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Do You Ship Us? - 34. A Complete Mess

Waking up in Ryan’s arms felt so relaxing and normal by the second morning. It wasn’t as difficult to get use to sharing the bed as Jasper thought and there was just about no discomfort, other than the cold breeze that was blowing through the window directly on Jasper’s face. He sighs and rolls over, feeling Ryan roll as well, Ryan lies on his back and Jasper rests his head on Ryan’s chest, comfortably. For a while he drifts in and out of sleep but the breeze was distracting him and eventually he gives up, reluctantly leaves the warm embrace of his boyfriend and the blankets and makes his way to the window to close it over before heading back to bed. He pauses at the bedside table, noticing Ryan’s diary was open and for a moment he thinks the wind must have blown it that way, but the open pages had writing on it he didn’t recognize as his or Ryan’s. He looks at it more closely as he recognizes the name at the bottom of the page: ‘Sincerely, your one true love Damien xx’. The sight of the name sent Jasper’s mind spinning as he grabs the diary and starts reading from the top.

‘You can’t replace me and you know it, still it’s funny to me to see you trying. The longer I watch you pretend to care about him the more I enjoy it. Lets get one thing straight though, sluts aren’t meant to spend the night. I guess I should have seen this coming but just a few days ago your lips were on mine, so he’s obviously not that special to you. Keep up the act all you want but I know you’ll never be over me and he’ll never replace me no matter how hard you try to show me I’m wrong. Just give it up Ryan, I’m the one you will come back to when you realize he’s a waste of your time. I don’t want to see him in your bed again, that is my place and I will make sure one way or another, that it remains that way.

Sincerely, your one true love Damien xx.’

Jasper turns to Ryan, his mind fuzzy with a thousand thoughts and emotions at once but he couldn’t think of how to express a single one. As if sensing the panic Jasper was feeling, Ryan opens his eyes and looks at Jasper confused then looks at the diary.

“I only read it because it’s not from you.” Jasper passes him the book and Ryan starts reading, sitting up quickly and running his fingers through his hair before ripping out the page and tossing the book aside.

“He’s an idiot. Don’t worry about him.” He says way too calmly as he reaches to pull Jasper in for a hug.

“I’m sorry what?” Jasper pulls away, standing up and looking at Ryan stunned.

“What?” Ryan frowns.

“He wrote that while we were sleeping. He came in while we were sleeping, saw us and wrote that and left it right beside me and you’re just going to say ‘don’t worry about it’? Don’t you find it creepy? He broke in here and wrote a note and...”

“He use to climb in my window all the time, it’s just a note. It’s not even threatening or anything. It’s best to just ignore it.” Ryan shrugs, getting out of bed and throwing the note in the bin next to his desk. “See, that’s how I feel about it. Not even worth thinking of. Straight in the rubbish.”

“You’re not going to call the cops or anything?” Jasper frowns.

“And tell them what?” Ryan crosses his arms.

“That your ex broke into your house while you slept!” Jasper snaps.

“He didn’t do anything they could charge him with. It’d be a waste of their time, and ours and it’d be giving him way too much attention for his obviously attention seeking actions. I promised you I’d have nothing to do with him, this is how I keep that promise.” Ryan walks over and again reaches for Jasper who was in a state of frustration and panic. “Relax ok, it’s fine.”

“I’m not comfortable being here if it’s like this. If he’s just welcome to climb in your window. Tell me you know that’s wrong and will do something about it.” Jasper asks and Ryan just looks at him nervously then licks his lips and sighs. “Fine, do nothing. But don’t expect me to hang around to be stared at intimidatingly while I am sleeping by your stalker ex. I can’t even stand being in this room knowing he was in here with us last night.” Jasper quickly grabs his bag and the few strewn clothes from the floor then storms out of the room, almost bumping into Jules in the hallway.

“Oh, sorry Jasper. Are you boys off to work?” She asks, eyeing Jasper with confusion.

“I am. I’m getting out of here.” Jasper shakes his head and rushes down the stairs. Ryan comes out of the door following Jasper quickly.

“Jasper you seriously don’t have to. I’ll talk to him and tell him to leave me alone.” Ryan calls after him.

“You will ‘talk’ to him? How?” Jasper stops and turns to Ryan.

“Not in person, I’ll send him a text.” Ryan answers.

“First you promise to have nothing to do with him, then you are going to tell me you have his phone number? Have you texted him since the kiss?” Jasper asks annoyed.

“Oh Ryan do not tell me you are in contact with Damien, you know what he’s like.” Jules starts lecturing, walking past Ryan and standing beside Jasper, crossing her arms as well.

