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Do You Ship Us? - 51. The Parental Type?

Jasper walks out of the hospital room, looking pale and drained, he spots Ryan sitting in the waiting area with a coffee in his hands that he was staring at in deep thought. Jasper felt his mood lift as soon as he notices Ryan, he goes straight to him, taking Ryan by surprise.

“Can I have a sip of the coffee?” Jasper asks and sits beside him.

“Hey, how is everything?” Ryan passes Jasper his drink and puts his arm around his shoulders. Jasper takes a sip and nods.

“Better than this coffee, god where did you get this?” Jasper passes it back and leans against Ryan more, not actually interested for the answer about the coffee, he just sighs and keeps talking. “Baby looks ok, they did an ultrasound and said she looks like she’s about 31 weeks, so if things do turn bad they are fairly confident that she’d survive an early birth. Grace is in premature labor but they have given her something to stop it, she’ll be on bedrest and kept in here for at least 3-5 days for monitoring but if things go well then the labor should stop over the next few hours. I’ve suggested she move in with us after she’s discharged, so I can look out for her and also so her scumbag sperm donor can’t get anywhere near her.” Jasper sighs.

“Well that’s a relief, about the baby.” Ryan rests his head against Jasper’s.

“Yeah. You should go back to the hotel and get some rest, I have already told the nurses I am going to be staying with Grace tonight. They have a chair set up for me in her room and I really want to get back to her. I’m really sorry this is all going to interrupt our time before your trip but Grace has no one else to turn to right now.”

“I with the circumstances were different, but I am glad to have met your family and to be getting to know your sister better. And to know you better too, John.” Ryan winks at him.

“Ok well if you make a habit of calling me that, I’ll have to break up with you, but the good news is you can then date my sister, which Mum and Dad apparently encouraged her to do because they liked you but not as my boyfriend.” Jasper tells him, pulling away and standing up.

“Well if it’s any consolation, your pregnant sister isn’t exactly turning my eye. Although for a split second when you joked about having a twin brother...” Ryan smirks at him, but didn’t need to finish voicing his thought.

“That would be a fantasy that would in reality be a nightmare.” Jasper assures him with a cheeky smile and a wink. “Anyway, I really have to get back to Grace.”

“Text me when you need me to pick you up, or even if you just want me to come and sit with you for a bit.” Ryan stands up and gives Jasper a gentle kiss on the cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too. Bring me some real coffee in the morning.” Jasper pleads before walking away back down the hallway and into Grace’s room. Grace was lying propped up on her bed looking at the print out from the ultrasound with tears in her eyes. Once she notices Jasper back in the room she puts the picture down and just holds her tummy.

“You ok?” She asks.

“I should be asking you that.” Jasper smiles at her and sits in the chair beside her bed.

“I’m ok. They’re keeping a close eye on me. Contractions have stopped.” Grace sighs and points at a machine that was tracking the baby’s heart rate and the squiggly lines that’d tracked the contractions had been becoming less in length and severity. “So, you brought your boyfriend to meet Mum and Dad, what made that seem like a good idea to you?” She asks jokingly.

“Honestly, it was more about me not wanting to be alone after seeing them. So what makes you say they liked him, they barely spoke from what I heard.”

“Well after you guys left, Mum came in with her laptop, she’d creepily stalked him and was showing me all these photos of him, telling me how polite he was and all that. She said he wasn’t ‘gay’ so I had a chance with him and since he liked you, he’d probably like me too.” Grace found it funny but Jasper just rolls his eyes and scoffs in disgust. “Don’t worry, I am not interested in stealing your boyfriend.”

“Even if you were, why would I worry? He loves me for god knows what reasons and he may not identify strictly as ‘gay’ but he seems to have a clear preference for guys, and very much a ‘type’ of guy.” Jasper comments as he takes his phone out and looks up Ryan to see what was on the internet about his sexuality.

“What about you, when did you finally realize you were into guys?” Grace asks, gently running her fingers all over her tummy.

“When I met Ryan. There was just something there that made me nervous at first, I guess because it challenged what I’d been raised to believe for myself. Then we kissed and I was hoping I’d realize that I didn’t want to act on my feelings but kissing him just amplified the attraction. Now there is no one else in the world I want to kiss, no one I can picture myself with.” Jasper smiles to himself as he thinks about their relationship, getting distracted by the photos of himself and Ryan that were showing up in the search.

