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Beyond the Red Door

Doctor Watson was not unduly surprised when he discovered Sherlock Holmes’s secret. What confounded him was that it had taken him so long to realize that his best friend was an invert. “Blazingly obvious” was a phrase often used by the very man himself, when pointing out a bare fact or basic deduction that had escaped the good doctor. And now, looking back on the clues that resulted in his overdue epiphany, Watson had once again to admonish himself for his ignorance.

The total indifference to women should have been the first sign. For someone as astutely observant as Holmes to remain willfully oblivious to a woman’s beauty was decidedly curious. His late-night prowls into questionable establishments did not appear inconsistent with his line of work, but often times Holmes would return home at dawn without anything to contribute to the resolution of a case.

Sometimes he would disappear into the city for a week at a time, reporting later that he had taken up residence in one of his many small refuges in a different part of London. But there again, when no suspect or solution resulted from it, Watson wondered what was really behind his friend’s long absences.

It was not a single event that led to Watson’s final deduction, but the sum of these things suddenly presenting themselves in one inevitable conclusion. It was rainy night in Baker Street, and Watson was home alone. He was sorting through his stack of medical journals, and skimmed through an article on male sexual deviance. It was a subject of some interest to Watson, for he had known a fair number of inverts in his army days. Nothing about them had ever suggested they needed to be removed from society; in fact, Watson had found some of the kindest and most noble creatures among them, as fiercely loyal to the Crown as anyone else.

And so, when Holmes returned later that evening, Watson knew. It was as if the truth had walked through the door as sure as Holmes did, with a breezy smile and his usual dramatic flair for entering a room.

He’d no intentions of raising the point with Holmes, for he did not want to force his confidence. Of course, if anything ever threatened the great detective’s well-being, there were no lengths to which Watson would not go to keep him from scandal and disgrace.

But something else prevented the doctor from putting it to rest. It was a stirring within himself that shifted resolutely towards a more concrete urge every time his gaze rested upon his friend.

How had Holmes looked at the men he had been with? What did his hands look like, feel like, removing another’s clothing or grasping at another’s flesh? How did his sharp features register his pleasure, and how did his keen elastic voice resonate during a climax?

These questions kept Watson preoccupied through the next case. He was as intrigued as he was confused, and had no ideas on how or when or even whether he should proceed. And then Fate decided for him.

On the night Holmes instructed him to follow a suspect through the city, Watson had little inkling that he was about to cross his Rubicon.

“Follow him wherever he goes, Watson, and pray, do not lose sight of him,” Holmes had told him.

Watson followed the man through the weekend crowds that gathered in the streets of London, straight into the notorious Vere Street. He soon found himself inside a gentlemen’s club very much unlike those to which he was accustomed. He was admitted after having overheard the suspect utter a secret word, which he repeated in a low voice. He was then escorted through several empty rooms that finally led into a dimly lit chamber.

Men of all types were scattered about the place, drinking, conversing, laughing and smoking. Some were seated on one another’s laps. Others were dancing. Watson thought he spotted a few women on the premises until their deep, resonant voices betrayed their true identities.

Watson nearly lost sight of his suspect until he noticed him ascending a spiraling staircase, and he crossed the room after him. The second story was comprised of smaller chambers in a long, narrow hallway. Watson had seen the man enter through a single red door at the end of the hall. He waited a full minute before following him through it. The scene on the other side took his breath away.

It was crowded with male couples, in various states of undress, who were deeply ensconced in every stage of sexual activity. A kind of sensual pulse throbbed within the walls of the room as pairs of them moved and writhed and thrust together in their own rhythmic patterns. The din of groans and grunts accompanied the occasional slapping of flesh, the crack of a whip or the wanton holler of a release.

All of this swirled around Watson’s head as he gazed in disbelief at the shocking tableau before him. The faces of men openly giving one another such gratification was humiliating, disorienting and profoundly arousing.

The suspect had disappeared, but Watson’s innate sense of discretion stopped him here, so he left the premises and hurried back to Baker Street. On the cab ride home, he wrote down every one of the suspect’s movements that night, omitting not a single detail. When Holmes finally arrived home later, Watson scrutinized his face while the detective read over his notes.

“Well done, Watson,” was all he said before giving him a pat and seating himself at his chemistry. His reaction had been maddeningly inscrutable.

