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Ho Yay / Literature

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Dorothy threw her arms around her little friend and hugged and kissed her rapturously.

Have a Gay Old Time, everybody!

Please note: When the subtext becomes text, or is confirmed by Word of Gay, it is no longer considered Ho Yay.

Compare examples of Ho Yay in other media.

Works/series with their own subpages

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  • In 1984, Winston goes on at some length about O'Brien, the deep connection he feels at a glance, and the man's marvelous physique. Probably unintentional, as George Orwell disliked gays.
  • In Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, there's a fair bit between Abe and Henry. Notably, the scene where Abe wakes up in Henry's house, stripped to the waist (albeit covered in bandages), and tied to the bed. That's one hell of a first impression. Considering that there is quite a bit of speculation that Abraham Lincoln was gay, this might be the most historically accurate aspect of the book. There's also the scene following Ann's death where Henry takes Abe in his armsnote  and Abe breaks down sobbing. Abe states that he remembers the moment clearly because of how surprised he was by the sensation of Henry's skinnote  and how much warmth Henry was showing toward him. There's also the bit where the book notes at Abe's funeral that "Though [Henry's] eyes were incapable of tears, he felt the loss of Abraham Lincoln more deeply than any living person in Springfield that day." Even though Abe's son was also there.
  • The women in A Brother's Price have no problem with admiring each other's beauty, with Ren noticing that Eldest Whistler looks almost as fetching as her brother, Jerin Whistler. When Jerin sees Cullen Moorland, all dressed up for a ball, he is impressed by Cullen's good looks.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Lampshaded between Arnold and Gordy. And between Arnold and Rowdy. Gordy seems to reciprocate, by arguing that Arnold should get a boner over books.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
    • There is a paper called "Come Back to the Raft, Huck Honey!" that argues for this between Huck and Jim based on one line of text.
    • "After breakfast, they went whooping and prancing around the bar, and chased each other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until they were naked..." So apparently Tom Sawyer's not immune to the Ho Yay. Take into account Tom and Huck's habit of sneaking out to meet each other. Remind you of any other star-crossed lovers?
  • Rinaldi of A Farewell to Arms is Ambiguously Gay, or at least Ambiguously Bi considering his womanising ways. He seems rather attached to Frederic, calling him "baby" and repeatedly asking for a kissnote .
  • The Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have an interesting example with the aforementioned Agent Pendergast and his close friend Vincent D'Agosta. For one thing, he frequently calls him 'my dear Vincent' and has said that Vincent is the only person he has ever trusted completely besides his dead wife. On Vincent's side of things, he'll drop everything and go running all over the world to help Pendergast and will damn near do anything for him.
  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood has the relationship between Grace Marks and Mary Whitney. Grace talks about the older girl constantly, in very admiring terms, and especially how unconventional she was. In Grace's own words, the time when the two work together (and sleep in the same bed, coincidentally) is the happiest of her life. Mary's death is so traumatic to Grace that she claims it brings on her first episode of amnesia; she also visits Mary's grave every week to leave flowers on it.
  • A Little Princess: There are hints of this in Sara's relationships with Becky and Ermengarde.
  • Jacquel and Ibis of American Gods could very easily be interpreted as a gay couple. Well, Egyptian Mythology has canonical gay sex...
  • Despite Elvin and Adair from Andraste both having female love interests, Adair has a very keen interest in Elvin's injuries (expressing even greater concern than Elvin's love interest) and is suspiciously quick to stand up for him. There's also the fact that they share not only a room, but a bed. Certain exchanges between them don't help, either, such as:
    Elvin: (After discussing his injuries) Thanks for the concern, but I'm far from the most important thing to worry about right now.
    Adair: That depends entirely on who you ask.
Adair: The ladies love armor.
Elvin: How would you know that?
Adair: Ah. that you mention it...the latest object of my affections seems immune to it.
Elvin: Hael?
Adair: No, not Hael. I mean, she's pretty, but I don't exactly love her.
Elvin: But you love this other person?
Adair: Very much, feelings aren't returned.
Elvin: Are you sure? Have you asked her?
Adair: Whoever said it was a girl, Elvin?
  • In Animal Farm, there are homoerotic vibes from the relationship between Boxer and Benjamin. Ben is described as being "fond" of Boxer, the two live in the same stable, and the only time Ben actually does something is when Boxer was sent to the slaughterhouse.
  • Fans love the subtext in the Animorphs series:
    • Team clown Marco frequently refers to best friend Jake with affectionate pet names, and on one occasion explains that he doesn't keep any secrets from Jake, as "that's the basis of a good marriage: openness, honesty."
    • Since the other four characters are official couples, fans like to Pair the Spares Ax and Marco. It helps that they're actually a damn good team, especially when it comes to computer hacking.
      Marco: May we join you?
      Rich Lady: There's only one chair.
      Marco: It's okay, we're very good friends. (yanks Ax down to sit on his lap)
  • Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced, Miss Hinchcliffe and Miss Murgatroyd. So much subtext it's practically a Lampshade Hanging - the shared home, the butch/femme dynamic, Miss Hinchcliffe's "utter devastation" when Miss Murgatroyd is murdered, et cetera. Considering that gay-friendly works were still getting banned for indecency up to the late 1970s, the fact that Christie managed to publish a story with not one but two sympathetic lesbian characters in 1950s Britain is mind-boggling. The 2000s television series with Geraldine McEwan dropped the 'sub' entirely and made them a canon couple.
  • Agatha Christie example: There was subtext between Miss Cook and Miss Barrow, Miss Marple's bodyguards in Nemesis.
  • Anne of Green Gables:
    • Anne Shirley often refers to Diana Berry as her "bosom friend". At some point in the story, Anne is crying - because she dreads the day that Diana will leave her for a man, and get married. 13-year-old Anne tells Marilla that she and Diana are considering pledging to never marry and live together as old maids, and in later books, Rachel Lynde moves in with Marilla after her husband dies, and they raise kids together.
  • There is a possible homoerotic interpretation of the relationship between Kayerts and Carlier in Joseph Conrad's An Outpost of Progress.
  • E.M. Forster. Being a real life Straight Gay, his novels were full of homoerotic subtext: A Passage to India is certainly on a level with Brideshead Revisited. And as for Maurice... Maurice is about the eponymous character's search for Mr. Right! Pretty damn groundbreaking, seeing as it was written maybe a decade or two after the turn of the century... or it would have been, if publication hadn't been postponed until after his death in the '70s. Forster was all about needling the stuffy types, but he wasn't suicidal. Especially depressing because the overt gay content wasn't what made the book unpublishable, it was the fact that the book has a happy ending, thus making it "incitement to crime" at the time. If Maurice had hanged himself it might have been okay.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Stephen/Cranly. During a nighttime walk in which they discuss feelings, we get such gems as:
    Cranly seized his arm and steered him round so as to head back...he laughed almost slily and pressed Stephen's arm with an elder's affection.
    —Cunning indeed! he said. Is it you? You poor poet, you!
    —And you made me confess to you, Stephen said, thrilled by his touch, as I have confessed to you so many other things, have I not?
    —Yes, my child, Cranly said, still gaily.
    • And a bit later:
    Cranly, grave now, slowed his pace and said:
    — know what that word means? Not only to be separate...but to have not even one friend.
    —I will take the risk, said Stephen.
    — And not to have any one person, Cranly said, who would be more than a friend, more even than the noblest and truest friend a man ever had.
    His words seemed to have struck some deep chord in his own nature. Had he spoken of himself, of himself as he was or wished to be? Stephen watched his face for some moments in silence. A cold sadness was there. He had spoken of himself, of his own loneliness which he feared.
    —Of whom are you speaking? Stephen asked at length.
    Cranly did not answer.
  • Arthur: Between Buster and Arthur. Arthur and the Brain. Buster and the Brain. Sue Ellen and Fern. Muffy and Francine. D.W. and Emily. D.W. and Nadine.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The series is awash in Ho Yay.
    • Brienne's obsessive "loyalty" towards Catelyn. Consider that Brienne's slavish devotion was previously displayed to Renly, who she was canonically in love with.
    • Tyrion and Bronn always seemed fairly *ahem* close.
    • What was up with Tyrion taking off his gloves to caress Jon's face, back then at The Wall?
    • Sansa and Margarey Tyrell seemed to be heading that way before Sansa left.
    • As for Jon, Pyp, Grenn, and Sam, whoo... There's just so much sexuality and sexual tension in general that it oozes over in ways Martin perhaps didn't intend. Sam has the hots for Jon. Abandoning your religion for a guy who didn't (knowingly) do much more than save your butt from getting whacked by practice swords a couple times? Yup.
    • Robb clearly admired Theon and refused to believe that he would ever betray him. As for Theon, well, read the chapter in A Clash of Kings where he goes back to visit his father. Balon claims Theon has become "womanly" and Starks have made Theon into one of them. There are more things tying Robb and Theon together than make sense.
    • From the newer batch of Night's Watch recruits the one Jon seems to notice the most is definitely Satin, a male prostitute. The word "pretty" is used multiple times. He's also the one who gets picked to help Jon get around, since his leg is hurt. And he's the only other person there when Ygritte dies, which could with some effort be seen as significant in terms of his previous love interest giving way to a new one. In A Dance with Dragons Jon names him his steward, and one person implies he thinks they're together.
    • Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. They're certainly not shy about saying they love each other and Ned certainly spends a lot of time reminiscing over how handsome, muscular (his exact thoughts are "muscled like a maiden's fantasy"), and generally awesome Robert was. Ned also goes to great lengths mentioning how Robert's younger brother looks the way Ned remembers him, using words like handsome.
    • Lampshaded by Jaime Lannister, while mockingly reminding Catelyn about the time Ned was unfaithful to her and fathered Jon Snow; he contrasts Ned's lack of loyalty to her with his total devotion to Robert, and finishes off his speech by sneering that Ned was "never unfaithful to him, was he?"
    • The TV series also lampshades it; when Robert gets angry and orders Ned to leave, Cersei sarcastically says "I'm sorry your marriage to Ned Stark didn't work out, you seemed so good together." Robert is so miserable he doesn't even have the heart to get angry with her.
    • Jon Connington certainly seems to have felt something more than friendship or brotherhood for Rhaegar Targaryen; he refers to him as his "Silver Prince" several times and ends up raising Rhaegar's son in secret. In fact, his entire purpose for living at this point is seeing his dead friend's son reclaim the Iron Throne. This one has been confirmed by Word of Gay. As has Renly and Loras Tyrell.
    • Jaime Lannister and Ilyn Payne. All those late-night practice sessions.
    • Payne is also the one person apart from Cersei or Tyrion to whom Jaime is willing to talk about his feelings. Yes, he is only so open because Payne is mute and illiterate and so cannot pass on his secrets, and Jaime is basically using him more like a Companion Cube than someone to actually talk to, but the fact remains that Payne now knows Jaime more intimately than anyone else.
    • Stannis Baratheon's true queen is Davos, it is known. (In addition to black hair and blue eyes, it seems ho yay runs strong in this family.)
  • A Tale of Two Cities. We get occasional glints of Charles Darnay/Sydney Carton (making the Love Triangle angle that much more complicated, as well as being borderline Screw Yourself) and even Madame Defarge and The Vengeance having some French Revolution-yay.
  • Atlas Shrugged: Hank Rearden and Francisco D'Anconia. Besides being a convenient case of Pair the Spares, they describe each other as "The only man I've ever loved" at least once.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Iamblichus's Babyloniaca or Tales of Babylon introduces the Egyptian Princess Berenice, who's supposed to be lesbian (or, at least Really Gets Around) and has a close, intimate friendship with Mesopotamia, another female character. In the end, when Berenice becomes queen she's reunited with Mesopotamia and is hinted that she married her.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Lesbian subtext is a popular topic of discussion among fans. Some would also argue that Jeff Schafer has quite a bit of "chemistry" with Mallory's triplet brothers, particularly Byron.
  • The Baroque Cycle: Isaac and Daniel, Isaac and Fatio, Isaac and anyone he doesn't hate; William of Orange and his pretty pages. Also, Fatio jealously suspects this of Daniel and Leibniz with respect to Isaac. (And Eliza/ Liselotte is practically text, albeit text delivered by an Unreliable Narrator.)
    • Eliza explicitly states that she and the other harem slaves used to practice on each other, and on another occasion, she states that while she's not attracted to girls, she has no objections to seducing one if it becomes necessary.
  • Jonathan Stroud's The Bartimaeus Trilogy: We've got Bartimaeus, a demon who is millennia old who still wears the form of Ptolemy, his master, 'someone he had once loved,' two thousand years later. He and Ptolemy also shared a room, and Bartimaeus was more than prepared to die for him. On top of that, there's Nathaniel, his new master, sacrificing himself to save Barty, and their conversations scream 'workaholic husband and neglected wife,' especially in the third book.
    • A more explicit (and much, much creepier) version exists in the new prequel between Khaba and Ammet. They've worked together for years, Ammet says that he's come to love Khaba, there's a scene where he keeps stroking the magician's neck, Ammet tries to destroy Bartimaeus for ruining Khaba's reputation with Solomon, and Khaba comments at one point that Ammet should know he doesn't mind a little pain.
    • There's also the 'his pleasures are my pleasures' speech said by Ammet when professing this care for his master to Bartimaeus.