“Well if you need to vent about Mum and Dad’s disapproval, I totally understand.” Grace’s comment instantly frustrates Jasper, though he does his best to keep it from showing. The last thing that Grace needed was a lecture right now, but he was disgusted that his sister was suggesting his and Ryan’s relationship was at all similar to hers, especially in why their parents disapproved of them. Being homophobic was not in any way the same as being against someone that was straight up abusive, but clearly now was not the time to argue with Grace about her twisted perception. Although thinking about it, Jasper couldn’t help but wonder if he was enabling her to keep thinking this way by not pointing out where she was wrong. It had just never seemed like the right time, any of the previous times he’d had a chance to talk to her about this, and certainly by her hospital bed, did not seem any more appropriate a moment to bring it all up. “Are you mad at me?” Grace asks, and for a moment Jasper drew the parallel between Grace and Ryan with assuming that silence meant there was a problem, clearly a learnt behaviour from their experience with shitty relationships.

“I’m worried for you.” Jasper answers, it wasn’t the full truth but it was vaguely covering all the thought that were running through his mind, they underlying emotion was concern.

“I’m worried too. About all of it. I feel so stupid.” The self depreciating talk starts and Jasper decides to just block it out, he hated hearing her talk herself down and take all the blame, not once did the worthless ex even get a mention. It was like even in her mind he held no accountability for his actions. It was her fault for going back to him, her fault for thinking he changed, her fault for getting pregnant and her fault that she got beaten and had to leave home and inconvenience Jasper and Ryan by getting them involved. She took all the responsibility for her situation and having to hear it while trying to retain the absolute disgust at the person who was really responsible was exhausting at this point. Jasper tries to relax his thoughts and distract himself but his mind was racing with all the things he wished he could say without upsetting her more. “So, how are the guys? How is Blake?” Grace’s question snaps Jasper out of it.

“They’re good. Everything’s changing there for us so it’s been a bit of a time lately but now that we’ve left our old manager and we’re not living together we are all doing better I think.” Jasper shrugs. “Why’d you bring up Blake?”

“Is he seriously dating Elizabeth?”

“Yeah for a while now. He had a thing for her for ages though. They seem happy.”

“I use to have such a crush on Blake.” Grace gives a dreamy sigh.

“You and everyone else. He’s got that bad boy vibe that makes everyone want to get their heart broken by him.” Jasper smiles and shakes his head. “His fan base is

“Shitty upbringing and has not left that emo style behind, you want to fix him and be taken on motorbike rides to the middle of nowhere and be called only pet names and you know he’d be good in bed...”

“He’s more the, don’t text you back kind, not sure he’s ever ridden a motorbike. Also, the idea of dating someone isn’t to fix them, people are responsible for fixing themselves. People may change because someone else inspires that, but not because the person is some magical cure. Your ex is a piece of shit and no one can fix that. Not you, not this baby. There’s a difference between a bad boy and a piece of shit.”

“Yeah.” Grace sighs, clearly not liking what she was being told. “I can’t help that I am attracted to that type of guy.”

“That’s a cop out, Grace. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to a certain type and I get the bad boy thing is appealing but you have to acknowledge that your ex was not a ‘bad boy’ he is just an abuser.”

“You’re right.” Jasper could tell from her tone that she was only agreeing to avoid the argument, she knew better, but that didn’t make it easy to continually be told that. “What’s your type?” Grace asks, trying to lift the mood of the conversation.

“I don’t know. Just someone that is easy to have fun with I guess. I am kinda basing my entire ‘type’ off Ryan and honestly if we ever break up, then the next guy has a pretty high bar to reach. I think if it’s not him, I’ll just be alone forever because I can’t picture feeling the same way for anyone else.”

“If you guys break up I’ll take him.”

“You’re a little too pregnant to be planning on stealing my boyfriend. Besides, Blake gets my exes so you’ll have to fight him first.” Jasper jokes, Ryan would have found it funny but Grace didn’t get it so she just deviates the conversation back to Ryan and Jasper.

“Do you ever worry about his fanbase? I imagine you get jealous fans coming after you, making comments on your relationship and wanting to steal Ryan.”

“Don’t worry, I have a fake account that is very active on his fanpages. I don’t feel threatened or bothered by what I read others saying. I’m usually the one that starts or encourages the ‘thirsty’ posts about him. A new picture of him goes up on the page and I comment, gushing over him and get the rest of them going, then I show Ryan what’s being said about him just to see him get all awkward.” Jasper winks at Grace who was smiling but seemed slightly held back in her response. She takes a deep breath and opens her mouth to say something, before closing her mouth and taking another moment to think. “Usually when Ryan does that, I know he’s about to come at me with some question that he knows will annoy me.” Jasper comments, narrowing his eyes at his sister who fakes a smile and shrugs.

