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Jasper Thompson

Emerging from the sewer grate in the middle of the road, he already has the phone pressed to his ear for what feels like the thousandth time, mumbling obscenities as the persistent ringing never stops. “Pick up, assh-le,” is the only coherent speech, but even that goes unanswered. Finally, Jasper realizes his attempts are futile and pockets the damn thing.

He could kill Gray Taylor, the pompous, self-absorbed b-stard.

Yet, it’s mostly anxiety that eats at him.

His storm-filled gaze finds the picture that brought him tearing out of the comforts of home for the second time tonight. An oddly familiar face stares up at him from the back of the newspaper, though he’s never met the woman in his life. It’s an aged photo from the forties, but he’d know that smile anywhere.

Jasper sniffs derisively, tucking it closer to him so he doesn’t have to focus on his frustrations. Even so, his steps quicken, the worry nagging at his subconscious until all he hears is a faint ringing.

Time flashes past and, before he can fully comprehend, he’s in the elevator up to Gray’s Manhattan apartment. A few blinks steady him, though the ringing never quite goes away. A fresh wave of annoyance floods over him at the man’s lack of urgency when Jasper needs him, yet all else must stop in the wake of his worries. The b-stard finagled his way into an entire collection of paintings for the very same situation, but...

He breathes.

Standing outside the door, he dives into his pocket for his key, eternally grateful that this one time, he finds it. All else forgotten, he practically busts down the door, as if he’s afraid of what could be on the other side.

“Gray,” he calls loudly as he swings the door shut, any sense of propriety and etiquette far from his line of thought.
October 30, 2018 07:24 pm

Gray Taylor

He had three choices.

No, four. The fourth is sabotage, and Gray could definitely do that. So, he tends to business early, when he knows he will not be interrupted. It is savagely purposeful, but important to his cause. He'd been working tirelessly since he last saw Jasper, ensuring things were as abnormally normal as possible.

His apartment goes untidied, his bed unmade. Beer bottles are left in various places, and though they are few, they are ridiculously noticeable. A single dish sits in the sink, dirty and waiting to be loaded in the otherwise empty dishwasher. His phone, on silent, incapable of disturbing him.

So, when Jasper pushes into his apartment, Gray already knows the news. He had read the paper, seen the picture of his precious little sister, and worked his own way through it. He didn't call, and he certainly did not react. He wouldn't. Not until he is ready.

The article had painted a horrible picture of her. Wild, they called her. Spoiled rotten, and without any sense of responsibility. They described her as catty, and mean spirited.

It was only halfway true, but that is his sister. How they could possibly know anything about her is beyond him. The biggest issue is the use of her given name.

Sarah Brant, sister of Samuel Brant.

Ungrateful heathens, they called them.

His name sounds out from Jasper, and Gray lets out a low sigh from where he stands in the bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror.

It is showtime.

He would emerge in naught but a pair of men's lounge pants and a fitted t-shirt. Normally, he would go to Jasper. This isn't meant to be normal. Instead, he goes straight for the couch. "Jasper," he responds, giving the man a subtle wink before sinking down into the cushion and picking up the controller to the xbox that has, for as long as he can remember, sat unused.

Without waiting, he presses the button, and the screen of his television comes to life once more. Not a second later, a zombie comes running at him, and the sound of gunfire fills the room.

World at War.

He's killing Nazis.

Calm as ever, he calls out, "Are you alright?"

Gray is f-cking committed.
October 30, 2018 07:42 pm

Jasper Thompson

A steadily darkening gaze sweeps over the unkempt apartment as his blood reaches boiling level. There are beer cans galore, and it’s clear that a healthy disregard for anything hangs about the place like a plague. For only a moment, he entertains the idea that perhaps Gray was abducted, and some squatter now inhabits his living space.

Then, he makes his grand appearance.

Jasper freezes. Did that f-cker really just have the gall to wink at him. Emotion after maddening emotion flits through his mind in rapid succession, leaving him delirious at which to land on.

Gray remains unfazed, taking up his video game and leaving Jasper all the more flustered. Anger quickly threatens to take over all rational thought, and he considers letting it.

Instead, his grip on the paper tightens brutally, the pages starting to smoke before they catch fire entirely. The flaming mass is dropped to the ground, leaving scorch marks freely on the floor. He doesn’t care if the whole building burns to the ground; that’s not his concern.

It’s not enough to quell his rage, however, and quick steps carry him across the floor until he’s within reaching distance. A deft hand latches onto the controller and launches it into the TV, where it lodges itself precariously in the screen, cracks spiderwebbing across the surface.

“What. The f-ck. Are you doing.”
November 01, 2018 12:26 pm

Gray Taylor

He can smell the smoke and burning paper, and it is grating at his nerves. He wants nothing more than to start screaming at Jasper, but he remains stoic on the outside, squinting at the screen as he continues to shoot at the onslaught of historical zombies.

