A/N: This has been sitting on my computer for a week or two because I couldn't decide whether to publish it as part of a series or on its own. Whatever. I think just need to get it out onto cyberspace now, and you may see it in a collection/become part of a collection once I write more Poirot/Hastings ff. By the way, this is my first time writing for this fandom... slight OOC-ness but nothing major, I think you'll enjoy. I feel I must add the fanfiction writer's perpetual plea: Read and Review!

On that fine, fateful English morning Hastings came flying out of his bedroom, hurriedly buttoning up his waistcoat and tie flapping undone about his neck in a helplessly flustered state of agitation.

"Poirot!" he cried to his friend, who was just sitting down to his breakfast, "the time- what is the time? Am I to be late?"

Poirot duly consulted his watch and replied calmly, "You have only minutes to spare, Hastings. It was inexcusable on my part to have let you sleep as late as you did, but it honestly slipped my mind."

"No matter, I can still make my train," Hastings said, triumphantly pulling the knot of his tie tight and sweeping up his coat. "Do I look presentable?" he asked quickly, spreading his arms for effect. Poirot regarded him with an almost comical grimace.

"Not at all, mon ami. You have missed the bottom button of your coat and fastened all the rest askew, and your tie is hopelessly crooked. Ah, my fingers itch to fix it- allow me." Hastings threw up his hands in defeat, much too rushed to have redone it competently himself, and allowed Poirot to approach him and fix his attire.

The small man reached out and began to undo the buttons of his waistcoat. Hastings stood obediently still for a moment, but as soon as Poirot's fingers contacted him all thoughts of a missed appointment fled his mind.

Sure, he had had beginnings of suspicions of feelings that were not quite friendship towards his friend for a while now, but to have them confirmed in such a way by his reactions was unutterably remarkable.

It was all Hastings could do to stand there and keep his heartbeat in check. Surely Poirot's flitting fingers could feel its mad rhythm through his ribs? The same light touches which sent ghostly echoes coursing up and down his spine…surely Poirot had some idea of the effect he was having on his friend?

Once every single button was undone Poirot started again from the bottom, and if it wasn't Hastings's imagination his pace had decreased. Perhaps, he thought, I can endure this… But when Poirot had deftly done up the last button, his hands continued to drift upwards until they tangled in his tie. Then Hastings's breath hitched in his throat, a pleasant yet raging fire starting in his chest.

"I am sorry, mon ami, but your tie, it is too crooked," Poirot said, his voice pitched low and soft. It was almost a whisper- then again, they were so close nothing more was required.

Poirot's short fingers made quick work of the tie, yet managed to brush the side of his neck more than was strictly necessary. Hastings felt that his blood was positively boiling, the heat becoming overwhelming- surely they were too close. They had been inches away seconds ago, now they were only a hair's breadth-

And again, Poirot said in those quiet tones,

"If only you would part your hair in the middle, Hastings." As he spoke, quick fingers brushed a stray lock from his forehead. Hastings's eyes flickered closed almost on cue. "Your facial symmetry," Poirot continued, repeating the motion, "would be greatly-"

But Hastings never found out what would be greatly, because his reserve and self control had snapped like twigs when Poirot's fingers had so gently brushed against his brow. Hastings bent down and pressed his lips to Poirot's in a desperate, unexpected kiss.

He was expecting Poirot to be caught off guard, but on the contrary, the little man kissed back with all the passion and intensity of his race, and threw his arms around Hastings's neck to boot. Hastings for a moment had a sneaking suspicion that Poirot had been leading him on before, but it quickly vacated his mind when he felt Poirot's fingers (those damn fingers!) find their way into the hair at the base of his neck. He was unable to withhold a low murmur of contentment.

It wasn't long before Hastings wrapped his arms around Poirot's waist, pressing the Belgian closer, and it wasn't long after that that they found they were no longer standing but sitting upon the couch, each quite intent on kissing the other until they were senseless.

There was no doubt they would have, as their kisses became more hurried and urgent, but the banging of the door announced Miss Lemon's arrival at precisely the wrong moment.

As through electrocuted, the couple sprang apart, breathing quite heavily. Miss Lemon looked up from a folder full of papers as she entered the room. What she saw was Poirot and Hastings seated far too closely together for a casual conversation, a guilty look plastered on the captain's face and a somewhat sheepish one on the detective's.

Now, Miss Lemon could put two and two together and arrive at four. Accordingly, she asked the following question:

"Enjoying ourselves this morning, are we?" Her tone was far too innocent for Poirot's ears.

"If you please, Miss Lemon, we were merely… ah…"

"I was merely readjusting his tie," Poirot put in quickly. Hastings nodded along his emphatic assention.

"I see," Miss Lemon said knowingly. "I'll leave you two to it, then. I've some correspondence to attend to for a quarter of an hour. I trust you will be ready to receive me at that time." Then she turned and left the way she'd come, hiding a slow-spreading smile.

"I suppose we have fifteen minutes then," Hastings ventured when she was well and truly gone.

"What of your appointment?" Poirot asked. Hastings hardly needed to think to answer that question.

"To hell with it." Poirot grinned, and tangled a hand in his tie once more, pulling Hastings closer.

"If I had known all it would take was the readjustment of a tie…" he murmured, trailing off suggestively.

"If I had known you were so good at readjusting them…" Hastings added, equally mischievously, and unable to wait any longer swooped down over Poirot once more, pressing him back into the couch into a position the other man was quite happy to accept.

And all Poirot could think was, "Finally."