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Do You Ship Us? - 82. Happy Birthday

Tonight is a particularly special night, does anyone want to guess why?” Blake asks the audience, as he struts across the stage, an ear-piercing scream comes from the audience, so loud that none of the words being screamed at them stood out enough, but Blake knew the majority of the audience would have shouted something about Jasper’s birthday. “That’s right, this loser is another year older.” Blake slings his arm over Jasper’s shoulders. “Ok, on the count of three, everyone shouts him a happy birthday. One, two, THREE!” Blake holds his microphone in the direction of the boisterous audience.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Luke and Simon lead the chant.

“You guys are early, today isn’t my birthday.” Jasper jokes. “Not for another 3 years anyway.”

“Guess we better cancel the party then.” Blake suggests. “Is it anyone else’s actual birthday tonight?” Blake asks and a couple of screams come from the audience. “Well in that case this message is for you, not Jasper.” Blake states and turns Jasper around, looking back at the screen on the stage as a video comes up of Ryan.

“Hey.” Ryan waves at the stage.

“Oh shi-” Jasper covers his mouth. “Is this live, can he see me?” Blake asks.

“I hope you’re having an awesome birthday and I can’t wait to see you again. Happy birthday my love~” Ryan blows a kiss to the camera and the screen goes black. The audience screams again excitedly. Jasper leans into Blake who hugs him tight and rubs his back. It’d been a nice idea but after just over 2 months of not seeing each other and barely having time to talk to each other, just about any reminder of Ryan was enough to set Jasper off. It took a few moments before Jasper composed himself and turned back to the audience with a smile plastered on his face.

“Happy birthday. Here’s a reminder that you miss your boyfriend.” Jasper says sarcastically as he wipes away his tears. His birthday was not something that had been talked about and planned much, because they knew they would be performing that night, but Jasper had been hoping he’d at least be surprised with a visit from Ryan, and even now thought that Ryan might have pre-recorded the message at home and snuck off to the airport.

The rest of the show was a blur, all the performances were rolling into each other now and with the same set list, give or take a few gags along the way, different jokes and moments happening between songs, it was all becoming repetitive. Jasper was always looking forward to the end of the show, but with the hype of possibly actually seeing Ryan tonight, he was even more excited to get off the stage and head to whatever the guys had planned. Off the stage, the group gets their things and heads out into the cars awaiting them.

They arrive at a party they had been invited to, full of A list local celebrities. Blake was excitedly leading the way into the party, they hadn’t been to many parties like this and it was definitely a thrill to everyone to be mingling with people that were highly respected and valued in the entertainment industry too.

So I know it’s not exactly a birthday party for you, but we figured we’ve been taking things pretty seriously so far and it was time we all let our hair down and acted like the stars we are, by getting drunk at the house of a celebrity that we don’t know.” Blake tells Jasper as they find a server at the bar.

“Imagine us being famous enough to hire bartenders to our house and invite people just because they are also famous. Living the dream.” Jasper laughs, though he was distractedly looking around, hoping to spot Ryan’s face in the crowd.

“What do you want to drink?” The bartender asks them. Jasper decides to take it easy, knowing his tolerance was low from lack of drinking recently and wanting to be sober when he finally got to see Ryan again, so he opts for a light mix of tequila and lemonade, while Blake goes for a shot then orders a drink to walk around with. They had already lost Simon and Luke in the crowd, not surprising that they hadn’t gone straight to the bar like Jasper and Blake had.

Meaningless small talk with a few dozen strangers later, Jasper finds Blake with Simon and Luke all talking in a stressed tone.

“Guys?” Jasper interrupts them confused. “Everything alright?” He asks.

“Yeah, you having fun?” Luke smiles at him.

“Loads of interesting people here, right?” Simon adds a question, the way they were both talking to him made Jasper feel as though they were trying to deflect from something.

