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Do You Ship Us? - 20. Relationship?

“Please welcome the guys from The Obsolete!” The music show host introduces the guys who were all sitting on a lounge together. Everyone waves towards the camera recording the show, excited smiles. Most of the time being in a band felt just their job, but at times like this, the thrill of being considered celebrities came back and they got to indulge in the experience. Jasper was sitting between Ryan and Blake, feeling a little extra bubbly today, before the show he'd been mostly messing about making jokes with Blake but he had been told by Chris to play up their bromance on camera. He had every intention of that of course, because while fans were watching him he loved nothing more than getting a reaction out of them.

“Thanks for having us on your show.” Simon smiles at the host politely.

“You’re so welcome. We’re very keen to see your new music video although I have to admit I’ve seen it myself and I think your fans will absolutely love it. Especially Ryan’s dance routine, I nearly needed a cold shower after watching it.” She jokes, fanning herself with her prompt cards.

“So did Ryan, since he nearly died of heatstroke during filming it, hey.” Blake grins, reaching behind Jasper and patting Ryan on the shoulder. “Luckily we were able to get out of our suits before we all suffered the same fate.” He states, his hand moving to Jasper's shoulder like it had just been an excuse to put his arm around him.

“Wow, really? So it was the hottest dance routine then!” The interviewer laughs, she was a little flustered, not that Jasper blamed her at all, Ryan's dance routine was extremely sexy.

“It was so hot, I did genuinely think I was going to die. I have no idea how many different parts of this routine were cut and pasted together to look like I was alive and coping with the heat.” Ryan shakes his head, grabbing a water bottle and having a big sip of it as he remembers the thirst he'd felt that day.

“Well there you go, the music video that nearly killed Ryan. We're so glad you're ok because we definitely want to see more of you." She states, quickly looking at her prompts to re-focus herself. "So Jasper, you’re newly single, I know you like to keep up with your fans as much as you can so you probably know all about the buzz in your fandom with speculations of you dating other members of the band?” The interviewer asks. Jasper just laughs then licks his lips and nods.

“You say that like this is new and wasn’t going on while I was already dating. But yes I am up to date with the 'ships'.” He smirks.

"Obviously, you’ve got a bromance with Blake going on, but since Ryan joined the two of you have been really close too. We’ve actually got a poll going asking people who their OTP ship is in this band with you and the two top ones are 51% BlaSper and 37% RySper. Sorry Simon and Luke but you’re in a very low percent on this poll apparently only 12% of fans could see chemistry between either of you and Jasper.”

“I love that we don’t even get a look in.” Luke comments to Simon.

“Frankly not being one of Jasper’s top choices suits me just fine.” Simon states with a relieved sigh.

“It's because, these guys have been clear about where to draw the line since early on. I know who I get away with flirting with and who will just look at me like I need to shut up. I think the most affectionate I’ve been with Simon is a high-5 and with Luke we may have touched hands trying to do our seat-belts up at the same time.” Jasper laughs then turns his attention back to Ryan and Blake. "These two are the ones who don’t mind me invading their personal space or flirting with them.” Jasper leans against Blake and winks at Ryan. “Isn’t that right boys?” He sighs contently.

“It’s pretty much like this all the time.” Blake shrugs. “I’ve basically just come to accept it.”

“So if it were to be one of them, who would you most likely date and why?” The interviewer asks.

"We release a music video, and this is what the fans want to ask most?" Simon asks to Luke who just shrugs back in response.

“You want me to pick favorites? Really?” Jasper shakes his head, biting his lip and trying not to look flustered coming up with a response as he sits up straight. “Ok, for one, these two could not be further apart. I mean sitting between them is seriously like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Here we have a guy who is not human, but is instead handcrafted and chiseled to perfection by actual angels.” He gestures at Ryan. “And on the other side we have a guy who is trapped in the emo stage, acts like the bad boy and introduced me to tequila, wants to go to hell ‘for fun’.”

“We are very different people.” Blake laughs, taking his hand off Jasper's shoulder. “I can’t believe we only have a 51% ship rate, you’ve been openly flirting with me for ages and he's here for a few months and is already wrecking the hierarchy.” He looks past Jasper to give Ryan a possessive glare.

