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Do You Ship Us? - 26. For All To See

“Hey you.” Ryan pulls Jasper aside when the group goes into their practice room. “Are you alright?” He asks with a gentle frown on his face.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” Jasper shrugs, looking over at the rest of the guys, caught up in conversation and unaware that Jasper and Ryan were lagging behind the group.

“You’ve barely spoken to me since we told Blake about us, he actually asked me this morning if we broke up, because you’ve been noticeably avoiding me. Might I remind you, it’s not your face Blake will be using as a punching bag if he thinks something bad has happened between us.” Ryan points at his face as he makes the joke.

“I’ll talk to him and make sure he doesn’t ruin your face.” Jasper promises with a laugh, turning to walk into the room.

“Will you at some stage talk to me? I’d like to think our relationship isn’t over just because you’ve told someone about us. If you’re already that uncomfortable...”

“I’m not.” Jasper’s denial was pointless but seemed to amuse Ryan.

“You are a little bit.”

“I can come into your room when everyone else is asleep and show you how not uncomfortable I am.” The words come out before he even realizes how suggestive he sounded and he looks at Ryan with as much shock as Ryan was looking at him. "Don't look at me." Jasper says quickly, escaping the awkwardness before it could engulf him. Blake picks up on it the moment he's in the room and throws his arm over Jasper's shoulder, waiting for the right opportunity to ask him if he's ok.

“Yeah, question though, have you ever said something that insinuated you were ready for something you don’t think you’re ready for?” Jasper asks him.

“Are you being a prick tease?” Blake asks impressed, wiggling his eyebrows at him. “What’d you say?” he asks, intrigued by what Jasper was so worried about.

“Something along the lines of showing him how comfortable I was with the relationship.” Jasper crosses his arms, looking over at the smile on Ryan’s face. “I meant like, kissing. Not doing ‘things’.” Jasper says quietly, covering his cheeks as he feels them burning with embarrassment.

“The thrill is in the chase, as long as you don’t make it complete torture.” Blake winks at him. “Be clear about what you are ready for though, being suggestive and a tease, is fun only if you both know where you stand. If you’re giving him the idea ‘things’ will happen then turning him down he could lose interest.”

“Yeah I'm a little worried about that because I've kinda drawn the line but, it's not that nothing will happen, just I don't know. You probably don't want to talk about this?” Jasper sighs.

“As your best friend, it’s my job to be cool with talking about your relationship stuff.” Blake shrugs, patting Jasper’s shoulder. “You’re the awkward one.” He nudges Jasper and walks over to the other guys.

 

Jasper looks at the low light from the glow of Ryan’s phone under the door, before he knocks quietly and opens the door slowly, peeking in at Ryan.

“Hello.” Ryan smiles at him, putting his phone on the bedside table but leaving the screen lit up so Jasper could see his way over to Ryan’s bed. Jasper walks in and closes the door quietly, walking to the bed in fear that he’d make a single noise and alert anyone else to their new nightly routine of sneaking into each other’s rooms, his cautious tip toeing was very amusing to Ryan. Jasper gets to the bed and climbs in nervously as Ryan pulls back the covers to invite him.

“We need to talk.” Jasper says quietly before Ryan can pull him in for the first kiss of the night.

“Ok, is it a bad thing?” Ryan asks hesitating on the kiss until he knew what was up.

“It might not be what you’re hoping to hear.” Jasper shrugs and looks at Ryan nervously. “I just, about what I said today, it came across a little... I just don’t want you to think more will happen right now because I’m not, there yet.” Jasper tells him. Ryan gives a relieved smile and brings him close for a gentle passionate kiss. "Sorry if you are disappointed." Jasper sighs.

“I am not disappointed, fun as it is to tease you, I’m not wanting to rush things.” Ryan tells him with a smirk, feeling Jasper relax into his arms. “Everything at your own pace. I hope I haven’t made you feel pressured in way.” Ryan looks a little worried.

“No, no, no. Not at all. Just, I spoke to Blake and he said teasing is only fun if you both know where you’re at. So I thought I better make sure you know where we’re at so I’m not being a tease in a jerk way.” Jasper explains quickly.

“You asked Blake for advice?” Ryan asks amused. “How was thst for both of you?"

“He’s really trying to be an amazing friend about it all, trying so hard to treat me like he would if I was having girl troubles I guess. He always said he’d give me sex advice and so he’s trying to do that despite the fact that he’s a little out of his depth on this one.” Jasper couldn’t help but laugh thinking about how much he appreciated his friend’s effort towards his relationship. "And he did say I was the one being weird about all this so I am going to make an effort to just talk to him about stuff."

