Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.
So it went through the entire weekend:
Calvin got a black eye from being smacked in the face with a volleyball during Calvinball, and a headache from fending off the all-too-friendly nurse. But he and Hobbes won the first round, so that was okay.
Then the furries kidnapped Hobbes and it took an hour to get him back. Not so okay.
Saturday morning, Calvin and Hobbes went down to the Huckster Room before their panels started, just to see if Susie was settling in. Susie threw her now-cold coffee in Calvin's face, shouting, "All I could find to wear was this STUPID COSTUME and do you know how many times I got pinched before TEN AM and you are SO DEAD!"
But then someone said, "Wow, you were right about her being the original Annoying Girl!" so it was worth it.
All their panels were a riot. Some of them literally. Plus Calvin was pretty sure that the spectacled woman in the very back could actually hear Hobbes because she kept laughing at his jokes before Calvin finished paraphrasing them.
The costume contest turned into a seething argument because Calvin wanted to award points for sheer creativity while Hobbes kept taking off points for flaws in authenticity. The judges gave them each a scorecard of their own, but it didn't help much since A) Calvin had to fill out both of them and B) their scores pretty much cancelled each other out. But then the fairy went to bended knee onstage and proposed to the rainbow spaceman, and everyone went "Awwww," and Hobbes muttered, "Splendid! Maybe now those two will leave us alone."
There was the Dead Dog Filk on Saturday night, during which an off-duty scientist was meticulously assembling an authentic canine skeleton, which led to a discussion about which types of flesh-eating beetles worked the fastest, which led to a new filk song.
Then came the heartlessly scheduled Sunday Breakfast, which they would have slept through were it not for Susie and a bucket of ice from the vending machine in the hall. Calvin listened to Hobbes grumbling about being wet for ten minutes before he said, "Shut up or I will drag you down to the laundromat and stuff you in a clothes dryer."
The art auction had gone splendidly, though. All of Hobbes' originals had sold. So had the last-minute entry of a hastily printed poster of Calvin and the palm fern, courtesy of the Hairball Trio, which raised enough money to pay for a replacement tree that the hotel demanded and still leave plenty to splurge in the Huckster Room. Susie added the total from the art to the total from the huckster table and did a happy dance, which Calvin surreptitiously photographed.
Of course all the bellboys were busy at checkout time, and when Calvin used his GoH status to commandeer a gopher, the over-excited gopher tried to hit on Susie while she piled bags and boxes into his wobbling grasp.
"Remind me again why I agreed to this," Susie grumbled as they stuffed their luggage into the taxi.
Calvin handed her the check.
"Oh, right," Susie said.
Calvin flopped into the seat next to Hobbes, just as a fangirl pressed herself against the taxi and yelled, "Goodbye, Hobbes! Hope to see you at WorldCon!"
Calvin stuck out his tongue at her. Then he turned to Hobbes and said, "Remind me again why I put up with you...?"
Hobbes handed him a notebook. "I finished outlining 'The Comet Cannibals' last night," he said, "or possibly very early this morning."
Calvin flipped through the pages. There were the headhunters, and the space babes of hell, and Spaceman Spiff arriving to save the day with his zorcher -- complicated, Calvin noticed, by the unexpected arrival of mutants in fur bikinis. There were the fairy and the rainbow spaceman eloping at the end, just before the comet exploded into a starburst of snow goons.
Calvin leaned over and hugged Hobbes. "I love you so much," he said. "Never leave me."
"Never in a million, billion years," Hobbes agreed.
* * *