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Do You Ship Us? - 70. Parenting

“Ryan~” Jasper calls quietly in a singsong voice as he peeks into the bedroom where he sees Ryan relaxing on the bed in just a towel, immersed in something on his phone. He takes his eyes off it and looks over at Jasper just before he is about to call out for his attention again.

“Is Blake gone?” Ryan asks with a sly smile, putting his phone down and getting comfortable as he pats the bed beside him invitingly.

“Mhm, did you have a long enough shower?” Jasper replies with a smirk, hesitantly lingering at the door but shamelessly checking Ryan out.

“I was honestly expecting you would come in and join me at some point.” Ryan admits, reaching a hand out towards Jasper. He’d been waiting in here so he and Jasper could have some time together, knowing he’d come in eventually and they might be able to steal just a moment together.

“I was going to but decided to have a family drama instead.” Jasper rolls his eyes and lets out a sigh, stepping inside the room but leaning against the doorframe. Ryan frowns at him and sits up, opening his mouth to ask just as Jasper continues. “Grace went off at me and then had a meltdown. Anyway, I have good news and bad news.” Jasper shrugs, looking over at Ryan with a smile.

“Bad news first?” Ryan asks curiously.

“You’re babysitting Eleanor while Grace is off taking a break.” Jasper tells him, going back to the doorway and pulling the pram into the room, Ellie was still fast asleep.

“How is that the bad news?” Ryan grins and gets up from the bed, moving quietly over to the pram. He peers in at the baby with such heartwarming affection that it melts Jasper a little.

“Because the good news was that we finally had the house to ourselves.” Jasper gives a dramatic sigh and walks over to the bed, lying down on it and staring at the roof, a moment later Ryan comes into his line of sight, as he climbs on over top of him.

“Sounds about right, just our luck, finally some space and we’re babysitting instead.” Ryan jokes, playfully kissing Jasper.

“Mm, not ‘we’. You are babysitting. The moment that little banshee starts making noise she’s all yours.” Jasper replies, his arms going over Ryan’s shoulders and holding him close, kissing him sweetly. Ryan smiles against his lips, gently pressing himself against Jasper as they continue light affectionate kisses.

“Well I’ll just have to make the most of the time I have before then.” Ryan whispers, sliding his hand up Jasper’s shirt and kissing his neck.

“We are not being those babysitters.” Jasper laughs, swatting Ryan’s arm. “Come on, Grace really needs us to take this seriously so she knows she can leave us with the baby when she needs time to herself. And before you say it, I know we need time for ourselves too. When we’re done with this comeback, you and I are going to go on holidays somewhere.” Jasper tells him.

“I’ll believe it when it happens. You have a habit, I’ve noticed, of pretending that you have the intention to take care of yourself, to distract people from the fact that you never actually get around to taking care of yourself.” Ryan points out. Jasper looks at him, mouth slightly open as he considers a response before he licks his lips and gives a nod.

“That’s because I’m always kinda fine. I didn’t offer to babysit just for fun, Grace really needed some kid free time and you know, we’ve got a lifetime of annoying each other so I figured we could give up an hour of that to help her out.” Jasper shrugs. “I never feel like I need things more than anyone else.”

“Is it that you don’t feel like you need it, or you don’t feel like you deserve it as much as anyone else.” Ryan questions right as Ellie wakes up, a perfect distraction from Jasper having to answer the question.

“Guess that’s my cue.” Ryan whispers, pulling away from Jasper reluctantly. Jasper sighs, propping himself up on his elbows and watching Ryan pick Ellie up carefully, cradling her and shushing while he rocks her. Something about seeing him holding a baby against his bare chest, made him somehow even more attractive.

“I swear, we’ll take a holiday because we will need it and deserve it.” Jasper says, Ryan looks over at him doubtfully. “Especially after my parents visit tomorrow.” Jasper states calmly.

“What?” Ryan stops rocking and Ellie starts crying again.

“Yeah I guess that was probably the bad news, hey.” Jasper jokes.

“This is a good thing right? If they are coming to visit you then they must be open to accepting us...”

“Nah, they are coming to see Grace and meet Eleanor. Also Grace and Flynn are forging marriage documents and claiming Ellie is theirs’ and that they were married a year ago.” Jasper smiles to himself as he watches the multiple reactions happening on Ryan’s face all at once with every piece of information.

“Wow ok. That’s a lot.” Ryan nods to himself. “Still, this is a good opportunity to maybe work things out with them.”

