sent her stumbling back further. “Ready to give up?”
“Not even close,” said Naja. “If it wasn’t for those furry little paws of yours, those attacks might have actually hurt.”
“Damn,” said Aiko. Before she knew it Aiko was a split second from being slashed by Naja’s blade. With only the narrowest of margins to spare, Aiko caught Naja’s weapon by the blade. Aiko’s paws worked as a positive this time, making it possible for her to grab something so sharp without suffering an injury.
“Not bad,” said Naja. She then pulled on her weapon, bringing it and Aiko to her. With a kick to her foe’s face, Naja was able to rid herself of Aiko.
Jaycee had no choice but to prepare for battle.
“So, the little angel wants to show me what she’s made of,” said Naja. “Well, let me show you what I’m made of first!” And with that, Naja went on the attack. Jaycee blocked the strike with her staff, but her chest jiggled terribly as she did. This made Jaycee blush and prompted a resounding laugh to burst from Naja.
Sage, who was still weary from his fall, got back to his feet.
“I thought I got rid of you,” said Naja.
With a stronger fighter now looming, Naja abandoned her fight with Jaycee. She immediately made a mad dash for Sage. Her initial attack was blocked, though, leaving she and Sage with their weapons locked.
“You’re not as strong as you were before,” said Naja. “I can tell by the look on your face that the fall took a lot out of you.”
“It’s going to take more than a fall to beat me.”
“Then I’ll give you more,” said Naja. She then began applying pressure on Sage’s sword, bringing the young swordsman to his knees. “You shouldn’t have pushed your luck. If you had just stayed on the ground, then I might have let you live.”
Aiko, who was thought to have been taken out of the fight, leaped over Sage’s back and landed gracefully on Naja’s now perfectly horizontal spear. Her paws had been removed, revealing her bare fists and feet.
“What the hell are you doing?” asked Naja.
As reply Aiko repeatedly kicked Naja in the face. To ensure victory Sage grabbed onto Naja’s weapon, making sure she would be unable to pull it free.
When enough damage had been done to their enemy, Sage released Naja’s weapon, allowing the battered demon to stagger back. She then fell to the floor and vanished within a puff of black smoke.
When the fight was over Aiko rushed to Jaycee. “That was amazing,” she said. “Your dress didn’t fall off once. Thank God.”
A few days later Jaycee, Sage and Aiko were faced with the challenge of taking another test in their English class. Every student was focused intently on their task, making the classroom an eerily quiet place.
Though she knew all the answers, Jaycee was unable to put them on paper. But that would turn out to be the least of Jaycee’s worries. Her body began to shake and an incredible pain inflicted itself upon her head. It was unlike anything Jaycee had ever experienced.
Aiko had heard a whimper come from Jaycee. “Jaycee, what’s wrong?” she whispered. “Are you okay?”
The look on Jaycee’s face sent a chill down Aiko’s spine.
“Jaycee, what is it?”
Simultaneously Jaycee let out a horrendous scream and every window in the room exploded. The ferocity of shattering glass was so great that it drowned out Jaycee’s scream. The room then became filled with an array of questions from frightened students.
Aiko grabbed Jaycee and took her into the hall. Sage followed.
“What happened in there?” asked Aiko. “That was your magic, wasn’t it? Why did you use it? Why’d you break those windows?”
“I didn’t mean to,” said Jaycee through quivering lips. “I couldn’t stop it. My body felt like it was on fire. My head hurt so bad.” As soon as the first tear fell from Jaycee’s eye, a trickle of blood began streaming from her nose.
The sight of Jaycee’s blood prompted Sage’s eyes to bulge.
As Aiko wiped Jaycee’s nose clean, she noticed Sage. “What’s with that look?” she asked. “Do you know something about this?”
With eyes still bulging, Sage began shaking his head rapidly.
“Damn it,” said Aiko. “If you know something about this, you’d better speak up. I’m not going to tell you again.”
“It’s alright,” said Jaycee. “I can take whatever you have to say. There’s nothing the three of us can’t handle.”
Sage grabbed Aiko by the arm and tried to lead her away but Aiko pulled free. “Whatever you have to say, say it to both of us.”
“On the roof,” said Sage. “I heard Alenia. She told me about Jaycee’s magic. She told me about the consequences that come with it.”
“We already know that,” said Aiko.
“This was something only I heard.”
“What did she say?” asked Jaycee.
“Alenia told us that Jaycee would die if she used all her magic,” said Sage. “But she told me that if Jaycee refused to use it . . . she would die even sooner.”
It didn’t take long for Aiko’s grief to turn to anger. She grabbed Sage and slammed him into the wall. “Why did it take so long for you to tell us this? Why would you keep something like this a secret? Did you think it would just go away?” Aiko’s grief then returned, prompting her to release Sage from her grasp.
“I didn’t believe it,” said Sage. “I didn’t want to believe it.”
A malevolent grin was gracing the vice principal’s ruby red lips as she sat at her desk within the smothering darkness consuming her office. Daisuke, who was showing far less enthusiasm, stood before her desk.
“Things couldn’t be going more smoothly,” bragged Vice Principal Takagi. “The Lords of Discipline are certainly shining down upon me.”
Daisuke said nothing in reply.
“I take it you have no idea what the Lords of Discipline are. Well, they can best be described as karma incarnate. They see to it that people get exactly what they have coming to them. And they have something in store for my enemies. And they’re going to be getting it. Oh so very soon, everyone is going to be getting exactly what they deserve.”