When I started making cosplay for people, my first hard and fast rule was, "No freebies." There are only two people I would make free cosplay for -- my teacher and the Munchkin (she's 12 now, so maybe I should stop calling her "Munchkin." I'll still think of her as my niece, though). The Munchkin got one last year. Her dad was taking her to Wizard World Chicago. She asked me for a Snow White. She loved it.
While I was at it, I asked my teacher if she wanted a cosplay. After all, Halloween would be coming up before too long. She said no, she didn't want to do cosplay, she was worried she'd feel silly. I told her to let me know if she ever changed her mind.
Last weekend, I met up with her to talk and catch up. We started talking about C2E2 and how I was working on a Batman cosplay to wear there. She then asked me a question and I made the fatal mistake of answering it.
"So, are there any interesting people turning up for autographs?"
Knowing she is a die hard Doctor Who fan (she used to watch it with her mother when she was growing up, the two of them were Whovians and Trekkies), I casually mentioned, Well, they have David Tennant and Matt Smith, the 11th and 12th Doctors.
Her face popped in excitement, then she glared at me. "The War Doctor doesn't count."
I just smiled at her.
The conversation kind of dried up at that point, as she was weighing things over in her head. We didn't really get to celebrate Christmas this year, and her birthday is coming up. I told her, look, there's really no one else there besides the Doctors worth getting for me, so I have a surplus of cash for the show. If you want, you can come with me. I'll buy you a Saturday admission and spring for one autograph from each of them and one picture, separate or together. And we can go see the panel they'll host on Saturday together.
"The panel will be Saturday?"
It's the busiest day of the show, and anything Who-related has always been on a Saturday, so I'd go with that.
Cut to tonight. I'm working on the Batman and my phone rings. It's my teacher. "...uh...Peter?....uh....are you almost done with your Batman?"
....what's up? I say with a smile in my voice.
She eventually gets around. She's gone full tilt about meeting two Doctors. To the point where...DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!...she wants to try to cosplay at the 11th Doctor.
I say, You mean, the 12th Doctor, right?
There's a brief pause as I can practially hear her glaring at the phone. "The Matt Smith Doctor."
After everything we've been through together, I can't say no to her. So I have put the Batman on hold for a little bit, and I will make her a Matt Smith Doctor cosplay.
She said she felt a bit guilty, because this is going to cost me a lot of coin. I told her, after everything you've done to help me? It's a drop in the well. All you have to do is kiss my butt once in a while.
A long beat of deliberation, "...okay, it's a deal."
Man, the things I do for my clientelle.