Chapter rating: R
Chapter warnings: POV change, hinky science, some swearing, erotic and homoerotic situations
Author's Note: Thanks everyone for your comments and reviews. This is the final chapter; I hope you'll like it.
To Tony's surprise, Sherlock Holmes advanced no objection to the concept of male sex per se. Instead, he genuinely seemed to entertain the notion, given the controlled-panicky way he was looking at Tony that made him want to both snicker and ruffle Holmes' hair. He did neither. This was a proud man, and if Tony wanted to get anywhere, accomplish anything, he needed to not take him out of his comfort zone any more than was absolutely necessary.
"I think we can do this in a purely theoretical manner," the detective said in an obvious effort to get out of a situation that must be supremely uncomfortable for him as it was. "A practical demonstration is hardly necessary for such a base activity."
Tony suppressed another smile. "I don't doubt you'd get all the information you think you need from an illustrated diagram on erogenous zones and the mechanics of male sex, but there's more to it than theoretical knowledge."
The detective looked supremely skeptical. "Nevertheless, it is what I would prefer."
"Holmes," Tony said earnestly, "if you've never done this before, then a trial run is highly advisable, believe me. Watson obviously means a lot to you. Your first time together should not be a complete disaster. You certainly don't want to freak out at the wrong moment."
"I would never 'freak out'."
"If you've never had your hand on another man's dick before, you most certainly will."
Holmes stared at him. "I have faced armed criminals. I hardly suppose that touching a nude body would be sufficient to distress me."
"That's not the same thing. The object of that sort of confrontation is not victory." Tony looked at him, smirking. "Allow me to demonstrate." Then he got up and began to shuck his clothes.
As he'd expected, Holmes' eyes briefly flicked away as soon as he dropped his pants. (He was going commando.)
"Holmes," he said gently, "look at me."
The eyes that met his were stony, with an underlying wildness that made Tony doubt, for the first time, that this had been a good idea. Oh well, too late now.
"Now touch me."
But despite his misgivings, there was none of the deliberate misunderstandings that might have followed this demand in anyone less courageous. Holmes merely nodded, reached out his hand, and grabbed Tony's dick. Then he froze. They held this unlikely tableau for a moment, and just when Tony was about to make an off-color remark, Holmes said, in an abstracted way, "I see."
Tony felt himself begin to respond, despite his recent sexual acrobatics with Watson (and boy had that been enthusiastic on both their parts). After all, this was Sherlock Holmes touching him. The mere thought apparently was enough to get even his rather jaded sexual appetite going. "Can you imagine me doing the same to you?" he asked hopefully.
Holmes did not change his expression, and still Tony got a sense of impenetrable walls going down, and Holmes removed his hand. "As much as I admire you, Stark, you are not going to be the first man who touches me like that."
That was an argument Tony could accept. He himself had pointed out that Holmes' first time with Watson should be special. "Okay, so you try things on me and see how they work. I'll just go lie down and you experiment." And he'd hope like hell that the detectives' curiosity would end up getting Tony some opportunity for hands-on demonstrations as well.
There was a brief argument about the merits of the bed versus those of the sofa, which Holmes ended by pointing out that the bed was reserved for him and Watson, and Tony reflected wryly that there was something very endearing about the man's territoriality. However, he finally found himself lying naked on the sofa, with Holmes' intense dark gaze fixed on him.
"Well, go ahead," Tony said encouragingly when Holmes didn't move. "I promise I won't budge."
Holmes nodded, reached out and ran his hand over Tony's chest, staring at the ARC reactor for a while before moving his hand further south. Tony could sense the detective's brief distraction over the device embedded in his chest, but they were on a mission of sorts, and Holmes finally directed his attention to the goal of this hands-on demonstration, much to Tony's relief.
By now, he was visibly aroused. Holmes inspected his engorged organ with the same clinical attention he might give a dead body, which amused Tony no end, and, because he would be the first to admit that he was a slut, also aroused him further.
"I am not doing anything," Holmes commented. "Why are you reacting so strongly?"
"I'm imagining all the things you might do," Tony said, raising his arms and linking his hands behind his head. "I'm anticipating what it will feel like. I have a pretty fertile imagination."
"Then a mere fancy is sufficient to cause a physical reaction," Holmes mused. "That is interesting."
"If you have the experience, yes. It also helps if you've got a dirty mind."
"What, precisely, are you imagining?"
'I don't believe it,' Tony thought. 'He's actually talking dirty to me.' "I'd rather not give you ideas," he evaded. "This is about you learning, not about me influencing you with my fantasies. Just… go ahead and do something. Anything."
"Very well." Holmes reached out his left hand, encircled Tony's member in a firm, warm grip, and proceeded to move his fingers.
Tony's breath stalled. "That's… actually pretty good," he managed, pleasure coiling sharply. 'Violinist. Manual dexterity. Oh God.'
"How does it feel?" Holmes asked intently.
'Ecstatic, but that won't tell you anything.' "I could show you."
"We've been over this."
"You're making this unnecessarily complicated."
