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Do You Ship Us? - 52. Deal Breaker?

“One, real coffee.” Ryan’s smile felt like it lit up Jasper’s heart, he’d barely gotten any sleep last night between the discomfort of the recliner chair, the observation check-ups the midwives ran frequently through the night and the overwhelming fear that his life was not moving forward being the first thought to cross his mind every single time he woke up. He’d felt all the insecurity that he imagined Ryan must feel at those moments in his life when he was filled with doubt for their future. Jasper takes the coffee from him, just to place it down and wrap his arms around Ryan’s neck.

“I really missed you last night.” Jasper whispers to him and kisses softly just below Ryan’s ear. Ryan’s arms instinctively go around Jasper’s waist, holding him tight against his body.

“Is everything ok? Did something happen?” Ryan asks confused. Jasper just shakes his head and relaxes against Ryan. “How is Grace and the baby?”

“Everyone is fine. We can go home, Grace didn’t have much sleep last night so she’s just going to catch up on some rest, there’s no need for me to be here, and that’s the nurses’ opinion.” Jasper sighs, pulling away from Ryan and grabbing the coffee cup. “How did you sleep?” He asks before taking a sip and giving a satisfied smile.

“Yeah, the bed was alright, a bit empty for my liking but I guess I’ll have to get use to that soon enough anyway. I’m guessing you didn’t get much sleep either?” Ryan smirks as he watches Jasper practically chug the coffee down, clearly needing the energy kick.

“Any idea what Simon’s planning for today? Because I’m hoping he’s planned a nap session.” Jasper suggests.

“You can nap in the car, I don’t mind.”

“No, I have stuff to sort out on the way home. Come on, I’ll just check to see if Grace is still asleep, if not I’ll say goodbye quickly, but if she is we’ll head off straight away.” Jasper throws the coffee cup in the bin and heads down the hallway to Grace’s hospital room, returning a few moments later and giving a shrug. “Let’s go.” He orders, nudging Ryan on his way out of the hospital. Ryan follows him out, noticing that Jasper seemed very on edge and in a hurry to get going.

“Do you know where I parked?” Ryan calls out. Jasper stops and turns around.

“No I just like walking places like I know what I’m doing, people tend not to talk to me when I do that.” Jasper turns. Ryan just smiles at him and pulls the keys out his pocket and presses the button to unlock the car. Jasper turns around and walks in the direction of the flashing lights of the unlocking car. Ryan follows, trying to imagine what was on Jasper’s mind, clearly he was keen to get home without being held up at all. As soon as Ryan is in the car, Jasper’s phone starts ringing.

“Your Mum?” Ryan asks as he observes the anxious way Jasper was staring at the screen.

“Yeah. Shh.” Jasper puts his finger to his lips and answers the phone. “Hello.” He waits for a few moments then sighs. “Mum, honestly she’s done this kind of thing that many times before, it’s not even worth worrying about. Of course I’ll let you know if I hear anything. Anyway I’ll go home since there’s no reason for me to come by again. Yeah maybe if you are willing to respect my relationship but I’m guessing I’ll just hear from you next time Grace needs something from me.” Jasper says bitterly before hanging up the phone and putting his hands over his face.

“I know it’s a stupid question, but are you ok?” Ryan gently rubs Jasper’s knee.

“Mmm, not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I lie to them to cover up for Grace.” Jasper admits, taking his hands off his face. “It’s not them I’m worried about right now though, it’s us. We need to talk.” Jasper turns his attention to Ryan who looked pale at just the words.

“Are you breaking up with me?” He asks quickly.

“No.” Jasper frowns at him.

“Oh thank GOD.” Ryan sighs in relief. “Don’t ever start a conversation with ‘we need to talk’ that is like break-up conversation 101. I went completely cold for a second there, you had me worried.”

“Uh huh. And you think I’d break up with you at the start of a car ride that I’ll be stuck in with you for the next hour, my safety and life literally in your hands? I would never be that desperate to end a relationship, I wanna get home alive thanks.” Jasper laughs, placing his hand on Ryan’s knee and leaning over to kiss his cheek quickly but Ryan turns his face in time to steal the kiss to his lips instead. Jasper surprisingly pulls away when Ryan’s lips touch his.

