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Do You Ship Us? - 32. Falling

"You’re ok!” Fi bursts into the room, scaring the absolute crap out of every single one of them who were in a zombie like state of exhaustion, lazing around the room. Ignoring their initially terrified expressions at her entrance, Fi rushes in and over to each of them to give them all a quick hug.

“We’re fine.” Luke smiles brightly at her when she reaches him at last.

“Thank god. I cannot believe someone would do that to you guys. I mean a bomb threat, that’s horrific.” Fi shakes her head and runs her fingers through her hair. “I’ve been so worried the whole trip here. You cannot possibly go home there, it’s not safe. If someone is making threats like this, that means they know where you live and after the news reports, so will everyone else, you're all over every website, it's trending on Twitter, the 5 of you and the address of your apartment all in a single photo.

"So it's been confirmed a threat?" Luke asks, not taking his phone out to check it himself.

"Yes! Thank god." She crosses her arms and sighs.

“Right, we all need to make arrangements for accommodation, keep ourselves safe.” Simon tells them, already on his phone to work out his plans from here. Jasper turns his head to the side and looks at Ryan, mouthing the words ‘your mum?’ Ryan nods and takes his phone out, typing a text to his mum asking if he and Jasper could stay with her for a while.

“Good morning, you’re all here very early.” Chris walks in the room with papers in his hands. “We need to take all the time we have because after your performance last night, the opportunity came up for us to go on a mini tour of our own to 5 states. Starting in California off to Florida, New York, Missouri and finishing in San Francisco. How does that sound?” Chris grins at them, oblivious apparently, to their current predicament.

“Our apartment was evacuated this morning over a bomb threat, you’re not even going to weigh in on that?” Jasper asks stunned that he hadn’t even mentioned it.

“You're all alive right? No one got hurt, it was just a threat. Onto positive things. I let slip we were working on a new album and chatted to a few venues to book a show to promote it.” Chris shrugs, holding up the papers in his hand, the grin on his face turning slightly devious.

“Did I miss something? We’re not really working on the new album yet? We haven't even picked out songs or set a theme or anything.” Blake frowns and looks around at the other members who looked just as surprised and confused.

“That’s what these are. Since you’ve not brought anything new to me in a while, I went back through old songs you’ve presented to me and come up with a few that are a good enough start. One of yours.” Chris starts by handing Blake the one on top of the pile.

“No, I’m not performing this one.” Blake screws up the song in his hands and throws it lazily towards the bin, it misses but he's already sitting down again and shows no intention of getting up to throw it in properly.

“You are kidding me.” Jasper was the next to comment on the song choice Chris had given him.

“You’ve been commenting that you want to perform more from the heart, don’t complain about the things you wrote and felt.” Chris shrugs and continues onto Luke and finally to Simon. “The tour starts in 3 weeks so unless you come up with better, this is what you’re performing. Fi, I need you with me to discuss how to style the boys for this event.” He walks out of the room and Fi follows him reluctantly, giving everyone a polite wave as she leaves. The moment the door closed the members all instantly start complaining to each other, except Ryan who’s mum called so he walked away from the noise to talk to her.

“Ok, did everyone else get a song they absolutely cannot share with the world now? Mine is ‘Forbidden Girl’ and it’s so obviously about Fi that I would rather crawl under a rock and die, than perform it.” Luke rolls his eyes. “It seems deliberate.” Jasper can't help but smile at the comment, finally they are catching on that Chris doesn't care about their band and their personal safety or their image.

“You’re not wrong, I'd rather pull my nails out with a rusty set of pliers than have this one ever be made public. The Back Up, the most desperate song about me waiting for Jasper to finally break up with Beth so I could have my chance. Now I have my chance and she would be so turned off by it. Probably even insulted and fans would speculate that I broke them up so I could have her myself.” Blake scoffs. Curiosity leads Jasper to go and pick up Blake's lyric sheet and start uncrumpling it.

“You wrote a song about my girlfriend? That’s a bit rude.” Jasper was only poking fun at it but Blake gave him a guilty and apologetic look.

“See, I’m a shit friend.” Blake sighs, getting up and snatching away the lyrics before Jasper gets a chance to read them. “What was your song about?”

"Oh, mine was a fun song but I just wouldn’t want to sing it now because I called it ‘Just Pretend You Love Me’. Which, you know, was meant to sound like this fun 'living in the moment and pretending we're in love' kinda song but to some people would sound really insulting and make me seem like I don't take relationships seriously.” Jasper shakes his head and glances over to see what Ryan was doing, hoping he'd not overheard his song description.

“You all make relationships sound so much more complicated than they should be.” Simon re-reads the old lyrics he had in front of him and smiles. ”This is why I don’t make my songs personal. I can perform this without insulting anyone or ruining any relationships.”

“You know, usually ballads are meant to be from the heart. So maybe you’re the one doing it wrong.” Jasper smiles as Ryan comes up beside him again. “Everything alright?” He asks quietly.

