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Do You Ship Us? - 4. Assumptions

“Jasper!” The manager's voice thunders down the hallway the next morning, as soon as the group walks in, short their new member after yesterday's passing out incident.

“I barely even get in the door and I'm in trouble." Jasper rolls his eyes.

"My office, now." The manager demands, heading back inside his office and leaving the door open for Jasper.

"I’ll catch you up later.” Jasper mutters to Blake, he’d not told anyone other than Chris about the pills he found on Ryan, he didn't want it to cause more problems than is should. He imagined this would be a follow up to that conversation, and hopefully the last he'd be hearing about this 'new member' nonsense that was distracting from the band actually getting new music started.

“I’m getting you to work closely with Ryan over the next few months vocal training him. I am organizing a tour to introduce Ryan and promote him as part of the band before the next album. Ryan has amazing potential, he needs careful training and patience and you’re the one I feel is best suited to him.” The manager states, looking down at his computer on the desk, paying no attention to Jasper's stunned and disapproving expression.

“What about the drugs?” Jasper asks, crossing his arms, he'd wanted to hear that Ryan was a bad idea, not that he was the new personal trainer.

“It's not your business, but they are prescription medications. I’ve asked him about it.” The manager answers with a sigh then looks up at Jasper with a stern expression, not that Jasper tended to see any other type when he was getting a talking to.

“Ok.” Jasper was still frowning, not pleased with the new plan but he didn't have any choice by the sounds of it. Ryan wasn't doing drugs, he was actually a good dancer and he was very attractive, for the fans of course. So unless it became a problem, Jasper really had no reason to complain or take issue with him.

“He’s in Fallen Wings practice room since the girls are away on their tour. I’ll let the other’s know you two will be joining them after lunch. One more thing Jasper.” The manager narrows his eyes at him, intending on looking like a threat not worth ignoring.

“Yes?” Jasper gives a cocky smile to show how unphased he was.

“Whatever problems you have with Ryan, get over it. I’m not going to put up with you being rude to him the way you are to me. He doesn’t deserve to be treated like that. I decided to put him in the band, you need to respect that decision and show him some respect.” Chris demands, shaking his head as he watches Jasper ignorantly nodding along like he couldn't wait to be out of this meeting.

“Are we done?” Jasper shrugs carelessly.

“If anyone is going to be taken from the band, it’ll be someone that is causing problems with other band mates.”

“Is that a threat? Because if you want me to train my replacement, maybe don’t tell me that is what I am doing.” Jasper suggests in his bitchiest tone.

“You’ve got a hell of an attitude problem Jasper, get over yourself or I will have to do something about it.” It was an empty threat and they both knew it, getting rid of Jasper would be the end of the band and that was a fact. That's what kept Jasper confident enough to be such a jerk to his boss, knowing that he was too popular to lose his position. Even being chosen as the one to train Ryan vocally was a compliment to his talent, even if Chris wasn't ever going to directly acknowledge it. Really it should have been Simon, he had the more powerful voice, but Jasper's voice had the most variety which was why he got the most lines in every song.

“Ok, I’m going to go now.” Jasper turns on his heel and walks out, ignoring the manager shouting at him to get over himself and show respect as he leaves the room. He does the exact opposite, walking out and slamming the door behind himself, giving the finger only once the door was separating them. He had to be at least a little bit careful, it was only fun to be a dick as long as he never quite crossed the line of not being worthwhile suffering through.

Jasper heads down the hallway to the room Ryan was apparently in, despising the fact he would be missing time with his friends doing song planning but there was something about Ryan that he was drawn to and if Ryan was staying, then he had to make a concerted effort to be polite. He opens the door quietly and takes a step inside, surprised to see Ryan in the middle of the floor in sweat pants and a loose singlet, dancing. He had headphones in and was concentrating on his reflection until he notices Jasper’s leaning against the door frame staring at him, through the mirror and almost trips over his own feet spinning around to face him.

“How long have you been standing there?” Ryan asks loudly, over top of the music in his ears, only realizing he had practically shouted when he pulls out his headphones.

“Not long, don't worry. You’re obviously feeling better today. Are you working on a routine for one of our songs? I’d love to see it.” Jasper smiles at him, closing the door behind himself and wandering over to a chair, sitting down and cross legged, his arms crossed too and his full attention on Ryan who had gone from confidently dancing to internally screaming in the space of a sentence. "Oh come on, I saw you dance yesterday, don't be shy." Jasper gestures at him to take the floor.

“Oh, I don’t know if I’m really ready to show anyone.” Ryan shrugs, wrapping his headphones up, then unwrapping them and wrapping them up again, he glances back at Jasper who was watching him intensely. “Uh, thanks for yesterday by the way, I am so sorry if I hurt you when I fell on you.”

“Just because I look like a twig, doesn’t mean I’m that easy to snap. I'm not that delicate." Jasper states, though he knew he certainly looked it, physically he had very little muscle, he was just slender. Ryan on the other hand, had very tone and muscular arms that were perfectly shown off in that singlet, just a slight amount of sweat accentuating them. Jasper realizes he's fixated and quickly blinks then looks away. "You have to get use to people watching you dance Ryan.” He sighs, keeping the conversation on Ryan. “From what I saw, you’re very good, why are you so nervous?”

“I don’t handle judgement well.” Ryan answers honestly, leaving Jasper gobsmacked for a few good moments.