“Obviously, I’ve known you for longer, we’re such close friends and I’ve always loved you. I know what you're like when you like someone and you’re an absolute catch. He’s all tough on the outside but sweet on the inside. As a couple though, I mean our friendship is built on insults so I imagine we would be the exact same if we dated and that just wouldn’t be healthy. Also Blake is already taken so that kinda leaves eye-candy here by default.” Jasper checks out Ryan with a smirk. “I’m not complaining.” He shrugs, Ryan felt surprisingly comfortable with playing along.

"Hah." He leans forward to look past Jasper at Blake, nudging Blake's hand off his shoulder and putting his arm around Jasper instead.

“And I totally didn’t mean to make you sound like a second choice, I mean I also don’t want to sound like a complete fangirl, but just looking at you, anyone would want to date you. You’re visually flawless, I really didn’t understand how attractive male dancers were. The idea that dancing making you less manly is so inaccurate, have you seen this guys’ muscles? Honestly, zoom in on his legs some time, or his biceps, actually lets get a petition going to have him flash his abs in every music video. I’ve seen him in nothing but a towel around his waist, still damp from a shower and that vision alone makes him not only the first choice, but the only choice. Looks aside though, he’s such a gentle, romantic person but he also comes out with these one-liners every now and then that actually leave me speechless, which a lot of people aren’t able to do. He really takes me by surprise. I think in a relationship, we would really mesh well together and since meeting him I’ve noticed I’ve toned down some of my attitude a little bit, because he’s really just not the kind to have a confrontation with, so I don’t feel right arguing over little things with him.” Jasper openly fawns over Ryan, knowing he could get away with it completely, being passed off as part of his act and charm.

“Ryan, how are you feeling about all that? Not going to walk around in a towel anymore?” The interviewer asks, almost blushing herself at the stream of compliments pouring from Jasper.

“Well, actually I kinda think maybe we should get married?” Ryan suggests playfully, a grin on his face. Jasper just looks at him and starts laughing, licking his lips nervously and sighing.

“Maybe buy me a drink first.” Jasper suggests, looking away from Ryan.

"I bought you a drink for your birthday." Ryan reminds him and Jasper is momentarily shocked into silence. Half his brain trying to come up with a smooth reply, the other just screaming with the thrill of Ryan confidently playing this game with him.

"See, most of the time he’s so quiet and shy, this is one of those lines where he surprises me and I don’t know what to say back." Jasper just laughs it off.

“Alright, there you have it, RySper shippers will be thrilled with that answer. As for the rest of your fans, get excited, because here comes their newest music video!” The host waves to the camera, as do the band on the couch before the camera goes off and they all shake hands with the host of the show, before heading back to the green room.

“You know if you stopped flirting with everyone, you probably won’t be asked those kinds of questions.” Luke teases playfully on the way into the green room.

“Where would be the fun in that?” Jasper shrugs, casting Ryan a cheeky smirk.

“Well at least Ryan is the new target, I can get some of my masculinity back.” Blake jokes, nudging Jasper.

“Don’t be rude. It’s a privilege to be my target, it doesn’t make you any less masculine.” He states as he smacks Blake's arm.

"Gay~ You hit like a pansy~" Blake replies and Jasper just rolls his eyes but glances over at Ryan who gives him a small smile.

“Well Jasper, looks like they have gone ahead and started that petition.” Luke calls out, showing his phone to Ryan who just laughs and looks over at Jasper.

"Thanks Jasper. I can't wait for that to be implemented." He says sarcastically, hoping to change Jasper's mood a little because Blake's comment had thrown him a little. He'd never heard Blake call Jasper 'gay' before and figured it might have been a bit of a shock to hear it now when he's still trying to work himself out.

“You can’t go from being a topless waiter at Hen’s parties, to being a prude. You were hired for being eye-candy and a dancer, I say, a shirtless dancing scene every now and then won’t kill you.” Jasper comments with a smirk, looking back at his phone and trawling twitter to see everything he was tagged in. So many mentions of him 'drooling over Ryan' and the hashtags of #HandcraftedbyAngels #RySper were circulating almost of their mentions.

“I don’t actually think ‘eye-candy’ is on my contract.” Ryan frowns.

“Are you sure about that? All the other dodgy shit on there, I wouldn't be surprised. If not, I'm sure we can get it added. New clause amendment; Ryan has to flash his abs in every music video.” Jasper winks at him.