“Mum was just worried, it’s all good for us to stay there.” Ryan whispers back and takes the lyric sheet from Jasper, reading what his boyfriend had written before they met, with a raised eyebrow. As he reads through it Blake watches him, with a look that Jasper would talk to him about later. He appreciated that Blake cared so much, but he was already over the judgmental glares he was giving. Ryan hands the song back to Jasper without a word.

"Just one of my ever popular meaningless and cliche' pop songs." Jasper tries to play it off and Ryan just gives a smile and a shrug, though he was definitely going to need to talk about Jasper's lack of emotional depth later too. All Jasper wanted to do was sleep but he already had list of things in his mind, that he would have to deal with first.

 

Everyone was tired and it was definitely not a training day, despite the lecture Chris bothered to give when he found them all lounging around the room on their phones trying to organize accommodation. He basically got a glare from all of them until he stopped talking and gave up, accepting they were all going to head off early as soon as they had somewhere to sleep set up.

“Jasper, where are you staying?” Blake sits next to him on the floor as soon as he finds a moment where Ryan is stuck in a conversation with Luke.

“With Ryan’s mum.” Jasper answers quietly.

“In the same bed?” Blake asks with a frown.

“As his Mum? No, I think that'd be a little weird don't you?” Jasper jokes. Blake rolls his eyes and gives Jasper a stern look. “Ok lets get this over with, what's wrong?” Jasper sighs, he had no energy to deal with the tension between them.

“I don’t want Ryan to take advantage of the fact you’re a forgiving and understanding person.” Blake tells him in an annoyed whisper.

“He’s not going to, I am forgiving and understanding because he was genuinely remorseful and distressed about it. I could tell he hadn't wanted to do that and to upset me and he didn't want to lose me, so I took the time to understand and now that I get it, I can forgive the one off mistake that it was. But I’m falling for him Blake, so please don’t start problems there, I would really like for you two to get along.” Jasper pleads, feeling like he's telling a kid to be nice to the new step parent.

“You’re allowed to fall for him, he’s your boyfriend. I’m your best friend, it’s my job to look for the red flags you may be overlooking because you’re falling for him.” Blake shrugs. Jasper smiles at Blake's words, he did really appreciate that Blake was looking out for him like this, even if it was a bit over the top.

“And the first red flag you’re going to point out is us sharing a bed at his mum’s house?” Jasper jokes again to lighten the conversation.

“The first was you two sharing a bed with your clothes piled on the floor after he told you he’d kissed his ex, actually.” Blake states, crossing his arms and staring at Jasper who turns pink in the cheeks immediately and his mouth falls open in a shocked gasp.

“Oh my god. We were wearing underwear. Nothing happened. I let him stay because otherwise he would have been in his room having a panic attack about whether or not I was actually able to forgive him. He needed the reassurance, the comfort while we slept was important for both of us. I needed to know he wanted to be with me and he needed to know I wasn’t going to shut him out. It was mutual comforting but it wasn’t sexually intimate.” Jasper assures him.

“I’m so relieved. I thought you guys had done it. I was going to lecture you." Blake gives a relieved sigh.

"No." Jasper says very quickly. "We're not anywhere near there. Oh my god. We're not even anywhere near doing other its." Jasper states completely embarrassed.

"You guys have seriously not done anything yet?" Blake frowns at him like this is the more alarming problem in the relationship now. Jasper shakes his head. "Well I guess, at least you're not rushing. Make sure you’re taking your time with this, I’m really not sure about him cheating on you and being allowed to sleep beside you like nothing happened.”

“It was a kiss.” Jasper rolls his eyes.

“Yeah it was a kiss, but it wasn’t a kiss with you. He’s not supposed to be kissing anyone else. That’s kinda the point of having a relationship with someone.

“You don’t think I know that? You don’t think he knows that? We’re going to work through it this once, if he’s worth it, this will all work out. If he’s not worth it, you can punch him. I promise. Until then, please trust me that Ryan and I aren’t rushing anything and we’re taking this seriously. We are definitely going to take our time on working through this. I honestly needed him to be by my side holding me last night and I know that sounds dumb because of what he did but I believe he didn’t mean to do it.” Jasper sighs and looks over at Ryan.

“What worries me is that he might do more things he doesn’t mean to and you may be forgiving to the point of naiivety.” Blake sighs, looking at Jasper and giving an apologetic shrug for being so blunt.

“That’s where you come in remember? You are my outside the situation 'voice of reason'.” Jasper nudges him with a smile. “I appreciate how much you care, but I’d really like you to give Ryan the benefit of the doubt on this one. His ex is trash, he fell into an old habit and we are moving past it."

“Does anyone else need somewhere to stay?” Simon gets everyone’s attention. Most of the answers were either mumbles or just shaking their head. “Ok, well then we’re all tired, lets call it a day. Get home, have some rest and we will be into it tomorrow.” He suggests as he gets up from the floor, being the first to walk out, Luke follows not far behind.

“Thank god.” Jasper stands up and walks over to Ryan with a grin. “Lets get out of here.”

“Oh, straight home?” Ryan asks.

“Is there somewhere you would rather go?”

“No, it’s just my mum won’t be home yet, she doesn’t finish work for another hour or so?” Ryan tells him.

