“Christopher,” Dan says, carefully. “I realize this may be my first week on Broadway, but it is not, in fact, my first week on planet Earth.”
“Are you sure about that?” Christopher does not ask, except in his head, where all the mean thoughts live.
Instead he says: “But I’ve shown you video evidence! It’s a real tradition.”
“Real,” Dan says thoughtfully. “Such a relative term when you’re being a ‘douchebag.’” Christopher can actually hear the quotation marks around douchebag. Single-apostrophe British ones.
“Don’t even worry about it,” Christopher says, casual-like. “It’s not like we expect you to do everything we do.”
“What do you mean?” Dan asks, a shade too quickly, and the mini-Christopher that hangs out and drinks vodka martinis with all the mean thoughts in his head does a joyful backflip. Real-Christopher stays calm, though.
“I’m sure that if I were working in Hollywood, there’d be lots of things I wouldn’t necessarily get.” Too much?
“I’m not Hollywood,” Dan says, looking a bit like an annoyed hedgehog. “If anything I’m… Shepperton?”
“Stop saying words,” Christopher says, trying to sound bored, which actually isn’t very hard.
There’s a long pause, and then Dan says, “And are you telling me that this has happened to him before?”
“I’m positive his co-stars from that Grinch thing did it. It’s for luck. He’ll be expecting it now.”
Another long pause. Christopher picks at his cuticles.
“QUICK, NAME ONE OF HIS CO-STARS FROM THE GRINCH THING,” Dan says, in what probably strikes him as a “reasonable volume" but isn't.
“Jeeeeesus uh okay James Royce Edwards,” Christopher says. “Yeah. He was in Altar Boyz.”
Dan, without breaking eye contact, pulls out his smartphone. Then he slowly (like, with the speed of a tiny technological slug) starts typing buttons, presumably checking Christopher’s information. (Thank God you’re a huge homo! mini-Hanke adds, helpfully.)
Dan makes one of his Weird British Noises (still a bit like an annoyed hedgehog, but wearing a monocle this time, somehow).
“And you’re sure it’s not just this Blackwell woman.”
“Chyeah,” Christopher says, brilliantly.
And so it comes to pass, as was preordained by all the heavens, that Daniel Radcliffe licks John Larroquette’s face one week into their acquaintance. And lo, there also was Christopher Hanke, filming on his iPhone from a safe distance.
John says, “What?” which actually seems to lowball what’s required in this situation, at least if you ask Christopher. John turns his entire massive head to stare at Dan, who is looking more than usually wee in this match-up.
Dan takes a minute to turn beet red and gibber before lunging at Christopher at mach speeds. But then, Christopher has longer legs and more years of dance training. He flies.
“Graaah,” Dan snarls, somewhere behind him. It’s pretty cute.
“HOW DID YOU EVER CATCH VOLDEMORT IF YOU WERE THIS —“ Christopher shouts, literal seconds away from his dressing room, and then of course Dan catches him because of course, and he flumps down on the ground with a G-D pocket wizard on top of him.
And the next few minutes are a bit confused, but it appears that Dan has decided, not rationally, that his revenge should be to lick Christopher’s face, and even though this makes zero sense as a punishment, Christopher is flailing like a Muppet to avoid his Radcliffean tongue-bath. “Not today,” he finds himself shrieking, but Dan is surprisingly strong for his size, so maybe he is an android after all, and ack.
“NOW,” Dan grunts, and he lashes downwards with his tongue and connects, except Christopher turns his head and instead of just getting it in the forehead or on the cheek, he gets it right on the kisser.
Dan gets up, fairly calmly, and dusts himself off. Christopher levers himself into a sitting position.
“You licked my mouth.”
“I — not on purpose.”
“You licked my mouth!”
“You turned your head!”
“HARRY POTTER LICKED MY MOUTH,” Christopher shouts at a completely reasonable volume, for real this time, when you consider what just happened. Besides, why is everyone else backstage ignoring their shenaniganry? “Ohhh my God. I am going to get a web series on broadway dot com, and it is going to be called ‘Daniel Radcliffe Licked My Mouth,’ and that will also be what it’s about!”
“The pitch writes itself!”
“I am going to another place now, maybe forever.”
“Don’t lick any more mouths there! That’s our thing now.”
It actually kind of did become their thing, but that’s another story.