“Ok, I love surprises and all that but at this point I just want someone to tell me. Are we only here to give Ryan time to turn up?” Jasper asks, still holding out hope but the silence and nervous glances between his friends shattered that pretty fast. “Is Ryan really not coming?” Jasper asks, looking as though he’s about to crack. Blake walks over and sings an arm over shoulder.

“He had a ticket and was supposed to be here but...” Blake starts.

“Are you fucking serious.” Jasper scoffs.

“There has been a huge storm around the city and all flights were grounded and then they were cancelled, we all hoped things would settle and he’d have been able to get something last minute, he has been on the list to be contacted as soon as flights are available again but it’s still not safe to fly out. He was meant to be here 2 days ago and he’s been waiting for a last-minute flight ever since. He tried Jasper, he just couldn’t get here by tonight. He’ll be on a flight as soon as it’s safe enough.” Blake was hoping to come across reassuring that Ryan’s lack of appearance had nothing to do with him not wanting to be there or not trying. All Jasper heard however was ‘Ryan’s not coming’. Jasper steps away from Blake, desperately trying to hold himself together.

“Sorry. That’s kind of ruin the mood I. I don’t really feel like partying anymore.” Jasper announces to them sadly, seeming almost dazed with disappointment.

“He really did want to be here Jasper, I promise he did.” Simon assures him.

“He did. We were all in on it, we were all trying to organise a way he could surprise you.” Luke backs up the story.

“I believe that. I just really want to not be in public trying to pretend to be fine right now. I’m gonna call Leo to take me home. You guys should stay. Or do whatever you want. I just want to be alone.” Jasper pulls his phone out, shaking a little as he tried to stop himself crying over Ryan again.

“I’ll come home with you.” Blake states.

“No, I’m fine. I really just want to be alone.” Jasper shakes his head.

“Ok but I just worry about you being upset and Leo taking advantage of that.” Blake had a good point but Jasper didn’t want to hear any of it. Part of him was annoyed that his friends were trying to distract him as if he’d just forget that Ryan wasn’t there, it was insulting for them to mistakenly assume that even though this was clearly something that was all encompassing to him, he could just be distracted out of noticing.

“If you want, I can call our driver?” Luke steps forward, taking out his phone while he makes the offer.

“No thanks I want Leo, I’ve got a request for him.” Jasper shakes his head and before anyone can intervene, he rushes off through the crowd to lose himself. Knowing they would chase him out the front, once he’s inside Jasper goes upstairs instead, he knew it was stupid but he just wanted to get away from everyone. He finds himself somewhere relatively quiet and calls Leo.


“Happy birthday” Leo smiles at Jasper as he slides into the passenger seat. “This is not what I expected to be doing, normally people want to be snuck into parties, not snuck out.” He comments amused. Jasper doesn’t answer, he just remains silent as he tries to call Ryan, but it doesn’t even ring.

“Seriously? This is bullshit.” Jasper snaps and drops his phone in his lap, shaking his head and looking out the window.

“Are you ok?” Leo asks.

“Yeah, totally fine.” Jasper answers sarcastically then picks his phone up quickly as it starts ringing, turning it off immediately as he sees Blake is calling him. “Hey, I know this will be the third odd request of the night but can you take me somewhere that the guys won’t find me? I just know Blake is gonna come looking for me.” Jasper sighs.

“No problem. Got anywhere in mind? Like do you want to go to just a quiet spot or a hotel?” Leo asks.

“Do you know anywhere quiet? I wouldn’t mind some fresh air.” Jasper looks at Leo who doesn’t answer, just gives a sly smile. Jasper looks back out the window, watching them pass through the busy city, getting further and further from lights and other cars. Winding up a hillside and pulling off the road, a few hundred meters down a dirt road Leo finally stops the car.

“I present to you, somewhere quiet.” Leo announces, getting out of the car and going around to Jasper’s door, but Jasper opens it and gets out before Leo gets to his side of the car.

“I think we can leave the professional stuff in the car, don’t you?” Jasper shrugs and hugs himself as he walks past Leo, looking at the spot Leo had brought him to. It was certainly private, no lights even in the distance, not much of a view but it made up for it because the lack of other light made the stars and mood shine so much brighter.

