7.45: Realistic

“Um… Hi.” Jasper muttered uncertainly as he lingered in the doorway.

“Jasper what the hell are you doing here?” Phoenix shook his head in disbelief as he stepped backward, allowing his brother to enter at last. Jasper left his duffel bag behind him on the front porch.

“I know, I know. It’s crazy but… I can explain? Kinda?” A small nervous laugh passed his lips as he turned his eyes toward his ex. “Hey, Tam… Wow, uh, you look really good, by the way.” He added awkwardly.

At last, Tam spoke. “You too.” He replied softly.

Phoenix realized with a jolt that this was the first time Tam and Jasper had seen each other in person in months. Oh God this is awkward.

“I’m sorry about this, I just…” Jasper shrugged, turning back toward his brother once more. “Can we sit down?”

Phoenix nodded and led him over toward the couch. Part of him was thrilled to see Jasper again, but he still couldn’t believe that his brother had flown across the freaking Atlantic ocean and arrived at his doorstep completely unannounced. Thank God Gigi’s not here… She’d flip!

“Jas… What’s going on?” Tam broke the uncomfortable silence. “Why are you here?”

Jasper took a slow, deep breath before replying. “This is gonna sound so dumb. And I guess it IS pretty dumb, actually…” He admitted. “But ever since you called me the other day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was like I was possessed or something. I was up all night thinking about it.”

“About what?”

“You. Us. This stupid ‘break’…” He paused for a moment. “I miss you, Tam. I want you back. And I knew I had to come tell you. In person.” He explained. “So I emailed my professors and said I had a family emergency… Then I basically drained my savings account and bought a ticket for the first flight I could find. I had to see you.”

“Wow.” Phoenix muttered. He genuinely couldn’t believe that his rational, level-headed brother had done something so foolish and rash. It was totally ridiculous. But oddly sweet, too.

Tam just shook his head. “Jas, I’m going back home in less than a week. You couldn’t just wait til then?”

“I know… I told you it was stupid.” Jasper’s cheeks grew slightly pink as he spoke. “I’m pretty sure I spent half the flight just asking myself ‘What are you doing?’ over and over again… But I just couldn’t wait. I couldn’t.” He reached out then, taking one of Tam’s hands in his. “I love you, Tam. And I’m so sorry for everything.”

Phoenix suddenly wished he knew how to make himself disappear. Yup, totally awkward…

“Jas… I love you too.” Tam replied at last. “And I want us to find a way to fix this.” He seemed to hesitate for a moment before finally releasing Jasper’s hand. “But…”

Jasper’s face fell instantly. “Why does there have to be a ‘but’?” He groaned softly in frustration as he spoke. “I love you and I feel like shit for everything that happened… And I finally wanna make it right again. That’s why I came all the way here for you, Tam.”

“I know.” Tam’s voice was pained. “And it’s probably one of the most romantic things you’ve ever done for me.” He admitted. “You totally got a nat 20 on this one.” He assured him gently. “I just wanna make sure you don’t think things are like, magically better now or something… This isn’t some low-level Boss we can just kill in one hit. One big romantic gesture isn’t enough to undo everything.”

“I know that. I never said it was.” There was a hint of a sharp edge to Jasper’s voice as he spoke. “Why do you always have to put words in my mouth?”

“I’m not!” Tam insisted. “I’m just… being realistic.”

Jasper raised an eyebrow at him. “You? Realistic?” He shook his head in disbelief. “Pfft. Come on, Tam…”

“What? Is that really so hard to believe?” Tam replied defensively. “I know you think you’re the mature one since you went off to uni… But you’re not the only one who grew up, Jas!”

Oh God, what’s happening? “Uh, remember, ‘I’ statements…” Phoenix muttered weakly.

His brother and best friend looked over at him as though noticing him for the first time.

Tam’s expression softened immediately. “Sorry, Phee.” He said seriously.