“I haven’t been talking to him he just texted to ask if I was ok after the bomb threat, I just. I think that’s the best way to stop him doing this again. That’s all. I’ll even let you type the message and send it if you want to.” Ryan offers but he could sense the disapproval from both Jasper and his Mum.

“What did he do?” Jules turns to Jasper with a pitying smile.

“He came in and wrote us a lovely note to wake up to. Your son threw the note in the bin and expects me to stay here if he just sends his ex a message saying ‘leave me alone’. Do you think, knowing Damien as you do, that a text will do anything at all?” Jasper asks very matter of fact. Jules considers his statement and question for a moment before sighing and turning around.

“I’ll drop you off wherever you feel more comfortable.” She offers, slipping shoes on her feet and grabbing her car keys. “I want your phone Ryan. I’m going to take Jasper away, because he’s right to not feel comfortable here, but I don’t want you messaging Damien. I know he gets inside your head, so wait for me to get back and we will work out what to do, together.” Jasper and Ryan don’t look as each other as the door is closed between them.

 

When Jasper arrives at the work building he heads inside to the bathroom to rush a quick shower before his bandmates arrive, he’d been torn on whether or not he was overreacting but felt completely entitled to have the concerns he did. A sick thought in his mind was that Ryan and Damien weren’t really as over as Ryan had told him they were and the worst part of the whole thing was wondering if his relationship with Ryan was more like a game to keep things exciting with his ex. ‘The longer I watch you pretend to care about him the more I enjoy it.’

Jasper walks into the band room and sits on the floor, scrolling through Instagram to kill time while he waits for everyone else to turn up, not sure whether he wanted Ryan to come or not. His heart pounds as he hears footsteps in the hallway outside his door. Luke and Fi walk in the door together, hand in hand but notice Jasper and quickly separate.

“Jasper, you’re here early.” Luke comments side glancing at Fi who edges towards the door.

“I’ll catch you guys a little later.” Fi smiles sweetly and walks out the door.

“Look, it’s not what you think. She’s been letting me stay since the whole ordeal with our apartment and she gives me lifts to work, that’s all.” Luke tells Jasper very sternly, crossing his arms and waiting for Jasper to respond.

“Ok.” Jasper shrugs.

“We’re not a thing, I seriously sleep on the couch because her boyfriend is home.” Luke sighs and rubs his neck, evidently sleeping on the couch wasn’t very comfortable.

“That must be difficult for you, given how you feel about her.” Jasper and Luke hadn’t really ever had a proper heart to heart and for a moment it felt as though Luke was about to open up to him about the situation but instead he just shakes his head.

“You wouldn’t understand the half of it.” Luke mutters and walks to another part of the room, taking his phone out and connecting headphones before pulling out his lyric book and writing a few lines, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling in deep thought while tapping his pen rhythmically against the book. Jasper couldn’t help but think back to yesterday when Luke had been complaining that the harder songs to write, the heartfelt ones with meaning behind them, were always overlooked. Watching Luke try to think of the words to describe, in a poetic way, what he was feeling, really showed how much harder it was to write about your own emotions or experiences and that alone filled Jasper with guilt. He himself had thought of at least three different chorus ideas for how to tell Ryan how pissed off he was, just while he’d been showering but anger was an easy emotion to portray, real feelings of love did not come naturally to him so he couldn’t imagine how much he himself would struggle to sing about that kind of feeling.

Simon was the next to come in, he looks at Jasper with a frown.

“Trying to get brownie points for commitment?” Simon asks, raising an eyebrow at him and checking his watch. Jasper rolls his eyes and puts his hands over his face.

“I get it, I’m earlier than usual. May surprise you to know everything has been pretty shit since you all decided you hate me.” Jasper complains.

“What’s Luke doing?” Simon asks.

“Writing something heartfelt and meaningful while pretending I’m not in the room.” Jasper shrugs and gives a heavy sigh as his hands drop back to his lap. Now he wished Ryan was here so at least one person in the room wasn’t mad at him. Simon decides not to respond to Jasper, he simply pulls up a chair and sits down, still frowning. The tension in the room was almost nauseating. The silence lasted almost half an hour before Blake finally entered the room.

“Morning wankers.” He calls out with a smirk, tossing his water bottle in the air and catching it repeatedly. Simon looks up at him and fakes a smile, saying a quiet ‘morning’ back but Luke continues on listening to music and doesn’t acknowledge him at all. Blake turns to Jasper who was at this point sitting on the floor hugging his knees. “Where’s Ryan?” Blake asks him.

“Talking to his ex, I presume.” Jasper replies plainly, barely even looking at Blake.

“The fuck? Why?” Blake scoffs.