“Not bad, right?” Leo asks, flicking his lighter and passing him a joint. Jasper takes it without hesitation, takes a long drag and then holds his breath for a moment before letting out slow stream of smoke. “It seemed like you needed that.” Leo laughs as Jasper sighs and leans back on the bonnet of the car, looking up at the sky.

“I wanna ask you something and I need you to be honest with me, I don’t just want to hear what you think I want to hear and I don’t want to hear you tell me what you want me to know either. I want this to be unbiased and completely based on what you’ve seen with people in my situation. So just completely factually, between you and me. Does this distance thing ever work out for people?” Jasper could tell that Leo was hesitant before he responding, because it wasn’t often that he didn’t have an instant response, so use to telling people what they wanted to hear that being honest took thought.

“Look it does. For the right people.” Leo answers finally.

“It must be nice for those people.” Jasper shakes his head as if he’d already accepted that he was not the right person.

What? Don’t think you and Ryan will make it. Leo asks.

“What do you think?” Jasper asks as he passes the joint to Leo. “It’s been a little over 2 months and I only got through that because I had something to count down to. I knew he would be here tonight, for my birthday. But instead he is stuck at home because of a huge storm cell, god knows how long it will put any chance of travel on hold, and what my schedule will be like when he finally gets to visit. I mean, you know my upcoming schedule right? I don’t have time coming up that I can just spend with him. Interviews, fan meetings, shows, promotions. We’ve been working on our next album already and the guys are keen to use downtime in a studio getting started on recording that. I can’t let them down again, because my relationship got in the way of me doing my job the best way I can.” Jasper complains, Leo smiles and hands him back the joint, having not had any himself, he felt like Jasper needed it more than him.

“You would definitely be better off not prioritizing everyone else, and taking care of what you need.” Leo suggests.

Yeah ok Blake.” Jasper rolls his eyes and has another drag of the joint. “Thing is though this is my job. It may look like fun to the fans, and that’s how it should look, but it’s a job to me. I have to do my job properly just like everyone else does. I can’t be letting my personal life interfere with my work, just like other people can’t.

“But your personal life has been part of your job already and everyone knows and expects that. It may be your job but it’s heavily intertwined with your life too. Look at your two most popular songs, both of them are honest confrontations of the problems you are facing in your life. I mean you confirmed your sexuality live on stage with a song against your managers control and had a huge amount of support. Your song about missing Ryan and struggling to find a way to get through that time apart earned you an outcry of support. Putting your personal life on stage works out fine for you. You could probably answer a phone call from Ryan, on stage in the middle of a show and have the fans feel honoured to have been able to experience the moment with you. It may be your job but you are still your own boss. Don’t act like everything is out of your control, you are still very much in control. Trust me, everyone on the tour team, has had to work for proper divas before, you can make demands and give orders and make last minute changes. We are all good at jumping through hoops to ensure our clients are happy. Leo tells him with a laugh.

“Mm, like a last minute demand for weed at 11.30 at night.” Jasper asks with a smirk.

“Trust me that’s one of the most innocent requests I’ve had to attend to at 11.30 at night. I was actually very amused about getting this for you. Highlight of my week. I love it when the person I am working for gets comfortable with me and starts actually asking me for more than a coffee after every show.” Leo winks.

It’s not a habit I want to get into. I’m really not wanting to go down that path and end up being just another singer to fall in the sex, drugs and alcohol spiral that inevitably leads to accidental asphyxiation while overdosing in an orgy.” Jasper laughs, passing the joint over to Leo again.

“What a way to go though. See, that would be up there with the weirder things I have had to do for a client in the middle of the night.” Leo laughs too. “If it helps, none of my clients have died from accidental asphyxiation during an orgy. So I promise not to let you be the first, for starters I know CPR and secondly you’re one of the easiest people I’ve worked for because.” Leo changes to a fake whisper “You’re not very good at letting other people take care of you. You’re too much of a pleaser, you need to learn to be selfish.” Leo winks at him.