  • It's a kid's/young adult's book series, but all those Bartlett books by Odo Hirsch. Basically Bartlett and Jacques Le Grand are explorers and Heterosexual Life-Partners who seem to understand each other on a VERY deep level, and never seem to have any interest in women at all. Even the 13 year old boy they go around with seems to be more into women than they are.
  • You don't need to be a Yaoi Fangirl to pick up on the homoerotic subtext in Herman Melville's novels, especially Billy Budd. Read up on Melville's infatuation with Nathaniel Hawthorne sometime...
  • In medieval French poetry, in Marie de France's lai "Bisclavret", when the eponymous werewolf is finally able to turn back into a human, thanks to the timely assistance of the king (note also that Bisclavret is lying on the king's bed at this point.):
    The king ran to hug him tight;
    He kissed him a hundred times that day.
    When he catches his breath, he hands
    Him back all his fiefs and lands,
    And more presents than I will say.
  • The Black Coats: Written by Paul Féval between 1863 and 1875.
    • Echalot and Simolor are raising Saladin together.
    • The pseudo-Paternal affection The Colonol pretend to show various fellow Habits Noirs could also be interpreted this way. In fact the only Female on the High Council is perhaps the one he's the least Touchy Feely with.
  • In the novel Bloodline, Mina is pretty much a walking cloud of subtext. And Quincey's attempts to make his brother his friend, and his attempts to awaken the latent bloodlust in him, seem distinctly... vibey.
  • In Blood Ties, male protagonist Ash is mainly attracted to his female boss who teaches him to be an assassin. However, there is a moment where a man reaches over the table for some reason, and touches Ash in a completely innocent way, and Ash notes how this feeling reminds him of what his boss always makes him feel like. That's it, nothing happens, the guy leaves soon after and Ash never thinks of the incident afterwards.
  • The Bloody Jack series has quite a bit of tension between Jacky and Clarissa in book two, especially in the 5th book In the Belly of the Bloodhound when taking advantage of a diversion to look for possible escape routes they hear someone coming, and Jacky grabs Clarissa and plants a passionate kiss on her in a Fake-Out Make-Out scenario and Clarissa seems to like it. Jacky even notes that she's "been kissed by worse."
    • Jacky and Amy in book two. It's worth noting that they both became very close very quickly. In book two Jacky and the "lady of the night" prostitute Mam'selle Claudelle de Bour-bon had a lot of Les Yay, from Mam'selle's side anyway.
      • Cheng Shih towards Jacky in the eighth book the Wake of the Lorelei Lee.
  • Brave New World: Helmholtz thinks at one point that Bernard's focus on himself upsets him because he likes Bernard, Bernard later becomes viciously jealous when Helmholtz finds a kindred spirit in John. To top it all off, Helmholtz persuades Bernard to join him in exile to a distant island at the end. Bernard's eager desire to date women might have lessened these implications, if it couldn't easily be written off as part of a general desire to fit in with society.
  • Brideshead Revisited has quite a few fans convinced that Charles and Sebastian had it going on. Even the other characters pick up on the Ho Yay between Charles and Sebastian. At one point, Sebastian's stepmother draws Charles aside and says,
    "I know of these romantic friendships. I think they are very good if they do not go on too long."
    • Though the subtext pretty much became text in a later conversation with Julia after she and Charles begin their affair:
    Julia: You loved him, didn't you?
    Charles: Oh, yes. He was the forerunner.
  • Mainland Chinese novels don't have a reputation for Ho Yay, but Career of Flowing Blood: Li Si and the Qin Empire is incredibly blatant.
    But Li Si did not immediately approach the dais. Li Si said: “My king’s heart is generous and benevolent, that you did not hold the least bit of suspicion in your heart when you first saw me, and allowed me to approach you. But I do not dare fail to clearly show my intentions before speaking. I have only a heart that loves my ruler, without a trace of ill will." After speaking, Li Si slowly took off his clothes until he was naked, to show he was not armed.
    Ying Zheng, King of Qin, could not have ever cleared the scene from his heart if he’d tried. To gain his trust, a man daring to bare his body, calmly standing before him against a background of white snow and red plum blossoms, eyes filled with genuine, hot tears, unmoving in the icy wind.
    Ying Zheng, unused to looking at naked men, smiled delicately, and said: “Sir, dress yourself again, and come forth to speak!"
    Li Si’s expression did not change as he put his clothes back on, garment by garment. He knew that, by his extraordinary gesture, he had moved Ying Zheng, the king of Qin.
    • Also, this is historical fiction. Ying Zheng is the eventual First Emperor, and Li Si is his future Chancellor.
  • The infamous passage in The Catcher in the Rye in which Mr. Antolini strokes the forehead of a sleeping Holden. Even Holden himself is rather disturbed, fleeing Mr. Antolini's house right afterwards.
    • Antolini's inquiries about Holden's girlfriends and the fact that he calls Holden "handsome" as he wishes him goodnight could be read as flirtatious advances as well.
    • There's a part in How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater where Ed references this passage from The Catcher in the Rye as part of a drunken ploy to get his drama teacher to sleep with him. It doesn't work.
    • Carl Luce, who was said to be always grabbing guys' butts and somehow seemed to know if anyone was gay.
  • A rare example of Les Yay in the books of Michael Moorcock is The Champion of Garathorm, Ilian feels 'something' towards Yisselda of Brass, much to her own surprise. Downplayed because, at that moment, Ilian is functioning on the borrowed lifeforce of Dorian Hawkmoon, who is Yisselda's husband.
  • For a book starring conservative Jews, Chaim Potok's The Chosen sure has a lot of this.
    • For example: Reuven describes the twelve-year-old blind Gentile kid Bobby as the most 'beautiful' boy he'd ever seen. Then Bobby's dad comes in, and he thinks about where Bobby gets his good looks. Oh, and females are all but invisible. Sure, he says he dates on Saturdays, but clearly no girlfriend has emerged.
    • The apparent elephant in the room being all the Ho Yay between Danny and Reuven. ESPECIALLY in the movie.
  • The City of Dreaming Books: Homuncolossus and Optimus Yarnspinner. They get very close, very quickly, sometimes bordering on Ho Yay.
  • In the book Clockwork Heart, Lars and Kyle. Although it's arguable whether or not it even counts as subtext or just plain text. The titular Clockwork Heart program matches the two of them up as the pair most likely to have a successful marriage out of the five engineers (granted, it wasn't working entirely correctly that the time, but it wasn't complete broken, either.) The engineers had agreed that whoever the machine picked would go out on a date. Lars is indignant, and refuses. Kyle just promises to take him somewhere nice. Later, when Kyle is kidnapped, Lars freaks the hell out and is entirely focused on saving him. Kyle is also implied to be gay by Alistair, who, after hearing the results of Clockwork Heart, mentions that he had 'guessed about Kyle'. Isobel and Taya also appear to be shipping them.
  • Invidia Aquitaine spends most of the last two books of Codex Alera working as The Dragon for the Vord Queen. This involves wearing absolutely skin-tight armor at all times, having little tea parties, trying to explain human culture and emotions, particularly love, and being her only confidante. Her Imperial Bugginess also seems to trust and respect her despite heaps of evidence that this is a bad idea, and isn't even bothered when Invidia inevitably attempts to turn on her, still offering to reward her if she switches back (it's just what Invidia does, she says). And the Vord Queen never really got the hang of clothing, so while Invidia is in her painted-on clothes, she's naked. We may well have a one-sided crush here.
  • There's bucket loads of Ho Yay between Damien Vryce and Gerald Tarrant in Celia Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy. The overwhelming amount of Unresolved Sexual Tension is almost painful to read.
  • Rather evident in the first meeting of Franz and the Count in The Count of Monte Cristo.
    • Far more blatant in the relationship between Eugenie Danglars and Louise d'Armilly. It was almost as canon as Dumas could afford to get in a nineteenth century novel. Eugenie is hostile towards the idea of marrying any man, and her and Louise's life plan is to live together as artists forever. In her very first scene, while everybody is fixated on the Count, she only has eyes for the Count's date. Eugenie has a penchant for cross-dressing (the novel describes her as being used to it). The Count, at one point, compares her to Sappho and after the two of them flee France (which is heavily subtexted as eloping - Eugenie describes it as 'le rapt', which is a word for kidnapping with specifically sexual overtones, and Louise responds that it's not like Eugenie needed to use force), they are caught in a hotel room sleeping in one bed together, even though their room had two beds.
    • There's this little bit about Valentine and Haydee at the end:
    The Count: You then love Haidee?
    Valentine: Oh, yes, with all my soul.
  • Alex Cross and his best friend Sampson in James Patterson's Alex Cross novels could be just BFF... if it weren't for the free embracing and kissing the two engage in as a greeting. Sampson is always referring to Cross as "lover" and "dear".
  • Aeriel/Erin in The Dark Angel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. Erin is pissed off at Irrylath for not treating his wife Aeriel properly; Aeriel tries to defend him by pointing out that due to bizarre circumstances, she and Irrylath haven't had a lot of time together to get properly acquainted. Erin responds by saying "I have known you far less time than he, and already I love you well." (The subtext deepens when you consider that part of the way Irrylath neglects Aeriel is by not having sex with her.) The ending of The Pearl of the Soul of the World clinches it when Aeriel has to leave Irrylath behind so she can concentrate on rebuilding the world, but Erin goes with her, saying she can't stand to be parted from her. In this final scene, the two embrace and call each other "my darkness" and "my light".
  • There's some between Chloe, from the Darkest Powers series, and every main girl. Mostly between her and Liz, though.
  • There is definite Ho Yay between Will and Bran of The Dark is Rising series. At the very least, they're strongly implied to be soulmates of a sort. Not to mention that they're essentially a next-generation Merlin and Arthur - devotion and life partnership ahoy? Although the ending does put a crimp in the possibility of any future relationship, the subtext over the course of the canon is still very much there.
  • Darkness Visible has rather a lot of Ho Yay between the main characters, Lewis and Marsh. And between Lewis and his valet George, if you want to read it that way. The first pairing is hardly surprising, given that William Marsh is not-very-ambiguously gay. He is implied to have been one of Oscar Wilde's boys, and got thrown out of Cambridge for writing a pamphlet in his defense.
  • In Charles King's A Daughter of the Sioux, a soldier considers his superior thus:
    But, only mistily now, he saw bending over him the keen, soldierly features- the kind, winsome gray eyes, filled with such a world of concern and sympathy- and heard the deep, earnest tones of the voice he knew so well, calling again his name and mingling cordial praise and anxious inquiry, and all the rancor seemed to float away with the smoke of the last carbine shots. He could only faintly return the pressure of that firm, muscular hand, only feebly smile his thanks and reassurance, and then he, too, seemed floating away somewhere into space, and he could not manage to connect what Webb had been saying with the next words that fastened on his truant senses.
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths describes Odin first seeing Loki, who is specifically described as much more handsome and graceful than most giants as well as possessing the ability to shapeshift into a girl, "and Odin was so taken with him that he asked him to be his blood brother." ... blood brother. Right.
  • The Day of the Locust has a certain amount of this between Tod Hackett and Homer Simpson. It's especially apparent in John Schlesinger's film version.
  • In Dear Dumb Diary, the protagonist Jamie constantly talks about how beautiful and angelic her rival Angeline is, and how much she hates her for it. She fixates on Angeline far more than she talks about the boy she supposedly has a crush on.
  • Rather obscure, but the narrator Emil Sinclair in Hermann Hesse's Demian waxes poetic about the title character. Became pretty bizarre, though, when Sinclair ended up falling for Demian's mother (who's said to look a lot like her son).
    • And Demian kisses the protagonist ON THE LIPS, granted, to deliver from his mother, but seriously...
  • In Dexter, the titular character sure does seem to have the hots for the ice truck killer. At numerous points Dexter compares himself to a schoolgirl, and the killer to a buff football team captain. He also keeps saying how playful and teasing the killer is, while generally ignoring Rita.
  • Dante and Virgil in The Divine Comedy. Dante refers to his beloved Virgilio as "my light", "my comfort", "my sweet lord" and "gentle Virgil" among many other terms of endearment and it's obvious from their first meeting that Dante worships Virgil. He becomes extremely anxious whenever Virgil leaves his side, and Virgil is tenderly protective of Dante in turn. They are constantly holding hands and showing gestures of affection to each other, as in Canto VIII of Inferno, Virgil embraces Dante and kisses his face. In Canto XXII, the narration compares Virgil's feelings for Dante to a mother's love for her child, as in, like a mother who thoughtlessly braves a fire to rescue her son, Virgil proves he cares more for Dante's safety than his own. By the end of Purgatorio, Dante and Virgil parallel the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, specifically the version found in Virgil's Georgics. Like Orpheus, Dante loses Virgil, his Eurydice, to the underworld and invokes his guide's name thrice as Orpheus invoked his wife's name thrice while he weeps over Virgil much the way Orpheus did for Eurydice; not even the initial appearance of his actual love interest, Beatrice, calms his grief.
    • Virgil has it with Statius as well. Statius reveals in Canto XXI of Purgatorio that he would gladly endure another year of torture in Purgatory to have lived next to Virgil and attempts to kiss his feet. Virgil stops him on account of both of them being shades, to which Statius replies, smiling, that his love for Virgil burns so deeply that he had forgotten. A later conversation between them has Virgil tactfully trying to ask Statius about his condemning sin, which causes Statius to laugh and tell Virgil, "every word you speak to me is a precious sign of love."
