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Title: Tie My Hands (7/?)
Pair: Phelps/Lochte
Rating: pg15
Summary: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte? They were the best worst-kept secret of the swimming world. And Michael didn't like it.
A/N: Godbless leidy. Seriously. Editing is totally harder to do than writing, people.

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS

Tie My Hands, Part 1: When Hilary Wants To Throw the Calender Away.
Tie My Hands, Part 2: When Michael Starts Running.
Tie My Hands, Part 3: When Ryan's Stomach Doesn't Cooperate.
Tie My Hands, Part 4: When Michael Runs Into His Past.
Tie My Hands, Part 5: When Ryan Realizes Kyle Might Be Onto Something.
Tie My Hands, Part 6: When Michael Hits the Downward Spiral.





Tie My Hands, Part 7: When Ryan Goes Through the Looking Glass


It has been a weird week. Like, eyeball-in-your-soup weird. Ryan sorta blames Kyle.

He thinks about it as he does laps in the warm-up pool. This week would be pretty much awesome if it weren't for Mike acting like someone had shit in his milkshake. Which he has been—more or less—since he bailed out of the G-Spot last week like his ass was on fire. And Ryan kind of wishes that Kyle had just kept his mouth shut about the whole boyfriend thing.

He pulls himself out of the pool and grabs a towel, looking over to catch the guys getting up for the hundred butterfly. Ryan finds Mike, who is now wiping off his block, a scowl making a crease between his eyebrows. He's been scowling an awful lot in the last few days.

"It is not my fault," Kyle mutters as Ryan thrusts his towel at him.

"Dude, if you hadn't said anything to me the other day about Mike I wouldn't even be thinking about it." Ryan looks at the pool as cheers erupt and he knows who won just by the sheer amount of sound. Guy is a rockstar. He puts his fingers in his mouth and whistles for Mike’s first place, and then Ian’s second and Gil Stovall’s third.

Poor Gil. Dude comes up seconds short every time. But if you’re gonna hang with the big dogs then you have to hang, and Gil is. Ryan likes him. And he has a feeling that come 2012 they’ll be partying together in London.

The meet’s tidy. The guys get out of the pool right on time as the ladies for the 50 Free walk out to introductions and Ryan knows his cue even without Gregg making shooing hand-motions from down deck.

"Bullshit," Kyle says, sitting back down and crossing his arms over his chest, Ryan’s towel tucked in them. “Don’t be dense, Ry. You knew he left with a bug up his ass.”

Boy has an attitude. Ryan kicks him in the ankle; Kyle flips him the bird and gives a phony smile. "You're an asshole."

"Douche."

"We doing dinner?"

"I'm ready to eat anything that's not nailed down, so swim fast." Kyle drapes Ryan's damp towel over the bleacher seat. "I'll meet you out front after your medal ceremony."

Ryan grins. "You don't know I'll win."

"You’re right. You are getting old."

And Ryan would have come up with something really witty to say to that except there’s a tap on his shoulder.

"Ryan."

Ryan looks and smiles at his coach. Gregg smiles back and points to the line-up room. “Sometime before the race starts would be nice.”

Kyle salutes as Ryan fixes the straps of his suit. “I’m so there.” He walks a few feet before turning around and jogging back; Gregg’s way ahead of him and holds out the goggles that he’d left on the bench next to Kyle. Good thing Gregg isn't Bob, or he might have had an aneurism. Messy. But Gregg just has this look like, been there, done that, have a tshirt for every day of the week.

Ryan doesn't really see the point in getting all worked up, anyway. It's not going to help the swim. It took a while for Ryan to bring Gregg around to his way of thinking... but then again, it took Gregg a while in the beginning to convince Ryan to get serious about swimming at all. So maybe they're on even footing. Or something. Either way, they work.

Now if only Ryan could get Mike to loosen up a little bit, too.

When Ryan walks toward the blocks for the fifty Free with the rest of the line—and he's only swimming in it at Nationals because if he beats Cullen he's guaranteed a new grille—he’s thinking about Worlds. About sharing a room for two weeks with Mike under the rules of Big-Meet Celibacy. And somewhere between Beijing and now that’s become like, really hard to get his head around.

