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Do You Ship Us? - 12. Who Kissed Who?

Jasper must have snuck in late at night when everyone else was asleep, because even Blake seemed surprised to see him when he walked out of his room the next morning. Jasper kept his head down and didn't talk to anyone other than Blake who had no shame walking into Jasper's room while he's getting dressed just to ask him if he's ok. Ryan had told everyone last night that Jasper must have gone somewhere else and not up to the roof, which explained why Jasper didn't return and covered them both for why there was still tension this morning. Jasper was secretly thankful for this, because with all the other things he spent the night stressing over he hadn't thought of needing a cover story for his disappearance last night. Ryan was giving Jasper some space, waiting for Jasper to come to him when he was ready to talk about the kiss. They were at least polite to each other in passing but Jasper was trying to avoid being too close to Ryan and especially being alone with him. He's understandably uncomfortable being crammed between Ryan and Blake in the back of Simon's car for half an hour on the way to the show.

Most of the show went fine, the host was a boisterous and fun personality which made it easy for them to act like nothing was wrong. Jasper laughed when Ryan was being gently picked on and Ryan laughed when it was Jasper's turn to be getting a roast, to anyone watching there was no awkwardness between them. Everything was friendly and comfortable, right up until they played a game of Truth or Punishment.

“So you can either pick a truth or a punishment. We will ask you a question and if you don’t want to answer it, you spin the punishment wheel.” The host tells them with a devious smirk as he pulls the table cloth off the wheel before them, dramatic music thundering as if this challenge would be life or death, each ‘punishment’ option covered by a different coloured piece of paper so they didn’t know what they were picking. Simon was the first victim of a question, asked what his most embarrassing moment was. He very cleverly replies with 'this entire show appearance', which entertains the host immensely. Luke was next, asked who his celebrity crush would be and listing off easily a couple of safe options, the host challenges him to narrow it down to one and after some hesitation he chooses. Ryan is next, asked what his guilty pleasure was, something he gave absolutely no thought to before owning up to loving Magic Mike. This was hilarious to the group, as they knew about his previous line of work so it made perfect sense, but for everyone else it would have come as such an unexpected answer. On Blake's turn he is asked what is the weirdest thing he'd ever been gifted and he brings the shock factor up a notch by just shrugging and saying 'a dildo'. Following it up with the information that he re-gifted it into the mail box of a complete stranger and hoped it either gave them a laugh, or pleasure. Jasper hadn't expected he'd be the first to ask for a punishment, feeling confident that he wouldn't be asked anything that he couldn't bullshit his way through, until he's backed into a corner with just about the only question he could absolutely not answer on live TV.

“Jasper, who was your last kiss?” The host reads the question out of the random cards stacked before him. It wasn't intentional, there was no way anyone could have known about it, but just his luck to be the unfortunate one to get hit with it the day after locking lips with his band mate. Jasper licks his lips and looks at the wheel in front of him, aware that he could have just lied and said Beth, but he'd hesitated for enough of a moment, so taken aback by what he'd been asked, that it already looked suspicious.

“Oh come on, why'd he get the easy question? You’ve got a girlfriend, I think we all know who your last kiss was.” Blake teases, Jasper licks his lips again, staring at the board before nodding.

"Beth." He answers unconvincingly.

"You sure? You had to think about that one." The host remarks with a grin then swiftly moves the game along. As much as he didn't believe Jasper, he knew better than to air that controversy on stage like this.


“I cannot believe you cheated on Beth, when did this happen? Recently?” Blake snaps at Jasper when they are backstage heading back to their dressing room. Jasper bites his lip and keeps walking, head still up with a fake confidence. “Have you been cheating for a while? Is that why you’ve been avoiding her?” Blake presses him for information and Jasper knew this wasn't something he would drop.