  • Unlike in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Dollar to Die For doesn't have very much interaction between Blondie and Tuco. However, at the end Blondie frees Tuco for no other reason than "a world without [him] would be much less interesting", which gives the impression that Blondie (still) fancies Tuco.

  • Modern day readers, and perhaps a few during the time of Dracula's publishing, found the eponymous vampire's reaction towards the brides' attempt at seducing Jonathan reading rather like a jealous fit from a man intending to keep Mr. Harker all to himself rather than keeping his Evil Plan from being unraveled. Jonathan's squick at being so possessively treated make it seem like he's a touch worried about the vampire's attraction to him. There's also hand kissing and walking arm in arm. Dracula's response to catching Jonathan trying to write secret letters home are also very interesting. He barely even reacts to the letter he wrote to his boss and even laughingly offers to go ahead and mail it. But he absolutely explodes with rage over his letter to his fiancée Mina, calling it "a vile thing, an outrage upon friendship and hospitality!" before burning it. Make of that what you will.
    • Uh, that's because the letter to Mina is in shorthand and dear old Drac can't read it. He knows the one to the boss is harmless, but suspects that the one to Mina contains the truth about how Jonathan is basically a prisoner terrified for his life. Escape attempts make Dracula angry!
    • The almost-all-male team that develops later in the book is pretty much emotionally polyamorous, if not sexually— and everybody is awfully concerned about how everyone else is holding up. Van Helsing gives Dr. Seward a speech about how much he loves Arthur and Jonathan (and Seward, of course) along with Lucy and Mina.
    • Van Helsing's relationship with Seward is very queer-coded, and fits in neatly with the tradition of academic pederasty. Van Helsing has an unusual habit of walking in while Seward is getting undressed, touches him a lot, and talks about the pair of them being 'not two but one'.
    • There's actually serious scholarly argument over whether Stoker intended to portray Dracula as a Depraved Bisexual. Almost all the critics agree, however, that he was deliberately given a predatory streak with Mina and Lucy, and that the female vampires had the same predatory attitude towards everyone in sight. (Stoker was writing at a time of social and sexual liberation, and heavily opposed said liberation, so it's not surprising his villains are sex personified. A lot of scholars take the entire book as an Anvilicious appeal for traditional values.) There's even a theory that Stoker himself was bisexual. He was Henry Irving's personal assistant and had an enormous crush on him; the reason why he created Dracula in the first place was as a vehicle for his muse. Perhaps he saw himself as Jonathan Harker...
      • Bram Stoker also authored some extremely queer fan letters to Walt Whitman. Stoker was likely either gay or bisexual.
    • There's also a bit of Les Yay between Lucy and Mina... like them sleeping in the same bed, snuggling together when Mina believes she may never see Jonathan again, Mina caring for Lucy dearly, especially during her sleepwalking episodes...
    • Ho Yay can be applied to many vampiric relationships in literature. Many scholars view the act of vampirism in novels as a metaphor for sex. Think about it, vampires use their long, hard fangs to penetrate the skin of their victims and suck out their life's essence. Pick any male vampire with a male victim or female vampire with a female victim from fiction and there's your Ho Yay.
  • Dragonlance: Raistlin and Dalamar. It's practically text: The ever-possessive Raistlin brands Dalamar with the imprint of his fingers. Dalamar talks about how his shalafi "has sucked him dry" - okay, so he's allegedly speaking about his soul, but still... And moments before jumping into bed with Kitiara, Dalamar ponders how much she reminds him of Raistlin.
  • The Dresden Files has Harry and Thomas. Of course, Thomas is an incubus so you can hardly blame Harry for 'looking' at him every now and then. Gets a bit weird in Blood Rites when Harry finds out Thomas is his half-brother. "Half-Bro Yay?"
    • This also comes across as Fridge Logic. Thomas's family control each other through sex so though he is disgusted by what his father does, he's more or less accepted it and incest is (relatively) normal to him. Harry not so much.
    • Harry and Thomas have even been Mistaken for Gay a few times. The memorable incidence in White Night coming to mind.
    • There's this gem in the third book:
    Thomas (in the flesh): "Quit gawking and do something. I'll put on an afternoon theater for you later, if you want to watch that bad." Harry blushes.
    • In fairness, he's turning up the incubus mojo big time, and when that happens Even the Guys Want Him. Plus, Harry is right next to Thomas, in a very confined space....and he's snogging an attractive woman.
    • Also, on one occasion, Harry describes Thomas as "the lost Greek god of body cologne."
    • Notably, this has also been Played for Drama — remember, Thomas is an incubus, so some of Harry's allies are worried that Thomas is feeding from him. He isn't, but the most they can do is just say that and hope they're believed because revealing the much more valuable secret behind it is something they really don't want to do.
    • Long after their first meeting, Harry seems to spend a lot of time describing how ruggedly handsome Marcone is, especially his pretty eyes.
    • Harry also has a habit of checking out the muscles of other men. In Summer Knight, he pauses — while being shot at — to check out the muscles and body of Billy the Werewolf, who's naked. And in Small Favor, Harry wakes up after nearly drowning and immediately focuses on the pecs of Michael Carpenter and Sanya, two Knights of the Cross.
    • When narration switches over to Murphy she just as focused on women beauty as Harry. And in Peace Talks when a Valkyrie hits on her defense is being Catholic not straight.
  • In The Enemy series, the second book (The Dead) we have two best friends: Ed, and Jack. When Jack is dying at his home, Ed lies in bed with him. Not subtle Charlie Higson, not subtle at all.
  • The English Patient. Most obviously when the title character regains consciousness in the Bedouin camp and watches a boy performing some sort of ritual dance.
  • Enola Holmes is awfully close to her friend, Lady Cecily, and Nancy Springer continues Arthur Conan Doyle's tradition of Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft disdaining the attentions of the fairer sex.
  • Older Than Dirt, and proof that some things never change: In The Epic of Gilgamesh, literally the Oldest One in the Book, there is considerable sexual tension between Gilgamesh and his best "buddy" Enkidu — something which is clearly acknowledged by the scribe who wrote of the story, with clever word plays hinting at Enkidu's homoerotic charm. In a slightly less subtle moment, Gilgamesh dreams about having sex with Enkidu as an axe, which he "loves like a woman." Both characters also sleep with women over the course of the tale, but their bond with each other is much more prominent.
  • Escape from Furnace has it in spades. The fact that the series revolves around one all male prison probably helps. Donovan, being Alex' cellmate, gets most of it:
    Then (I) suddenly noticed that Donovan was stripping out of his overalls.
    “Is there something you’re not telling me?” I asked, a little concerned by the boy standing before me in his prison-issue underpants.
    “Well, you know when I said I loved you . . .”
    • Zee, who quickly becomes Alex' best friend (and is named "Alex' girlfriend" because of that), has a share of his moments as well:
    "Does my bum look big in this?" I asked, giving Zee a clumsy twirl.
    "Your everything looks big in that."
    • More notable than the abundant Ho Yay between Alex and his friends, though, is that between him and the prison warden. Warden Cross has sat with him in bed, caressed his hair, held him by his chin and said he wouldn't allow Alex to die, because Death couldn't take what belonged to him. Multiple times through the books Alex confesses he might end up giving himself in to Cross, but what makes him truly afraid is the fact that sometimes he enjoys the idea. Of course, in book, this just means Alex is afraid of becoming the warden's mindless slave, but… That doesn't sound good either.
  • Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline features Eric and Paul his attorney. He's very friendly with Eric, jokes about their interactions being "foreplay" and says Eric looks "damn good" when he dresses up. Paul also informs Eric "I might be in love with you."


  • Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book 3. Queen Malecasta tries to seduce Britomart. That's right, the Lady Britomart. Britomart is in knights' armor, but still...
  • Gail Carson Levine's Fairest gives us one scene where Aza had to carry Ivi when they were running from the choirmaster.
    Ivi: Do you care about me deeply?
  • Levine's other book Ella Enchanted had hints of Areida/Ella.
  • A lot between Roderick Usher and the narrator in The Fall of the House of Usher. Usher's physical effeminacy and attractiveness is described in great detail, with gems such as "lips of a surpassingly beautiful curve" and "an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison", and the narrator mentions how he went to the House specifically to see Roderick just because they were such good friends when younger. Not to mention how the narrator takes care of Roderick, and "the many solemn hours [they] spent alone". Really? Doing what, exactly?
  • Everything Hilari Bell writes seems to have a little, but it's particularly noticeable in the Farsala Trilogy between Jiaan and Patrius.
    • Knight and Rogue Series There are multiple comments about Fisk's dislike of the cold... and apparently referencing it is enough to explain cuddled up against Michael to sleep, without having to voice his actual motivation: offering comfort.
  • The Fault in Our Stars:
    • Isaac points out Augustus’s “physical attractiveness” multiple times. Also, Augustus claims that his hot body caused Isaac’s blindness. And on the dubiously canonical Q&A blog that John Green runs (see main page for link), Isaac is referred to as both “gay” and “a [future] ballerina.” Both are said in jest, but still.
    • Isaac accidentally grabs Augustus’ thigh. The first thing Augustus says to him is, “I’m taken.”
  • Quite a bit between Ana and Kate in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Ana often makes rather detailed, gushing descriptions of her beauty and physical appearance with similar terms she uses for Christian (and Kate isn't the only woman she does this to), they start out living together and consider each other the most important person in their lives, if either of them are upset or in trouble their first instinct is to go to each other, they rather casually talk about their sex lives with each other (Ana is in fact disappointed she can't share more with Kate due to the NDA) and Kate goes into full Tsundere mode if she thinks Ana has been hurt or endangered in some way.
  • In the third Finnegan Zwake book, there might just be some Stoppard/Abou Subtext.
  • Fitz and the Fool. The Fool actually does love Fitz that way, but knows Fitz's feelings are more platonic. The Fool also spends the Liveship Traders trilogy disguised as Amber (a woman).
  • Although it's easy enough to just take it as a case of The Only One Allowed to Defeat You, Artemis Entreri sure acts like a Stalker with a Crush to poor (ha!) Drizzt Do'Urden, even to the point where Artemis attempts to commit suicide-by-obssession by having Drizzt kill him... and subsequently flipping out hardcore when Drizzt 'dies' as a result. How did that happen? Blame the cheerful machinations of Jarlaxle Baenre, Magnificent Bastard and wearer of rainbow Pimp Gear, who then proceeds to...
    • ... enlist Entreri in his gang of all-male, all-drow mercenaries before allowing Entreri back to the surface as his "bodyguard." Three books of hijinks, ass-kicking, and plentiful manipulation on Jarlaxle's part allows for more than a few slashy passages, culminating in the break-up: Artemis (much to the despair of the fangirls) gives back Jarlaxle's hat and magical mind-screw flute (but not his magic horse) and rides off into the desert. And Jarlaxle keeps trying to dress Entreri up improve his friend's sense of style. And brought him a cake with pink frosting. And makes periodic mental comments on how enjoyable it is to watch Artemis in action. And not even Artemis himself knows why he followed the drow as long as he did.
      "I am finished with you," Entreri said. "Your road is your own, and I care not if it takes you to the gates of the Nine Hells."
      Jarlaxle caught the hat and rolled it over in his slender hands.
      "But Artemis, be reasonable."
      "I have never been more so," Entreri replied. ... "Farewell, Jarlaxle. Or fare ill. It matters not to me."
      "But I am your muse."
      "I don't like the songs you inspire."
    • Toward the end of Gauntlgrym, the first book in Salvatore's new Neverwinter Trilogy, Drizzt and Jarlaxle often seem as if they're about one good shove away from an angry makeout session.
    • Plus, Artemis... I mean, Barrabus the Gray is once more indentured to an egotistical non-human with a penchant for open-chested vests, except Alegni is more of a Smug Snake and takes a many-layered glee in reminding Barrabus of his place.
  • The Fountainhead, when read through the proverbial slash goggles, has buckets Ho Yay. The Fountainhead is beyond slash fodder; it is slash napalm.
    • Roark/Mallory (and possibly Roark/Henry Cameron) is total Hurt/Comfort Fic material (yet, thankfully, preserves the dignity of the comfortee].
    • Wynand's thing for Roark is very much an I Love You Because I Can't Control You situation with Wynand trying to control Roark and Roark resisting every time (Rand even described Wynand as being "romantically in love" with Roark in one of her journal entries)
    • Mike and Mallory, Mike and Roark... couple this with the fact all are in the room with a naked Dominique when Mallory is sculpting her (which would make a convicing argument for Everyone Is Bi).
    • Peter Keating. He's so naive and meek and passive, and clearly craves Roark's approval. Hell, we might as well bring up the simpering Ellsworth Toohey, who has his moments with practically everyone. He treats Keating like a pet. Using him, abusing him, calling him "Petey". Every scene he has with Wynand reads like passive-aggressive flirtation. Oh, and who can forget his single, brief encounter with Howard Roark: "What do you think of me?" There's a reason that "I don't" was the best possible thing Roark could have responded with.
  • Frankenstein:
    • It has quite a bit of this between Victor and Henry. Before Victor leaves for Ingolstadt, Henry mourns that he can't go with Victor and they stay up all night talking. When Victor falls ill after creating the Creature, Henry becomes his personal nurse for several months. They later travel through England with only each other for company, intending to travel for two years. Victor even has a nervous breakdown after Henry's death; he reacts much less strongly to Elizabeth's death RIGHT AFTER THEIR WEDDING, though that could be due to emotional numbness.