“Yeah, me too.” Jasper agreed. “And I’m sorry to you too, Tam.” He turned his gaze back toward his ex as he spoke. “I didn’t come all the way here to fight with you. That’s the last thing I want right now. I promise.”

“Me too.” Tam let out a soft sigh. “I’m sorry.”

Phoenix took a deep breath and rose from his seat. They both needed time to cool off… and he needed time to try and process what the hell was even going on right now.

“Look, Jasper’s had a really long day. I’m sure he’s super jetlagged and could use some rest. And Tam, I know I got you all worked up with that roleplay thing earlier…”

“Roleplay?” Jasper interjected.

Tam shook his head. “Not as fun as it sounds, trust me.” He explained quickly.

“So anyway, what I’m saying is, why don’t we get Jasper set up in a hotel for tonight and we can try talking more about this tomorrow? Like, after we’ve all had some time to rest and cool off?” Phoenix suggested, smiling hopefully.

To his relief, neither of them put up a fight. In fact, they were more than willing to go along with his plan. It took a couple of phone calls, but Phoenix managed to find his brother a hotel room less than fifteen minutes away.

Unfortunately, Jasper hadn’t been kidding about draining his savings account to fly there, so Phoenix got stuck with the bill. And even in the off-season, it definitely wasn’t cheap. Oh God, Gigi’s gonna kill me…

But, to his surprise, she didn’t.

Tam was already asleep by the time Gigi got home from her friend’s house. And when she tiptoed silently into the bedroom, Phoenix had a feeling she wasn’t expecting to find him still awake.

“You didn’t have to wait up for me.” She said softly as she took a seat beside him on the bed.

Gigi was so beautiful in the moonlight. Practically glowing. She looked so tired. Almost sad, even. But the look in her eyes was so loving too. Phoenix felt a rush of warmth at the sight. Maybe he was right. Maybe things really were getting better.

And how sweet and understanding she was when he explained the situation with Jasper only served to strengthen that feeling.

“You’re sure you don’t mind?” He asked her yet again. “I know it’s a lot of money…”

His wife shook her head. “He’s your brother, Phoenix. It’s fine.”

He let out a soft sigh of relief at her words. “Thank you.” Phoenix leaned forward to pull her in for a kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Gigi replied as they finally broke apart. “You know that, right?” She added softly.

His brow furrowed slightly at her words. What was she talking about? “Of course I do… What’s gotten into you tonight?” He teased.

Her laugh sounded so tired. “Too much wine, maybe.” She said with a shrug. “But I’m fine. Promise.”

Phoenix nodded in understanding. He’d been able to taste the wine on her lips when they kissed. “Well, I’m glad you and Lucy had fun tonight.”

“Yeah…” She paused for a moment. “And I’m glad you and Tam did too. Until Jasper showed up, I guess.” Her lips curled into a soft smile, but it vanished almost as quickly as it had come. “I’m gonna go take a shower, okay?” Gigi leaned forward to quickly brush her lips against his. “Goodnight.”

“Night.” He muttered sleepily against her lips.

Jeez, what a freaking day. Phoenix thought to himself as he finally laid his head against the pillow. But at least no one can say I’m having a boring Spring Break…

56 thoughts on “7.45: Realistic

          1. Yay! I’m glad he does. ^-^ Also, Yeah, I hope it’s not Gigi cheating, but there are way too many red flags going on right now… It’s the eye of the storm, and the second half is the hardest part.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wow…… I’m glad Phoenix was there for Jam or that may have completely devolved into a huge fight. Although, it sounds like they both definitely want to work it out. Maybe Phoenix can put his new found counseling skills to work and help them.

    And Gigi….she seemed off, too nice and understanding…guilty maybe for staying out so late? Hmmmm….and Phoenix totally bought it, because, Rose colored glasses?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, things got a bit heated there! I think Phee’s assessment was pretty good — Jasper was over-tired and Tam was a bit riled-up from the Roleplay thing and it brought out a bit of heat! (And not the good kind…) But they’re definitely willing to talk more soon!