“It's not how it sounds, it was just a kiss and it just happened. I did try to call her to talk about it, but she didn't answer.” Jasper runs his fingers through his hair, he was filled with shame, especially being confronted by Blake about it. He absolutely couldn't tell Blake what had happened. He couldn't tell him he'd spent the night walking aimlessly, lost inside his thoughts while silent tears kept filling his eyes and threatening to spill down his face. That the more he tried to avoid thinking about the taste of Ryan's lips and the wave of sensations that had shot through him the moment he'd pressed his lips against his new goddamn band mate's, the more he couldn't stop wondering why he had never felt anything when he and Beth had kissed. This confusion leading him to sit in his bed when he finally came home, headphones in at 2am watching highly rated heterosexual porn and honestly begging to feel something towards what he was seeing. And he did, but the something he felt was repulsion. That he didn't dare confirm what he was already starting to process in his head, by daring to watch gay porn. He wasn't ready to admit to himself that this was what he wanted in his heart. Plausible deniability outweighing his willingness to unpack the truth last night. He knew two things for sure, he wasn't attracted to nor did he want to touch women in any sexual way, and he was lit on fire from the inside by the softness of Ryan's lips. It didn't have to mean anything, he didn't have to put a label on it. He could still not be gay. As for Beth though, there was no way he could continue hoping to feel something for her, not when the only person he had felt any desire towards, was the guy he had to sit shoulder to shoulder with in the back of Simon's car on the way home, while Blake would undoubtedly continue to question him and berate him about how much better Beth deserved than a boyfriend who didn't care about her, and had the nerve to kiss 'another girl'.

“Great job guys, Jasper, what’s going on with you and Beth, are you guys ok?” Chris asks with an in-genuine half smile as the boys gather up their things ready to head home and put yet another dramatic moment with Jasper behind them. He was having a lot of these lately and judging by the way Simon and Luke were quietly talking together he guessed that people were starting to worry about him.

“None of your business.” Jasper shrugs and looks away, he was so ashamed that everyone knew he’d kissed someone that wasn’t his girlfriend, he’d never wanted to be seen as that type of person, he had never been that type of person before and yet all he could think about was how It'd felt to kiss Ryan. Guilt for cheating, confusion over who it was with, denial over what it meant.

“I just wanted to let you guys know we’re going to start filming for the new music video in just over a week. We’ll be doing Simon’s song, ‘The World Is Ours’, the setting will be on a yacht and Fiona will be in tomorrow to talk to you about the plans for your comeback style. You’ll be wearing suits, Ryan, we’ve got some dancers lined up, there’ll be a scene focusing on you and the dancers before the last chorus. We’ll be recording the song tomorrow, once it’s done you’ll be able to see where the dancing part fits in and can work the moves to the music.” The manager informs them then turns back to Jasper. “If you need to talk, you’re welcome to come and see me. It’s unlike you to be so quiet.” He says with a small laugh, but Jasper just shakes his head. Chris was the last person he needed knowing about the details of this predicament.

“Thanks Christopher.” Simon speaks up for the silent group. Chris nods and heads out shouting to get a good rest, big week ahead. “I am as surprised as he is that you didn’t say anything Jasper. Surely you’ve got an opinion?” Simon asks him, trying to lighten the mood in the room.

“I think we’re too young to be acting like Sugar Daddies, lets leave the suits on a yacht look to Pitbull. Plus it’ll be a million degrees on a boat in the middle of the day. We’re all going to pass out from heat exhaustion. There better be alcohol on the yacht at least.” Jasper comments and both Simon and Luke give a laugh at his remark then exchange another look of concern.

“What are you going to do with Beth?” Blake asks, keeping Jasper accountable for his mistake and making an effort to remain annoyed with him.

“She deserves better than me. Someone like you.” Jasper sighs.

“Don’t make this about me.”

“I mean it Blake. I’m breaking things off with her, you should get your chance.” Jasper urges, trying to deflect Blake's attention onto a positive so he will forget to keep wanting the details that Jasper was fairly sure he'd go to his grave not sharing.

“What about her? How much is this going to hurt Beth? You cheated on her. She will be heartbroken.” Blake knew Jasper too well, he could see through his attempt to sway the attention off himself.

“I know I hurt her Blake! I didn’t mean to kiss someone else, it happened in a very intense moment and I realized I’m not in love with her, even though I tried. But it will be better this way, for both of us, and for you.”


One agonizing drive home with his pissed off best friend on one side and the guy he kissed on the other side. Blake was staring out the window annoyed, and Ryan was uncomfortably trying to work out if he should talk to Jasper or not. Jasper stared down at his hands the whole drive, but in his peripheral vision he catches a few glances from Ryan. He couldn't wait to get the hell out of this car. They pull up into the merciful car park. Blake gets out and closes the door instead of holding it for Jasper, to his left Ryan gets out and holds the door. Jasper bites his lip and shakes his head nervously then turns and gets out Blake's side of the car. As they head up to their room, Jasper finally pulls out his phone, 3 missed calls from Beth and multiple texts. She’d obviously watched the show as it was live to TV. He was dreading this conversation but he lifts his phone to his ear and listens to the call tone, waiting for her to answer.