    • There is subtext between Robert Walton and Victor. Before meeting Victor, Walton deplores how much he wants a "friend," then proceeds to describe what he'd want in that friend, who would sustain him and be affectionate, etc. Upon meeting Victor, Walton immediately writes to his sister to talk about how he's finally found his friend.
      Walton, writing to his sister: My affection for my guest increases every day.
  • Frog and Toad: A number of readers have interpreted the two main characters' very close and strong friendship as a romantic relationship. Notably, the author, Arnold Lobel, came out to his family two years after publishing the second book in the series, and, in an interview decades later, his daughter suggested that writing Frog and Toad was the beginning of the coming out process, blurring the line between Ho Yay and Homoerotic Subtext. Lobel never outright confirmed the connection, but he did imply it in an interview.
    "You know, if an adult has an unhappy love affair, he writes about it. He exorcises it out of himself, perhaps, by writing a novel about it. Well, if I have an unhappy love affair, I have to somehow use all that pain and suffering but turn it into a work for children."
  • A Frozen Heart: After seeing her sister in her new castle, Anna spends quite a bit of narration talking her up, saying things like "(She) was the most beautiful person Anna had ever seen", that it's a stark contrast to her usual appearance, and concludes by saying she looks stunning. Again: Sisters.
  • The Gemma Doyle trilogy: There's already canon lesbianism with Felicity being in love with Pippa, but given that most of the major characters are female (and often really good friends with each other), there's no way these books wouldn't be rife with this. Name two female characters, any two female characters, and you can probably make a pretty good argument for it, especially if Gemma is involved. The part in the first book after the girls get drunk for the first time. Felicity seemed really happy to show Ann how to "be intimate", complete with pulling one of the sleeves of her dress down to the point of seeing her..cleavage. She also kisses Gemma while drunk in the first book, and Gemma is hardly bothered by this.
  • Christina Rosetti's poem "Goblin Market," even if they are sisters. "Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices!" And then there's the part where Laura licks and kisses the juice off Lizzie. It's also been interpreted as a metaphor for sexual awakening, for proto-feminism, for drug addiction—it's that kind of poem.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs' Gods of Mars and Warlord of Mars, there are suggestions of les yay between Dejah Thoris of Helium and Thuvia of Ptarth, who are imprisoned together with the villanous Phaidor in the Temple of the Sun. When Dejah Thoris is reunited with her beloved John Carter at the end of Warlord, she recounts how Thuvia's "tender love" kept her sane through the months of their imprisonment.
  • Melanie and Scarlett from Gone with the Wind, mostly from the former's side. Just note how much she fangirls over Scarlett.
  • Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens. If it wasn't for the inherent sexlessness of angels in the book, most fans would consider this pairing indisputably canon. They are frequently Mistaken for Gay by other characters, as a sort of Running Gag. (Aziraphale in particular is invariably pegged as "gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.") On several occasions, Crowley offhandedly refers to Aziraphale as "angel", which he means quite literally, and Aziraphale addresses Crowley as "dear" (very frequently).
    • And it's worth noting that the angels in this book are sexless "unless they really want to make an effort." The epilogue gives us a scene (in between other sections in which the rest of the major characters are romantically paired off) with Crowley and Aziraphale heading to an outing at the Ritz, complete with a reference to a classic love song. Yeah, it's barely subtext.
      • The narration in the final chapter refers to them rather offhandedly as a couple.
      • And then Word of God told us that they moved into a cottage in the country together. You know, to keep an eye on each other. Platonically.
  • In The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair (the very first part of the series which is the Trope Namer for the Lovely Angels trope), Kei, as the narrator, describes her partner this way:
    Kei: She's built a tad lighter than I am, but she's a beautiful girl with that lacquer black hair of hers hanging straight down to her shoulders. For a bonus, her skin is a contrasting lily-white. She's just like a little Japanese doll. There are times when I stop short just looking at her, and we're the same sex!
    Then, shortly thereafter, she says this
    Kei: But even better than that, they'd come to scout me and Yuri together. By then the two of us had already decided that we would be inseparable when we went out into the real world (and don't you get to thinking we're lesbians, 'cuz we're not!).
  • Jane Yolen's Great Alta Saga. It would be easier to list the female characters who don't have this with at least one other woman.
  • Great Expectations: Pip/Herbert. They live together. Herbert has a habit of referring to Pip as "My dear Handel," Handel being a nickname only he uses. Pip spends an awful lot of time admiring Herbert, and Herbert thinks an awful lot of Pip's opinion. The first meeting felt very much like the introduction of two young characters who would grow up separately, meet again and marry. Two out of three ain't bad.
    • Chapter 50 of the original text, where Herbert is helping tend to Pip's wounds, fits this trope to a T, especially at the end:
    Pip Look at me.
    Herbert I do look at you, my dear boy.
    Pip Touch me.
    Herbert I do touch you, my dear boy.
    • (Note: that this is when Pip finally realizes that Magwitch is Estella's father, and asks for Herbert to make sure he's well, but it doesn't help much. Aaaand, if you are reading this chapter with a Ho Yay lens, just before the last two sentences:
    Herbert "N-no, my dear boy," said Herbert, after taking time to examine me. " You are rather excited, but you are quite yourself."
  • Whether or not Nick Carraway of The Great Gatsby was gay, the real discussion comes when you ask whether he was in love with Gatsby specifically.
    • As to whether or not Nick's gay, don't forget chapter one in which he first describes Tom Buchanan. It was chock full of appreciation for the 'enormous power' of Tom's body.
      • It is impossible to debate Nick's sexuality without bringing up the end of chapter two. For a book known for the powerful punch it packs despite its small size and including few needless scenes, the last paragraphs of chapter two stand out. Nick leaves Tom and Myrtle's apartment with Mr. McKee. Mr. McKee, implied to be in an unhappy marriage, invites Nick to come to lunch anytime. Many have speculated about Mr. McKee holding the elevator lever (a phallic object) as he did this. The next thing a drunk Nick knows, he's standing in Mr. McKee bedroom while Mr. McKee sat up in bed in only his underwear as he read the titles of his photographs aloud. Nick blacks out again and wakes up in Pennsylvania Station, and the entire incident, including the McKees, are never mentioned again.
    • Jordan in general tends to come off as not 100% AC in the first place; one rather suspects that, in those days, making one of your characters a female golf pro with a boy's name and a suspiciously urbane moral code was the closest one could come to hanging a giant flashing sign around her neck.
      • Also, she's apparently living with Daisy.
      • ...Who sticks up for her when Tom criticizes her, which she also does for...nobody but Jordan in the entire book.
      • And Jordan only leaves when Tom and Daisy start trying to patch up their marriage woes, including what appears to be an understanding (never mind how brief it may end up being) of "no more cheating".
      • She seemed positively gleeful about Tom's cheating when she told Nick about it—possibly because it meant he wasn't keeping much of an eye on his wife?
  • Alright, so neither of them is over 13 years old, but there sure is a lot of this between Red and Fletcher in Half Moon Investigations. By the middle of the book people are making mocking comments on how they "should get engaged". And Fletcher seems to like going on about how charismatic and magnetic and generally attractive Red is.
  • Truth and Regret, oddly enough, have a good deal of Ho Yay moments in the Halo novels Contact Harvest and The Cole Protocol.
    "In my chambers! Immediately!"
  • John Marsden who has rewritten Hamlet in novel form. It is an... Interesting read, to say the least. Some sample quotes:
    "Do you believe in ghosts?" Horatio asked him.
    He was lying on Hamlet's bed.
    • And then a little later (as in, less then one full page) we get:
      His eyes, his grey eyes, lifted and met Horatio's. "My Bum's getting sore. Let's play football."
    • Then, around page 15 we get this:
      Horatio sat on the edge of the [Hamlet's] bed. Bernard sucked in his breath at the daring of it, at the casual relationship that existed between the two. There were rumors about them, but Bernardo was not able to tell the truth from the queer tension that he felt in the room.
      Hamlet was watching Horatio closely. The prince wore no top.''
  • Eleanor and Theodora (Theo) in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House are rather suspiciously flirty and schoolgirlish around each other from the outset; Theo is unmarried and lives with a "friend" of coyly unspecified gender, and their later rivalry over a male character is hugely unconvincing.
    • By the time of the 1999 remake, society had changed enough that Theo (played by Catherine Zeta Jones) could openly state that she had a boyfriend and a girlfriend, lending some overt Les Yay vibes to her relationship with Nell (Lili Taylor).
  • Havemercy's high levels of Ho Yay is not helped by its virtually all-male cast or that the main romance is between two men, one of whom is canonically gay. This likely makes the frat dynamics and interactions (which, face it, are homoerotic enough already) of the Dragon Corps (an elite-trained airforce consisting of fourteen men) written very intentionally with underlying subtext. Most notable of which include Rook and Thom, where even though they are revealed to be long lost brothers, it doesn't change the massive amounts of tension that carried through the book.
    • In the sequel, Shadow Magic, there's arguably even more Ho Yay. Caius and Alcibiades's Odd Friendship has a lot of underlying subtext throughout the whole book. Mamoru and Kouje are no better, and there's definitely a hint of a Bodyguard Crush there. This is not helped by the fact that Mamoru spends a huge chunk of the book in drag, and also spends a good bit of time pretending to be Kouje's wife. The fangirls were quite pleased.
  • Possibly in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The Harlequin (who is described as quite young, with a "beardless, boyish face") clearly worships Mr. Kurtz, and even lets the sexuality mask slip at one point ("We talked of love") before embarrassingly catching himself. Marlow (the story's narrator) also vaguely mentions that Kurtz has participated in "unspeakable rites." And Kurtz's native African mistress obviously dislikes the Harlequin — out of jealousy, perhaps?
  • The narrator and his mad scientist BFF in "Herbert West - Reanimator". Maybe it's the hero worship it starts off as, or the eventual fear/veneration the narrator's attachment devolves into... maybe it's the fact that they end up living together.
    • The narrator describing West's appearance every chapter doesn't help at all.
  • Balthamos and Baruch, both renegade Angels in His Dark Materials, are shown to be very intimate, to the point Balthamos, grief-striken by Baruch's death, said he hoped Baruch would be proud of him sacrificing himself for the sake of the two heros.
  • Holes: more so in the book, where Zero gets sick enough that Stanley has to pour water directly from his hands into Zero's mouth. The movie doesn't escape it though.
    Pendanski: No one cares about Hector Zeroni.
    Stanley: I do.
  • Honor Harrington has Scotty Tremaine and Horace Harkness are virtually inseparable. Officially they're Heterosexual Life-Partners, but then we have gems such as this...
    Aside from five of the noncoms, [Harkness] was junior to every one of them, but he had their undivided attention. Especially that of Scotty Tremaine, who couldn't seem to take his glowing eyes off him.
  • CS Forester's Hornblower novels present Ho Yay on a silver platter in the relationship between Bush and Hornblower. It's mostly one-sided, but Bush likes nothing more than being Hornblower's confidant, and to feel Horatio's warm hands on his face makes him feel "safe". Lieutenant Hornblower is the epitome of the Ho Yay, but there's also the part in Flying Colours where Hornblower wakes up to find Bush's arm "slung over him protectively" and has a happy moment - which are pretty rare for Hornblower.
  • The Hurog duology. Ward and Oreg:
    "When Oreg worked magic around me, it felt almost erotic like a hand touching me intimately."
    "There is an art to working magic, and Oreg was very, very good at his art. His touch was focused and powerful, eerily beautiful to watch."
    • If it weren't for the fact that Oreg is not, actually, touching Ward here, that wouldn't be subtext anymore. However, the both of them don't become a couple in the novel. Considering the somewhat complicated situation (Oreg looks younger but is much, much older than Ward) it is probably for the best.
  • In Crescendo, Nora ends up in a catfight with Marcie, during which point Marcie straddles Nora while she's on the floor. Following this, Vee licks Nora's arm (she'd spilled Cherry Coke on it) and comments that Nora tastes delicious. Erm...
  • "Hypnos" by H. P. Lovecraft. A...slight deviation from his more usual, sexuality-free genre. For a sampler:
    I found that his voice was music- the music of deep viols and of crystalline spheres. We talked often in the night, and in the day, when I chiseled busts of him and carved miniature heads in ivory to immortalize his different expressions.
    • That goes beyond Ho Yay into sheer creepy obsession. Then again, this is Lovecraft.
      • Why exactly? The two live together and making those busts is their livelihood. It's a bit creepy at the start when the narrator just flat-out declares that this man must come to live with him when he finds him collapsed on the sidewalk, but after that it's straight-out Ho Yay (no pun intended), until the nameless friend decides to dabble a bit too far with Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
  • Quite a bit of it in The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky between Myshkin and Rogozhin. The bed sharing business, in particular.
  • Giorgio Faletti's I Kill has a surprising amount of ho yay between FBI agent Frank Ottobre and Police Inspector Nicholas Hulot...For a book focused on murder, skinning faces and jazz. They aren't even partners, but the comfortable intimate-dependance they have on one another is noticed by the other inspectors and even Hulots wife. Frank retired when his wife died, but Hulot only asks him and he's back on the job.
    "Feel French for a sip or two, then go back to being American. For now, that's how I want you"
    • Not a single paragraph in the book with Frank goes without Nicholas. Even when he isn't there, he thinks about him with affection.
      'Frank mused that from the moment they arrived, he and Hulot had not been alone together' This is stated twice more in the book.