Hell. Just because he's maybe, sorta, probably in love doesn't mean he has to be a goober about it. Ryan wraps his fingers around the rough edge of the starting block and puts his head down.

When he hits the far wall just over twenty-two seconds later, chest burning and lungs heaving air, Ryan's forgotten about Mike for the moment. He pulls his goggles up and finds his name on the board. Sixth. He can hardly breathe and his legs feel like he got them squashed under a plane but in the field he's swimming against, sixth's pretty freakin' awesome—even if he doesn't get a new grille, because Cullen pulled out the win.

He grins at Matt, who's in the next lane. He took third. That's pretty freakin' awesome, too. Ryan reaches out and Matt hugs him hard, swallowing breath against his ear, noisy and just as blown-out as Ryan's own.

Ryan really hates to lose, but when someone like Cullen wins? Like, honestly wins with a hands-down kick ass time? He doesn't mind so much. Just means that he'll have to train harder, go out faster, do better. Ryan grabs Cullen's shoulder as he comes up under the lane divider and laughs. "Watch out. I got you next year, baby."

Cullen grins. "You're too white for a grille, anyway."

Under the water, Ryan taps fingers against a flat, dark stomach. "You're hurting my feelings. You're like my brotha by another motha, man."

Cullen tries to dunk him.

While he dries off and changes Ryan looks for Mike, but doesn't see him anywhere, not on deck and not in the locker room. It doesn't stop him from laughing with Garret and Ben while they're together, four-five-six, but he can't help but keep glancing around. Because, yeah... Mike is worrying him a little bit. And Ryan wants to ask if he can help with anything but a part of him stops all the rest of him every time he goes to say anything. Maybe after the meet he'll ask Mike, like in the days they have to chill out before Rome.

"I think the medalist buys the dinner," Kyle says a few minutes later, slinging an arm around Ryan's shoulders.

"Not sure sixth counts," Ryan says, but he buys dinner anyway. Just because he's just a nice guy like that. And by the time he's swiping the key in his hotel door it's dark outside but he's full and happy and humming under his breath. However worried Mike's on-deck scowl had made him, he'd forgotten it over an awesome chicken-salad sandwich and talk about Gators football. Tebow is still with them, baby, and looking rock solid.

He flips on the lights in the room and expects Mike to be dozing in front of the TV.

He expects Mike to be eating leftovers, fingers covered in B-B-Q sauce.

He expects Mike to be singing along to his earphones, his voice off-key.

What Ryan doesn't expect is Mike to be on the couch on top of Erik Vendt, both of them butt naked. There's moaning Ryan didn't notice before because he was humming, but he's not humming any more. Mike's forward momentum—into Erik—stumbles and stops and the both of them look up. And Ryan stands there. His brain spins. His mom used to say that the wheel was going but the hamster had died.

Ryan sorta feels like that now.

After a moment of silence Erik clears his throat. "Uh, hey. Ryan." He tries to work up onto his elbows but Mike's just staying there, fingers digging into the arm of the couch, and Ryan swallows something that tastes like bile. Mike's staring at him.

"Oh," Ryan hears himself say. He feels kinda sick. "Sorry. I'll, you know. Go." He walks backward because it's hard to take his eyes away even though he really, really wants to. He walks back into the door like an idiot before turning and fumbling with the knob to let himself out.

Once he's in the hallway Ryan stops moving. His eyes are on the low-key beige wallpaper but he doesn't see it, not as much as he sees Erik Vendt's legs tucked up around Mike's hips. Or as clearly as he can see the arch of Mike's back, the way his toes were dug into the cushions of the sofa.

Okay. So, it wasn't like Ryan didn't know that Mike and Erik had been a thing back in the day. All the guys kinda knew. Just that he was pretty sure that they'd been like, you know, not, for the past couple years.

Ryan rubs a hand against his face to clear the thought away and pushes hair back off his forehead. But he still can't clear away how Mike had just looked at him when he'd walked into the room, like. Like it was his fault for walking in instead of Mike's fault for not chocking the door or something.

Like it was his fault that Mike was with Erik at all.