“I'm just thinking about the whole living with you thing. I think maybe I should stay somewhere on my own. I just don’t want to intrude.” Grace replies, suddenly having trouble looking at Jasper.

“No, you’re better off with me, I wanna keep an eye on you and be there if anything happens.” Jasper replies quickly, he felt extremely protective of her, especially while she was so vulnerable.

“Yeah but it’s just, I really think I’ll be in the way of you guys. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.” Grace shrugs and glances at Jasper then looks down at her hands, fiddling with the blanket anxiously. These behaviours didn’t go unnoticed, Jasper had picked up all these signs from Ryan and recognized them as subtle ways to know there was another issue going on that they didn’t want to raise. Luckily for Ryan, Jasper would always pick until he got to the issue, usually resolving it with ease so they could move forward and he hoped he could do the same now with Grace.

“Are you uncomfortable with us?” Jasper asks bluntly and watches while Grace chews at her lip and doesn’t take her eyes off her hands. “I see. Well don’t worry, Ry’s going away in a weeks’ time anyway and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the company. Besides, we lived with the other guys, sneaking around and keeping our relationship a secret for ages, we’re pretty good at being discreet when we want to be.” Jasper assures her, Grace nods and looks at him sadly.

“I’m sorry. I don’t want to offend you or anything.” She sighs. “Just with how we were raised, it’s a little. I mean I kinda knew ages ago that you were going to be into guys, but I still wasn’t ready to see you being with one. It’s still just odd seeing those photos of you guys kissing and knowing that you’re one of the fans typing those kinds of comments on his photos.” As Grace finishes talking Jasper finds himself again, wishing he could let out how frustrating it was to hear her talking like this, especially given that he was by her side, helping her hide a pregnancy out of wedlock to a guy that didn’t tick any boxes of the kind of person she was ‘raised’ to pursue. The irony was painful and Jasper wanted to be back with Ryan where he could just vent all the thoughts and feelings that Grace wasn’t up to hearing. He hoped in time she would come to accept his relationship with Ryan, after all, the conversations so far had sounded very open and accepting. “Are you mad at me?” Grace asks, breaking the silence.

“I still want you to live with us.” Jasper shrugs. “I think you have enough of an open mind to come to understand our relationship if you get to see how it really is, away from the influence of what you’re told to think and believe about it. And like I said, he’ll be gone in a week anyway so at most it’ll only be a few days, a few months with just you and me and then who knows after that. I want to be there for you and your baby.” Jasper looks at his sister who seemed completely distracted. “You’re not listening to me, are you?” He asks.

“Huh?” Grace turns her attention to him for a second with tears in her eyes. “Sorry. She just kicked, like a really good, strong kick.” Grace stares back at her tummy, feeling around for more movement with her palm. “Oh there she goes again.” She beams over at Jasper who reflected her smile. “Do you want to feel it?” She asks.

“If you’re ok with that, definitely.” Jasper gets up and moves to her bedside, Grace tells him where to place his hand and they both wait in anticipation and silence for what felt like ages. “Great, she hates me.” Jasper jokes before feeling a gentle thump under his palm and pulling his hand back in surprise. “Woah. That was weird.” He laughs at his own reaction and moves back to sit in the chair beside her bed, watching as she holds her bump with an excited smile, the tears welling in her eyes as the thought of becoming a mother finally seemed to sink in. For Jasper, the thought was almost opposite for him, as he considers the fact that this experience wouldn’t be in his and Ryan’s future, and that they’d never even talked about the serious stuff like marriage or kids. For all the times they’d debated how long a zombie apocalypse would last and if there was such a thing as parallel universes, they’d never once talked about their own ideas about having a family. He remembers his answer before when Grace had asked him his type and finds himself questioning whether he and Ryan were just ‘having fun’ together, or whether there was something more substantial they were working towards. Knowing that Ryan had a preference for guys but also had attraction towards women did make him wonder whether a lifetime with him, was holding him back from having these kinds of moments with a future wife. He’d personally never really considered having kids, but if that was something Ryan wanted, he didn’t want to be wasting his time and standing in the way of his happiness.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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It’s good seeing Jasper handling everything in stride so far. And his ability to use his experience with Ry’s trauma and notice the ticks in Grace is fantastic. 

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