“How is it you’re so optimistic about things that have no hope being good, and yet pessimistic about things that are genuinely good?” Jasper asks amused by the irony. “I think she likes you. I told Grace she’d be fine.” Jasper comments, eyeing Ryan. Ryan looks at Ellie in his arms then over at Jasper and smiles. He frowns at the look Jasper was giving him, catching his eye Jasper looks away and shakes his head. “What?” Ryan asks.

“Nothing.” Jasper gets up. “My turn for a shower, enjoy babysitting.” Jasper grins, walking off into the bathroom. He closes the door behind himself and leans against it, taking a deep breath. The thought of a family was pointless when his experience was being cast out of his own, but seeing Ryan with Ellie was making him rethink everything he knew about what a family was. “Fuck that’s cute.” He admits to himself, unable to stop himself from imagining for just a second, what it’d have been like if Grace hadn’t wanted to keep Ellie and she had ended up being adopted and raised by himself and Ryan.

When Jasper comes back out of the bathroom Ryan is singing lullabies as he shows Ellie around the apartment, Jasper stands back and watches him. Ryan turns around and smiles at him.

“Uncle Jasper is back.” He whispers and walks over to him. “Do you want a cuddle?” He asks.

“Sure, put the baby down and I'm all yours.” Jasper flirts.

“How long will Grace be out? I think she’s hungry because she keeps chewing at her fist.” Ryan suggests, holding Ellie out for Jasper to take over holding her.

“About an hour. We can give her a bottle, I’m sure it’s not that difficult.” Jasper answers and gently takes Ellie who immediately starts crying. “Oh I know, I want to cry when he lets go of me too.” Jasper comments. Ryan stops on his way to the kitchen and turns to look at him surprised for a moment.

“That was unexpectedly sweet.” Ryan nods approvingly.

“Yeah well what’d you think I’d say in front of a baby? I have to tone down my sarcasm or she’ll grow up to be a sassy diva.” Jasper shrugs. “Oh and also if you’re not careful, too many cuddles with Ryan will make you start saying sappy nice things and he’ll give you a look like you’ve been abducted and he’s facing an almost perfect doppleganger that he now likes more than the original snarky version of you.” Jasper rolls his eyes.

“I’ll take the blame for you being sweet. Sure.”

“Either make a bottle, or take the screamy one back.” Jasper orders. Ryan laughs and goes into the kitchen to prepare the bottle while Jasper tries to settle Ellie. “I’m going to start crying in a minute, he’s literally taking the longest time I’ve ever seen anyone take making a bottle.” Jasper comments.

“I can make it slower.” Ryan calls out.

“I was just starting to like you.” Jasper walks over to him. Ryan smiles and hands him the bottle. “About time.” Jasper starts feeding Ellie and he and Jasper both let out a sigh of relief at the silence. “And you want one of these?” Jasper asks.

“Lets get like, 20. Just a whole football team worth of kids.” Ryan grins at him.

“Sure, you do that and I’ll come back when they all move out.” Jasper answers, he and Ryan share a smile as they stand silently enjoying the moment.

“So, your parents huh?” Ryan crosses his arms and looks at Jasper who just sighs. “No?” Ryan asks.

“No. Lets not talk about it.” Jasper shakes his head and looks back down at the baby. “I can’t say most of the words I’m thinking while I hold someone so gentle and innocent.” Jasper sighs. The door opens and Grace walks in quickly, looking around the room anxiously until she spots Ellie in Jasper’s arms.

“Oh my baby. Has she been good?” Grace answers.

“Grace that’s barely a break! You can go and rest for longer, we’re fine.” Jasper replies but Grace was already heading over to take Ellie from Jasper.

“I know but I missed her.” She says as Jasper passes the baby back to her, feeling a pang of emptiness in his arms as he lets go. “Also, I felt guilty. I didn’t deserve you to be so good to me after the way I spoke to you. I am really sorry Jasper.”

“Eh, we’re siblings, that’s not even the worst fight we’ve ever had.” Jasper crosses his arms. “Now that you know she can survive without you, maybe you should start taking some time to yourself here and there to remind yourself that you’re a human.” He suggests.

“Maybe.” Grace nods, looking down at Ellie. “But my heart kinda hurt being away from her. I felt like I couldn’t really breathe fully.”

“Ironically I feel that way about mum and dad coming here.” Jasper jokes. “Ryan and I might move out and let you and Flynn play house here.”