That night as he lied in bed, Watson brought himself to a blinding orgasm envisioning Holmes among the roomful of men at the club.  

*          *          *

It was not unlike Watson to act before he spoke. That is not to say he often acted without thinking, per se, but rather that his physical responses often operated ahead of his wits. And that is precisely what happened on the night he finally confronted Holmes on the subject of his sexuality.

It was in a large, crowded room choked with the smoke and egos of a circle of men whose livelihoods were as dependent on these social gatherings as they were upon their knowledge of British law. It seemed ludicrous to Watson that he and Holmes should be here, but the invitation had been sincere. And, from the sly manner in which Holmes assured Watson that it would be to their advantage to attend, Watson correctly deduced that his friend had some professional motive for keeping a watchful eye on one or two of the attendees.

But Watson had eyes only for Holmes, who had never looked so debonair or gallant or handsome or desirable as he did that night. With one arm tucked regally behind his back, Holmes skulked about the room like a cat waiting for scraps of clues to be dropped in front of him. When he stopped to chat with someone, he betrayed no particular intention beyond social courtesy. He would tilt his head back and affect distant half-interest until a fact or suggestion of some import would cause his chin to drop and his smoky grey eyes to widen and shine like torches.

Watson had always admired Holmes, but tonight he was in perfect awe. He followed Holmes’s every movement until he was so overcome that he had to remove himself from the premises. He darted up a narrow staircase and shut himself into an empty bedroom at the top of the landing. He cupped his hand over his genitals and squeezed, growing harder against his palm as vividly erotic images flitted across his mind. His trousers were already at his knees when he heard a soft knock at the door.

“Watson? Are you in there?”

“Half a second, Holmes,” Watson said as he furiously hoisted his waistband and refastened his flies. He unlocked and opened the door.

“What are you doing in here, dear fellow? Are you ill?” Holmes asked as he stepped into the bedroom.

Watson sighed. It was time to confess what he knew, what he had seen and the profound effect it was having on him.

“Close the door, please, Holmes, and lock it. I’ve something I need to tell you.”

Holmes obliged. Watson took a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak. But he took one look at Holmes standing in front of him, his beautiful moonstone eyes creased with curiosity and concern, and words entirely failed him.

Watson grabbed his lapels and crushed his lips over his mouth. He was momentarily startled by the warmth of Holmes’s lips, and how full and alive they felt upon his. Without letting up in the slightest, Watson pulled Holmes on top of him and they fell awkwardly onto the bed. Watson was kissing him far too hard to be able to discern whether or not Holmes was kissing him back. He was afraid that once he released his grip Holmes would push him away.

When Watson finally sealed the embrace with a firm smack, Holmes snapped back and stared at him. Watson was too far gone for a conversation, so with trembling hands he unfastened his trousers. Holmes looked down in astonishment at the rosy cockstand that bounced to life beneath him, and he raised his incredulous expression to Watson’s face. The doctor was nearly unrecognizable behind the wild flush that splashed across his cheeks and the raging desire that had overtaken his countenance.

“Please,” said Watson urgently.

Holmes stared at his friend’s arousal, his sharp mind whirling with a barrage of realizations and impressions. That Watson knew his secret occurred to him instantly, but for how long and to what extent he himself was inclined towards the male sex was not yet clear. All he knew was that honoring Watson’s request was the only possible course of action. The man was in such a state of arousal his entire body was shaking.

He bent his head down and fixed his mouth around Watson’s cock. He was at first hesitant, but Watson was immediately responsive, moaning and writhing lustfully underneath him as Holmes massaged him with a tightening embouchure.

Watson thought of all the men at the gentlemen’s club and the dashing figure of Holmes in his evening clothes. He dared himself to look down and take in the sight of Holmes pumping up and down over his manhood, his eyes tightly closed in concentration, his nostrils flared in his effort and his supple red lips moistened with the precursor to Watson’s release.

Watson was already hovering near the precipice when he started whispering husky words of encouragement. They soon gave way to lewd phrases articulating his wildest fantasies as the acts to which he had borne witness came tumbling out of him.

Holmes brought his hand to Watson’s sac and weaved his delicate fingers around it. With a hoarse cry, Watson began to cant his hips and clench his buttocks in anticipation of the great tide that was about to overwhelm all of his senses.

