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Do You Ship Us? - 17. Heatstroke

“Hey, how’d you go?” Ryan had been waiting up for Jasper, it’d been only half an hour since Blake had turned in for the night leaving him to wait alone.

“So, I didn’t bother with the manager.” Jasper states, pulling out a chair at the table and throwing down a folder of forms. “I just snuck into his office and stole all our contracts, took them to a lawyer and explained the situation to see if we are able to get out of them and press charges against him for the mistreatment. He’s gone through them and decided we can build a case against him and end up separating him from the company so we still have a job, but we won’t be working under his abuse.” Jasper says, leaning back with a cocky smirk and putting his feet up on the table.

“Shit.” Ryan looks at the folders before him. “Did, did you read all the files?” He asks.

“Well no. Why, is there something in here you don’t want me to know?” Jasper asks, picking up the folder with Ryan’s name on it and passing it across the table for Ryan to read through.

“I don’t think so, but whatever he has on file about me, he could potentially release to the public so it’s interesting to look at.” Ryan starts flipping through it, while Jasper just watches him with an interested expression. “Are you going to talk to the others about this?” Ryan asks.

“Obviously, I can’t go behind their backs and speak for them about all this, for all I know they might be keeping quiet about much worse stuff than us.” Jasper shrugs and starts picking at his nails.

“Worse than sleeping with one of their mothers’ on the pretense that it would keep them from killing themselves?” Ryan raises an eyebrow as he drops the folder back on the table. “Although I’m not too sure how to prove that one other than her word against his.” He sighs.

“How would your mum feel about making that publicly known?” Jasper asks, his feet moving from the table to the floor as he leans his elbows on the table, his head tilted to the side as he stares at Ryan.

“Better it come out this way, in defense against him, then he uses it to make a fool out of her when it suits him, right?” Ryan answers, he was frustrated to even imagine his Mum being used as a tool by the manager for some scheme. Jasper stands up and looks down the hallway, all the bedroom lights were off and there wasn’t a single sound. He boldly walks over to Ryan and presses a kiss hard against his lips, taking Ryan by surprise this time. The kiss was short but Jasper was clearly proud of himself for initiating it this time, stepping back and smiling brightly, his cheeks slightly pink as he lets out a relieved sigh. “What was that for?” Ryan asks.

“I just thought we could practice the whole, kissing each other without needing an excuse to do so, thing.” Jasper winks at him, walking to the kitchen to get himself a drink.

“That would mean you thought about what I said before you ran off, which for the amount of work you’ve done since you’ve been out, suggests you didn’t have much time to do.” Ryan comments, leaning back in the chair and watching Jasper who turns his attention back to him, holding his glass of water and looking down at it, trying to think of a not so desperate way to say he hadn’t needed much time to think it through.

“Ok, maybe I thought it was a little sexy that you are standing up for yourself.” Jasper shrugs, sipping at his water nervously.

“Was it too forward to suggest?” Ryan asks, fiddling with his hair and avoiding looking at Jasper. Jasper walks back to the table, setting the glass down on the table and walking over to Ryan, he sits against the table and sighs.

“You know, my mum set me up with Beth. I didn’t ask her out, she didn’t ask me out. Before that I hadn’t dated anyone and never had to think about making a move or timing or any of that stuff, and I never had to live with her and be a decent boyfriend 24/7. I am so worried I am not going to live up to what you want from me and you’re going to see all of my flaws and we’ll ruin the band and our futures if this doesn’t work out.” Jasper admits, watching as Ryan just nods along with everything being said.

“You’re right.” Ryan agrees.

“It’s a bit complicated.” Jasper shrugs.

“Yeah, the world could end if we date.” Ryan smirks.

“I see, you’re mocking me.” Jasper gets down from the table and moves back to his water.