"Just as long as you also talk to me about stuff. Since I am your boyfriend and all that." Ryan reminds him.

"Still getting use to that." Jasper smiles and kisses Ryan softly and slowly, Ryan reciprocating the gentle kiss with a smile on his face. There wouldn't be much sleep between now and Jasper sneaking back to his room in an hour or so, but it was worth losing a few hours sleep to spend time together where it was just the two of them. Squished together in a single bed, whispering to each other and sharing kisses was the best part of the whole day.

Curiosity forces Jasper out of bed as he wakes to the sound of hushed voices in a concerned tone. It was early but it sounded like even Blake was up so something was clearly going down. As he steps out of his room, everyone looks towards him like a deer in headlights and the talking immediately stops.

“What’s up?” Jasper asks, looking at his friends concerned faces as he makes his way down the hallway. Blake stands up and walks over to Jasper, putting his arms around him quickly.

“I want you to know that we are all going to support you as much as we can.” Blake tells him as he squeezes his shoulders.

“What is going on?” Jasper asks again.

“It is true?” Simon asks, taking his phone over to Jasper and showing him the news report declaring Jasper as gay. Jasper looks at it and gasps, shocked and pushing Blake away so he can grab the phone from him and read the article, scrolling down to see a photo of himself kissing a man.

“Holy shit.” Jasper sniffles back tears and covers his mouth. Fear running through him along with a pang of violation. He was barely ready for one person to know, let alone the whole world and yet the right to privacy was stripped from him while he was sleeping. People already commenting their opinions, good and bad.

“Jasper.” Ryan walks out of his room and straight over to Jasper, putting his arms around him and holding him tight. “I saw it.”

“What am I going to do?” Jasper lets out a sob, his next move had to be calculated, it had to be right. Denying it to the media and coming out later would look bad on his part, yet coming out now was about 30 steps away from where he was at.

“We’ll work it out together.” Ryan rubs his back, trying his best to reassure him, his own mind racing with concerns about where this was going to take things for them.

“Ryan’s right Jasper, whatever is going on we will all work it out together.” Luke tells him with a sigh. Blake goes and sits down at the table, Simon joining him. Jasper pulls away from Ryan and looks into his eyes.

“I can handle it. You don’t have to.” Jasper states quietly, just out of earshot of the others.

“You don’t have to handle this on your own. I can do this with you. Better than pretending to support your relationship with some other guy.” Ryan tells him, wiping the tears from his cheek and giving him a sweet smile.

“I think it’s best that we take this one step at a time, let the shock of this news be enough and when everyone stops caring about it, we can hit them with the news of you and I as a couple. You don’t need the negative backlash and I think you’ll be able to support me better if you’re not coping questions and comments too.” Jasper whispers, Ryan couldn’t help but show his disappointment but simply nods, knowing Jasper was right. If there was a lot of negativity to come from this, Ryan knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it well.

"What about them?" Ryan asks, they both look over at the group.

“Ok.” Jasper sighs and glances at Ryan for a reassuring smile. “I am gay.” He announces to Luke and Simon. Everyone is silent for a few moments before Blake speaks up for his friend.

“Jasper came out to me a little while ago.” He confirms, Simon and Luke both looking at Blake now.

“Jasper, we support you and we love you no matter what your sexuality is.” Simon states calmly, standing up and going over to Jasper’s side to hug him. Jasper hugs him tightly, Luke gets up and walks over to him too.

“Thank you, I really appreciate the support and I’m so sorry I kept this from you. Since breaking up with Beth it hasn’t been easy for me to come to terms with it myself and I didn’t really want to include anyone else in it while I was still working things out myself. I wanted to come out to you when I was ready, not like this.” Jasper tells them, tears welling in his eyes again.

“Is the guy in the photo... Special to you?” Luke asks gently.

“He’s my boyfriend, so yeah. But for now I want to keep his name out of all of this for his own privacy and safety. Since I didn’t get the chance to come out my own way, the least I can do is protect his right to that himself.” Jasper sighs as he wipes away tears and takes a deep breath. Ryan places a hand on his shoulder and gives it a gentle rub, everyone else was doing hugs so he figured he could get away with this.

