There comes a moment in every man's life when he has to suck it up and admit that he's dating his rival, and for Michael, that moment comes about half a week into his fourth Olympics.
He mentions this to Shaun, who has come out to watch some of the events, and Shaun just gives him a long look.
"Um, no," Shaun says. "Not everyone dates their rival. That's just you."
Michael squints and says, "It is?"
"Get away from me," Shaun says, and he shoves at Michael's shoulder until he starts to shuffle away towards where Ryan is leering at him. "And use protection! You have no excuse at the Olympic Village!"
Michael privately vows that he'll kill him once there are no witnesses. Ryan is openly laughing now, and Michael decides that he looks stupid, though not as stupid as he would if he were wearing that idiotic grill. Sometimes Michael really doesn't know why he likes Ryan.
And then Ryan smirks a little, tilting his hip forward, and oh, right. That's why.
It isn't supposed to be a thing.
Everyone knows the athletes in the Olympic Village have a lot of sex; every Olympic cycle seems to produce a few scandalized articles about how many condoms are being distributed to the competitors. And Michael knows firsthand what it's like to finish a race and be so full of endorphins and adrenaline that he need something to take the edge off.
For the last eight years or so, Ryan Lochte has been that something.
It, Michael will always maintain, is entirely Ryan's fault. Michael doesn't particularly like Ryan, even when he does, and Ryan seems to mostly find Michael more hilarious than anything else, so when Ryan dragged Michael into the bathroom stall of the locker room after their relay in Athens, Michael had been a little surprised.
Not surprised enough to say no when Ryan dropped to his knees, though, because Michael isn't an idiot. Ryan is hot and completely insatiable, which Michael appreciates, and he really likes sucking cock. He also likes fucking Michael, which is probably some sort of dominance thing, but Michael isn't going to protest if it ends in orgasms. And it always does.
It was easy to dismiss as just an interaction of hormones when he was nineteen and spending most of his free time between Ryan's legs or on his hands and knees. It was easy to dismiss in Beijing when they were lying around and Michael was high on his gold medals and Ryan was angry and taking it out on him in sex. It was even easy to dismiss between competitions when they visit each other and spend whole days in bed having sex and playing GTA and arguing about Ke$ha.
It's a whole different thing eight years later when he realizes that his fuck-buddy arrangement with Ryan fucking Lochte is the longest lasting relationship he's ever had. He wishes he could pinpoint the moment things changed, but all he knows is that one day he looked up and saw Ryan on the edge of the pool and thought absently about going back to the hotel with him, and realizes there was never any question of that not happening. They've fallen into a routine, one that's grown comfortable and familiar with age. It's, frankly, kind of horrifying.
Michael considers being traumatized by this as Ryan drags him off to the hotel, but it's about eight years too late for that reaction. He wonders if Ryan has realized that they're basically in a relationship, and then wonders if he should bring it up.
"Stop trying to think," Ryan says, glancing over his shoulder. "It makes you look like a constipated baby."
"Fuck off," Michael says after a long pause where he scrambles to find something clever to say while also trying very hard not to think about licking away the droplets of water still glistening on Ryan's skin.
Ryan snorts and says, "God, you're so lucky you have a big –"
"We're in public," Michael hisses.
"– nose," Ryan finishes. "What, what did you think I was going to say?" and the smirk he gives Michael is so evil that Michael immediately springs a boner. He really has developed some weird turn-ons.
Michael nearly drops the room key twice, because Ryan is fondling him through his track pants, and when he finally manages to get the door open, Ryan shoves him inside and then drops to his knees.
"I've been thinking about this all day," Ryan confides, yanking down Michael's pants and underwear. "You're hottest when you're all wet and ready for action."
"That is the lamest joke –" Michael starts to say, but he promptly forgets the rest when Ryan licks the head of his cock.
By now they know each others' bodies so well that Ryan can drag it out for ages, bring Michael right to the edge of coming before backing off and smacking his lips a little. "We forgot a condom," he says, and he squints up at Michael. "You're clean, right?"
"I –" Michael says, and he blinks at Ryan. "I haven't, you know."
"I know," Ryan says cheerfully. "You wouldn't cheat on me. You're not creative enough." He stands up and unzips Michael's jacket slowly before catching the look on Michael's face. "What?"
"So we are dating," Michael says accusingly.
Ryan gives him a look like he thinks Michael is being particularly stupid. Michael is very familiar with that look. "You think I invite all of my friends over to play video games as a thinly veiled excuse to have sex?"
"I don't know, maybe!" Michael says.
"I've taken you to dinner," Ryan says. "Dinner and a movie, even!"
"But –" Michael stops, because now that he thinks about it, they have done that. Several times, in fact. Michael hadn't even registered it as odd, because he goes to the movies with other friends, and the fact that those nights had pretty invariably ended up with Michael sprawled on Ryan's sofa or with Michael licking tequila off Ryan's stomach hadn't really pinged his radar as being weird because it was Ryan.
"Oh," Michael says now, and Ryan rolls his eyes so hard that Michael is surprised that he doesn't sprain something.
"You're such a moron," he says, though he sounds somewhat fond, and he pushes Michael towards the bed with a look of intent single-mindedness on his face.
Michael falls back and groans when Ryan straddles his lap, still fully-clothed, and starts stripping Michael's jacket and shirt off. "In my defense, you never said anything."
"I fuck you, like, once a day," Ryan says, hitting Michael's ribs to get him to sit up so he could take Michael's shirt off. "Was that not enough of a hint?"
"I thought you fucked a lot of people," Michael says.
"With what time?" Ryan asks incredulously. "I'm too busy sucking your dick to be sticking mine in anyone else."
"You aren't sucking it right now," Michael points out.