“I’m just enjoying not being the one overthinking it all, for once.” Ryan teases, standing up from his seat and following Jasper, he places a hand on his shoulder and whispers in his ear. “I can wait for you.” His lips graze just below Jasper’s ear, sending tingles up Jasper’s spine. “If you’re not ready to be with me.” He slowly runs his hand down Jasper’s back, resting it on his hip. “Then we won’t be together.” He takes a step back, turning and walking away from Jasper, who was in a state of shock, his heart was pounding and he felt so hot his clothes restricting everywhere on his body. He turns around, looking down the hallway to see the low light of Ryan’s phone lighting up the somewhat forbidden room. Jasper takes out his phone and considers sending a text but no words came to mind. He turns back and drinks his water, returns it to the sink, turns the lights off and heads down the hall hesitating outside Ryan’s room first before heading to his. He sinks into his bed and closes his eyes, trying not to think about the way it felt for Ryan to kiss him, touch him and tease him like he had.


“Pastel? Are you kidding me? There is no way in hell I am wearing that.” Blake crosses his arms and moves away from the rack of pastel coloured suits that he was supposed to wear. “Pastel suits on a boat, just so we look like complete dicks. That’s some kind of hell that I can’t even imagine being tormented through when I finally die. If I go to hell and am forced to wear pastel there I will consider the devil a real professional at torture.”

“You’re wearing the green pastel suit, Jasper will be in the pink, Ryan in the Blue, Simon you’ll be in yellow, Luke, you will be wearing purple. Come on, get dressed, lets shoot this music video.” The manager claps his hands and turns and walks away.

“I’m not wearing it.” Blake comments, shaking his head. “I wanted to be a singer, not a Barbie Doll. I’m not wearing something that doesn’t feel right to me. It’s so far from my style, I am absolutely not going to be caught dead in a green pastel suit.”

“Well, at least you’re not in pastel pink.” Jasper pulls his suit off the rack and eyes it.

“I think it’ll look good on you, bring out your innocence.” Ryan comments, Jasper rolls his eyes, holding his suit in front of himself and looking in the mirror to see how it’d look. He shrugs, it didn’t look too bad at all, but it did have an ‘innocent vibe’. It wasn’t something he would usually wear but he kind liked it. He was first to go and get changed into it to see how he looked.


Once everyone was dressed, even an extremely reluctant Blake who did not look impressed at all to be in the suit. Ryan on the other hand, looked immaculate, the mission of not staring at him had become much harder now seeing him in a slim fitted suit. The group were herded to the deck where most of the music video would be filmed. Their first order of business was the dance section given to Ryan to perform.

“How come the girls get to wear bikini’s and we are dressed head to toe?” Luke groans, fanning himself with his hand.

“Drink up guys, it’s going to be a long day.” Simon passes chilled water bottles to the three of them.

“How is he dancing in this heat?” Blake asks astonished.

“He just wants to show us how hard he is trying.” Jasper sighs.

“Hey.” Blake nudges Jasper. “Can we talk about last night?” He asks. Jasper just frowns at him, he had forgotten all about what Blake had walked in on the night before and hadn’t even asked Ryan about it when he’d gotten home, surely if they’d had a serious conversation Ryan would have mentioned something. “Are you mad at me?” Blake asks.

“What would I be mad about?” Jasper asks, distractedly looking back towards Ryan who was dancing very closely with one of the girls.

“You know, the Beth stuff.” Blake shrugs.

“What? No we’re good, that’s all over now. I’ve barely thought about it.” Jasper shrugs, he gives Blake a smile before turning his attention back to Ryan.

“Are you sure, you’ve been kinda avoiding me.”

“No, no. Not intentionally I’ve just been caught up in other stuff.” Jasper assures him.

“Yeah, you and Ryan have become really close.” Blake comments, Jasper looks at Blake, trying not to look too nervous about the statement. “I just want to make sure you still consider me a friend, that’s all. I’m glad you and Ryan are close, he needs someone to bond with in here, I just...”

“Are you jealous I’ve been spending more time with Ryan?” Jasper light heartedly jokes, hoping the nature of their ‘friendship’ wouldn’t be questioned if he joked about him as Blake’s replacement.

“Jealous isn’t the right word.” Blake laughs it off.