Holmes hadn’t any expectations of reciprocation, for he was certain that once Watson emerged from his haze of lust he would apologize and retreat from this realm that was so unknown to him. So he hastily released his own erection and began to stroke himself at a furious pace, his muted moans reverberating throughout Watson’s body as he rocked back and forth on his knees.

It was over for Watson in a matter of moments. He came so hard he choked on his final cry and dissolved inside the staccato exhale that was propelled in unending stream from his diaphragm.

Holmes increased his suction as Watson’s seed flooded his mouth, pulling and pulling every last thread of sensation from him with great determination. Muffled cries climbed higher up the back of his throat, well past Watson’s finish, until he felt the sweet spark igniting in his own stomach. His mouth fell open, dropping Watson’s softening cock and stretching into the suggestion of a scream as his voice cracked with the realization of his own climax.

Neither of them moved until the panting and tremors subsided. Holmes stood on shaking legs and righted his clothing after blotting himself dry with his handkerchief. Aghast at the unprecedented frenzy that had just taken place, he seated himself against the wall, drew up his knees and waited.

Watson sat up slowly and crawled to the edge of the bed where he faced Holmes. The two men stared at each other at length before either of them spoke.

“Tell me, Holmes—“ Watson began, but Holmes cut him off.

“I think, Watson, that you had rather tell me.”

“I know that you’re an invert.”


“And I—I don’t know what I am. But you…that club…those men…” he was at a loss again, and very, very nervous.

“A passing whim. A temporary fancy,” Holmes said dismissively.

“No. No, nothing of the kind. I want you to tell me what it’s like.”

“You ought to know. You were married once.”

“Yes, but…it was never like this.”

Holmes glowed inwardly. He rested his head on the wall behind him. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips and a dreamy expression settled on his face.

“A great and powerful joy,” he said blissfully. “With the right man.”

Watson’s heart pounded at that, the first admission uttered with such reverence.

“Am I the right man?” he asked softly.

Holmes shifted his gaze to Watson’s face. “Are you?”

“I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“How would you have it then?”

“Best of friends. Colleagues. And lovers.”

Holmes dropped his gaze for a moment. “And what if some woman were to—“

“No. Only you. I don’t want anyone else. Ever.”

Holmes smiled.

“Unless you feel that you...you’re better suited to another,” Watson added carefully.

“I think you know the answer to that, Watson.” He held out his hand.

Watson rose from the bed, reached down and brought Holmes to his feet. They faced each other in electrified silence.

Watson cast his mind once more to that fateful night at the club. He imagined taking Holmes by the hand and leading him through the red door, only instead of a roomful of men on the other side it opened to the sitting room at Baker Street, alit with candles and draped in velvet. Their future never looked so clear, or so beautiful.

He wrapped his hand around Holmes's neck and pulled him in for a kiss. 


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! There's room for many Holmeses throughout the generations, of course, but none inspires me the way Brett and Granada do. Thanks again for reading.
Aug. 6th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree, and for the very same reasons!
Aug. 8th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Aug. 6th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Absolutely lovely (like everything you write.)

Thank you.
Aug. 8th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome. It's always a pleasure to write for this fandom.
Aug. 6th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
I can totally imagine this happening (and I'm more than happy to tbh) XD
I love how Watson finally snaps and Holmes is all O.O
but goes with the flow. Very sweet. ♥ Thanks for sharing ^^

Aug. 8th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
You bet. To say you can imagine it happening is about the highest compliment you could have paid. Thanks.
Aug. 6th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oooh, intriguing. I like how you did this, the story and the characters have that lovely flavor of Doyle's works that you do very well.
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
Ooo, tasted a little Doyle, didja? Thanks for saying so!
Aug. 6th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
This was lovely! You captured them both perfectly, and your writing is wonderfully descriptive. I could picture it all so clearly. You packed quite a punch into a short piece. Nicely done. :D
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Cat! Packing a bunch into a short piece is such a challenge. Other fic writers do it so well, like it comes easy to them. Me, I have to work at it. Thank you for commenting!
Aug. 7th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
Guh. I adore the way you write these two, and your ridiculously hot smut scenes (which always seem so heartbreakingly sweet at the same time), of course :)

