John Watson was a terrible liar. Then again, he wasn’t really lying, was he? He was simply omitting the truth.
“I’m going out, Holmes. I’ve inhaled quite enough chemical fumes for one evening, thank you.”
Sherlock Holmes pulled another test tube from the holder and poured its contents into a bubbling beaker. “Noxious odors are such a small price to pay for new advancements in modern scientific detection.”
The doctor said nothing and reached instead for his coat.
“Besides, I have already consented to opening the window.”
Watson rolled his eyes and the door shut behind him. Left alone in the still of the room, Holmes sniffed at the air and coughed. The atmosphere really was rather poisonous. Watson was absolutely right about that. But it had nothing to do with why he was leaving.
He was leaving to meet his new lover.
That Watson was seeing someone intermittently for casual sexual encounters was obvious. The affair was clearly new, a furtive and torrid thing that had sprung up in only the past few days. Upon deducing it, Holmes initially intended to let it be. Such pairings burned fast and hot, and were extremely unlikely to last. Kindling alone does not build an enduring fire. Watson would not be permanently leaving Baker Street for this passing object of his ardour.
This male passing object of his ardour.
If the existence of a lover for Watson was obvious and unsurprising, discovering Watson’s newfound partner was in fact a man came as a bolt of lightning from the open sky. All of the evidence presented suddenly snapped at once into place. And only then did Holmes begin to worry. These were dangerous times for men of Watson’s persuasion. A male lover left him open to danger, to blackmail, to exposure, to worse. This was not a course of action to be taken without great caution. There was only one way to know Watson was being careful enough, taking enough precautions. Holmes would have to follow him to his rendezvous. It was the only way to be sure he was safe.
The long, circuitous route Watson took to his meeting was a good sign. The doctor had learned quite a bit about the art of stealth in these years sharing rooms with a detective. If he was this cautious in choosing a meeting place, then Watson’s affair might be safely ignored after all as Holmes intended in the first place.
A certain excitement buzzed through Holmes’ veins as he walked just far enough behind Watson so as not to be seen. Watson’s lover was a man. After all these years, to discover that Watson was interested in the companionship of both genders was astonishing. Had he always had this predilection? If he was interested in men, was it possible--
Irrelevant. These were childish thoughts, not to be entertained. Holmes gave up notions like that years ago when he became a detective. His pursuits became intellectual, mental. They advanced far beyond the simple, juvenile pleasures of romance and physical desire. His work filled his thoughts completely, obliterating any of those demeaning and puerile interests he may once have had from his mind. It was, in fact, absurdly easy.
But of course it was easy then, piped up a small voice from somewhere in the distant back of his brain. That was before you met John Watson.
Watson’s pace slowed as he neared his destination. The alley he finally turned into was poorly lit, dingy and empty. Empty except for a small man waiting in its shadows, leaning against the wall with one foot up against the bricks. Holmes watched from a safe distance as the man pulled a sparking red drag off his cigarette and tilted his head at an angle to view the doctor’s approach.
That angle, that motion, Holmes knew he had seen it before. And not just once. It was terribly familiar, that curious turn of the head to look at Watson, but it took him a second to place it. He’d seen it before, yes, many times. Many times, many scenes of investigations, walking up with the doctor to meet--
Inspector Lestrade stepped forward off the wall and the dim back light of the alley cast his silhouette for a brief moment before Watson was upon him, shoving him back roughly, his fists twisting in the lapels of the inspector's coat. The doctor whispered something illicit into Lestrade’s ear and punctuated it with his teeth against the tendons of Lestrade’s shoulder.
Holmes’ breath caught in his throat. Every rational thought screamed for him to leave, to look away, but he was frozen solidly in place, staring. This was wrong, wrong in every way he could conceive. Wrong for him to be watching, wrong for it to be happening at all. Lestrade? Watson and... Lestrade? But there they were and there he was, and all of them much too far gone at that instant to even attempt to stop.
Lestrade’s hands gripped Watson’s arms tightly to spin him around and lean him against the wall. He kissed Watson hard while his hands slowly slid down the doctor’s chest to reach the tabs of his braces and the buttons of his trousers. Watson tensed and spread his legs further apart as Lestrade exposed his pale, upright cock. The inspector dropped to his knees and in the flickering shadows took Watson deeply into his mouth.
An involuntary gasp escaped Holmes’ lips before he could prevent it, and he glanced around frantically, fearful of discovery. His own discovery and theirs. But there was no one in range of sight or sound, only the three of them, and certainly Watson and Lestrade hadn't noticed his presence. Their senses were quite actively occupied elsewhere.
They were not the only ones missing things, though, as Holmes looked down to realize he had been rubbing his own prominent erection through his clothing without even noticing it. The instant he did notice however, he very nearly came then and there, as it coincided with a heavy moan from Watson in the alley. The doctor clamped one hand over his mouth in an attempt to keep silent, but the cause was a lost one. He gave up instead and reached down, knocking Lestrade's hat to the ground and burying his fingers in the inspector's hair.
Watching this was beyond wrong, a grave injustice to both of these men, the only two people Holmes could consider his friends, but he could not bring himself to look away. It was an impossibility. Watson was simply too exquisite to miss in this state, made perfect, unraveled and alive. Holmes could sense everything about him from this vantage point, could hear his quickened breath and his stifled noises of pleasure, could faintly smell his cologne, his sweat, his sex. He could almost feel the muscles tensing in his body, almost taste the fine salt of his skin.
Watson cried out again low and gripped Lestrade's shoulder tightly as he thrust forward with his hips in a quick, tantalizing rhythm. Working diligently like an artisan at his craft, Lestrade moved to the doctor's set beat and kneaded the flesh of Watson's taut buttocks in the dim light as he guided him with tongue and lips well past the point of control.
As the cresting wave crashed over him, Watson arched his neck, threw his head back against the cold brick and clenched shut his eyes. His body strained and shuddered, swaying on suddenly weakened knees, and he smacked the wall with his open hand, grasping for solid purchase. Watson’s other hand busily touched and stroked everything it could reach of Lestrade: his hair, his cheek, his throat, his shoulder. He panted for breath, his broad chest heaving for air in jolting spasms.
On his lips was a mouthed word, repeated unconsciously in Watson’s beautiful, insensate rapture. Decoding it at a distance in the dark and otherwise distracted took Holmes a few seconds, but he recognized it, of course. When he did, his body finally betrayed him completely, falling into its own uncontrolled shivers and spiraling nerve sensations. But yes, of course he recognized it. It was unmistakable, because it wasn’t really a word at all. In those unguarded moments, lost far beyond the veil of reason, Watson was calling Holmes’ name. Again and again, deep in the throes of his pleasure, Watson silently called Holmes’ name into the black of the night.
Would that Holmes could have answered him, could have cried out for him in response. Instead all he could do was watch as Watson’s body gradually calmed and his breathing eased. Lestrade pulled his head away and flashed a wild grin up at the doctor, who was only then returning to this plane of consciousness. The inspector dusted off his hat briskly and rose while Watson tugged with fumbling fingers at his own disheveled clothes, fastening and straightening them again as best as he could manage.
The two men exchanged a nod and a sly smile before they both departed the alley in opposite directions with not another word spoken between them. Holmes waited for the sound of their footsteps to fade into the distance before he himself emerged onto the empty street. The London mist fell cool and damp onto his fevered skin. In the quiet still and dark of midnight, the detective was alone.