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Do You Ship Us? - 88. The Harder You Fall

Ryan wakes up to the mischievous chatter in the lounge room. He rolls out of bed and gets dressed for what feels like the first time in a week, then heads out to find Blake and Jasper talking quietly to each other and laughing.

“Morning you two.” Ryan smiles. “Welcome home Blake.”

“Good to be back.” Blake stretches out on the couch comfortably.

“It’s weird seeing you two get along.” Jasper comments, looking from Blake to Ryan.

“I always liked Ryan, but in the same way a personal trainer likes their trainee. By being pushy and demanding better from him.” Blake shrugs. “I’m gonna put that in my speech, hold on.” Blake takes out his phone and makes a note.

“What speech?” Jasper asks.

Oh I’m just going to assume you will ask me to be your best man. I mean, you don’t have a better one.” Blake smiles at him.

“You realize we’re not getting married for ages right? You don’t need to have a speech done right now.” Jasper laughs.

“Uh, yeah but I was inspired. I’ve been working on it since Ryan asked me if he could marry you and to compose music to his lovey-dovey proposal lyrics. I’ve got a full draft already, wanna know how it starts?” Blake clears his throat. “It’s not shocking that we are here today to celebrate the marriage of these two, since upon first meeting, Jasper was flirting with this poor guy. In fact the only surprise, is that it’s taken this long for them to finally tie the knot. Sure, the odds have been against them at any turn, but I’ve see these two overcome every single problem and face every single test with one goal, to have each-others’ backs and to prove that nothing is too much for them to get through. At this stage I’m fairly sure it’d take a nuclear bomb to keep these two apart.” Blake reads out and looks over at Jasper. Jasper bites his lip and looks over at Ryan who smiles back at him.

“Look at you writing nice things.” Jasper teases.

Oh I’m going to make you cry, don’t you worry. I’m just hoping to get some better stories together to share about both of you, by the time you do get married.”

“I was expecting you to just roast me.” Jasper admits.

“Nah that’s the speech for your bucks night. Which by the way, is going to be a trip to Vegas and I don’t care how cliché that sounds.” Blake announces.

“Dude, yes! How many bucks’ nights can I have? Because I want to go there now. How do we live here and yet we have not had a movie cliché style alcohol infused trip to Vegas? What is wrong with us?” Jasper asks.

“Right? We Might have to have a few practice trips. Just so when it’s your proper bucks, we know where is good to go.” Blake shrugs.

“Deal! Sign me up.” Jasper gets up excitedly. “That’s when we should get our tattoos! When we’re plastered in Vegas.”

“The full Vegas experience.” Blake agrees. Ryan watches on while he sips his coffee with a grin, he could tell he’d be competing with Blake for Jasper‘s attention and now, simply because they were still so use to being away in each other’s company. He didn’t mind too much, the first week home he and Jasper had barely had their hands off each other. Sooner or later, they would need to get back to life outside of their bubble and spend time with other people.

“We should get going.” Jasper sighs, as though most of the time when he and Ryan weren’t busy he hadn’t been incessantly talking about their plans for the band. Now that they had the notoriety from their award that they needed to continue focusing and moving full steam ahead to keep the excitement going. Their new album was due to drop this morning but other than the quick catch up this morning with Blake the group hadn’t spoken since they gotten home after the show.

“Have a good day.” Ryan smiles, Jasper nips over to him and kisses him quickly as he follows Blake out of the apartment.

“You too, I’ll see you tonight.” Jasper tells him as he races out after Blake.



How are you guys going?” Simon asks as soon as Jasper and Blake walk in the room.

“Great, thrilled to be home of course.” Jasper answers, heading straight in to sit down at the piano and tinkering on the keys, full of excited energy.

Yeah.” Luke nods and looks down at the ground then over at Simon. “It is awesome to be back home.”