Again, Gray is committed to his cause.

But the controller is quickly wrenched from his grip, and a glare is lifted along with a quick ‘What the f-‘, until that very controller goes careening toward the television and makes a home there. The screen goes black, a web of cracks begins to expand, and Gray silently mourns his overpriced electronic. Still, he remains apathetic, a slated gaze lifting up to his furious partner.

“Buying a new TV, apparently.”

Sighing, he stands, taking the beer before him along and approaches the small fire. The liquid is dumped out atop it, and a satisfying ssssss sounds from it.

F-cking great. Now he is going to have to live with a scorched floor until Jasper finally leaves him.

He would just cover it with a piece of furniture later. Or something. Anything to keep it out of his sights.

Pulling out his phone, he pulls up his browser and sets to work in his hunt for a new television. Barely a glance is sent Jasper’s way as he asks his question, seemingly disinterested though he knows precisely the nature of his visit. He is, or was, concerned. And as much as Gray hates being a next level sh-thead, it is absolutely necessary.

“What has your panties in a bunch?”
November 01, 2018 12:45 pm

Jasper Thompson

Jasper watches the man’s every move with a cynic’s eye, disbelief written all over his face. He’s utterly thrown for a loop, looking between Gray and the floor and the window, sporadically. The ringing in his ear grows steadily, until it’s all he can do to think straight.

And even that is a toss-up.

The hiss of the fire being put out grates at him, and his head cants at an odd angle as he tries to shake the annoyance. This renders his sights to fall to the man once more, who is leisurely scrolling his phone.

The rage threatens to consume him once more, and is only stoked by Gray’s question. Lightning flashes behind his eyes, and his thoughts are legible across his visage; there’s a split second where he considers punching him in the face. The only thing that stops him is his uncertainty of being able to stop.

So he leaves.

But still, Gray persists with a text about his Netflix password, further cementing his blatant disregard. They go back and forth, both vindictive and pulling out all the stops, until Jasper just... gives up. He didn’t believe that Gray would stoop so low, but this cavalier attitude is also new, so what the f-ck does Jasper know.

Gray
Forget it, Gray.

And yet, Jasper is incapable, himself.

So, in a whirlwind of emotion, he storms back, the phone flying into the wall and shattering before coming to rest on the floor, forgotten. Eye twitching, he pushes his sleeves up and collides into the man with a hard shove to his chest.

Something has to give.

“Alright, pr-ck, you have two f-cking choices. You can either take this ass beating you’re about to get, or you can tell me, honestly, what the f-ck are you doing.”
November 03, 2018 05:38 pm

Gray Taylor

Jasper had left, and Gray feels as if he's done a good job. He is left feeling strangely fulfilled, and he cannot help but consider just what he has actually done. All but lighting the match, he would watch their relationship burn up and disintegrate. It's for the better, he would tell himself.

And, just to seal the deal, he begins to send text messages that are equal parts infuriating and flippant.

Gray abhors flippancy.

It literally hurts.

For one brief second, he believes that he has ended it all in no time at all. Effectively, Gray is alone and desires nothing more than to further destruct.

He's walking from the kitchen to the couch when Jasper storms in, a phone flying by his head before careening into the wall. Still, he remains blank and unfeeling. Slated hues would turn to Jasper, who is barreling toward him with a crazed look in his eye. Sleeves are pushed up, and Gray prepares himself for whatever pain may come his way.

He didn't even f-ck his mother, be he supposes he should have expected such a reaction to his lie.

The connection comes hard against his chest, bringing Gray to step back with the blow if only to keep from falling.

Two choices. Jasper gives him two choices, and Gray merely straightens up where he stands. These two choices are difficult. Continue on with this charade, and likely get burnt, or come clean.

Either way, he is sure it would be the end of them.

He would try the first option, not quite believing that Jasper would ever actually bring him harm.

He shrugs, as infuriating as it may be, rather than meeting Jasper on level ground and making things right. Gray loves this man, and he is set on doing the right thing for him. At least, what he believes is right.

"Trying to watch Netflix."
November 03, 2018 05:50 pm

Jasper Thompson

It is infuriating.

Mind-numbing fire courses through his entire being as his skin begins to let out tiny tendrils of steam. He is fast losing control, and he’s hard pressed to understand what game Gray is playing by toeing this line.

The callousness hurts. The flippancy that Gray supposedly despised in Jasper’s attitude is remarkably new in his own, and he can’t figure out how to process it. Truthfully, it’s eating at him, forcing his limited rationale to teeter dangerously over the edge.

Yet, just as quickly, the fire burns out.

His shoulders sag as he brings his suddenly dulled gaze to Gray’s own, searching it for the answers he’s not willing to give. Even so, it provides nothing. A sigh tells of his inner turmoil, and he shakes his head, defeated.