      Gigi was definitely in a weird mood when she got home. But Phoenix was too tired to really notice, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just had a bad feeling at the last couple paragraphs 😬 I truly hope nothing bad happened with Gigi (cheating *cough* *cough*😰😖) She seemed very off like she was solemn and upset. It looked like she was looking reassurance from Phee. I hope I’m wrong and they can fix it. BUT if she did cheat I would be highly disappointed because she did all those things for no reason. I think Gigi needs to find someone to talk to or get professional help because her not speaking is not good. Phoenix wants to help but she’s not being honest with what’s going on.
    With Tam and Jasper I’m glad the was realism with this relationship. Yes it was crazy romantic what Jasper did but Tam’s right in saying that it won’t magically fix things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting theory about Gigi! It’s possible (but hopefully not! 😭). Something definitely seemed a little off. She’s been acting weird lately. And you’re so right that she needs to open up to someone… but who? Apparently not Phoenix :-/

      And yes, Tam was actually being realistic (of all people! Haha) He was so flattered by the gesture, but he knows their problems can’t be fixed overnight and they need to have some serious discussions first

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  3. LOL!

    I love this line: Oh God, Gigi’s gonna kill me…

    It’s like his mantra! 😀

    Gigi was very nice this time…but it was like something was bothering her. Hmm…almost guilty. Uh oh, Phee…trouble might be coming your way!

    And JAM! Aww…

    But they have deep issues that cannot be swept away by sweet words. I hope Phee can shrink them sensible. (I liked the way he tried there…but yeah, awkward since he wasn’t supposed to be their therapist atm.)

    Looking forward to see them make up! (I hope!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao kind of a mantra at this point, yes 😂😂😂 And Gigi was definitely out of sorts here… nicer than usual, but kind of unhappy too. We’ll see!

      And you’re right that Jam needs more than just some sweet words to fix their problems 😦 Some serious discussions need to be had! Phee definitely tried, but you’re right, it was awkward for him too! He wasn’t prepared to be in therapist mode just yet haha maybe next time though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shipper WitcHazard: OMG when Tan said but I just about died! I didn’t want them to just act like everything was alright either so I’m glad they’re going to work it out! But now I’m scared for Phegi Gigi’s comment about knowing she loves Pheonix has me scared she’s goong to do somehow by dtastic or maybe she already has gasp!

    Dark WitcHazard: Well well calling it now Gigi may have cheated on Pheonix I didn’t even consider she could totally hurt him first which then sends him into Lola’s arms two wrongs don’t make a right but a hell of more drama!🤩

    Lover WitcHazard: I’m glad Jam is on the mend! But now Dark has me curious about Gigi’s sudden display of Pheonix’s preferred behavior! That’s a problem right there but not going into to it! Maybe she is being extra nice because she’s hoping that too soften the blow of something more severe!

    Nooboos WitcHazard: I’ll never get my nooboos at this rate!😞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely more work for Jam, sweet as Jasper’s dramatic arrival was! But Lover might be right about them being on the mend…. we shall see!

      Interesting PheeGi concerns. Definitely possible, but hopefully not 😬 (Though I guess Dark IS hoping :P)

      And don’t worry, Nooboos! We do need a gen 8 eventually, don’t we? 😂

      Like

  5. Yeah, no. Gigi’s cheating. Maybe with Lucy, maybe with a mysterious stranger, but she’s not there romantically anymore. She’s getting the attention she wants from another quarter, so it’s much easier to be friendly friends when you don’t have unfulfilled expectations from someone.

    Also, “You know I love you?”??!? Sounds like someone trying to convince herself, either that she loves him or “There’s space for two in my heart….”

