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Do You Ship Us? - 48. Other's Opinions

So we saw some very intimate photos a month ago of the two of you, do you have any comment to your fans in regards to those photos? I know much of your fan base is teenagers or pre-teens that look up to you, and displays like what we’ve seen aren’t very appropriate for their age.” Jasper was willing himself to not roll his eyes at the question, Ryan had pleaded with him backstage to just be calm and reply politely to any stupid questions but this was surely worthy of his typical ‘no bullshit’ style response. Jasper could feel Ryan’s hand tighten on his leg for a second, as if reminding him to behave.

“I agreed.” Jasper shrugs and glances at Ryan with a smile, hoping Ryan was pleased with him more or less shrugging off the question. Ryan’s smile looked nervous, and rightfully so. He knew Jasper well enough by now to know that he had two smiles, the genuine smile, and the ‘shit is about to go down smile’. Though he was holding himself back for now, the smile showed Ryan that he was about one more dumb question away from giving in to his compulsive need to put people back in their places. The questions so far had been a mixture of tasteful, ‘when was your first kiss?’ ‘How long have you been together?’ and ‘where was your first date?’ type questions, with a few invasive questions alluding to their sex life thrown in there that they had so far dodged but the interview was far from over and it was now like playing Russian Roulette, someone was going to cop Jasper’s frustration soon.

So you agree it was inappropriate, but you’ve not made any apology for them?” This guy apparently wanted to sound like a complete idiot, or so Jasper thought as he turned his attention back to him, swallowing back the thread of insults coming to mind as he thinks of a ‘Ryan’ way of answering the question.

“I think putting cameras in anyone’s rooms and invading their privacy then broadcasting their actions behind a closed door in the privacy of their own home is inappropriate. Yes. What part of having our privacy invaded and our personal business spread without our knowledge are you expecting an apology for?” Jasper asks, still holding the perfect smile on his lips as he watched the man scramble to put together an answer himself, thrown off by the way Jasper had worded his statement.

“Next question?” Mark calls out, he’d been great at redirecting and cutting in when he’d heard a question that made Jasper and Ryan visibly uncomfortable. He’d already waved off a few questions before they were finished being asked because he’d personally thought they weren’t worthy of answers.

So how was your first date?”

“It was cute.” Jasper shrugs.

Oh just cute? Come on I put a lot of work into that date.” Ryan comments, faking offense.

“Well what do you want me to say about it in front of all these people?” Jasper gestures at the plethora of people sitting with notepads and cameras in front of them at the conference desk. “I’m trying to play it cool.”

“It was very romantic.” Ryan tells them.

“Yeah.” Jasper looks at Ryan with a smile and shrugs then sips at his water.

“Jasper, is there a reason you’re embarrassed of your relationship with Ryan?” Jasper nearly chokes on his water at the question.

“Uh, at no point have I been embarrassed of our relationship.” Jasper answers.

“You’ve been avoiding talking about it and...”

“To be clear, I’ve never been embarrassed by our relationship. Reluctant to share, sure.” Jasper shrugs. “There’s been lots of support for us, from fans and stuff. And the guys have been great too, but my family isn’t supportive so I’m not exactly trying to showboat the relationship, out of respect for them.” Jasper answer.

“What’s your physical relationship like?”

“Oh, speaking of respect. I’m not answering that. There’s plenty of fanfictions out there that can satisfy whatever it is you want to imagine of us, but I’m not going to talk about our private lives.” Ryan answers

“Which one of you wears the pants in this relationship?”

“Do you mean that literally or metaphorically? Because literally, I prefer it when neither of us do, metaphorically, if you mean it as in who’s the man and who’s the woman in the relationship than the simple answer is, we’re both men and that’s why we’re getting such a big fuss made about our relationship.” Jasper was over this, completely over it and the nice filter was gone.

“We won’t be answering anymore questions like this, thanks.” Ryan states.

“Questions like what?”

“Questions that are designed to stereotype us and allude to our sex lives. We both know what you’re asking with ‘who wears the pants’ and ‘what’s your physical relationship like’. It’s ironic that we are asked to apologize for photos of us just kissing in a bed, taken and released without our consent, and then the next few questions are straight up asking for personal details involving our sex life. It’s disgusting that you think you have a right to that information.” Ryan’s answer earns him a genuine smile from Jasper, who was proud and turned on by Ryan standing up for their privacy. As the next question is raised, Mark intervenes again, ignoring the person speaking while he approaches Jasper and Ryan.