“I am so sorry, I know it’s going to be uncomfortable for you, but they’ll probably be more concerned about me anyway so they probably won’t care all that much about what’s going on with you guys.” Grace assures them, thinking she was being comforting.

“Yay, it’ll be just like old times.” Jasper shrugs with a hint of sadness in his sarcasm.

“I promise it won’t be, because I will be with you.” Ryan tells him, giving his shoulders a gentle massage. Jasper takes one of Ryan’s hands and kisses his knuckles. He appreciated Ryan’s support but he was too certain that this was going to be a nightmare to feel any kind of comfort right now.

Grace calls Flynn and invited him back over to plan what they were going to do about her parents, while Jasper stress cleans the apartment. Ryan was doing his best to give off a vibe of calmness as he helped out between helping on whatever part of the place Jasper was cleaning, and taking Ellie so Grace had one less thing to worry about.

“I’m not sure that your parents aren’t going to look at the skirting boards.” Ryan comments with a smile.

“Oh I don’t know, with all the time they’ll probably spend looking down their noses at me I wouldn’t want them to have something else to complain about.” Jasper answers, scrubbing aggressively. Ryan leans against the wall and slides down, sitting directly in Jasper’s way.

“It’s almost midnight, go to bed.” Ryan says as he takes the cloth from Jasper’s hands. Jasper sighs and sits beside Ryan, leaning his head on his shoulder. “Need me to carry you?” Ryan asks.

“How far away do you think I can run, before they get here?” Jasper asks with a laugh, Ryan sighs and stands up, reaching for Jasper’s hands. He pulls him up and starts heading to the bedroom before stopping as they catch Grace and Flynn in the middle of saying goodnight to each other at the front door. “Hey, just because you're playing Mum's and Dad's doesn't mean you can get all smoochy there, goodnight Flynn.” Jasper calls out to interrupt them.

“Night.” Flynn says back, stepping away from Grace. Jasper smiles at him and just stands there watching them, waiting for Flynn to leave. Jasper points his fingers at his eyes, then at Flynn who laughs, says a nervous goodnight to Grace then leaves. Grace turns around and shakes her head at Jasper.

“Something about seeing someone kiss my sister just makes me want to punch them in the face.” Jasper shrugs back at her. Grace crosses her arms, frowning at Jasper as she walks over to them.

“Why don’t you like Flynn?” She asks accusingly.

“I do like Flynn, trust me. I really like Flynn.” Jasper answers.

“Oh yeah? How much do you like Flynn?” Ryan asks jokingly acting insulted.

“Piss off, you.” Jasper nudges Ryan. “I don’t like him that much.” He winks then turns back to Grace. “He’s a great guy, I swear I don’t have an issue with him. I just want to make sure he knows that I’m watching him and he can’t get away with anything, that’s all.” He tells her.

“I really like him too.” Grace sighs.

“I’d hope so, since the two of you are ‘married’. That’s actually part of the reason I’m not sure this is all a good idea, I mean what happens if you guys do end up together and a few years down the track you want to get married for real? Just wouldn’t invite Mum and Dad?” Jasper asks.

“I guess that’s a problem for future me to deal with. I’m going to bed.” Grace sighs and walks off. Jasper turns and realizes that Ryan had already snuck off for bed. Jasper heads in for a quick shower before going to bed, trying not to wake Ryan up. Jasper lies beside him, looking at him for a minute while his mind races thinking about how good things were between them, and how much he didn’t want his parents to ruin it. The thought of Ryan being disappointed because he was so positive that Jasper’s parents would be ok, really hurt to think of. He wanted nothing more than for them to catch the break they both deserved after the roller coaster of drama they’d been going through lately. Getting lost in his thoughts, Jasper finds himself tossing and turning, no idea how much time had passed.

“Are you ok?” Ryan mumbles, moving closer to Jasper.

“Sorry. My brain just won’t shut up tonight.” Jasper whispers back.

“Worried about your parents?” Ryan asks, sitting up and checking his phone to see the time before snuggling in close again and kissing his cheek.

“Sorry I woke you up.” Jasper whispers back.

“Mm, do you need me to take your mind off things?” Ryan whispers.

“You just want to win, again.” Jasper replies, pushing Ryan away lightly.

“You know I am not actually playing, right? This whole game is in your head, I think it’s funny but I don’t actually care.” Ryan informs him. Jasper is silent as he considers this then he sighs.

“Nice try, you nearly got me.” Jasper scoffs.

“I am serious, I don’t care.”