“You know, I’m actually feeling a little left out. My self-esteem needs some of your flirting.” Blake orders, holding his phone out as he walks over to Jasper to take a photo together. “BlaSper fans need this.” He states and the two pull faces at the camera, then take a photo using their hands to make a heart shape. #BlaSper #Who'sRyan? Blake posts the photos. "Is it cruel that I love leading them on this much?" Blake asks with a satisfied sigh, genuinely pleased to be stirring up the beginnings of a fandom war, it had been too easy when BlaSper ruled the shipping but a little competition was fun to him.

 

“So, you think we’d make a good couple?” Ryan smiles and leans against the door frame to Jasper’s bedroom.

“Well, in theory.” Jasper nods, putting his note book down to give Ryan his full attention, he waves Ryan into his room and rolls onto his side, propping his head up on his hand, pointlessly playing with his hair in the few seconds Ryan turns his back on him to quietly close the door so as not to bring attention to them.

“Ok, are you playing hard to get or something? You were very clear about your interest in me during the interview and now you’re saying we’d be good together ‘in theory’. Like it’s not something you actually want to do.” Ryan asks as he walks over towards Jasper's bed.

“I’m having fun.” Jasper sits up and taps the bed beside himself for Ryan to sit down. “Stop pushing the couple thing, I’m still getting use to the idea of liking guys. I just want to have fun, we don’t have to be dating.” Jasper smiles to himself, he'd been waiting for Ryan to come in and talk to him about what he'd said in the interview and was hoping to sneak another chance to kiss him. They hadn't had any time alone since the day they met with Daniel and even then Ryan was too busy worrying about his contract and what his rights were thanks to the revelation of the NDA, to relax and enjoy their time alone together.

“No Jasper, I don't like feeling like I'm still just an experimental thing to you. You either like me and we move forward, or you don't want a relationship and this becomes platonic. I just need to know. I have never been the 'casual hook up' type, you know I like you, make up your mind and stop making me question if you're using me.” Ryan walks out, closing Jasper’s bedroom door behind himself. Jasper sighs and lies down again, rolling his eye at Ryan's comment. Having a boyfriend felt like a leap into the irreversible territory of accepting his sexuality and despite clearly having no problem playing it up, actually accepting it was another kind of invisible barrier. He did understand though, that it wasn't fair to use Ryan, and he definitely wanted to spend more time getting to know him, so he wasn't going to be able to avoid the idea of a relationship forever. He gets up, opening the door and heading down the hall to the lounge room where Simon was sitting on his own watching T.V.

“Where’s everyone else?” Jasper asks, going straight to the fridge to get a drink for himself. He wanted to know where Ryan was mostly, but everyone else just so he could be sure he and Ryan would have a chance to revisit their conversation.

“Luke is out with someone, Blake is out somewhere, Ryan walked out before, didn't say where he was going but I’m assuming he's on the roof, he seems to like it up there.” Simon shrugs and looks over at Jasper who was just nodding impressed.

“Do you tag us with GPS things?” Jasper asks sarcastically.

“No, I’m just nice to everyone so they tell me things.” Simon replies. “Either that or you all think you’re not old enough to do things without answering first to an older adult." Jasper tilts his head, agreeing with the second part of his statement. "Come and talk to me.” Simon gives him a smile and pats the couch Jasper walks over and sits down as he's told.

“What’s up?” He and Simon rarely just sat together and had a conversation so it was a bit odd that Simon wanted to talk to him.

“You and I have never really had a close relationship, I’ve always found you to be a lot more unnecessarily outspoken.” Simon sighs.

“That’s a polite way of saying you think I’m bitchy.” Jasper frowns at him, waiting for the point.

“I don’t tend to build close relationships with people who are outspoken because I really try to be considerate and respect people and I’ve wrongfully judged you because you care an awful lot about us and you’ve shown that time and time again, through the way you tried to warn us about Chris. The way you went about it was rude and I always hated the way you spoke to him, but you were right that he was using us and that he wasn’t treating us right. I just want you to know that I just thought you were super rude, but I can see now that you’re really just blunt.” Simon tells him with a sigh. “I didn’t describe that nicely, I’m sorry.”

“That’s alright, I always kinda thought of you as bit of a pushover.” Jasper sips at his drink and smiles at Simon, making Simon feel less bad about his badly phrased attempt at acknowledging Jasper's good intentions.

“See that’s what I mean.” Simon laughs, he watches Jasper finish his drink and his amusement fades to a frown. “You know, he mentioned about your drinking the other day and none of us thought you had a problem, but you are worrying me a little bit.” Simon comments, Jasper looks at his empty glass and stands up from the lounge with a sigh.