So, new album out today! Blake and I will be talking about it on our podcast later on. We should probably start planning what is next for us, I think we should do more fan events, it’s been a while since we have done one of those. Is Mark coming to see us soon?” Jasper asks.

He’s out this morning but he will want to talk to you guys.” Simon states with a sigh.

“All of us you mean?” Jasper frowns over at Simon who was looking at Luke anxiously.

We have already talked to him.” Simon admits, not able to look at Jasper. “We, Luke and I, have been talking about it and well, since the tour was so big and we’ve got so much of our lives to catch up on, maybe we should consider taking a break.” He states.

“What? A hiatus you mean?” Jasper asks surprised.

Well you know, Fi and Luke are about to be parents and my wife has just moved here at last so we have our families to think of. We’re not going to be able to run off on tour when we’ve got children at home.” As Simon speaks Jasper glances over at Luke. Though it made sense this still felt like it was coming out of nowhere. Then again, he had been ignoring the obvious shifts in their priorities and interest in the band recently. Of course Luke would be more focused on his baby coming in the next few weeks now, and of course Simon would want to put time into rekindling his struggling marriage, but that didn’t mean they had to choose between career and life.

You and Ryan will probably settle down soon too and you’ll want to be home more...” Luke barely gets his point out before Jasper responds.

“No way, this is my life. I’ll stop touring when I’m dead.” Jasper scoffs.

“I’d come back from the dead to tour.” Blake agrees.

“You’ll feel differently with kids, you won’t want to leave Ryan alone to parent by himself.” Luke assumes but Jasper just rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

“Ryan doesn’t expect me to give up my career for him and I don’t expect him to put his plans for kids on hold for me. It’s called compromise, neither of us having to lose out but maybe tweaking the plans to suit each other. So sure, next tour might be 2 months away, a month at home, then off again just to be available and what not but quitting seems extreme when we worked so hard to get here.” Jasper argues.

You just don’t get it. It’s all well and good to imagine still having that kind of freedom but when you settle down and have a family you will understand that it’s not realistic to be running off all the time.” Luke replies.

“Fluke isn’t even born yet and you are already assuming you can’t keep working? How does every other parent ever, do it then?”

“Every other parent isn’t gone for 2 months of their child’s life and home for one.” Luke rolls his eyes at Jasper’s lack of attempt to understand his point of view.

“It’s just a hiatus, we are not saying the band is done, just that for now we need to focus on ourselves.” Simon states.

No one ever comes back off a hiatus. This is my life, my career, it’s what keeps me sane. What are we meant to do?” Jasper asks annoyed and confused about what was happening with the band.

“Look no one is stopping you guys, we’re just saying we want to take a break. We spoke to Mark and he’s confirmed that us stepping away from the band doesn’t change your contracts, you guys can keep performing around the clock, going on tours and being away longer than you’re at home. I thought you would understand Jasper, you said yourself you were on tour longer in your relationship than you’d actually spent with Ryan and you hated it.” Simon comes in on Luke’s defense.

Yeah it was a struggle but I don’t regret the tour though, that was a raging success, we went into that with 2 albums of shit Chris produced and our own solo albums and managed to have a hugely successful tour of almost entirely sold out shows. Tell me you don’t really want to give that up? The thrill of the fans chanting and screaming with excitement, the rush of adrenaline as we wait for the first song to start and all the fun improve in between songs that riles the fans up. Do you honestly think you won’t miss it?” Jasper argues.

“I want to see my son learn to crawl, learn to walk, say ‘Daddy’ and ‘Mummy’. I don’t want to miss any time with him.” Luke shrugs. Having missed Ellie learning to crawl, Jasper did understand Luke’s reasoning.

So we’ll put off going on another tour. Come on we have an album coming out in like an hour, this is not the time to put the breaks on. We can stay around for 6 months, you guys get settled and then talk about a tour, less shows, break it up into a month on and a month off or something. We will have more balance next time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, we will just make it work.” Jasper pleads, seeing his dream fading away before his eyes.