    • Hulot introduces Frank by saying "This strong silent type is Frank Ottobre".
    • There is an infinite amount of times both men will be the only ones to notice/worry over each others' facial expressions, emotions, even thoughts. In fact, the only times Frank expresses ANY emotions or anything personal is to Hulot.
  • The Iliad, sub-titled The Wrath of Achilles. Hector killed his Heterosexual Life-Partner Patroclus. Of course, it's Ancient Greece, so Everyone Is Bi. May represent the Ur-Example of Shipping and a Fan-Preferred Couple, as debates go as far back as the Classical period as to whether or not the two were actually lovers. The sticking point, for the Classical Greeks, having been more that Achilles and Patroclus were about the same age, rather than fitting the age structured homosexual relationships favored in that later era.
    • It is notable that one of the most famous references for Achilles and Patroclus being a romantic couple comes from Plato's Symposium, which is set at a dinner party hosted by a gay man who also has an adult male partner.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet, any time Numair's past in Carthak is mentioned. The Emperor's 'former best friend.' It certainly doesn't help that Ozorne acts like a jealous ex when Daine and Numair visit on a diplomatic mission. Or when he creates, then crushes a tiny, screaming Numair. Seriously, he's like an Ax-Crazy Stalker with a Crush. (Plus the creepy vibe he gives off when Daine herself is involved...)
  • The Infernal Devices:
    • There are the Tessa/Will shippers, and the Tessa/Jem shippers, and then there are those who ship Will/Jem.
    • Will/Gabriel? Anyone?
    • And then there's Will/Magnus, who are very much canon on Magnus's side.
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle has plenty of Ho Yay, even though the hero's obsession with an unattainable elf girl supposedly indicates that he's straight. Despite this, he travels and becomes EXTREMELY close to his half-brother Murtagh, and starts getting vengeful and sulky when Murtagh turns out to think he's an annoying little twerp. Additionally he never notices the sexual characteristics (read: breasts) of the she-elf, but he spends a LOT of time ogling his master's muscles, "port-red lips" and long flowy hair, and starts staring intently at the guy's "hairless groin" during a naked bath scene. He also ogles the "hard and lean" muscles of his crippled ex-nemesis, and even drops his underwear in front of his cousin to show a very intimately-placed bruise. Oh yeah, and he spends a lot of time fondling, rubbing and stroking wooden staffs, swords, and other fun phallic weapons.
  • The Inkworld Trilogy:
    • Dustfinger and Mo.
    • Capricorn/Dustfinger. It helps that Capricorn a lonely, crazy-ass Evil Overlord with a bad family life.
    • Farid and Dustfinger. This was much worse in The Movie, where Farid's budding romance with Meggie almost felt tacked on while his loyalty to Dustfinger was unquestionable. Especially in that Farid is constantly jealous of Roxane in books two and three.
  • Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man features Emerson getting veeery touchy-feely with the protagonist.
  • In Jane Eyre: Jane and Helen. And Jane and Diana, Jane and Mary, Jane and Mary and Diana.... Even though Diana and Mary have meaningful names.
  • The author of John Dies at the End seems to have deliberately inserted Ho Yay between the two main characters, Dave and John. At one point the (first-person) narrator calls the story a "tale of diabolical horror and homoerotic subtext."
    • When investigating the fake Jamaican's living quarters, Dave basically implies that the thought of "spending the rest of [his] life without [John]" is worse than all the horrible monsters he keeps encountering.
  • Johnny Tremain: There's plenty of Johnny/Rab fanfic out there.
  • In Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Stephen Black and the man with thistledown hair. The latter's long descriptions of Stephen's beauty and nobility help.
    • There are also numerous moments in the book where the gentleman with the thistledown hair keeps trying to stroke Stephen's face, and the touch of his fingers is described as a somewhat unearthly sensation. I swear, those two seem just about to kiss in every scene they share. It does not help that the gentleman with the thistledown hair appears to have one default mode, and that is "flirtatious-slash-sociopathic". (Like the lovechild of Jareth and the Warden.)
    • The only reason people don't point this out for the two titular characters is probably that Norrell is old, ugly, and kind of a jerk. Their lives practically revolve around each other, and at the end they can't even get more than a mile or so apart.
      • Strange at least has some other priorities, and he's Happily Married until she's killed. Norrell, though, is incredibly obsessed with Strange to the exclusion of all else.
  • Jules Verne wrote very little about women, some of his novels being totally devoid of them. Although he often seems to think completely asexually, it's hard for the reader to imagine that the 5 (later 6) men alone on Lincoln Island, or the whole Nautilus crew for that matter, are completely devoid of... urges.
    • Nemo/Arronax is a distinct possibility. The devotion that Arronax's valet shows is also suggestive, though probably not out of the ordinary for a 19th Century manservant.
      • To elaborate more about Nemo/Arronax, the professor was distressed when the captain became distant (but from another perspective, a captive has every reason to worry when the captor changes attitude). It was also a big emotional deal for the professor to try to run away from the Nautilus the first time. From Nemo's side, the captain sure shared a lot of knowledge about the Nautilus (and other things) with Arronax, even if he explicitly said that the professor & co. were at best "guests" on board. Again, the special treatment can be explained by Arronax being a renowned scientist. Anyway, the two men sure had a lot of respect for each other, and had it not been for Nemo's personal vendetta, they would have happily explored the sea together.


  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is basically a romance between Alan and David. They spend most of the book torn between their admiration for each other and their conflicting politics. Lots of lonely nights in the heather.
    • Whereupon he gave me both of his (hands), saying surely I had cast a spell upon him, for he could forgive me anything.
    • "Come to my arms!" he cried, and kissed me hard upon both cheeks.
    • "There are things between us I can never forget, even if you can!"
    • "I had been pleased with Robin's playing; Alan's ravished me."
  • In the little-known Kingmaker, Kingbreaker books, there's Gar and Asher. The fact that she had Asher's baby is nothing compared to the relationship he and Gar shared. They could have grown old happily together, and cried like a three-year-old when Gar died.
  • There is a strange amount of subtext like this in Kit's Wilderness. John Askew seems to have very little respect for Kit's personal space, and Kit frequently notes the "yearning" in his friend's eyes. Askew makes many ominous comments about how he and Kit are just the same, and Kit reluctantly agrees that they're "closer than anyone could think". When Kit then suggests that they could be friends, Askew stomps off in angry outburst. At one point, Kit, who has learned about John's terrible home life, watches him and thinks that he is someone who should be given love. A lot of lines can, when taken out of context, be interpreted like this, with amusing results.
  • Imriel/Lucius in Kushiel's Scion.
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff has a surprising amount of Ho Yay between Heterosexual Life-Partners Biff and Josh (AKA Levi and Jesus), especially once it's revealed that Biff was written out of the Bible, not -as Raziel assumed - because he "was an asshole," but because he killed himself after Josh's crucifixion. There's also the fact that Raziel is absurdly prone to causing Stupid Sexy Flanders moments, much to Biff's annoyance, and there's even a scene where Biff spontaneously tackles Raziel and pins him to the bed him while punching him and yelling, "I HAVE NOT BEEN LAID IN 2000 YEARS!" He also asks him about the mechanics of angel sex.
    • To which the angel replies "Of course I have a penis, I just don't have it with me."
  • The Land of Oz book series:
    • One of the most famous examples is Dorothy Gale and Princess Ozma. They share a lot of kisses, have no interest in romantic relationships (i.e. boys), and only Dorothy is allowed to go into Ozma's rooms without permission. Ozma also makes Dorothy an official Princess of Oz and her "constant companion" in The Emerald City of Oz... after finally convincing Dorothy and her family to stay in Oz rather than go back to Kansas.
    • Princess Ozma in general is ripe for Ho Yay due to the fact she was changed into be a boy named Tip in The Marvelous Land of Oz since she was a baby, only recently reverting back to her true form in her preteen/early teens. For example, Ozma is shown affectionately holding Betsy Bobbin, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Dorothy, in one artwork by John R. Neill.
    • The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman have a close relationship in the books. After the Scarecrow abdicated the throne to Ozma, he moved into Winkie Country where Tin Woodman ruled, declaring that "[they'll] never to be parted in the future". And while the Tin Woodman's desire for a heart stems from his love for the Munckin girl Nimmie Amee as Nick Chopper, when he reunites with Nimmie, he finds that he doesn't love Nimmie anymore ever since he got his new heart.
  • In the The Legend of Drizzt spin-off The Sellswords Jarlaxle's grooming of his new companion seems rather self serving: When Entreri shows up in a fine new dress shirt in a bar, it thoroughly diverts Jarlaxle's attention from a woman he intends to bed. She notices his staring and is not amused.
  • Les Misérables:
    • The book has Grantaire's rather unsubtle unrequited love for Enjolras, which is quite popular in the fandom and was almost certainly intentional. Enjolras is the one thing Grantaire allows himself to believe in. Moreover, he's only in the revolution because of his love for Enjolras. The description of the Friends of the ABCs has Grantaire being attracted to Enjolras and not knowing why and in the next paragraph relates their relationship to a number of other couples. They are also compared to a number of mythological figures who were in same-sex relationships (a common way of sneaking in homosexuality at the time) and die Holding Hands.
    • Joly doesn't seem too upset at the prospects of sharing Musichetta with his best friend and roommate Bossuet… threesome, oh threesome.
    • Courfeyrac has Marius staying in his room on his spare mattress for a few months.
    Marius I have come to sleep with you.
    • There's also the fact the first thing Courfeyrac ever says to Marius is "Come home with me," the paragraph immediately after their meeting where Hugo describes how Marius "breathed freely" in Courfeyrac's company, something which is apparently new to him, Courfeyrac's attempt to introduce Marius to Les Amis which goes not unlike trying to introduce your new girlfriend to your friends (and it not going very well), and Courfeyrac "flinging himself upon Marius's neck" after Marius saves his life at the barricades.
    • Some of the exchanges between Valjean and Javert have canonically sound like slashy fan fiction.
    A score of times [Javert] had been tempted to fling himself upon Jean Valjean, to seize him and devour him, that is to say, arrest him.
    Then [Javert] began to play. He enjoyed a ravishing and infernal moment; he let his man get ahead of him, knowing he had him, but wishing to put off as long as possible the moment of arrest, delighting to feel him caught and see him at liberty, fondly gazing at him...
    • And yet no such sensual language was used when Javert was pursuing the Patron-Minette, for instance, proving that Javert only reacts like this with Valjean.
  • Some Les Yay in Lonely Werewolf Girl, Thrix and Malveria spend half the book acting like an old married couple, and the other half full of Belligerent Sexual Tension. Malveria even manages a rather bitchy Just Friends type of jealousy when Thrix gets laid.
    • There's also a hint of this between Thrix's sister Kalix and Malveria's niece Vex.
  • The Lineage of Tellus has this in spades between Finn and Tristane throughout the first book. At least until the end, when it's established as canon that the two are falling in love with one another, subverting the earlier Love Triangle trope established with heroine, Ashei. Then, in books 4-5, Aedan and Niall are in denial about the nature of their feelings, while Sage and Aedan also have a strong relationship consummated in book 5. So you could say the whole thing is filled with Yay of all kinds.
  • Lone Wolf and Banedon. It was so blatant that, in the novelizations, two female characters, Qinefer and Alyss, were introduced in no small part to be potential love interests for the two of them
  • The Long Walk:McVries seems to have feelings for Garraty that extend beyond friendship at times.
    • "Beyond friendship" is an understatement. Check this bit out:
    Mc Vries: Would you let me jerk you off?
    Garraty: ... Well, I suppose you did save my life... Do what you want!... Whatever you want! Whatever you goddamn want!
  • Looking for Alaska: The Colonel and Pudge are roommates and the their first meeting occurs when Pudge has a towel around his waist after a shower. In another chapter Colonel and Pudge are described to be Like an Old Married Couple by Alaska. Colonel jokes that Pudge sometimes climbs into bed with him.
  • Though it involves younger characters, William Golding's Lord of the Flies centers in large part around the close, pseudo-jealous and possessive relationship between Ralph and Jack. Evil Jack just loves his hunting spears.
    • Not nearly as noticeable as the affection Simon seems to have for Piggy before they die..
    • A bunch of boys naked on an island saying things like "sucks to your ass-mar". What do you mean, it's not homoerotic? Much of the island was pink.
      • Right after we meet Jack, he's shucking his heavy choir robes and stripping down to his sweat-plastered skivvies. Golding says Ralph watched with interest. It's quick and easy to miss, but the intention seems to be that Ralph is checking Jack out.
    • "Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking." Out of context, questionable, but in context it might just be friendly. Still one wonders why immediately after is "Ralph glanced at them admiringly." Them being his sweaty shorts.
      • There is a great deal between Ralph and Simon, mostly from Simon's side. In the first chapter Ralph chooses Simon to come along with him and Jack up the mountain. Which leads to this part "When they had done laughing, Simon stroked Ralph's arm shyly; and they had to laugh again."
    • Later in the novel the Lord of the Flies says to Simon, "You don't want Ralph to think you're batty, do you? You like Ralph a lot, don't you?"
  • Slightly later on, the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers included vague hints at non-sexual crushes between Peter and Bunter and Peter and Parker.
    • The murderer, Mary Whittaker in Unnatural Death is implied to be a Psycho Lesbian, particularly in the depiction of her relationship with Vera Findlater. There's also a mention of her in Gaudy Night with a suggestive reference to her 'corrupting people's minds'.