The movements did not stop. Tony was squirming with need. "Well, then touch yourself if you won't let me do it. It's the only – ahhh – the only way to learn the effect your touch has."
Holmes seemed to concede this point, because he undid his belt and unbuttoned his pants, one-handed, while Tony took deep breaths to calm himself at least a little bit. The mere thought that Holmes would now to do himself what he was doing to Tony was nearly enough to induce a melt-down.
Then things got even worse when he watched Holmes' stony face slowly dissolve into an expression of astonished delight. "Pretty good, huh?" Tony managed. His breath was growing short. His toes were curling.
"I had not… anticipated that…" Then the detective's eyes fluttered closed in something that was as close to rapture as Tony had ever seen.
That was when the coiled spring in Tony's loins released, and he barely managed to hold back a shout as he spurted semen over Holmes' hand and his own stomach. Holmes watched him, his expression now a mixture of ecstasy and wonder tinged with faint disgust, but before Tony could summon his higher brain functions and make a witty remark, Holmes curled in on himself and gave a long, drawn-out moan.
For a minute or so, their slowing breathing was the only sound in the room. Tony felt his usual post-coital upsurge of need for physical contact and wondered whether Holmes was having a similar urge. But he did not say anything, thinking he already knew the answer and not wanting to hear a rejection.
Finally, Holmes roused himself, nodded at Tony, and left the room without another word.
Tony sighed. Well, what had he expected? "Jarvis," he said, cleaning himself up and putting the blanket back over himself, "you get all this?"
"Yes, sir. Editing and archiving as per previously established preferences."
"You're a doll."
- Watson -
The next morning, as I descended the stairs to our sitting-room, I felt my face heat up in shame at the mere thought of facing Holmes' all-seeing eyes and Stark's confounded smirk after last night's activities, even as I told myself that my reaction was unwarranted. For one thing, Holmes' own conduct hardly qualified him to criticise the behaviour of others, and for another thing, as much as I might wish it, neither did he have the right to be jealous. And finally, Stark's opinion mattered not one iota, and I would be perfectly within my rights to wipe the smirk right off his face. None of which helped, however, and I am certain that my face was beet-red as I greeted the two men.
Then my own shame was forgotten as a strong sense of déjà vue assaulted me when both turned to look at me. Something must have happened during the night, again. Holmes was looking… strange. There really was no better word for the slightly befuddled yet oddly exuberant air I detected when I looked at him. Stark, far from smirking, was looking a little tired and more than a little expectant.
I frowned but decided not to say anything about it, merely offering them a good morning as I seated myself at the breakfast table.
"And what are your plans for today, Watson?" Holmes asked after a minute of awkward silence.
"I need to do my rounds until noon, then I'm free," I said.
"Excellent," Holmes said, throwing a peculiar glance in Stark's direction.
Our guest grinned. "Don't worry, Holmes, I'll be downstairs. Lots of things to do. And your landlady has a killer sense of humour once you get her thawed out a little."
Another glance passed between them.
"Holmes," I said, unable to stand it any longer. "What's this all about?"
"I shall tell you later today, old boy," Holmes said, visibly composing himself.
By now, my imagination was running wild. "Should I be worried?"
He smiled. "Not at all, dear chap. Not at all."
When I returned from my round, I was surprised to find the blinds drawn and a single candle lit. Stark was nowhere in evidence. Holmes was sitting in his chair, clad only in shirt and trousers, looking pleased to see me.
"What's this about, Holmes?" I asked again, hanging my suit coat onto its hook, next to his.
He steepled his hands in front of himself, elbows resting upon the armrests of his chair. "I have a suggestion to make."
"A suggestion that requires drawn blinds?"
"I think I should be worried after all."
"I think you should listen before you draw your inferences."
I tried to relax. "Very well. I'm listening."
He leaned back and directed his gaze into empty space, a mannerism that was by then as familiar to me as it had been disconcerting when I first met him. "I was obliged yesterday night to change my perspective upon a number of things," he began. "There is nothing quite so invigorating as having one's convictions challenged at every turn, but I pride myself upon my ability to adjust when circumstances demand it."
"Holmes," I sighed, "can you be a little less cryptic, please?"
He regarded me with a glint of amusement in his dark eyes. "Very well. You have been exposed to the corrupting influence of our house guest just as I have. I more than once observed you being quite outraged at his innuendos. The obvious conjecture from your reaction is that you object to deviant activities on principle. Is that correct?"
I knew a moment of blinding relief mixed with breathless anticipation. "No," I said, smiling, "actually, it's quite false."
A fire seemed to light up in his eyes. "Really."
"Yes, Holmes. Really."
"How fortuitous." With that, he learned forward, put both his hands on my shoulders and regarded me with that intense concentration he normally bestowed on his chemical experiments.
But I was done with being patient. A new horizon had revealed itself to me, and I was eager to explore it. I hooked my hand around the back of his neck and drew him in for a kiss.
He tasted of tobacco and other things, but I only had a brief moment to appreciate it before he had already disengaged and was working on the buttons of my collar and shirt. I moved to return the favour, infected by the same urgency that was obviously fuelling him.