BTW, I was loving the way Watson was all desperate when Holmes walks in the room! <3
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Hee. How many times do you suppose that's happened to dear Watson? If I hung out with Holmes like he did, I'd be locking myself in rooms right and left. Until I had the balls to attack him, of course. :)

Glad this was enjoyable for you.
Aug. 7th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Wonderful writing! XD I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it. Thanks for stopping by!
Aug. 7th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Lovely work.
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Lovely avatar.
Aug. 7th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
Holy crap! Guh! &hearts I mean that in the best way possible, of course. You have just...wow. So sweet and so hot and and I just love Brett!Holmes the best and both of Granda's Watsons... I read this with Brett's grace and eyes and voice in mind, which just made it all so much better and hotter. *incoherent* *drool*

Sorry, I'll stop rambling now.
Aug. 8th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, no need to apologize. I'm thrilled that you pictured this because it's exactly what I had in mind during the writing. I wouldn't be here at all if it weren't for the incomparable Mr. Brett.

BTW, I've been enjoying your drawings very much. You've got great style.

Thanks for reading!
Aug. 9th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
I have the biggest grin on my face right now! This was fantastic! Your use of language was amazing. I loved the line about the truth walking in the door as sure as Holmes did, and also the room choked with smoke and egos. This is also one of my favorite slashy scenarios, where one discovers the truth about the other and only then realizes his own feelings - and you did such a great job with it.

I love the way you portray the Granada/canon Holmes and Watson. You know I come at this from the movie, but I'm slowly falling for this version as well as I read more ACD and canon-based fic and watch the brilliant Jeremy Brett. Even so, often when I'm reading canon-based stories, my mind tends to drift back to the movie boys until something (a reference to Holmes's eyes being gray or his height) jars me back to awareness of which set of boys I'm dealing with. But that doesn't happen when I'm reading your stories - I always feel very grounded in the characters because you have such a good sense of who they are.

I would have been so pleased by this story no matter what, but to think that I contributed in a teensy-tiny way to your inspiration just thrills me. *does a little chair dance* You so completely made my day with this.
Aug. 9th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Your grin is contagious, my dear. I'm bowled over by your comments and equally thrilled that this made your day.

You know, I never realized your fics were situated in movieverse. As I read them, I filled in my favorite Holmes and Watson and they fit perfectly. Maybe that's the real trick--writing such well-grounded fic that any one of the TV or film versions will work. :)

If you're still getting acquainted with Granada, I can give you a little hint. The whole dropping of the chin and torch-lit eyes comes from the scene in Norwood Builder when Holmes is interrogating Mrs. Lexington. He does that a lot in the series, but that's the moment I had in mind when I wrote that scene. Of course, Brett's eyes were green but I stick to the canon where greyness is concerned.

Thanks again for your wonderful comments. I'm even more inspired now to get the other fic polished up and posted before too long.

Edited at 2010-08-09 12:57 am (UTC)
Aug. 9th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Huh! It surprised me that you said you didn't realize my boys are movieverse. Now I want to go and read my story with Brett!Holmes in mind and see what I think! But, alas, I must work tonight. Lots of icky work.

And I'm very much looking forward to the new story.
Aug. 9th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think it's because there's something more authentically Victorian about your stories that made me feel more Granada than movieverse. (But then again, I've not seen the movie yet so Granada's still my default.) I can't quite put my finger on it. Guess I'll have to read 'em all again and figure it out. :)
Aug. 9th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
You haven't seen the movie?! Oh, gosh, now I'm both dying for you to see it and find out what you think and nervous, because you might not like it. RDJ!Holmes is SO very different from Brett!Holmes (who really is so much more like canon). Having not read any canon before seeing the movie, I absolutely loved it (so unbelievably slashy), but now that I'm getting familiar with a more traditional Holmes, I can easily see how a devotee of the books and Granada might be really put off.

I'm pleased to hear that you think my stories have a Victorian feel to them though - I really did try for that. I tend to write in a more formal style anyway (when I've written more modern fic I sometimes have to edit just to make the language less stuffy), so it wasn't all that much of a stretch for me in some ways.
Oct. 11th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
WoW...This was HOT and sweet and HOT!!! *fans self furiously*
What a great way to celebrate a Thursday morning.
Thank you!!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )