“Following accusations that Jasper had cheated on him, Ryan appeared to show support for Jasper. However in the evening he was seen leaving the couple’sresidencewith a packed bag andnotreturning, sparking fresh speculation thatRyanhas left his disgraced boyfriend, Jasper. It is unknown what this effect will have on the new music set to be released byThe Obsolete later thismonth but with the hashtags 'cancelJasper’and 'JasperObsolete’ circulatingJasper has been uncharacteristically silent on all social media platforms. Ryan is also yet tomake any comment.”Blake reads aloud, trying to contain how truly pissed off he wasas his attention goes to Ryan, who wasstanding with his arms crossed, looking at the ground.“I'm really starting to not like you, hey. I told you to have his back and while there are allegations that are actively slandering him through the media, he's being dragged through the mud over this bullshit, what do you do? Fucking nothing.”
“I wanted to discuss it with Jasper but, you’ve tried calling him too, right? His phone is clearly turned off, it goes straight to voicemail and he hasn’t replied to a single text…” Ryan starts but Blake was having none of it.
“Well you shouldn't have left in the first place! Go home!” Blakethrows his hands up in the air, completely bewilderedby the circumstances.
“Oh I tried, no one answered the door and…”
“IT’S YOUR HOUSE! YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO LET YOU THE FUCK IN!” Blake snaps, turning back to Ryan furiously.
“I DIDN’T TAKE MY KEY WITH ME!I thought I would be giving them privacy and then I would see him at work. They were only coming up for 3 days, I thought I would just wait it out.” Ryan defends his thought process, though he doubted Blake would see his reasoning as understandable. “I don’t suppose Flynn has said anything.” Ryan asks.
“Flynnwas outpretending to be at workbecause he’ssupposed to be, I don’t know running an orphanage or whatever bullshit they made up so thatGrace’s parents wouldn’t knowhe's anex drug dealer.”Blakeanswers,unimpressedbythe whole situation.“Have you tried calling Grace?”
“I don’t have her number.” Ryan shrugs.
“Oh ok. So you’re completely useless. Good to know.” Blake rolls his eyes.
“Ok can you both calm down.” Simon steps in front of Blake with his hands up passively. “We know Jasper, he is capable of handling situations, pretty sureJaspercan handle his own parents, it’s not like he’s been abducted. I for one don’t blame Ryan for not wanting to cause problems withJasper’sparents. Clearly they are already not cool with the relationship so naturally you would expect Ryan would want to make a good impression and be respectful towards them.”
“Maybe Jasper is just focusing on his family right now and trying not to antagonize them by calling Ryan...” Luke offers his opinion.
“Knowing Jasper I would expect him to be antagonizing his parents with calling his boyfriend, or better still, making out in front of them, if only hisboyfriendwas there for him.” Blake gives Ryan a challenging look, but Ryan doesn’t bother trying to argue or defend himself, frankly he was doubting whether he’d made the right choice in leaving. It was somewhat mutual, and also somewhat his own mother’s impeccable timing. In the middle of the stare down Jasper and his Dad were having, Ryan’s Mum had called. Jasper had simply suggested Ryan go and visit her for the night, assuring Ryan he’d be fine on his own. Of course in hindsight, that wasn’t the case but at the time it’d seemed perfectly reasonable.
“Well then maybe it’s better that Ryan didn’t stay, maybe it’s forcing Jasper to have an actual conversation with his family.” Simon comments, the depth of the family issues Jasper faced was clearly not apparent to him.
“Yeah instead of defaulting to his usual petty tactics.” Luke agrees, equally unaware of why Blake and Ryan would be concerned at all.
“Are you not going to bother trying to find out what’s happening with him?” Blake asks Ryan annoyed. “It’s not like you’ve got other stuff to do here anyway, so you might as well be trying to sort out the drama with your ex, or defending Jasper in the media since they’re attacking him, or literally anything useful.” Blake’s bitterness wasn’t worth trying to explain himself, nor did Ryan really feel like he wanted to so he leaves the guys to it and heads back to his Mum’s.
Ryan nearly drops his phone trying not to miss the call when it finally rings late in the night when Ryan was having a shower. Thename onhisscreenmade his heart feel like it skipped a beat.
“Jasper?” Ryan asks, genuinely expecting it to be someone else using his phone, like Jasper’s Dad calling to tell him off.
“Ryan! I’m so sorry about the last few days. Are you still at your Mum’s?” He sounded fine, for some reason Ryan had thought he’d be getting at the very least a tearful phone call about how horrible things were so it threw him a littleto hear Jasper being quite casual about being completely un-contactable for now nearly 2 days.
“Yeah, where have you been? Are you ok? I’ve been calling and texting...”
“I see that, clingy. What I can’t just drop off the radar for 2 days without getting 3285 missed calls?” Jasper jokes before turning more serious. “Really though I am so sorry you’ve been worried. It’s been a time and I will talk to you about it but I need you to do something really important for me first.”
“Anything,what do you need me to do?” Ryan replies, completelyseriously.
“Answer this question! What are you wearing?” Jasper asks cheekily.
“What?” Ryan asks confused.He thought he had heard wrong but Jasper’s laugh quickly assures him he’d hear correctly. “Why are youaskingthis?”Ryanquestions with an air of suspicion.
“Don’t play dumb, you know why I’m asking. Now do I have to repeat the question?” Jasper lowers his voice a little to be more seductive, he sounded like he was up to no good and despite the much more serious things they needed to talk about, Ryan finds himself playing along.
“Well I just got out of the shower…”He starts.
“Oh so you’re wearingnothing thana smile then?”
“And a towel.” Ryan corrects him.
“I can live with that but I’m going to need details,are you dried off or still all damp from the shower? Send me a photo.”Jasper asks, Ryan looks at himself in the mirror,
“I haven’t had a chance to dry off, I was still in the shower when you called.” Ryan smiles.“Where are you?”
“I am in a bed. Send me a photo.” Jasper insists, after a pause, Jasper’s phone buzzes with a photo message. “Wow, did you get hotter or am I just feeling particularly deprived? You somehow manage to exceed my imagination.” Jasper answers, taking a cheeky photo of himself to return thefavour.
“What happened with your parents?” Ryan asks.
“Can we talk about that later? It’ll kill the mood I’m trying to set here and I really need you to come and make love to me right now for my emotional well being.” Jasper sighs, and Ryan could tell from the tone that he meant it, but before he could worry too much his phone buzzes with the photo message.
“What are you doing at a hotel?” Ryan asks when he receives the photo of Jasper with the name of the hotel and the room number written on the back of his hand, his hand holding the blanket that was at his waist just low enough to show he wasn’t wearing any clothes, he was biting his lip and winking at the camera enticingly.
“Wellthanks to this,very sexy photo of you, what I am going to be doing is starting without youif you’re not here soon. According to my search, it should only take you 10 minutes to get here,so if I were you, I’dget dressedveryquickly.”Jasper doesn’t give Ryan any time to respond before promptly hanging up the phone, leaving Ryan confused and intrigued to know what exactly was going on.
“Hey, it’s me.” Ryan knocks on the door and waits.
“Give me a second to get back in bed before you come in.” Jasper instructs, unlocking the door and running, to dive back under the sheets. “Ok, come in.” He calls out. Ryan opens the door and walks in, closing and locking the door again behind himself and heading over to the bed where Jasper was waiting for him. Jasper hits a button on his phone and turns it to show Ryan.
“You weren’t in a rush to get here?” Jasper pretends to be offended.
“Well if you remember, when you called I had just gotten out of the shower, I had to get dressed firstandthen I had to look up where I was going and get past my Mum who caught me heading out and wanted to know where I was going and why.” Ryan tells him.
“Please tell me you didn’t say you were going to a hotel to fuck you boyfriend.”
“No, I told her I had to go and ‘make love to him for his emotional well being’.” Ryan jokes, kicking off his shoes and climbing on the bed and kissing Jasper lightly. “Are you ok? I take it by the hotel, things aren’t going well with your parents?”
“I ran away from home to hook up with the boyfriend my parents don’t approve of, behind their backs.” Jasper smirks, slipping his arms around Ryan’s neck.
“You realize we’re not teenagers and you didn’t actually do anything rebellious by sneaking out of your own home and inviting me to a hotel right?”Ryan points out with a grin.