“Statistically speaking most bands break up within a few years and we’ve already lasted longer than I thought we would and… if I’m really honest, I just don’t think this is really what I want anymore. My life with Fi, it might be boring to you, compared to being on stage but it’s the life I want right now. You will be fine on your own, you’re the popular one anyway.” Luke says defeated. Jasper looks to Blake desperately but Blake wasn’t engaging in the conversation at all, just waiting for it to end.

“So that’s it then. That’s the band done. After everything, all the struggles we went through to get to this point where things are finally great, you just don’t want to do it anymore?” Jasper asks.

“Because of everything and all the struggles. It hasn’t been fun for a long time, the closest thing to feeling worth it was the tour but that also showed me my priorities had changed and it didn’t feel worth being away. I’m sorry that you feel differently, but you can’t change my mind.” Luke sighs and walks away before he had to continue justifying himself to Jasper. At a loss, Jasper turns to Simon who just shrugs at him.

I’m sorry. Maybe in the future when our lives are in different places we will…”

“Bullshit. Bull. Shit. This is our lives too and you guys spoke to Mark before telling us that you wanted out. I can’t believe this.” Jasper was too annoyed to care anymore, he just wanted to get out of there and away from Simon so he storms out.

Well we spoke to Mark first because we knew Jasper would crack the shits over it.” Simon mutters to Blake.

Yeah what can you do? You have to live your lives and be happy with it. I’ll defuse the Jasper bomb and see you at the reunion in 10 years I guess.” Blake says, not seeming to care about what was going on. He walks out after Jasper and finds him waiting at his car.

“A walk out is never as impressive when you have to wait for your driver.” Blake teases, swinging his car keys around then pressing the button to unlock it. Jasper doesn’t reply, just gets in the passenger seat and waits for Blake to join him. “I feel like I need a sugar hit, frozen coke?” Blake offers as he starts the car.

Well that brings back memories, it’s been a while since we ran off for frozen drinks.” Jasper cheers up at the thought.

Right? We don’t get to do this stuff anymore now that we are actual adults living in our own homes and not stuck in the dorms running off in the night for a drink and thinking Simon would ground us if he caught us sneaking out. Those were the days.” Blake sighs.

“Those were such shitty days. Stuck in that dorm, with no money and no life just driving off to sit in your old car and talk about our dreams while eating MacDonald’s in the middle of the night.” Jasper laughs. “God we have come so far. Why would they want to end it now?

“Like Luke said, priorities change. I mean he’s got the money now to take time and be a family, he can live comfortably for a few years before he needs to have an income again. Can’t begrudge him of that.”

It just seems so sudden and out of the blue though.”

“He’s had almost 9 months to think about it. Just because we are only hearing it now doesn’t mean it’s been out of the blue for him.”

“And Simon?”

“I don’t know, midlife crisis?

“He’s not old enough for that.”

“Quarter life crisis then.

“Fi isn’t even due for like, a few weeks right? And why would Simon need to take a break, his wife isn’t pregnant.”

“Ooh conspiracy theory, what if she is!” Blake fakes shock.

“Then he has 9 months to smash out more music and live his life before falling into the parenting trap.”

Speaking of, what is the plan for you and Ryan babywise anyway?” Blake asks.

Well it’s still gonna be a few years off, eager as he may be I think it’s important we get ourselves sorted out first. I mean I am not ready to be a parent any time soon. We haven’t even set a wedding date yet. But Grace has offered to surrogate, Which would be lovely. Ryan and I could have a baby that’s half my genetics half his.”

Half yours has his?” Blake frowns.

Yeah, if we used one of Graces eggs, Mix it with Ryan’s baby juice. Voila. Half mine, half is.”

So it would be genetically, Grace and Ryan’s baby.”

It would be genetically my and Ryan’s baby. The eggs are basically just a conglomeration of cells that hold my families DNA anyway. Just because it’s kept in her ovaries doesn’t make it any less my family’s DNA.”

