When the tweet appears, it prompts a fandom meltdown.
Faces are clutched at. Chairs are fallen out of. One Jily shipper is so shocked that she squeaks, “Shut up!” out loud in the middle of her AP Calculus class and gets her phone confiscated.
No one bothers to click through to the picture at first. Before they do anything else, they all rush to screencap it, fearing that it’ll come to the same end as the last tweet that Lily Everett didn’t mean to publish. They have been starved for news since the disappearing coffee invitation and everyone is desperate to know what happened next.
Once those first few fans have clicked through to the Instagram link, though, you can almost hear the collective groan. Soon the Jily tag on Tumblr is filling up with vague textposts about how ‘it’s like getting Rick-rolled except WORSE’ and ‘omg lily was totally trolling us you guys.’ (Eventually and to the utter bewilderment of people just trying to browse the ‘lily everett’ or ‘james porter’ tags, the picture becomes a running joke among the shippers.)
Let it never be said that Lily Everett doesn’t have a sense of humor: the tweet comes out of nowhere, reading, ‘Flea market with the handsome Mr. Porter.’
The linked picture is a shot of Lily, holding up a Cole Porter vinyl and grinning innocently at the camera.
(‘Wait a second,’ posts Tumblr user lilyeveretts a week later. ‘She didn’t take the picture herself. Who took the picture OMG WHO TOOK THE PICTURE???’)
(A week before the intrepid blogger’s realization, James hands Lily’s phone back to her. “You know, this is kind of evil,” he says, shaking his head fondly as she sends the tweet.
“Oh, you love it,” she shoots back.
He doesn’t argue.)