Ryan looks at the closed door, and then at the key in his hand. He wonders if they even missed more than a beat for him having caught them in the middle of things. They were probably in there right now, Erik's legs up, Mike's mouth on him... Ryan shakes his head to clear the thoughts. And it’s pretty obvious that Mike isn't exactly running after him to explain anything so he starts walking. He knows when he’s not wanted, at least.

Ryan ends up in the lobby with the marble floor and the tall ceiling and the scattered couches. He's sat with Mike on the couch in the far corner a bunch of times, heads together, each of them with one of Mike's earphones. He doesn't know why he thinks about it, there's someone laying on the couch now, head on a backpack and back to the room. It's not Mike. Mike's up in the room. Up in Erik.

He pushes into the bathroom and shuts himself into a stall. For a moment Ryan just puts his back against the cold metal door and takes a few breaths, hands on either wall. And he hadn't even watched any Animal Planet today.

Ryan doesn't quite kneel on the floor, his fingers wrapped around the cold, wet metal of the flush as he throws up. He feels better with the food off his stomach and puts his forehead against his bicep for a moment to make sure that's all there is. He's not sure what's up with his stomach recently, but it's not cool at all.

Flushing, Ryan stands up and runs sink water to rinse out his mouth and splash his face. There's a guy at the urinals he's pretty sure heard him, but he doesn't say anything, just shoots a look in Ryan's direction before slipping out. Without washing his hands, gross.

A toothbrush would be great right now but it's not like he can go back to the room, so Ryan just uses his finger and water until the taste is gone. And just for the record, chicken salad tastes a lot worse coming up then it does going down. Also, he probably should have chewed his pickle better.

With no place to go—because he doesn't want to sit in a room with his dad and Gregg—Ryan slides into a chair in the lobby and stretches his legs out, slumping down as far as he can go without giving himself a crick in his neck. He stares at the guy sleeping on the couch and rubs his stomach with absent circles.

Maybe he should go find Kyle. And he would if he didn't think Kyle might probably flip out. Ryan closes his eyes with a sigh and then opens them again when all he can picture is Erik wrapped around Mike like some bad drug habit waiting to be kicked. And Ryan wants to kick him. There's like a little, tiny part of him that suggests storming the room and kicking the absolute shit out of that short mother fucker.

Ryan sighs and rubs his face, tilting his head to rest in his hand, elbow on the arm of the chair.

The truth is, Ryan really wishes his mom was here. Because he's not sure how he should be feeling right now and she always knows just how to put things in perspective. Not that he's ever talked to her about Mike. Not as a...

So maybe they're not boyfriends. Ryan picks at the stitching on the chair. He thinks that might suck, even though someone would have to jam bamboo under his fingernails to get him to come out and say it.

He tries to tell himself that the important thing was always the friendship, but Ryan doesn't really believe himself. Because honestly it's been a little more than a friendship for a few years. He knows it. He thought Mike knew it, which was why they never had to talk about it.

"Ryan?"

Ryan blinks and looks up. Both Vanderkaays are standing over him and he feels really short all of a sudden. "Hey guys." And he smiles, because it's not their fault that his day's kinda jumped into the toilet along with his dinner. "What's up?"

Pete glances around like he's checking where they're standing before talking. "You know you're sitting in the lobby."

Ryan looks around, too. "Ah. Yup." He shrugs. "My room is sorta... occupied?"

Alex frowns immediately and Ryan swallows when Pete's frown comes just a beat behind. He really, really doesn't want to defend Mike right now, even though he's sure he would anyway. "So I'm just hanging out," he tacks on. "What are you guys up to?"

It's funny when the Vanderkaays are together. First of all it's like watching a slightly off reflection, which is just weird. But Pete and Alex seem to have gotten non-verbal communication down to like, a T. Ryan watches them when they're on deck together; it's totally better than watching the Spanish channel and adding your own dialogue.

"We're going up to Garrett's room. Matt and Cullen are in with him." Pete glances at Alex.

Alex adds, "you should come. We're just going to watch a movie." And then crosses his arms over his chest and leans down a little. "Are you all right, Ryan?"

Ryan's eyebrows bump up. "Yeah?" He doesn't mean it to come out like a question and waves it away. "Yeah. I'll come with." The Vanderkaays part like water for him when he pushes himself up into a standing position and he follows in their wake to the elevator. Inside, he watches the floor numbers crawl toward his own and then past and wonders if Erik's still in his room. Wonders if Mike is still Mr Short Course with Erik.