“So are you saying you concede?” Jasper asks.

“I’m saying there’s not anything to concede because it never was a competition to me.” Ryan states and Jasper is silent again in thought.

“I’m not losing.” He finally states.

“You do realize the longer this goes on the less either of us are winning?” Ryan says amused. Jasper thinks it over. “Do you need me to forfeit?” He asks.

“Yes.” Jasper replies.

“Fine. I concede. You win.” Ryan laughs.

“Damn right I win.” Jasper grins. “I thought winning would be more satisfying than this.” He sighs a moment later.

“Oh that’s not the satisfying part.” Ryan whispers, shifting to press his body completely against Jasper’s. “You won, what do you want your prize to be?” He asks him smoothly then starts kissing his neck.

“Can it be, a lifetime on a fully private island somewhere no one can find us?” Jasper asks sarcastically. Ryan cups his face and turns his cheek to bring their lips together, deciding he needed to stop Jasper from talking or this kind of cynical conversation would probably continue and neither of them would end up getting any kind of decent sleep. Jasper knew exactly what he was trying to achieve, and was happy to give in to the welcome distraction, though neither of them had energy, just sharing the quiet moment in each-others’ arms was enough to change the mood, the gentle sleepy kisses were enough change the mood so it was a little easier to relax. Though he was still worried about his parents visit, Jasper felt so connected to Ryan that he was able to fall asleep just concentrating on the fact that his parent's opinions couldn’t change the love he felt in this man’s arms.

It wasn’t the most restful sleep, with Eleanor waking up the household only a few hours after they’d all finally gotten to sleep, and then again at dawn. Jasper struggled to get back to sleep once there was the first glimmer of sunlight leaking through his windows, so after failing to doze off again he finally reluctantly peels back the sheets and carefully slips out of bed, careful not to wake Ryan up as he sneaks around getting dressed before heading out of the room.

“Hello?” He frowns as he walks out into the kitchen the next morning to find someone he didn’t immediately recognize standing making coffee.

“Hey Jasper, how do I look?” It was Flynn, but without any visible tattoos or piercings, wearing a polo shirt instead of a band shirt or the usual, no shirt, and with his hair neatly combed. “What do you think? Will they like me?” He asks, doing a quick spin.

“Uh, yeah probably. I mean you’re fake married to my sister so there’s already a pretty good chance they won’t look for any negatives.” Jasper shrugs, frowning as he takes in the wildly different appearance. “When I wake up properly, I’m going to laugh at you about this, I promise.” He tells him with a smile.

“Good, I expect that from you. Even Grace laughed when she saw me. She let me in then went back to bed, said Ellie had a restless night.” Flynn states, looking over at Grace who was taking advantage of Ellie being asleep again, to get in the last bit of a nap she could.

“Mm, none of us did.” Jasper answers.

“How are you feeling about today?” Flynn asks in a more serious tone.

“I’ve come up with a list of things I’d rather do and one of the things I thought of was being eaten alive by piranhas so suffice to say, I’m not particularly keen but Ryan seems determined that this won’t be the worst so I’m trying to fake positivism.” Jasper sighs, turning and looking over at Ryan as he comes out of the bedroom. “Aw did I wake you up? I was trying to be quiet.” Jasper sighs as Ryan walks straight over to him and starts massaging his shoulders, which were aching from the stress clean the night before.

“It’s fine. I didn’t want you up stressing by yourself.” Ryan tells him confidently, Jasper rolls his eyes, hanging his head and letting Ryan’s hands work their magic on his shoulders and neck.

“Just promise no matter how shitty this is, we won’t let it break us, because we’re finally really good and I don’t want my parents to be the thing that ruins it.” Jasper sighs and tilts his head back to look up into Ryan’s eyes.

“They won’t. I’m starting to think we’re unbreakable.” Ryan answers, trying to be comforting and sweet, he leans down and kisses him softly.

“Oh you just had to say that.” Jasper groans. “Now a meteor is going to land on our apartment or something. Which, would also still be better than having to see my parents today.”

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. Flynn & Grace are pretending to be married for at least a year because Grace & Jasper’s parents are coming to meet Flynn and Ellie. Jaspers freaking out as usual about the visit and Ryan is doing everything he can to keep him calm. I wonder what they’ll think or say about Ryan & Jasper being a couple, will they accept them as they are or make accusations?

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“I guess that’s a problem for future me to deal with.”

This phrase right here might explain why Grace has so many issues XD

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