  • Malory Towers. We have the Official Couple Bill and Clarissa, Gwen falling in love with a different girl every year, Darrell and Sally basically being married, Mary-Lou's unrequited crush on Darrell before she gets together with Daphne...
    • Gwen is arguably more in love with what her crushes represent to her than with the girls themselves: she chooses Daphne and Clarissa for their wealth and connections (faked in Daphne's case) and Maureen because she's the closest thing to Gwen herself that Gwen's ever met (which ends badly, because Maureen is a perpetual mirror of all the things that are despicable in her own character). The only girl she truly fastens on to for the friendship (such as it is) is Mary-Lou, and that's only because Mary-Lou is disturbingly easy to dominate.
  • Macdonald Hall: The way that Boots will stick by his best friend Bruno through thick and thin and the determination of both boys to avoid being separated causes them to be shipped with each other just as often as they are with their Distaff Counterparts and Implied Love Interests Cathy and Diane.
  • There is a controversial minority faction in Mary Russell fandom who think that Russell is lesbian or bi and either hasn't realised it or is deliberately not admitting it to the reader. This is based on her intense relationships with various women, especially Margery in A Monstrous Regiment of Women. And also her fascination with Iris in Justice Hall, who is unambiguously a lesbian who is married mostly-sexlessly to her gay male best buddy.
  • The two main characters of the Aubrey-Maturin series, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, are caught in between Heterosexual Life-Partners and this trope. In the first book, Stephen leaves the ship for some good ol' research in Mother Nature, while Jack worries about him. A lot. Just about every other sentence until Stephen comes back mentions how the Captain's fretting over what Stephen's doing and why he's been gone so long and when he's going to get back. (He's overjoyed when Doc Maturin comes back, of course.) Stephen also regularly keeps a diary—excuse me, JOURNAL—about his experiences, much of which is somehow related to his feelings toward Jack. And when they're together, they usually call each other "my love" and "my joy". Oh, and a majority of the books take place on ships in the middle of the ocean with no women. Just saying.
  • The Maze Runner:
    • Throughout the series, it becomes more and more visible for Thomas and Minho.
    Minho (to Thomas): If I don't see you on the other side, remember that I love you.
    • Newt seems to get fond of Thomas incredibly quickly, shows affection in various ways and shows signs of jealousy repeatedly when Teresa or Brenda are mentioned. Could easily be interpreted as more than simple friendship.
    • Alby and Newt lead the Glade together and can easily be seen as a couple instead of a regular duo: Newt's hurt reaction when a recovering Alby wants to talk to Thomas only, the heart-breaking way he strongly reacts when Alby dies... James Dashner has actually teased at them in fan Q&As.
  • While most of the subtext in the Mémoires du général Thiébault falls under Have a Gay Old Time, there's that exchange between Thiébault and Jules de Canouville Some context
    Canouville: "General, you are so kind."
    Thiébault: "Well?"
    Canouville: "Well, I'm too miserable to sleep alone."
    Thiébault: "And? You don't want to sleep with me!"
    Canouville: "No, General, but please install the bed in your room."
    • Though it seems that all that Canouville did before finally falling over from exhaustion was talk about Pauline.
  • Metro 2033. Not only there is absolutely NO females, but Artyom, the main character, doesn't help by noticing how Rusakov is masculine and handsome every single line, or behaving like a shy girl close to Hunter.
    "As soon as someone like Hunter paid him attention and wanted to tell him something, even just asking him to come outside for a minute, to be alone, without his stepfather, he blushed like a virgin and started agonizing, bleating like a lamb..."
    "Artyom suddenly regretted that he had succumbed to Hunter’s strong charms and hypnotizing gaze."
  • Montmorency, oh, Montmorency. Montmorency and Dr. Farcett. Updale seems to like shoving them into Ship Tease situations where there actually isn't a ship to tease us with. Let's see, they've shared cramped bed and squirmed in it all night, Farcett has examined Montmorency naked multiple times and Montmorency helps Farcett out of the shower and dresses him, to name a few.
    • In the third book, there's also Frank (Francis Fox-Selwyn) and Guido. Who have tons of anarchical ho yay, bond, puke on each other, and sleep in way too close of quarters. And Guido's suicide, coupled with Frank's response, is serious woobie fodder.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • Jace and Simon have a fair amount of subtext. Especially if these two quotes have anything to say about it:
    Jace: "Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you'd get dressed up in a nurse's outfit and give me a sponge bath."
    Clary: "It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath."
    Simon: "As soon as I'm back on my feet, handsome."
    Jace: "I knew we should have left you a rat."
    • And...
    "Well, I'm not kissing the mundane," said Jace. "I'd rather stay down here and rot."
    "Forever?" said Simon. "Forever's an awfully long time."
    Jace raised his eyebrows. "I knew it," he said. "You want to kiss me, don't you?"
    • Near the climax of City of Ashes, Jace allows vampire-ified Simon to drink his blood in order to heal. This results in Simon on top of Jace with his arms flung around him, clutching him violently, and biting his neck. Furthermore, Jace explicitly relaxes and pulls him closer. Uh...

      Jace later admits that it was rather homoerotic, and that he did in fact like it just a little bit.
    • When she sees Magnus and Alec kissing, Maia asks Isabelle "do we have to do that?"
  • In "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", the narrator recounts moving in with Dupin (in the same paragraph where they first met!): "Our seclusion was perfect. We admitted no visitors. ... We existed within ourselves alone. ... Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen — although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature."
  • Croup and Vandemar of Neverwhere seem to get this a lot. Probably not helped by the fact that when Croup is sucked into the vortex, Vandemar calmly looks back at Richard, says "Bye", and lets go of the doorframe, allowing himself to be sucked through as well.
    • In the same novel, it's heavily implied that Hunter was once intimately involved with Lady Serpentine, and the two still show lingering affection for one another. (Hunter seems rather fond of Door as well.) The Marquis de Carabas also seems quite protective of Richard....
      • Not to mention that Neil Gaiman has said that there are two gay characters in Neverwhere who are out (presumably Hunter and Serpentine), and one for whom it was never mentioned, as it simply never came up. Quite a number of people take this to mean the Marquis, which is a fairly reasonable assumption.
  • Nightfall (Series): Vladimir and Tristan bicker like an old married couple but are very protective of each other.
  • The Odyssey: Wow. Seeing that Odysseus has been away from home for a loooong time (20 years, about), it isn't surprising that there's all this uncomfortable subtext between he and many of the male characters he meets.
  • Origami Yoda: In the 5th book, Harvey tells Tommy he's impressed that he can move his small body quickly.
    • Kellen, who does all of the drawings in the case files, often draws Harvey in his underwear. It's supposed to be to make fun of him, but it might be homoerotic.
  • In The Outsiders, the characters Johnny and Ponyboy often seem to be more than just friends, but that's not nearly as strong as the subtext between Johnny and Dally; the author herself writes that Johnny was the only person Dally ever loved after Johnny dies, which causes Dally to kill himself in a similar way to Romeo and Juliet.
    • Plus Johnny and Sodapop.
    • Johnny and Soda both mention that they never noticed things until Ponyboy pointed them out...
    • And there's Pony and his brothers being one big ol' incest fest: Pony saying Soda looks like a Greek god or a movie star, or Sodapop giving Darry a backrub, anyone?
      • Let's not forget that Ponyboy and Sodapop sleep in the same bed too...


  • Charles Kinbote devotes a fairly sizable portion of Pale Fire to gushing over John Shade, whom he refers to as "my poet." He also has a seemingly unprovoked hatred of Shades wife, gets jealous when Shade spends time with anyone other than him, and has been know to spy on Shade at all hours. Hmmm...
    • Additionally, one common interpretation is that Kinbote is actually Charles II, who makes no effort to hide his homosexuality.
  • The Pendragon Adventure: "Heal me, Alder." Probably not what the author intended, and may just be a case of leaving the slash goggles on, but that scene in Raven Rise seemed to carry a lot of this.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we get Artemis and Zoe Nightshade, her most loyal handmaiden for over two thousand years. When Zoe dies, Artemis places her in the sky as a constellation. This is an incredibly rare honor and is generally reserved for slain lovers of the gods.
    • Luke/Percy: Percy's description of Luke is always favorable, to say the least, and Percy is very quick to forgive Luke in the end.
    • Percy and Nico share a bit of this in The Last Olympian. And then in later books, it turns out that Nico actually has/had feelings for Percy.
  • Oscar Wilde has quite a lot of subtext leading to overt text in his writing.
    • The Picture of Dorian Gray hardly counts, because it is so overt it's unseemly (for that time period).
    • There is a theory that The Importance of Being Earnest was all an extended joke about gay sex for those who understood what he meant. "Ernest", for example, was a slang name for a male brothel.
    • "The Happy Prince" had a strong romantic subtext between the eponymous statue of a prince and a male sparrow, including a request for a kiss.
    • "The Selfish Giant". Lessened a bit, because the little boy is, um, Jesus. That's right.
    • Oh, and the loving description ladled out in The Nightingale And The Rose.
  • Pocket in the Sea appears to revel in this trope. One of the sailors on the submarine is gay, another has some oddities to his otherwise heteronormative sexuality. There are hints that Aaron and Stevens both aren't all that picky in the gender of their partners either.
  • The Princess Bride: Fezzik and Inigo are boyfriends. There is so little "sub" in the subtext, it's not even funny. It reaches its pinnacle when Fezzik finds Inigo in the Thieves Quarter after their long separation and helps him recover from his relapse of alcoholism. This includes hand-feeding and bathing him.
  • Lohmann from Professor Unrat is suspicious, with his too refined addressing towards his male friends, especially the tender care, mentoring Ertzum.
  • The Raffles stories have a lot of them, aided by the Have a Gay Old Time trope. The protagonists, Raffles and Bunny were intended as sort of evil counterparts of Holmes and Watson, and not only do they have a similar relationship to them, but Bunny was Raffles' "fag" at school and as an adult, continues to be psychologically dominated by him. Not to mention that Raffles is described as favoring decor from the aesthetic movement, to which Oscar Wilde belonged. Graham Greene wrote a play parodying the characters in which this subtext was made text and rather than being on the run from the police during the Time Skip of the series (Raffles has a "death" and return just like Holmes), he was in prison for "gross indecency" and the two are friends of Wilde and Alfred Douglas.
  • Mrs. Danvers's devotion to the late title character in Rebecca seems to skew into this territory. Especially if you've seen Diana Rigg's interpretation of the role in the 1997 Masterpiece Theater mini-series. As Manderley goes up in flames, she bolts herself in her mistress's bedroom and lies cuddling her dirty nightie ... Not subtle at all.
  • Red Harvest. The Continental Op sure does like pointing out how "pretty" some of the local boys are.
  • Robinson Crusoe and Friday. Even BEYOND the fact that they're two guys all alone on a deserted island, perfectly happy, for years and years... Shortly after he rescues him, Crusoe is watching Friday sleep naked and proceeds to describe him as a handsome man with a nice-looking body. Later, Crusoe often rhapsodizes about much he loves him and all the affection and devotion between them and even says that he would be perfectly happy to remain on the island with just him and Friday. Friday, meanwhile, is slavishly devoted to Crusoe to a Happiness in Slavery extent. When Crusoe raises the possibility of sending Friday home to his country, Friday starts to cry and asks Crusoe to kill him instead. (Meanwhile, the possibility of never seeing his own father again doesn't seem to faze him much). Neither ever shows any interest in women either - Crusoe later mentions getting married and his wife dying all in one sentence and that's all we ever hear about it.
    . . .I began really to love the creature; and on his side I believe he loved me more than it was possible for him ever to love anything before.
    • Given his intense devotion to Crusoe, generally over-the-top personality, and the aforementioned lack of interest in women, it's easy to read Friday as Camp Gay.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Robot novels, human detective Elijah Baley and his android partner R. Daneel Olivaw have an insane amount of this, especially for characters appearing in novels written mostly in the 1950s. Interestingly, it often seems that the main obstacle standing in the way of their relationship turning romantic is the fact that Daneel is a ''robot'', not that Daneel is anatomically male.
    Daneel took Baley's hand and pressed it with firm coolness, his fingers closing to a comfortable but not painful pressure and then releasing it. Baley hoped earnestly that the creature's unreadable eyes could not penetrate Baley's mind and see that wild moment, just past and not yet entirely subsided, when all of Baley had concentrated into a feeling of an intense friendship that was almost love.
    Vasilia said "Friends? An Earthman and a humaniform robot? Well, there is a match. Neither quite human."
    Baley said, sharply, “Nevertheless bound by friendship. Do not, for your own sake, test the force of our—” Now it was he who paused and, as though to his own surprise, completed the sentence impossibly, “—love.”
    • Then of course the severely agoraphobic Elijah's reaction to being caught outdoors in a storm:
    He could not allow this. If all else failed—thought, pride, will—then he would have to fall back on shame. He could not collapse under the impersonal, superior gaze of the robots. Shame would have to be stronger than fear. He felt Daneel's steady arm about his waist and shame prevented him from doing what, at the moment, he most wanted to do—to turn and hide his face against the robotic chest. He might have been unable to resist if Daneel had been human—
    • And then, in Robots and Empire, which occurs about two centuries later, we have a flashback to Elijah's death. He clung to life beyond what was humanly possible, just so that he could see Daneel one last time and tell him to continue on despite his death. The moment Daneel hears him out and leaves, Elijah lets go of his life.