Stops wondering, because. Yeah. That is some unproductive shit, those mental images.

Cullen wraps an arm around his shoulders with a smile as soon as he steps in the door. "Hey, you found yourself a Lochte," he says to the Vanderkaays. His arm is heavy and warm and Ryan smiles as he slides out from under it. "Normally Lochte comes with a side of Phelps." But the door is closing behind the brothers and Cullen looks back at Ryan. "What's he doing tonight, then?"

He's doing Erik Vendt, Ryan thinks.

Pete wraps his own arm around Ryan's shoulders as Ryan backs into him. "I don't need a hug," Ryan assures him, "it's really okay. He's just, yanno." And he shrugs, because he can't think of something good.

Now Cullen is crossing his arms over his chest, catching onto the vibe that the Vanderkaays are putting off. The real subtle vibe. Ryan frowns at Alex. "Really," he insists.

The toilet flushes and the bathroom door opens; Matt walks out to wash his hands and looks at them all in the mirror. "Wow, who died?"

Ryan seriously thinks that if he were in a movie, this would be the part where he slaps his forehead. It's nice that people are concerned, because he loves his friends. His mom would have told him that you surround yourself with people who reflect you, or something like that, but Ryan just thinks he got lucky. Because he could have ended up swimming at this level with a bunch of bigheads. But still, there's like, nothing to be all up in arms against. This isn't Tupac rolling into a club packing or something.

"Nobody," he says. But Pete's arm still has him gathered up like a homeless, three-legged puppy who needs all the love he can get.

Garrett glances at Matt from the bed where he's been sitting cross-legged, eating something that Ryan's glad he can't smell, because his stomach's been doing okay since he dropped his dinner in the bathroom downstairs. "Michael, I think."

"Dude," Ryan says, laughing and pulling out of Pete's hold. "Everybody is fine. There is no fire, no smoke, do not stop, drop or roll, okay?" He flops down onto the second bed where Cullen is perching at the foot. "So what movie are we watching? I mean, I'm guessing that somebody brought Miracle."

"Not me," says Cullen, turning enough to bend one leg onto the bed and look at Ryan.

"That's right," Ryan says with grin that comes a lot easier than it had a moment ago, "because black guys don't play hockey, right?"

"Black guys don't swim either," Matt points out, palming Cullen's head and laughing. "Didn't stop our little water baby."

Cullen swats him away. "Don't make fun of my mama."

"Aw, come on, we love your mom," Matt says, folding himself down into a chair and stretching out long legs to cross them at the ankle. He laces his fingers over his stomach. Ryan wiggles back until he is sitting against the headboard and lets it all wash around him, even smiling a little. Distraction is the invention of the needy. Or something.

Alex sinks down onto the bed next to Garrett, who holds his bowl up so that it doesn't spill. “Anything good in there?” he asks as he taps the bottom of the bowl.

Garrett almost looks offended. “Of course it’s good.”

“Which means it has wheat-germ,” Matt mutters, and Cullen bursts into laughter. Ryan smiles a little bigger. It is totally true. Garrett likes wheat-germ. And sprouts. And, like mung beans.

A tap on his shoulder brings Ryan's eyes up. It’s Pete. “Ryan and I will go get snacks from the machine,” he offers.

“And soda?” Matt asks. “I am so sick of Vitamin Water.”

Alex steals a noodle out of Garrett’s bowl and Garrett sighs. “All of you are ridiculous.”

“Ditto,” Matt says, sticking out his tongue. Garrett grabs the noodle out of Alex’s hand just before his teeth get it and throws it at him.

“Come on,” Pete says to Ryan as Matt makes a lunge for Garrett. “Before the natives get really restless for sugar.”

And Ryan goes, even though he pretty much knows that snacks aren’t first thing on the agenda. He’s known Pete too long and Pete’s kinda like Ian. He thinks. A lot. Ryan sticks his hands in his shorts and listens to the flip, flop, of his shoes down the hallway. He doesn’t speak up and Pete doesn’t speak up and just when they’re turning the corner to the machines and Ryan thinks that maybe he's wrong, Pete opens his mouth.