“Beth, I’m so sorry, please talk to me. We should do this in person. I never meant to hurt you.” He tells her voicemail before hanging up the phone and walking straight into the lounge room, sinking onto the couch and breaking down into tears. The guys all look at him surprised to see him actually letting out a feeling that wasn't just anger. Blake scoffs heartlessly at the tears and walks out of the room, disgusted by his friend’s actions.

“What’s your plan, do you need us to do anything?” Luke puts a hand on Jasper’s shoulder, speaking gently to him.

“No.” Jasper sniffles back tears and wipes the dampness from his cheeks. “I didn’t love her, but I never wanted to hurt her like this. I just don’t know how to do this.” He starts crying again.

“She deserves the truth, it might hurt her now, but it always comes out sooner or later. Be honest with her about how you feel.” Luke advises, Jasper nods, wiping his eyes again and looking over towards Ryan who was standing back and watching. He was fairly sure he was the last person Jasper wanted to talk to about this, despite being the reason for it. Jasper was getting a taste of his own medicine, having his calls and texts to Beth ignored for once after months of doing it to her. The wait to confront it was making Jasper feel sick so he retreats to his bedroom so he doesn't have to continually show how much this was tearing him apart.

After hours he finally receives a text from Beth finally, saying she was at the door. Jasper jumps up from his bed, his head throbbing, his heart pounding and the sick feeling rising inside him again as he opens his bedroom door and starts walking with shaking legs towards the front door, taking no notice of the fact that his friends were all in the lounge area watching him. He opens the door to see his girlfriend didn’t look upset, she just looked really mad.

“Beth, hi.” Jasper says nervously.

“Where’s Ryan?” Beth asks as she storms into the apartment, past Jasper and looks at Luke, Simon and Blake who were all staring until she looked at them and they look away quickly.

“Uh, in his room, I guess?” Jasper answers, shifting a little, nervous no doubt, about why Beth was asking about Ryan. He closes the front door and follows Beth to the edge of the hallway. “Can we talk in private?” He asks quietly.

“I’d like to meet him properly.” Beth states with a shrug, ignoring Jasper’s request and he didn't really blame her but he was very on edge at her insistence on seeing Ryan. He could maybe handle if she somehow knew, but if she made a scene in front of the other guys he would have to fake his death and flee the country.

“Is that why you came over here?” Jasper frowns at her, really confused about what was going on.

“No, Jasper, I came here to break-up with you. I know you’ve been cheating on me, and I want to own up to something too. How close are you with Ryan? Good friends?” Beth asks, the undertone making Jasper increasingly anxious for her interest, he glances at the equally confused looks from his band mates who again, look away as soon as he looks in their direction.

“We’re not that close. I'm good about the break-up but don't think you should be going after Ry. I don't think he's for you." Jasper states nervously picking at his nails.

“Not for me? Are you sure?” Beth interrupts him. Jasper licks his lips and tilts his head to one side, wondering why he was jealous at the idea of Ryan being the object of someone else's desires.

“Fine.” Jasper shrugs, shaking out the idea of jealousy. “Ryan~” He calls out. Maybe it'd be easier if Beth made a move on Ryan here, then he wouldn't have to think about Ryan anymore. Moments later the door to Ryan’s room opens and he comes down pulling on a singlet, his eyes were on Jasper but Jasper doesn’t look at him. He stood staring at the floor, his arms crossed silently begging Beth to not make a scene, not out him here, especially because he could feel the eyes of the other three melting through him like they knew what was going on too.

“Hi.” Beth smiles at Ryan, Jasper looks from her over to Ryan who walks past her before looking at her face and stopping dead in his tracks and looks her up and down before taking a step back and glancing at Jasper.

“Ryan, this is Beth, my ex-girlfriend. She wanted to meet you.” Jasper introduces them but there's an unnerving silence between the two as they look between Jasper and one another.

“I had no idea this was your girlfriend.” Ryan says quickly, gulping nervously and stepping back another step. From behind them he could hear the guys talking quietly between themselves, as confused as Jasper was but the looks happening between Ryan and Beth were telling that there's something he was missing.

