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Stealing From the Tax-Paying Population

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Sherlock was muttering under his breath, every now and then waving his hand to the side as though he was pushing along a stack of information to make room for another pile of facts and figures.

John and Detective Inspector Lestrade stood patiently beside him, uncomfortable in plastic overalls and in the serene presence of the splayed dead body on the floor.

"John," he said suddenly, "Don't move, I am in need of your assistance."


"No," he snapped, "Don't talk, this is vitally important: don't talk, don't move and concentrate."

John scrunched his nose, only to receive a sharp glare as Sherlock approached him, eyes narrowed in deep thought, and jaw set with a worrying intensity of determination.

First Sherlock placed his hands on his shoulders, gripping firmly as though daring John to attempt to move away, before, out of nowhere, he darted forwards and crushed his lips against John's.

The surprised 'oof' was caught in a warm, wet mouth, chased around by a sweep of tongue across his bottom lip, and at John's further (albeit half-hearted) attempt at retort was instead taken as an invitation to lick inside his mouth.

Sherlock made a sort of pleased sound at that, deep in the back of his throat, a sound that reminded John of the completion of a successful experiment, which one way or another would have increased the health risk of using some unfortunate kitchen utensil.

John's fingers tightened in Sherlock's coat (merely to stop himself being bowled over backwards, not at all due to some repressed desire to grab him by the lapels and throw him against the wall and kiss his bowed lips off his face- no, just no).

All at once, he was being pushed away, palms flat on his chest and shoved rather unceremoniously out of the intimate embrace.

He stumbled, flushing bright red.

"Did you feel it?" Sherlock demanded.

The shade of red turned crimson.

"Feel what?"

A myriad of sexual identity questions that he'd thought he'd left behind with his early twenties? A rush of possessive heat at the thought that Sherlock had somehow just 'claimed' him? Arousal?

Sherlock made a face, and John made a superhuman effort not to stare at his kiss-reddened lips.

"Me- stabbing you with an extendible pencil in the neck."

Oh god. Had he?

"You stabbed me with an extendible pencil in the neck?" John echoed, faintly.

"That is what I just said John, do keep up."

He turned away, leaving John gaping and his face still working its way through all the shades of red.

"Go and find the man's lover, and no, not his wife, Anderson, a woman he has been booking hotel rooms for in London, there's a keycard in his left trouser pocket, he was about to give it to her, go to the hotel desk and find his credit card details, find the other hotels he has been to, check the security footage, really- it's a petty hate murder of a man who won't leave his wife and kids to give his all his money to a younger woman… please don't concern me with something so trivial- come on John…"

"Sherlock!" John hissed, and the detective spun around, intrigued, annoyed even, that instead of his much anticipated praise, he was instead receiving a warning with the tone of 'A Bit Not Good'.

"What?" He demanded.

John fidgeted a little, and Sherlock swept his eyes up and down his body, looking for clues.

He was hungry, perhaps, hadn't eaten since breakfast and even then had had to rush, since he had over slept and missed his alarm and hadn't had time to finish his toast? Perhaps it was the experiment he hadn't liked, the one with the ironing alibi, which had consequently ruined several of John's shirts, hence him having to wear his 'smart shirts'- the ones with starched collars, he found them uncomfortable, the collar twisted from where he had been pulling at it.

Lestrade and Anderson were edging towards the door, and Sherlock raised his eyebrows at Lestrade's rather strange smile, and Anderson's look of absolute disbelief.

Well, okay, he could understand Anderson's look of absolute disbelief, with a mind that simple, it was hard to imagine him not being constantly overwhelmed by everyday surprises such as the invention of sliced bread.

John waited until they were alone with the dead body, and he was staring at it so intently, Sherlock began to wonder if he was trying to mentally swap places with it.

"You kissed me," John said.

"I don't know what I'd do without you," Sherlock replied, blankly.

It was more of an insult to his powers of deduction than an explanation, and for this John glowered at him.

"You kissed me Sherlock," he tried again, "and you can forget people talking, after that, you've pretty much given people permission to publish novel length descriptions of our flagrant love life!"

Sherlock frowned. Flagrant? Why flagrant?

"Well, Lestrade and Anderson have significantly less appeal to me," he said haughtily. "And if you're quite finished staring at my lips, I am taking you to dinner."

John spluttered a bit.

"Sherlock! You can't just kiss me, and then take me to dinner, and say that I'm appealing to you!"

"I didn't say that," Sherlock corrected, "I said that you were significantly more appealing than Lestrade and Anderson."

"Fine." John snapped.

"Yes fine," Sherlock said, a little bemused. "It's all fine- remember?"

John scowled. "Saying that doesn't give you unlimited permission to just kiss me whenever you feel like it!"

Sherlock's eyes widened, and John felt insanely jealous of the dead body, who seemed to have the right idea here, by just keeping quiet and not getting involved.

He seemed to have no such self-control, and wet his lips nervously.

"I needed to find out whether it was a sufficient distraction to enable a less physically powerful individual, to take advantage of their power of a hold of sexual attraction over the other, and give a lethal injection into the carotid- a conclusion simply too obvious to have been missed by our trusted police force- 'was pushed to the ground and killed by a sudden impact wound to the back of the head', these people are stealing from the tax-paying population…"

John blinked.

"I am more physically powerful than you," he managed, stutteringly.

It was almost a compliment.

Sherlock's lips quirked in amusement. "Yes, well, perhaps after you have spent a week or two in your inner battle against your continued fascination with boring women and the fact that you see yourself as the definition of 'not gay', then you can prove that to me- now- dinner?"

"Yes," John nodded. "Okay, yes."