“What is Michael doing?”

Okay, well, now Ryan knows how it feels to open your door and find a flaming bag of dog poop on your doorstep. He’ll never do that to anyone again. He shrugs and surveys the chips and Tasty Cakes and candy bars, swallowing thickly. “You know. Same thing for every meet.”

Pete shifts his weight and puts his hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “Ryan. What is Michael doing right now?”

He can’t see the food anymore, all the Sunchip bags are like blurs of red and green and orange as Ryan’s eyes unfocus. Erik had been flushed, Mike sorta sweaty in that glisteny, hard-working way. Shit. Ryan pulls a hand out of his pocket and pushes fingers into the corners of his eyes. “Uh. He, uh." Totally shouldn't be so hard to say it. Maybe it wouldn't be if Pete would move his big hand. It's no one's business but Mike's and Erik's anyway, and if Ryan hadn't walked in on them...

"He's fucking Erik Vendt," Ryan blurts out at a bag of Cheetos. Then he fishes his wallet out of his back pocket and pulls a bill out, remembering Mike's wallet from Monday night as he tries to jam a ten into the stupid slot on the machine that should take his money but, like, isn't, because it's stupid and fuck, fuck—

When Pete's hand moves from Ryan's shoulder it's to cover the hand that is abusing the billslot of the machine. Ryan stops and slumps forward, putting his forehead against the plastic window. "Fuck, Pete. It's stupid. Why should I care?"

"You're kidding, right?" Pete nudges him out of the way and Ryan goes, leaning back against the corner of the wall and folding his arms over his chest as the bill is fed into the slot, taking it on the first time. But instead of pressing numbers, Pete looks up at Ryan. "How long have you and Mike been together now?"

Ryan fishes for an answer, stumbling over the fact that Pete knows and Pete thinks they're together, like, together, together. He chews on his lip. "'Bout two years," he mumbles.

Pete sighs. "Then you should care, Ryan."

"But we're not like, whatever," Ryan says. Okay, here is it. He's defending Mike. Defending his right to fuck Erik Vendt on their couch in their room. Awesome. "Together. Uh. Boyfriends." There, he said it. And it's followed by silence, with Pete just staring at him. So Ryan elbows him back out of the way and presses a few random numbers, jamming the black buttons down hard. "We're not."

Pete bends to pull out a packet of Ho-hos before saying, "it's more an issue of respect. Would you do that to him?"

No way. Fuck. But that's easy for Ryan to say because he doesn't even like, look at other guys anymore. Because Mike happened and Mike was and it's good. Ryan picks at his sleeve like it's got something going on. "Guess not."

Pete hits C4 and a packet of cheese crackers unwind from their little spool and fall. "I've seen Michael get weird over stuff, Ryan. He just gets an idea in his head and that's it."

"Totally why he's awesome at swimming," Ryan murmurs.

"Yeah." Pete pulls the crackers out and hands them over. "It's also why he's a bit of a jerk sometimes."

Ryan frowns, taking the crackers and looking up. "Dude, that is not cool. Mike is—"

"A jerk sometimes, Ryan." Pete shakes his head. "He just slept with his ex in your room at a meet and you're going to defend his honor?"

His ex. Really? Fuck. Ryan pushes fingers through his hair. He wants to just lay down on the carpet right here and like, sleep, or something. Forget about all of this. He doesn't want to have to think about it anymore, not about Erik, not about what Erik was to Mike (because Ryan likes Erik), not about any sort of boyfriends.

"You need to talk to him. Just break him out of whatever mental funk he's worked himself into. It'll be okay."

Tugging on his hair before pulling his hand away, Ryan shook his head. "Man. You and Kyle and your talks." Pete raises an eyebrow but Ryan just shakes his head again. "Forget it. I know. I totally know." He was just dragging his feet about it because he and Mike had never been like that. Ryan hits a few more buttons, distracting himself. Distracting Pete, since Pete has to bend down to get them.

They get some sodas, too, and both of them are loaded up for the walk back to the room. Pete taps on the door with the toe of his sneaker and then looks over at Ryan. "I'm sorry I called him a jerk. I didn't mean it like that. He's a good friend to me, you know that."

