When the hero was dead on the concrete below,

The people all cheered, because that's how it goes.

Which is, of course, why he did it. That's the very best part. That's what he really wouldn't miss for the world. On every front page of every paper, on the cover of everything from Time to Private Eye, some combination of the words 'fake', 'fraud', 'criminal', 'psychopath' and finally, oh, most beautifully, most deliciously, suicide.

He just loves that word. Such a beautiful word. All vowel sounds, and the syllables only a little guide, like the channel of a river about to burst its banks. Suicide, oh, but it rolls along the tongue as quick as bile and sweet as honey. Suicide. It sounds, he thinks, like a single drop of blood falling into water.

And oh God, but they'll come. The sharks. They'll come from all over, they'll sniff him out from all over the world, for all the years to come, no matter what he does, no matter what he tries, they'll come. This, forever, will be a world of sharks for all who were ever involved.

He loves sharks, does our Jim. You can depend on sharks. They don't stalk you, they don't toy with you. They just sniff you out and they get you in their jaws and they shake you until a bit falls down their throat. Sharks are nice. Sharks are simple in a way he could never respect in a human being. Sharks go beyond simply predictable and become comforting.

You can rely on sharks to gather around the word suicide. It's the sharks that'll do the real long term damage, and do it from here to eternity. Yeah, he likes sharks. He could watch that kind of shark forever.

None of them noticed the villain above,

The invisible man who had given the shove.

That's the beauty of it, see? There's this media darling lying down there with his skull in the gutter. Everybody wants a piece of that, everybody wants to say they were there for that bit. The Sun'll give you five grand to say you saw them tear John Watson sobbing off that corpse. They'll give you ten for a picture and let's face it, in the age of the cameraphone, who didn't get a picture? What idiot walked away from that without photographic evidence to say 'I was there'?

Sherlock Holmes Jumped Off A Building And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt.

They're all down there. It's sheer genius. And he jumped, they all saw him jump, one foot two foot, wheeee, pinwheeling all the way to the ground. It's on a videophone somewhere. They all saw him jump. And none of them is clever like wot he waz, so none of them thinks for a moment that he might have been pushed. Even dear Doctor Watson just takes it all for what it looks like, silly boy. Nobody comes running up the stairs inside to point the finger and say, 'You! You villain, you blackguard, you cad! You're coming with me!'

That would be the day. That would be the day he might pack the whole sick game of soldiers in. That would be the day he would hold up his hands and concede. You got me. Oh, he'd go to prison if somebody put that one together, and he'd do it gladly. He'd kneel at the feet of that person and say, 'Oh, mister-slash-missus, you are good.'

Hell, that would be the day he might actually blow his brains out.

The malevolent wizard rose up from the dead,

No more than a faint ringing sound in his head.

Well, the bang had to sound real, didn't it? Otherwise he never would have bought it, the lanky, mad-haired eejit. And it was imperative that he buy it. Whole-heartedly and willingly and with all the add-ons and extended warranties. He caught a little glimpse of the shock on his face before he fell. Before he rolled his eyes back to mimic gaseous impact on the rear wall of the eye socket. Sherlock probably didn't even notice that, and after him practicing all those hours at dear sweet Kitty's bathroom mirror. People just don't appreciate the work that goes into a stunt like this.

Still, he bought it. And bought enough into it that he didn't check for vital signs, which was pretty much the point. That was the one that would have scuppered it all.

I mean, yeah, it was more boring but… Well, at least it all went to plan.

What would be worse, he asks himself. His ears are completely gone, for now, so he has to roll onto all fours before he can try to stand. What would be worse? This, the boring way, or to have been wrong? To have gotten a run for his money, for once, but been wrong.

Says to himself, aloud, "Have you ever tried not thinking of everything?" And then giggles because it sounds like he's underwater. That should be his next trick, breathing underwater. Or building an underwater base like a proper villain. Rise up from the waves like… he can't remember, Doctor No or something.

He giggles again. He'll think about it when he's got his head back on track. When there's half a pack of Anadin in his system and the pounding echo has stopped and he's wrapped up his ears until the ringing stops.

Ah, the things we do for love, and hate.

And he giggled and tittered and said, 'Tee-hee-hee',

All the police of the Yard will not ever catch me.


Well, that's depressing.

My God, will they ever even get close to him again? Or does he just go back now, to being a thing behind a desk somewhere who no one ever actually sees, who never gets to come out and play and nobody to play with him? Oh my God, is he all alone, now?

Mutters to himself, and hears it back in a warbly, watery mumble, his brief eulogy for the nearly departed.

"We were eagles, you and I, that soared above the sparrows and the starlings and the fecking London pigeons. Great majestic eagles a mile higher up and so far removed. We were glorious. And now I am but one, and falter."

He sung out his victory from up there on high

(to the catchy old tune that is 'Stayin' Alive'.)

But as he reaches the stairwell, his phone rings. Doctor Watson, it seems, got something off the body before he was, to quote tomorrow's papers, 'torn away, disconsolate.'

Nah. The daily Brit rags would never use the word 'disconsolate'. In pieces. Yeah, that's what they'll say. 'Torn away in pieces'. Oh, they have no idea.

Now, obviously he can't answer. Much as he might want to say hello, say something short and sharp and to the point. Wouldn't it be fun to tell John Watson everything now when he can do nothing about it ever, ever again? Sharkbait Watson, that's what he's going to call him from now on.

Ah, but no, he can't answer. It's the better part of the ruse, is him being gone away and done for. So he won't bother.

Such a pain, though. Oh, there must be a way, there just must be.

He stops to consider it, rubbing the sticky mess of theatre blood out of his hair, pulling off the bust plastic packet with it's little electric relay. The gun, you see, has an infra-red signal instead of an actual bullet. It used to have the cap to make the bang, but he's falling out with that the more he stumbles along without any sense of balance. It's one of the oldest cons in the world. They call it a cackle bladder. Used to be no more than a bag of chicken blood you had to fall over on.

And by the time he's done thinking about that he's distracted himself long enough, and the phone has stopped vibrating.

Standing a moment longer, trying to open the door the wrong way, he realizes what little tune it would have been playing, if he could hear anything at all.

And grins.

He'd be sad, he'd be grieving, were he left all alone.

But his hero is still at the end of the phone.

You didn't think he hadn't thought of this, did you, world? You didn't think his little slip of the tongue, the one that told Sherlock he was the key, you didn't think for a moment that was an actual slip of the tongue, did you? He hasn't done that since the last time he was trying to keep from telling his mother to piss off once and for all. His tongue slipped and she hasn't called since.

Yeah, that one wasn't an actual slip either, now that he thinks about it.

And he's not so stupid or arrogant to believe that nobody else in the world could be as stupid or arrogant as he is.

Don't think that he's stupid, this villain of ours;

He knows special things with his magical powers.

His big stupid hair was hiding them, but there were three little blood packets down one side of dear old Sherlock's head. Jim always knew that hair had to be good for something. All limp and loose as well. Some kind of drug in him.

At three stories, you've only got a thirty percent chance of dying. And that's if you're a genuine jumper, all wound up and depressed and farewell, cruel world. If you're all limp and loose, relaxed, well, it's like a drunk falling downstairs. Most of them just get up and walk away from that. Spreads the impact out, you see.

Helps if the coroner's madly in love with you and all.

Bet he forgot that I knew that, Jim thinks to himself. Staggers again into the corner of the landing, but all this, the disorientation, the hysteria, the deafness, this will all fade.

The sharks will always be waiting for Sherlock.

So keep a close eye, and a sharp, and a weather

'Cause what angels can fake, the Devil fakes better.