  • Bruce Coville's Rod Allbright series has Grakker and Snout. Who, on a spaceship with plenty of space, share a private bedroom. Snout's the only person who Grakker takes real critcism from and when Snout gets hurt, Grakker cries (Snout later repays the favour when Grakker gets hurt) Apparently, they are "bonded" so Snout can always find Grakker while Grakker is conscious. I'm not sure anything more needs to be said about that!
    • To make things even more delicious, Grakker is based heavily on James T. Kirk and Snount upon Spock.
  • Rosemary Sutcliff. She wrote historical novels set in male-dominated times and places, almost all of her main characters are male, even most of her secondary characters are male, and she spent a lot of page-space on intense male friendships. Pretty much everything she ever wrote is loaded with Ho Yay.
  • The Greek poet and writer Sappho. Really more text than subtext in the "prayer to Aphrodite" poem.
  • In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth live together, take long walks on the beach and discuss their feelings in great detail with each other. It's strange that they're not exiled, as they live in 17th century Boston.
  • Schooled in Magic: Emily and Nanette's rivalry and first duel gets just a little suggestive, and when Emily wins the duel by physically tackling Nanette, the latter teases her by asking her if she's going to ravish her.
  • The School for Good and Evil features a Les Yay vibe between main characters Sophie and Agatha, with Sophie elevating it after she becomes a full-fledged witch, and going to varying degrees of Murder the Hypotenuse between Agatha and Tedros, the son of King Arthur. She then arranges a dark version of Dance of Romance where she waltzes with Agatha held to her to convince Tedros that Agatha has betrayed him. Later, however, she engages in a fair bit of Redemption Equals Death when she takes a fatal blow meant for Agatha, and with her last breath says "Agatha, I love you." ( She returns to life shortly afterwards.) The novel ends with Agatha and Sophie fading from sight as they are returned home, held in each other's arms.
  • The short story "The Secret Sharer" by Joseph Conrad is stuffed to the gills with Ho Yay. The story revolves around a young ship's captain who hides a stowaway in his quarters after finding him naked and holding onto the anchor ladder on his ship. He lets the stowaway wear his clothes, eat his food, and sleep in his bed. They have whispered conversations with their "dark heads together" next to the bed. A little later in the story the stowaway is explaining how he came to the ship, and when he gets to the naked bit he says something along the lines of "I didn't mind you looking at me. I-I liked it."
  • Frederick Moreau and Charles Deslauriers in Gustav Flaubert's Sentimental Education certainly qualify. They walk around hand-in-hand, like to leave the bedroom doors open between them so they can 'talk'. Practically lampshaded with Flaubert's line 'Frederick had always exercised an almost feminine charm on [Deslauriers]'.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Charles is very insistently referred to as sir’s “partner”. They even share a hotel room, and are described as holding hands during the Hotel Denouement fire.
  • Cindy Pon's Serpentine duology revolves largely around the friendship of two girls, Skybright and Zhen Ni, the latter of whom is explicitly a lesbian. While their relationship is mainly sister-like and both have separate love interests, they do a Test Kiss early in the first book, and Skybright's hurt, anger and sense of abandonment when she first discovers Zhen Ni's relationship with her female lover Lan (i.e. "Now that she has her, she won't need me as a friend") has a distinct Woman Scorned vibe to it.
  • Kaita and Evelinden in the Shadowleague books, before Evelinden is killed by the Ak'Zahar. They seem to live together, call each other by pet names, and Kaita is extraordinarily distressed when Evelinden dies.
  • Sharpe. Lord Pumphrey's constant eagerness to work with Sharpe. Lampshaded by Hogan; Sharpe seems perfectly cool with it.
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Gawain kisses the Knight six times total, due to a promise to "give whatever you've received," in this case from the Knight's wife, who tried very, very hard to do much more than kiss Gawain for three days in a row. And it all turned out to be an elaborate plan that everyone was in on.
    • So... is the Knight married to a Yaoi Fangirl?
    • Another re-telling of Arthurian legend, Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, has a three-way between Arthur, Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar (Guineviere) (ostensibly because Arthur, who fears he is sterile, desperately wants to produce an heir; but really to resolve the insane UST that's been going on for most of the book). It's strongly implied that Arthur and Lancelot... don't exactly mind each other's company in bed.
      • Lancelot pretty much admits to Morgaine that he feels that way about Arthur, and actually does flat-out state that up until he met Gwenhwyfar he was sure he was gay.
  • "The Snow Queen". The little robber girl seems way too fond of Gerda and sure does like to wear her clothes... In the animated movie when Gerda leaves, she cries. Cries in the most pitiful I Want My Beloved to Be Happy way imaginable.
  • In the medieval epic The Song of Roland, Roland is engaged to his best friend Olivier's sister Aude, but he never thinks of her or mentions her once. He seems much more fond of his companion and "ami" Olivier himself.
  • Richard K. Morgan's foray into fantasy, The Steel Remains, is chalked full of canon slash. Egar is one of the few male characters who has no problem with Gil's canon homosexuality. The other characters who have no problem with it? They've all slept with Gil.
  • Spindle's End, the retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Robin McKinley, has its Pseudo-Romantic Friendship between Rosie and Peony. They're described repeatedly with "two halves of one soul" imagery, at one point Rosie outright says "I love you" to Peony, and it's ultimately Rosie who takes on the role that corresponds to Disney's Prince Philip, fighting and killing the evil fairy to rescue the sleeping Peony, then waking her with the all-important kiss. On the lips. Their romances with their male love interests feel almost like an afterthought by comparison.
  • If you're looking for homoerotic subtext in Stephen King novels, look no further than The Long Walk. Hero Ray Garraty gravitates to McVries almost at once, and the two take interest in each other on the eponymous Walk, becoming fast friends. Each one saves the other's life more than once, not to mention McVries' winks at Garraty and lines like "Just go on dancing with me like this forever, Garraty, and I'll never tire." At one point they even discuss another character's suspicion of their being "queer for each other," with McVries humoring the possibility, and then asking Garraty if he'd let him jerk him off. And when he objects, McVries says he won't even let him know whether he's joking or not. Slash fangirls, you may go wild.
    • The Green Mile has its own fair share of Ho Yay scenes. The noticeable one is the scene where William Wharton grabs Percy Wetmore and tells him he would rather screw him, than his sister. Still, Wharton is a twisted, psychotic murderer, after all, so he might be just having some fun. And this fun scared the shit out of little, annoying Percy.
    • IT has a scene in chapter 17 where Patrick Patrick Hockstetter gives Henry Bowers and himself handjobs at the same time. Henry is depicted watching Patrick do this as if hypnotized but snaps out of it when Patrick asks him if he wants him to "put it in my mouth". In response Henry knocks Patrick to the ground in anger and says "if you tell anyone I liked it I'll kill you" and continues to deny he liked it when Patrick smiles and tells him "you liked it, you got a boner, the biggest boner I ever saw!"
      • Beverly has a huge crush on Big Bill Denbrough. It's hard to argue that the other male members don't, too. They have a tendency to refer to him in very glowing tones of affection.
    • Tom from Cell is canonically gay. not, however, he does kiss Tom twice in extremely somber, emotional moments, and also muses about getting to know him better a lot.
    • The Stephen King and Peter Straub collaboration The Talisman is so full of homoerotic subtext and text that it could warrant an entire section of its own. The novel features few female characters, the only major one being Jack's mother. There may have been homosexual relationship between his late father and his business partner (whom he calls "uncle"). Several male characters are described in loving detail including Jack's friend Wolf. The pair find themselves imprisoned by an Armoured Closet Gay who takes pleasure in saying that Jack and Wolf are screwing each other. Really, the entire book can be taken as a bizarre metaphor for puberty and sexual awakening.
  • Another novel of Hermann Hesse's, Steppenwolf, has some interesting vibes going on between the protagonist and the jazz musician Raul, including an invitation to a threesome and Raul tongue-kissing the protagonist while the protagonist pretends to be half-asleep and mistaking him for Hermanie as his excuse for why he kissed him back.
  • Harry Buckingham in Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown drunkenly kisses his idol Richard of Gloucester, who goes on to invite him to share his bed once he becomes king. Later, a despairing Harry visits the tomb of Edward II, who he notes was undone by his possibly-homosexual love for his friends.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seems to have this with Jekyll and Utterson, with Utterson noting how 'handsome' the former's features are, and Jekyll creating the formula to separate his 'baser natures' from himself. Well, I wonder what they could be...
    • Not to mention Alan Moore picks up on this in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics.
    • Not to mention Sir Danvers Carew. He has the misfortune to encounter Hyde, and gets beaten to death for it, but it's never explicitly explained why a senior politician would be roaming the backstreets of London in the middle of the night, alone, approaching young men he doesn't know...
    • This Saturday Night Live also plays with the idea that Hyde might have been an outlet for Jekyll's homosexuality.
  • The String Of Pearls: A Romance by Edward Lloyd (an early version of the Sweeney Todd story) includes the following passage in a chapter about why Colonel Jeffrey is so interested in the fate of Mr. Thornhill: "...they were most emphatically what might be termed kindred spirits; but when we come to unite to that fact the remarkable manner in which they had been thrown together, and the mutual services that they had had it in their power to render to each other, we should not be surprised at the almost romantic friendship that arose between them."
  • Sula, by Toni Morrison. While living in the city, Sula find that none of her relationships ever last, because they're never meaningful. She then goes on to describe how what she "wants" is someone who, basically, completes her. By which she means Nell.
  • In Terry Brooks's The Sword of Shannara, Menion Leah was pretty clearly in love with Shea Ohmsford. Toward the end of the book, Brooks introduced a female love-interest for Menion, largely to conceal the subtext. The catch? Her name was Shirl. Yeah, that doesn't sound anything like "Shea."
    • Even more obvious when you realize that the book Brooks originally wanted to write was The Wishsong of Shannara, in which Rone Leah and Brin Ohmsford are lovers, especially when you bear in mind that Brooks uses Generation Xerox very heavily.
    • Happens a lot in the Shannara books. Particularly the Heritage of Shannara series. Ho Yay, Bro Yay, and quite a bit of Foe Yay thanks to an obsessive villain who practically magic-rapes the hero.
  • Temeraire. John Granby. Will Laurence. Especially the fact that Laurence, who refers to nearly everyone else by their last name (this being Regency England, and him being a former Navy captain and thus very formal), calls Granby "John". And they also worry about each other quite obviously.
    • Granby being gay is now canon, as of Crucibles of Gold.
    • Also Tharkay and Laurence. Tharkay being the only character other than Jane Roland—she being, oh, his lover, and the only other human he tends to call by first name—who can beat some sense into him and then following Will into the Corps and later exile in Australia.
    • It's worth noting that the author is a slash fanfic writer (she shipped Holmes/Watson in her short story "Commonplaces"), so coincidence? I think not.
    • The only thing preventing Laurence and Temeraire from being canon is that Temeraire is a building-sized dragon. The entire first half of the first book reads like a budding romance!
  • How does Gilbert Markham console himself in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after he's separated from Helen? By befriending her brother, Frederick Lawrence:
    Gilbert: I was a very constant and attentive visitor to him throughout the whole period of his illness and convalescence; not only from the interest I took in his recovery, and my desire to cheer him up and make the utmost possible amends for my former 'brutality,' but from my growing attachment to himself, and the increasing pleasure I found in his society - partly from his increased cordiality to me, but chiefly on account of his close connection, both in blood and in affection, with my adored Helen. I loved him for it better than I liked to express: and I took a secret delight in pressing those slender white fingers, so marvelously like her own, considering he was not a woman, and in watching the passing changes in his fair, pale features, and observing the intonations of his voice, detecting resemblances which I wondered had never struck me before.
  • Continuing with F. Scott Fitzgerald, two minor male characters (I don't recall their names, and it was a library book) from the beginning of Tender Is the Night seem to have something going on. The younger is described as effeminate; another character apologizes to the older after making a comment about " pansies"; and their conversations with Rosemary the night of the duel are most logically interpreted as following a bad breakup/lover's quarrel.
  • Teen Power Inc.: In The Ghost of Raven Hill, Ruby Golden and Pearl Plummer are two old ladies who both never married (although Ruby did have a temporary Childhood Friend Romance with their friend Alfie Bigge), were close friends for their whole lives, and lived together and cared for each other in their old age, with Pearl also being described as never liking anyone Ruby didn't like.
  • That Was Then... This Is Now: Byron and Mark.
  • The Things They Carried has some of this, between Strunk and Jensen. They become buddies after a fight and share a foxhole, as well as making a pact that involved killing the other if he was majorly wounded.
    • There's also some between Kurt Lemon and Bob "Rat" Kailey, who were the best of friends and inseperable before Kurt steps on a landmine and dies. Rat is devastated by this, and sends a personal letter to Kurt's sister to tell her what a wonderful person he was. When she doesn't reply, he starts to lose his mind.
    • A bit involving Rat Kiley and Tim: when Tim is shot he first falls on Rat Kiley's lap. Then Rat takes care of him, checking on him 4 times (more than usual). Rat also jokes that Tim is pregnant. Right before Tim is taken by the helicopter, Rat hugs him, which is also out of the ordinary for Rat Kiley to do...