“Ok.” Ryan sighs, starting the car. “So something is obviously up, what do we need to talk about?” He asks, pulling out of the drive way. Jasper just sighs and sinks into his seat a little with a sad sigh. “The longer you don’t tell me what’s bothering you, the worse this drive is going to be for both of us. Just say what’s on your mind so we can talk it out.” Ryan was trying to be calm but Jasper knew that he would be panicking on the inside.

“So Grace isn’t sure about moving in with us, turns out she’s still kinda homophobic and unsure about whether or not she is ok with me dating a guy.” Jasper was dodging the bigger issue for now, but he didn’t want to launch straight into the baby conversation.

“Well I guess that’s to be expected right? Given the way you guys were brought up. Your parents can’t be the way they are about it without it having an effect on you guys.” Ryan tells him, being the voice of reason.

“I don’t know, I turned out alright.” Jasper looks out the window, thinking about where he was going with this conversation, but a snicker from Ryan distracts him. “What you don’t think I turned out alright?” Jasper asks, clearly offended.

“Definitely alright. I’m just, did you forget the whole start of our relationship?” Ryan asks amused.

“You mean where I flirted with you the first day we met? Then kissed you first?” Jasper asks.

“Uh, huh, and then ran away? Called it a mistake? Avoided the ‘relationship’ conversation for as long as you could? Still get snappy when people ask about our relationship? You’re right, you’ve totally been comfortable from the start.” Ryan teases.

“Good points.” Jasper chews his lip and looks out the window again.

“That wasn’t a criticism by the way. I respected that it was a big deal for you to come around to. I often worry that I pressured you into dating me and you might have needed more time.” Ryan sighs, worried he’d upset Jasper.

“You didn’t pressure me. Have I given off ‘easily pressured into things’ vibes at all? If anything, I’m stubborn and probably pushed back on the whole relationship thing the more you pushed for it.” Jasper looks at Ryan for a long time, his expression seemed lost, like he was afraid that if he looked away Ryan would just disappear. Ryan glances at him a few times and smiles nervously.

“Why are you staring at me? It’s distracting.” He laughs.

“Why are you with me?” Jasper asks, regretting the question the moment it left his lips. He’d been thinking it with those words, but had every intention of asking a bunch of little questions to get his answers, rather than asking one so vague and open that Ryan would be thrown into a tailspin trying to come up with reasons.

“Jasper what’s wrong? Why are you worried about us? If you’re feeling uncomfortable with me going away for this show in a few days, you don’t need to worry. I love you and I’m going to miss you and there’s not going to be a single other person worth losing you for...”

“It’s not about that, I’m not worried about that.” Jasper sighs, quickly trying to think of what to say but his thoughts were all suddenly a jumble.

“Well I don’t understand then, did your sister say something? Is this about your parents? What’s made you question me? Did I do something wrong?” Ryan was stressing and Jasper felt awful for being the cause, but he’d opened the can of worms now and they were escaping faster than he could stop them.

“Ok just, can we pause this conversation. I had a goal and I’ve gone way off target and now I’m just as confused as you are about this whole thing.” Jasper takes a deep breath and looks out the window again, trying to calm himself and catch his thoughts.

“Jasper whatever is going on, you know I love you and I’m in this with you for as long as you’ll let me. We can work it out, I believe in us and for all the times you’ve fought for me, I hope you can believe that I’m going to fight for you.” Ryan reaches for Jasper’s hand, needing to hold onto him in some way because he felt as though Jasper was slipping away from him.

“I know you want to be with me, that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried about what else you want and whether being with me will stop you from having everything else.” Jasper states calmly, tears were filling his eyes as he realized this conversation could be the start of the end of their relationship, despite how confidently he’d assured Ryan that wasn’t what ‘we need to talk’ had meant.

“What do you mean?” Ryan asks, letting go of Jasper’s hand and anxiously gripping the wheel tighter.

“What do you want out of life? Realistically, what is your goal with me?” Jasper asks, Ryan looked very tense and worried and Jasper felt immense regret for doing this conversation while Ryan was trying to drive.

“I just want.” Ryan gulps back his nerves. “I just want to be happy, with someone who makes me happy. I want us to live comfortably and make each other’s lives the best we can make them.” Ryan answers, clearly at a loss with what Jasper was wanting from him.

“What about kids?” Jasper finally asks him the question that was really leading to all this stress. Ryan is silent while he registers the question and why it was a problem.