“I guess right now we’ve got bigger fish to fry anyway right? How do you want to handle this? Everyone is going to be asking.” Simon crosses his arms. “Whatever you want to do we’re behind you 100% but we should definitely talk it all through. Come up with a battle plan."

“I think the best thing we could do right now is get to work.” Jasper shrugs, a suggestion no one expected from him.

“The world has just seen photos of you kissing a guy and you’re thinking about work?” Luke laughs surprised. “What a time to become a workaholic.”

“I stirred the pot with Chris not long ago and I wouldn’t mind betting he had something to do with this, out of retaliation, knowing what he is like. I want to confront him about this. Besides, I’m sure he has an opinion about what he wants me to do and this could be a good opportunity to get proof of him being controlling and manipulative.” Jasper was handling this with impressive calmness. Almost more concerned about getting revenge on Chris than worrying about having just been outed to the world.

“You really think Chris did this?” Ryan asks, balling his fists up in anger.

“He has the most to gain from it right? Publicity stunt, and putting me back in line after I stood up to him. This seems like exactly something he would do.” Jasper answers then sighs. “Which is why it’s a good idea not to give him anything else to exploit about this relationship.” His words were aimed at Ryan, who was starting to feel the weight of what was happening, the feeling of losing control was starting to build.

“Well then, lets all go get ready.” Ryan turns and walks away quickly, he needed a minute to collect his thoughts. Jasper shrugs at everyone else who gives him sympathetic smiles as they head off to their rooms too. The moment he was sure he wouldn’t get seen sneaking in, Jasper lets himself into Ryan’s room, finding his boyfriend sitting on the floor with his head in his hands, his breathing was quick and his body was trembling slightly. Jasper approaches and crouches beside him.

“It’s ok. Don’t worry. This won’t hurt us. I promise. I’m going to make sure you’re not put out on display like this. Please appreciate your privacy. Chris can’t control us and he can’t use you in one of his stupid plots for attention. He’s going to regret messing with me.” Jasper tells him confidently. Ryan sighs and looks at Jasper, his cheeks flushed pink.

“I just feel awful that I’m not the one that can protect you here. I’m in that photo and you want me to stay out of it. I hate that.” Ryan admits.

“But look at how it’s effecting you already! You’re almost having a panic attack over this and it’s not even you that has to walk out that door after being outed to the whole world. You don’t have to worry about opening up your social media and seeing criticisms. I’m not saying you can’t come out. If you really want to then do it, I’m not going to stop you. My thought is just that you may want to wait it out and see what you’re getting yourself into before you do that, you know? You don’t dive into a river without knowing what’s in the water.” Jasper puts his hand on Ryan’s knee. “The guys have accepted me so maybe that’s a start. Maybe let them know when you’re ready and they can know about us. But if there is any chance I can keep Chris from using us as a way to hurt you, me or any of the other guys, I will take that option. It makes sense that for now, that you play it safe.”

“Everything you’re saying makes so much sense, but all I want to do is go back to last night where I was holding you against me while we slept and feeling like we were indestructible.” Ryan sighs and strokes Jasper’s cheek.

“Trust me, if I could go back, I would have been a lot more grateful for how simple it was and I would have kissed you at least another hundred times before closing my eyes. We’re going to have to be so much more careful from now on.” Jasper stares at Ryan’s lips, feeling desperate for s comforting kiss right now, but also afraid of getting Ryan into any more trouble. “Speaking of which, I should go before anyone notices that I’m in your room.” Jasper pulls himself away, heading to the door and slipping out as quietly as he could before rushing to get ready.

Claire Rosalind
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Yeah I have no doubt Chris is behind this. The other members need to stand up to him as well, Jasper shouldn't be the only one fighting for the band. 

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If Chris is behind the leak, he should remember that two can play at that game; and Chris stands to lose his family--maybe even go to jail--if Jasper goes public with his actions in forcing Ryan's mother to have sex.

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Chris needs to realize that all he’s doing is adding fuel to the fire so to speak. By putting it out on social media that Jasper is gay is the wrong way to get the band back under his control. I hope Jasper and the other guys take all of this to the lawyer and then tell him to do whatever he can to get Chris out as their manager and also make sure that all of the embarrassing things he wants to keep hidden about himself are brought to the public’s attention and let’s see how he likes being in the spotlight because he’s the one who’s being treated like crap. Hell I would love to see Chris lose everything he’s stolen from the guys he was supposed to be managing. I’m sure that with the help of Jasper, Blake, Luke and Simon, Ryan and Jules will come out on top of the world without having to hide from it.

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