Ryan looks up at Pete and makes himself smile. "Yeah, dude, I know. I'm not mad at you or anything."

Pete smiles back quietly. "Are you going to talk to him?"

"Uh," Ryan says. Way to pressure a guy. "Yeah. I think so."

The door opens and cuts off the conversation, so that's okay. Ryan knows that Pete won't keep it up in front of the other guys. They divvy up the junk food—even the food guru takes a Sprite—and Ryan settles back and just listens to the guys instead of thinking about Mike or what's going on back in his own room or any future talks that are apparently needed. They all find spots to claim and spread out—which is sometimes hard considering they're all over six foot. And not to mention that Matt like, counts as two people.

The movie isn't Miracle. Turns out that Matt brought Robocop, and that's better for Ryan because it gives him an excuse to laugh and chuck microwave popcorn at the screen and just focus on that. And when a popcorn war breaks about between him, Matt and Cullen—with Alex as referee, Pete as the announcer, and Garrett just trying to keep his stash of popcorn bags out of their hands—that's good, too, even if he does finally walk back to his own room with popcorn in his underwear. He's pretty sure that Cullen's going to have some permanently stuck in his left ear anyway.

Ryan licks butter from the heel of his hand and unlocks his door. He had a good laugh upstairs, got his mind off of things, so he could be dreading going back into the room but he's not. Mostly. Kinda. Of course more now than before, but. Yeah.

Inside the lights are off and Mike's asleep. Alone. And looking at him there with his fingers in a slack curl and his mouth open...

Okay. Fuck, it's a big deal. And Ryan guesses that they should have talked about it. He tried the night before last, but just gave in when Mike shoved a hand down his pants. So, hey, are we boyfriends? Total mood killer.

Ryan sits on the side of his bed in the dark. He watches Mike’s chest rise and fall and thinks that maybe if they’re not boyfriends then they should be.

Because he wants to be.

Boyfriends.



Tie My Hands, Part 8: When Michael Shuts It Down.

Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
leidy
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
*takes drag* Was it as good for you as it was for me?
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
*coughs* Totally was.
smellyleaf
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
I had a completely dramatic "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" moment when Ryan caught MP and Erik.

OH, RYAN. MICHAEL NEEDS TO STOP TRIPPIN BECAUSE HE'S DOIN IT ALL OVER YOUR HEART AND IT MAKES ME VERY SAD. D:

I still love this though & want to see more. ♥
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
It's funny how much the drama is lost when you edit, and edit, and edit. It's hard to think that other people will be caught off guard by it.

And Michael does. I'm in agreement. I never intended him to be such an asshole, lol.

<333
24ko
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Okay, well screw Michael. Let's get some Cullen and Ryan up in here. Some Chocolochte as some like to call it. I support it.
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
Some Chocolochte as some like to call it.

*dies laughing*

Come on! You need to give Michael a chance to redeem himself! (*cough*I'll have to write some Chocolochte elsewhere, just because... yeah. I support it, too.*cough*)
tragycbeauty
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Okay I had a total "holy shit!" moment while reading the Eric and Mike part and then my roommates reminded me that I had groceries to put away, so now my fridge probably looks like a tornado hit it.
I love how you write everyone, especially Cullen and PVK. And Garrett. Oh Garrett <3

Okay wow I can't wait for how the shit is going to hit the fan, it's going to be so awesome and terrible and great.
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
<3333 Sorry for the state of your fridge, hehehe. I'm glad that the other guys are turning out well. But poor Garrett. Sometimes I just feel like I'm only making fun of him. ^_______^
tragycbeauty
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Haha, you're definitely not the only one making fun of him. He's precious, but... lord that boy is kind of a mess sometimes.
Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Dmw8L0scQ
Oh Garrett, I love you, but no.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha! (And is it just me or did he kinda sounds like Lochte there, too?)
sexy_cheetah
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
NGL, I wanted Ryan to have a revenge fuck with either Matt or Cullen. Screw Mike, you don't need him!


PS Yay Ben!!!
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
I prefer Matt, but I wouldn't get your hopes up either way. ^^ Ryan loves Mike! They'll get there!
bubbaabbub
Feb. 2nd, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
I'm sensing Ryan about to get back at Mike with some hot chocolate love?