“I guess so? I don’t know enough about that kind of thing to argue with your theory so it you guys are happy with that, then do it.

Anyway, that’s a long way off, like I said, we aren’t even planning a wedding yet. I assumed I wouldn’t have time for that right now. Can you believe Luke and Simon wanna quit?” Jasper asked, shocked.

“Believe it? I called it as soon as Luke and Fi announced that they were having a baby. I knew. And to be honest it suits me anyway. I think it’s more than clear. We have different music styles, our solo stuff was so much better than our full albums. I kind of wanna do my stuff now that I know how well it can do on the charts.” Blake shrugs.

Oh so you’re ditching me too then?” Jasper looks at Blake offended.

Well. I was kinda hoping that you would join me. Come on, imagine it just you and me. Sellout world tour. The nightly bullshit on stage. Truly living the dream. No restrictions.” Blake sighs wistfully as he looks into the distance. Jasper couldn’t help but smile at the thought.

The Badass World tour!” Jasper suggests with a grin.

“The Badass World Tour! See, we would smash it on our own!” Blake tells him.

Yeah what the heck, Panic! At The Disco is only one guy now, his whole band quit on him and he’s a major success still. We’ve got this.” Jasper and Blake hi-5. Feeling hyped.

“We could do podcast events where fans can be live in the audience during a podcast, do a meet and greet with them and have games with prizes.” Blake suggests.

Hell yeah that would be epic!”

“Next stop, world dominomin!” Blake rubs his hands together excitedly.

Dominomin? Domination you mean?” Jasper laughs at his friends muddled wording.

“Jasper I-I’m….” Blake stutters, his breaths short and panicked.

“You right?” Jasper asks nervously, quickly becoming more terrified as he notices how pale Blake suddenly was.

“Blake, what, are you ok?” Jasper panics as Blake starts veering towards the opposite side of the road.

“Ja. Ja. Ja. Blake stammers as he turns his head to look into Jasper’s eyes, His own eyes seeming to have trouble focusing. Blake looked like he was trying to steer but he couldn’t control his hands.

BLAKE!” Jasper grabs the wheel just before Blake falls against it, his weight pinning Jasper’s arms against the wheel helplessly. Trying to steer in any capacity was made impossible with Blake shuddering and writhing against the wheel uncontrollably. Jasper tries to push Blake back against his seat but it’s only with the sound of tearing metal and the crushing force in front of them that he is thrown back like a ragdoll.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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OMG I hope they are all right.What happened to Blake?I hope it's not too severe .If it is then that makes the decision of the band an easy  one but I so hope they're all right.

The above incident not withstanding Jasper could be Justin Timberlake maybe even get in a movie.If Blake can't continue performing he could always compose and co-compose songs with Jasper for Jasper to perform that's a good income if you're successful.But first lets hope they are all right

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Wow what a dramatic chapter. The band splits/goes on hiatus. Then as Blake and Jasper agree to tour together, Blake has a blackout/seizure whilst driving. (Probably related to the headaches he was getting)

Then we're left with the cliffhanger with the car crashing, not knowing how Jasper and Blake are. 

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I knew something was wrong with Blake but this I was not ready for. I hope so that nothing bad had happened that is irreversible 

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Blake may have had a stroke or seizure. I sure hope they are all right and not hurt at least to badly.

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Simon and Luke quitting the band while their reasoning is understandable was still a shock but I never expected the chapter to end with an even bigger shock. I’m not sure what’s wrong with Blake but I hope they both turn out ok. Either way it looks like the future is changing in ways nobody expected only a short time ago. This chapter reminds us that anything can happen and often in ways you never see coming.

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Epileptic seizure? Isn’t that why Blake started smoking weed in the first place?

Fie you @Littlelovestories and your cliffhanger! 

Good chapter. Can’t wait for the next (soon, right?) :) 

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