“See I knew you were cheating on me so I don’t really feel bad about this, Ryan and I met each other the other week and...” The penny drops immediately as Jasper looks back at Ryan, remembering the girl he mentioned kissing, the fact Jasper used a photo of Beth as the profile picture on his secret account, he'd set them up, unintentionally. He'd said all the right things and sent Ryan straight to Beth.

“No, do not tell me what I think you’re about to say.” Jasper fake gags and looks between them. “You two hooked up?” Jasper asks Ryan who looks guiltily at the floor, his own mind doing flips as he tries to think of how he should handle this situation.

“The girl I kissed at your birthday.” Ryan confesses and looks to Jasper apologetically. "I swear I didn't know."

“You fucking kissed her?” Blake suddenly gets in Ryan’s face, throwing a punch without hesitation and knocking his band mate stumbling backward. Ryan puts his hands up, shouting apologies, and repeating that he didn't know it had been Jasper's girlfriend. Luke and Simon quickly intervene, dragging Blake from the apartment to cool off.

“So you just kissed?” Jasper asks, glancing behind him at Ryan who just nods, wiping blood from his lip.

“He’s a great kisser.” Beth says with a teasing sneer. Jasper just smiles and lets out a deep breath, not sure why he was even admitting to this but the jealousy was back and the words came out before he even finished thinking them.

"Yeah he is.” Beth looks at him with a frown for a few moments before finally opening her mouth to reply but closing it again dumbfounded.

“Why did you say Ryan was a good kisser?” Beth asks quietly. Ryan is looking now from Jasper to Beth wondering how the hell he'd found himself in the middle of this.

“For the same reason I said he wasn’t right for you.” Jasper shrugs. “For the record Beth, I wasn’t cheating on you. I was a shitty boyfriend, I was distant, I avoided having to see you and having to talk to you and I wasn’t interested in you and I wasted your time because I didn't work this out sooner and I'm so sorry for that. I should have been honest and ended things a lot earlier but the truth is I thought I would develop those feelings, it never actually crossed my mind that what I was doing was stringing you along. Ryan actually pointed it out to me last night and I was going to end it with you, I was planning on visiting you this afternoon to talk to you about us.” Jasper pauses, drawing in a deep breath. He knew there would be no turning back after his next sentence, but Beth deserved the truth. She deserved to know that there was nothing that she could have done differently and that his lack of attraction had nothing to do with her looks. Finally he lets out his breath and the confession with it. "We kissed, last night. It was a mistake, it wasn’t intentional but it made me realize why things with us never worked. I liked it.” Jasper says embarrassed that Ryan was hearing this for the first time too since they hadn’t spoken since he’d walked out, and he’d been bluntly ignoring Ryan all day, probably sending the exact opposite message.

“You’re gay? The speculations are all true.” Beth mutters disappointed, in herself as much as in Jasper.

“I mean, I guess that’s what people will think but truthfully I am not sure what it means..." Jasper tries to explain, not comfortable with the word at all.

“What about you, are you gay?” Beth asks Ryan. Jasper bites his lip, still not daring to look at Ryan, but honestly he was desperate to know the answer too.

“I don't, I...” Ryan stutters as he tries to reply and Jasper feels instantly mortified at the thought that Ryan might not actually be into him, that maybe the kiss was completely one-sided.

"You kissed me." Beth reminds Ryan bitterly.

“I develop attraction to people through an emotional connection so gender isn't really important to me..."

“I wasted so long wondering and here we are, you don’t even like girls.” Beth sneers at Jasper who was silently taking in the weight of this conversation. “I can’t believe this. I want nothing to do with you. you guys are disgusting.” She whips around on her heal and sets off towards the door.

“Beth wait.” Jasper calls out.

“What? What could you possibly tell me that makes any of this feel any different?” Beth demands, her anger was something Jasper had never seen before, further giving him guilt for causing her to feel this way.

“Just, Blake didn’t punch Ryan because he got between you and me, he punched him because he is jealous of him. He likes you. He always has. He would treat you well, he would be everything you need from a guy.” Jasper tells her, his intention pure. Beth doesn’t reply or look at Jasper, just walks out and slams the door behind her. Jasper finally turns around and sees Ryan sucking his swollen lip. “Are you ok?” He asks.

“I don’t know.” Ryan answers with a sigh, shaking his head and running his fingers through his hair. “I’m going to stay somewhere else for a while.” He starts heading up the hallway to his room.

“Ry, please...” Jasper follows him a few paces, he wanted comfort and reassurance, not distance.

