Conbadge of Honor
Conbadge of Honor is a story written and illustrated by Iron Eater. It ran in Issue 66 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/357355.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/conbadge-of-honor/.
Meeting your long-distance crush in person doesn't have to be a big event, but sometimes it helps scheduling it around one.
"You got us matching badges?"
"I got us matching badges."
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One of my biggest problems with the original version of this story (most of which I won't go into detail regarding) was how weird Chet was about his fandom: he clearly is very into it and has spent a lot of money on his hobby, so keeping it hush-hush, especially with an Internet boyfriend, felt artificial. For the revisit I opted to have him be more proactive and Ross--nee Rufus--equally less passive about things. Ross is a bit of a boring man who needs breaks from energetic situations but the original version's first pass had an editor asking if he needed to carry Ativan, so hopefully he comes off as a bit more comfortable in his skin this time around.
Chet knows Arabic from Muslim school but can't speak it very well; he's more fluent in French, which uses to speak to his grandparents who still live in the Gambia (as he's not too great with other languages in the region).
Ross has family from central Asia, primarily Mongolia, whose immigration was a bit of a mess. One of his few non-cartoon-related hobbies is trying to research more bits of his family tree. His actual degree is in computer science with a focus on business software.
The convention and hotel mentioned in this story are strongly implied to be Biggest Little Fur Con, held yearly in Reno, NV in the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel; as this is not intended to be set in any particular year (save for one where smartphones are easily available), I intentionally chose a theme (bowling and other group games) that has not shown up in said convention's history. This was probably not what most people expected if they heard there were furries in this story!
The image used in the background of the header is a floor plan of the GSR, whereas the bowling alley is a "Lumo Bowling" picture taken by one J. Mason and available under a Creative Commons License (original available here).
In the event it's illegible, the name on the snake's bowling shirt reads "Rattles."