This is awesome. Keep it up!
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Everybody's on the Chocolate Love bandwagon, man. LOL. Though, what's not to love about Chocolate Love? <333 And thanks!
manubra
Feb. 2nd, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
God you made me cry, poor Ryan. He is so lost about everything, and I totally thought he was going to have revenge sex with someone, but he is in love and he wants to be boyfriends, so sad. I wish Michael were honest with him, he is hurting Ryan so bad, and he is hurting ME.
caelumi
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
You got it. Ryan's in love and the only person he wants is Michael, even if Michael's a jerk. *duct-tapes your heart* It'll get better. Uh. Pretty soon. ^_^
azewewish
Feb. 2nd, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh, Ryah, seriously, grow a set & get some self-respect. As much of a cunt as Mike is, you're JUST as bad.

I swear, these two deserve to be miserable for as long as you can stand to put them through it. *g*
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
For a little longer, yes. ~_^

And you're totally right, yanno.
azewewish
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
I felt like I was being all harsh & shit, and then I went back & reread it and, no, I don't think I was harsh enough. You've got a gift, man, for writing unbelievably, stupidly fucked up people that I still want to read about - sort of like Brett Easton Ellis, only with more gay buttsex. And, y'know, not set in the '80s. *g*
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
You have no idea how hard I laugh. ^___^ And I'm flattered, but I laugh. Yes there is more gay buttsex... and less of that... necrophilic... penis-in-the-eyesocket... kind of sex. Yanno, because both would just be overboard.

*giggles* <3

And my sister throws in an anguished scream in regards to the general reference to Less Than Zero. ^_^
azewewish
Feb. 3rd, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
You're right, if Ryan (even if it was justified, which it totally would be) went all Patrick Batemen on Michael, then that could be awkward for the whole, y'know, boyfriends thing that he's wanting to happen. Although the cocaine sex is still totally a possibility. Y'think Michael would be really pissed if Ryan sort of accidentally spilled coke on his cock? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Also, tell your sister I feel her pain. Fo'shizzle.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
*makes mental notes about coke and cocks for the next chapters...*

And I've never personally read Less Than Zero. I think I'll keep it that way. ^^
azewewish
Feb. 3rd, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Seriously, it'd be the perfect revenge. Michael would be all desperate to come, but couldn't feel his cock!!! Like, intellectually, he'd know, hey that's a (fill in the blank) on my junk, but no feeling! (Wow, I am a really perverse person, I never knew that about myself. Um.)


And I've never personally read Less Than Zero. I think I'll keep it that way. ^^

WIZE RITER IZ WIZE!!

blacksoul89
Feb. 2nd, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Loved it <3 But I agree with pretty much everyone in saying that we need some Chocolochte revenge sex!
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
LOL <3333
ealanta
Feb. 2nd, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
i think this was my favorite chapter so far... i must admit when i read about MP and eric i *gasped* and smiled because im a sucker for drama and all of that... plus PVK is simply all kinds of amazing...

i absolutely loved this.. and i cant caant cant wait to read the next chapterssss.... <333
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! <333 And there's a lot more drama where that came from, so hold onto your butt. ~_^
flashingpirate
Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
Stupid Michael. That made my heart hurt a little.

I want Michael to quit being such a fucktard, and I want Ryan to call him out on it.

Can't wait for more!
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
*wraps heart in happy thoughts* It'll take time, that's all. <33
leici
Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
God, I love this story. The way you write Ryan and his dialog are just so fantastically perfect, and all the interaction with Kyle and the Vanderkaays and the rest of the boys... I adored every moment. I also love how you keep moving the story along, not dragging anything out, not sugar coating or dodging the inevitable. At this point I just really want Ryan to come out of this without being completely destroyed, and I can't wait to see where you take this next.

Amazing stuff, as usual. I'm very excited for more. <3
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
<333 Not to sound like broken record, but woot!! Still glad that the pacing is on, especially now when it's like... crawling toward that breaking point.

