I'd seen Nick and James in Chicago. In Chicago I nagged Froggy (the con photographer) into adding the Nick/James sandwich to the photo op menu. When the three of us were in the photo tent I (gently?) shoved them together in an attempt to get a fun and slashy result.
I had my hands on James' shoulders and could feel him tense up, like he was uncomfortable with the blatant gay sexploitation. I honestly thought he'd be OK with it because I'd cajoled him and Gareth David-Lloyd into a wonderfully slashy and, according to Froggy, "just plain wrong" photo at Dragon Con the year before, and he seemed fine with it. However, I sensed his discomfort and remedied that by throwing Nick under the bus (with love!), shoving his shoulder (as he knelt in front of James. Let's say that again: as he knelt in front of James) and declaring, "God, Nick! You're so inappropriate. Come on!" He stood up and Froggy photographed a somewhat stale sandwich.
I had a day to think about that and felt increasingly bad about pushing James, metaphorically and physically, into a homo tableau, so I apologized to him in the next day's autograph line. He assured me it was okay, but in a less than enthusiastic way. "You were fine, Julie. You've never crossed the line. I mean, you've never grabbed my ass."
Chicago was a blast, and I had a lot of great moments with both Buffy boys but my imposition of my slash fantasies on the fragile actors still didn't totally sit well with me.
|Photo courtesy of The One True b!X|
WHICH BRINGS US TO BOSTON.
On the second day I went up to Nick's autograph table and told Nick I was sorry if I was out of line in Chicago. He was all shrugs and smiles and didn't seem to care in the least. Then Jacqui gave me an awesome half-serious, half-kidding lecture about how, for that day's James/Nick photo op, she was "counting on me to use good judgment." I replied, "WHAT?!" I poked Nick's shoulder (he was giggling). "Now I'm expected to be the one with good judgment?!" Thinking back on it, yeah, possibly ONLY in comparison to Nick I would be the one to rely on for good judgment, but still. Jacqui punctuated her admonishment with a stern expression but I got a happy boost from her sense of humor even if it was arguably couched in a PSA against criminal sexual conduct.
|Photo courtesy of The One True b!X|
"Listen up, you guys. Jacqui put me in charge of exercising good judgment when wrangling this photo op. Now, I know how you two love getting into you homoerotic poses but you're gonna have to settle down and keep that shit to a minimum."
Jill, I pretty much always think I'm funny, but luckily, remarkably this time the guys agreed. The two of them immediately started giggling, laughing and wrestling around as James declared, "I don't know...you know how we are. Can't keep our hands off each other..." And that's when Nicky grabbed him from behind, James made some kind of low, sexy noise, I leaned in and grinned and history was made.
I didn't know until I picked up my photo that Nick had an intently lascivious expression on his face as he groped James' chest, and James was in turn straining forward from Nick's possessive embrace, displaying a fully male, aggressive, aroused and abandoned expression of his own.
And, as you know, that photo was somehow leaked to (or stolen by) the NY Daily News and they posted it on their website. Sadly, my life had peaked then at age 46 but still...I got the photo!!
This got a little long, Jill, but I hope you had fun reading it. I had a blast reliving it.
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