“It doesn’t matter.” Jasper shrugs. Blake turns around and shrugs too, not interested enough to ask more. Chris opens the door and walks in looking smug as ever. He takes in the looks on everyone’s faces and the atmosphere of the room and steps back.

Woah, what’s happened in here?” He asks, noticing that none of the members look at each other or bother to answer the question, just all shrug in response. “Ok, well I’ve got some news that will hopefully bring some positive energy back to the room.” Chris grins.

“Doubt it.” Jasper and Blake both mutter at the same time, smile because they said the same thing but still don’t look at each other.

“Sorry did someone die or something?” Chris asks confused.

“My soul.” Jasper answers. Blake turns to him again and smirks.

“Welcome to my world.”

“Can you guys at least pretend to care. Alright I’ve been reading a lot of comments from your fans about our performance at the TMA’s and you know what? They loved the show but also said they especially loved seeing the sexy portrayal of your song with Ryan’s dance moves. So, I’m planning another music video and this one needs to be sexy, so what can we do to add an extra layer to the sexiness you guys brought to the TMA’s?” Chris asks.

FIlm a porno?” Jasper jokingly suggests, rolling his eyes.

“Ok.” Chris nods, thinking on the idea for a moment.

“That was a joke.” Jasper tells him quickly.

“Legally we can’t film a certain amount of nudity, but I’ll look up the restrictions. I’m thinking a club, you’re fighting over a girl and the one who she’s interested in can have a lot of sexy scenes dancing with her, whispering in her ear and at the end they can sneak off together with maybe some subtle insinuation...” Chris starts.

“Oh great. Well that wouldn’t go with any of my songs so I guess I’m not getting any money from this one either.” Luke shuts his lyric book and shoves it in his bag.

“Yeah not really the setting for a ballad is it.” Simon crosses his arms.

“Well actually the song I’m thinking of is Blake’s.” Chris gives a sly smile.

“Oh fuck off.” Blake shakes his head.

“The Back Up. Since it’s your song we can center it around you, being the guy looking on as the girl you want is getting intimate with your friend. Jasper is aware of the role so he can play it.” Chris suggests.

“Approximately no one wants to see me getting intimate with a girl, including me.” Jasper cuts in quickly to shoot down the idea.

“Maybe Ryan could play it then.” Chris shrugs.

“Well since he’s the dancer he’d be able to choreograph the routine and didn’t you hire him to be the sex appeal of the group anyway?” Simon agrees with Chris.

“Good idea, Jasper you can tell him the plan when he gets off the phone. I’ll go and look up the restrictions for this music video and come back to start planning it soon.” Chris turns and walks out of the room, leaving the guys to discuss what was going on.

“We need to get out of this fucking band. When do our contracts run out?” Blake asks, looking around at the other guys.

“They’ll be up for renewal in a month after we get through the tour.” Simon answers.

“Do you think he knows that?” Luke asks.

“Of course, why else does he want us all fighting? We’ve started to be too much trouble for him so he’s trying to kill the band.” Jasper shrugs. “I reckon we should go with it and give him what he deserves at our last show. Turn the tables and quit live on stage.”

“Now that, I can get behind. Let me plan the big mic drop moment and I’ll forgive you for getting rich off the first album.” Blake bribes Jasper who just sighs then looks over at the door as Ryan walks into the room.

“Hi, sorry. I had some personal stuff going on.” Ryan apologises. Jasper crosses his arms and looks at the floor, Blake looks between the two and then over at Simon and Luke. “What have I missed?” Ryan asks.

“We’re all quitting after the mini tour.” Simon informs him.

“And Jasper nominated you to be the central character in his ‘almost porn’ idea for the next music video, which Chris decided would awkwardly be Blake’s song about wanting Jasper’s girlfriend.” Luke adds.

“What?” Ryan looks around at them shocked.

“Yeah you get to play Jasper.” Blake nods.

“Sure feels like it.” Jasper mutters, avoiding looking at Ryan. Blake looks back at Jasper and frowns, before giving Ryan a stern glare, catching on that something had seriously gone wrong with the couple overnight and that Jasper at least felt that Ryan was to blame.

“Ok so we can basically go as far as wandering hands, clothes slipping and a steamy kiss, but anything more than that would be too sexual for our target audience. Nice of you to join us Ryan. Guess you’ve been filled in on the music video idea. You’re going to be getting sexy with Blake’s girl. Lets get planning and hopefully by the end of the day we can do a basic run through, by the end of the week we can do a run through on set and get some teasers photos done, have it recorded by the tour and release it afterwards.” Chris suggests, looking around the group expecting to see some kind of fight break out.

“Sounds great.” Simon nods.

“Yeah lets do it.” Blake shrugs. “At least I’ll get paid for this one. Maybe enough that I can actually look at finding somewhere permanent to live.”