“Shh.” Jasper puts a finger on Ryan’s lips. “Don’t ruin this for me. I’ve spent the last2days being treated like I’m 17 all over again by my disappointed parents who won’t let me see my boyfriend. Don’t ruin the thing I’ve got going in my head right now. I’m channeling some very repressed need to be rebellious right now. Play along.”
“Oh so this hook-up is out of spite for your parentsthen.” Ryan askswith an amused chuckle.
“Yes. Let me set you the scene, they are trying to keep us apart so I ran away from home to be with you.” Jasper tells him.
“Uh huh. In an expensive hotel room, that teenagers can definitely afford.”Ryan states, sarcastically as he nods.
“Ok so I stole their credit card. Now my shitty parents are paying for the room that I’m hooking up with my boyfriend in. Any more plot holes you want to point out?”Jasper rolls his eyes.
“Other than the fact we’re not 17 year olds?” Ryan asks.
“Fine, if this isn’t working for you then I’ll go home.” Jasper states, pulling the sheets off as if he’s about to get off the bed, butthe moment he sees Jasper naked, Ryan stops him.
“Uh hold on, I can go with it.”
“That’s more like it.”Jasper grins, letting Ryan pull him back down on the bed.
“How many nights have you booked this place for?” Ryan asks as he runs his fingers up and down Jasper’s back, it felt like it’d been forever since they had just spent time together like thisand hewanted to make the most of it.
“Just tonight.” Jasper answerswith a sigh, pulling away from Ryanjust to get up and raid the fridge for comfort food. Now that the fun part was over, they had totalk about the last few days.
“You better tell Blake you’re alive.” Ryan calls out, sitting up and watchingJasper.
“Yeah I called him before.” Jasper answers, walkingback over tothebed withall the chocolates from the fridge.
“Before as in before you called me?” Ryan asks, in his mind he was trying not to make it obvious that he was completely insulted but clearly he wasn’t hiding it very well because Jasper was smirking at him.
“While I was waiting for you, obviously. Do you really think I would have called him first?” He asks, having a bite of his chocolate bar.
“I don’t know, you guys are really close so...”
“And, we... Aren’t?” Jasper ask with a laugh,not just climbing on the bed butsitting on Ryan’s lap.
“Well when you put it that way.”
“Ryan, I know this is not at all how anxiety works but I’m going to say it anyway. Please just stop thinking whatever thoughts it is that goes through that handsome head of yours. I’m really deeply in love with you.” Jasper sighs. “Also I’m sorry that Blake’s been being a jerk to you.”
“He’s just been worried about you, I understand.” Ryan shrugs.
“Of course you do, you take shit from everyone. But you don’t have to with Blake, he was out of line and talking from assumptions. I know I was the one that agreed you’d be better off leaving but I would have thrown them out in a heartbeat if not for Grace. She’s struggling really hard with Ellie and if there’s any chance that Mum and Dad will be some comfort for her then I’ll swallow my pride and keep my mouth shut. Just because I don’t have a reason to have anything to do with them anymore, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be able to have their support.”
“Oh so it’s because you are incapable of considering your own needs above someoneelse's.That checks out.”Ryan nods thoughtfully.
“Exactly so if Blake wants to bepissyat anyone, it can be me. I make the decisions about my life, no one else.”
“I’m pretty sure Blake hates me. He told me that actually.”
“He doesn’t hate you, he thinks you’re not standing up for me but again, he’s basing that opinion on you leaving me the other night when I literally asked you to, and I sent you away to make the situation more comfortable for Grace so it’s completely invalid. You know what, since he wants to assert himself into this relationship, lets take him out on a dinner date. If he wants to play that part, we can just play along.” Jasper suggests, a cheeky smile on his face.
“What is with you and role playing today?” Ryan asks witha smile,a moment of clarity hits him, that rather than impressing Jasper’s parents, who were basically a lost cause at this stage, the person he really needed to be impressing was Blake.
“How was your Mum?”Jasper asks, instantly Ryan sighs and looksdown.