“Hey. How you feeling?” Beth asks, giving Ryan a pitying smile as she lights the candles on the coffee table.

“Like absolute trash.” Ryan admits with a sigh. “It’s Jasper`s birthday. And I’m not there. I know this is one of the things that just can’t have been helped, but. Fuck. All I wanted was to see him. It does not feel fair, I was so close. All it had to do, was not storm.” Ryan throws his hands up in the air as he looks out the window at the pelting rain glistening down the glass in the candlelight.

“I know this probably doesn’t help, but. We will get there as soon as we can.” Beth tries to come across positive but neither her or Ryan felt like they could actually see the positives.

“Sorry, I’m whinging to you.” Ryan sighs and falls down on the couch. “You must be feeling shit too. Missing Blake.” Ryan pats the couch beside himself. Beth smiles at him and walks over taking a seat beside him.

“Yeah, I’ll throw myself pity party another day doesn’t seem right to do it when you’re missing Jasper’s birthday like this.” Beth comments.

“I need at least the power to come on so I can charge my phone. I didn’t even get to send him a text or call him for his birthday, he’s probably pissed off at me.” Ryan stops although Beth could tell he had more to say. Ryan looks down at his hands and fiddles with the promise ring. "To be fair he didn't come to my birthday out of pettiness. At least I tried to see him for his." Ryan shrugs and looks back up.

"I just realized something." Beth smiles to herself. "Last year for his birthday, I kissed you."

"Oh that's right." Ryan laughs. "Because Jasper was catfishing me with a profile with your photo." Ryan smiles at Beth, then the smile fades as his thoughts return to what he'd been thinking before Beth brought up their kiss. “Can I say something awful? Just between us, because I know it’s a shit thing to say but I can’t stop thinking about it.” Ryan looks at Beth beside him, nervously.

“Of course, I promise I won’t judge.” Beth assures him, taking his hand to show him she was there to support him.

“I’m worried he’s going to cheat on me.” Ryan admits looking guilty to have even thought of it, it’d clearly been eating away at him. Beth nods and moves closer to Ryan, leaning her head on his shoulder.

“If I’m honest. I’m worried about the same thing with Blake.” Beth sighs.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. I can imagine how Jasper feels about not being able to see Ryan for his birthday due to some storm that has the flights grounded. I hope Jasper doesn’t cheat on Ryan with his P.A. . 

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Posted (edited)

Well we found out Ryan and Beth didn't cheat that looked like a possibility last chapter.Now Jasper and Leo are alone in a dark secluded space I'm leaning toward Jasper is not going to cheat but the others thinks he did.

Edited by weinerdog
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I don’t think Jasper will cheat but I do understand why he’s so upset which “could” lead to him making a bad decision. Thankfully while he’s apparently getting high he’s not drinking so I feel that if he remains sober as well as not too high he’s unlikely to give into the temptation to cheat. This is a sorta out there question but does Beth’s phone have any charge left? I mean if I were Ryan I’d be borrowing her phone, charging mine in the car, or something. It’s not that good a sign to me that Jasper is questioning their relationship working out and Ryan while feeling guilty for not being there, for reasons outside his control, is recalling Jasper skipping his birthday due to pettiness while also questioning Jasper’s fidelity. I don’t honestly think anything will happen yet Beth & Ryan both worrying about their boyfriends cheating, both missing them deeply and being somewhat depressed, drinking together, etc. does throw up some warning flags. Overall I think everything will be ok “if” the couples can manage to see each other as I think some time together is just what the doctor ordered.

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Come on Jasper, don't be stupid and cheat on Ryan, you two have something so special,and Beth and Blake are good for each other,, please tell me that Jasper knows that Leo is going to use him,he is just playing Jasper for his own needs, please Jasper don't throw away the the love you and Ryan have for a one night stand

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