    Hey Dark WitcHazard, what are the odds Gigi asks for an open relationship or a threesome?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting theory/observation (and definitely possible!) She is certainly acting strangely lately, especially with that question…

      And LOL! I bet Dark would approve of both scenarios! 😂😈

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks! The beginning of the school year is a huge ball of chaos, as per usual, and most nights I’ve come home just to go back to bed, but next week all the preliminary stuff should be done, so hopefully I’ll be around more regularly.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I totally feel you! I used to be 5-6 chapters ahead in my writing/screenshotting. Since school started I’ve been lucky to be 1 or 2 ahead… no time! I just wanna pass out every day after school! Haha

              Liked by 2 people

      1. Hopefully not a true theory! But something definitely does seem off with her… :-/ (Nice to see you pop in, by the way even if it’s with accusations of infidelity hehehehe)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know if Gigi’s cheating, but she’s definitely hiding something. And Jasper… really didn’t think this one out. Is he gonna spend a week hanging around Tam? Is Phoenix going to be their couples counselor the whole time? What a fun spring break we have planned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah something weird seems to be happening with Gigi… but what? 🤔 We shall see…

      LOL and Jasper definitely didn’t think this one through. He was just desperate and in love and went for one of those cliche grand romantic gestures by hopping on a plane without much forethought 😬

      I think his hope is really just to talk to Tam. This is an awful way of putting it but essentially, while they’re both in the US with Phoenix, Tam can’t really avoid him as easily as he could back home. Not that he necessarily WOULD, but Jasper is seeing this as an opportunity for them to kind of be forced to work through stuff. No escape 😂

      And yes… probably wanting to take advantage of Phee’s expertise a bit while he’s at it too LOL The next chapter is actually a journal entitled “Therapist”, so… 😬😂 we’ll see whether Phoenix minds or not… and how successful Jasper and Tam are at working some stuff out!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. These two never should have got married in the first place. I know they loved each other, at one time, however they were not ready to get married.
    Hopefully Tam and Jasper work it out. It doesn’t look good for Phoenix and Gigi. Maybe if they would just talk. Seems hopeless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this marriage (and the move to Brindleton Bay) really seemed to do a lot of harm for these two 😦 Things are definitely looking a lot more hopeful for Jam than PheeGi right now! 😦

      Like

  8. Something tells me she wasn’t having just wine with “Lucy” – isn’t the cliche cheat line “hi honey, I’m home but have to take a shower”, you know, to wash away any evidence? 🤔 Gigi will cheat and then blame Phee for not making things work, even though the dude literally tried to talk to her. Anyway, I’m already for Phee and Lola’s baby already #teamPheela

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whoot! Roleplay therapy already bearing fruits. Can still be improved but hey! It’s only an hour old or so. Much potential to go on there.
    Next session should include both of them. In a not-so-surreal role play setting. And then he should do what all Rosebrooks usually don’t until they’re 50 or so and talk to Gigi. With ‘I’ statements 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha I love your optimism! 😉 Hopefully this is all going to lead somewhere good for Jam!

      And ha! Phee totally needs to try out the I statements on Gigi, yes! Hehe But who knows how successful he will be…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Kay…Things are going..suprisingly good, for both of the couples, I mean, yes, like Tam said, they have a lot to talk about,but at least they are both willing to do that.Hope they don’t end up in a fight while trying to solve things…I hope Phoenix doesn’t start thinking that whatever was happening between him and Gigi is ”over” and it was just a ”phase”, cuz, that would be some good excuse to not adress the problem!

    And Gigi, oh, Gigi..Something is up. I wasn’t sure before, but now I am. She either did ( or is doing) something that makes her feel so bad, she’s being nicer to Phoenix….orrrr, she founded some ”way” to make her happy, while being in Brindelton Bay.( It *could* be both of this things, too…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes things are definitely good for Jam, at least! Long as they don’t fight 😬 And you’re right — Phee COULD start thinking it was “just a phase” but hopefully he’ll remember how bad things were and know things still need fixing!

      Gigi is certainly acting odd! We will find out more about that later…

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