“Itwas the anniversary of my... Attempt. I didn’t think it was fair to let my Mum go through that alone.I know I shouldn’t have leftyou but...When she calledtoaskif I could come around and seeher…”
“Oh Ryan,you should have told me. Are you ok?” Jasper asks, his heart sinking at the thought of Ryan having not had any support from him the last few days.
“She did ask if you’d come too but when I mentioned your parents werevisitingI think she was relieved that it’d just be the two of us. She would have put on a bit of a front with you but with me she just cried and hugged me for ages. It was really hard to see how much it was hurting her still, and then she hit me with a million questions about us, she’s been seeing the articles on the internet and she knows I’d tell her if something was wrong but that and the timing just really got her worried.” Ryan seemed quite calm given what he was talking about, it was clear he was at least in a good place now, though that didn’t make Jasper feel any better about not even knowing it was the anniversary of a monumentally traumatic day in Ryan’s life.
“Did you hear from Damien?” Jasper asks, hating himself for asking at all but the thought of Damien making any effort to apologize in amongst the drama they already had to deal with was an infuriating thought.
“Noit was just another day to him, I doubt it would have even crossed his mind. Though to be fair, I didn’t realize either until Mum asked me to come and see her, crazy how much changes in a year, when I woke up in a hospital bed with my Mum crying besidemeI thought I’d never move on from that, and yet here I am, forgetting already.” Ryan admits with a shrug. “I wasn’t sure how I would be but I feel but I just felt bad for putting my Mum through it, I can’t even remember how I got to such a low point that I felt like that was the only option but I guess that’s how hindsight works. I was mostly just glad that is all behind me. I owe a lot of that to you, for everything you have done for me.” Ryan strokes Jasper’s cheek then leans forward and kisses him gently.
“I can’t take the credit for your happiness, I’ve definitely not been the best, especially while you were away, but you still managed to get through that without my support. And since you came back you’ve had to deal with these rumors about me that I know have planted a seed of doubt no matter how hard you try to ignore it. I should probably tell you more often, that I am proud of how well you have been handling all these issues, I know it’s not fair and it’s shit but you’ve held it together and you should be very proud of how far you’ve come.” Jasper tells him, looking deep into Ryan’s eyes, taking a moment to appreciate and be grateful for all that he had because Ryan had failed that night. Thankful that because it hadn’t worked, he had been able to meet and fall in love with him. Life would feel so empty if Ryan had just been the name of another stranger in the obituary.
“Speaking of dealing with our issues,what happened with your parents?” Ryan asks,bringingJasper closer.
“Well, Eleanor was baptized yesterday so I had to sit through church which brought back a lot of feelings, afterwards I thought we were going to some kind of baptism party thing, but instead I was taken to gay camp, which isn’t as fun as the name suggests.” Jasper tries to make light of his comment, unlike Ryan who seemed to have had a really healthy reaction to his trauma, Jasper was taking a laugh it off method for his own emotional experience.
“Seriously?” Ryan gasps. “I can’t believe places like that still exist.”
“Mhm, while there are people that still believe it’s something that can be cured, there will always still be places that claim to cure it through ‘Conversion Therapy’.” Jasper shrugs. “I was curious at first and spent a day there and then realized that it was full of vulnerable people that are being mentally scarred as a method of changing something about themselves that isn’t wrong. It’s not something I really want to ever think about again to be honest.”
“Are you ok though?” Ryan asks, feeling shattered that he’d not been there to stop Jasper being put through it.
“Don’t worry, you know me, I’m the kind of person to double down and push twice as hard against what anyone tells me to do so their ‘reject gay thoughts’ message was very ineffective for me. I do have this room booked until 9am tomorrow so we have plenty of time to makeextrasure, that I’m definitely still a complete and utter disgrace that will burn in hell eternally for sinning, with the man I love.” Jasper gives Ryan a suggestive wink before pressing a soft kiss against Ryan’s lips, for a moment after the kiss, he and Ryan are just locked in an intense feeling of desperation for one another. With frustration at all they’d been through, sadness to have missed such difficult moments with each other, and the gravity of their own personal experiences in just the last few days getting to them the highly emotional last few days culminated in a need for one another’s comfort and reassurance. Ryan lifts his hand to Jasper’s chin and brings their lips together in a deep and passionate kiss, they melt into the moment, neither with any intention of letting go of each other.