“Well I mean, yeah one day. I’d love to have kids.” He answers quietly.

“Kids are something you want?” Jasper sighs and covers his eyes, trying not to get too ahead of himself but failing to see how this would end well for them.

“Of course.” Ryan glances at Jasper and frowns. “Do you?” He asks.

“We probably should have talked about this way before now.” Jasper shakes his head. “Is having kids a deal breaker for you?” The gravity of the conversation sinks in and Ryan turns up the aircon, suddenly feeling like he wasn’t getting enough air.

“You don’t want kids?” Ryan asks nervously.

“Well we can’t have kids, Ryan. Biologically that’s not an option for us. If having kids is something you want, you should be with someone you can do that with.” Jasper’s voice wavers as he tries to continue being strong and logical about this, though inside his heart felt like it was caving in.

“Maybe not biologically but there’s certainly options. We could get a surrogate or adopt?” Ryan suggests calmly, continuing to glance at Jasper every few moments, trying to gauge how he was feeling and reacting to the conversation with the limited moments he could see him.

“Ryan I’m not even sure I want kids at all. It’s never been something I’ve thought of as important to me. I don’t see myself being a dad one day.” Jasper’s statement brings an uneasy silence that lasts for what feels like a lifetime before Jasper finally speaks again. “If having kids is something you want and it’s a deal breaker, than I understand and I really do support you going after what you want. I don’t want to stand in the way or waste your time.”

“We’re really young to be making decisions like this.” Ryan says quietly.

“This is a pretty important decision. I mean if we stay together, that’s more time spent where you’re not finding the right person to eventually settle down and have a family with. I don’t want you to resent me if you spend another 6 months, year, more with me, that’s years that it puts you back and it’s not fair for me to do that to you. I don’t want to do that to you. You deserve to be happy and to have a family if that’s what you want...”

“What I mean is that we’re so young, we don’t know if how you feel now and what we want now will still be the case in a few years.”

“Ryan it’s not fair to assume that I might change my mind and want kids in the future any more than it’d be fair to expect you to change your mind and decide not to have kids because I don’t want them. If you stay with me I’ll feel pressured to have kids and that’s not something that you should do just for someone else. We might change our minds by ourselves, but that’s not how it would be if we stay together. We’d feel pressured because of how each other feel.” Ryan knew Jasper was right but he still didn’t want to be making decisions here and now about it, instead he just falls silent rendering the rest of the drive almost torturous. When they finally get back to their place, Ryan parks the car and turns it off, just sitting in silence for a moment before turning his attention to Jasper who had a bleak expression on his face.

“I love you. Can that just be enough for now?” He asks quietly. Jasper tears up again and gulps the emotions back desperately. “Can we please just get through the next week? Then we’ll have like 2 months apart where we can do our soul searching and if when I get back, we think we’re not going to be able to agree on this, we can deal with it then? I just want to enjoy you, and love you this week, then be away at the show without feeling like my life is falling apart at home.”

“We can’t ignore this Ryan.” Jasper sighs.

“I know, I’m not asking to ignore it. I’m just asking to do this at a better time. Now is not the right time for this. You’ve had a super emotionally charged few days with your family and your sister, and my head isn’t really here right now, I’m already stressing about this show. I think we owe it to ourselves and each other, to approach this when we’ve had proper time to focus on it, like you said, without influencing each other’s thoughts and feelings on it. Just take the next few months to get our heads around what we really want and go from there.” Ryan pleads. Jasper looks at him, chewing his lip and trying to hold back the tears that’d been threatening him since they started this talk.

“Ok.” He agrees, all he’d wanted this week was to focus on Ryan because the time apart was going to be a struggle even before this issue had come up. The idea of just continuing like normal seemed unlikely now, but it was better than spending the next week dealing with a break-up while still having to see each other every day and wondering if they were making the right decision.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Jasper shouldn’t be in a rush to make this decision and possibly breakup over it especially when he’s asking his sister to move in. There’s always a chance that after being an uncle as well as a step-in father figure while Ryan is gone that he’ll actually find himself wanting to be a father. It’s rare for someone decide they don’t want to have kids after wanting them but it’s not uncommon for the opposite to occur so he should take it one day at a time. He seems to be putting Ryan’s happiness first which is great but there’s no need to rush things.

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