“I don’t have a drinking problem.” He says and puts his glass in the sink. “See, I can stop at one drink. This is why we all treat you like the dad of the group and tell you shit, I don't need you to parent me, I'm old enough to drink and drinking is fun. Stop panicking about me enjoying this new privilege.” Jasper walks off back down the hallway annoyed, he checks that Simon's not watching and sneaks into Ryan's room to wait for him to come back.

“What are you doing in my room?” Ryan asks only a few minutes later as he opens his bedroom door and sees Jasper lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling deep in thought.

“Did you know, for 21 years of my life, my only problem was that I was a shitty boyfriend with too much attitude and an unhealthy need for attention and admiration from strangers. Now that I’m 21, I’m an alcoholic with commitment issues and my ‘attitude’ is probably going to be given the title of ‘anger issues’.” Jasper looks over at Ryan, hugging his pillow. “Do you think there’s something wrong with me?” He sighs, he didn't really know what to make of any of what he was feeling right now. It was reassuring to see him being open like this, because so much of the way Jasper acted in every other circumstance was slightly exaggerated. He was either really happy, really flirty, really annoyed or really concerned about others. Really a lot of things, but not often was he actually being real.

“I never said you had commitment issues.” Ryan frowns and closes the door behind himself, surprised to see Jasper the one opening up. Jasper raises an eyebrow at him skeptically. “I didn’t. I just questioned why you didn’t want a relationship.” Ryan rolls his eyes and walks over to the bed.

“We work together, live together and have people keeping tabs on us. Do you really think a relationship would work? What if we have a fight and working together gets affected by it? What if we get clingy with each other you get jealous when I playfully flirt with Blake? What if I am really just shitty at being a boyfriend and we break up and there’s all this dramatic tension between us and the entire band falls apart because of it? So much can go wrong. There's a lot to lose if I fuck things up.” Jasper sighs and sits up, watching Ryan consider what he’d said.

“What makes you think you'll fuck it up?" Ryan frowns at him, genuine insecurity from the guy that paraded confidence around for everyone to see. Jasper bites his lip and shakes his head, deciding not to give an answer, already letting himself be too vulnerable even starting this conversation. "I use to be afraid of what if’s. Then I learned that I was just searching for excuses to avoid things. If you're not ready for a relationship, that's fine. I'm not going to rush you, I just can't do whatever this is.” He opens the door and gestures for Jasper to leave the room, disappointed that Jasper had shut off almost as quickly as he'd actually opened up.

Jasper walks out disappointed and confused, crosses the hall into his own room and flops onto his bed, taking his phone out and going through Instagram. He comes across the clip from the interview that one of the fans had tagged as #Rysper #ship #Getmarried #SorryBlake Jasper clicks on the video and watches it, a little surprised with how forward he’d been. Maybe it was a bit much, but what amused him most was that Ryan was just smiling affectionately at him the whole time he was speaking. Someone even pointed it out in the comments 'I want someone to talk about me the way Jasper talks about Ryan, and to look at me the way Ryan looks at Jasper. #couplegoals #love'. The words were scary, 'couple' 'love' but there was no denying that He did speak about Ryan like he was infatuated and Ryan was giving him the most soft and admiring gaze. Jasper groans as he thinks about it. So complicated in his head but realistically it didn't have to be.

Even though there were plenty of reasons his relationship with Beth hadn’t worked out, he’d never thought of their relationship as committed and barely thought of them as being old enough to be talking about a future together and marriage and kids. It was on her mind, sure, but Jasper always dismissed the idea on the pretense of their age and saying they should just have fun. Ryan was right, there was an underlying excuse, he didn’t love Beth. With Ryan though, that excuse seemed wrong because there was so much he knew he liked about the guy. At the core of it, after some thought, Jasper concludes that this time he was just afraid. Afraid of the other guys finding out, afraid of fans finding out, afraid of introducing Ryan as a boyfriend and having to face any backlash. He didn’t have to admit to anything if they weren’t a couple, but if they were, he’d have to admit he was in love with a guy, and that was the excuse. He didn’t want to have to admit those feelings to anyone else, vulnerability was never something he did well.

He takes out his phone and sends Ryan a message.

‘You may have had time to work it all out and be comfortable but I’m not there yet. That’s my excuse.’

He sends it and a few moments later gets a simple reply,

‘Check out my Insta.’