“Aren’t you guys back at the unit yet?” Chris asks, the group shakes their heads. “Why not? It’s been given the all clear hasn’t it?”

“Yeah but no one wants to live somewhere they know someone else could just stalk them and break in. Nothing worse than the thought of someone standing over you while you sleep.” Jasper shrugs, his response instantly backed up by everyone but Ryan agreeing and adding their own concerns as to why they hadn’t returned. Though he felt bitchy that he’d worded it that way, he was glad to hear he wasn’t the only one that had an issue with the situation and his feelings were justified.

“Well lets get started on this music video, put everything you have into it and hopefully it pays off for you and you can sort your personal lives out around it. So down to business.” Chris pulls up a chair and sits down. “Since we don’t have a lot of ladies around, I’ve asked Fi if she can step in and help out with our planning today.” Chris states, glancing at Luke with a grin. “So Ryan you will have to walk her through some sexy dance moves for your scene.”

 

The day was a tension filled disaster, Luke was furious watching Ryan and Fi dancing so close and intimately, listening to Chris ordering Ryan where to put his hands on her and trying to get them to kiss, though they both refused as she wouldn’t be the dancer in the film clip and it was only a practice.

Jasper was trying to hide the jealousy and anger he felt towards Ryan even though he’d been the one to suggest the whole idea in the first place and was treating this as a form of self punishment.

Blake was disgusted that his song was being portrayed so distastefully and continued to make comments about how it wasn’t right and wasn’t doing his work any justice. Even though they had no intention of letting any of this be filmed and released, his pride was keeping him from going along with it quietly.

Ryan was distracted and kept stuffing up, leading him and Fi to have to run through their routine all over again, which was pissing him off because all he wanted to do was pull Jasper aside and talk to him about their morning and work everything out, the feeling of Jasper’s eyes burning into him and him not knowing if Jasper still wanted to be with him made it nearly impossible to concentrate on anything else, even for only a few minutes.

Simon was basically sitting back doing nothing, he’d learned and practiced his lines and was told he basically would be dancing with another girl however he wanted in the scenes with Ryan, as would Luke as members in the background. It’d been decided the main three roles would be Ryan with the girl, Blake watching on sadly and Jasper would come into it to stop Blake eventually trying to pull Ryan off her. Simon had very little to do up until filming began and sat bored waiting for the day to end.

As they wound down at the end of the day, everyone starts heading off home again. Ryan saw this as his chance to finally speak to Jasper but without a word to him, Jasper leaves with Blake. The fear setting in that he was losing his relationship because of Damien made Ryan feel desperately sick as he heads home alone planning to just go straight to bed and ignore the world, but afraid he wouldn’t be able to sleep until Jasper gave him a chance to talk.

 

After a few hours of restlessly trying to fall asleep, Ryan hears his bedroom door being quietly opened and footsteps gently making their way in before the door is closed over again.

“Damien.” Ryan calls out in the dark, sitting himself up to flick on his lamp and see the person who’d snuck into his room.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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If anyone ends his relationship it won’t be Damien but Ryan as he’s the one who seemingly has no problem with the whole ex stalking, staring at you while you sleep thing. I mean this may sound drastic yet how does he know he wouldn’t/couldn’t hurt one or both of them in their sleep? I don’t see their relationship ending over this but I would be very unhappy with the way Ryan is handling it if I were in Jasper’s situation so I could see the tension lasting for a while. Of course I suspect the guy sneaking into his room is Jasper, considering he used the door not the window, though he probably won’t be thrilled Ryan called him Damien as that might fan the flames of suspicion causing him to think Ryan was expecting Damien to come that night. Damien has a hold over Ryan and while Ryan may say he’s over him the fact he was unbothered by his actions as well as refused to call the cops, despite it being trespassing at the least, help to show Jasper that he’s definitely not over him. Ugh the band mates really annoy me with the griping their still doing as for a split second I thought things were going normally in regards to their attitude towards Jasper as it “seemed” Luke was over it until the tension as well as minor complaining started up again making it clear their still angry & jealous towards him. Without maybe the advice of a third party or something I don’t see this band lasting after their contracts end as it’s just too toxic right now.

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How did Damian know that Ryan and Jasper were in Ryan's room? I do not think it is unreasonable to put Chris in the scenario.

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Ryan is wrong: Damien can definitely be arrested for trespassing and stalking--and he should be.  Ryan's defense of Damien and his inability to act against him (despite the damage to Jasper and his relationship) is a deal breaker, and his mental health remains questionable. 

With the band splintering, and with Ryan fouling his own nest, Chris seems to be the winner after all.  Can the situation get any worse?

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