Oh, so it’ll be just you and me?” Jasper wriggles his eyebrows. “Now I feel like we should rush to take advantage of all the time we will have alone.” He winks, more than happy to flirt suggestively despite having just assured Blake that they were taking things slowly. Ryan gives a nervous smile and shakes his head,

“Come on, a long nap sounds like exactly what we need.” Ryan suggests, putting his arm around Jasper’s shoulders as they walk towards the door.

“Don’t turn me on with such hot words.” Jasper laughs.

“I’m going to let you nap all afternoon.” Ryan says in a sexy whisper.

“Oh please.” Jasper sighs.

“I’ll let you nap so hard, you’ll wake up more refreshed than you’ve ever been.” Ryan continues.

“You better not be all talk.” Jasper smirks.

“Are you seducing him with talk about napping?” Blake asks, looking up from his phone very confused as the couple passes by him. Jasper and Ryan both just laugh, looking over at Blake. "Well now I'm much less concerned." Blake makes a point of looking past Ryan at Jasper who gives him the finger, knowing what Blake was 'less concerned about'.

“Sorry Blake.” Ryan shrugs, feeling like there's less tension between them already.

I don’t know what was the weird part of that, hearing you guys sexy talking, or the topic you were using as sexy talk.” Blake jokes, the three of them walk out of the room together laughing.

“Where are you staying?” Ryan asks.

“Not with you two.” Blake laughs to himself. “I’m going to my brother’s.” He shrugs.

Oooooh! You’re in for one badass night then. Be careful though, turning up to work hungover is one thing but bloodshot eyes might end up being the next rumour to get spread through the gossip sites. Jasper warns quietly.

“Killjoy. I promise I'll be fine, I'm not even sure he's still doing that. You guys behave too though, Ryan has to work for your forgiveness, remember." Blake points his fingers at his eyes then at Ryan to let him know he's being watched. "Enjoy your nap.” He winks as he walks off down the street with his hands in his pockets.

Shall we?” Ryan shrugs at Jasper.

“You just can’t get me into your bed fast enough, can you?” Jasper goes straight back to flirty and suggestive comments, making Ryan laugh as the two head towards his mum’s place. All the flirting had them both on the edge of desperately wanting to be alone together and also a little confused about what exactly they would do when they were home. They were exhausted so a nap was the logical idea, but there was excitement in the thought of complete privacy together. In the back of Jasper’s mind though was Blake’s warning about taking things slowly especially since his trust was betrayed. No matter how much he was starting to want to move the relationship forwards, Ryan kissing his ex, had put a divot in the road forward and Jasper couldn’t just forget that even if his body wanted him to.

 

As soon as they get to Ryan’s mum’s house they head upstairs to his bedroom, at the door Ryan grabs Jasper, sweeping him up and carrying him over to the bed before playfully throwing him on it and climbing on beside him. Jasper smiles as he feels Ryan’s body against him, every part of him wanting to let things drift further but caution holding him back.

“Sweet dreams.” Ryan whispers and kisses the back of his neck, feeling Jasper shiver at the touch of his lips.

“You too.” Jasper turns his head to face Ryan and kisses him gently on the lips, the kiss so soft that they both felt an undeniable pull to hold each other tighter and kiss each other deeper, for a few blissful moments, they let themselves get swept up in the intensity before reluctantly parting.

“I’m supposed to be letting you nap.” Ryan reminds him, sighing and lying on his back.

“This doesn’t feel like napping.” Jasper smirks.

Mmm, it’s a bit of a novelty having you in my room when we’ve got the house to ourselves. But I wouldn’t feel right if.” Ryan stops himself. “I mean I don’t deserve anything from you after last night. You honestly should be more upset with me. I probably shouldn’t even be here with you. I’ll leave you to rest.” Ryan sighs again and sits up but Jasper quickly grabs him by his shirt and pulls him back.

“Stay, please. I don’t want to sleep alone in your bedroom, that’d be weird.”

“Are you sure?” Ryan lies back down.

“As long as you promise to not annoy or seduce me, then yes. Stay.” Jasper rolls over, getting comfy and closing his eyes. A moment later, Ryan is against him again, just holding him close. Ryan couldn’t wipe the smile from his face as he lay holding his boyfriend, knowing Jasper wanted him there. The thought of having someone who could show him acceptance for his flaws, gentleness with love and want nothing but his presence while he slept had never been something Ryan thought he would have, and honestly left him wondering exactly how to be in a relationship that was simple, with someone who was genuine. He could tell that his feelings for Jasper were different to his feelings with Damien, he thought he’d been in love with Damien, but there was no way how he was feeling right now, were less than how he had felt during the relationship that caused him more pain than anything. He felt for the first time, as though he might actually be experiencing what was described in love songs and fantasized about in movies. He just didn’t want to be wrong again and lose himself by falling too fast.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Awesome chapter. Jasper and Ryan are slowly sorting out there issues. Chris is trying to cause problems for the band.

Edited by chris191070
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Did I miss something in a previous chapter where Fi ended up getting to keep her job? I could have sworn I read where Chris fired her.  

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