“Do you want me to end this? I can see you’re both annoyed and these questions aren’t appropriate.” Mark asks them quietly.

“I just wanted to talk about how we fell in love, not answer this kind of shit.” Ryan whispers back. “I’m really sorry I thought this would be a good idea Jas.” Ryan states calmly.

“I’m actually just starting to enjoy this.” Jasper winks at Ryan. “Give them one more chance to ask a question worth answering and then lets get the hell out of here and enjoy the rest of the day before you head off.”

“Ok.” Mark turns back to the interviewers who were gossiping amongst themselves or making frantic notes. “Jasper and Ryan have decided to answer one more question, as long as it’s not invasive or insinuative in any way towards their private relationship. They’ve made it clear where the line is in what you’re asking, so last chance, don’t waste it on a question that won’t be answered.” Mark warns then points to one of the ladies who’d not yet had a chance to ask the couple anything.

“Jasper, how does Ryan’s anxiety affect your relationship? It must be somewhat nice knowing someone is so in love with you that they don’t feel worthy.”

“Wow.” Jasper looks at Mark who was looking at them for the cue to end the interview right there. Ryan shakes his head and stands up, heading out of the room speechless in disgust.

“That’s it, we’re done.” Mark calls.

“No hold on, I want to answer this, this one is very important.” Jasper gets all the attention back on him and has Ryan pausing at the door. “I can forgive the naive idea behind this question, which is why it’s important that I answer and explain it. There’s a lot of misconstrued opinions on anxiety as a mental illness and it’s often romanticized as something cute and quirky. It’s a mental illness. I don’t think to myself, oh how lucky am I that my boyfriend struggles with the concept of being worthy of being loved? Because, A. That would make me a shitty person and B. It has nothing to do with me at all, it’s about what he thinks of himself. Someone put that in his head and no matter what I say or do to reassure him, he does struggle to get past that. When he apologizes for things and asks for reassurance and wakes me up in the middle of the night because he couldn’t sleep, to talk about all the problems he thinks we are having when I have been quiet or in a mood and he thinks it’s a sign that we aren’t working out, that isn’t cute, it’s not fun and it doesn’t make me feel good about myself. People need to be aware that anxiety is debilitating in real life, questioning your every thought and word and the self depreciation that goes along with everything that goes slightly wrong, it is exhausting, not quirky. If he was wheelchair bound you wouldn’t ask if I like that he can’t get up and run away from me, my boyfriend’s struggles aren’t fun for me and I’m not desperate enough for the ego boost that I’d interpret his suffering as an advantage to me.” Jasper gets up and walks over to Ryan, taking his hand. “Anything you want to add?” He asks gently. Ryan pulls Jasper a little closer and pecks his lips.

“Thank you, I appreciate you so much.” He whispers then turns to the intrigued audience of cameras and notebooks. “Since it was mentioned earlier about our fans looking up to us, do them a favour and spread this answer because they all deserve to grow up feeling worthy of love and knowing how to identify when someone is there to love them and lift them up, and when someone is just there because it’s easy to take advantage of someone at a low point. I’ve read a lot of our fanfics and I’ve seen it misrepresented by impressionable young people. If you’re worried about our young fans, then get this out there so they can know that a relationship should never make you feel unworthy and that those feelings are not a sign that you are with a great person. No one should want you to feel worse about yourself. That’s not love, that’s emotional abuse. Screw re-sharing the photos of us making out and writing about which one of us is the man in bed, Jasper’s right, this is a problem that needs to be addressed.” Ryan answers bravely putting aside his own impending panic attack to give a productive and educational answer. Jasper rubs his arm and nods at Mark who steps forward once again to tell everyone the session was officially over.

Ryan makes it to the dressing room before leaning his back against the wall and sliding down to the floor, his knees to his chest and his breathing heavy in an attempt to calm himself.

“You did well.” Jasper crouches in front of him, handing him an open water bottle. Ryan takes it and sips slowly.

“I can’t believe they asked all that stuff.” Ryan tries to deflect from talking about his current state, which was his typical coping mechanism.

“I knew they would ask shit like ‘who tops?’ which lets be honest, was what they wanted to know.” Jasper jokes, sitting beside Ryan now, against the wall, he leans his head on Ryan’s shoulder.

