“I can’t believe you abandoned me last night,” Kaitlin said, she took a long sip of coffee and held out a venti Starbucks cup as Julie caught up to her near the register. She raised a curious eyebrow as she looked over her friends bedraggled expression. She flashed a knowing smile, “I ordered an extra shot in there for you.”
“Oh you’re a life saver my friend,” Julie said, taking a long sip of coffee herself. Feeling the espresso hit her system, she let out a relieved sigh. “Blame that third Guinness.”
“So who was it?” Kaitlin asked, her voice quick with excitement. She looked remarkably fresh, despite the late night and the early morning. Her black hair had been pulled up into a simple bun.
Her skinny jeans, Captain America t-shirt and ballet flats conveyed an effortless hipster chic.
“You disappeared so quick, I didn’t see the lucky boy.”
They moved across the Starbucks, finding an open seat near the back of the massive coffee shop.
The other tables were packed with people caffeinating up before the first day of the convention.
An overwhelming sense of exhaustion hung over the seating area. Even though this was the first day of the show, the parties had started in full force the night before.
Julie looked around before she continued, “Did you see that amazing Tenth Doctor who was hovering by the bar most of the night?”
“Really?” Kaitlin asked. Her eyes shooting up in surprise as she spoke again, “Mad props to you, girlfriend. He was a spectacular specimen. And looking at your walk of shame make-up, you got to play with his…sonic screwdriver?”
“I think you’re enough of an adult to infer what happened without me having to go into any of the nitty, gritty, dirty details.”
“Come on,” Kaitlin said, biting back a laugh. She sat back in her chair, recrossing her legs as she took another sip of coffee. “I’m living vicariously through you here. You have to tell me one thing….”
“No!” Julie said, an awkward laugh spilling from her throat as she glanced around the seating area, looking to see if anyone had been listening.
Kaitlin looked at her with a smirk, it was the face she always had when she was about to make a joke. “Come on, two hearts… that has to effect his…you know…”.
“You’re loving this, aren’t you?” Julie replied, pulling a convention program out of her shoulder bag. She flipped it open on the table, paging through it for the panel schedule.
“I am,” Kaitlin replied. She paused to slide her chair in as a girl in a massive Firefly cosplay crossed the aisle behind her. With enough room to scoot back out, Kaitlin continued, “I’ve known you for almost ten years, and I had no idea you were such a shameless little hussy when you get drunk. You hide it surprisingly well.”
“I think I actually used the line, ‘Can I see your TARDIS, Doctor.'” Julie said, shaking her aching head.
“No, shit. Really?” Kaitlin asked, an amused chuckle spilling from her lips. She clasped a hand over her mouth, trying to hold back a guffaw.
“I think so,” Julie said, once again glancing self-consciously around the coffee shop. “Things are a bit fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure I remember using that little gem.”
“I can’t believe that!” Kaitlin said, her shoulders heaved with laughter, nearly knocking her out of her chair.
“I’m glad my misery amuses you,” Julie replied, taking a sip of her coffee. “Plus, I’m not going to apologize for living out a little bit of fantasy. Besides, it’s not like I tried to seduce the actor or anything.”
“Stop being dramatic,” Kaitlin said, glancing at her cellphone. “It think there will be some panels getting going here soon. Where are we starting this morning?”
“Let’s go walk and figure something out,” Julie said, standing up gingerly. She kept her coffee clutched close, afraid to let it out of her sight.
The lobby of the Garden Plaza effortlessly pulled off a feeling of metropolitan chic usually not found outside LA or New York.The furniture filling the immaculately decorated seating areas was clean and modern. As they continued through the lobby, towards the convention space, the sight of storm troopers, furries and treks all mingling together in the usually chic lounge area seemed like something out of a fever dream.
Julie stepped aside as a team of Monty Python and the Holy Grail cosplayers galloped through the hotel lobby, the clacking of their cocoanuts reverberating loudly in the high ceilinged chamber. Julie cringed, her still throbbed. She took another sip of her coffee hoping to caffeine the headache out of her system.