“Well it’s lucky you’re going to be in the public eye being scrutinized for everything they see you do." Jasper scoffs sarcastically. Again wondering why Ryan was in the band, thrown into the entertainment industry and not wanting judgement. "Trust me, the things people will judge you on are going to be stupid things like, what you choose to eat and who's post you like on Instagram. The only people that will pick on you for things you are good at, are people who aren't worth the time fretting about. If you're not ready for an onslaught of bullshit from the media then you shouldn't have signed up to be in the spotlight, no offence. People are going to judge you regardless so just be you and then you know you’re not going to be ashamed of anything they pick you apart for. ”

“Yeah, easier said than done.” Ryan scoffs, kicking idly at the ground then looking over at Jasper through the fringe of his hair. “You judge me.” He points out. Jasper widens his eyes and he crosses his arms again, acting offended.

“I do not.” He retorts defensively. “I looked after you yesterday when you passed out after the thing.”

“Yeah when you thought I was on drugs.” Ryan states, it was Jasper's turn to look away nervously, he had hoped that Chris didn't tell him but felt naiive for thinking that. “By the way, I am not on drugs, those were personal medications.”

“Ah, you know it’s hilariously ironic that I just got lectured about being nice, but the manager had no concerns about telling you something that would cause animosity between us.” Jasper rolls his eyes. “I found pills, they didn’t look like aspirins, I wrongfully assumed...”

“Because you don’t like me.” Ryan interrupts. “And I haven’t done anything to you so I’m assuming you’ve judged me wrongly somehow and decided...”

“Excuse you, I haven’t said I don’t like you, in fact, I have told you plenty of times that I don’t have a problem with you.”

“Then why do you act...”

“You’re obviously wrongly judging me, you’ve mistaken my generally bitchy and sarcastic personality as a personal attack. I am a jerk to people who I am comfortable with.” Ryan lets Jasper finish talking, with a smile on his face.

“Do you always interrupt people when they are talking when you are comfortable with them too?” Ryan asks with a smirk on his lips. Jasper looks at him with a cheeky smile crossing his own face, this was the kind of conversation he could handle and enjoy, a little feisty, passive aggressive confidence coming from Ryan.

“Touche’.” Jasper nods, playing with his hair. There was a few moments of complete silence, neither of them knowing what to say but Jasper soon breaks the silence with a heavy sigh, it wasn't often he felt the need to apologize but he did feel misconstrued and he'd clearly put Ryan on edge. “I’m sorry that you’ve taken it personally, but for what it’s worth, my problem was never with you, my problem is entirely with the manager’s motives.” Jasper tells him looking at his phone as it starts ringing. Ryan watches Jasper, wondering why he was ignoring the call. Blake throws open the door, making a dramatic entrance to the room.

“What’s up losers! Nice of you to be here bludging while we are all working our butts off on new songs.” Blake teases, Jasper rolls his eyes at him, fairly certain that very little was getting done, otherwise Blake wouldn't be here. Clearly he was bored.

“I take it Simon and Luke are the ones that are doing the hard work.” Jasper winks at Blake.

“Blah, blah, love songs, blah blah, no Blake that’s too depressing and dark, our fans want happy songs, blah blah. I can’t relate so I’m here to annoy you instead.” Blake states, just as Jasper suspected.

“Want to talk to Beth?” Jasper holds up his phone and Blake strides over quickly, snatching the phone from him.

“Hey pretty thing, Jasper can’t talk right now, he’s in a meeting with the manager.” He flirts. Ryan frowns at Jasper’s reaction, Jasper was laughing at the way Blake was talking to his girlfriend, he didn’t seem to care at all even though Blake was shamelessly flirting. “Oh I can take you out for lunch on Valentines Day if you want?” Blake smirks as he speaks to her. “Well if you ever need an upgrade from Jasper just hit me up, I’m happy to show you how a real man would treat a lady. I’ll let him know, bye beautiful.” Blake hangs up and hands Jasper his phone back. “She asked me to tell you to take her out some time or she’ll hook up with me.” Jasper gives him a doubtful look. “Ok the second part I made up.”

“I figured.” Jasper shakes his head, laughing at Blake's comment.

“Send her flowers or something though, she thinks you’re avoiding her.” Blake suggests.

"Ugh." Jasper groans.

"Dude, make up your mind. You're either going to have to make the commitment." Blake tells him, wiggling his eyebrows insinuatingly. "Or let her find a real man."

"You. You mean, you." Jasper replies.

"Uh, yeah. I do. I very much would like that." Blake nods.

"Get out of here moron." Jasper smacks his arm.

"Fine, I'll let you get back to whatever gay, relationship building exercises Chris has got you guys doing." Blake turns and walks out of the room without another word. Ryan looks from the door, to Jasper who was running his fingers through his hair casually. Blake's choice of wording had taken Ryan by surprise, but Jasper didn't seem to have thought anything of it.

“We should probably get some work done.” Jasper turns his attention back to Ryan. “Ok, lets warm up those vocal chords. Show me what I’m working with.”

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Jasper has issues. He declines to show the manager respect, and he jumps to conclusions about Ryan's medication. While he tries to explain his apparent animosity to Ryan, his explanation falls short: He may act like a jerk to all the band members, but the intent is different when it comes to Ryan (when he's a jerk to the others, he's kidding, but when he's a jerk to Ryan, he appears to mean it). At least, Jasper is professional enough that he is willing to teach Ryan how to sing (or try to).


So what's the deal about Jasper not wanting to be naked with his girlfriend? (That's soooooo gay!  :gikkle:) Now, on to the "relationship building exercises" between  Jasper and Ryan!

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Loving the story and the dynamics between the characters! Ryan will have to gain some confidence if he wants to perform in front of live audiences. Hopefully Jasper and other will help him with that.

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I’ve just started reading this story and I think the characters are so much fun. Jasper really has a beef with the manager because he never shows him any respect at all, then after the press conference when Ryan passed out and the baggie fell out of his pocket Jasper accuses him of doing drugs without knowing that they were medicinal not recreational. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the singing lessons go for Ryan especially when he has Jasper for a teacher. 

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