This takes place during events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."

In honour of Sherlock and John's 221B Baker Street, this is a 221b ficlet (221 words, the last beginning with "b").


When Jim Moriarty explained the "extra incentive" he'd arranged to ensure the suicide and disgrace of the world's only consulting detective, Sherlock knew exactly for whom the three bullets were intended.

The man who was not his date.

The woman who was not his housekeeper.

The man who was not his handler.

The ones he trusted, the ones on whom he'd relied for so long. The ones who even now struggled against the poisonous lies that scuttled forth from Moriarty's web like so many thin-legged, eager arachnids.

The three were Sherlock's closest friends in the world, to be certain. But not his only ones.

Moriarty had ended his tally one name too soon.

"I don't count," she'd said, and in a manner of speaking, she'd been correct. Moriarty hadn't counted Molly Hooper. Fortunately, in the eleventh hour, Sherlock had.

He'd counted on her, in fact.

The thought struck him as he balanced on the ledge and considered the pavement below. For a heartbeat Sherlock allowed himself a silent laugh at Moriarty's oversight, which nearly had been his own, as well.

Molly Hooper, his friend, counted very much indeed.

It would be a testament to how much she counted when Sherlock disappeared into the background of his beloved London, whilst Moriarty lay cold in a viscous pool of his own blood.


Vital Stats: Originally written in January 2012.