They turned down a long hallway off the lobby into the hotel conference center. The cavernous series of hallways felt planets away from the wide open and airy lobby. Every hallway they turned down felt heavy with humanity as people struggled to get to their first panel. As they walked, further into the main hub of the convention, they passed dozens of convention volunteers trying unsuccessfully to keep some order to the wave of people coming at them.
They stop, and join a lengthy line, which had already started to queue tightly in front of one of the many panel rooms.
“What is this one?” Kaitlin asked, reaching for the program in Julie’s hand. Paging through the schedule, she looks up at Julie. “Seriously? You’re taking me to ‘Making Love in the ‘Verse: Relationships in the Firefly Universe’…”.
“You gave me first pick,” Julie said, sitting down on the floor once they had reached the end of the line. “This is the only time that this one is happening all weekend.”
“You’re going to be fan-girling, aren’t you?”
“I want to try and get an interview for the podcast,” Julie said.
“I call bullshit.”
“I may or may not have written fan-fiction about a certain gorgeous doctor and a his traumatized, but ass-kicking sister.”
“More of a Malcolm Reynolds girl, myself,” Kaitlin said.
“I can’t argue that,” Julie replied. She paused, digging through her clutch for the hair tie she knew she had dropped in there before the party. Finding it, she pulled her thick blonde hair off of her neck into a quick ponytail.
Julie looked up from her dressing table, the sharp knock on her capsule door knocking her from her daydream. “Come in?”
Kevin threw open the door and swept into the room with a cocky exuberance. “No…visitors?” He asked, looking around.
“I’m between clients, if that’s what you’re referring too, Captain.” She stood up, tightening her silk dressing gown around her body. Looking him over, he wore his double holster, slung snugly over his tan pants. His maroon shirt was open to the collar bone, emphasizing his exceptionally tone chest.
“We’re packing up,” he said, turning to face her. The seriousness in his tone seemed jarring.
“Excuse me?” Julie said, moving towards him. “Don’t I get a say in this? I’ve already made appointments with very important clients. I swear, you have absolutely no respect for me, or what I do!”
Julie yelped as an explosion rattled the capsule violently, knocking her off her center of balance.
Kevin reached out, catching her by the forearm before she hit the ground.
Looking up at his angular face, and his wide, excited brown eyes, she felt suddenly overcome by the urge to kiss him. She had never noticed how full his lips were. By the look of it, he had been caught up in it as well, he dropped his chin towards her face. Their faces hovering mere inches apart.
Another explosion rang out from somewhere deep within the ship, completely shattering the romantic mood.
A wave of panic washed over Kevin’s face as he almost dropped her to the floor. He looked back over his shoulder as he hurried from the room, “Like I said, off planet!”
“Pew! Pew! Take that you stupid Jedi!”
Julie looked up, blinking herself back into reality. She looked around the queue, reorienting herself to where she was. Up ahead, two girls, who couldn’t have been more than five or six gently fought with two homemade lightsabers.
“I’ve got to cut it out with the fan fiction,” Julie said, running a hand through her hair. “It’s not like I have the almighty Whedon’s flair for dialogue anyway.”
Kaitlin looked over at her, her eyes wide. She continued slowly, trying to gauge her friend’s reaction. “Would I be a terrible friend if I abandoned you?”
Kaitlin held out the program, she had flipped to a half page ad for Sci-Fi Speed Dating. “This sounds too unbelievably amazing for words. My single and fabulous ass needs to check this out, and it starts in 15 minutes.” She stood up, hiking her purse up on her shoulder. “Care to join?
Maybe your mystery doctor will be there.”
Julie smiled, “Nah, go and enjoy. I’m not sure I’m ready for obtainable men at this point.”
Kaitlin gave her a friendly peck on the forehead, “You’re going to be waiting a bit if you’re holding out for David Tennant and Gary Barlow.”
“You’ll see,” Julie said, flashing a playful smile. She stood up and gave her friend a hug.”Go. Tell me how it goes.”