"I'm too busy tending to your precious ego," Ryan says, and he rubs his ass against Michael's dick a little, making Michael squirm. "Now, do you want to fuck or not?"
"Fuck," Michael says, and he flails out his arm for the pile of condoms he had dumped on the bedside table in anticipation. "Take your fucking shirt off."
"What if I didn't?" Ryan asks. "What if I fucked you like this, you naked, me fully clothed? You'd be my bitch, wouldn't you?" He grins slowly. "Would you do that for me?"
"Oh my god," Michael says, dazed.
"Maybe not today," Ryan decides, and he pulls off his shirt and jacket in one fluid movement that leaves Michael's mouth dry. He sees Ryan in various states of undress every day, but it's still kind of amazing to see watch him strip. Michael runs his hands up Ryan's stomach, down to his hips where he should have a tan line but doesn't because Ryan likes to tan naked. Michael has seen that a lot, too.
"Your pants too," Michael says, hooking his thumbs into the waistband of Ryan's briefs.
"Always bitching," says Ryan, but he rises up on his knees to start wrestling his pants off.
As soon as Ryan is naked, Michael grabs him by the scruff of the neck and pulls him in for a kiss. He kind of misses Ryan's long hair, mostly because it had been easier to pull, but he can make do with what he has.
Ryan kisses him back eagerly, biting at Michael's lower lip, and Michael reflects that he's going to have to remind Ryan not to leave any bite marks where people can see. Ryan likes to leave marks on Michael, sometimes spending all night coming back to the same spot, sucking and biting until Michael shudders at the slightest touch. It's fine during the off season, but Michael really doesn't want to get any awkward questions from reporters if they spot a hickey on his neck.
Michael wraps his hand around Ryan's cock just as Ryan is moving to start sucking on his jaw, and Ryan swears before biting Michael's ear so hard that Michael yelps. "Fuck," says Ryan, shifting so that he's more evenly settled across Michael's thighs.
"Try not to leave any marks where people can see them," Michael says, thumbing the head of Ryan's dick.
"That doesn't leave me much leeway," Ryan says, and of course he would take it as a challenge. He noses behind Michael's ear, scraping his teeth lightly along his hairline, and Michael arches up, grabbing a hold of Ryan's hips.
The thing about sex with Ryan is that it always has to be some kind of competition. Who can last the longest, who can make the other one come the fastest, who can think of the weirdest things to do, and Ryan always wins. Usually Michael appreciates this aspect of Ryan's personality, even when it ends with him being handcuffed to the bed while Ryan eats breakfast and smirks at him, but today, Ryan seems determined to keep Michael on edge for as long as possible.
He pulls away from Michael and moves down to start sucking a mark into the hollow of Michael's hip, pushing down on Michael's thighs to keep him from moving. Michael clenches his hands in the sheets and closes his eyes.
"I wonder if I could spell my name in hickeys," Ryan says thoughtfully, lifting his head with a wet smack. Michael gives him a look. Ryan cracks up, running his hands up Michael's legs thoughtfully. "Maybe some other time."
"Or never," Michael says.
"You should get my name tattooed on your ass," Ryan suggests. "So people know it's all mine." He bites the curve of Michael's thigh as if to emphasize his point.
"Dream on." Michael hits the back of Ryan's head. "You should have my name tattooed on you."
"Please. You're definitely my bitch." Ryan bites harder, and Michael punches him in the ear. "Fucker."
"I told you no marks," Michael complains.
"What the fuck ever." Ryan finally touches Michael's cock again, stroking him roughly enough that Michael can't quite get off. "You know you love it."
And that's the thing – Michael really does. It probably says a lot about him that instead of trying to find anyone else, he's stuck by Ryan for eight years without even meaning to. "Yeah."
Ryan looks up, startled, and squints at him. "You okay?"
"I'm great," Michael says. "Are we going to fuck or not?"
"Sure," Ryan says. He leans over to grab the condoms and lube off the bedside table and slaps them on Michael's chest. "Get yourself ready, big boy."
"Lazy fucker," Michael says idly, but he puts on the condom while Ryan fingers himself open, making small noises that Michael doesn't get to hear all that often. Michael watches him for a bit, then grabs him by the hips and drags him in.
"Fucking slut," Ryan says, even as he positions himself over Michael's dick. "Don't knock me off."
"I know how to have sex," Michael says.
"Only because I taught you." Ryan sinks down without a word of warning, and Michael swears. Ryan punches him in the shoulder.
Like most of the sex they have, it isn't romantic in the slightest. Ryan bounces up and down on Michael's dick, jerking himself off and basically using Michael like a human sex doll, and Michael holds onto Ryan's hips and idly daydreams about tying him up and gagging him sometime.
Michael comes before Ryan does and flops back as Ryan rises up on his knees. He watches Ryan jerk off and then flinches back when Ryan comes, spurting over Michael's chest and neck, some landing on his face. Ryan flops down next to Michael and snaps the condom still on Michael's dick.
"Fuck," Michael says. "What the fuck is wrong with you? It's not enough that you came on my fucking face?"
"I did a good job with that, didn't I?" Ryan trails his fingers through his come and shoves his fingers in Michael's mouth. "You look hot with my jizz on you."
Michael strips off the condom and tosses it towards the trashcan. It just barely slips in and Ryan claps sarcastically. "Three points."
"Score," Michael says drowsily.
"Yeah, you fucking scored," Ryan says comfortably. "I'm the hottest piece of ass you've ever had."
"Probably," Michael agrees. He's fine with that, he realizes, and he's fine with Ryan being the only piece of ass he'll have for the rest of his life.
He knows better than to say as much, though, because Ryan will just laugh and call him a pussy. But it's fine; Michael's pretty sure Ryan knows it already.