    • Perhaps this doesn't count, but there are some seemingly rape-y vibes in "Ghost Soldiers" with Azar and Tim, when they pull the prank on Bobby. Azar eventually forces Tim into what was originally his own plan, smiles "warmly" at him, calls him a fine specimen, pats his face... A little later, Tim is whimpering while Azar continues to harass Bobby, then kicks Tim in the head.
  • In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan, even when chasing his female love interests, spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking about the handsome and mysterious Athos. And then there are lines like this:
    D'Artagnan went out, but at the door his heart almost failed him, and he felt inclined to return. Then the noble and severe countenance of Athos crossed his mind; if he made the compact with the cardinal which he required, Athos would no more give him his hand—Athos would renounce him. It was this fear that restrained him, so powerful is the influence of a truly great character on all that surrounds it.
    • Taken together with Athos's disdain for women in the first book... yeah. And keep in mind that Madame de Chevreuse only managed to seduce him because she was in drag at the time.
  • The French children novel series Toby Alone and its sequel Toby and the Secrets of the Tree has this between Toby and Leo. They are extremely close in their childhood. Not to mention they even have a canon ship name...
    • After being forced to moving away and leaving Leo, Toby falls in love with Elisha, who is later revealed to be Leo's half-sister.
  • In the second novel of Sergey Lukyanenko's Trix Solier series, with almost every former enemy of Trix.
    • Gavar suggests that they seal their alliance with a kiss, but settles for a handshake. Later, he tells Trix about the power of love when it comes to ruling a nation, and Trix muses that, perhaps, he loves and fears Gavar at the same time.
    • Later on, there is Derrick who says that if Trix were a girl, they could unite their families by marriage and make peace.
  • The Twilight Saga: Alice and Bella. The Amazon vampire coven. And Leah reveals that ever since she became a werewolf and able to read Jacob's mind, she's been having dreams about kissing Bella.
    • Alternative Character Interpretation: Does Rosalie hate Bella or just want her for herself?
    • There's also lots and lots of Ho Yay, usually unintentional, between Edward and most other males such as Jacob. Stephenie Meyer was unaware of the implications of biting pillows, breaking headboards, and Carlisle selecting a handsome teenage boy as his "companion" in vampirism (rather than say, a pretty woman). Edward is willing to let Bella have Jacob's puppies in Eclipse.
    • The movie version doesn't make it any better, when it shows Carlisle hovering over Edward and sensually biting his neck.
    • In Breaking Dawn, after a long time in which Edward doesn't smile at all, his face expressing only despair and mourning, Jacob is the first person who makes him smile. And it is quite weird since they hate each other's guts. And he is going to be sucking face in ten years or so with a girl that looks EXACTLY like him just with Bella's eyes...
    • In his review of the movie version of Eclipse, Roger Ebert writes this about Edward and Jacob: "The two of you are making eye contact. Edward’s been a confirmed bachelor for 109 years. Get in the brokeback spirit."
    • The Romanians, Vladmir and Stefan. Not only do they live and travel together, they also finish each other's sentences.
    • Aro and um... everybody.
    • Felix and Demetri. They're always seen together, they walk in time and several of their actions such as lowering their hoods are completely in sync with each other
    • The Quileute Wolfpack, often shirtless, all male until Leah comes along and is the first female Quileute wolf ever! Have to get naked in order to phase? Um yeah, pretty much screams ho yay.
    • Meyer's new Novella, the short second life of Bree Tanner, has the Riley/Diego pairing. Several sporkers have commented on the level of ho yay of some of the quotes. This one in particular revolves hers around this trope.
    • And there are some unintentional howlers like "She's ecstatic. Every time I touch you, [Esme] just about chokes with satisfaction" and "Alice seems very… enthusiastic."
    • Alice's obsession with dressing Bella up, Jacob and Edward's tendency to smell each other...


  • Uglies: Shay gets awfully jealous whenever Tally gets a boyfriend.
  • Rose and Lissa from Vampire Academy, especially in the final chapter of Shadow Kissed and a lot of Blood Promise. The part where Rose leaves the academy and heads to Russia is pretty much like a break-up scene, you don't even need to change the dialogue:
    “Why didn’t you tell me?” she cried.
    “I couldn’t tell anyone,” I said.
    “You should have told me,” she repeated, “I feel like you don’t trust me.”
    “Of course I trust you.”
    “Is that why you’re sneaking off?”
    “That has nothing to do with trust,” I admitted, “It’s me...well, I didn’t want to tell you. I couldn’t bear to tell you I was leaving or explain why.”
    • And then there's this little gem not too long after that:
    I shook my head. “I have to do this.”
    “Even if it means leaving me?”
    The way she said it, the way she looked at me...oh God. A flood of memories flitted through my mind. We’d been together since childhood. Inseparable. Bound.
    • There's also this:
    “I have to do this.” I said yet again, “I’m sorry.”
    “You’re supposed to be my guardian and go with me to college,” she argued, “You’re shadow-kissed. We’re supposed to be together. If you leave me...”
    • Given that Rose is only going to Russia so she can Mercy Kill her ex-boyfriend (who has been turned against his will into an evil, soulless vampire) that whole conversation really comes off as Lissa being jealous of how important said boyfriend is to Rose. And then, when Rose does leave, Lissa falls into this dark, depressed state where she completely changes her personality (admittedly, most of that was because she was being brainwashed into doing so, but still) and starts drinking again, becoming a vapid party girl. It doesn't help that Lissa's own boyfriend tries and fails to bring her out of this state, but when Rose calls...
    • Rose openly states several times in narration that Lissa and Dimitri (the aforementioned boyfriend) are the most important people in her life, and she hopes constantly that she'll never be forced to make a Sadistic Choice between them- because she doesn't know how she'd choose.
    • It is not an exaggeration to say that the author spends more time developing Rose and Lissa's friendship and showing scenes of them together than she does for Rose and Dimitri.
    • Also, the intricacy of Lissa's powers basically demands that a shadow-kissed companion (in this case, Rose) stay with her for the rest of their lives, comforting her when she falls into depression through usage of said powers, and just basically be a trusted, devoted friend that has the strength to sway her from the Dark Side. So there's that, and all the political hate circling around Lissa, what with the vampire court disapproving of her 'progressive' views on how their society should be, and there are so many monologues on Rose's part about the nature of loyalty and love and how they make life worth living...
    • Also, you know the whole 'biting-gives-you-intense-pleasure' thing that most vampire fiction has? Yeah, this series uses it too, although with a fair side of deconstruction. And yes, there are scenes where Lissa bites Rose, and Rose's narration...doesn't really gloss over things like that. Hell, their first scene together is Rose, in her underwear having just woken up, inviting Lissa to bite her and then mentally monologuing about how, while she knows Lissa needs the sustenance, she feels a little guilty about it because she likes it so much.
    • Interestingly, the bullies at the high school they go to do briefly shout insults about them being 'fags,' but Lissa and Rose just ignore them, and it's treated as a fairly common slur, with not much truth behind it. Later, the bullies switch to spreading more malicious rumors-that Rose is a "blood whore", a dhampir woman who gives blood during sex. The stigma behind it and Rose's reaction to the rumors is....unsubtle. The film gives us this gem:
      Lissa: It's not like we were fornicating or anything. We just didn't have any feeders.
  • The Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire was full of ho yay very strongly hinted; in later volumes, and per word of god, Lestat was certainly bisexual, he and Louis were lovers (though vampires can't have sex in the same way as mortals), and other gay relationships in the series are canon.
    • While not a part of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven is chock-full of Ho Yay.
  • Vampire Kisses: Raven and her best friend Becky.
  • Jander Sunstar and Strahd von Zarovich in Vampire of the Mists. For pity's sake, Strahd pretty much takes Jander as his date to the burgomaster's ball. And the scene where they play music together, oh my. Since Strahd is an Expy of Dracula, this isn't really that surprising.
  • The Vampyre is another case of undead subtext. The bright-eyed idealistic rich kid Aubrey and the mysterious and laconic vampire Lord Ruthven go on a tour of Europe together. Aubrey huffs off when Ruthven shows serious interest in an Italian girl. Somehow Ruthven managed to follow him to Greece and the first thing he does is kill the budding Love Interest Aubrey'd gotten. This'd all be forgettable if he didn't then personally nurse Aubrey back to health, for weeks, and start traveling again. He's unhappily parted from Aubrey after receiving a fatal injury, leaving Aubrey in turn to nurse Ruthven on his "death-bed." Immortal Ruthven of course comes Back from the Dead and murders Aubrey's sister for no obvious reason but For the Evulz...but not before courting her for months and ultimately marrying her, driving Aubrey crazy.
  • Boatloads of Ho Yay in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. Miles and Bel Thorne alone could power a small nuclear reactor with their UST — though this may not count as gay, because Bel isn't male, but rather a Betan hermaphrodite. It would anyhow be seen as "not straight" by anyone other than a Betan, especially the conservative Barrayarans. Miles is too Barrayaran to act on this attraction, but in Diplomatic Immunity says that in hindsight he regrets not doing so. Also Byerly Vorrutyer, commonly known as "By." with Ivan in A Civil Campaign.
  • Tsar Alexander I of Russia was a man of tremendous charm and charisma (just check out the Real life page for this trope), so it's hardly surprising that some of this would follow him into War and Peace, but the Nikolay/Alexander subtext is only just sub-. Nikolay's anxiety about presenting the Tsar with a military report at Austerlitz is explicitly compared to that a young man in love, and another character comment's that "There are no girls at the front, so Rostov goes and falls in love with the Tsar". Yeah...
    • But Tolstoy uses "fall in love" consistently for a particular sort of exhilaration, such as when Kitty "falls in love with" Anna.
      • Also when she "falls in love with" Varenka, who she kisses. A lot.
  • The Warchild Series features plenty of canon slash for a western series. But there's also a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension between former childhood best friends Jos and Evan. Jos has fallen asleep in Evan's arms and cried on his shoulder. Of course, he then panics about every one of these lapses, but the feelings are there. And Evan's one-sided crush is confirmed canon.
    • Of course, it's also entirely possible for Jos to be asexual, but still romantically attracted to Evan.
    • The series also gives us plenty of Ho Yay between Captain Azarcon and one of his best marines, Erret Dorr. This is lampshaded in the book when another character calls Dorr "the captain's bedbug."
    • And in the second book, Ryan jokes while he's getting high with a friend that his bodyguard thinks they're "in here making out."
  • Watership Down: Pretty much all of the main characters, what with being rabbits and all. Licking each other's wounds and snuggling up together... Everywhere.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. A LOT. "Pillow friends", anyone? Tar Valon is a cross between Wizarding School and a convent, and the trainees, most of whom are late teens/early 20s, are kept away from men as much as possible, but they still have (and act on) desire. Siuan/Moiraine is canon. And then for shipper subtext there's Aviendha/Elayne or Bain/Chiad; on the male side, Rand/Mat, especially in the early books.
    • Also Birgitte and Elayne, after the Warder Bond. This is notably heightened since neither of them can be with the man they actually love. Birgitte's lover, Gaidal Cain, hasn't yet been spun back into the Pattern, and Elayne's lover is, well, Rand, who is always off being the Big Good and consequently never with Elayne. Except that one time when he got her pregnant.
  • In Why We Took the Car, there's is quite an amount of subtext between the two main characters, Maik and Tschick that almost becomes text when Tschick comes out to Maik, who actually tries to crush on Tschick.
  • Wicked: In their scene time together, Glinda and Elphaba seem reasonably platonic. Their parting has a rather different tone, and after their parting Glinda looks back on events in a more romantic light. Gregory Maguire has confirmed that the two share a subconscious attraction.

    "You'll be all right," Elphaba said, "now you're a seasoned traveler now. This is just the return leg of a voyage you already know." She put her face against Glinda's and kissed her. "Hold out, if you can," she murmured, and kissed her again. "Hold out, my sweet."

  • Women in Love by D.H Lawrence has so much Ho Yay between Birkin and Gerald, that it's pretty much text. To name one example, in Chapter 20, they have a naked wrestle. Said naked wrestle is described in such sexual terms that one can almost imagine Lawrence saying "This is them having sex-uh, I mean wrestling. Yup, just wrestling."
  • From Wonderstruck; the main characters are eleven-year-old boys and are just supposed to be friends, but it's not hard to read them as kids with a bit of a crush on each other.
  • The Les Yay in Louisa May Alcott's novel Work has been under discussion for years.
  • May be considered No Yay/Fan Disservice to some but... Lord Gro and King Gorice XII in E. R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros. We have the king kissing Gro early on and it all comes to a head later on when the King invites Gro to a private conference in his private bath. The King’s naked body is described in great detail in this scene.
    • Also some hints at incestuous Ho Yay lust between Lords Juss and Goldry Bluszco. With Queen Sophonisba acting as an enabler informing Juss he must kiss his brother on the lips to break the spell of stasis under which he’s held it just becomes that much more perverse.
  • In Marcia J. Bennett's Yaril's Children, if Kalna and Ard don't become an Official Couple over the course of the story, they're at very least the closest of Heterosexual Life-Partners. (When Ek-nar calls Kalna "a lover of men," you kind of wonder if it's something other than the ostensible accusation of being too chummy with the humans that the context implies.)
  • Tom and Carl from Young Wizards. They're two rather successful, thirty-something men who have lived together for years. Nothing has ever been mentioned about them going on dates or having love interests (and they probably never will, since they're not the main characters). Not to mention they're Wizarding partners, and the pattern in the books points to partners either being family or couples.