"Holmes," I gasped between licking his collarbones and pulling his shirttails out of his trousers, "what brought this on? You were at least as adamant about not giving in to his suggestions as I was."
His unshaven chin scratching over my chest briefly distracted me from my thoughts. "I acquired missing data," he murmured against my nipple.
My fingers threaded themselves through his thick, coffee-coloured hair and held his head in place. "What does that mean? I told you to stop being cryptic." Then a thought struck. "Oh no. Did he – Holmes…?"
He gave me a bright smile that oddly enough reminded me of Stark. "Apparently, our guest made it his mission to turn us both into criminals, and like a good scientist, he opted for a practical demonstration."
That stopped me cold. "Holmes, did he…" I could practically feel my blood-pressure rise. "Has he sodomised you, Holmes? Because if he has, I shall cut him into very small pieces, damage to the timeline notwithstanding."
Holmes took a breath. "For some reason, I find this reaction of yours immensely stimulating."
He unbuttoned my fly in single-minded concentration, apparently content to torture me. "Yes, old boy?" Then his hand touched my body intimately, and I again lost the train of my thoughts. "You were saying?"
He was doing his best to distract me, but I have not spent some time in India for nothing. "Has Stark sodomised you?" I repeated, ignoring as best I could the curling of pleasure in my loins.
Instead of answering, he employed one of his Baritsu moves and manoeuvred us both onto the carpet, drawing me on top of him and kicking off his trousers. "He did not lay a hand on me, my dear Watson. I reasoned that this right should exclusively belong to you."
"I am glad," I replied, fervently.
"Would you really be moved to violence on my behalf?" he asked from where he was licking the scar in my shoulder.
"Most certainly," I replied, feeling my breath grow short. "You are mine."
This caused him to raise his head and look at me. "Really? On what grounds do you base this assertion?"
I kissed him, exuberantly. "I shall be the first man to touch you, and you shan't want anyone else after me."
He scowled at me. "That is a wild assumption that I shall not accept without proof."
I reached up and grabbed the bottle of lamp oil that had somehow found its way among the tea things. "Then I shall prove it to you." Something in his eyes, however, made me hesitate. "Don't worry. I shall be very gentle."
He snorted as if to let me know that such considerations were unnecessary, but I was undeterred. This first experience should not be anything but pleasant, for I was convinced that otherwise he would not repeat it. And so I took my time, even over his protests, until finally we were as close to each other as was physically possible.
Oh, how to describe the experience with mere words? How to explain the fact that this act that our society condemns as unnatural and illegal becomes elevated to something approaching sublime when committed with the person you love? Such were my thoughts as we both became irredeemable in the eyes of the law even as we reached a realm beyond human and legal considerations.
But it had to end, as everything ends, and we both finally returned to our bodies.
Holmes reached out to drag a blanket over us. "Don't move, Watson," he said softly. Then he hugged me close, made himself comfortable in my arms, and fell asleep.
"Are you certain that you'll find your way back, Stark?" Watson asked solicitously.
"Well," Tony said, "there's certainly an element of uncertainty, but yes, I'm as confident as I can be."
He looked around where they were standing on the rooftop of 221b. It was pitch dark, Baker Street was deserted, which was why they had chosen this time of night to say good-bye.
Sherlock Holmes was watching in silence as Tony closed the faceplate. "Well," Iron Man's electronically altered voice said, "it's been a blast. I'll never again be able to read one of your stories without remembering this little episode. Thanks for the hospitality, and if you ever find yourselves stranded in the twenty-first century for any reason, be sure to call on me."
Holmes and Watson exchanged a look. "We will, Stark," Holmes said. "Depend upon it."
And then he was in the air, accelerating towards the calculated position, changing course at the calculated point, G forces pressing down on him.
There was a gigantic explosion. Iron Man, being right on top of it, didn't even have time to curl up into an instinctive fetal position before he was hit by the concussion wave and blasted an indeterminate but probably considerable distance. His head up display went dark even as his own senses faded for a few seconds.
Tony's consciousness was back online before Jarvis was. "Systems rebooting" was the slightly blurry message he could see on the HUD even as the swishing sounds that got through his helmet told him that he was, incredibly, still air-borne, and going at high speeds. Some blast, he thought, bracing himself for the impact that surely was imminent. Abruptly, his display and systems fizzled to life just in time for him to fire up his boot thrusters and repulsors, barely avoiding crashing into the administrative building of Stark Industries, London division that suddenly loomed up right in front of him.
"Jarvis?" he asked. "Are we back? And what was that explosion? Please tell me that wasn't my experimental lab."
"I am correlating data, sir. We seem to have returned ten minutes before we left. The lab is undamaged. There seems to have been an electric discharge in the upper atmosphere."
"I've been hit by lightning?"
"So it would appear."
"Huh. Well, okay, I suppose that's not too bad, then. Let's get down and see to it that I don't blow up my own property."
He descended, looking forward to getting out of the suit and buying the Complete Sherlock Holmes stories. Nothing like a change of perspective to make one appreciate vintage literature.