Thank you! *loves on*
annadraper
Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
Ack, I totally saw that (walking in on the sex) coming. It was boyishly sweet how the other guys teamed up to lift his spirits for a while, though. :)

BTW, you don't even want to know how many times I hit refresh on my flist just hoping that this chapter would appear. *iz lame* And then I read it ummmm, more than once before commenting. So, yeah.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
*laughs* That's totally flattering, so thank you. ^____^ <333 I always have such good intentions to post it early on Sundays... and yet, it never seems to happen. LOL.
halfshellvenus
Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:44 am (UTC)
Really enjoying this series, though the angst and cruelty is half-killing me. I love your Ryan, and I also love that as much of a jerk as Michael is being, you explain him in a way that it's the only thing Michael can do in his current state of confusion.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
It's good to know they're still coming off realistically; sometimes writing something big (at least for me, man, this is the biggest thing I've ever dealt with) I lose my focus. Thank you! <3
lenaorgana
Feb. 2nd, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
My heart breaks for Ryan, poor guy. Though I'm glad he finally put the pieces together and realized out what he wants, even if he only figured that out after Michael started to pull away.

The "boy's night" was a little fun thrown in with all the angst. PVK was the friend Ryan needed post discovery of Michael and Erik. Peter told Ryan what he didn't want to hear but ultimately needed to know. And the part with Cullen and the Vanderkaay brothers offering hugs and their silent support got me a little teary eyed. And Garret and Matt were perfect, too.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
Ryan will get there eventually. I think it's just a matter for him of translating it from a gut feeling to thought. And I'm glad that you enjoyed the 'boy's night'--I had a lot of fun writing it.

As always, thank you. <333

*passes on some tissues*
ilive4this_38
Feb. 2nd, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
I love this series. Poor Ryan. If I were him I would totally just cry, and cry. But, I am a girl and Ryan is a big burly man. Getting back to the point of this comment, this was beautiful and I can't wait for the next chapter.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
^______^ Thank you so much!
agape_eternal
Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
*kicks Michael in the balls...HARD* Asshole, seriously. Really, 100% serious.

I'm reading this in the school library and totally blurted, "FUCKING ASSHOLE" out loud XD. I'm lucky it's a liberal school LMAO

Poor poor poor Ryan. PLEASE TELL ME YOU WILL MAKE THIS BETTER AND SOON? OMG.

Oh yeah, you already did.
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
*laughs madly* That totally makes me happy as a writer, though I'm not sure the librarian could say the same, LOL. *petpet* <333

Totally did. Be patient, grasshopper. True Phlochte comes to those who wait.
ivebeenburgled
Feb. 2nd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Jesus, you. You deserve an award or something, just for being so fucking awesome.

Alright, alright. This is my attempt at an actual, competent comment that has real, literary praise and shit, okay? I love how you get inside Ryan's head and bring the reader right there besides him. You capture the nervousness, shock, and distress but don't over do it. The scene with PVK at the vending machine was pure gold and I feel like you got Peter spot on (btw, him and his brother together were adorable). And the tiny touch of Garrett and Matt's personalities rounded out the scenes nicely and actually distracted me from my sad sympathetic feelings for Ryan.

Overall, it was another great chapter and I'm mad at you for cutting it off here but I understand that you need to create a mood of suspense. But I don't have to like it!
caelumi
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
First of all, seriously making me blush.

Second of all, phweee!! Glad you're enjoying it. ^____^ It's funny that you bring up PVK's character because I sorta felt like I should have made him more of a goober... just didn't know how, lol. But it's good that they distracted you, because that was totally what they were there for. So yay!

And not so much the need to create a mood as that sometimes I should actually do work at work instead of writing porn...

*laughs*
moon_jennon
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Wow. This was a really good chapter. In fact, I think they're getting better as you go along... which means YOU CAN NEVER STOP WRITING BWAHAHA. I mean. Please continue this story. Forever and ever.

I really like how you captured Ryan's voice in this chapter, in all srsness. It's very realistic.

<3
caelumi
Feb. 8th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you ^______^ And trust me, with the way this thing is going, "forever and ever" feels like a good estimation, at any rate... lol!
swimboys
Feb. 5th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
ok, I HATE MICHAEL!!!! well, in your wonderfully written work!!!! I was sad in the last chapter and this one is makin me cry! I do love your writing even if it's sooo sad, poor Ryan!
caelumi
Feb. 8th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you <333 *offers tissues*
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