Jasper gets out of messages and scrolls back up his Instagram to see a new photo come up, Ryan in bed winking at the camera, shirtless, the sheet over his waist showing a bit of hip, enough to see he was naked. #Goodnight #Sweetdreams, Jasper smirks and opens up his messages again.

‘Tease’

He sends and looks at the picture again. It would be sweet dreams indeed with that in mind. He turns out his light and undresses to his underwear before climbing in bed and taking another look at the picture, letting his mind wander, thinking about how easily he could cross the hall to Ryan’s room and if he had the confidence, what else could happen from there. There was something about the way he felt when he looked at Ryan, how it felt to kiss him, that made Jasper fairly sure that though he didn't know what he else he wanted to do with him, he'd become a very quick learner if the opportunity was there. As the thoughts come to his mind he finds himself letting one of his hands move under the sheets, figuring that he'd already done the damage by letting himself enjoy kissing Ryan, so he might as well let hell take him if it was going to feel this good going there. He couldn't believe Ryan took such a seductive photo just for him, naked and winking at the camera. Trying to really make it impossible for Jasper to deny his attraction and the needs that were coming with that attraction.

“Jasper?” Blake burst into the room, startling him. Jasper drops his phone on his face, quickly grabbing it and getting out of the photo before Blake could catch a glimpse of who he was looking at when he got into this mood. The light comes from the hallway thankfully leaving it dark enough that Jasper had some hope that Blake hadn't noticed what he was interrupting, and Jasper is more than thankful to have only just allowed himself a moment.

“Jesus Christ Blake, ever heard of knocking?” Jasper snaps at him, rolling over onto his stomach and glaring over at his friend.

“Sorry, I saw your phone light and assumed you were still awake, were you...” Blake starts laughing and turns away. “I’m so sorry.” He gets out between laughs. "Did I walk in at a bad time?" He says in a mockingly over polite way, smirking at Jasper who was definitely not finding this visit funny at all.

“Hilarious. There better be a fire or something.” Jasper hides his face in his pillow embarrassed.

“No, no fire.” Blake continues laughing, trying to calm himself so he could actually talk. “I just got back from a date with Beth.” He says in a much more serious tone. “Although you seem to be comfortably over her.” He snickers.

“Oh, is that where you were? How was it?” Jasper lightens, sitting up and shoving his pillow on his lap.

“Good. It was weird though. I don’t know, I only kissed her on the cheek when we got back to her place and she said she’d like to go out with me again so that’s good I guess. It wasn’t how I expected, we didn’t have much to talk about. I think she’s still a little hurt over you to be honest, we didn’t talk about you but you were the elephant in the room you know.” Blake shrugs.

“Well I’m sure you’ll have her full attention soon enough.” Jasper gives him a reassuring smile.

“Thanks. Thanks for being cool about all this too. I know it’s probably weird for you.” Blake sighs.

“Walking in at a bad time to talk to me about your date with my ex-girlfriend, what’s weird about that?” Jasper says sarcastically. “5 guys living in a house together, I’m surprised this kind of thing hasn’t happened before.” Jasper shrugs it off.

“Well, I will point out that the doors have an incredible invention, internal locks and I can’t speak for everyone, but I use mine if I don’t want to be disturbed. Just an idea.” Blake winks then presses the lock button and steps out of the room. “I’ll leave you to it.” He laughs to himself, closing the locked door behind him. Jasper just picks up his pillow and covers his face, groaning into it and falling back flat against his bed. He sighs and moves the pillow under his head, puts his phone on his bedside table and snuggles up ready to go to sleep. The mood was definitely gone after the interruption, nothing else to do but sleep and hope he could approach the topic of an actual relationship with Ryan tomorrow, though he had no idea how they could sneak it around the guys while they all lived here, the more the potential of it taunted him though, the less he felt like he could live in a constant state of needing more and denying himself the chance to have it all.

Claire Rosalind
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Loved the music show interview. ❤️

Ryan has actually been managing his demons pretty well, while Jasper makes some baby steps but also a ton of excuses.

Blake walking in on Jasper was just a hoot! 😂 (Jasper is just lucky he hadn't reached the point of no return!) I wonder if he was hoping that someone else might come calling. :D

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As others have said, the interview part was awesome! Jasper said jokingly what he really meant, but only Ryan and he knew it. :)

As for Blake barging in on Jasper, I gotta say Jasper was right - with five guys living in the same house, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often! (if this were a Nifty story, they'd all be already having jerk-off sessions together) :P

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