Mmm, loved your answer though. That raised a few eyebrows.”

“You can’t try to ask who tops then act like I’m the one who went too far when I joke about not wearing pants.”

“You weren’t joking.”

“Damn right I wasn’t joking.” Jasper nudges Ryan, trying to lighten his mood but he simply gets a small smile and then utter silence for a few long moments. He had learned to just take in these times with Ryan, being there as a comfort even if he wasn’t saying anything. The attack would pass, Ryan had been managing to calm himself fairly quickly when he was having panic attacks lately.

Lets go home.” Ryan gives a deep sigh, he didn’t look like he had any intention of standing up but Jasper got up straight away and reaches down to help Ryan up. He gets him to his feet and before he can let go of his hands Ryan jerks him in close and wraps his arms around Jasper’s waist, kissing him lovingly and holding the kiss as if challenging Jasper to be the first to pull back from it. Jasper kisses back, and they eventually part as they hear a knock on the door.

“It’s just me guys, wanting to check in on how you’re feeling after that.” Mark calls out. Ryan opens the door.

“Yeah I was skeptical about how bad that would be, but I get why Jasper didn’t think that was a good idea.” Ryan admits.

“I’m not saying I’m always right, but the way Chris use to put us into situations where we’d be answering stupid questions that got taken out of context definitely set me up to expect the worst when putting ourselves out there. You still think some people aren’t out to make you look bad, I have very little trust left. It’s so much better to just not worry about what other people think of me.” Jasper gives a lighthearted laugh at his own bleak outlook on people. “Oh, speaking of expecting the worst, my mum is calling.” Jasper comments as he watches his phone ring out.

“You should answer it, you’ve been waiting for them to call you for months.” Ryan urges.

“Yeah but now I think I’ve been buttdailed because why would she call me now? If I let it ring out and she calls again then I’ll answer.” Jasper shrugs, ignoring the call and pocketing his phone again.

“Well on the bright side...” Mark starts but trails off as Jasper takes his phone out again, staring at it with a frown. “Go on, answer it.”

“Can I have a moment? I am not sure what she’ll say and how I’ll react.” Jasper looked almost sick, he was pale in the face with a slight shake in his hands.

“Sure. How about I check in on you guys tomorrow. It’s been a big day and you need your down time.” Mark gives a kind smile and walks out of the room, closing the door behind himself. Ryan turns to Jasper who answers the phone and holds it up to his ear, gulping back his nerves.

“Uh, hi.” Jasper’s voice was a little higher than usual and Ryan watches him, realizing he’d never seen Jasper so nervous before and hoping for his sake this was at least the step towards rebuilding the relationship with his parents, and not a phone call that would cause him any more distress. “Yeah sure, just send me the address. Is she ok? Ok. I’ll be there in a few hours. Bye.” Jasper hangs up and looks over at Ryan with a confused expression.

“Everything ok?” Ryan asks gently.

“Well, Mum says Grace came home today and seems sick but won’t talk to them. So they want me to go and do an intervention. I know I’ve said so much bad about them, and this isn’t a great sounding idea, but can you come with me?” Jasper gulps again and chews his lip.

“To meet your parents?” Ryan was taken aback, he’d wanted to meet them but knowing their opinions of Jasper and their relationship had given him the thought that he probably wouldn’t meet them. “Do they, know I’m coming with you?” He asks.

“I realize this is not going to be fun for either of us, but if something is up with my sister than I have to be there for her. I get it if you don’t want to come, I don’t want to go honestly. Actually don’t worry about it, it’s stupid, there’s no reason why you need to be subjected to their shit.” Jasper shakes his head and turns away from Ryan, Ryan steps forwards and wraps his arms around Jasper’s waist.

“If you want me there, I’ll be there. It’s about time I supported you through some problems, god knows you deserve it after all the support you’ve given me.” Ryan tells him.

“Speaking of ‘god knows’, if you come with me you’ll probably be insulted and told about how wrong we are.” Jasper warns.

“I thought we were not worrying about other peoples’ opinions.” Ryan smirks.

“Please just still love me if my parents are awful. I promise they are not going to be in my life much, or ever again if they are going to be rude and patronizing.” Jasper turns in Ryan’s arms, putting his arms around Ryan’s neck and leaning his forehead against Ryan’s.