“I...” He falters.

Two months, give or take. That’s all the time this relationship had stretched, fiery as it was. He’d have given everything for this man, and for what? To be treated as a nuisance?

What am I doing...

The question permeates his subconscious, bringing forth everything he’d ignored and surpassed and suppressed. Every failed relationship, his suicides, all brought on by his incessant need to see something through until it burned up every last bit of his self-worth. He’d do anything for the people he loved, even if it meant changing every aspect of himself to suit their needs.

A smile cracks his lips, an odd reaction to his revelation. As he watches Gray, he realizes he can’t deny his emotions toward the man, as unhealthy as they might be, and there’s a sad gleam to his watchful gaze.

“Are you pushing me away because you really want me gone, Gray? Did I really matter that little to you? You can be honest...”

I promise, I’ll be fine.
November 06, 2018 08:11 am

Gray Taylor

Gray is prepared for an impact that never comes. He is steeled away and waiting for the pummeling that has been promised, and there is no way to tell if he is relieved or infuriated when it never comes. Before him, Jasper deflates in the face of his lackadaisical bullish-t. The man does this all the time. He winds himself up and simmers down too fast, as if he cannot grasp at his own emotions for more than seconds.

Up and down, Jasper is nothing short of manic.

And in the face of his questions, Gray scoffs quietly. How Jasper could ever think that, he isn’t sure. The man before him kept him alive, saved his life, and gave him something he felt he would never deserve.

And then he went and f-cking...

Once again, that decision is spread before him, and Grays gaze would turn to ice as he looks upon his partner. “Yes.”

Just like that, the charade is over.

“I told you from the start, Jasper. I would not share. In any capacity. And you went behind my back, negotiated my life, and willingly put yourself in a position that would require me to do so just that. You didn’t ask, you didn’t say a word. You just did it.”

His gaze would flicker over Jasper’s face before he takes two measured steps backwards, away from him. Damn him. Damn him, his emotions, and the way he commanded Gray’s heart from the very beginning.

“It’s not f-cking okay.”
November 06, 2018 09:34 am

Jasper Thompson

Yes.

He closes his eyes, the air rushing from him in a silent whoosh. In the face of Gray’s honesty, he doesn’t blanch or back away; Jasper let’s it wash over him. It feels refreshing, if only because of its nature.

Behind his explanation, Jasper’s eyelids would flicker open, eyes coming to rest on him sadly. In hindsight, perhaps he should’ve considered his actions a bit more closely. Even then, he knows the reason he hadn’t was to keep himself from backing out of his decision. He’d done only what he thought was best, and while part of him hoped that Gray could forgive him...

Jasper takes a deep breath.

“I’m sorry.” The apology comes softly, though sincerity laces each syllable. “I shouldn’t have made that decision without you. But it was the only option. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done the same, had our positions been reversed.”

Their shared stubbornness doesn’t need to be voiced for both men to come to terms with it, and Jasper knows with no amount of uncertainty that Gray absolutely would have made that same decision without consulting him. He’d proven that countless times over.

Now, Jasper stands in the home of his ex-lover, feeling awkward for the first time. He toys idly with the key in his pocket, extracting it with the intent to give it up for the second time in much too short a span. Sighing, he sets it on the table, a small smile gracing his features in spite of everything.

“I would do anything for you, Gray. Thank you for doing all you could for me.”

He means every word.

“I hope you can forgive me, one day.”
November 06, 2018 09:57 am

Gray Taylor

"You could have let me try to handle it," Gray's retort, however annoyed, is soft. In the face of this, he finds himself willfully unwillful. This isn't what he wanted. He wanted a future here.

This isn't what he wanted.
This is not what he wanted.

I would do anything for you, Gray

You did.

Thank you for doing all you could for me.

I tried.

I hope you can forgive me, one day.

F-ck.

There is a deeply broken part of him that wants to be able to handle this. He desires nothing more than to put his differences on the matter aside, and learn to live with it. But he can't. His pride is wounded, he ego deflated, and everything aches.

This is for the better, he would tell himself. Over and over again, he reminds himself that this is for the best. Jasper would never be anything but disappointed if he were to retain him, and Gray would never be able to live with that.

But f-ck, he does love him.

Stormy eyes are cast downward, landing on the key that has been placed on the table.

"I'm sorry, too." The words barely escape him in his shame. Perhaps if he had just talked it out, rather than acting out...

They'd be in the same place.

A hand lifts to rake through his hair, disheveled as it already is. His gaze lifts, roving over Jasper's face, and he steps forward once more if only to press upon his forehead a lingering kiss before meeting his eyes once more.

A soft shake of his head, and he turns, slowly retreating away, further into the depths of his apartment.

He won't watch him leave.
November 06, 2018 12:39 pm
1
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