Greg let them into the rather cluttered flat, not even bothering to give Sherlock the details of the crime. Although he really didn't need to - the young woman's body was sprawled out on her living room floor, the bruises around her neck already starting to show against her pale skin. John took a closer look at her face - something about her seemed vaguely familiar -
"Strangulation, clearly, even Anderson could get that right," Sherlock intoned. "John?"
John shook his head. "Sorry. She looks - I don't think I know her, necessarily, but I've seen her before."
Sherlock frowned. "Not helpful. I was soliciting your medical opinion."
He gave Sherlock a two-fingered salute and examined what he could without touching her. "You've already got the cause of death," he said after he made sure he wasn't missing anything obvious that Sherlock would harass him about later. "Strangled with a man's bare hands, looks like. Her state of dress would suggest she was either about to go out clubbing or just got back. Whoever the guy was, he left a hickey on the side of her neck but they didn't get as far as actual sex - not as far as I can tell, anyway. She wasn't redressed."
"Good. You got at least half." Sherlock pointed to her hair, her fingernails, her bare feet, and the tiny black purse set precariously on an end table. "She was just back from the club, somewhere with silver glitter, judging by the state of her hair. Her fingernails are freshly painted but have a dent on the right forefinger and thumb - she was in a hurry to go out and had to unzip her purse without letting them get quite dry first, which says she took the Tube, thus it's not a club within walking distance. Bare feet and shoes left by the door indicate she and her murderer were trying to avoid bothering a flatmate. Whom I assume was the one to find the body?"
Greg cleared his throat. "There was a flatmate, and yes, she was the one who found her this morning. She's in her room now with Donovan - last door on the right down the hallway."
"Right then, shall we?" Sherlock started for the bedroom, but John caught his sleeve.
"Don't you think someone else ought to talk to her first?"
Sherlock blinked. "Why?"
"Because she just found her flatmate murdered on her living room floor, maybe?" John sighed and forced a tight smile. "You're not exactly a people person, Sherlock."
"She's in there with Donovan," Sherlock pointed out. "I don't see how I can be any worse."
"You, go," Greg said, gesturing at John. "Sherlock, you listen, but one bloody peep out of you saying something that makes her upset, and I'm throwing you both out of my crime scene."
Sherlock wanted to argue - John could identify his peeved face from a hundred meters away now - but he held his tongue. John led the way down the short hallway and knocked on the door.
"John?" The woman looked up, surprise writ clearly across her face.
And John suddenly realized where he had seen the victim before. "Anne - no, Angie, was it?"
Sally looked back and forth between the two of them. "You know each other?"
John's "We've met" and Angie's "Yes" and Sherlock's "They've had sex" all sounded at the same time. And then there was an awkward silence as they all stared at Sherlock.
"I know I'm right," he huffed.
John's gaze flicked from Sherlock to Angie and then to Donovan, who was blatantly gaping. "Bloody hell," she whispered.
"Sorry about him," John said automatically. "I understand you were-"
"Wait," Donovan interrupted. "You two were dating? And how did Sherlock know? He can barely keep track of your girlfriends as it is."
"We weren't dating, we-"
"It's pathetically obvious," Sherlock drawled, right over the top of John's objection. "I mean, look at her. Pretty enough to pull a bloke when she's desperate, but not gorgeous enough to get the flashiest man in the room. She brought John home, oh, four or five months ago, I'd say? He was the best shag of her life, she was mediocre at best, and she's still pissed at him for never calling her back."
"Sherlock," John ground out through clenched teeth.
Lestrade poked his head through the doorway. "Everything okay in here?"
John jerked his head sideways at Sherlock, hoping Lestrade would take the hint and drag him out before he could make things worse.
Angie glared at John. "No, I want to hear this," she said in Sherlock's direction. "What makes you think he was - what you said?"
Sherlock raised an eloquent eyebrow. "You took him home because he seemed nice enough, not too threatening, and he kissed you so thoroughly you couldn't see straight afterward. Your expectations weren't all that high, but then again most of the guys you bring home aren't all that concerned about their partners' pleasure. John turned out to be the exception. He's got a significantly larger than average cock and he's incredibly skilled with his tongue. He's creative and delightfully kinky in bed and he brought you to orgasm at least twice. He barely remembered your name, though, and only vaguely recognized your flatmate's face from when you brought him home, which means you didn't make all that much of an impression on him. It wasn't that much of a leap. When he really goes all-out, he-"
John could feel his cheeks getting warmer and warmer the longer Sherlock talked. Greg and Sally's stares didn't help. "Sherlock," he interrupted, with a bit more volume than he had intended.
"Right, now, that's enough," said Greg. "Take your little domestic outside - I'll be down to talk to you in a bit."
Sally was biting her lip and looked positively gleeful, despite the dead body at the other end of the hall. "Still going to deny that you and the freak are getting it on?"
"Damn it, I'm not gay!"
She snorted. "Obviously not - bi, I'd assume."
John focused his glare on Sherlock, who didn't look the least bit penitent. "Care to say something more, you wanker?" he asked. "Right now you're making it sound like you have first-hand knowledge of my sex life."
Sherlock blinked. "But I do," he said slowly.
"Ha! Oh, sorry," Sally said. "Sorry, Miss Evans - that was unprofessional of me. But you don't know how long I've been saying these two were . . . yeah, sorry. You had enough of a shock finding Julie already."
"She didn't find the body," Sherlock interjected. "It was the one-night-stand she brought home - he got up early and found her. This woman is feeling guilty now because she and her lover were unusually loud last night - even louder than she was with John, I'd guess - and she assumes she would have heard the murder if she hadn't been shagging a complete stranger at the time. Who wasn't completely clean, by the way, no matter what he said about his status, so you really should get tested."
Greg grabbed Sherlock by the arm and yanked him toward the door. "That's enough," he growled. "And it will be a cold day in hell before I let you actually talk to a living person on a crime scene again. John, you too."
John looked back at Angie and tried to look apologetic. "Sorry," he said quietly.
"No, it explains a lot," she shot back. "You two go have a wild and crazy shag, or whatever it is you do. I don't know why you're here, but I'd rather you leave."
He rescued Sherlock's arm from Greg's grip at the base of the stairs. "I think we'd best just head home," he said, flicking Greg a significant glance. "And I'm really sorry about-"
"Just go," Greg replied, scrubbing his hand through his hair. "We can talk later."
"We're really not-"
Sherlock - two-thirds of the way to a full-on sulk - folded his arms and pouted. "You'll get video of the killer from the cameras at the nearest Tube station," he said. "And the flatmate's date for the evening, too, since I assume you'll want to talk to him."
They went. John stalked ahead, not caring whether Sherlock caught up or took a bloody cab home. He needed a walk, alone, and fifteen blocks in the evening drizzle sounded just about right.