“I promise.” Ryan whispers and pecks Jasper’s lips. “We’ll be ok, no matter what.”

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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I'm wondering if Jasper's mom is using Grace just to get him there and then blindside him with an intervention of her own...worse things have happened. The press conference was well handled, especially by Jasper. His response about Ryan's anxiety was well thought out and well spoken. 

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22 hours ago, Gene63 said:

I'm wondering if Jasper's mom is using Grace just to get him there and then blindside him with an intervention of her own...worse things have happened.

I agree that the timing seems suspicious plus as Jasper has little contact with his family and I don’t even remember hearing about his sister before this it’s making me wonder why they’d want him to be the one to talk to her...though I suppose similarities in age alone makes it likely she’d be more open with him. If it’s a legit reason rather than an excuse to get him home then the obvious conclusion is rather than being sick Grace is pregnant. If his family is that judgmental I can’t imagine what’s going to go down if it turns out Grace is pregnant considering she’s likely unmarried. So much drama is heading there way.

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3 hours ago, NimirRaj said:

I agree that the timing seems suspicious plus as Jasper has little contact with his family and I don’t even remember hearing about his sister before this it’s making me wonder why they’d want him to be the one to talk to her...though I suppose similarities in age alone makes it likely she’d be more open with him. If it’s a legit reason rather than an excuse to get him home then the obvious conclusion is rather than being sick Grace is pregnant. If his family is that judgmental I can’t imagine what’s going to go down if it turns out Grace is pregnant considering she’s likely unmarried. So much drama is heading there way.

She and Jasper's relationship with her is mentioned back in chapter 35, here's the part:

“My sister has been with a jerk just as bad for years on and off. We go through periods of not knowing what she is doing because he convinces her not to involve any of us, to times having her crying on the lounge swearing she is the one to blame and that he deserves better. She’s been stuck in the cycle for ages. We decided to call the police on him when he locked her in their house and refused to let her leave after a disagreement, and she bawled her eyes out and begged us to stop the police taking him away when they turned up. She knows he’s an asshole, she knows deep down that relationships aren’t meant to be like that, but yet she’s still powerless when he is around and terrified of him not being around. You can’t win helping someone like that, until they are ready, and unfortunately she’s not yet.” Ryan rubs Jasper’s hand as he listens then gives him a pitying smile. 

“That’s so awful, I couldn’t imagine being stuck in that cycle for so long. It must be so hard to step back and see what’s happening after so long turning a blind eye to it all.” 

“Mm, sometimes I wonder if we’re just going to lose her to the relationship you know? She will shut us out for good and we will just never know if she is ok or not. I very rarely hear from her as it is, but I worry one day she will stop talking to all of us and be completely isolated in the abuse."

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2 hours ago, Littlelovestories said:

She and Jasper's relationship with her is mentioned back in chapter 35, here's the part:

“My sister has been with a jerk just as bad for years on and off. We go through periods of not knowing what she is doing because he convinces her not to involve any of us, to times having her crying on the lounge swearing she is the one to blame and that he deserves better. She’s been stuck in the cycle for ages. We decided to call the police on him when he locked her in their house and refused to let her leave after a disagreement, and she bawled her eyes out and begged us to stop the police taking him away when they turned up. She knows he’s an asshole, she knows deep down that relationships aren’t meant to be like that, but yet she’s still powerless when he is around and terrified of him not being around. You can’t win helping someone like that, until they are ready, and unfortunately she’s not yet.” Ryan rubs Jasper’s hand as he listens then gives him a pitying smile. 

“That’s so awful, I couldn’t imagine being stuck in that cycle for so long. It must be so hard to step back and see what’s happening after so long turning a blind eye to it all.” 

“Mm, sometimes I wonder if we’re just going to lose her to the relationship you know? She will shut us out for good and we will just never know if she is ok or not. I very rarely hear from her as it is, but I worry one day she will stop talking to all of us and be completely isolated in the abuse."

How in the world did I not remember this? 🤦🏻‍♂️ I recall now that the whole conversation was about how he understood Ryan’s situation with his ex because his sister was very similar. My mind is going obviously. 😂 

Edited by NimirRaj
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I love seeing the character growth in both of them. And definitely the maturity and sincerity coming from Jasper. 

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Loved this scene! Ryan trying to keep a lid on his annoyance before finally not only unleashing Jasper but giving them a piece of his mind was great.

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