“I’m not hanging around for you to make ‘mistakes’ with. I can’t be here with you, I won’t let myself get hurt by your confusion. You need to work yourself out now, and I'm sorry, I get that it's a hard time for you but I know what I want and I don't want to be your mistake or your experiment.” Ryan tells him, looking at Jasper sadly before closing his bedroom door. Leaving Jasper once again feeling like he was completely alone. Blake was mad at him, Ryan was mad at him. He turns and slowly walks back to the kitchen, grabbing whatever alcohol he came across first and pouring himself a drink. His head spinning with all that had just happened as he heads up the hallway, pausing at Ryan's door but pulling himself away and locking himself away in his own bedroom. For a moment he realizes he felt completely emotionally numb, he has a sip of his drink and places the glass beside his bed. He sinks down into the sheets, wrapping himself up firmly and letting out a deep breath. This had been a truly shit day, he’d never felt so lost and sorry for himself, even when he’d left the group after his birthday. He had no idea how he would be able to face anyone ever again. He knew he had no right to ask anything of Beth now, but he takes his phone out and types her a message.

‘I’m so sorry, but please don’t tell anyone. I haven’t even worked this out for myself yet, I would really appreciate this not being brought into the media right now.’ - Jasper

It takes almost half an hour before she texts back.

‘Oh don’t worry, I’m way too ashamed to tell anyone I dated a fag.’ - Beth.

Reading those words it sunk in that he felt the same, here he was accepting that he had enjoyed the kiss but calling it a mistake. Coming to terms with his feelings towards Ryan while wanting to hide them and suppress them from everyone including himself. He was ashamed of how he felt, he was devastated that the kiss had given him everything he hadn’t felt through his relationship with a girl, with someone his parents thought was right for him. Someone he was meant to want to be with and build a life with and share intimate moments with and love. He had to let that go now, it wasn’t going to happen like that, it wasn’t going to be easy. He would be criticized, he would be hearing comments like Beth’s from fans that don’t approve, strangers in the street, he would be judged on this and he couldn’t even help it. He had to either allow himself to be strong enough to face it all and hope to be able to share that battle with someone strong enough to stand by his side. The unfortunate truth was that Ryan’s anxiety and fear of judgement when it came to perfectly normal and acceptable faults, made it seem highly unlikely he’d be able to face this with Jasper. He could spend his life alone or having relationships he couldn’t celebrate or talk about to anyone else, neither of those felt like living.

As he finally faces the truth of what his life could be now, he realizes he’s silently crying into his pillow. The fear hits him hard as he thinks to himself, will it always feel like this?

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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I'm unhappy that Jasper's "friends" are not supporting him as he finally realizes his true sexuality.


Jasper was wrong to lead Beth on, but Beth's parting shot to Jasper is a vicious knife twist to the gut.


Blake was wrong to punch Ryan for a kiss Beth gave willingly: it's actually none of his business, except in his own pea-brain. (I don't see how Ryan and Blake can have a professional relationship going forward, and even the planned shoot will have to be scrapped because of Ryan's fat lip.)


While not ending in a traditional cliffhanger, the gang is so messed up at this point that I'm waiting on tenterhooks to find out what happens next!

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I get that Blake likes Beth though though that kinda makes him seem like a bad friend. Yes Jasper wasn’t really interested in her though Blake drooling over her since she was first mentioned doesn’t seem like the qualities you’d want in a best friend and now he punched Ryan because Beth kissed him. I mean he didn’t exactly force himself on her and she clearly had no qualms about kissing another guy while dating Jasper so she’s not super loyal herself so I don’t get how Blake could react so violently. Then Beth’s homophobic comments make me worry about how Blake will react when he finds out considering he likes her so he may support her against Jasper. It’s a shame that the other band members were out of the room when Jasper came out though I hope the majority if not all of them will support Jasper and of course I hope they accept Ryan’s sexuality as well when they learn the truth. I get Ryan being cautious about being hurt by Jasper especially when Jasper admits to himself that part of him is disturbed or uncomfortable about having kissed a guy. It’s a good sign though that he seemed to shamelessly come out and was very open about the kiss between him & Ryan making it seem like he won’t have a lot of trouble excepting his sexuality given enough time.

Edited by NimirRaj
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Jasper needs support now he’s realised his true sexuality. The band is in a bad way at the moment, looking forward to finding out what happens next.

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