“We’re seriously fine. Don’t stress, you’re my best friend, that hasn’t changed. Ryan has just been opening up to me a lot lately and we’ve become closer because of that. Sorry if it feels like I haven’t been as attentive to our friendship. We should do something some time, just us. Get out and have drinks or something.” Jasper suggests, his attention back on Ryan who seemed a bit off while the manager was talking to him. Ryan suddenly starts gagging and running to the side of the boat.

“Oh, that’s not a good sign.” Luke mutters to Simon. Jasper heads over to check on their sick friend.

“Are you alright?” Jasper asks as he approaches, tugging back Ryan’s jacket and helping him take it off. Jasper holds the jacket over his arm and rubs Ryan’s back while Ryan loosens the tie and struggles to undo his top button.

“I get sea sick.” Ryan admits, gagging as he holds onto the rail on the side of the yacht again.

“Ryan.” Jasper leans against the rail beside him. “Is there any part of this career that doesn’t inconvenience you?” He asks sarcastically, handing Ryan his water bottle.

“Thanks.” Ryan sips at the water. “And, no. There isn’t.” Ryan answers back jokingly. Jasper smiles. “To my credit though, it is a million degrees, I’m in a suit and I’ve been dancing for the last hour in the middle of the hottest part of the day. I am actually convinced I am going to die on this yacht.” Ryan tells him.

“Yeah, well I did say we would die of heat exhaustion in suits on a boat in the middle of the day. Everyone just thought I was being a little bitch.” Jasper looks away while Ryan starts gagging hard and brings up the water he’d just tried to drink.

“Sorry.” Ryan comments. “Christopher is going to be annoyed with me, because he wanted me to do the whole routine again, but sexier. This is the opposite of sexy.” Ryan starts gagging again.

“I thought it was well and truly sexy enough.” Jasper answers, smirking at Ryan. “You have gone completely pale. Are you going to keep throwing up over the side of our expensive pimp yacht or can I help you inside the cabin and give you some ice to eat?” He offers.

“Are you going to help me undo all of these buttons too?” Ryan asks.

“I will, but keep in mind, I’ve just listened to you vomit and may not be finding it that much of a turn on to help you undress right now.” Jasper rolls his eyes and puts his arm around Ryan, helping him walk towards the door of the air-conditioned cabin, the other members, the dancers, manager and film crews follow inside, everyone breathing a sigh of relief at the fresh cool air.

“Is he ok?” The manager calls out.

“Yeah, just, you know, heat stroke.” Jasper rolls his eyes, helping him to a row of seats and encouraging him to lie down. “Can someone get him a glass of ice?” Jasper orders. “Maybe some wet towels or something too?” Luke, Simon and Blake walk off to find the things Jasper had asked for. Jasper gets to work undoing the buttons down Ryan’s shirt, meanwhile the bikini wearing dancers were grabbing their robes to pull on because of how cold the room was.

“Well if Ryan isn’t able to keep performing, we will just do your solo parts.” The manager suggests when the other members come back into the room.

“Thanks guys.” Jasper smiles at them, taking the cup of ice and passing Ryan a piece, then placing a damp towel on his forehead.

“Thanks.” Ryan mutters, appreciating the guys all working together to take care of him.

“You’re bringing out the nice side of Jasper.” Blake comments, watching the way Jasper was showing so much care to Ryan.

“Oh come on, plenty of your drunk nights have ended in me taking care of you too.” Jasper shakes his head, turning around and looking at his friends. “I take care of all of you, which is why I am saying right now on behalf of all of us, that we are not going out there in these hot suits to film for you. Ryan’s going to need to rest, we should all enjoy the ride back to the port in something more comfortable.” Jasper stands up and crosses his arms across his chest, not bothering to look at the manager, he had figured he was more likely to have the guys agree with him, than ever have that idiot swallow his pride and accept that what he was doing was wrong.

Claire Rosalind
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The manager has certainly set up Ryan to develop heat stroke (dancing for an hour in a suit at the hottest time of day). His actions continue to border on the criminal, if they are not actually criminal (such as manipulating Ryan's mother into sex or placing Ryan into situations which will adversely affect his health). The sooner the group can dump this sleaze bag, the better. I wonder when, and how, the lawyer will act!

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